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A Surprise at the Cottage

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I had begun to fear the worst: a family of raccoons had moved in. Or our cottage had become a bat house. Or mold clung like moss to the walls. There would be standing water in the basement, the foundation would be crumbling. Finally, the border to Canada opened. I made the trip up to Thunder Bay. My first impression on seeing the cottage was relief: it looked the same as ever from the outside...

Another Year in the Books

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Today marks two years I’ve been fiddling around with this blogging thing. That’s not really an anniversary cake. I’ve co-opted Harriet’s birthday cake again. She baked it herself, but at least I made the icing and frosted the cake. Taking a couple of hours (or less or more) to write a blog post is so unlike the two-year trial of writing a novel that it’s hard to...

Where to Draw the Line

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If you’ve been reading this blog, you know Ask Dave has had some back and forth dialog with Andy about the sexual harassment allegations against him. I have not gone easy on Andy and suggested he resign, which he has done. In announcing his resignation, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “In my mind, I have never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the...

Welcome to the Neighborhood

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A few weeks ago the sale on the house across the street closed but no one’s moved in yet. We’re wondering who will be our new neighbors. We look out the window for activity. I might have spotted an elderly couple going in and out one day. Julia said she saw a young mom with a baby and a car seat, along with a couple of Jeeps in the driveway. So, a young family perhaps. I’ve been hoping for that...

California Dreamin’

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August 12, 1989, SANTA CRUZ, CA. The morning begins like most August mornings here—cool and muffled, the fog a layer of insulation over the town, the horn at the harbor tolling a deep note every ten seconds. By midday, the fog has lifted and the beaches are filling up. Monterey Bay is flecked with whitecaps and the glint of sun. The temperature will reach 74 degrees today. As my friend says...

Dear Dave: Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown

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Dear Dave: I really have nowhere else to turn at this point, so I’m writing to you again. Everyone is abandoning me—I mean everyone. My most trusted confidantes are like rats deserting a sinking ship, my executive secretary has quit, and even my old friends Nancy and Joe are calling on me to resign. The media is calling me a power-crazed misogynist. Me of all people! Okay, I’ll admit to a bit of...

Manufactured Lies: A Strategy for Supremacy

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I’m really pissed off about the thumping that critical race theory is taking from its enemies. Funny thing is, about a year ago few people outside of academia had ever heard of critical race theory (CRT). Now, almost everyone has, because the conservative right wing has labeled it subversive and threatening (Threatening to what? White supremacy). CRT got its start around 1980 when researchers and...

Favorite Color

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Some days pass in a whirl of imagination and others are taskmasters hounding me and I get near the end and not once have I taken a moment for beauty, but if I’m lucky and I remember and my timing is right I look a little outside myself and the world shakes me by shoulders and says pay attention fool, the sunset is your favorite color.

The Desire and the Need and the Wanting

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I recently took a gander through my writing journals of the past fifteen or so years. I have both notebooks and online documents, but because my handwriting is almost illegible, trying to read the notebooks isn’t worth the effort unless I’m desperate to locate something specific.  The online journals are the nerve center. It’s where the fast typing takes place, legible sentences are...

FALLING

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Although it’s been almost seven years since my father died from Alzheimer’s, I’m only now researching on a deeper level how dementia is portrayed in the arts. Years ago, I read the bestselling novel depicting dementia—Still Alice. I also highly recommend the film, The Savages, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as adult siblings dealing with a very ill parent. It’s got both humor...

Adam Vanek, I Knew You Well

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CLEAN BREAK by David Klein

Lately I’ve been thinking about a character, Adam, from CLEAN BREAK. He suffered from a gambling addiction, ended up in a rehab center, lost his family, was now living with his parents and trying to get his life in order. But it was hard. He relapsed. He was in debt and in trouble and heartbroken. I had so much empathy for him. I knew him, this figment from my imagination. From CLEAN BREAK:...

One Turn and Then Another

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Plan ahead if it pleases, but you can see only as far as the next turn you take. One turn and then another. Which way at the fork, how to act, try not to look behind. You alone decide. Under blazing sun through drenching rain over deepening snow against gusting winds. Across concrete sidewalks and rickety bridges and endless asphalt. One turn and then another. Shoved this way, pulled that, and...

WHITE FRAGILITY, Robin Diangelo

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Dear White People: White is the status quo. White is the norm. White rules. White perspective is assumed to be universal and is imposed on everyone. White supremacy is a system we are all socialized into from the moment we are born. White schools are better than Black schools. White neighborhoods are better than Black neighborhoods. White health care is better than Black health care. White wages ...

The Swim

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(from a work in progress) The water is flat as glass which he shatters with each stroke, his arms operating like mistimed pistons, his strokes short and choppy. His legs barely muster a kicking motion and his feet hang low like sinking weights. He breathes in awkward gasps. He gulps mouthfuls of water. His splashing and coughing upset the silent morning. It is the start of a long June day, the...

Does the FDA Have a Drug Problem?

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It’s not a good look these days at the Food and Drug Administration. Former U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was quoted in Forbes saying the “quickest path” to herd immunity against COVID-19 in many U.S. communities is “organizational vaccine mandates, but lack of FDA licensure leaves schools, colleges, businesses in a legal quandary.” In other words, organizations that might mandate the...

THE FATHER

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A friend recommended The Father to me, with words of caution: it’s hard to watch. He was right. But hard to watch doesn’t mean don’t watch. In this case it means the film is so powerful, devastating, brilliant, and so close to home that the discomfort I experience is illuminating, even reassuring: I am not alone. I watched this film about a man struggling with dementia because I too had a father...

Wanna Bet? Wait 10 Minutes

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CLEAN BREAK by David Klein

This year’s ESPN Wimbledon coverage included a DraftKings desk. A couple of hosts chattered as if they knew about tennis, but their real message was about placing bets on tennis. There are plenty of options for those who like to gamble. You’re not limited to betting on whether Djokovic will win or what round Federer will make it to; now you can place what are called proposition bets—or...

A Social Media Milestone

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I’m not a big user of social media. I gave up on Twitter a few years ago. Occasionally I’ll share one of my blog posts on Facebook or comment on a friend’s post. I don’t pay much attention to my LinkedIn presence since I’m not networking or building my brand. I’ve never used Instagram or TikTok or any of the other social media apps I don’t even know exist. But there’s one social media...

The Father-Daughter Scene

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Some writers plagiarize, others borrow freely, and all are inspired by the work of others. I recently rewatched a favorite scene from The Sopranos (Season 1) when Tony is taking his daughter Meadow to visit colleges. They have a heart-to-heart in the car. She’s on to her dad and his real line of business, but he won’t admit it. Later in the episode,, while she’s meeting with the...

Dear Mom:

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I think of you on July 9, and today I was digging through my box of family artifacts and remembering that period of time we were writing letters to each other. I might have been recently graduated from college. I’m not sure how we got started, but in a few of my letters I was trying to explain some life decisions I’d made. Where to live, what kind of job to take, some relationship matter. Maybe...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, journalist, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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