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Every shelf is stacked with books I’ve read and reread, or so it seems. This depleted room, these spine-cracked volumes rubbed of their wishes, cannot detain me long. Read the rest of this entry »

The next day, I understood French. Standing by the curb in my bathrobe and slippers on a frosty morning, looking for the paper in the shrubs, I saw the sparkling blades of grass and heard the crystals crunch beneath my feet in a suburb of a suburb of New York City—all right, Jersey— Read the rest of this entry »

When I’ve finished writing my dictionary, things will be different in this world among English-speaking people and between you and me. When we first learned them, words were something hefty we could thrump with our knuckles the way we test a melon. Read the rest of this entry »

The kids formed a new government yesterday after the briefest of campaigns. “Who’s bigger?” was one campaign pledge. “I’ll tell Mom,” was another. Ballots were cast verbally, sometimes face-down in the carpet, and claims of voter intimidation were resolved internally by the poll boss. Read the rest of this entry »

The humid summer heat was murderous. Every year one or two were killed in our town, cooked in their rooms. At our house on the avenue, a fan in the attic drew refreshment from the night through our open bedroom windows and pulled the hot air up the attic stairs. Read the rest of this entry »

Can a saint keep a diary? Only a saint could think so. For the rest of us the truth is in the life and all biography is betrayal. We have only so much perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

You are not an accident, little one. You were in my care even before you were born. You have a place inside me still and always will. I have big plans for you, little one, plans as grand as galaxies and as unfathomable, but they mean nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

We first noticed changes at the library where we thought books knew their place. Every morning the new librarian had to track down The Wanderers and return it to its shelf. Read the rest of this entry »

Fifty-five years of job reversals and mortgage payments all come down to this: a slow trickle of bargain hunters with their Penny-Savers, picking through a houseful of used furniture priced to move, each piece tagged with a little red sticker like a drop of blood with numbers penciled in, Read the rest of this entry »

My boy powers a line drive through the gap just about every time. Claims he does it by not caring, taking easy swings. Me, I spray the ball to every corner of the park, Read the rest of this entry »

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299-WORD NOVELS

Character, conflict, emotional impact. And sentences! Everything you want in a novel, without one extra syllable.

Behind the Pseudonym

The pen name David B Dale honors my parents Beatrice and Dale. David+B+Dale = davidbdale

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