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I might have chosen the needle and thread, thereby insuring myself a long if not necessarily happy life, or the bow and arrow, the significance of which seems obvious. My rich aunts had both grabbed rice cakes on their ceremonial turns around the table Read the rest of this entry »

The boy with two birthdays was born on both December 6 and December 7. As with so many questions that perplex not him but those who feel they must render verdicts, the date depends on who defines birth, Read the rest of this entry »

When the night voices tremble in your heart, so do you hear where each of us is, except for me, except for the one who doesn’t call. Your bed is damp with not knowing. Left to the black glass and right to your husband, you shake your head No all night. Read the rest of this entry »

I cried on the elevator, then over lunch and later at my desk. It’s funny now. They call me Weeping Will. Weeping Will stands looking at people who know him and though nothing they do is different today Read the rest of this entry »

The secret I felt thrust upon me is nothing I wish to claim; a syllable it was that earned me this room and in itself the syllable was true. From my small town near Pisa where bread was scarce I’ve journeyed here to a room of my own, 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 »

I usually have to tell my students to question the meanings of photographs and the motives of photographers, but not her. I sense instead, whatever I tell her, she’s wondering why. Read the rest of this entry »

—What does she look like?
—I don’t know who you mean.
—The slut your father’s sleeping with.
—Oh. There’s no such person.

I began to follow her then, in anticipation. Read the rest of this entry »

My daughter Magda is four years old and a frightening specimen. I’m running out of preschools that will take her. “We can’t tell when she’s kidding,” they tell me, “It scares us.” I know: you need an example. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve seen this movie fifty-nine times, but that’s not why it knows me. It’s set in a country that’s not my own, at a time I can only imagine. Mysterious things happen to families unlike families I know—still mysterious on a sixtieth viewing, though I know everything that will happen, and when, and every line. 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.

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

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