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In photos of my daughter’s wedding, I look thinner than I was and not at all as if I wanted to strangle the groom. There stands Sheila, radiant as always against a bank of pallbearer suits. Read the rest of this entry »

—Dad, are you trying to trade me?
—What would make you say that?
—Mister Moyer said you offered me for his daughter.
—Not just his daughter, son. That was a package deal.
Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

All these years later, I still find Barney’s logic compelling. We needed mitts before the start of the season. We couldn’t squeeze the money from the pittance they called our allowances. After expenses, and what the church extorted in those little envelopes, nothing was left for new equipment, 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 »

People and things are so easy to lose it’s a wonder we end up anywhere with anything to show. The future too is insecure and can be misplaced as easily as the little pocket items of the past— 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 »

In this 300-word paper, I will prove that the world exists, beyond a reasonable doubt, as I was assigned. 277 words to go. First premise: as everybody I know will tell you, I am to blame for everything. Read the rest of this entry »

My son’s a nice enough kid, I suppose, flaky as all get-out, but a hard worker when he sets his mind to something, which is the problem. I offered him a way into the business, but he never cracked the binder. Plus, he qualified for military officer training, but he went kamikaze on his interview. 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 »

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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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