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We hired a double for Bob so that the Bob the world required could be places Bob could not be. We oversucceeded. Immediately, Bob was a fraud. Read the rest of this entry »

They looked married. In what they took for granted, the other riders saw they had been together forever. He read the map of the system posted by the door, tilting his head to follow the lines, and kept his balance with a hand on the pole. Read the rest of this entry »

She was never my girl until you took her and now that I will never get her back, I have reclaimed her. Read the rest of this entry »

The next day was entirely different. Longer hours of sun were bringing the thaw. Victor had gone ice-fishing alone on the mostly frozen lake, not frozen enough where he had fallen through. Read the rest of this entry »

This godforsaken gravel shoulder is as good a place—as bad a place—as any to have made your peace with life and dying. Still, you probably objected. Not here, you said, by which you meant, Not yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer camp for boys had been a nightmare of fellowship and other itchy rashes. For weeks, he had tried to find somebody he could like or a hiding place, but they had pestered him with bows and arrows, canoes and climbing ropes. The ropes he liked. 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 »

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 »

We were twelve and stupid, American kids living in America, lying on our backs at recess. You like that? We lay on our backs side by side in the sun, in the grass, full of youth, looking for shapes in the clouds. Read the rest of this entry »

On the edge of my bed, his outline brightened by moonlight, his profile sharp and reassuring just as it was, then later at the market his round shoulder turning, hawk’s brow silent and still, his little cap tipped so familiarly, thereafter whenever I need him, 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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