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We sit at a table in The Glade—a room named for the sappy paintings of pastoral scenes on its walls. Their grasses and trees are carefully balanced and in them nothing lurks or lives. Read the rest of this entry »

—Nevertheless you did kill him?
—I was present at his death.
—Present with a knife.
—Mine was not the only hand on that knife.
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—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.
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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 »

A steady breeze billows the laundry on the line in photograph after black-and-white photograph along the gallery walls. Dad says they make the breeze visible. Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know this man across the table but if we’re dating, I’m a reasonably lucky woman, depending on my age, my looks. I don’t know much. A plate of eggs and bacon before him, scrambled soft, I believe they call it and nearby, toast in uneven stacks, so the meal is underway. Is this breakfast? 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 »

We were born and nearly raised by the time love was invented. Just after the big bombs went off, it was, when parents went looking for hope and found it in their suddenly nuclear families. 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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