anthony dobranski online


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My need to invent (shout out to Bottled Worder)

I had a very hard week last week in my family life — mid-40s fertility has highs and also lows, and let us leave it at that — and I was not taking it well. I tried to write about it but I couldn’t. Not from any objection to over-sharing with the relative strangers who follow me (I read Ellison in my youth, and then Genet; I can over-share in my sleep) nor from any special reverence for the sacred bummer of all things involved with making new life.

I am simply foundering on the effort to be self-centered.

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Fiction: The charm (from The Demon in Business Class)

Funny thing, WordPress doesn’t let me tag non-blog posts (the links in the header row), so without occasionally posting excerpts from my book, its potential readers can’t find me by searching. Every so often I’ll post a short excerpt here on the blog. To read the first two chapters, click here.

This is from the early pages. In the midst of a downsizing Zarabeth has found a new job, and, to her surprise, a path to the supernatural. 

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On Friday half the cubicles outside Zarabeth’s office were empty and dark. The remaining people slouched at their small desks. She felt as if she faced a dog licking a deep wound, clammy feel of sepsis in the hot air. Pathetic. She would take a brick to it.

Her new boss Magda’s admin had forwarded a twenty-page report about satellites, a third redacted with thick black marker. It looked military or spook, above her own nerd rating.

Wanda knocked, holding a thick plastic-film envelope. “This just came by messenger.” Wanda stood there, impressed and curious.

“Thanks. Go away. Close the door.”

Inside the envelope were new business cards, employment documents, a ticket to London (tomorrow night, business class), also a jewelry box and a black parchment envelope.

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I met the President for fifteen seconds

So, obviously, it’s a photo-op at a fundraiser.

Two hundred people line up in a U, along the walls of a largish beige hotel conference room. Our bags and purses taken away. No bar. Still there’s a buzz. A third of the room is hidden by navy blue sheets on movable barriers, like privacy curtains from old hospital wards. Behind them, the President of the United States. The President. How often does one meet the President? And he’s waiting to meet us!
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