Smoking With Antonios Maltezos

Read the Story September 15, 2005

Wonderful story. Never read anything quite like it. From where do you get such original ideas?

Thanks Randall. For me, it usually starts as an image with a bit of movement, sometimes dialogue, and a facial expression to tell me how I’m supposed to feel about it—cinema for the head. In this case, it was the bitter face of an older woman bent over her garden. She was saying something, only I couldn’t tell what because it was just under her breath.

Did any real setting/incident inspire this story?

Well, I do have beets in my garden this year.

“She let him get excited, and then took back the idea.” That’s really, really good. Is that the key to being a good gardener?—or a good spouse?

An accomplished spouse, I think, someone who’s in control. I hope a line like that also gives some insight into the hubby’s character. As long as he gets his twelve hours a day of TV time, she can play with his emotions all she likes.

What’s up with you these days? Anything in the works?

Yup. I’m at the third stage of a novel-like thing that begins in 1948, and ends…well…with the end. Its setting is an island in the Aegean with way too much history, a gorgeous coastline, and a cast of locals who’ve seen most everything wash up on their shores at least once. As far as writing short stories and flashes go—I don’t think I’ll ever give that up. There’s too much of a thrill involved in chasing down that perfect flash, or that engaging short story with a life of its own.

How’s your own garden grow? Or how about the gardens of your neighbors?

You kidding? I’ve got the best garden around. And nothing makes me happier than when I share the spoils—pass a bag full of ripe tomatoes over the fence. “I’ve got too many this year,” I always say.

About the Author:

Antonios Maltezos is currently working on a novel, A Train Runs Through Here.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.