Smoking with Darlene Cah

Read the Story September 15, 2003

What inspired this piece?

As usual, some crazy collision of random thoughts swirling around in my head. After 9-11, I used to duck into St. Francis of Assisi Church on the way to my (now former) job. The cool, dark interior was a soothing contrast to the chaos I felt outside. Then, months later, I heard some TV story about a teenage girl who managed to hide her pregnancy. Eventually, a character formed and entered the setting that was so vivid in my mind.

Name some favorite authors.

This question made me realize just how illiterate I am! Or, rather, fickle. I wish I could spout a litany of names known for their massive, thought-provoking, groundbreaking tomes. However, a quick tour of my bookshelf (and a large portion of my floor) will reveal work by everyone from Shel Silverstein to Maeve Binchy to Neil Simon to Dick Francis to John Grisham to Jane Austen and Eudora Welty, with an occasional Shakespeare thrown in for good measure. Frightening, eh? You don’t want to know about my CD collection.

How many times have you spilled coffee/tea/water/beer/soda in your keyboard, and is there a “perfect” greaseless food that can be eaten while typing?

Hmmm, about 89777777 Oh, sorry, that key sticks a little.

I can tell you the most difficult greaseless food: Vegetable sushi! The chopsticks, alone, are a killer while typing!

What would you do if you stopped writing?

I’d muck stalls and as I peer out the barn window, breathing in the sweet grass of spring, gazing at the horses grazing contentedly, I’d ponder the diminished dreams, the trampled hopes, the failed endeavors that haunt me day in and day out. OK, never mind, the words would kill me! Stories are EVERYWHERE! Look, there goes one now…

Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers? Like, “Hi Mom!” Or would you like to promote your literary-based website? Here is your chance.

Many, many thanks to Pam Casto and everyone who participates in the Flash Fiction Workshop. And Hi, Mom, hope you’re laughing in Heaven!

Editor’s note: I also would like to add kudos to Pam Casto, and thank her for her brilliant newsletter. We would never have had so many great submissions without her help in getting the word out. Keep ’em coming, writers! And thank you, Pam! Here is her link. To subscribe to Pam’s newsletter, send a completely blank email here: FlashFictionFlash-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

About the Author:

Darlene Cah is a freelance writer and comedy improviser living in New York. Her fiction has appeared in Song of the Siren, Cenotaph PE and Green Tricycle. When not writing, you can find her acting silly on the stage of Gotham City Improv.

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.