Smoking With Suzanne Lafetra

Read the Story September 15, 2005

How did your many years in Tulum, Mexico end up informing this story?

It’s easy to write fiction when you don’t have to make anything up.

I love how the “simple” task of washing expands to include so much more. How do you accomplish such depth and “expansion” here?

Cats spray in the corners. Dogs sniff every light post. This character has to reclaim her territory, overgrown and jungle-y as it is. Axiom is the best she can do.

The “smack of metal on meat.” (One of my favorite all-time lines.) From what dark place did that ending come to you?

Yeah, yikes, that even creeped me out. This incident happened more than a decade ago, and I guess I’m still a wee bit pissed off about it. That smacking was good therapy.

Tell me about the fame and glory of appearing on KQED FM. Are you now Famous in Northern California? (If not, you should be.)

If it weren’t for these gigantic Jackie-O sunglasses, I’m sure I’d be mobbed at Whole Foods regularly.

Who’s more prolific, you or your persimmon tree? When, by the way, is the right time to eat a persimmon? (I never get it right and always end up with a mouthful of nasty.) And what is your—and your tree’s—secrets to prolificacy?

I write a lot, because I love it. The business of writing is also something I enjoy, a real plus, since most people don’t like marketing their stuff. I send out three submissions each Friday. That’s my rule. My goal is a rejection a day. And I’m getting close.

As for persimmons, I haven’t got it right, either. You have to wait until the fruits are totally mush or you get a puckerfull of astringent fuzz. But man, are they pretty in the fall. A bunch of orange bulbs and flaming leaves; it’s like a Halloween tree. That’s good enough for me.

About the Author:

Suzanne LaFetra's work has appeared in Rosebud, Literary Mama, Tiny Lights, and on KQED fm. She lived for many years in Tulum, Mexico, but now resides in northern California with her family, a prolific persimmon tree, and several dozen sea monkeys.

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.