SmokeLong Quarterly

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Smoking with Gary Cadwallader

(Read the Story) June 15, 2007

Gary Cadwallader

"Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe" by Vincent Van Gogh

Why this dark story?

It was rather odd of me, I suppose. But maybe not as odd as I’d like to believe. I do write about dysfunctional folks a bit. I don’t see it as terribly dark. More like ambiguous. I do want to say I had a great fun messing with time in this one. I had to rewrite a dozen times or so just to make it readable to me. Pretty soon the story became what can a fella remember and is it true when he gets there?

You and I are battling out on Zoetrope Virtual Studio to be the most active reviewer in the flash wing, with both of us nearing our 700th review. Why do you review other writers so frequently?

No, Randall, we’re not battling. You just think you’re in the race is all. Ha! Actually, I know you get as much out of reviewing others as I do because I’ve seen your work grow. That’s the thing. You can’t grow as a writer without helping others. Besides, flash fiction is our art form. It’s the one we’ve chosen, so we should read all we can. As Gov. LePetomaine said in Blazing Saddles, “Work, work, work, work, work, work, work.”

What’s the key to being a cowboy writer?

Me and a blonde and a horse named Bud.

What is Gary Cadwallader doing on MySpace?

I have no book to pimp, but I’ve a presence. When I’m 80 and finally have that contract, I wanna be ready. You know, in case the rodeo thing doesn’t work out.

The titles of the stories in this issue wowed me and got me thinking about the value of the great title. What are some great titles—for novels, stories, movies, albums, CDs, and the like? And what is the worst title you’ve ever encountered?

Worst? Any title by Dean Koontz. Phantoms. Lightning. Watchers. Lightning actually kicks ass, but how ya gonna know by that title? Great titles you don’t forget. Like: Sometimes a Great Notion. The Second Bakery Attack. Lonesome Dove. The Stars My Destination.

About the Author

Pushcart nominee Gary Cadwallader lives on a small farm in Warrensburg, Missouri where he likes to write about relationships between men and women.

About the Artist

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.

This interview appeared in Issue Seventeen of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Seventeen

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