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Smoking With Laurie Frankel

(Read the Story) December 15, 2005

Laurie Frankel

Art by Marty D. Ison

A haunting story that touches upon so many archetypal fears, loves, connections. That image of the mother kissing the sinking stones has such power. I see the vertebrae of her spine so clearly, pressing as if to escape, to deny the flesh, to become skeleton. Did writing this down break your heart?

The act of writing, making art, separates me from the experience which is partly why I write. And so, from that perspective, I get distance. That said, when I read the last line of my piece I always feel a little queasy.

A mother who can search the Internet. Are you sure? And, how does one prepare for and/or survive that day when she must come to a cemetery to bury her dead? How?

Alberta is très au courant! Cell phone, TiVo, the kit and the caboodle.

If I’m busy preparing I’m not living. I do believe how I conduct myself day to day, my life outlook/personal code, impacts how I deal with everything so, in that sense, preparation is ongoing, not something I will frantically search for and grasp at when the time comes. Over the past few years I’ve begun exploring Buddhist teachings to better understand how to manage the baffling and humbling human condition. And if I leave the safety of my neat and tidy head I’ll tell you this: when my mom dies, my life as I know it will end. Yes, I’ll go on and somehow, surprisingly find joy again but it will be an awkward experience as if touching through wool. Answering this question breaks my heart.

In your bio, you write that “pain is the root of all comedy.” How did you discover this truth? And what other truths might a visitor find at www.laurieslovelogic.com?

I used to think I was the only one who suffered, but when I found out everyone does—that to a great extent that’s what life is—I was like, “Hooray! Welcome to my self-pitying vat of gloppy ooze. Watch your step.” Realizing the struggle is what connects us and that you can either be a complaining drag or turn lemons into chiffon pie I started baking.

Thanks for plugging my site! By the time someone comes to a complete stranger for love advice I know they’ve exhausted their friends and need a loving kick in the arseyhole. Kicking with humor makes it easier to take and fun for those too afraid to write in. The biggest truth? The great majority of young women are taught to look outside themselves for worth and self esteem typically, through a relationship with a man. Man comes, self esteem comes—great! Man goes, literally or figuratively, self esteem goes—crap! Lather, rinse, repeat. Until we get this resolved, keep sending those cards and letters.

A guest on Tyra Banks’ new show! How’d that go? Any chance you’ll be America’s next top model? How did you and Tyra hook up?

Yeah, I was on TV! The producer found me from my website. It was fun, especially liked having professionals apply false eyelashes (don’t try this at home). Prior to taping we went over and over (and over) the material and then covered…none of it—ahh, show biz! America’s Next Top Model, I wish. America’s Next Top OK-looking Woman, maybe.

A new year approaches (yikes!). So, what’s the best that 2005 had to offer in literature, web sites, music, movies, television, DVD, and the like? Also, any predictions for 2006? And we’d love to hear your New Year’s resolution.

I say “yikes” to this question 🙂 While it was published in ’93, I have been pushing Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark on all who will listen. Boyfriend can write! And three quiet cheers for Marilyn Robinson’s Gilead. As for music check out these new (to me) artists: Supergrass, Mike Doughty and Devendra Banhart. Movies: It’s not often the Danes come to mind for filmmaking but I have a few excellent recommendations: The Celebration and The Inheritance.

You can’t see me, but I’m putting on my Dionne Warwick hat (and big teeth). For 2006, I predict Bush will choke on his pablum and suffer even greater brain injuries than when he first ran for office. Christopher Walken 2008!

2006 Resolutions are to embody hope, humility, truth, creativity and grace (that’s #1); be present to and thankful for the people in my life(#2); have less attachment to outcome (#3); and when #3 gets old, publish, publish, publish (#4)!

About the Author

Published book author and humorist, Laurie Frankel, knows pain is the root of all comedy and is thrilled her life is so damn funny! When not penning grocery store haiku or telling it like it is, this former east coast gal can be found whooping it up in southern California. Join the fun and email her by visiting www.laurieslovelogic.com.

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.

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

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