I am hopping excitedly as I peer at the cover of our new baby. The sheer number of hours it takes to put together a literary magazine is tremendous, but today, I’ve forgotten the aching shoulders from too much typing, the aching brain from so many decisions, and the aching heart that longed for more things literary.
Today I wake to pouring rain; the first rain in many weeks, and I know it is a sign of good things to come. This good rain is also pouring on SmokeLong, refreshing it after a long and exhausting labor, causing new growth from cracked ground.
Our first issue is filled with the fruits of fresh writing. Seventeen pieces, seventeen unique perspectives, seventeen writers who’d likely rather die than stop writing; these are the passions that fill this first issue. Tears of pride well up in my eyes for these diligent authors.
Inside this issue you’ll find an odd assortment of characters and situations. A naked woman, and one who hops. A dragon lure, and a monkey with stapled ears. A surprise among melons, a surprised elderly man, and a surprise for Bob. I hope these stories stick with you like they do me.
I want to recognize our three prize winners in this issue. Peggy Duffy’s “A Cautionary Measure”, S.H. Gall’s “Gerontophile: An Imposition”, and Nance Knauer’s “Neighborhood Watch” are all incredibly different from one another. These authors have successfully created tales to remember in under 1000 words. Congratulations to them!
Please be sure to read the author interviews. You’ll find links to these at the bottom of each story’s page. I was pleasantly surprised at the humor and grit as well as the frankness found in these interviews. I think you’ll find yourself laughing and thinking after reading them.
Please also offer comments on the pieces. Again, there is a link at the bottom of each story that will take you to a message board, where you can let the authors know your appreciation.
And tell your friends about us. We are excited to publish excellent flash fiction and look forward to a long and lush season of growth ahead of us. Enjoy!
The Cover Art “Purpleless” by Rebecca Gullickson was inspired by “I Shall Not Wear Purple” by Margaret A. Frey.
All the best to you and yours,
Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly
September 15, 2003