SmokeLong Quarterly

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Letter from the Editor (19)

Story by Dave Clapper December 15, 2007

Art by Marty D. Ison

Usually, at this time of year, my missive urges folks to think about what they’re celebrating this holiday season. During the course of putting this issue together, however, our guest editor and Fellowship writer both endured wildfires and one of our submissions editors had to evacuate her completely flooded house. And don’t get me started on the continuation of mounting deaths in Iraq, and our current regime’s saber-rattling at Iran. Jeez. I think a little levity is in order, a little escapism, no? A little laughter besides the fat man’s “Ho ho ho?”

Fortunately, guest editor Jim Ruland brought levity the likes of which we’ve never seen. From a gingerbread house to a taco foot, Extreme Liquidations to punk rock’s baddest boy, this issue is absolutely packed with humor. Hallelujah!

It’s not all about the humor, though, as some of the stories within provoked sharp gasps upon reading, whether from a gun range, an OB’s office, or a hotel bar. There is some serious power here.

Jim was also our first guest editor in history whom we had not previously published, and the results are fascinating: while there are a few returning voices, most of the words penned in this issue are by writers previously unseen here. Again, hallelujah, as this adds to the already long list of authors whose careers I’ll avidly be following.

This also marks the final issue for our Fish Fellow, Beth Thomas. I’m particularly excited about “Teec Nos Pos,” as not only does it mark Beth’s final piece with us, it was also the very first piece she brought to us to begin workshopping, nearly a year ago. The growth we’ve seen in this story alone has been astounding, and mirrors how great the experience with Beth has been from day one. We’re going to miss you, Beth.

I think y’all will dig this issue—I know I have. For me, the stories here have been an elixir against the insanity of the world.


Dave Clapper
Founding Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly

December 15, 2007

Cover Art “Desire” by Marty D. Ison

About the Author

Dave Clapper is the founding editor of SmokeLong Quarterly.

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.


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