SmokeLong Quarterly

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Letter from the Editor (34)

Story by Tara Laskowski December 19, 2011

Art by Marty D. Ison

I have only ever been mildly successful at keeping New Year’s resolutions, and yet I like doing it every year. I think it’s the hope and promise associated with starting new and getting another chance. As I write this at the end of this year, my husband and I are expecting our first child at any moment. Certainly brings a whole new meaning to a new year, a new start—and also a chance to re-evaluate priorities and decisions.

In this last issue of 2011, I can see a strain of hope running through several stories, even if the characters’ situations seem bleak. I think that is what drew our staff to these pieces and made them stand out to us. Even though Liddy in “Batman #12” keeps messing up her life, we like her as a character because she keeps trying to be a good mom, she keeps trying to better her life, even though we know she probably won’t succeed. The bedtime stories that Michael in “The Freeze” tells his children show the hope that he wants to instill in them even though “the End is coming, but The End has always been coming.” And at the end of “Running” by R.S. Thomas, we get the promise of a new generation alongside the foundations of the past: “One night they will we wake me and I will listen to them. I will get out of bed, put on my shoes and walk outside. I will step off my porch and run. I will run so fast my feet will never touch the ground…I will run back into the arms of my ancestors, taking my whole tribe with me, and then maybe we will never have to run again.”

I hope that your resolutions—whether small or large—are successful in 2012. Enjoy the issue, and enjoy your holidays.

See you on the flip side.

Tara Laskowski
Senior Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly

December 19, 2011

About the Author

Tara Laskowski

Tara Laskowski has been editor at SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010. Her short story collection Bystanders was hailed by Jennifer Egan as “a bold, riveting mash-up of Hitchcockian suspense and campfire-tale chills.” She is also the author of Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons, tales of dark etiquette. Her fiction has been published in the Norton anthology Flash Fiction International, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and numerous other journals, magazines, and anthologies. Tara lives and works in a suburb of Washington, D.C.

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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