SmokeLong Quarterly

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Letter from the Editor (8)

Story by Dave Clapper March 15, 2005

Art by Marty D. Ison

How are you? If you’re like me, you’ve fought off at least one bout of the flu since our last issue, and/or dealt with bouts of the flu in your kids. My latest round came last night, as my six-year-old son featured a glassy-eyed look and a burning little body just before his usual bedtime. Since the doctor’s office was closed by that time (and Tylenol wasn’t doing anything to bring his fever down from 103 degrees), we spent about three hours at the hospital waiting to be seen. While Tylenol didn’t do the trick, Motrin did, and his fever was down to about 99 degrees before we’d even been seen. By that point, I’d decided that he’d be better off home in bed and the other patients would have one less person in line in front of them.

So, why do I mention the above? Well, it’s funny how our priorities can sometimes be pointed out to us. It would have been very easy to fall into bed myself once he was settled in, but SmokeLong was calling my name. Sixteen terrific flashes and sixteen interviews with the equally amazing writers were begging to be seen. There were bellies to be kissed (Roderick Leyland), pencils to empty (Daphne Buter), and sins to commit (Ira Socol). And water all over the place (Cami Park, Tiff Holland, Frank Haberle, and John McCaffrey). But sleep, sweet, alluring sleep was calling to me, too. What would you do?

A few years ago, I might well have said, “Ah, it can wait until tomorrow.” In fact, with regard to just about any job I’ve ever held, this would have been (and still would be) my response. But literature engages our passions (or at least mine) in a way that little else does. Just as a six-year-old boy whose cheeks are flushed the color of Scooby-Doo Valentines illustrates the frailty of the human condition, so, too does fiction remind us of what it is to be human, and engages us in our own humanity.

Or maybe I just haven’t had enough sleep and I’m waxing philosophical. But I don’t think so. Please enjoy leafing through the pieces contained herein. Darby Larson and Kathy Fish have done an outstanding job assembling them. When you’ve finished reading the stories, listen in as the writers sit down with Randall Brown and offer their thoughts on writing (and, by extension, that very humanity). And keep coming back to the beautiful cover art of Marty D. Ison, who always captures the human condition in ways few artists can. Issue 8’s cover art is entitled “Self Portrait”.

Enjoy the issue. And drink lots of liquids.


Dave Clapper
Founding Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly

March 15, 2005

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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