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Smoking With Katrina Denza

Art by Marty D. Ison
Art by Marty D. Ison
I love the deconstruction of frostbite into “frost” and “bite.” What does such a deconstruction mean to you?
I love words. I love the sound of different words and the unique visuals of each. Split apart, frostbite seemed to sum up how that character felt in her family of three: frozen-out and in pain.

Your work has such a wonderful lilting rhythm. Something that just happens or something you consciously work on?
Thank you, Randall. With my shorter flash pieces, I try to stay as close as possible to what comes out in the first draft—I’m wary of working the energy out of a sentence. That said, I usually put my piece away for a while and then read it aloud. And my husband Tom, an excellent first reader, will let me know if a sentence or a word seems off.

Every story of yours, I think, breaks new ground. As amazing as each one is, the next one seems to top it. Do you feel the same way?—and what’s the key to such continual growth?
I’d like to think my work is getting better, although it’s very difficult for me to be objective in that regard. Maybe as long as a writer continues to write, it’s inevitable the work will improve in some way.

“She’ll listen to their coded language, be the half-melted cube of ice that tempers their passion, all the while holding close the fact that she feels something they don’t.” Not sure that a sentence can get much better than that. Do such sentences come out fully formed or do they develop through a longer process of writing and rewriting?
Some do. For that sentence, the initial idea came out on the page, but the words were a bit wrinkled. I had to play with them and smooth them so they could be understood.

You had the number one story on Zoetrope. How has that changed your life?
Well, it felt nice for 58 seconds. Maybe even a full minute. Then I got back to work.

Read Frostbite.
Issue Six (October 15, 2004): Money on the Eyes by Ian Kita «» Fire. Water. by Avital Gad-Cykman «» On the Inside of a Horse’s Skull by Daphne Buter «» Breakfast in America by Angela Delarmente «» Broodiness by Alicia Gifford «» The Suspect by Joseph Young «» Picnic by Robin Slick «» Rabbit Karma by Bea Pantoja «» Grateful by Lisa K. Buchanan «» Getting Religion by Carol Novack «» The Green Dress by Beverly Jackson «» Smoky Clothes by Ellen Parker «» Shopping List by Liesl Jobson «» The Nub by Jordan E. Rosenfeld «» Swallow Whole by Spencer Dew «» Dead Weight by Jensen Whelan «» Instructions for a Son upon Finding Something of his Father’s by Robert S. Jersak «» 201 Feet by Andrew Tibbetts «» Slip it In by Myfanwy Collins «» Frostbite by Katrina Denza «» Interviews: Ian Kita «» Avital Gad-Cykman «» Daphne Buter «» Anglea Delarmente «» Alicia Gifford «» Joseph Young «» Robin Slick «» Bea Pantoja «» Lisa K. Buchanan «» Carol Novack «» Beverly Jackson «» Ellen Parker «» Liesl Jobson «» Jordan E. Rosenfeld «» Spencer Dew «» Jensen Whelan «» Robert S. Jersak «» Andrew Tibbetts «» Myfanwy Collins «» Katrina Denza «» Cover Art "Torment of a Lost Ecstasy" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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