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Smoking With Antonios Maltezos

Art by Marty D. Ison
Art by Marty D. Ison
Wonderful story. Never read anything quite like it. From where do you get such original ideas?
Thanks Randall. For me, it usually starts as an image with a bit of movement, sometimes dialogue, and a facial expression to tell me how I’m supposed to feel about it—cinema for the head. In this case, it was the bitter face of an older woman bent over her garden. She was saying something, only I couldn’t tell what because it was just under her breath.

Did any real setting/incident inspire this story?
Well, I do have beets in my garden this year.

"She let him get excited, and then took back the idea." That's really, really good. Is that the key to being a good gardener?—or a good spouse?
An accomplished spouse, I think, someone who’s in control. I hope a line like that also gives some insight into the hubby’s character. As long as he gets his twelve hours a day of TV time, she can play with his emotions all she likes.

What's up with you these days? Anything in the works?
Yup. I’m at the third stage of a novel-like thing that begins in 1948, and ends…well…with the end. Its setting is an island in the Aegean with way too much history, a gorgeous coastline, and a cast of locals who’ve seen most everything wash up on their shores at least once. As far as writing short stories and flashes go—I don’t think I’ll ever give that up. There’s too much of a thrill involved in chasing down that perfect flash, or that engaging short story with a life of its own.

How's your own garden grow? Or how about the gardens of your neighbors?
You kidding? I’ve got the best garden around. And nothing makes me happier than when I share the spoils—pass a bag full of ripe tomatoes over the fence. “I’ve got too many this year,” I always say.

Read Gardening.
Issue Ten (September 15, 2005): Capsicum by Anne Marie Jackson «» Donat Bobet's Halloween by Bruce Holland Rogers «» The Arrival by Nathan Leslie «» The Law by Edgar Omar Avilés, translated by Toshiya A. Kamei «» Five Fat Men in a Hot Tub by Jeff Landon «» Hoover by Cally Taylor «» Are You Okay? by Joshua Hampel «» The Kindness of Strangers by Otis Brown «» Mrs. Krishnan by Kuzhali Manickavel «» Crossing the Orinoco by William Reese Hamilton «» The Elements of Summer by Laura Stallard Petza «» Closer to Paul by Patti Jazanoski «» Hawesville, Kentucky by Nance Knauer «» He Stayed for Breakfast by Astrid Schott «» Gardening by Antonios Maltezos «» Outer Space by Tom Saunders «» Blind Love by Robert Bradley «» Arks by Alan Girling «» Chitlins by Bob Arter «» Strange Fruit by Suzanne Lafetra «» Interviews: Anne Marie Jackson «» Bruce Holland Rogers «» Nathan Leslie «» Toshiya A. Kamei «» Jeff Landon «» Cally Taylor «» Joshua Hampel «» Otis Brown «» Kuzhali Manickavel «» William Reese Hamilton «» Laura Stallard Petza «» Patti Jazanoski «» Nance Knauer «» Astrid Schott «» Antonios Maltezos «» Tom Saunders «» Robert Bradley «» Alan Girling «» Bob Arter «» Suzanne Lafetra «» Joseph Young «» Cover Art "The Creation of Time and the Plagiarism of Bosch" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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