SmokeLong Quarterly
top menu
miter
Smoking With David Erlewine

Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette
""Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette"
by Vincent Van Gogh
What kind of research do you do for your stories? What's the best way to tackle a subject*such as the "stuttering" you handle here—that one might not be intimately informed about?
Good question. That was the hardest part of this story, providing enough information about covert stuttering so readers would understand it, but not overloading them. Zoetrope edits and SLQ edits greatly helped that process. Covert stuttering has always interested me but so few people know about it (in comparison to the "typical" stuttering in which nearly everything happens on the surface, if you will). In this story, I hoped to show the inner drama of just being able to say a few meaningless words.

Following a "lull," what gets you writing again?
Hmm, a very timely question. I have been in a three-year lull or so. During that time I've experienced so many great things (becoming a first-time homeowner, getting married, having a son, getting a stable job with stable hours for the Feds, etc.) that I have not, for whatever reason, been making the time or finding the inclination to write. Recently, I wrote this story and then one about a man confronting a pedophile. I used to be accused of writing stories that were "too dark" * glad to see things have changed for me now.

Time for the first (and perhaps only) SLQ deserted island questionnaire. One CD. One novel. One flash piece. One movie. One very much alive famous person. One very much alive writer. One SLQ editor with the initials R.B.. Go!
Wow, the deserted island questionnaire. I've been tweaking this list for years, slowly ripping it up each time the clock tolls Midnight on the first of January, crushed that no one again had asked. Hold on a second. Ok, my current answers are in my briefcase. Whoops, had some chicken salad I forgot to take out last Friday. Ok, here goes. For CD, I'd say The Volebeats, The Sky and the Ocean. For Novel, "The Things They Carried. For Flash Piece, I'd say "The What the World Wants Blues". Though I'd have to snip four words out of it to make it 1000 words. For movie, I'd have to say "The Big Lebowski". "Anchorman" is scratched out on my list and could be a game-time decision when I get that call. Hey, by the way, this isn't the kind of deserted island they were selling in "The Island". In terms of the much alive very famous person, I'd have to say Tom Hanks. I've never seen "Cast Away" so he could act out his scenes every day...provided I can procure a volleyball. Just as Suge Knight once said Puffy/P Duddy would get the wood for him on an island, Tom would have to act out scenes from all of his movies, save You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Then I'd get to find out where he's been hiding Scolari. For the writer, I think I'd have to go with Tim O'Brien. He needs to find his bearings involving a non-Vietnam novel and this might be just the thing for him. For the SLQ writer with initials R.B., I'd have to tell Mr. Gullion he wouldn't be able to hang out with me and Tom on the island and then I'd select you, so we could begin whittling down your flash piece in order to get it onto the island.

Read The Table.
Issue Thirteen (June 15, 2006): A Foreign Woman by Roberta Allen «» Fetichismo by Christopher Battle «» How the Broken Lead the Blind Until They Both Become Something Else Entirely by Matt Bell «» See Odi Naked by Lisa K. Buchanan «» Memory of Sky by Jai Clare «» The Captain by Ron Currie, Jr. «» Bingham by Steve Cushman «» The Table by David Erlewine «» Daffodil by Kathy Fish «» Fishing by Mike Hagemann «» Real Estate by Jennifer A. Howard «» Emily Avenue by Jeff Landon «» Tough Act by Steven J. McDermott «» Cheering by Srdan Papic «» Something Blew by Ellen Parker «» Euclid's Elements by Mary Lynn Reed «» Miracle by Chad Simpson «» Her Lips by Claudia Smith «» Man and Dog by Girija Tropp «» Randomization by Joseph Young «» Interviews: Roberta Allen «» Matt Bell «» Lisa K. Buchanan «» Jai Clare «» Ron Currie, Jr. «» Steve Cushman «» Katrina Denza «» David Erlewine «» Kathy Fish «» Mike Hagemann «» Jennifer A. Howard «» Jeff Landon «» Steven J. McDermott «» Srdan Papic «» Ellen Parker «» Mary Lynn Reed «» Chad Simpson «» Claudia Smith «» Girija Tropp «» Joseph Young «» Cover Art "Despair" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
miter
bottom menu