SmokeLong Quarterly
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Smoking With Ben Stein


Art by Marty D. Ison
Magical realism, fabulist fiction, quirky literary. In what genre would you put this story? Should fiction, or any work of art, be given such labels?
To both of those questions, the short answer is I'm not sure...

The long answer is probably best discussed at the kitchen table. I'm not sure if having the dog nearby is a help or a hindrance. It is hard to tell with dogs.

"The halfboy's halfness isn't obvious." What a great first line. It immediately made me want to know more. Do you have any tips for writing first lines that hook?
They are usually there already, probably somewhere in the middle.

Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, is any character ever whole?
I feel that if we were on, say, Matlock, someone would object to this question as "leading the witness."

Who has influenced your writing?
Gail Adams. Mary Ann Samyn. Matt Vandermeulen. Dan McCarthy. Sam Bell. John Schumate. Gertrude Stein. Julie. Gary Lutz. Ben Marcus. John Wells. Sandy Baldwin. Jeremy Justus

SLQ completed issue 18 at the close of summer and launched this issue, 19, on the threshold of winter. During the three months in between, the crops were harvested, the leaves fell, the rain returned, temperatures dropped, darkness lengthened. Death in increments. How does the turning of the seasons affect your "muse," your inspiration?
Pleasantly. It is nice to hole up with nothing but fat books and projects.

Read Boyandaquarter.

Issue Nineteen (December 15, 2007): The Off-Season by Jami Attenberg «» A Company Function by Grant Bailie «» Food Spectrum of the Rainbow Family by Melissa Bell «» Holiday Inn by Kim Chinquee «» Killer Pair by Trinie Dalton «» What Happened to My Purple Flip-Flops by Arwen Dewey «» Truth (ii) by Ben Ehrenreich «» How 9) Strange by Laird Hunt «» The Mess You Made in Us by C. Robin Madigan «» Red Brick by Darlin' Neal «» A Boy Not Born Yet by Tori Malcangio «» Taco Foot by Jack Pendarvis «» Boyandaquarter by Ben Stein «» Teec Nos Pos (Circle of Cottonwoods) by Beth Thomas «» Music from 1975 by Benjamin Weissman «» Interviews: Jami Attenberg «» Grant Bailie «» Melissa Bell «» Kim Chinquee «» Trinie Dalton «» Arwen Dewey «» Ben Ehrenreich «» Laird Hunt «» C. Robin Madigan «» Tori Malacangio «» Darlin' Neal «» Jack Pendarvis «» Jim Ruland «» Ben Stein «» Beth Thomas «» Benjamin Weissman «» Cover Art "Desire" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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