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Smoking With Dawn West
by Tara Laskowski

SmOke Me! by Paula Iannuzzi
SmOke Me! by Paula Iannuzzi
via Creative Commons license
Man, I LOVE the energy in this story. It starts out strong and never slows down. I think at the end, the reader feels that need to take a breath as well. Did you write this all in one burst, or did it take several revisions to make it pop like it does?
Thank you! I'm so happy you enjoyed it. My stories are crazy little heathens. They come barreling out of me and make all kinds of noise. Sometimes I'll come back after writing it, hate it, and immediately rewrite it. Sometimes I'll trash it all except for a few lines and make something new. Dive wasn't one of those cases. It just needed some polish. It felt whole.

If this story continued for a few more pages, what do you suspect would happen to the narrator and her relationship with her family? Is this a real crisis moment that changes things, or is it just an example of a pattern that repeats itself in her life?
Honestly, I have no clue. I do know that this was a real crisis moment for her. However, crisis moments don't necessarily alter the projection of our lives. We can go back to doing the same shit. People are fond of relapsing.

Why do you like/need to write?
When I was six or seven, I was in this American Girls club (remember those mildly creepy dolls that had their own book series?). One day we had a little costume party; we had to dress up as "what you want to be when you grow up." I chose Judy Blume. I carried around one of her books and told everyone "I write best-sellers." Long story short: I need to write because I can't imagine doing anything else with my life. I like to write fiction because stories can be a way of talking to people. Stories can be how we tell each other who we are, where we are, what we're afraid of. They can be somewhere to go or the transportation there. Fiction can do anything you need it to.

In your bio, you say you're a cheap date! I love that. Can you tell us what, for you, is the idea of a perfect date?
Thanks, Tara. I'm turned off by expensive dates. It's totally wasteful and makes me suspect the person's character. Same reason I hate expensive rings. For me, the perfect date costs less than fifty bucks. It should involve fancy beers and cheap vegetarian food.

In five years, what do you hope to be doing?
Writing all the time. Publishing things people like to buy. Being done with college. Feeling calm.

Read Dive.

Issue Twenty-Nine (September 29, 2010): Bearded by Patrick Allen Carberry «» Hip by Kim Chinquee «» Our Littlest Brother by Dan Crawley «» LAX by Michael Czyzniejewski «» Bathroom Jesus by Kelli Ford «» Boy With Cherries by Adam Golaski «» Dancer by Peter Grandbois «» Aeroplane by Alex Haber «» Feral by Joe Kapitan «» Gorillas by Ben Loory «» Model #3 by Annam Manthiram «» Working Halloween for Christmas Money by John Minichillo «» Claire by Nick Ripatrazone «» Guard by James Robison «» Sixteen by Laura Tanenbaum «» These Three Things That Noah Doesn't by J.A. Tyler «» Snake Walk by Ajay Vishwanathan «» Dive by Dawn West «» Bedtime in Thorpe Village, Leicestershire, England by Sue Williams «» Thank You, I'm Sorry by Caroline Zilk «» Interviews: Patrick Allen Carberry «» Kim Chinquee «» Dan Crawley «» Michael Czyzniejewski «» Kelli Ford «» Adam Golaski «» Peter Grandbois «» Alex Haber «» Joe Kapitan «» Ben Loory «» Annam Manthiram «» John Minichillo «» Nick Ripatrazone «» James Robison «» Laura Tanenbaum «» J.A. Tyler «» Ajay Vishwanathan «» Dawn West «» Sue Williams «» Caroline Zilk «» Cover Art "Sara Serengeti" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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