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Smoking With Natalie DeClerck

I am fading among my own smoke by Hamed Masoumi
"I am fading among my own smoke" by Hamed Masoumi,
via Creative Commons license
What meanings do you see in the use of "brother" within this story?
Well at first "brother" was actually referencing one of my own family relationships. But I kept the word because I liked the idea of the narrator having a close yet ugly connection with the brother, whether he is a blood relative or not. I thought "brother" allowed for that.

How would you describe your writing style? How does this style reflect you?
Honestly, I haven't found my writing style yet. The type of stuff I write changes a lot, and pretty quickly. I feel like even "Tapioca O's," which SmokeLong published a few issues ago, doesn't sound like me. For this story though, I was focusing more on the flow and sound of the words and creating certain images. It ended up kind of dramatic and abstract because that's the way I always saw the story in my mind. In terms of how my developing style reflects me, I hope it shows that I'm growing up, as a person and as a writer. Of course, I'm still just your average American teenager, but I'm not too angsty anymore. I like to think there's a little more to me than sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

How did this story come into being? Trace, if you would, its progress from idea to this final version.
I don't regularly journal, but I do have a place where I write down spasms of autobiographical stuff when I feel like it. This story is the unexpected spawn of two separate entries that I wrote about a year ago. I wrote the last two paragraphs first, and really struggled with getting the "skys aside" sentences the way I wanted them. Almost all of the first three paragraphs changed from the first draft, and I ended up only keeping the basic idea and voice. Overall, I tried to edit the story to be less judgemental and more of a search for comfort and truth.

When did you know you were a writer? Do you think this is a good or bad fate?
Oh, I knew straight out of the womb. The whole time I was thinking, "What an experience! How will I ever describe the gruesome imagery to my readers?" As far as fates go, it's about average. I still hope my fate is to be an unknown rockstar that tours Europe with The Cure for a year but then goes solo and records a lot of jazzy love songs. Writing is good too though. I'll keep it up just in case.

What got you interested in flash fiction? What do you like about it?
I've always enjoyed reading shorter pieces, and I guess I eventually decided to try it out. I feel like I put a lot more energy into the writing when I have to condense my thoughts so much. The editing process is more fun, too. There's a lot more eraser marks and scratching out and crinkled paper balls in the trash can.

Read Rain.

Issue Twenty-Five (June 25, 2009): Bush Chanting by Cynthia Helen Beecher «» Flying Pens by Pam Bolton «» Rats by Z.Z. Boone «» The Hobblers by Dan Chaon «» Slanguistic Lipstick by Frank Dahai «» Rain by Natalie DeClerck «» Good Friday by Steven Gullion «» Me and Theodore Are Trapped in the Trunk of the Car with Rags in Our Mouths and Tape Around Our Wrists and Ankles, Please Let Us Out. by Mary Hamilton «» Underfoot by Joan Harvey «» A Minor Setback by Tara Laskowski «» Woman in a Bar by Dorianne Laux «» Matt: How It Will Happen by Amanda Nazario «» Trace by Darlin' Neal «» Exile on Payne Street by Ryan Ridge «» Home Economics by Gail Louise Siegel «» A Funny Smell by Ray Vukcevich «» Andersonville by Lindsay Marianna Walker «» Northern Migration by Brandon Wicks «» Interviews: Cynthia Helen Beecher «» Pam Bolton «» Z.Z. Boone «» Dan Chaon «» Frank Dahai «» Natalie DeClerck «» Steven Gullion «» Mary Hamilton «» Joan Harvey «» Tara Laskowski «» Dorianne Laux «» Amanda Nazario «» Darlin' Neal «» Ryan Ridge «» Gail Louise Siegel «» Ray Vukcevich «» Lindsay Marianna Walker «» Brandon Wicks «» Cover Art "The Vanishing Lotus" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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