SmokeLong Quarterly
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Dear SmokeLong Friends,

art by Marty D. Ison
artwork by Marty D. Ison
Have you ever had a great love for something you do, but reach a point when you feel like you've hit the wall? Your energy is tapped, and you start to wonder why you were passionate about it in the first place. Well... I have to admit, that I hit a burn-out phase during the last few months with SmokeLong.

And then, things changed. The time to put the magazine into its production stage came around. I started reading the interviews conducted with the authors by this amazing staff. I re-read the pieces we'd selected to appear in this issue. And I gazed in wild wonder at the artwork Marty Ison delivered for our cover. And I thought, "Ah. Now I remember." I was in love again.

It starts to sound redundant after a while, but I do believe this is our strongest issue yet. It's a little slimmer than previous issues, with eighteen pieces instead of the usual twenty. But the eighteen pieces are prime. They are achingly lovely, from Alexandra Fox's blind elephants to Scott Ford's heavy metal dog.

Something else happened during the production of this issue that reminded me of my love of the work. Emails flew back and forth between staff and writers. Old relationships grew, and new relationships were fostered. What a delight, for example, to discuss the joys of W.P. Kinsella with Tom Jackson. What a joy to learn of Bob Thurber's latest project, Microfiction.net. And how wonderful to hear more about the novels of Paul A. Toth and Grant Bailie.

Christmas, in other words, came early this year for me. And hopefully, whatever holiday you celebrate, you'll enjoy the presents contained herein as well. Read on, and raise a glass to Maryanne Stahl, for the beautiful work she's done with Kathy Fish, Ellen Meister, and Thomas White, in bringing these gifts to you.

Happy holidays,



Dave Clapper
Editor, SmokeLong Quarterly

December 15, 2004
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