SmokeLong Quarterly
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Smoking With Avital Gad-Cykman

Art by Marty D. Ison
Art by Marty D. Ison
The repetition of "The mother washes the dishes. The father walks the dog outside" is really strong. Did you start the piece with a phrase specifically in mind or did it come about more organically?
The words came to me in an instance when I, as a mother, was acutely aware that while my children are a part of me, they also have a place inside their minds I cannot reach. And then, the worry: what if that space between us allows the existence of an auto-destructive world? It all sounds abstract, doesn't it? It had to come back to the ground through routine activities: one which repeats itself, and the other that gallops toward destruction.

How has living in Brazil impacted your writing?
I started writing fiction a few years after coming in Brazil. It was a new way of communication, so maybe the relative isolation of a newcomer contributed to it.

How do you feel about flash versus other forms of writing?
I love writing flashes. There is a sense of freedom in it, because it emphasizes lyricism more than longer stories, and it allows you to get wild with one idea or emotion. The flashes I like reading have this and also clarity and focus, just like other types of writing.

You've been published pretty widely. What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Oh, the one from the a lovely cartoon and my three-word bio in Happy. It shows a frog in a stork's beak and says: "Don't give up!"

Tell us a little bit about your novel.
My novel "Quero-Quero" deals with emotional strife and survival and is set in Brazil. "Quero Quero" is a local bird's name and it means, "I want," a yearning that lies as the basis of the story.

A family from Slum-City, Porto Beleza, is facing poverty and difficulties. Abandoned by their mother, the twins and their young sister are sent to different homes, where local stories of passion, love, and struggle entwine with the children's. The story focuses mostly on Isabela. She suffers as she develops the resistance of a solitary person against circumstance. Yet, she challenges the low chances of survival that life has offered her.

I hope to publish "Quero-Quero." I think people would enjoy it.

Read Fire. Water.
Issue Six (October 15, 2004): Money on the Eyes by Ian Kita «» Fire. Water. by Avital Gad-Cykman «» On the Inside of a Horseís Skull by Daphne Buter «» Breakfast in America by Angela Delarmente «» Broodiness by Alicia Gifford «» The Suspect by Joseph Young «» Picnic by Robin Slick «» Rabbit Karma by Bea Pantoja «» Grateful by Lisa K. Buchanan «» Getting Religion by Carol Novack «» The Green Dress by Beverly Jackson «» Smoky Clothes by Ellen Parker «» Shopping List by Liesl Jobson «» The Nub by Jordan E. Rosenfeld «» Swallow Whole by Spencer Dew «» Dead Weight by Jensen Whelan «» Instructions for a Son upon Finding Something of his Fatherís by Robert S. Jersak «» 201 Feet by Andrew Tibbetts «» Slip it In by Myfanwy Collins «» Frostbite by Katrina Denza «» Interviews: Ian Kita «» Avital Gad-Cykman «» Daphne Buter «» Anglea Delarmente «» Alicia Gifford «» Joseph Young «» Robin Slick «» Bea Pantoja «» Lisa K. Buchanan «» Carol Novack «» Beverly Jackson «» Ellen Parker «» Liesl Jobson «» Jordan E. Rosenfeld «» Spencer Dew «» Jensen Whelan «» Robert S. Jersak «» Andrew Tibbetts «» Myfanwy Collins «» Katrina Denza «» Cover Art "Torment of a Lost Ecstasy" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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