Why I Write: Avital Gad-Cykman

I always had an urge to write. My diaries gave my everyday life a certain sense and importance that was lacking otherwise. Following the same logic, the aesthetics of poems (I wrote since I was six years old) helped represent a deeper self that could communicate better with the world. But this is a sort of rationalization. So instead of continuing it, I’ll tell why I wrote my first flash in 1998.  At the time, it should be noted, the word “flash” was more familiar in relation to Flash Gordon, a silly TV series, than to anything literary, but as most writers know, now it means a short short story. The Internet entered my home in 1998, back when you had to wait through strange telephone sounds until connecting with it. Within a day, I was chatting (typing) with people from all over the world, an upgrade of having pen-pals.Peter from Canada, an older man, was a beach comber and a reader according to him. We exchanged life stories, and I introduced my whole family to him. He was a loner.One day, as we chatted, he said he’d make coffee and come back later. In the meantime, I felt like writing something to surprise him-fun but profound, whatever comes to my mind but with style. So I wrote about a woman who could fly.Peter didn’t disappoint me. He even sent the flash to his friends and afterwards told me they’d like to see more, and gave me their emails. I wrote another one and sent it. And then, I started sending a flash every week or two to about ten people. Sometimes I received an email from someone new. Steven from Australia offered to set a page in Geocities, where I’d be able to post my stories.These were the best days: spontaneous, unafraid writing, with fire of discovery and passion.  I had to work on my English and on my technique, learn how to publish and how to take rejection, but the stories kept coming. And I never stopped.

About Avital Gad-Cykman

Avital Gad-Cykman's flash collection LIFE IN, LIFE OUT has been published by Matter Press in 2014. http://matterpress.com/press/life-in-life-out/ She is the winner of Margaret Atwood Society Magazine prize for non-fiction, and The Hawthorne Citation prize for fiction. She is also a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and her stories and novel were finalists in several contests, among them the Iowa Fiction Award for story collections. Her work has appeared in W.W Norton's Flash Fiction International, The Best of Gigantic 2009-2014, LitroNY, McSweeney’s, CALYX Journal, Prism International, The Literary Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Stumbling and Raging, Politically Inspired Fiction Anthology (McAdam/Cage,) Best American Flash of the 21st Century Anthology, The Flash, Descant, Sex for America (Harper/Collins,) and other publications. She was born and raised in Israel and lives in Brazil.