By: Cynthia Bermudez | January 13, 2020

Short Story Collection

My first poetry publications were speculative horror. I wrote them from flash-fiction prompts. The poem Death Rise is probably my most political poem, though it wasn't intended to be. Simply, it was a poem about a patient-zero zombie apocalypse. Something I had an interest in before. One of my first short stories was similar; the title was "Patient Zero." The subject of the poem was inspired by the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. I took class a long time ago on social and scientific experiments, and we studied what happened to these men. I don't know why but I was thinking of this experiment when I wrote the poem. 

When I look back at some of my stories, I can see now how some could be seen as political. Like Don't Harm the Wine, which is not really about over regulation but it certainly reads that way. 

Aberration is another story which seems political or at the very least a social statement. And that's fine. I want people to take whatever is good from them from the story. But really, the story was about my singledom. I was never really self-conscious about it until I reached my late thirties. I remember when I was younger, I had a co-worker who got very upset when she was ridiculed for not being married. I didn't understand it. Back then I was not interested in marriage for various reasons. I had already been through a really crappy engagement to someone which was not a good experience and was greatly disillusioned. Plus I wanted to be a scientist. But as I got older and everyone around me was married, it slowly became something that bothered me. Not because I wanted to be married per se, though it would be nice, but because the people around me seemed to be surprised that I wasn't. I got the question a lot. Even one of my nieces would always ask me where my husband was. She was a young girl then and kids are blatantly honest like that. I'd joke around and show her a picture of Keanu Reeves. I started to feel like something was wrong me. Like I was broken somehow. 

It's interesting how a story can take on a life of its own. From plot outline, to finished product, to reader interpretation. They are never the same. I had a conversation with one of my writer friends about this phenomena. When a writer states the character wanted to do something different, that's not pretension. I've seen it with my works. 

I have a collection of my early publications (for only $8). I've grown as a writer, and I think the most interesting aspect of this collection is how each story or poem illustrates me as writer growing into my voice. 

"I suspected water was in those syringes, saline solution." - Death Rise, a poem

Category: swedish meatballs 

Tags: publications, buy-my-book 


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