Microinterview: E. Shaskan Bumas

E. Shaskan Bumas’s 96 word microfiction, “Ring”, will appear in the third issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2021). E. Shaskan Bumas graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.

E. Shaskan Bumas. Photo by Greta Bumas.

1. What inspired the story “Ring”?

World history and shopping malls I have known.

2. What inspires you and your writing?

When I try with no success to explain to someone something I’ve witnessed or imagined, I try to write it instead. Often that doesn’t work any better.

3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?

Keeping going, when possible, distracts me from misery and despair. Keeping going, better still, distracts me from me.

4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?

If you can walk, walk. When a thought comes to your mind, record it on your phone. At some later hour or month, you’ll notice the note, and if it is decipherable, expand it. More likely, because you’d been passing a construction site or traffic had been passing you or because (embarrassed about soliloquizing in public) you mumbled, you will find a mess of misunderstood and incorrectly predicted words. Try this. Imagine someone close enough to have misheard you. Though you’ve lost your great inspiration, no one can prove that this story you are writing will not come out better.

5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?

I am fond of Julio Cortázar’s book Cronopios and Famas, especially the section titled “Instruction Manual.” Aside from being advice to writers, my answer to your last question is also a microfiction written in homage to Julio Cortázar.

E. Shaskan Bumas: writes fiction (The Price of Tea in China), non-fiction (most recently in Five Points), hybrid (current Hotel Amerika), and translations (the last novels of the late great Carlos Fuentes with Alejandro Branger); volunteers (PEN Prison Writing); and teaches from self-isolation (New Jersey City University).


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