Exploring Grief in Fairy Tales

A few years ago, after the death of my beloved uncle, my family and I traveled to be with my aunt and her daughter. Since my uncle’s death, my aunt and her daughter had taken to spending every day and night together. Their renewed connection through shared grief struck me as one of the most poignant connections I’d ever witnessed. I went home and, in my own grief for my uncle, wrote a story exploring grief of many kinds.

Not much later, my aunt died. And I went back to this story and found in it even more balm for the pain of losing someone I loved so much. Literature allows us to explore our emotions as metaphor. For someone like me, who for so many years kept a distance from her emotions, this ability to immerse myself in painful emotion slowly but honestly has been integral to healing and to breaking through that distance.

The story in question has now been published on the website of one of my favorite journals, Fairy Tale Review. And I can’t think of a better home for it.

Read “Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter” here: https://fairytalereview.com/2018/03/14/sleeping-beautys-daughter/


“Sisters” in Grendelsong

I’ve always been interested in the little-explored pieces of the original Little Mermaid story: the lives of the sisters, the weird concept of souls, the sea witch’s back story. I wrote a story about all these things. Today it’s been reprinted online in Grendelsong: https://grendel-song.com/2016/05/07/sisters-bonnie-jo-stufflebeam/

“Sisters” originally appeared in SCHEHEREZADE BEQUEST.

“The Girl with Golden Hair” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies

I have a new story in Beneath Ceaseless Skies today, “The Girl with Golden Hair.” I’m excited about this story for three main reasons:

1. I wrote a story about a friendship between a girl and a centaur. I love stories about friendship. I don’t generally have a preformed like or dislike for stories about centaurs, but oddly enough, this is not the only centaur story I have coming out this year. One would think I write lots of stories with centaurs. I don’t.

2. My good friend Michael J DeLuca narrated the podcast and did an awesome job: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/audio/bcs-153-the-girl-with-golden-hair/

3. I wrote this story hoping to explore the trope of the golden-haired main character in so many fairy tales. Growing up, I was always fielding comments about my hair. I heard everything from dumb blonde jokes told by peers in middle and high school to a remark made to my father: “You have no idea how much money you’ve saved by having girls with blonde hair. Hair dye is so expensive!” I was tired of these comments before I even knew how to respond. And so, when I read about or see the golden-haired princess or heroine, I’m always wary. I wanted to literalize the golden hair aspect, making the hair real gold, so heavy it hurts the wearer’s neck. The hair becomes a burden, along with the expectations it brings with it. Everyone expects Oovis, the main character in this story, to do great things. She internalizes these expectations, setting a high precedent for herself that she may never be able to fill.