“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.

“The Stink of Horses” — Hobart (September 2014)

My short story “The Stink of Horses” appeared on Hobart on June 27, 2014.

hobart logo

First line: “I don’t understand anything about the ballet; all I know is that during the intervals the ballerinas stink like horses.”
— Anton Chekhov

Inspiration: I read the above Chekhov quote in a magazine, maybe The New Yorker, and couldn’t get it out of my head. This was one of those stories where I started with the tiniest of ideas — what if the ballerinas stunk of horses because they were horses? — and started writing with only that thin sliver. I’ve always been obsessed with dance, likely because I’ve never been able to achieve a dancer’s grace. Thus, I suspect this story was hidden inside me, as it was one of the easiest, and most fun, I’ve ever written.

Read it for free: http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/the-stink-of-horses-excerpts-from-the-marina-golovina-controversy-by-the-ballet-book-series

Art: In a Different World by Jennifer Stufflebeam