Strange Monsters Reviewed in Midwest Book Review

The second review for Strange Monsters is in from Midwest Book Review!

Strange Monsters: A Music & Words Collaboration is a unique hybrid of audiobook anthology and music CD. Each track consists of a brief fiction story (or poem) set to contemporary jazz music and performed by actors. The tales meld elements of surreal fantasy and fearful suspense: Rumpelstiltskin’s wife is questioned by police over the disappearance of a local boy; a cursed ballerina who yearns only to dance must deal with an obsessive fan and the hatefully jealous director of her ballet company; a group of do-nothing friends in love with the same woman discover disturbing skeletons of extinct animals on a treacherous camping trip; and more. Haunting, ethereal, and unforgettable, Strange Monsters is music-storytelling fusion experience like no other. Highly recommended. The tracks are “The Stink of Horses”, “Mrs. Stiltskin”, “Skeletons”, “No Eyes”, “Selected Poems”, and “Where You Came From”.

For more information on the album, along with links for purchase at Amazon, CDBaby, and iTunes, click here.

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“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 Split” in Masters Review

In 2011 I moved to Eugene, Oregon, where I was alternately and sometimes simultaneously very happy and very sad. In Oregon I learned independence and grew into myself as a writer and as a person, but I missed my family in Texas terribly.

In 2012 I wrote a story and used my experiences. “The Split” is about a woman who, upon moving to Oregon with her girlfriend, discovers that she has literally split in half, leaving part of herself at her childhood home.

Today that story appears in one of my favorite magazines, The Masters Review. It took four years to find the perfect home; I think there’s a lesson in there about persistence and the subjectivity of editorial taste, maybe something about creativity as emotional outlet. But also, there’s just a story: https://mastersreview.com/new-voices/the-split-by-bonnie-jo-stufflebeam/

“The Centaur’s Daughter”

“The Centaur’s Daughter” (published in A Capella Zoo, 2015) was reviewed at New Pages:

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s “The Centaur’s Daughter” achieves a more nuanced approach to a queer text. First and foremost a coming of age narrative, Ruby’s queerness is one part of her character. Ruby is half centaur and queer, and Stufflebeam uses language reminiscent of a mixed-race family to discuss Ruby’s parentage. When Ruby narrates, “I’m a combination of my parents, and so they will never understand me,” she speaks from a place of real cultural confusion. Her teenage life is not like the “Centaursploitation movies” Stufflebeam references, and while Ruby loves her centaur father, she is also frightened of him and embarrassed by him. Stufflebeam’s piece makes queerness familiar because Ruby is a queer character, but she is so much more in ways that are both relatable and strange.

The story is available in print and free online.

Two stories in Eleven Eleven

I’ve got two stories in the recent issue of Eleven Eleven: “Feeding the Skeleton Cats” and “Tornado Season.”

I wrote “Tornado Season” during, well, tornado season, after obsessively checking the TorCon and worrying over the arrival of my storm shelter, after crouching in my hallway with a mattress pad over my head while tornado sirens sounded, after setting up five weather alerts on my phone. I’m terrified of storms. To try to take some of the power out of that fear, I wrote a story, an exercise in free writing, about a couple in a weather-ravaged post-apocalypse trying to escape the weather and their memory.

I wrote “Feeding the Skeleton Cats” as a third in a skeletons series (“Skeletons” and “The Mammoth” are the other two stories). Every time I thought I was done writing about walking, living skeletons as metaphor, I come back to them. I’m not scared of skeletons, but I am scared of failing as a writer, and the main character in this story is a failed writer whose house is infested with the skeleton cats of the title.

Read them both here: http://elevenelevenjournal.com/2015/11/04/bonnie-stufflebeam/