My short story "Tallow and Tuffet" will be published by Lantern Hallow Press in their August issue of their e-zine Gallery of Worlds.
I love this story--I actually wrote it as a college sophomore but revised it significantly a few months ago.
I actually attempted to have this story published by a different magazine last year--but it was rejected. A few weeks ago, my college friend Rachel--who works for Lantern Hallow Press--emailed me (and a few other friends) to see if we wanted to submit any fantasy or fairy tale short stories. She loved Tallow and Tuffet--I am so glad because, like I said, I love this story too.
Here is a sneak peek of the story--it is actually the cover letter I sent to the other magazine trying to entice them to publish it; but I am so glad that LHP will be publishing it in August! Look for a blog post then for a link to read the e-zine.
"Tallow and Tuffet" Sneak Peek
“I don’t want to live this way anymore, Lila.” Jack patiently explained again. “The Traditions—they don’t make sense to me anymore. Maybe they will again some day, but right now, I’m…” he searched for the right word. “I’m defined. I just want a chance to write my own definition.”
The characters in this quote from my short story “Tallow and Tuffet” are curiously “defined”: both are characters from familiar children’s nursery rhymes—Jack of “Jack be Nimble” fame and Little Miss (Lila) Muffet. The nursery rhyme backdrop provides a sense of child-like familiarity, but the themes of searching for identity, breaking away from “safe” social constructs, defying tradition, and taking risks are ideas that young adults wrestle with as they move from the safety of socially-defined childhood to self-defined adulthood.
This fantasy story is set in “The Dell” where nursery rhyme characters live together, performing their personal traditions with acute daily faithfulness until one day, Jack’s candle is snuffed out unexpectedly. “Tallow and Tuffet” uniquely begins and ends at the same moment with both Jack and Lila experiencing a type of loss that enables them, for the first time, to begin a journey of self-definition.
My intended audience for this story is sophisticated, intelligent, and intuitive readers ages sixteen and older. The story is both serious and humorous with just a touch of light romance. Unlike traditional nursery rhymes, “Tallow and Tuffet” does not end simply or tritely; rather the final scene is intended to leave readers questioning yet strangely satisfied.