Knight of the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Here it is! My short story has been published. For those interested in reading, it, I’d like to offer some context. I discovered this online publication, Enchanted Conversation, and became engrossed in the stories and poetry it offered. As writing is something that I do quite a lot of (and I love fairy tales!) I decided I wanted to try to submit a story.

Each issue of the magazine features a different fairy tale theme, usually a rather obscure tale, and writers are invited to submit a work inspired by that tale. This month’s issue was challenging. The tale “Donkeyskin,” and its sister-stories are of a specific and strange genre of fairy tale (the one I chose is called “Cat-Skin,” which you can read here if you’re interested in my primary source material). This family of tales reminded me of one that I read when I was a child, which (in its cleaned-up-for-children form), both fascinated and confused me. I remember wanting more out of the story, so when I came across this theme, I decided not to pass up the opportunity to create that myself.

The challenge lay not only in the odd elements of the story that I needed to somehow work into my version, but also in the cringe-y inciting incident (a king is intent on marrying his own daughter). The length of each short story submission is limited to 3,000 words, which I found difficult to stay below, but ultimately, I think it works for the genre.

Fairy tales are unabashedly absurd, feeling no need to explain themselves, and unapologetically magical. They have a perplexing way of feeling at once, distant – very long ago and far away – and yet also fully immersing. I hope I achieved all of that in “Knight of the Sun, Moon, and Stars,” based on “Cat-Skin,” by the Brothers Grimm. (You can go to the home page to view all the other stories and poems in this issue!)



My short story, “Knight of the Sun, Moon, and Stars” is my first work to be published, and will be featured in Enchanted Conversation at the end of June. Seeing my name listed among the authors to be published was an incredible feeling, enhanced by the excited grin on my toddler’s face as she smiled into my eyes and asked over and over, “You happy, Mama? You happy?”

Each issue of this magazine has a different fairy tale theme, and writers are invited to submit work that is inspired by a specific tale. I loved having a theme to challenge me and ignite the story, and I hope to write many more using such prompts.

Fairy tales, as I’ve written about before because I love reading and writing them, are so freeing within their parameters. There’s a challenge to stay true to the story, no matter how strange, but freedom to decide how you would prefer to see it unfold.

When I write a novel, I know I have to do it in measured doses. It may feel like a frantic flurry of intense work at times, but the goal has been broken down into stages. When I write a short story, it is in a condensed storm of urgent writing. I have to get the entire idea down in one sitting before I forget what I want to capture. It makes the experience exhausting (especially as I don’t have long periods of quiet time at my disposal right now and need to work quickly), but ultimately satisfying. Because of the block of time required, and the intensity of the first draft writing period, I attempt this sort of writing less often. I would love to do more of it, though.

I wrote “Knight of the Sun, Moon, and Stars” in a whirl of excited, forceful concentration, and I’m so thankful for the chance to share it through a delightful publication oozing with love for fairy tales. I cannot wait for you to read it!