Gabrielle Gold’s short story “Hidden Brilliance” appears in the most recent CCC anthology,Across Town: Stories of Columbus. This intriguing, thoughtful story is a wonderful addition to the Across Town collection.
During her senior year of high school, Gabrielle Gold took a class in creative writing. One of the assignments was to “write a story about yourself as an old person.” She portrayed her eighty-year-old self as a purple outfit-wearing, cat-owning attendee of a local science-fiction and fantasy convention, preparing to sign the third book in her fantasy series. While she only owns one purple shirt, and the cats belong to her brother, Gabrielle never gave up on that dream of being an author. Across Town features the story “Hidden Brilliance,” her first published work of fiction.
As someone who finished out that last year at Bexley High School composing and mixing a CD of original songs, Gabrielle Gold has always been one to infuse reality with bits of her own worlds. Her hometown gave her ample reason to invent absurd fantasies with which to amuse herself. Being born in the Catskills of New York in a location fondly referred to by relatives as East Yechupitz, a Yiddish term for the middle of nowhere, had its indirect advantages. First of all, it encouraged her to use her imagination. The other perk of living in South Fallsburg was that anywhere else seemed just as fascinating as Disneyland, including Bexley, Ohio.
Turning those absurd fantasies into fiction, poems, and songs has been a part of her life since the third grade, when she wrote a forty-two page story purely for her own enjoyment. After high school, she considered earning her B.A. in creative writing, but eventually decided against it. Instead, she majored in Medieval Studies at Ohio Wesleyan University, seeking a grounding in the real-world examples on which most fantasy stories are based. She contributed multiple times to Confiscated, a student-run literary magazine at OWU, and also won third place in the university’s 2006 Global Outreach Talent Show, an intercollegiate contest that raised money for the humanitarian effort in Darfur. After she graduated, she went on to complete her M.A. in Art History. Defying the initial skepticism of her advisor, she successfully completed her master’s thesis on the symbolism of bears in medieval German and Swiss art. She particularly enjoyed analyzing the meaning behind bears on shields with silly hats, otherwise known to more serious people as the code of heraldry. Her story in third grade featured two bears and their adventures, and one of her young adult novels still in the works is centered around a two-tailed creature resembling a cross between a fox and a bear, so she seems to have come full circle.
Outside of academia, Gabrielle has been a loyal attendee of Columbus conventions since high school. She won first place in the 2004 songwriting contest at Marcon, a well-acclaimed fantasy and science fiction convention in Columbus. She continued her involvement with Marcon, arranging for her own concert as part of the convention’s programming. Just this past October, she attended a local music convention known as the Ohio Valley Filk Festival for the fifth time, and is hoping to start her own Columbus filk music circle. She cherishes her five-year-old “Got filk?” t-shirt, and will likely keep wearing it until it develops holes beyond those necessary for correct shirt-wearing.
Gabrielle hopes you will purchase and enjoy Across Town in a similar manner. Be irrationally exuberant and manhandle the pages, be confused by incongruous dog-ears, and dimly know that once upon a time, the bent spine did not magically prompt the paperback to skip to page 53. Because the real reason to own a tangible book is to return to it years from now.
Across Town: Stories of Columbus is now available for sale in paperback for only $9.35, and in a variety of e-book formats including Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Google Books for $4.99. The book is available for Amazon Kindle for $2.99 for a limited time. Click here to order.