‘Sup, everyone! I’m so excited and thankful to Lynn to be a guest on her blog today. My heart is heavy because we live in unprecedented times, but like many folks, we are adjusting to this new reality. All we can really do is do our part, and hope that this passes soon. We can hope that the sacrifices we make now pave the way for life to get back to normal.
Until then, what is there to do? Online workouts with perky trainers, take that YouTube knitting course you always wanted to try, help the kids with their lesson plans, sure. But what can you do for you to unwind?
Well, if you’re like me, there’s always endless Maury Povich episodes, Netflix series, rounds of “Chopped” with ingredients from the pantry. Or, uh, put on two-man plays with Chris and Joey *NSYNC bobbleheads.
Everyone has these, right?
I’ve already said too much.
So, moving on, I’m L.M. Bennett, and I write books. I’m 40, and I live just outside of New York City. I have a potty mouth, which I exercised in full force with my debut novel, The Accidental Tsundere, which is–and this comes from my editor, the legendary Jay Blotcher–a “balls to the wall” tale of dating and self-discovery following a massive weight loss. I credit the book with bringing me closer to the woman who would later become my partner, when I reached out to her with an advance review copy.
I dipped my toe into writing fiction with B-Sides and Other Misheard Lyrics, an ode to a cherished, but misheard Frank Ocean Lyric. My website continues the tradition with a series of one-shot prompts. I even wrote a workbook with a mindmap for people working themselves out of a slump. And then, the unimaginable happened. I had been speaking with my baby cousin, a black lesbian poet, who was thinking about publishing her own book of poetry and wanted to pick my brain about it.
She never got to finish that book.
The world was not, and still is not ready for my attempts at poetry, y’all. But, the idea came back in full force in the wake of her death.
I put out a call for authors and poets to submit their works, and each of them responded with stories and poems that made me smile, nod in recognition, and, yes, squirm.
Thus, Black Cherry was born. Eighteen authors and poets, spinning tantalizing and sensual tales. Some romantic, poignant, sweet, funny, and innocent, others erotic, hard, savage, all of them celebrating black lesbians.
My contribution to Black Cherry is a short story called Regards, My Dear–the misheard lyric that inspired the book name. Thayer’s just minding the business that pays her, probably cursing out a computer that has stopped working, and then in walks Wil, the cute, albeit socially inept IT person. It’s part of a larger story of how they forever changed each other, and an exploration of Thayer’s fractured relationship with former friend, Cyn. But, this here is the beginning of the story of them. I am having fun writing this, tapping into Thayer’s almost Mean Girls-esque powers of observation and exploring the subtle, shifting dynamics of their relationship.
But, Black Cherry is much, much larger than any one contribution. Literary Stud’s story, Anticipation, was hilarious in parts, especially as I imagined the sexual frustration just pouring off Rayne in waves as she hit the golf ball, or Esther’s look as she (FINALLY!) left Thea and Rayne to their own devices.
Dujuana Sharese, my friend and collaborator, gives a pitch-perfect description of the hopelessness of love lost in “Self-Deflection”:
She surrounded my planet with her story, all was aligned. When she finished destroying what was left, my timid atmosphere defying laws of gravity, she then drifted away in an abyss to make her own universe with someone else. How do I survive after the asteroids have been launched?
Marquitta Martin’s piece, “Intimacy” is the perfect mate to Angel Mystique’s “Portrait of Love,” because they’re both about passion and vulnerability; bodies, minds and hearts in unison.
What I enjoy about Black Cherry is that it doesn’t shy away from the dark side of erotic lesbian love. “Angel” by Yvonne Moore, “Break from the Ordinary” by Daydreamer and “Just Married” by Abernathy Ross explore dominance, submission, desire and pushing boundaries within consensual relationships.
In that regard, I feel that there is something for everyone. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating this experience for you.
Or, you know, there’s always Funko Pop theater in the privacy of your living room. Up to you.
Black Cherry is available on Amazon, in both ebook and print.
L.M. Bennett’s website is lmbennett.com
I want to thank L.M. Bennett for sharing with us today. Be safe and be well.
Until Next Time,
Photos subject to copyright.