The world of lesbian fiction is really pretty small. That’s not to mean we don’t have a large footprint. We do. We are everywhere, in the hipster mecca of Portland, Oregon; in the deep south of Alabama; in the business-fueled Hong Kong with its fusion of east meets west; in the shadow cast over Rio de Janeiro by the statue of Christ the Redeemer; in the small mountain villages of Germany where biking is normal and owning a car is odd; in the calypso filled Carnival of Trinidad; in the southern tip of South Africa with its conflicting ideologies; to the heartland wheat and corn fields of Nebraska, to the tiny Greek island of Lesvos that is closer to Turkey than Greece.
We are everywhere.
That feeling of being stretched thin and spread over too great a distance doesn’t prevent us from finding each other. It doesn’t stop the inevitable building of community. And in that way, we are pretty small. We are the family who cares and loves fiercely and argues passionately. We are the small town who bands together to help each other when the need presents itself. We are the team on our way to the championship, shouting encouragements to bolster spirits.
That feeling of camaraderie grows when taking part in a community effort, such as an anthology. In this situation, I’m talking about Order Up: A Menu of Lesbian Romance & Erotica. When my friends RG Emanuelle and Andi Marquette mentioned that they were planning another anthology, I knew I would submit a story. I just didn’t know what.It took far too long for me to come up with a theme. I considered many, started several. Discarded just as many. Then, jokingly, Andi suggested that I write a story about an absence of food, as Order Up takes on the theme of food and romance.
After that, it was easy. The story I submitted was ultimately accepted. It’s about a couple who agree to do the Master Cleanse together, and how that pans out for them. The result is my story “Honey and Lemon.”
Here’s an excerpt:
Honey and Lemon
By the time she made it home, all Rachel could think about was the blister that had reached epic proportions on her left foot—goddamn new shoes; happened every time—and the cavernous ache in her stomach. It was day three of her cleanse. That meant three days of nothing but that damn drink—water with lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper—that Juliet had promised was good for them. Three days of watching everyone else eat like normal people while she held up her drink container and said, “Nope, I’m good.”
Who was she fucking kidding? She wasn’t good. She was starving. And not in the normal, I’m-totally-craving-pizza-with-a-cupcake-chaser kind of hungry. No, there was nothing normal about the way her stomach felt as though it had folded in on itself and was steadily munching on every organ within reach.
It’s a good thing she loved Juliet so damn much because this diet inspired all kinds of hate. All she wanted—more than she wanted to take off her shoes and more than she wanted to drag Juliet to their bedroom and work off some of the frustration crawling over her skin like a colony of ants—was to put something in her mouth. She wasn’t picky. A stray ball of lint from beneath the couch sounded good right now. So long as it had more substance than the damn “lemonade” Juliet had handed her with a smile that morning, she would be happy.
As soon as she cleared the front door, Rachel stepped out of her shoes, dropped her briefcase and keys on the side table, and shrugged out of her overcoat. She let it fall to the floor next to her shoes and stalked toward the kitchen. Juliet was home and cooking something.
And oh, God, those cheesy-bacon potatoes that made her ridiculously pliable. No matter where the conversation started, if Juliet stuffed a forkful of those potatoes into her mouth, Rachel would agree to anything.
June 6: Andi Marquette, blogging at her site (The Situation Room).
HEY! Andi’s giving books away TODAY! MONDAY THE 6TH AT HER SITE! GO SEE!
June 7: Jove Belle, blogging at her site.
June 8: Cheyenne Blue, blogging at her site.
June 9: Brey Willows, blogging at her site.
June 10: Lea Daley, blogging at R.G. Emanuelle’s site.
June 13: Cheri Crystal, blogging at Andi Marquette’s site.
June 14: CK Combs, blogging at Butchtastic.net.
June 15: Liz McMullen, blogging at her site.
June 16: Marie Sterling, blogging at R.G. Emanuelle‘s site.
June 17: Rebekah Weatherspoon, blogging at her site.
June 20: Jaye Markham, blogging at Andi Marquette‘s site.
June 21: Emma Weimann, at Andi Marquette‘s site
June 22: N.R. Dunham, blogging at her site.
June 23: Pascal Scott, at R.G. Emanuelle‘s site.
June 24: R.G. Emanuelle, blogging at her site.