Reaching Out from a Mind as Dirty as All Outdoors
If you get lucky enough, I might post adult-only material from time to time, so be 18 or over, or please be elsewhere.
I'll be discussing erotica here, the writing of it and the people who write it, as well as what we've written. I find all these aspects stimulating, but if any of them bore you, feel free to skim. You never know what you might miss, though.
Sunday, December 16, 2018
BLE v. 3 BLOG TOUR POST FOR “RULES”, BY LEA DALEY
Child care is a risky business. No one knows that better than Haley Walton, a newly-minted Program Director at an inner-city preschool. Children hide, they run away, they climb and fall, they misinterpret the most innocent actions. And dicey adult behavior adds to the danger; preschools can seethe with as much drama and intrigue as any medieval court or contemporary police station.
Child care is riskiest of all when you’re a lesbian working in a conservative community, subject every damned day to doubt and misunderstanding. So maybe Haley should have thought twice before going home one night with Pim Brauer, a charismatic art professor whose red-hot reputation is enough to attract intense scrutiny.
Still, Haley is determined to be the consummate professional, supremely prepared, unfailingly cautious—until the day she forgets that she’s especially suspect, forgets that expectations are different for her. When she encounters an injured child on the playground, she breaks the one unbreakable rule for lesbians, foolishly deciding to administer first aid in an empty classroom, out of view of security cameras. Before she knows it, she’s accused of sexual assault and her carefully constructed world comes crashing down.
To make matters worse, she’s alone. A recent breakup with Pim has left her isolated and unmoored. She’d like to confide in someone—perhaps her boss, Drew Malachi, who may also be a lesbian. But Drew’s never given her that opening and since the accusation she’s drawn a closed circle around herself. She scarcely speaks to Haley during the devastating period that the abuse investigation takes place.
After the scandalous allegations go public, Pim rethinks her decision to dump Haley. But despite Pim’s charms and expertise, a lover’s reunion will prove more challenging than she guesses. Such a delicate situation calls for a radical solution.
Now that Pim had reclaimed her ideal woman, she damn well wouldn’t let some phony accusation destroy their love life. But Hayley was traumatized, her defenses nearly impregnable. Pim thought about the problem for days before concocting a plan. Maybe it was brilliant. Maybe it was crazy. Just then, though, it was all she had. She reserved a suite for the weekend at an exclusive hotel—an absurdly expensive getaway, since the InterContinental was in walking distance of her condo on the Plaza. But when she drew the drapes that Friday night, there wouldn’t be a single reference point for Hayley, nothing familiar. The past would be erased, the future a blank slate. Just the way Pim wanted it…
The accommodations couldn’t have been less like the places Hayley spent her ordinary days—the rundown preschool, her own shabby-chic apartment. Everything in the suite was fresh and elegant. Pim had ordered flowers, candles, and a superlative bottle of wine. Halfway through a second glass of Merlot, Hayley felt her shoulders relax.
Pim must have noticed. She removed the goblet from Hayley’s hand, saying, “In a minute, I’m going to make love to you, baby. But tonight there are rules…”
In writing “Rules”, I drew on nearly three decades of work in early education settings, first as a classroom teacher, then as an administrator. Few people guess how complex, demanding, creative, and terrifying this career can be. Every day is a tightrope walk, offering innumerable opportunities to improve children’s lives, or to destroy the reputations of even the most well-intentioned practitioners.
“Rules” is an excerpt from Love Gone Nova, an unpublished novel. Writing it allowed me to share both the significance and the intricacies of my professional world. More to the point, it provided me with the perfect opportunity to explore two lesbian partnerships—one long-established, the other just on the cusp of becoming—each of which is impacted by Haley’s careless misstep with a student. Like every writer, I love my imaginary people, and I’m deeply grateful that Sacchi Green has introduced them to the light of day.
Lea Daley has written fiction and poetry while raising children, claiming a lesbian identity, earning a BFA in painting, teaching preschoolers and college students, surviving the death of her only daughter, and heading a nonprofit agency that serves low-income working families. Her debut novel, Waiting for Harper Lee, was a Golden Crown Awards finalist and received a Lavender Certificate from the Alice B Readers Appreciation Committee. Her second book, FutureDyke, won a Goldie Award and was a Lambda Literary finalist. Her short stories have been published in numerous anthologies. Retired now, she lives to write in Alton, Illinois.
Blog Tour List and Links
The Night Shift
R. D. Miller
Sweet of My Heart
Emily L. Byrne
Yin and Yang
Where There’s Smoke
Fuck Me Like a Canadian