Author Bio and Blurb

Omigoodness! Omigoodness!

Seven Deadly Sins: Lust, A YA Anthology will be available January 9th, but you can preorder it now on Amazon! A few days ago my author bio and blurb for my short story, Oren went live on the anthology’s blog.

Lust: Meet the Authors, Day 4

If for whatever reason you can’t do links, I’ll paste them both below.

Cherish D. Smith’s twitter bio says that she likes writing feels and swoons of the YA and historical kind. That she’s represented by Elizabeth Bewley of Sterling Lord Literistic and that she should probably be writing. All of that is true, but she is also a huge musical theater fan, a marathon binge-watcher of all things historical, comical, or medical. It leaves out that she’s a dweller of Queens, NY and most importantly that she is thrilled to be a part of the Seven Deadly Sins final anthology.

Twitter: @icherishwriting

Oren by Cherish D. Smith

As a slave, sixteen-year-old Rowena is the property of her young master. A reality she’s accepted, just like she accepts his intentions, until she falls in love with strong, handsome Oren. She may not own her body, but what about her heart?

(Cherish’s story won 3rd place in the writing contest for our Lust Anthology!!)

Did I mention I was excited?! Well I am.

As a fat, tuxedo cat says in a musical, tootle-pip!

Cherish

Advertisements

Cover Reveal

One day, when I post this title again, it will be for my debut novel. But that’s not today. Instead, I’m excited to share the cover for Seven Deadly Sins: Lust a YA Anthology.

So lusty! I love the colors. I love the bunny ears. I love that my name is there surrounded by some of my good writer friends. And speaking of, I don’t think I’ll ever get over seeing my name published. It’s something I seriously don’t take for granted.

My next update should be when it’s available to buy! Until then, happy holidays!

Cherish

Teaser

Hi!

Omigoodness, somehow we made it to December and I forgot to share my tagline for Oren. A tagline, in case the term is unfamiliar is little teaser if you will of the story. It went live in November on Twitter, but I’ve been so busy with life and Etta & Emmylou edits that it skipped my mind. As the old saying goes, better late than never.

Here it is!

Isn’t she purty?

I’m certain I’ve mentioned this before, but I had just too much fun putting the graphic together. The words… not so much, but I’m so very pleased with what I came up with. I’m curious what others think when they see/ read it? Is it intriguing? Scanalous? Is lust lurking behind the words (that’s the theme)? There is another graphic I made with a short blurb, so it’s a little longer and hopefully gives readers more to salivate over, though I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share that one just yet.

Oh! I also saw a draft of the cover. It’s cute! I’ll be back to share the cover reveal as soon as I can.

Until then, over and out.

Cherish

We Have A Date!

I’m happy to share that the Seven Deadly Sins: Lust anthology, the anthology I am to be a part of has a tentative release date. It is, drumroll please: January 9, 2019!

I’m so excited. It’ll be like a belated birthday present for me. If you all remember, my birthday is on the first. That being said it is only a tentative date and it can change, but I will update if anything changes.

This anthology has been such a bright spot this fall. I cannot wait for it to debut and read all the stories. I’m dying of anticipation!

Also, on the 11th, the twitter page @SDSanthology will be sharing my promo art for Oren. So stay tuned for that.

I can go on and on about how happy, excited, proud etc. etc. I am to be a part of this anthology but I’ll stop here.

Check ya later,

Cherish

Not Since High School

*Coughs*

*Bats at cobwebs*

*Passes flickering flame over forgotten blog*

My goodness has it been a good while since I updated the old blog. It’s nice to see you all again!

I reckon the remainder of 2018 is going to be filled with lots of writing. Why’s that, you say? For starters, I’m finishing up the last of my Etta & Emmylou edits so that Elizabeth can get some editor eyes on them soon. Whew, chile, the butterflies! I’ve been working super hard to get them together and I really hope all of my changes are well received.

But also, I won a contest and my story placed third! That means that me, some writer friends, and other talented authors will be together in the last installment of the Seven Deadly Sins anthology. Have you heard of it? Check them out here. And also if you’re keen follow them on twitter @SDSanthology I believe the last time I was featured in an anthology was when I was a part of Girls Write Now back in high school and they had their yearly ones.

Remember that critique website that I’m a part of? Well for the last two years or so I would see contest for entry into previous volumes of the anthology going around there, but I never really gave it much thought. Seven Deadly Sins? Maybe I judged a book by it’s cover, but I never thought my style and my bend towards realistic, historical fiction would have fit well. However, the last volume was LUST and boy do I love a good romance. I fired up an old character. A character that actually got me my first publication. Remember Tabitha’s Babies? (I wonder if it would be okay now to share on here?) Well, my girl Rowena was begging for another piece of her story to be told and of course I obliged.

Oren

I took to Canva to create this shortly after finishing. I have no idea what the anthology’s cover will look like, but this totally embodies the story. 

The piece that I placed with is called Oren. It’s in prose poem form like Tabitha’s Babies and Freedom Be Like A Mother. I’ve named it after Rowena’s beau and because the theme was lust it goes through the start of their relationship. The anthology is a YA one and writing a lust piece while keeping it PG-13 had it’s challenges, but I must have done something right! Let me tell you, the more I read it, the more I want to delve into Rowena’s story more. Perhaps one day when Etta and Emmylou are out in the world I can sit down and make it happen.

The anthology is expected to come out sometime in early 2019. I shall keep you all updated on it’s progress.

Until then,

Cherish

It Turns Out…

That Cold Creek Review is still around! The editor-in-chief is going through a rough patch, but she attest that Cold Creek Review will be up and running as soon as she can manage it. Everyone who was selected to be in the June issue is still going to be published. A little patience is needed is all.

So yay!

Cherish out.

How Authors Work

It’s been a little while since my last entry, but a big hi to you, internets!

I was waiting to update you all on the publishing front. For a long while now I was sitting on some news, which was that my poem, “Freedom Be Like A Mother” a sequel to my debut poem, “Tabitha’s Babies” had been accepted at Cold Creek Review. However, it seemingly dissolved into thin air before their June issue I was to be a part of (with a writer friend). Such a bummer. BUT! I’m still shopping around my middle grade short. I’m hoping I get a biter soon.

Despite the sad publication news, I do have some good news on the writing front. I did my first ever podcast interview! It’s called “How Authors Work” and I’m so happy my writer bud Jess Creaden asked me if I would be interested. The hosts Andrew Burleson and Paul Kirkpatrick were a blast and made hermit crab and socially anxious me feel so comfortable.

We talked about doo-wop, my record player, my turtle writer status, Linda Williams Jackson and of course Etta and Emmylou. I think every writer should be on this show. But please have a listen to mine and the others on the site.

https://howauthorswork.com/6e8eadba

Other than that, I’m busy at work on Etta and Emmylou! Chat soon,

Cherish

Revision Cave

*Cue Female Wilhelm Scream*

I’ve heard stories about the Revison Cave. Hair Pulling, laptop throwing, coffee downing stories. You could search literary twitter for hours reading the first hand tales of revisions. It’ll make you want to drop your WIP and never look back, but at the same time those same stories make you want to experience the revision cave for yourself.

And that’s where I am right now.

Kind of.

When I signed with my agent I was in the less common situation of not having a finished manuscript. I would say “Etta & Emmylou” was maybe 90% complete… of an early draft, that is. And so what does that mean for me? It means not only am I editing but I also have to write the ending. Suddenly my revision cave has no exit. There is no telling if I’ll ever make it out alive.

What will I do?

I’m taking it word by word and line by line. And also listening to lots of The Shirelles.

About a month ago my old Victrola died on me and so I couldn’t listen to my vinyls. But now I’m reunited with my record player and it’s helping me get into the groove of editing.

With The Shirelles, my revision cave doesn’t seem so scary.

No more Wilhelm screams from me.

Cherish

Canva

¡Hola!

So sharing my short story was fun. It’s something I’d like to do more of, possibly, but I’ll come back to that. I’m really here to talk about Canva.

Where has this wonderful site been all my life. Why didn’t anyone tell me how addictive and awesome it is? I got the app for my phone and I’ve been busy creating ever since.

For those who aren’t sure what Canva is, it’s a site/app that allows you to create graphics using templates. We’re talking bookcovers, twitter headers, cd covers, and a bunch more. The app is super user friendly. I say this as someone who really struggles with technology, but I love it! And I found it just in time for me to finish a short story.

A short story? When do you have the time to write a short story? Aren’t you slaving away on Glory Hills?

The short answer: No.

Yes, I’m in between works in progresses at the moment. I know, I know. Just know that working on Glory isn’t the best option for me right now. I am excited to get back to my OGs Etta and Emmylou though.

But back to Canva and my short story.

So I had been working on this short story for months. And by working on it, I mean that I had about 75% of a first draft written and it sat like that for months. I was having a hard time finishing it until I got my second wind, if you will. And let me tell you, this is probably one of the cutest stories I’ve ever penned.

Said piece is Middle Grade (MG), historical (surprise!), and inspired by one of my favorite books, My Louisiana Sky, by Kimberley Willis Holt. Or rather a scene/moment in this sweet book. Basically a first love/first kiss.

I’ve named my short story Wishful Thinking. And it follows twelve-year-old Moriah whose mute. Her mutness creates this special bond between she and her bestfriend Carver. I don’t want to give too much away, but for my first go at Middle Grade, I’m so proud. So proud that I went to Canva and conjured up a bookcover.

I love the envelope and heart graphic. It fits the story so well!

I’ve sent this story off to a couple of magazines. If I’m successful, you’ll be first to hear about it. If not? Then I may consider sharing here.

But I had the bug! I couldn’t stop fiddling around and I took to Canva to celebrate my refocus on Etta & Emmylou as well.

I made a new twitter header.

And I even got a little crazy and designed an album cover.

The pink and purple is a nod to my twin and I’s signature colors.

And my sister made this aesthetic for me.

There you have it. Sorry, that was a lot of post. I should post more often, but thanks for reading! I suspect I’ll have some revision musings to share soon.

Until then,

Cherish

You, Me, and These Trees: Part Three (FINALE)

frontporch

You, Me, and These Trees: Part Three

“Gussie? Girl, is that you?” Mama’s voice nearly sends me running right back out the door, and I ain’t even hardly come in yet. I can hear her in the kitchen though. Clanging and moving about. I just hope she don’t got no hands around something that can hurt me.

“It’s me, but I ain’t alone. You decent?” I call.

“Alice staying for supper?”

“It ain’t Alice,” I say. With my hand still snug inside Erroll’s, we stand in the doorway to the kitchen. Mama got her back to us, but she whips around when she hears Erroll’s voice.

“Evening, Mrs. Hicks.” He bows his head.

“Augusta, why is this boy in my house?” she asks, chin becoming a part of her neck.

What do I say? I look over at Erroll, and his eyes seem to be coaxing me on. “Where’s Daddy?” I ask instead. “I—we got news to share. You both need to be here.”

Seems like Mama decided she not answering my questions either and asks another instead. “Why is your hand in his?”

Lord knows I don’t want to hurt Erroll none, but something ‘bout the way Mama set down her spoon makes me want to drop his hand. I try, but Erroll holds tighter. “That’s why we here. Daddy around? I didn’t see him in the yard.”

“He in the room. Prayin’. Said he had to speak to the Lord ‘bout somethin’ troublin’ him. You not in here with this boy to upset him, is you Gussie? Don’t think his spirit could handle his pride n joy doin’ nothin’ sinful.”

“No, ma’am, not at all.”

“Good.”

She been talkin’ to me, but her eyes ain’t left Erroll yet. I know me and Erroll not here to hurt my folks, but we is here to hurt my folks.

“You remember Erroll, right, Mama?”

“Mmhmm.”

Erroll clears his throat. “You sure got it smellin’ mighty good in here.”

“Hmm, well you know as well as I do, times is hard. They say The Depression’s over, but my house must not have heard. I wish we could feed you, but there just ain’t enough to go around.”

Mama,” I kind of hiss. Just a few minutes ago she was ready to ask me to set a place for Alice to join us, now all of a sudden there ain’t enough to go around.

Girl—

“It’s alright, Gussie,” Erroll buts in. “That’s not what we here for.” And then he turns to Mama. “Oh, don’t worry ‘bout that, that ain’t what I meant by it, I–”

“Gussie, go sit out in the front room. I’ll see if your daddy is done prayin’ so Erroll can run along to where he got to be.”

“Yes ma’am.”

Though I want to, I don’t take Erroll’s hand. Instead I kind of push him along to the front room. I don’t sit and neither does he. It don’t feel right.

“She knows,” I whisper.

“And your heart still thumpin’.”

“That’s why I’m worried.”

“Don’t let them get to you. Keep your head up.” He curls his lip just enough so his dimple shows real good. I nod and almost hug him, but the sound of my daddy makes it clear, I made the right decision.

My daddy’s an old man, but he’s strong. Everything ‘bout him got weight behind it. Especially his voice. It leaves me stuck in place.

“What all this?”

“Mr. Hicks, sir,” Erroll says,  his voice sounding like he want to compete with Daddy’s.

“Gussie, why this bastard in my house?”

“You ain’t got to call him that, Daddy.”

“He lucky that’s all I called ‘em.”

True as that is, it still don’t make it right. “His name’s E—”

“Why he in my house and why you look like you ‘bout to regret somethin’.” Daddy’s got on overalls, but in his grip is his belt. And all I can hear is Flora’s cries.

“No regrets here,” Erroll says.

I look at Erroll, then to Daddy, then Mama and back to Daddy again. I can’t tell if it’s the words I need to say piling up inside of me or this baby sickness, but I open my mouth anyway.

“Reckon I better tell y’all I’m expectin’. Well, we is.” I steal a look at Erroll, and when I do—

Slap!

Mama could probably finish supper on my cheek and a moan slips through my teeth.

“You what?” Mama so close to my face I can barely fit my hand there to nurse my pain.

“I said I’m expectin’.”

“Naw you ain’t. Expectin’ is for married women, not little girls without the sense to keep them legs closed.”

“That’s why I’m here, I want to take Gussie’s hand.”

Daddy grunts. “Take her hand to starve?” He grunts some more. “You best hurry on out of here,” he tells Erroll, pushing the air with his hand.

“There ain’t nobody starvin’ at my house,” Erroll tells him.

Mama crosses her arms over her chest. “Mmmhmm. Maybe not in body, but in spirit. Nothin’ but a bunch of heathens. And your mama sleep with a different devil every night.”

“Mama!”

“I done warned you once ‘bout the tone you use with me,” Mama says, eyes wide and her hand coming at me again. Right before she bring it down, Erroll steps in front of me.

I can’t see Mama behind Erroll, but I can hear her and she ain’t makin’ no kind of sense. They ain’t words, just strangled noises.

“Boy,” Daddy starts, waving his belt at Erroll, “ you better find your way out of my house. This family business.”

“No disrespect, sir, that baby Gussie carryin’ be my family,” Erroll tells them. I hear Mama try to speak again, but Erroll cuts her off. “Now, I’m tryin’ to do the right thing and ask for your daughter’s hand, but know we don’t need your say so.”

“Gussie, come from around him!” Daddy yells at me.

“I won’t,” I sort of squeak, pulling at my dress. But then I think ‘bout Flora. How I ain’t stand up for her. Erroll did more for her than I ever did. I was too busy letting Mama and Daddy convince me that she was wrong. That folks would be looking down on us. But not no more. I’ll be my own good. I slide from behind Erroll. “You givin’ us your blessin’ or you ain’t?”

Daddy lunges at me, fastening his hands on my wrist. It might as well be a lock. He got that sort of grip that says, even if he lets me go, I won’t really be free. He yanks me right on over to him and raises the belt.

“You!” Daddy shouts, lowering his belt to the back of my legs. Maybe he don’t finish saying what he started or maybe I just can’t hear it over the sound of my own cries. And I do cry. The way Daddy’s belt comes down on me, makes my legs feel useless. I fall hard at his feet, and curl up best I can into a ball. This is it. Daddy’s gonna beat this baby out of me. I brace for the sting of the leather, but don’t feel nothing. Or hear it. Not even Mama’s groans of protest.

I let my hands fall from my head, half fearing Daddy caught a heart attack trying to make me learn my lesson and half wishing it to be true. And it just might be. Daddy’s face is frozen with an open mouth and bulging eyes, staring straight at Erroll’s hands around his own wrist.

“You not gonna hit her again,” Erroll tells him.

“You must have lost your mind!” Daddy shouts. “My daughter ain’t marryin’ you. Not now, not ever.”

“But I love him!” It ain’t hit me till now that I’d give up everything for Erroll. That all the talk I’ll hear in town, from Alice, from everyone, is just that, talk. Noise. And noise ain’t nothing. Not when I’m with Erroll. The whole world like to fade away, and I wouldn’t notice.

“Oooh, Lord, why do you punish me so?” Mama pleads, looking to the ceiling. She clasps her hands in prayer so hard, we all flinch. Here she goes with that Jesus caterwauling Erroll mentioned earlier. “You aint’ give me but two daughters and now the devil’s tryin’ to take them both away from me. He done already got my eldest, Lord, don’t let him take my baby too. I pray to you!”

“There ain’t nothin’ wrong with Flora!” I scream.

Mama don’t take her eyes off the ceiling. I don’t feel bad at all for wishing it will fall down on her. “She’s sick, with her lust for other girls. Vile.

“She’s the same she always been.”

“No, she’s mixed up and black on the inside. Perfectly happy being a sinner.”

“She love who she love. Like I love who I love. There ain’t no prayin’ that’s gonna ever fix that.”

Mama walks over to me and puts her hands on my face. Her eyes stare into mine, and she raises me to my feet. “If you ask for forgiveness, He will forgive you. You just have to ask.”

“No, Mama. I won’t. ‘Cause I ain’t sorry.”

“You will be and when you are, Daddy and I will find you a husband to take care of you. Plenty of young girls find themselves in trouble, but you have been blessed with beauty. You gonna have a chance.”

She mean some old man ready for a second wife. It’ll be like I never left here, but that won’t be me. I do have a chance. A chance to be happy. A chance to live how I want. And I don’t got to run to New York like Flora to have it. As sweet as I can, I rest my own hands on top of my mother’s.

“I ain’t in trouble,” I tell her. Then I look over at Erroll. He and Daddy still look like they going to war, though Erroll don’t have Daddy’s wrist no more. Both stand with their chests puffed out and fists clenched tight. “It’s only trouble if there ain’t no man. But I have Erroll, so I ain’t in trouble.”

With the biggest grin on his face, Erroll turns to me. It gives me the last bit of strength I need.

“If I’m gonna pray for anyone, it’s gonna be the both of you,” I say.

“No daughter of mine gonna be loose. You want to be his whore, go be it, just don’t be crawlin’ back here cryin’ when you realize you been a fool…”

Those are the last words I hear from my Mama. Daddy’s mouth unfreezes. I watch it move without sound for a second or two. There’s no need look any longer, since I can’t hear him. It’s just noise.

My hand finds Erroll’s before my eyes do the same. We get a good look at each other, him shiny from sweat, like Mama’s ready to fry him for supper, and me, chest rising and falling so fast, I don’t think my dress buttons can hold up any longer. I laugh. He laughs. Not sure when things got so funny, but I needed it bad. Then we sprint out of there like we stole something. Hand in hand.

THE END

So this concludes, You, Me, and These Trees. It’s been a pleasure sharing this with you. I want all your thoughts. The good, the bad, and the meh ones too. Taking a look at this story had made me finish a middle grade short story that I have been working on for months. One about first love. If there are any developments with that, then I will for sure share those.

Thanks for reading and following along!

Cherish