November may not be the cruelest month

Yes, it’s cold, wet, and windy outside. But I feel full of (perhaps misguided?) optimism today, this first day of November. I have a short story publication to report, a new short story sale, and I’m working on yet another story – a happy state of affairs. Best of all, in two days, our southern neighbor may not re-elect a petty, vindictive, dishonest tyrant! Fingers and toes crossed, friends. Continue reading

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One-Pot Chettinad Chicken Biryani

I haven’t eaten out since…February. And I’ve come to realize that cooking is a kind of coping mechanism for me. Here, at least, is something productive I can do which is useful to the entire family. I enjoy the creative aspect of it, the physical labor, the exploration of new recipes, and the ultimate reward: the eating and sharing of good food prepared at home. So here is my recipe for Chettinad Chicken Biryani. Continue reading

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The Severed Head in Indian Mythology

I’ve been re-reading bits of the Indian epics and the Puranas lately, and what struck me most forcibly is the excessive amount of decapitation going on. What’s up with that? To answer that burning question, here is a blog post dedicated to the decapitated. It will be long, but I will endeavor not to make it too gory. Continue reading

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My latest pandemic recipe: Ful Medames

Once again, bored to death of my cooking, I have experimented with a new-to-me recipe: the Middle Eastern staple Ful Medames or foul mudammas. I call these my pandemic recipes because if not for the enforced isolation, I would be eating regularly in diverse restaurants, of which Toronto was blessed with so many, a thousand years ago in relatively carefree pre-pandemic days. Instead, I am forced to improvise and experiment at home. Continue reading

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Knock, Knock Said The Ship

Guess what I’m holding in my hand? My contributor copy of the July/August issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction! ❤️😊

My story “Knock, Knock Said the Ship” is the first one, on page 11. Think sentient spaceships, space piracy and some truly terrible jokes! With many thanks to editor Charlie Finlay for his insightful edits. This is one of the longest running SFF magazines which has published some of my favorite authors in the genre, and I’m so happy this story found such a fantastic home! Continue reading

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Delicious Thai Recipes from a Beginner

In the third month of our isolation, I grew heartily sick of my cooking. Because I live in a 3-generation household, we decided not to take the risk of any takeout or delivery (except for groceries). That means I’ve been cooking every single day. There is no meal I have eaten that has not been cooked by moi. That was never a problem in the past because we did takeout every week, sometimes ate lunch at our neighborhood Korean resto, or ordered in pizza. It became a huge problem a couple of weeks ago. I stopped being able to eat my own food. I was so sick of it! And I assure you I’m a pretty decent cook. Then I realized I was fed up, not of my cooking, but of the cuisine. Continue reading

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Geeking out over ancient languages and scripts

I’m no linguist. But right now, I am very excited about languages, scripts, how they came into being, and how they evolved. I’ve been working on a new novel for the last few months, a supernatural fantasy set in medieval India, populated by mythical monsters. It’s been a lot of fun. For the first time, I’ve used several Hindi and Sanskrit words in my work, so I’ve been working on a glossary at the same time. I think the glossary has been at least as much fun to write as the novel itself, hah. As part of my research into the languages spoken in medieval India, I realized some startling things. Note: this is a long and possibly boring post. Continue reading

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The Witch Speaks

Still living in the pandemic. Lost count of the days. But! Today is Special! It is Story Day. I am very pleased to announce that my story The Witch Speaks is now live at Lightspeed Magazine. I also did a Q & A on this story with Setsu Uzumé (Thanks Setsu!) and you can check that out here. If you prefer a podcast, you can listen to the story narrated by Justine Eyre. Thank you to the entire team at Lightspeed for all their work in publishing this rather experimental, emotional story. Continue reading

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Living in the Pandemic

It is Day 6 of extreme social-distancing for me. I’m looking at the long weeks ahead and wondering (like many of you) how we’re going to get through this. We have an emergency in Ontario, and in many other parts of the world. If you’re reading this, you are very likely in a similar situation. How are you coping, friends? I am personally on an endless re-watch of The Untamed. I will never stop loving that show. I’m writing what I can. I’m staying in touch with my friends through email and twitter. I’m waiting for the sun to come out. Continue reading

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Fandom, Obsession, and The Untamed

I’ve consumed countless SFF books and numerous shows in my life. However, I have never been a fan of anything.

Until now. People who follow my Twitter feed may have noticed the preponderance of images of pretty, long-haired Chinese wizards with flowing robes and magic swords. Welcome to the world of The Untamed – a complex, beautiful story set in ancient China. The entire 50 episodes are available on Netflix and apparently on Youtube as well. I have – ahem – seen it twice. I’ve probably seen my favorite scenes ten times. Continue reading

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