Favorite Novel Reads of 2020ish

Hello, Happy New Year 2021! I’m here to talk about some of the great books I read in the horrible year of our pandemic 2020. I know, I have been remiss. I really should have talked about my favorite novel reads of the past year before February of the next year. My excuse is the pandemic really sucks. We are in our second lockdown in Ontario, but considering I never left the first, and the glacially slow vaccine rollout in Canada means I won’t get a shot until August at the earliest…well, this is pretty much me now and in the foreseeable future: Continue reading

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Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove

Isn’t that a beautiful title? You are not allowed to say no. Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove is the name of my very first YA Fantasy novel to be published in Summer 2022 by Wednesday Books. I’ve mentioned this book here a few times, haven’t I? I’ve said that I love it, that I hope I get to share it with the world some day. I feel very very lucky that this particular dream can come true, that one day this book will be a reality I can hold in my hand and offer to you. Continue reading

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Magnificent Maurice, or the Flowers of Immortality

It is a cold, dark November day, but I have a bright, warm story to share. Very pleased to report that my story about a universe-protecting cat Magnificent Maurice, or the Flowers of Immortality is now live at Lightspeed Magazine. I answered some interesting questions about the story posed by Alex Puncekar (Thanks Alex!) and you can look those up here. This is my third appearance at Lightspeed. Very pleased that the first time wasn’t a fluke, heh. Continue reading

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The Joy of Lentils

This is threatening to turn into a food blog, isn’t it? You all will have to put up with it while we’re under a pandemic. The world is a trash fire, but see, I can cook. And really, if I can find joy in lentils, which are a cheap, innocent and widely-available source of protein, then I’m good. Also today is Diwali and I was supposed to be in India celebrating, not blogging about lentils, sigh. Continue reading

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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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