nalohop's blog

Rudy Gutierrez cover for Sister Mine

The inspired Rudy Gutierrez is the artist who created the cover image for my 2013 novel Sister Mine. If you'd like to see the image full size, click here. Otherwise, behold;

Isn't she purty? Even better; Mr. Gutierrez is also doing the covers for the re-issues of my novels Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, and The New Moon's Arms.

Gluten-free "matzoh" balls in chicken soup, beta

I miss matzoh balls in chicken soup. They're made of wheat flour, which means gluten, which means puffy, achy fibromyalgia Nalo (she comes with her own special playhouse complete with Ibuprofen, quilt-top mattress and orthopaedic shoes). So I decided to try to make my own gluten-free version. I made the base "matzoh" meal from a mix of rice crackers and almonds. This is my first try. I'll probably tweak it a bit more. The texture's about right. The taste isn't exact, but it's quite pleasant. I think I'll add some nutmeg the next time.

Here's how I did it;

  • Two rows from a standard package of sesame rice crackers
  • Two handsful roasted, salted almonds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbs chicken broth
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped dill
  • 1 tbs melted fat (butter, chicken fat, olive oil, etc.)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Chicken broth
  • Grind rice crackers and almonds together into a fine meal.
    Add black pepper.
    In a separate bowl, mix eggs, fat, broth, chopped herbs with a fork until the eggs are just mixed.
    Add meal to liquid and mix in with a spoon. Don't overmix. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    Season chicken broth however you like it best. Bring to a roiling boil. Drop matzoh mixture in by the tablespoonful. DO NOT STIR. Once the matzoh balls float to the top, turn the soup down and simmer for another ten minutes.

    Golden my sister was; Oh! Oh! Oh!

    Yup, I'm showing my years in the age of my science fictional references; in this case, to the Cordwainer Smith short story "Golden the Ship Was -- Oh! Oh! Oh!"

    In any case, I don't know how golden she is, but the rewrite of my novel Sister Mine is done! Oh! Oh! Oh! This is the first time in months that I haven't had a million pressing things hanging over my head every waking and sleeping minute. My lord, the decadence!

    Sister Mine; connecting the knee bone to the thigh bone

    Only minor continuity stuff left to work on in the rewrite of novel-in-progress Sister Mine. I am an achy, draggy me today; weary in body and mind. My skin feels as though it's been lightly sandpapered. But I'm so close to the end!

    Just procured a fruit fly torture device

    ...actually more of a device for inducing frustrated desire in fruit flies. Lovely woven basket below. Above, a close-fitting collapsible net cover. Sandwiched out of reach in between; delicious ripe fruit exuding tantalizing ethylene and esters. I c an hear the tiny sobs of fruit flies even now.

    Your face, O, my sister...

    Two more scenes to rewrite in Sister Mine. I'll finish it either tonight or tomorrow.

    Report From Planet Midnight; new book out

    I'm not usually this prolific, but having a regular income and time to write means I'm finding myself able to catch up on all the writing contracts that went overdue in the sick, hungry, homeless years. Out recently from PM Press is Report From Planet Midnight. It's in their Outspoken Authors series, commissioned by the fiercely wonderful Terry Bisson, himself an outspoken author. Report From Planet Midnight is a chapbook consisting of an essay, an interview that Terry conducted with me, and a short story.

    Sister Mine coming round the mountain

    Climax scene of Sister Mine rewritten! I'm writing out of order, which means I have 3.5 scenes left to tackle. But reverse-engineering feels like a fun way to go right now. If I know where I'm aiming for, I know (hopefully) which way to steer the craft. I'm fibro-flaring all over the place, for all kinds of reasons. The heat wave isn't helping. My brain's relatively clear, but I'm exhausted and achy. Writing a sentence every few minutes, then resting a few minutes more than that. But the end's in sight. Bless my sweetheart for setting up a couple of cooling stations in the apartment before I arrived (strategically placed electric fans), so I have places to work and sleep. Also bless the inventor of the portable hand-held misting fan. I've been carrying mine with me when I venture out into the world. It's so hot out that a minute after I've spritzed my face with it, my skin, clothing and glasses are dry again. It's a life-saver.

    At supper last night I overheard a conversation that combined with the walk home through the large park, gave me an idea for a short story. I have the title, too. Maybe I'll work on that next.

    O Sister, My Sister

    Only one more chapter of the rewrite of Sister Mine to go! I've roughed out the changes and additions I want to make to the chapter as it currently stands. I have a few can't-yet-get-there-from-heres left, but one by one I seem to be knocking them down. Some of the newer writing;

    Dad swore and threw his pencil. It flew from his favourite armchair by the living room window and bounced off the opposite wall. The skunk that had been crouched adoringly at his feet waddled over to the pencil, mouthed it up, and toddled back to return it to him. I was fifteen, awkward in my body. Alternately sulky and elated. In the moment, definitely sulky. Abby and a Beji had gone to a movie. I was supposed to have gone with the two of them, but I was grounded because I hadn’t done my chores for more than a week. Just for a few unwashed dishes! It was so unfair! Curled into a resentful ball on the couch, I ignored Dad’s outburst and kept studiously watching some nighttime talk show host talking to some beautiful person or other.

    Dad sighed and rattled the science journal he’d been reading. He tossed it to the ground and tore off the gloves he’d been using to handle its right-angled pages. He stuffed them between the cushions of his chair. He probably hadn’t even noticed that he’d done so. It was just his habit. If he didn’t hide the gloves, his mouse supplicants would take them away to make nests in. “This research is all wrong,” he grumbled. I refused to look at him. Louder, he said, “All wrong, I tell you!”