One month closer to spring…with snippets

Supposedly February is the month with the second fastest temperature increase. Can’t happen soon enough.

Virtual Capricon was fun. I got to meet new people and have great conversations, I do miss the in-person fun…Barcon…going out to eat…checking out the art show and the dealers’ room. To that end, I am pondering Worldcon. It’s in Chicago. I could drive, which means it wouldn’t matter how much I packed or how many books I bought. At the last Chicon, in 2012, I had the coolest hotel room. It was wedged in an oddly-shaped space and was split into two floors–bedroom upstairs and sitting area downstairs–connected by a spiral staircase. I wouldn’t mind something like that again.

Time to make soup. Another Mediterranean Dish recipe, this one for Easy Chickpea Soup. I cooked the chickpeas from scratch following directions from the Whole Foods site. I recommend saving the leftover liquid because in my opinion it’s some of the tastiest vegetable stock ever. I have about 4-5 cups available for this batch, and I am looking forward to the finished product.

In other news, it’s been a while since I posted any snippets. Here’s another one from Echoes. It’s from the middle of the book, where Jani meets someone she wants to draw to her side. His name is Ian Matrishi, and though he has a Family background, he can feel the tug of a different sort of life. Just to clarify, the scene takes place on a large orbiting space station. “Downstairs” means the planet surface:


He looked out at the gardens, the cloud-wrapped blue ball beyond, and gripped the railing as though he would tumble into the void if he let go. “I love this place. I’ve loved it since I came here—“ He cocked his head one way, then the other. “—twelve years ago. Spent uni break with Ina Nawar at their compound downstairs.” He glanced at Jani, eyes glistening. “Have you ever been down there?”

“No.” Jani relaxed a little as she watched Ian’s expression lighten. 

He cut the air with one hand. “The sea air holds this sharpness that—it’s like it rinses out your head, leaves you feeling alive. And at dusk, there are these insects, they call them skitters, they make this pinging sound like notes up and down a scale. Night music.” He sighed. “And the people here are so, I don’t know, relentless. Cheerful, but unyielding. Like, we will get through this together. One hundred eighty degrees from what I grew up with.” He grew somber. “My father told me I’d last a year. It will be ten months tomorrow.”


Here’s a bit from a story that will appear in the Spring 2022 edition of Boundary Shock Quarterly. It’s entitled “Breakaway,” and I think it may be the first in a series of tales. This one features Gia Solari, late of the Twelfth Expeditionary Corps, whose lousy day is about to get worse.


“Commander Solari?”

Commander? Use of her former Corps rank meant a potential client, which in turn meant that she needed to be civil. “Booked through the end of the half-year.” She looked up and forced her professional smile—cool eyes, no teeth—and met a mildly amused gaze that moved from her face to the line of shot glasses and back to her. 

“I would appreciate a few minutes of your time.” Tall and sandy-haired. Office pale. Good bones. He removed a card from the front pocket of his jacket and placed it on the table.

Mason Denton
Staff Investigator

Gia picked up the card, which had the look and feel of heavyweight paper stock. An old-fashioned touch meant to imply tradition and stability, two qualities in short supply in the Outer Colonies. “If this is about the dock incident last month, I have nothing to say. Tycho fired that copilot. The insurance companies are handling the settlement.”

“No, Commander. This is about the Peregrine.”

Gia did her best to exude disinterest even as her heart stuttered. Shit.


And so, until next time….

…or when the soup is ready.

Soup’s on!

I think it came out well. I used jalapeño-infused olive oil to cook the vegetables, and that added some nice heat. The fresh ginger and lime juice made a difference as well. I also added lime zest because when a recipe calls for lime (or lemon) juice, I always add the zest.

A good soup for a cold winter day.