SLF on Amazon Smile!

Here’s an ask to support the SLF during our membership drive, one that hopefully is pretty painless if you already use Amazon and haven’t selected a non-profit to support yet. (If you choose to boycott Amazon due to their labor practices, etc., I totally understand and support your choice! But if you do use Amazon already, read on…)

They have a program called AmazonSmile, that directs .5% of your eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.

If you’d like to pick us as your non-profit, you just need to select the Speculative Literature Foundation, and then start your Amazon shopping at the smile.amazon.com link — I have it bookmarked for ease, so I always start at the right link.

Start here! https://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-0587225

And whether or not you choose us as your non-profit of choice, if you could link / comment / share to help with visibility, it’d be much appreciated!

#slf

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Lime soaps for Island Relaxation

I’ve been finishing up the soaps for the Island Relaxation package for Feast Kickstarter, which we will be shipping out VERY VERY VERY SOON. Last night, my writing workshop showed up as I was finishing unmolding these, and some of them were startled, I think, by how fabulous these look.

But let me just reiterate, these are SUPER-EASY to make. I’m just using melt-and-pour soap (half power in a microwave), add color and scent, pour and let solidify and unfold. You could do these with 5-year-olds. You could do them for stocking stuffers yourself. SO EASY. (And Stephanie, per our conversation the other day, it seems to work fine not to even cut them up first, so you can skip that step — just takes a little longer to melt.)

All the real artistry is in the molds, which are just gorgeous. I can’t figure out if I like the intricate details on the phoenix soap better, or if I prefer the perfect simplicity of the leaf-wrapped parcel. Both so good! This batch is lime-scented; I’ve been trying to use Sri Lanka-appropriate scents.

Mmm….tasty. (Don’t eat the soaps.)

#serendibhome
#serendibkitchen

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Ephemeral beauty

This was a fun experiment — I brushed on a little mica powder to highlight the details on this soap (this mold reminds me of traditional Indian block print patterns that you’d see on clothes or wallpaper, etc). Sort of silly, given that the mica will wash away immediately when you start using it, but is beauty not beauty because it is ephemeral? I think not. 

(These soaps are jasmine, and jasmine-rose.)

#blog
#serendibhome

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We are go for liftoff!

We are go for liftoff! (I’ve recently started reading Mary Robinette Kowal‘s second lady astronaut book, The Fated Sky, and as a result, seem to want to pepper my speech with space travel lingo…)

Thanks to everyone who’s joined us as new members recently — the SLF has hit its first mini-goal of $125/month in support, and is accelerating nicely. Members are absolutely critical towards sustainable funding — having that steady support lets us actually make plans and be confident that we can afford to carry them out.

If you can join us this fall, please do — $2 / month will go a long way towards helping us bring the Portolan Project to life. Better science fiction and fantasy for all!

Join us: http://speculativeliterature.org/membership/

More about the SLF and the Portolan Project: https://www.facebook.com/speculativeliterature/photos/a.791475694210509/2864154963609228

(This rocket is for our annual goal — for the fall membership drive, we’re hoping to hit $625 / month. Totally do-able, right? Right!)

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Sripati update: spacecats!

Sripati, etc. update. I really can’t call these guys my #spacekittens anymore — they’re pretty obviously adolescent #spacecats now. Anand slept in the guest room with Sri last night; his idea, so Sri wouldn’t be lonely, which was very sweet (though if he hadn’t, I was going to).

And then in the middle of the night, Anand woke up and got scared, as happens sometimes, so he came and climbed into our bed, which was VERY crowded with me, Kevin, Arya, and Ellie. We have a king-size bed, but somehow Kevin gets one half and everyone else is in my half. Hm. So I was pretty happy to decamp to join Sri in the guest room. The bed arrangements can get complex around here, even when poly isn’t relevant. 

I woke up early, at 5:30, so I closed Ellie and Arya into the bedroom with Kev and Anand, and then let Sri out to explore the house for a while (also closing the dog door, so he couldn’t get outside). We spent about an hour with him wandering about, exploring in the way he loves to do, and then I brought him back to the guest room.

Anand was up by then, so came to join him for 30 minutes of video game playing (Anand, not Sri). I closed that door, let Ellie and Arya out of the master bedroom, opened the dog door so they could do their business in the yard, and gave them breakfast. There is much management of doors here today.

The animals are clearly fascinated by each other — Arya and Ellie are lurking a lot outside the guest room door, and Sri periodically puts a paw under the door for Arya to bat at. I brought Arya in again for a bit, and there was much sniffing and no hissing or sharp claws threatening from Sri, so that’s already a big improvement from initially yesterday.

I’ve ordered a Feliway diffuser (two of them, actually), which is supposed to decrease tension in cats, because it replicates the hormone mother cats release, I think? I’m guessing it won’t have any effect on Ellie! But Ellie hasn’t been aggressive towards the cats at all.

There’s some confusion, when Ellie tries to play with Arya — there’s a play-running-towards-you that our old dog does (she can’t keep it up for very long), and Arya just blithely ignores Ellie at this point, which doesn’t give Ellie what she wants, but is at least better than swatting at her, which was what used to happen. Arya seems to have figured out that Ellie is profoundly not scary. Hopefully Sri will also figure that out quickly!

I’m going to mostly try to work in the guest room with Sri today, keep him company and give him lots of snuggles and scritches. He’s clearly wanting affection — he’ll get up and wander around the room, but then come back and stick his head under my hand, demanding petting, then snuggle up pressed against my leg. Affection needed? Can provide. That is within my power.

And that’s the state of the #spacecats, #earthdoggo, and #hoomins at #serendibhouse. All’s well.

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A little surprise treat for locals

Hey, locals — here’s a little surprise treat! This Sunday, Amanda Daly and I are hosting a Sri Lankan bagel brunch. This was part of the Kickstarter Amanda ran to raise funds to help open a physical Daly Bagel shop (coming soon to 130 Chicago Ave. in Oak Park), and we have a few more slots left.

Tickets are $60, for this coming Sunday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and include an experimental but guaranteed delicious fusion of Sri Lankan cuisine and Amanda’s awesome bagels, mango-passionfruit mimosas, and as much conversation about bagels, Sri Lankan food, and women starting up their own businesses (both brick-and-mortar and online) as you can stand.

Attendees will also get a little packet of my homemade Sri Lankan curry powder to take away with them, and I’ll have discounted copies of my new cookbook, A Feast of Serendib, available for purchase. (It’s not in stores ’til March!)

Hope you can attend! Would be a fun activity with a girlfriend — maybe you know someone who’s been thinking about starting their own business? Also a great and unique date with partner or spouse! Come join us!

Buy a ticket: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4442024

Read some glowing cookbook reviews: http://serendibkitchen.com/reviews/

Join the Daly Bagel group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thedalybagel/

Read more about the Daly Bagel: https://www.oakparkeats.com/fo…/the-daly-bagel-finds-a-home/

Melissa Elsmo talks about the cookbook at Oak Park’s Wednesday Journal: https://www.oakparkeats.com/bl…/lunch-at-a-sri-lankan-table/

ACCESS NOTE: The event will be held at my house, an old Victorian — as a result, it’s sadly not wheelchair-accessible, and we do have a dog and two cats on the premises.

#blog
#serendibkitchen

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Someone came home today!!!

Someone came home today!!!

***

He’s in good shape, healthy and noticeably bigger than he was two months ago. We don’t know a lot about where he’s been, except that he was kept in someone’s home. Our guess is that Sripati had slipped his collar, as he is wont to do, and someone thought he was a stray and took him in. And then took two months before they took him to the vet, where the microchip was discovered, perhaps? Or just decided they didn’t want him anymore? All we know is that he was turned over to Animal Control after someone had him for two months, and then we got the call from the Animal Care League to come pick him up.

It’s going to be a little bit of a process, reacclimatizing Sri. He’s great with all the humans, but right now, he hisses and swats out at both Ellie and Arya. We’re keeping him in the guest room for the moment, which may make him a little stir-crazy, but it’ll get him used to the smells of the house again. Arya periodically comes and mews outside the door, and Sri mews back. We’ve been carrying Arya in, and the aggressiveness seems to be fading a bit with each visit, so I’m hopeful that within a few days, they’ll be back to normal again. The brothers were such snugglebutts when they first arrived.

It’s possible, though, that what drove Sri away in the first place was Arya being aggressive. They had just turned about one, and apparently that kitten-to-cat transition can be a rough one in terms of territoriality. We’d heard a few squabbles between them in the days before, though hadn’t actually witnessed a fight. So maybe instead of wandering to the backyard and around a bit during the day, and back in to sleep for the night, the way he had for the six months previous, Sri decided to stay out a little longer. Or maybe someone just took him — we may never know.

What matters is, he’s home. I’ll sleep easier.

#blog

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My glorious Publisher’s Weekly review has been updated with the correct ISBN

Quick note that my glorious Publisher’s Weekly review for Feast has been updated with the correct ISBN. Booksellers, librarians, etc., apologies for earlier error, but it should be all set now! Hope you order lots!
 
My understanding is that Mascot Press will start taking pre-orders in mid-December (as we’re aiming for a March launch), when they have books in warehouse, though I’m still not quite sure how all this works. But maybe make a note for yourselves?
 
https://www.publishersweekly.com/9781645432753
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