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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free excerpt anyone?

I’ve put up an excerpt from the new ebook for those who might be interested. If you love tamarind or even if you know nothing about it, you should check it out.

The excerpt can be found here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kali: The Food Goddess, Fruits of the Family Tree

This volume of recipes was inspired by a bad review of “Kali: The Food Goddess, A Compilation of Delightful Recipes and Memories of Food.”

The reviewer did not read the book and had no comment on its contents. Her beef (really bad pun, I am so sorry) was about the image of the Goddess Kali on the cover. This person thought it was disrespectful of me to use it; especially because in the reviewer’s opinion, “You’re not even hindu (sic).”

Now, I respect everyone’s right to practice their own religion and understand the Indian antipathy for pop-culture and marketing ploys that distort their deities without an iota of understanding of their cultural or religious significance. After all, Jesus flipping burgers would cause a stir in some circles.

I used that specific image because I am her namesake (yes, my mother named actually me after the Goddess Herself) and the “Kitchen Goddess” nickname was earned by sharing recipes and memories of food that left my friends ecstatic and ravenous.

This combination became the logo for my semi-monthly column from which the book originated.

I’m agnostic, but some of my ancestors were devout Hindus. Of course, there was no way for the reviewer to know that one of my paternal foremothers was born in Southeast India, smack in the middle of Tamil Nadu.

I allow for her righteous indignation and her right to voice her opinion. I reject organized religion, not Democracy!

At the same time, it started me thinking about a book that carried recipes from some the places of origin in my family tree.

Of course, some of that heritage is alien to me because it is generations removed – but all that interracial mixture creates wonderful fusion that becomes part of the popular culture and a new cultural influence as well. As my cousins engage in genealogical research, and we find more connections we’d been unaware of I try to incorporate it in the kitchen.

Colonialism may have devastating socio-political effects on the people conquered, but it also sows the seeds of new cultural traditions and fascinating gastronomic ideas!

Table of Contents

And because I am just a little twisted, I also thought, “If you happen to be a white supremacist and a foodie, this book is going to make you severely conflicted.”

Kali: The Food Goddess, Fruits of the Family Tree” is available at the Kindle Store for 99¢ or free through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I love being a writer

Image: Ambro /

I have been trying to write this scene that is absolutely painful to write. In it, a bitter woman, afflicted with Alzheimer’s has a one-sided conversation with her estranged daughter.

Of course, she does not recognize her child and her conversation has them both stuck over 20 years in the past.

Worse yet, their conversation, though connected by the same event, consist of two independent monologues. One recalls the event as an idyllic memory and the other a scarring experience.

In essence, to write this scene and make it believable I have to relive a horrifically painful episode and (simultaneously) channel a horrifically frightening episode.

The only thing to do is to jump in, head first, let it roll and be honest about it. It is frustrating and terrifying and makes me wonder why I chose to do this.

Then I remember, oh yeah, I love to write…

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Anthology

I decided to start the year by looking back and instituting an experiment in my self-publishing adventure. An anthology of personal writing with accompanying images, it weighs in at approximately 13,000 words.

Life, Dreams and Magical Landscapes is a collection of stories, poems, dreams and journal entries written between 1997 and 2007 but covering a wider space of time. 

Its sole purpose: to elevate words to mental images that defined us at different periods of our lives. 

The use of the royal we here is not a conceit but evidence that with every entry a different person can be identified, because we all grow and develop into different people as we mature. 

The volume is available now at Smashwords and Amazon, Barnes and Noble will follow in the next day or two.