Friday Snippet #48 and Monday Drawing #17

InfiorataSunny. Sunny. Sunny. That’s it. Enough reasons to put together my resurrected Monday Drawing ad the Friday Snippet in the same post. My tan allows me special powers. Also this is my blog.

Nothing to add on the rewriting/editing front. Same as last week.

From Elios, which is slowly taking shape:

Areel paused a moment and lowered his head. “Soon, we’ll be reunited.”

I nodded. “Yes, very soon.”

“You’ll see, you’ll feel better once you’re home.”

“Areel…”

“Yes?”

“I can’t help but wonder about the softness of her skin and the pleasure we would have experienced with the briefest sharing of our thoughts.”

Areel gasped and for a moment his image faltered. “But you haven’t attempted a Share with her? You told me you hadn’t—”

“I’m the epitome of the perfect Observer.” I looked at him and shrugged. “Never touched her. Never kissed her.”

“Good. That’s good. Because you know what would have happened to her if you had.”

I raised one hand to stop him from spelling it out for me. Every Observer knew the rules and I didn’t want to talk about scraping her mind clean of my memories.

But Areel keep talking. “She could lose her mind through the process.”

“I know.” The procedure was the equivalent of a sophisticated lobotomy.

“You know the exposure to us changes the subject’s DNA—”

“I remember.”

“Then you also remember that the subject transfers Solean DNA in their genes and passes the memories of us to the next generation, and then the next, changing both their history and ours.”

“I remember!” I finally shouted, but Areel wasn’t done yet.

“There are too many implications in having a superior knowledge way ahead of time. Especially for a violent society like the humans.”

I was furious with him, but I composed my voice and repeated, “I did not touch her.”

“I trust you.” He sounded apologetic and before I could ask what was all that about, he whispered, “It makes everything easier.”

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Friday Snippet #48 and Monday Drawing #17

Friday Snippet #47

Greenerie inkThe Pacific Northwest is experiencing a sun epidemic. My sales are sinking, but every indie authors and their mothers are complaining about not selling, so I’m partially relieved. It must be the sun. Unable to control the weather and the publishing market, I blissfully make lemonades by walking mile after mile and writing when I’m not walking—I wish I could do both at the same time. I’ve been also on a baking spree. More on that later.

From Elios:

Around mid-December, one rainy afternoon, I was sitting on the floor, hoping to sense her aura and feeling bereft without her mental presence to soothe my pain. A familiar but unpleasant feeling possessed me. Darkness embraced my mind and I was sucked up into the tunnel before I could react.

I was enraged, but not surprised to see both Areel and Kam at the other end waiting for me. “What did you do?”

Kam waived one hand in the air. “You didn’t give us a choice.”

“And you thought forcing me here would be for the best?” I had never come to feel so close to want to beat anyone. Physical energy built in me and needed to be released. “You thought involving Lex to give you my mental signature would be a good idea?”

“We didn’t know what to do—” Areel stepped forward and I stepped back. “I’m not going to force a Share on you!”

“Wouldn’t you now?” I looked at them and they flinched. “What did you tell Lex?”

“Nothing.” Kam lowered his eyes on the ground.

I shook, fists by my side. “Lex wouldn’t have given you access to my mental signature so that you could summon me here against my will for nothing. What did you tell him?”

“That you needed a vacation, but you were too busy with your mission to be bothered to take a break.” Areel gestured for me to look around.

Only then, I finally took in where we were, and it wasn’t our usual spot. “What are we doing on Karillion?” It was a place we used to go on vacation, a tropical island close to our Academy. Ancient pink sand beaches with perfumed seawater and warm temperatures. I looked down at my feet already buried in the shore. The fine pebbles mixed with the sand and moved at once with the water, rolling back and forth and creating a melodic sound, almost music. I had always though it was the most relaxing place in the universe. Not at the moment. “I am still doing my job. This, what you did, is uncalled for.”

Areel maintained his gaze on me. “We only wanted to help.”

I felt angrier. I didn’t like to feel vulnerable and right then I was devastated. “I wouldn’t stop working on a mission for anything and you know it.”

“That wasn’t our concern.” Kam discarded the cloth around his waist and waded into the water. “Come.”

*Today’s drawing is an inked version of one of the illustrations I made for The Prince’s Day Out. I used Paint.Net as my usual to saturate the colors of the original and I added the ink filter.

Friday Snippet #47

Monday Drawings #16

Monday drawings is back. At least for this week. After I finished the illustrations for The Prince’s Day Out, I’ve become lazy about posting my drawings and paintings regularly. Today’s offering is another Fresh Paint psychedelic, insomnia induced landscape.

Waiting for the Right Light

Waiting for the Right Light resized smaller

Monday Drawings #16

Friday Snippet #46

My art on Someone else's cell phone

Another great week in the Pacific Northwest. Last Sunday, I went for a hike and discovered I’m not in the wonderful shape I thought I was. The climb is quite steep though and I did swim in the icy waters of the lake once we reached the end of the trail. It felt awesome, but I temporarily lost the use of my limbs. Worth it.

I finished several paintings using Fresh Paint, but I hesitated to share the one titled Rainbow Feelings on twitter. I thought it looked too crowded. I’m glad I decided otherwise, because I received several kind tweets commenting on it.  My naïf art is now a lock screen background on someone’s cell phone. And that is priceless.

On the writing front, my latest news is that I joined a co-op on NetGalley. I have no data to report at the moment. I’m working on Elios and keeping a steady 1500 words a day, while also editing Gaia. Crossing fingers, I should be able to publish the two of them for Christmas. Meanwhile, Marie’s Journey, the fourth in The Ginecean Chronicles series—formerly known as a trilogy—is in the capable hands of my editor, Amy Eye.

From Elios:

“Now, I want you to do it again, by yourself,” Lex said.

I blinked.

“Try.”

In earth time, several hours had passed since the beginning of the session and I was mentally tired. Almost certainly, my physical body—lying naked on the bed—was aching as well.

“You must trust me.”

“Of course.” I summoned the image of when I had gone deep diving in one of the seawater pools by the Academy. Lex had asked me to find a memory that symbolized my reaching for the innermost part of my soul and that image had stood out. I shed my clothes as I had done that day and dove into the bright, turquoise waters. It wasn’t a coincidence my human eyes had turquoise flickers in them. I kept diving and the colors all around me darkened. Soon, I was surrounded by black waters, but I wasn’t scared. I felt at peace; cocooned in a warm, safe liquid. I was ready for the next step and surprised it had taken so little effort. I switched my point of view, and, as I had done in the previous sessions guided by Lex, I opened my eyes to a different scenario. I was in Seattle, but I wasn’t. I levitated over the vast expanse of the city, myself as big as the sky, floating over the roads and the buildings. I expanded my consciousness. I stretched my ego until I was no more. I looked down and I saw reality as a constant stream of mathematical possibilities. Every single action taken by the individuals living down there could be explained and predicted with great accuracy. I lingered to analyze one of the possible futures this city would live through in the span of ten years. I fast forwarded to one century. Then, I came back to five minutes from the present. A second later, I was in the now. “Amazing.”

Lex chuckled and when I looked at him I saw the sparkle in his eyes. “You, my pupil, are the youngest Observer to ever achieve the Dark Void with barely a mission in.”

Friday Snippet #46

Friday Snippet #45

Summer Turmoil

Sunny, exceptionally sunny in Seattle. Therefore, I have little to say about this past week other than I walked miles and miles and  got sunburned. Rewriting Elios is hard and I’m struggling through the process, but I am working on it every day. Conversely, drawing with Fresh Paint is easy and I’m having fun with it. Summer Turmoil is one of my latest drawings.

From Elios (working title)

“Are you up for a session?” Kam had the uncanny ability to check on me whenever my mental defenses where at my lowest.

I closed the window, stepped inside and sat on the lonely chair. Breathed in and out and let the rest of the room disappear one item at a time. First the wall in front of me, then the one on my right, next the one on my left. A blank screen engulfed my vision. The mosaic marble tiles with their floral pattern followed the walls. I was sitting on a floating chair. Then, I was simply floating and the blank screen zoomed toward me. A slow moving tunnel sucked me in and I emerged at the other end to face a smiling Kam.

“You made it.” He raised an eyebrow. “You look horrible.”

“Thank you.” Next time, I should be more careful in composing my mental appearance. I had been successful so far to keep both Kam and Areel unaware of my inner turmoil. “Where is Areel?”

“Unexpected session with his Guide.” Kam materialized the furniture in the astral room as he strolled toward the center.

I had to move out of the way to make space for a chair and two cabinets. “Why do you bother?” I regretted my words as soon as they were out of my mouth.

“You know why.” He blinked and the old, battered couch we had spent so many hours sitting on appeared before him. “I like our dig to be lifelike. It makes our shared time here all the more enjoyable.” With a tilt of his head, Kam gestured for me to join him on the soft cushion he was patting.

The fabric let out a fine cloud of dust that reached my nose. I waved my hand to dismiss my earlier statement. “You’re right of course.” I added a few pillows and rugs to the floor and went to lie there instead. “So, is Areel having problems again?” Our friend was still healing after the trauma of his first mission’s end.

“It takes time to adjust to the idea you had to doom an entire species to oblivion.”

Friday Snippet #45

Broccolette Ragout: a Vegetarian Dream

Ragout di Broccoletti Close Up

Having a pescatarian in the house forces you to become creative. Good thing I love cooking and experimenting with ingredients. The following is a simplified version of a fairly popular Italian recipe.

Ingredients:

1 bag of Broccolette from Costco (roughly 2 lbs.)

1 clove of garlic

salt

A non specified amount of extra virgin olive oil (as established in previous posts, I’m Italian)

To accompany the ragout you’ll need 1 bag of pasta, 450 grams, of your choice, cooked al dente.

How to prepare the ragout:

Pour in a pan as much extra virgin olive oil as you like—this is a safe place, we don’t judge. Cut the clove of garlic in small pieces and let it cook in the oil until golden brown, then add the broccolette and the salt. Let them cook on the stove at medium heat until they are soft. Purée the broccolette by smashing them with a fork. Put aside until the pasta is ready and then  combine the ragout with the pasta in a big bowl. Spicy it up with pepper flakes if you like or parmesan cheese.  Enjoy.

P.S.

Broccolette pasta is one of the few pasta dishes that can be served , reheated, the day after.

Broccolette Ragout: a Vegetarian Dream