Lion Dancers! Happy New Year

Chinese New Year goes on for nine days, and today when I was just finally getting settled down to work on the novel which is due in ONE MONTH (*hyperventilates*) and which I still have 40,000 words to write of… corwin mentioned he was hungry and hadn’t had lunch yet and gee, didn’t we need to take a trip to the Super 88 Market in Allston anyway?
We hopped in the car and went to Super 88 with the plan of getting something to eat in the food court there and then doing our asian grocery shopping. The food court there is huge, 10 stalls or something, including korean, viet namese, thai, taiwanese, bubble tea, dim sum, and I can’t even remember what else. We got the asian equivalent of “soup and sandwich” by getting pho and banh mi from the vietnamese stand, plus I got bubble tea and he went and got a thai iced tea.
While we were waiting for our food, a troupe of lion dancers came in and performed rites in front of each and every stand. Each shopkeeper put out a head of lettuce and some fruit, and the two lions would dance around each one and take turns “eating” the lettuce (shredding most of it and spraying it around). The kung fu school who did it is clearly one of the popular ones and they must be doing a lot of these ceremonies — they were all wearing matching sweatshirts with sponsorships on them, including Foxwoods Casino and such.
Each lion is made up of two guys, one working the head, and one the tail. The guys in the head make the eyelashes bat, the mouths open and close, and are responsible for tearing up the lettuce (and, I think, collecting donations), which the one in the back wags the tail and follows the front man around. Sometimes they are quite acrobatic, although in the crowded food court these poor guys couldn’t do much.
There were also two obviously non-Chinese members of the troupe tagging along somewhat wide-eyed and amused, one white, one black–I’m guessing it’s their first New Year.
Anyway, it was very good luck to be there to see the lion dancers, even if my ears are ringing somewhat now from all the drumming and cymbals.
Meanwhile, they are massively renovating Super 88 and it seems like they are shrinking drastically the amount of actual food they sell. The frozen foods section was about the same, but and entire aisle of tea is gone, they no longer have all the Philippine jarred/canned fishes, even the rice section is drastically shrunken. I don’t know how much of that has to do with imports from China being stopped, how much is the economy, and how much is their business model is changing, but there is easily half or less of the products they used to carry, and some items are mysteriously missing completely, like canned water chestnuts.
Huh, just answered my own question with this article from The Boston Globe: Super 88 Shifts Course As Competition Mounts This is a shame, as the other Asian groceries around have too narrow a range of foods to satisfy all my needs, but with Super 88 cutting down to bare bones, it’s hardly worth going there at all.

Arisia Party & Reading Info, plus other readings

The Circlet Press party will run from 8pm-ish to 11pm-ish in a room on the party floor, number to be determined on check in. I’m promising free blinky lights to the first 25 attendees! Why? Um, because blinky lights and erotic books are both really cool? Check the party board for the room #.
Then at 11:30 pm we shall repair to the BU Room where I’ll read some smutty science fiction & fantasy. Right now I’m planning to read from White Flames, maybe a piece of my new erotic paranormal romance ebook, and of course, if you all beg really nicely, a piece of Harry Potter porn.
We’ve also got the following other readings coming up!
Friday, January 23rd, at VERICON (Harvard’s SF Con) at 7:30 pm
Vinnie Tesla and Lauren P. Burka will read with me. They’ve also both worked in the Circlet offices and can share humorous stories of the slush pile.
and Tuesday, February 10th, a pre-valentine’s event at Back Pages Books in Waltham! 7pm.
Vinnie Tesla, Shariann Lewitt, and Lauren P. Burka will be joining me there.

Mind Games, sample chapter

Hello friends and loved ones! For your reading pleasure, chapter one of MIND GAMES, the paranormal erotic romance I wrote that went live yesterday (January 10, 2009) on the Ravenous Romance site!
MIND GAMES: CHAPTER ONE
“Come on, Wren, I know you’re in there!”
Wren Delacourt hugged the pillow over her ears, but there was no chance that Lawrence was going to go away. She’d told him to come by at noon just last night, and he’d seen her go into her unit in the condo, and if she didn’t get up soon, he was going to start to worry that something terrible had happened to her…
No. Best not to think about that sort of thing. “I’m coming…” she called, but weakly. No way he’d hear that through her bedroom door and across the kitchen. She had to face facts. She had to sit up, then stand up, then open the door. She felt on the floor for her bathrobe.
Halfway to the door, she had to stop and put her hands to her eyes. The world seemed too hot today. Not the actual temperature, which was pleasant enough, but it was as if something electrical were pricking at her, about to overheat like a transformer.
Or maybe it was just a hangover. She pulled open the door and saw Lawrence’s face fall.
“Oh my God, are you all right?” he blurted.
She must have looked a fright; Lawrence was never tactless. She leaned on the doorframe. “Do I have raccoon eyes?” she asked, examining her palms for mascara smudges.
“You do,” he said, pushing her gently into the apartment, “if a raccoon were run over by a school bus three or four times.” He was carrying a paper bag and a wonderful smell was coming from it. “Go on, now, why don’t you get washed up and I’ll squeeze some oranges.”
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