“Sacred Heart” erotic magic story video reading by Cecilia Tan

I’m writing this post from Orlando, Florida, where I attended ICFA 43 (Int’l Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts). ICFA is always great: a mix of sf/f writers with academics and students presenting their papers on various sf/fantasy and sff-adjacent topics like games and gaming, or the immersive fantasies of theme-park design, or connections between gothic literature and gothic subcultures.

One of the program items is sf/f writers reading their work. I opted to do a reading rather than speak on a panel this year, but I was undecided what story I should read. When I was packing for the con I was waffling about this one, entitled “Sacred Heart.” The story appeared in the Unfettered Hexes anthology (edited by Dave Ring, Neon Hemlock Press, buy it from Bookshop.org, Amazon, or your local indie bookstore) which was published for Halloween in October 2021.

This was, without a doubt, one of the short stories I wrote while procrastinating from working on my novel. But it was one of those ones where I sat down at the keyboard with a blank word processor document and it just poured out. Dave, the editor, only had a few small suggestions to make. It’s so rare when something just crystallizes like that, where it’s like you kind of see the entire thing right from the start. When I write stories like that, it’s like I see the first sentence or the first paragraph but that little piece is a fractal which contains the whole, and as I write through the story, more and more of it reveals itself, but it was all there right from the start.

But, still, two days before the con my internal censor was yapping at me: this story is kinda weird, isn’t it too weird? Maybe it isn’t that good. Maybe you should find something else, or write something newer, or… or… or…

Well, I read it, and people REALLY LIKED IT. The audience was pretty much full, which was especially great given that the reading was in the very first session of the con on Wednesday and a lot of attendees weren’t even here yet. My co-readers were Regina Hansen and Rich Larson. Afterward, several folks, including a writer I admire and whose literary taste I trust, made a point to come tell me how much they liked it. And then throughout the weekend, people kept telling me how great they thought the story was.

So, take that, internal censor! You’re clearly wrong.

The video of me reading the story, above, I recorded in January when the Arisia convention was scuttled at the last minute by the Omicron wave. I set up a Zoom event for myself and read three stories, of which “Sacred Heart” was one. Folks who are Patreon supporters got the full video, but I decided to release just the one story to the public for fun. I’d meant to post this weeks ago, but this weekend’s events reminded me to do it now!

It was good timing for the lesson on the internal critic, too. Over the weekend, I got an email rejection on a short story I had sent out recently, and I was half-tempted to “trunk” the story and never look at it again. But I sent it out to another market, instead. I know it’s a “weird” story that pushes certain boundaries and, unlike most of my stories, really should carry a warning about violence. But if I learned one thing this weekend, it’s don’t self-reject. Maybe this story will make the rounds and not land anywhere. Maybe I’ll end up just reading it to my patrons. But I’ll try other markets first.

My 2021 Lockdown /Snow Day To-Do List

What’s a work-a-holic to do when the To Do list is neverending and winter is looming? Make a new To Do list of “not work” things to do, that’s what.

The truth of the matter is that it’s unlikely that my state or city will be going back into any form of lockdown this winter. But if we have a surge in COVID infections like last winter, especially of a variant that breaks through vaccinations, that could mean my household will decide to self-quarantine. Or there’s the possibility that extreme weather will visit us this winter in the form of heaps of snow and we’ll be snowed in. I’m almost hoping that happens a couple of times. Remember snow days as kids? A day off from school to stay in, play games, and read books while sipping cocoa? I could use the break, to be honest…

And if we end up back in some kind of quarantine, that’s the energy I want to take into it this time. Cozy time. So I’m daydreaming on what I’ll do. (Yeah, yeah, I know I’ll still probably work-work-work. But let’s dream a little, okay?)


I bought a lot of books recently that deadlines have kept me too busy to read. Among the ones I’m looking forward to the most:

  • She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker Chan
  • The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian
  • The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik
  • The Hellion’s Waltz by Olivia Waite
  • How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole
  • Ronin by Emma Mieke Candon (it’s on order and about to come in…)
  • One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (which I ordered from Porter Square Books and still have to go pick up…)

I’ll note that while of course you can buy any of these books through Amazon (here, use my Amazon referral link if that’s your preference) you can also place your order through a local independent bookstore like Porter Square Books in Cambridge, or Powell’s (Portland), or Third Place Books (Seattle), among many others who need support. If you visit the website Indiebound, you can search for the independent bookstore nearest you, and even find out which books they have in stock. Many of them ship, too!

I’ve also been building up a backlog of copies of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which I subscribed to when Sheree Renee Thomas took over as editor, but they’ve just been piling up.

Learning Japanese

During 2020 my household went through the whole bingo card of “things to do during lockdown” including Jess learning to play ukelele, me cleaning out my office and bedroom (and building some new furniture), indoor herb gardening, and all three of us started learning Japanese. We all took a course through the Boston Japanese Language School, and I’ve kept up with those classes, but all three of us have been using online tools as well.

The two main tools I’ve been using are:

  • Duolingo – which makes language learning kind of into a game
  • Kanji Teacher – which gives practice writing the characters as well as learning to read them

What I’d really like to add to my Japanese learning regimen is something like a weekly half hour conversation practice, either with an AI or with real people, but so far I haven’t quite found the right platform for that. If anyone has suggestions of forums or apps I could try, please let me know!

Gaming & Puzzling

Speaking of Duolingo and the game-like experience, sometimes you just want an actual game or crossword. We’ve done some jigsaw puzzles, but they’re difficult to do in bed, when you want to snuggle up somewhere warm. We’ve got a couple of go-to’s already on the list:

The New York Times Crossword App – It’s $40 a year to subscribe to just the crossword, but it gives you access to every day’s puzzle, as well as the Spelling Bee, and the Mini Crossword.

Solitaire.orgThe ultimate collection of Solitaire games!
This website is an old-school collection of browser games, including a few hundred variations of the Solitaire card game. But there are other games, too, including some similar to Candy Crush, but also one that I found really addictive: China Temple. It’s a “hidden object” game, where you go through levels clicking on the images you need to find: vases, numbers, and “find the difference” images. I could literally do this all day. Two tips if you get into hidden object games: don’t forget to blink your eyes (or use lubricating drops) once in a while, and make sure to turn OFF if you have software the changes the color of your screen to mimic sunset or reduce eye strain like F.Lux or Iris, because muting the colors will make it harder! I think it’s also a little bit easier to play on a tablet than on a laptop or monitor with mouse.

This is what I’ll be doing when I’m not curating my Pokemon in Pokemon Go!

A screen capture from me playing China Temple, a hidden object game.

What will you be doing on your “snow days” or other quiet days in the coming months?

Cover Reveal: *Flesh Fiction* (delicious flash fiction!)

And here it is! The cover reveal for the new project I’m part of, put together by Mara White and Suanne Laqueur, FLESH FICTION.

If you’ve read my stories in books like The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories and Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex, then you’re already familiar with the “quickie” format of erotic flash fiction, where the idea is to leave the reader sopping and breathless in a story that is only a few pages long.

This one brings together some of the hottest names in spicy romance, including LaQuette, Satin Russell, JR Gray, Kat Savage, and also a bunch of writers I haven’t had the pleasure to read before… but I will now!

Here’s a teaser sentence from my story, which is entitled “Art in Oils”:

Oil paints are so much better than watercolors for showing a sheen of sweat, for capturing that gravid droplet of arousal fattening at the engorged slit. My own thirsty tongue searches my lip.

FLESH FICTION is available for pre-order now on the following sites. It releases October 5!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09F4NNVBF

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1583835283

B & N / Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940165008771

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=9781737264934

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1101969

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58453358-flesh-fiction

Gardners: https://www.gardners.com/Search/KeywordAnonymous/eBook?Keyword=9781737264934

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/search?query=9781737264934&language=0

Bloggers who are interested in signing up for the blog tour, sign up here: https://forms.gle/mHNT2hsMbdEqyPFD6

And here’s a bigger look at the cover!

You might be wondering why the cover image doesn’t look as “naughty” as the words inside, and there’s an easy answer to that. Amazon suppresses the sales of any book that has a cover image that is too steamy. This comes as news to a lot of folks, for whom Amazon is their number one source for erotica! But it’s true, certain types of images — even ones that don’t show the “naughty bits” — as well as certain words in the description can doom a book from being found. Amazon doesn’t call it censorship or even a “ban,” since technically they still sell the book, but they make it impossible to find unless you know the direct URL to the page.

Sexy excerpt of MIND GAMES on the Nobilis Erotica podcast

If you’d like a sexy listen, a scene from my paranormal erotic thriller, MIND GAMES, was featured in today’s episode of the Nobilis Erotica podcast.

The audiobook of MIND GAMES was just released a couple of weeks ago, exclusively on Scribd, but have a free listen to Nobilis Erotica wherever your favorite place is to catch podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Deezer, etc) or right here: https://nobilis.libsyn.com/ep-460-an-excerpt-from-mind-games-by-cecilia-tan

Content warning: this book contains situations of sexual jeopardy, stalking, and coercive behavior on the part of the villains. It also contains consensual sexual situations, including public sex and bondage.

New science fiction baseball story!

I have a new short story, free to read online at SABR.org! It’s a piece of near future science fiction told from the point of view of a female baseball pitcher making her debut on the mound at Fenway Park. It’s one of the few times I’ve gotten a chance to mix my baseball writing with my sf/f writing!

You can read the story here: https://sabr.org/journal/article/signs-of-the-times/

I also wrote a detailed breakdown of all the many threads of research, facts, commentary, etc that went into crafting the story in my Patreon, which is free to read here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/54679583

The Patreon essay was prompted by a Twitter thread I did about why I wrote it and The National Pastime, the publication that it’s in:

*Mind Games* audiobook out today on @Scribd ! Sexy paranormal suspense

Mind Games by Cecilia Tan depicted as ebook and paperback

Going live on Scribd today! An audio edition of (as well as ebook of…) my erotic paranormal romance/romantic suspense novel Mind Games. It was the first romance I wrote for Ravenous Romance back in the days of the digital romance gold rush around 2009. I got the rights back a while ago, and put out a self-published edition, but I hadn’t put it into audiobook format. Scribd bought the exclusive audio rights and you can listen to it right now!

If you’re on Scribd, you can access it for free as part of your subscription.

If you’re not on Scribd, they have a 30 day free trial going on right now. Basically it’s a subscription service ($10/month) similar to Kindle Unlimited that not only gives you access to a large library of free books including many from major publishers and bestsellers, they also have audiobooks as part of the deal, as well as major newspapers and magazines. It’s a great alternative to KU if you’re trying to fight the Amazon near-monopoly or boycotting Amazon (like I am).

You can read most of the first chapter on the Scribd page for the book:

When your stalker can enter your dreams, there’s nowhere to hide.

Ever since she foresaw the death of her parents, Wren Delacourt has suppressed her latent psychic abilities. Avoiding strong emotions, Wren leads a placid but lonely life until her quiet is shattered by her sister Abby going missing… and the private investigator searching for her.

Derek Chapman isn’t what Wren expects. He’s young, handsome, and surprisingly sensitive. Wren is attracted to him immediately, but fears that deepening any connection with Derek—emotional, spiritual, or sexual—will open the floodgates locked in her mind.

A mystery man appears in Wrens dreams, dealing pain and pleasure. Is Wren’s subconscious warning her away from Derek, or longing for him? When the search for Abby leads to a secret sex club, it seems fate is pulling Wren into Derek’s arms, whether she is ready or not.

Author & editor Catherine Lundoff of Queen of Swords Press on queer fiction & fantasy #PrideStoryBundle

2021 Pride StoryBundle
To wrap up Pride month and the celebration of the Pride StoryBundle of queer fantasy and science fiction, we have an interview with author and editor Catherine Lundoff. There’s only a week left to grab the Bundle!

Pick up your copy of the Pride StoryBundle through July 1st at https://storybundle.com/pride to read Catherine’s novel about menopausual werewolves, Silver Moon! If you buy the bundle at the $20 level, you get 16 books and you can earmark part of your purchase price for Rainbow Railroad’s life-saving work with LGBTQ refugees. Happy Pride Month!

How do you celebrate Pride? 
Catherine: I’m often at a table selling books at a lot of our regional Prides. If I’m not doing that, I’m hanging out with my friends and talking to the vendors and anyone else who looks interesting. I also like to do author readings, see queer theater and films and engage in whatever interesting cultural and political events are happening. I like celebrating as many aspects of Pride as I can!

We have so many wonderful queer books being published these days, but new queer writers can still face unique challenges. What advice would you offer them? 
Catherine: Don’t give up. Finding and building an audience can be hard and slow but have faith in your work and keep going. Support other LGBTQ+ writers and work with them when you can to make everyone as successful as possible.

Can you tell us about the book you have in this StoryBundle?
Catherine: I have 2 books in this StoryBundle, Silver Moon and Blood Moon. We decided to run both of them because there were several years between the re-release of Silver Moon (Book 1 of my Wolves of Wolf’s Point series) and March of this year, when Blood Moon (Book 2) came out so we wanted people to have the opportunity to read them back-to-back if they wanted to. My Wolves books are about a group of middle-aged women in a fantastical Western town in the U.S. who turn into werewolves as they enter menopause. There’s a mystery, a paranormal romance, a touch of the dark fantastic, lots of queer characters, found family and coming out at midlife. These could be just the books you’re looking for!

What do you find engaging or important about writing LGBTQ+/queer fiction?
Catherine: Well, first and foremost, I think it’s critical to have our stories out there and by that I mean all kinds of stories and queer fiction. I think this is particularly true as big publishers consolidate and opportunities for queer authors broaden in some respects and narrow in others. I think our stories reflect our history and culture as much as our imaginations and often, who we are at this point in time. Our words are part of how we will be remembered, hopefully inspiring new generations of queer people to create their own as well as having a better understanding of what came before them.

What other books or stories do you have out that readers of this StoryBundle might enjoy?
Catherine: I have several collections of short fiction out, of which Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories might be of most interest. And for stories that aren’t yet collected, I should mention that I have a series of f/f 17th century Caribbean pirate and spy stories up at Heather Rose Jones’s Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast. I recommend LHMPodcast anyway since it’s full of excellent information about queer women in history as well as fiction.

Aside from your own work, what are some of your favorite queer reads you would recommend to folks?
Catherine: Of the books that I’ve read most recently, River Horse by Melissa Scott is some excellent queer epic fantasy, I’m currently enjoying A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark and I’m almost done with The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite, which is a terrific f/f Regency-flavored romance with charming older heroines.

Author Melissa Scott on the 2021 #PrideStoryBundle of Queer SF/F

2021 Pride StoryBundle

This year’s Pride Story Bundle is out! And it’s available only for the month of June. Put together by Melissa Scott and Catherine Lundoff, the bundle features ebooks of queer sf/f  to celebrate Pride month and the breadth of LGBTQ science fiction and fantasy. My contribution is Spellbinding–the Magic University anthology of short stories, half by me, half by other writers playing in my sandbox.

Pay what you want to get the main bundle of five books (pictured above) including Catherine Lundoff’s Silver Moon, Melissa Scott’s Burning Bright, AJ Fitzwater’s No Man’s Land, Highfell Grimoires by Langley Hyde, and Dropnauts by J. Scott Coatsworth. If you pay at least $15, though, you get 11 more bonus books, including mine. For deets: https://storybundle.com/pride

Today here on the blog, we have a little interview with Melissa Scott about the book Burning Bright, which is included in the bundle!

Can you tell us about the book you have in this StoryBundle?

Pilot and amateur game-creator Quinn Lioe comes to the planet Burning Bright, an independent world built on trade between the human Republic and the alien empire of the Hsaioi-An. It’s also a hub of the Game, and Lioe is delighted when she’s able to cut a deal to run one of her sessions at a high-level house. But she inadvertently gets involved with an ex-Gamer-turned-artist who is himself deeply enmeshed in local and off-world politics, and finds herself trapped in that new and deadly game. Burning Bright is about the intersection of art and politics, and the many prices one can pay for power.

What do you find engaging or important about writing LGBTQ+/queer fiction?

First, of course, there’s the simple pleasure of writing about my own culture, of creating stories about people who are something like me (though, of course, this being fiction, they’re generally bolder and braver and more dangerous than I usually manage to be). One of the nicest things about the way the field has evolved over the years is that I no longer need to say “I’m writing the books that I wanted to read but couldn’t find” — there is so much good queer fiction out there now.

Second, though, and perhaps more importantly, I think that queer culture is itself a unique and valuable world, full of stories that everyone can enjoy. We are shapeshifters, mask-wearers, flaunting and stealthy, quarrelsome and fiercely protective of each other; we find family in the most unlikely places, and the bonds we invent are as strong as any ties of blood. Of course there are stories there.

What other books or stories do you have out that readers of this StoryBundle might enjoy?

If you like Burning Bright, I think you would like Finders, a story of a team of salvage operators — a m/m/f threesome — who get more than they bargained for when they claim a piece of an Ancestral orbital palace. If you’re more of a fantasy reader, you might like Water Horse, just out from Candlemark & Gleam. It’s the story of the queer king of a beleaguered kingdom, trying to twist free of the prophecies that say he will destroy his own kingdom.

Aside from your own work, what are some of your favorite queer reads you would recommend to folks?

Oh, there’s so much! I’d recommend everything in this bundle, for a start, and then, in no particular order, half a dozen faves: Elizabeth Bear, Karen Memory (I’m a sucker for steampunk Westerns); KJ Charles, The Casebook of Simon Feximal and Spectred Isle (I’m also a sucker for Edwardian ghost stories, and these are brilliant updates); Craig Laurence Gidney, A Spectral Hue (another sort of ghost story, deep and evocative); Jo Graham, Stealing Fire (historical fantasy set in the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s death); Ginn Hale, Wicked Gentlemen (theoretically tamed demons); Jacqueline Koyanagi, Ascension (space opera with an all-too-true take on family). And there’s more out there, particularly from small presses.


Pandemic Baking: Queen of Hearts Strawberry Rose Frangiapane Tarts

Around Christmas we got friends together for a Zoom cocktail party with a custom cocktail class with Tammy’s Tastings (I highly recommend her mix-at-home online cocktail classes. They are super fun and I’ve learned a ton from taking several over the course of this lockdown, now in our 11th month…)

The group was wondering what to do next, and we decided on a Zoom dinner party where we’d each make different courses and deliver them around, then heat them up and eat them together online.

The theme we chose was Alice in Wonderland, and when I saw after a month of sign-ups that no one had taken dessert, it seemed obvious to me I should grab it and naturally I had to make the Queen of Hearts’ Tarts. I don’t believe Lewis Carroll ever specified what kind of tarts the Knave stole from the Queen, but it’s winter, and I have been craving the ripe red summer fruits and berries. This is why we freeze as many strawberries as we can–for just such an occasion.

Next step, order heart-shaped mini tart pans! This turned out to be more difficult than usual because lots of places that sell them were sold out — not sure if that was because of Valentine’s Day or the pandemic, but I eventually found a place that could ship them to me in time.

Then I looked over a lot of different tart recipes. “Tart” seems to mean just about anything that can be called a pie, just smaller. Talking it over with some Pokemon Go playing friends who are into baking, one of them suggested the hip thing because of the Great British Baking show is “bakewells,” a kind of tart that includes a fruit jam and an almond frangiapane. You know how much I love the almond in the king cake, right? This seemed right up my alley.
I thought about trying to develop a bakewell version of my strawberry balsamic vinegar basil pie, but that is really a summer pie and our indoor herb garden doesn’t have that much basil in it right this second (yes, another pandemic project: indoor herb garden — if you think that’s a cliche, wait till you hear all three of us are learning Japanese and Jess taught herself the ukelele).

One of my favorite ways to elevate a recipe, though, is add flowers. Could I make a rose strawberry jam? Turns out that’s such a natural fit there are some great recipes out there for it. I ended up following the one at Completely Delicious fairly closely: “Strawberry and Rose Water Jame with Vanilla Bean” except I doubled the rose water and also put in some dried rose petals from the pink burmese rose buds I have on hand from Aroma Tea Shop. Since I was using frozen strawberries I didn’t have to cut them or crush them because they start to fall apart once they thaw. I also didn’t use bottled lemon juice — I juice a lemon and saved the zest to use in the frangiapane. And I reduced it down for about 45 minutes instead of the 20-30 in the recipe.

For the tart crust, I went with the almond shortcrust in the recipe at The Elegant Econonmist for strawberry rose bakewell tart, but I didn’t use their frangiapane recipe or any other instructions, really.

The frangiapane came from the BBC Good Food website, which has several mini bakewells recipes, but I used one by snugglewuffin, which made just exactly the amount needed to top 16 mini heart-shaped tarts.

I held off decorating them until the next day. I kind of felt like royal icing was gilding the lily, and yet it makes them look quite nice since baked frangiapane looks kind of like the surface of the moon. And it’s traditional. Since the jam didn’t taste that strongly of rose — I might try quadrupling the rose water instead of merely doubling it next time — I thought I could put some rose flavor or scent in here, and so I brewed a rose tea to use instead of water.
As an accompaniment instead of a cocktail, I recommended a strong black tea. The bitter note in the tea cuts the intense sweetness of the tart and vice versa. I went with a high mountain Ceylon I got from Aroma Tea Shop in San Francisco (they mail order). I made a packet of tea leaves for each person.

My blog isn’t loading photos today (???) so I’m embedding instagram posts below.
Quick Reference recipe links:

Pandemic Retail Therapy: Ebay Shopping for my main characters

I have a writer friend who, when she’s learning what it feels like inside the head of her main character, will sometimes go clothes shopping as that character (but not actually buy anything).
I hate shopping malls. I spent too much time in them as a teenager in New Jersey. So when I take my characters shopping, I usually do it either at Good Will or through online retail. Now that the pandemic has kept me out of public contact for the most part, I’ve been sticking to online spaces. By far the most fun place to shop online–especially for character shopping–is eBay, since it’s not just clothes but other things one can look for, as well. Unlike Amazon, eBay has rabbit holes and cul-de-sacs that one can go down, from vintage baseball uniforms to collectible playing cards, from used kitchen equipment to “smart” jewelry.
I sometimes even let my characters shop for me. When I won the RT Award in 2013 for Slow Surrender, I had Ziggy, one of the main characters in Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, pick out my awards ceremony outfit for me. I was utterly dithering about what would be appropriate to wear, and he put together an outfit that absolutely rocked (including boots by Harley Davidson and a double-breasted corset-back tuxedo jacket off eBay that one never would have found in a regular retail site–and which isn’t still available now or I’d link to it).
Right now I’m writing an urban fantasy series where every character has to have a knife. So of course I started researching what knives people might have, both so I can describe them in the text and so I can figure out what style each character would carry.

Spyderco Q: The knife I would never have let the TSA take if I knew they were going for $200 to $350 on eBay now…!
On eBay I discovered that several of the knives I personally own are now collectors items. In fact, I discovered that a knife I’d had since the 1990s–but which I didn’t think was expensive or hard to replace and so I let the TSA in Florida confiscate it–is now going for $200 and up on eBay. I’m talking about the “skeletonized” Spyderco Q. I own several Spyderco that are now rising in price. Apparently, Spyderco used to have all their blades made in Seki, Japan. The company was recently bought and moved all manufacturing to China, and blade connoisseurs are unhappy about this? And so the “classic” Seki Spydercos are going for premium prices now.
My search for a new skeletonized Q, though, eventually led me to GovDeals.com as well. This is a site where government agencies like the TSA (and state universities) sell off their surplus. You can buy pocket knives by the bucketful. I ended up picking up several nice police-issue Spydercos via GovDeals, which really made me wonder how that confiscation went down: was it a dick-sizing competition between the TSA officers and some police officer who thought they could get away with carrying a blade like that on an airplane?
I still haven’t found a Spyderco Q at a price I’m willing to pay. The one I lost had the spider-in-web cutout and serrated blade. I’ve decided which character will be carrying that knife.
I also researched knives so small they can be worn as a charm on a necklace. Spyderco has one called the “bug” (even smaller than their “honeybee” model) which fits the bill. I bought one of them off eBay to check that it would be as sharp and usable as the bigger ones: it is! It even comes with a hole for stringing the chain through. Research!
This eBay rabbit hole eventually led me down to ceramic “fruit knives,” which supposedly can’t be detected by X-ray machines. I picked up a few of them, too, on mega-sale via eBay ($15 for a set of four folding knives), and they are cute! They look like birds/fish, feel basically like plastic, but they are SHARP. I used them all summer to cut peaches to eat. When we are allowed to travel again (someday!) these will probably be my go-to travel knife.
A couple of eBay shopping tips:
SEARCH BAR: If you’re doing the pandemic thing of wanting ideas for home improvement, don’t just type “Home Improvement” into the search bar. You’ll get all items related to the TV show by that name, DVD sets, etc. If you search for “home improvement” and you set the search bar to search within the category of Home and Garden, on the other hand, you’ll find all the smart doorbells, fireplace accoutrements, door hinges, etc etc. Narrow your search if you aren’t finding what you want. On the other hand, sometimes you find some really interesting stuff if you look in unexpected places.
COUPONS AND DEALS: I did not know this until recently, but there are sites that search for online coupons and EBay is one of the sites that quite regularly has coupons. So now I know to check Slickdeals at https://slickdeals.net/coupons/ebay/ before I buy anything. The deals change so you have to go see what’s current on any given date. Right now I see a 15% off anything and a 10% off any new product.
DON’T GET SUCKED INTO AUCTIONS: If you want the best deal, sometimes it’s great when you bid on something with a really low starting bid. But if you get outbid, you really should look at what price you’d pay if you just flat out bought the item from a regular retail site. If you get into a bidding war with someone, the only way to “win” is to pay more money than the other bidder(s). More money does not sound like a bargain, now, does it?
So, I’ve ended up buying a bunch of knives. What about you? What have you found yourself buying during the pandemic?