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Micro Essay: Treasure Hunter

Treasure Hunter
by Sara Codair

Waves are locked in ice on a silver day while dreams of summer stroll the shore. The gulls still sing but the tourists are gone. It’s just me who’s crazy enough to comb the beach today, searching for shells and glass hidden beneath the snow. I bend down. My ungloved hand closes on something clear, smooth and cold like a glacier. The heat of my skin melts it at first contact and I let go – its ice, not glass. I keep walking, hoping I’ll see red glint in the dim winter sun – the gold, the holy grail of sea glass.

© 2016 Sara Codair

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This micro-essay was originally published on The Northern Essex Writing Project.

 

 

 

You Can’t Bribe The Dead — Magical Realism

I just had another story go live!

What happens when some one is being haunted by two ghosts, one of which was a computer genius in life?

Read my story to find out!

Thanks!

Sara

 

Corruption was a drug and Mario was hooked. He bought the building inspector whisky to ensure his permit was approved. A $100 bill got him out of a speeding ticket. A steady stream of pizza kept the zoning board at bay. He took a selfie on his land the day conservation approved his appeal. In […]

via You Can’t Bribe The Dead — Magical Realism

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Micro Fiction: Feline Fighter

My flash story, “Feline Fighter,” starring my cat Goose, is live on Katzenworld! Check it out and show Goose some love.

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Feline Fighter

By Sara Codair

DSC_0784I’m curled up in my blanket, cleaning my paws when the enemy attacks. The tie-fighter on a string flies dangerously close to my head. Any minute it could release a barrage of fur singing lasers. I pick my head up, tracking it with my eyes then leap up smashing one of my mighty paws into its side. My claws sink into its outer shell but do not penetrate to the pilot. It jerks once, twice, three times them breaks free. It tries to fly away.

I can’t let it escape to harry me another day, so I wriggle my rump, get my feet into ideal positions and spring forward.

The pilot must see me coming, but he doesn’t fire. He never does. They only do that on the big screen the humans like to watch. Still, I’m not taking any chances. I grasp the fighter midair and drag…

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Story Harvest

My summer of words may be over, but the fruits of my hard work are ripening.

I may have picked my last summer squash and soy beans last month, but the peppers are finally changing color, the carrots are fat and the corn is tall.

Writing isn’t that different from gardening. The first drafts are planted seeds. Revision is watering. Submissions are fertilizer. Acceptances are buds and publications are the ripe fruit they grow into.

Between now and the end of October, my stories will be published in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines.

Less than a year ago, simply having my work published on someone else’s website was thrilling. Now, I will get to see my work appear in anthologies that I can hold in my hand and download to my kindle.

And you know what makes it even more exciting? I’m getting paid! Two of the publications pay in royalties while others give a flat fee or combination of the two.

It’s not a lot of money, but in my mind, it’s enough to bump my writing out of the “hobby” category.

Reading is a hobby. I have to pay for books with money or reviews unless I borrow them from a friend or library, but then I have to give them back. I don’t like giving books back. It took me two years to return the last library book I borrowed. I haven’t been brave enough to ask about the late fee.

As a hobby, writing was better than reading because it didn’t cost any money and gave my brain more exercise. But now, I’m getting paid for most of my stories. Below, you will find information and teasers regarding my upcoming publications.

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The first one scheduled to be published is a flash fiction piece titled “Costume Connection.” The piece explores the difficulties of being in middle school student and the power that a single friend can have on a bullied child’s life. It will be in the company of 99 other stories, all 1500 words or less, in Centum Press’ 100 Voices Anthology. The authors and stories are a mixed group covering a range of topics from a range of places. If you are interested in reading this one, you can buy it at bit.ly/100VoicesV1 and don’t forget to enter the coupon code 100V86 to save 10%.

Screen Shot 2016-09-17 at 10.38.01 AM.pngThe second is a slightly more political story titled “Melanoma Americana:”

What happens when the health care system operates on the same kind of a marketing plan that cell phone companies and hotels use? Read Its All Trumped Up to find out! Its available for pre-order now, and will be released in a few weeks.

“Customer Service,” near future speculative fiction, will be published in Owl Hollow Press’ Dark Magic: Witches, Hackers and Robots anthology. It is definitely one of my darker pieces, but is very appropriate for anthology focused on how fear of the unknown can drive humans to extremes (like witch hunts). The anthology will be released on Oct. 15, and the cover will be revealed on Monday Sept. 19.

I’ve always been a fan of myths and fairy tales, but they don’t always have the most conclusive endings, especially if they are Disney retellings. “Happily Ever After” is a little too vague for my taste, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how other people imagined the characters lives went on in Horrified Press’ “After Lines.” My story, “Institutional Prophecy,” looks in on what some of my favorite Arthurian figures are up to these days.

Print/Electronic Magazine:

After getting a lot of rejections, “One Way,” a revenge tale about an abused woman taking control of her life, was accepted by Fantasia Divinity, and is scheduled to be published in their October issue.

E-zines:

“You Can’t Bribe the Dead,” a fresh yet classic ghost story, will be published on Scrutiny next week.

“The Elevator,” on of my first hybrid prose/poetry pieces, will be published by Sick Lit Magazine in October.

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Thank you for reading this post. Please help with the story harvest by buying an anthology or two!  -Sara

 

 

 

 

 

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No Back to School Blues

For many childless adults, the idea of having summers off and going “back to school” in the fall is a distant memory. However, for those of us who haven’t spent much time working in the illusion known as the “real word,” summers off, or at least a off from our regular job, is a very real thing.

For the past two years, my summers have been a taste of what life might be like as a full-time fiction writer. I’d wake around seven or either, check social media and do a little bit of writing while I was still partially in dream world. I’d spend a little time in my garden then go back to writing when the sun got too hot. I’d write for three or four hours, take a break to swim or walk, then go back to writing for another three of four hours.

I wrote at least two dozen short stories. I was sending out anywhere from one to seven submissions a day and as a result, getting an acceptance almost every week. My list of publication credits grew exponentially, and I even got paid for some of my stories.

DSC_0172.jpgNow that September has arrived, the weather is cooling and leaves are changing, I’ve rejoined the rest of the adult who get up in the morning and go to work. Thankfully, my job is one I love, and once I get used to being there, it hardly feels like work at all. Instead of spending the whole day lost in my words, I get to help developing writers find their voice.

My students generally are not aspiring to become best selling authors or prize winning essayist. Many of them want to be nurses, police officers, psychologists and pre-school teachers. They are not only trying to improve themselves, but find jobs that have meaning, jobs that will let them build their communities.

They need strong literacy skills to do this, no matter what field they choose. Whether it be in email, classes or writing grants, words are a tool for communicating, for learning and for bringing about change.

While I will miss spending my days writing fiction, I’m glad I’m back at work. I learned a lot about writing from my summer binge, and I’m eager to share with those whose words will have a more direct impact on the communities I live in and near.

Surviving Seaglass

My 100 Word story is live on The Drabble!

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By Sara Codair

She strokes a shard of blue glass. The raging ocean has worn its edges smooth and frosty. It’s like a frozen gem, reflecting light from the dying sun.

Tracing the outlines of strange symbols, she has a vision of the object’s last interaction with humanity:

A rag-clad woman slashes her wrist. Blood pours out with sorrow, transforming cracked concrete to a crimson sea.

Shuddering, she places the beach glass in her pocket. It’s a relic of the world that lived and died before her own, an artifact of the flawed beings that burned her phoenix planet.

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Micro Fiction: Succession

So now that I am no longer judging cracked flash, I get to enter again. That means a fresh wave of stories posted here, since in order to enter my favorite, prize-less weekly contest, I make my stories “published” by posting them in the comments section that anyone can see, which means no lit mag will publish them, so you, my readers, get to enjoy them for free!

Succession
By Sara Codair

“I don’t want to be worshiped–I want to terrify!” Prince Corvinstin flipped the table, spilling wine, gravy and meat on his counselors.

“That is not wise.” Dr. Banfiend wiped dripping gravy off of his robe. “Fear breeds rebellion. Worshipers are less likely to start an uprising.

Prince Corvinstin threw his knife across the table. Fortunately for Dr. Banfiend, the prince had terrible aim.

“I’ve been serving your family for seventy years, young Dale, and I will not tolerate your violence.”

“Yes,” laughed Prince Corvinstin. “You’ve been serving, as you will continue to do. Now tell me, how can I scare the foul farmers into submission?”

The counselors exchange looks, nodding at Dr. Banfiend. “Your great-grandfather also preferred fear. He had a mechanical dragon that he would fly over the villages, torching the ones those that refused to pay taxes.

Prince Corvinstin grinned. “That sounds horrifically delightful. Show me this dragon.”

“As you wish.” Banfiend lead the young prince to the castle’s deepest dungeon.

“It is through there,” he said pointing to a massive black door.

Prince Corvinstin took out his master key and opened it. Dr. Banfiend shoved him in and slammed the door shut behind him. He locked it, then leaned his back against the cold steel. He listened to heavy foot steps, the prince wailing in disbelief then screaming like a little girl, and finally, the sizzling of burning flesh.

When the door became too hot, Dr. Banfiend climbed back up stairs. He was exhausted when he got back to the dining room, but pleased that his brethren had reset the table, replaced the fallen food and refilled the wine decanters.

“Now that one was a disappointment.” He sat down and poured himself a glass of wine. “Does anyone know where his little brother was last seen?”

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If you enjoy my fiction, consider supporting me and other writers by buying one of the anthologies I am going to be published in. The first one, 100 Voices, can be pre-ordered  at bit.ly/100VoicesV1. Don’t forget to use the coupon code 100V86 save 10% and give me credit for the sale. Thank you!

Also – check out the story I just had published on The Flash Fiction Press: http://www.theflashfictionpress.org/2016/08/25/carpenter-demon-hunter-father/

©2016 Sara Codair

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Chicken, Vegetables and Pasta with White wine Butter Sauce

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While I hunted for recipes, Goose hunted for scraps of chicken.

As you may know from my previous posts, in-between writing, gardening and preparing for the up coming semester, I have been on the hunt for the perfect white wine butter sauce. After trying and tweaking many different recipes, I have come up with just the right one. It started out with the the recipe for “Chicken in Buttered White Wine Pan Sauce” from Framed Cooks. Each time I made it, I changed a few things to make it better fit my tastes until I came up with the recipe listed below.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound of chicken (tenders or thin cut breasts)DSC_0113.JPG
  • ¾ cups sweet white wine (Niagara, Petit Amis or Pinot Grigio work well)
  • 1 cup chicken broth from bullion cube (or homemade stock or box stock)
  • half of a bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 shallot
  • half a zucchiniDSC_0119
  • parsley
  • salt
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice

Procedure:

  1. Coat the pan with 1 tbs of olive oil. Melt one table spoon of butter in the olive oil and swirl it together.
  2. Cook the chicken all the way through (165 degrees F) then remove and set aside.DSC_0111
  3. Add the shallot and the pepper. Sauté until they starting to get tender. Add zucchini and sauté until both the zucchini and peppers are tender.DSC_0112
  4. Add ¾ cups of white wine.DSC_0118
  5. Simmer until reduced to a few tablespoons (coating the pan but not too deep and starting to thicken just a tiny but). While its in the process of reducing, dissolve the chicken bullion cube in 1 cup of boiling water.
  6. Add chicken broth
  7. Simmer for five minutes
  8. Add 4 tablespoons of butter cut into little squares or rectangles
  9. Start the water for pasta.
  10. Stir until the butter is melted.
  11. Sprinkle in parsley and salt.
  12. Add two squirts of lemon juice.
  13. Add Chick back in and keep it on low, occasionally stirring and flipping the chicken so it gets all coated in the sauce.
  14. When the pasta is done, the mean is ready. Pour sauce and veggies over the pasta. DSC_0114

One last note: When I can, I try to use local products to make this. This time around, the wine, shallots and zucchini where the only local ingredients. However, now that I’m part of a meat share, I’ll be cooking with local meats, and hopefully, my bell peppers will hurry up and get ripe now that it is august.