For the past few years, I had been living under a metaphorical rock. Things like the news, current, events, and politics gave me panic attacks. Last year, I had a wake up call and realized that ignoring the news wasn’t making it any less scary.
I used to show my students a documentary called “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” shortly before having them write an essay about marketing and advertising. Donald Trump is briefly interviewed in that movie about the profitability of co-promotion. The first few times I showed, no one really even noticed him, but in Fall 2015, that changed. The second he appeared on screen, my students booed him.
At this time, I knew Trump was running for president, but I didn’t take him seriously. I had heard he was racist, and that he was ignorant, but I knew very little about him.
As the semester went on, I heard the students talking more and more about him, his racism, his anti-immigration policies, and his wall. Soon enough, I found my self slowly getting pulled back into the world of current events. I had to know if this guy for real, and if he had any chance of winning.
I started by reading articles that my more educated friends had shared of Facebook. As I reinvented my twitter account to network with other writers and publishers, I followed politicians and news organizations. Eventually, I was looking at their tweets and reading articles on a daily basis.
I came out of my cave. I became informed about the elections, about the environmental issues that were keeping me up at night, and about the human rights / labor rights violations taking place around the world.
Then some beautiful happened. I realized I didn’t need to go out and campaign or donate money to foster change. The bits and pieces of news I consumed were starting to seep their way into my writing. Whether I was imaging an America where health care was sold like a phone or vacation package, an earth without bee’s, or steampunk America where woman never won the right to vote, I could take my fears, my nightmares of a world gone wrong, and share them with everyone.
The first of these stories was published today in an anthology titled “Its All Trumped Up.” This is a collection of stories from writers all around the world that uses fiction to explore nine different ways a Trump presidency could affect the world. Please support us by read and sharing!
No matter what your political views are, please, please, please exercise your right to vote this November! And if your not American, you can still read, and you can use the social media to make your voice heard. We live in a globalized society. This election will have implications far beyond American borders.
Aside from being delicious and questionably the healthy, I decided to title this chicken recipe as “Sinfully Sweet” because the last time I made it, I was using local, pasture raised chicken and smothering it with processed things that were probably GMO, like Soy Sauce and Vegetable Oil. I felt guilty, even sinful putting these delicious yet “unnatural” things on my local, free-range chicken. Of course, the place I bought the meat from sources from farmers with sustainable and organic practices, but they are not all certified organic. So I don’t know that this chicken hadn’t eaten something GMO, either accidentally (through contamination) or intentionally.
While the honey is natural and local, it still is a form of sugar, and it also wasn’t labeled or tested or GMO. If the bees are feeding on wildflowers like the label says, then the farmers or bee keepers can’t promise they didn’t get pollen from something genetically modified or contaminated by genetically modified food.
The point? The local goodies may have already had GMO contamination before I smothered them in soy sauce.
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 2 strips of bell pepper, diced (optional)
- 1/2 to 1lb of chicken
- Mix honey, soy sauce and oil in a glass container with a lid
- Stirr in garlic and peppers
- Place chicken in the mixture and cover both sides of it. Put the lid on the container and shake.
- Put it in the fridge and let it marinade for at least an hour. The longer you let it marinade, the stronger the flavor.
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Put the chicken and glass dish (with no lid) in while it preheats. Flip the chicken when the oven reaches temperature. Flip every fifteen minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Check it with a meat thermometer. When it reaches the right temp, take it out, let it rest a couple minutes then serve.
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
This micro-essay was originally published on The Northern Essex Writing Project.
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!
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 […]
My flash story, “Feline Fighter,” starring my cat Goose, is live on Katzenworld! Check it out and show Goose some love.
By Sara Codair
I’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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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.
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%.
The 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.
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.
“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.
Thank you for reading this post. Please help with the story harvest by buying an anthology or two! -Sara
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.
Now 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.
My 100 Word story is live on The Drabble!
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.
This magazine wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and contribution of these talented individuals who help foster the love of the written word and the arts. I would also like to express my gratitude to all of our readers and champions of small press and indy magazines & journals. Remember, keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep […]