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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.

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Anthology Update: A Much Better Cover!

So the anthology I posted about yesterday just announced they were changing their cover and I’m glad. The new cover is much better, showcasing tiny drops making big ripples in liquid text, much like the way each tiny story contained in this volume can impact the reader.

Okay, the metaphor might be a little cliche, but the cover is pretty cool, and so is the story I’ve included, which features a shy girl who wears super hero costumes to school, and a boy who is rocking some epic Pickachu ears.

This link will take you to the pre-order page: bit.ly/100VoicesV1

This code will save you 10%: 100V86

They have a really interesting line up of authors. I’m curious to see what the other stories are like.

 

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Anthology Update

One of the first anthologies I had a story accepted to is finally available for pre-order. I am very excited to see my story in print for the first time. You can pre-order at this link:

http://www.centumpublishing.com/#!product-page/praa0/5f32c1aa-3309-3fa5-8aa7-319051d5436f

And make sure you enter my discount code, 100V86, to save 10%!

Authors are being paid with a commission style royalty, so not only does using my code save you money, but gives me a portion of the sale.

So please check it out – not only does it contain my story, “Costume Connection,” but it has 99 other short works as well.

Thank you for your support!

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Black Cat Appreciation Day

I woke up in the mood to write, but I had to go back to the dentist. When I got back, I had lost my motivation. So I decided writing could wait until later, and for now, I would break out the camera and take the time to get some good photos of Goose in honor of black cat appreciation day. Enjoy the cuteness!

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Goose, the cutest black fluff-ball ever!

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“Well, its black cat appreciation day, so you can’t yell at me for taking my food out of my bowl and dropping it on the floor, not my mat, before I eat. “

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“Now I’m eating like a good boy!”

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“Look at how fluffy my tail is! That squirrel looks yummy! Can I play with him?”

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“Now I’m going to edit your story for you.”

Tummy Tuesday

One of the cutest blogs I read, Katzenworld, does a weekly post called Tummy Rub Tuesday  where they showcase photos submitted by their readers. These photos generally feature cats being cute and exposing their furry tummies. The photos are generally followed by comments proclaiming the cuteness of said cats (I am often one of these commentators).

The images of fluffy cuteness just make me want to go find my own kitty (Goose) and rub his tummy. Unfortunately, Goose rarely tolerates more than one stroke across is tummy. I often think he lays on his back, tummy exposed, just so I will attempt to rub it and get bit. Its like some kind of human trap.

“I want to bite the human. I’ll look cute. Here comes the human. She’s rubbing my tummy. Chomp! Yum, human flesh!”

Okay, maybe he’s not that sinister…

He is super cute though, especially when him and the puppy are snuggling. Thankfully, the puppy really likes getting his tummy rubbed, so when I’m baby sitting him, I don’t fall for Goose’s traps all that often. Although, the puppy does like to try and lick Goose’s stomach, which usually results in his nose getting kicked.

Anyways, I’ll stop ranting now and get to the main purpose of this post: cute pictures!

In the two photos on the kitchen floor, the dark spot on the brown rug is Goose, mirroring Link’s tummy up pose. Goose, being a black cat, is very good at not showing up well on camera.

And if you want to see more cute tummies, check out Katzenworld’s Tummy Rub Tuesday:

Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 107)

It’s time for me to get back to revising that novel…

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Persistence

I’ve said this dozen’s of times and probably will say it a dozen more times, but persistence is the key to getting your work published.

  1. You need to be persistent in the early stages. Don’t stop writing, no matter how stuck you feel. Write about being stuck if you have to. Just keep writing. Eventually, you will get somewhere.
  2. Be persistent in revision. Seek feedback. Think carefully about what feedback you take. Revise your story over and over and over until it feels right. This can be frustrating, but you have to keep going, keep revising, until the story is really done.
  3. Be persistent in your attempts to publish. Try to not to let the rejections get under your skin.
    • If there is a market you want to get published by and they reject you, send them something else. If they say you have to wait a month, wait exactly a month. If they say you have to wait until the next reading period, wait, but don’t forget to send something when the next one opens. I really wanted to get a story into an anthology called Dark Magic: Witches, Robots and Hackers.  They rejected the first two stories I sent them. A few days before they closed for submissions, I sent them a third. They bought it! A few days earlier, Daily Science Fiction, another market I really want to get into, had rejected a draft of that story with a p.s. saying “an almost for us.”I’ll be sending DSF something new soon.
    • If there is a story you really want to get published, then keep sending it out until someone accepts it. I had two acceptances this week. One was a story that had been rejected 16 times, and the other was something that has only been rejected twice. You never know how quickly or slowly it will happen. Just don’t get discouraged. Keep sending it out!
  4. Be persistent in improving. Don’t let a few acceptances make you think you’ve become a master writer. Always seek workshops, feedback and discussions that will help you hone your craft. If you feel like those stop helping you, then try teaching someone else. I learn a lot about writing and revising from guiding students through the process over and over again.

Some people might see this post and think, well, the writing has to be good, too, doesn’t?

My answer is yes, but when it comes to writing “good” to one person might be “boring” or “depressing” or “confusing” to another. If you like your writing, and the people you showed it to liked it and were able to make sense of it, and its free from unintentional grammatical errors, then its probable that somewhere out there is an editor who will like it too. It will just take a lot of persistence for you to find each other.

When you do reach that metaphorical summit of publication, make sure you take the time to enjoy the view, enjoy the feeling of victory, before going back down into the valley of rejection and hiking another mountain.

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Micro Essay: Seasons

Seasons

By Sara Codair

The sky blooms with streaks of pink and purple, possibilities of endless nights sitting on the porch serenaded by peepers and crickets. The sky ignites my dreams of rowing and swimming under the blazing the sun. The sky promises romance and inspiration; ice cream and love. I hold his hand on the dock as the colors fade, yielding their territory to the stars.

The leaves change color and chills master the night. I’m planning a lesson while he scrambles to button up the house. He doesn’t want the pipes to freeze.

I’m back at work, teaching through the sunset, driving home in the dark.

 

© 2016 Sara Codair

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Quick, Easy and Clean Zucchini Side or Snack Recipe

Its that time of year when my zucchini are producing several fruits a week and there are more tomatoes than I can eat. I cook what I can before they go bad, and share the excess with my friends and neighbors. Today, I want to share a recipe that can be made with all, or almost all local ingredients, depending on where you live.

You will need:

  • Zucchini
  • Cherry Tomatoes (I prefer orange ones, like sungolds since they are sweet and low in acidity)
  • Fresh Basil
  • Honey
  • Cooking oil or butter (I used olive oil)
  1. First, put coat your pan with olive oil and add basil. Let it heat up slowly while you prep the other ingredients.DSC_0102
  2. Cut your zucchini into strips. When I am making it as a lunch or a snack for just me, I use half a small zucchini. If you are cooking for a larger group, you might want to use the whole thing.DSC_0103
  3. When you done cutting, add the zucchini to the heated oil and basil. DSC_0104
  4. While the zucchini starts to cook, cut up your tomatoes into quarters, thirds and halves. Last time I made this with half a zucchini, I used ten sungold tomatoes.
  5. After you add the tomatoes, drizzle the whole thing with local honey.DSC_0107
  6. Sauté until the tomatoes start to dissolve into the honey and the zucchini is tender.DSC_0108
  7. Serve and enjoy! DSC_0109

When I made this today, the basil, zucchini and tomatoes were all from my garden. The honey was from a local farm. The olive oil was the only non-local ingredient (from CA), but it was labeled as non-gmo. If you really want to make sure all your ingredients are local, use local butter instead of oil.