Lemony Pasta and Vegetables

Since a local restaurant removed one of my favorite dishes from their menu, I’ve been on a mission to find a good recipe for lemon butter white wine sauce. I haven’t come up with something quite as delicious as the dish from Rhythm, but I did make something pretty yummy for lunch today.

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of butter

1 clove of garlic

Half a bell pepper

1/4 of a large onion or a whole small one

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour

3/4 cup of white wine

2 1/2 table spoons of lemon juice

1/4 of a summer squash

1 plum tomato

Pasta of your choice

What I did:

I started with a recipe called “Simple White Wine Lemon Butter Pasta Sauce” from SpoonUniversity.com Their recipe said to start by melting two tablespoons of butter and to add two cloves of garlic. I don’t like to be overpowered by garlic, so I only added one clove. Additionally, I knew I wanted a sauce with veggies in it, so I added half a bell pepper, and a quarter of a large yellow onion. The next thing the recipe called for was 1 1/2 table spoons of flour, so I added that. Next time, I think I will only add one table spoon, as the sauce came out a little too thick for me.

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Once the veggies were starting to get tender, I added the wine. The recipe said to only use 1/3 of a cup. The bottle that had been in my fridge for two days had 3/4 of a cup, so I put it all in. I let it simmer so the alcohol could cook out, then I added 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice (the original recipe called from juice from a fresh lemon. I used concentrate), and two more table spoons of butter. Next, I veered away from the recipe by adding more of my own ingredients: one plum tomatoes and about a 1/3 of a summer squash.

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I let it cook a little more while my pasta boiled. Next, I  mixed the two, and they were ready to serve! This yielded double what I would normally eat for lunch, and if I were serving it as a side, not the main course, I would say it would be good for three servings.

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New Story Published on 101 Fiction

Nothing eases the sting of rejection like seeing my story go live on an e-zine’s website, especially when its an e-zine that rejected the first story I sent them. I’m glad they liked my second attempt. 🙂

They also did a great job describing it in their tweet:

“Growing up can be hard, with the peer pressure, and the killing…”

Krikkri should’ve been excited, since it was initiation day. Still, she couldn’t suppress the sensation of minnows in her stomach.” Click to read more!

http://www.101fiction.com/2016/06/maturity.html

Rejections, Publications and Purrs Abound

Since the semester has ended, I’ve upped the already high amount of submissions I’ve been sending out every week. As a result, I have been getting a more steady stream of rejections. Fortunately, they have been accompanied by several successes, the biggest being my 2nd place win over at WOW. Smaller victories include having a piece of micro fiction published on Zero Flash and accepted by 101 Fiction. I made the short list for 101Words.org’s monthly contest and had an article published on Mash Stories.

Of course, I’ve also gotten at least one rejection a day this week. Today, I’ve gotten two. I have to remind myself that getting rejections is just part of being a writer, one that may never go away.

I’ve started thinking of my stories as stray cats living in a shelter, waiting for someone to adopt them. When a person comes in, they can do their best to work the floor, nudging, purring and just being cute in-general. However, that one person won’t take all the cats, no matter how cute they are. She’s going to take one or two. The next day, someone might come in and adopt another cat, or maybe someone comes in and leaves empty handed.

The best I can do is to write what I want, get feedback, revise like crazy and send it out. No matter how good my writing is, the story and the editor need to be a good match. Researching and reading journals before submitting can help. However, it doesn’t guarantee acceptance.

I’ve read almost every story Daily Science Fiction has posted in the past six months. They’ve rejected all 8 of the stories I’ve sent them. On the other hand, I didn’t get shortlisted by Mash Stories until after I read two competitions worth of short listed stories. I’ve also gotten stories accepted at publications where the only thing I read was the submission guidelines. Researching publications helps, but you can still get acceptances even if you don’t have time to read every single publication you want to submit to.

My advice is to pick a few you like and read those often. Submit stories to those places, but also submit to the ones your not reading. As long as you read actively, paying attention to and monitoring your reactions to the move those other authors make, then you can become a better writer. It won’t eliminate rejections, but it will help you find forever homes for more of your stories.

***

Note: Goose, the kitty in the featured image, does not live in that cage. It is the puppy’s old crate. Goose think’s its a kitty cave. The door to it is always open since the puppy doesn’t fit in it anymore. Goose just goes in to take naps. I think he feels safe in there because he can see out of all directions, but things can only enter from one. However, Goose did live in a shelter for 2 months before we found and adopted him, where he was kept in what they called a cat condo (it was really just a fancy cage) because he had a cold and they didn’t want the other cats to catch it.

 

Flash Fiction: Hope

Hope

By Sara Codair

“Don’t feel bad. I’m pretty hard to kill,” said GiYu. His purple appendages were already reattached and his torso was knitting itself back together.

The human female nodded and sucked air in through her nose. The slurping sound worried GiYu that the mucus her crying had evoked was making it hard for her to breath. Her skin was still flushed red though, and everything he had read about humans had said they turn blue when they are suffocating. Her eyes were focused on on torso, watching feathery tendons flicker back and forth.

“What do you think of it?” asked GiYu.

At first, the female didn’t respond. However, GiYu was patient. He watched her brow furrow, her lips quiver and her shoulders square before she finally speaking it a quiet, raspy voice. “It’s…Like…like 3-D printing, only without the extruder. It’s…it’s magical.”

“Regeneration is the art of my kind.” GiYu beamed down at the missing section of his torso. It was wide and purple, but shaped like a an earth-tree half eaten by one of their furry beavers.

“Does it hurt?” she asked with a steadier voice.

GiYu shook his head. “It is pleasant, almost like mating. Some of my kind get addicted to it and harm themselves just to experience the pleasures of regeneration.”

“You’re not mad?” Her eyes were wider now, and the tears were starting to dry up.

“Quite the opposite.” GiYu wrapped a fuzzy, purple tentacle around the human female’s back. “I’ve met many humans, but none of them were born during The Melt. None possessed your unique abilities.”

The female’s hands had uncurled as she let out a slow breath. GiYu could see the tips of her ten tiny fingers now. He was pleased to see the flesh on the the tips were still smooth and whole and he was relieved that using her ability did not do harm to her.

“My own people think I’m a monster.” The human’s creamy cheeks glowed red as she looked up. It was the first time her two green eyes made contact with any of his seven eyes. “I burned my family’s home when I was seven. They wanted to kill me, but the government took me, experimented on me, deemed me unfit for service and sold me to you.”

GiYu pulled her closer. “We have plenty of use for a firestarter here on SyLur. Fire is the only thing that keeps the mold at bay, and it really isn’t a problem if you accidentally set me and my kin on fire. We rather enjoy it, and we hope you will enjoy our planet.”

“But I’m a slave,” said the human.

“For now,” said GiYu. “Dedication and hard work may yet earn you your freedom.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

GiYu was pleased to see a flare of hope in the girl’s eyes.

***

The above story was originally written for the Cracked Flash Fiction Competition. It was the runner up, which meant the judges wrote a brief review about saying a few things they liked and a few things they thought could be better. That draft had been written from a more omniscient 3rd person point of view where the human female talked a lot more. The judge liked the concept of the story, but said the following:

“I felt like her personality felt incongruous with her backstory–for someone who was a pariah for most of their life, and probably both mentally and physically tormented and abused (generally what ‘experimented on’ stands for, since experiments tend to not be gentle things), she felt far too talkative and adventurous. It would be more believable to me if she was more timid and had a lot more nonverbal gestures; it might have been useful to write from a more limited third-person view from GiYu, where he observes her more closely, and we hear more of his thoughts.”

So I took that suggestion, more or less, before posting the story here. The reader does here more of GiYu’s thoughts. The girl is more timid and has more nonverbal gestures. As she realizes GiYu isn’t going to eat her and is pleased with her actions, then she becomes more talkative.

You can see the original here.

If you have any further suggestions for the piece, I’d love to hear them. I don’t think this piece is quite finished yet, but I am trying document/show my revision process online. I learn a lot from revising and documenting that revision. I hope other writers can too.

Thank you!

©2016 Sara Codair