Not the good lamb with Guinness kind, but a bit of everything in today's post...even a recipe for stew if you hold on 'till the end.
My flash story, "Policy Woes" is up at Hypersonic Tales. Sort of a science fantasy, definitely dark, and a little disturbing. I chalk this one up to a "popcorn dream" ala Joe R. Lansdale (if you don't know what I mean, read one of his short fiction collections).
Bards and Sages Quarterly is running a survey for their "best of the year". Not that you would want to vote for my entry ("Fresh Produce" in issue #2), but you might want to vote just to exercise your democratic rights. The survey can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=7Wiaz81ynZDqQovM998ydw_3d_3d
I have a flash drive full of stories in need of homes (after some revisions). I like many of them, and think they're saleable after a little work. My problem: they don't all fit in a clear cut genre. Most of them are dark, or weird, or dark and weird, or maybe just "off kilter" a bit. Duotrope is handy when searching for specific genres, but many of these stories fall through the cracks of literary or mainstream fiction. Any suggestions for markets I might overlook?
My partner in "crime" at Strange Publications, Edward Lupak, is done with the "business". In the interest of full disclosure, his name wasn't even Ed to begin with (protecting the innocent and all that). "Ed" is a buddy of mine who offered financial and editorial support to get off the ground. His family has recently expanded by two (twins! *shakes fist at sky*), and life has become a little more "crazy". Thanks for everything, man.
Finally, a recipe for Irish Lamb and Guinness Stew (taken from http://www.gumbopages.com/food/irish/stew.html):
3 pounds lamb shoulder with a little fat, cubed
1/2 cup flour
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
6 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" slices
2 large yellow onions, cut into large dice
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 quarts lamb or beef stock, or as needed
12 ounces Guinness stout
1 cup pearl barley (optional)
2 teaspoons corn starch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For a real Irish country touch, include the barley--cook it for 20 minutes in 3 cups of lamb or beef stock, then add when you return the meat to pot with the vegetables.
Cut off some of the parsley leaves and chop enough to make 2 tablespoons; reserve. Cut off some parsley stems, and tie them into a bundle with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme; reserve.
Season the meat with salt and brown the meat in a little oil. Remove and reserve, and sprinkle with a little flour, shaking off excess. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté, tossing to coat with the fat. Add the Guinness and deglaze, scraping up any caramelized meat juices. Add the potatoes, return the meat to the pot (and the barley if you're using it). Add enough stock to barely cover, cook over medium heat until just boiling, then reduce heat to very low and simmer 2 - 3 hours, until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
Check seasonings, add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat, stir in parsley and the cornstarch (mixed into 4 teaspoons water) and stir. Cook over low heat for a few more minutes to thicken.
Goes well with Irish brown or white soda bread, tea and more Guinness if you like.
I might try this next weekend, provided I can find a good shoulder of lamb. (The Guinness won't be a problem).