Tuesday, October 6, 2009


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).


Rebecca Nazar said...

Okay, after reading "Policy Woes" (very good by the way) , I think I'll skip chicken for a spell, so thanks for the recipe. :-)

My "Witch Kindling" is in Bards and Sages Issue 1, if anyone would like to further exercise their democratic rights.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I find the same issue with many of my stories. Nobody wants a ghost story that isn't scary, or a crime story that focuses more on character than crime. i got nothing to help you though. I tend to throw and see what sticks (although I have been surprised by the way the lit and mainstream mags have liked the more character based stories, often more than the genre mags they are identifiable with.) Just saying.

Also have a story in the latest issue of B&S if you are really feeling democratic (Beneath the Willows). ;)

Cate Gardner said...

I shall be checking out your stories at work tomorrow - the boss is getting used to it. :D

Congrats to "Ed" and his wife.

Fox Lee said...

I would post a recipe of my own, but I don't think everyone wants to see that much octopus ; )

As for genre-slippery stories, if you find a place for yours let me know! I have orphans in need of a home.

Jodi Lee (Morrighan) said...

Congrats to Ed & family! Freaky story Aaron. o_O

Aaron Polson said...

Becca and Jamie - *winks and nods to democracy in action*

Cate - That's a good boss. I'll send the congrats down the line.

Natalie - Mmmm...tentacles.

Jodi - Thanks. I'm a bit freaky. ;)

Unknown said...

I don't cook. But lamb is good. I need to raise a lamb farm (or um sheep)! or mutton? Not sure about a future in farming...

and I will read the many stories, and then exercise my democratic right

Unknown said...

nevermind i lied. no democratic voting, as i got the links confused, and just realized that bards is not an online mag...

Danielle Birch said...

Just enough disturbing, I loved it. Am heading over to read and vote. And I'm getting the same comments lately with rejections - the story doesn't suit. Argh.

Aaron Polson said...

Samantha - Farming? Cooking? Stick with eating. That's the best part, anyway.

Danielle - No matter how long I do this, I still feel market-stupid. I try to find just the right fit, but it only works occasionally. Thanks for the read.

Katey said...

A truly creepy bit of sci-fi-- love it. The visuals were intense, so that I found myself sort of speeding through so as not to identify. So I went back and read it again. Well done! :D

And though I'm not much for the whole meat thing, Guinness makes everything better.

L.R. Bonehill said...

I was lazy and listened to the audio version. Very grim and creepy stuff.

Aaron Polson said...

Katey - It was from a dream: half-formed man, an attempt at "resurrection". Scared the pee outta me.

L.R. - Audio: a delightful added bonus.

K.C. Shaw said...

That recipe looks scrumptious! I love stew. Finding good lamb around here is hard, though, I don't know why.

I'll have to wait until I get home tonight to read your story--I've got to leave my work computer here in a few minutes to do other stuff sans computer all day--but it'll give me something to look forward to. :)

Barry Napier said...

Poor Ed...while I am happy for him and his bundles of joy, the thought of twins is somehow terrifying to me...