My Creations

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Friday with No Rejections?

For the past few weeks, Fridays have been riddled with rejections. Saturday, Monday and Tuesday have been when the rare acceptances come. However, this Friday, my inbox is quiet. Nothing has been accepted. Nothing has been rejected. I'm hoping no news is good news!

For more rants about writing and publishing, short stories, and recipes, check out my new-ish blog on Word Press, SaraCodair.com, which is updated far more frequently than this one.

-Sara



Sunday, June 5, 2016

101 Fiction: Maturity

My micro fiction is live on 101 Fiction!



101 Fiction: Maturity: by Sara Cordair Krikkri should’ve been excited, since it was initiation day. Still, she couldn’t suppress the sensation of minnows in her ...

101 Fiction: Maturity

My micro fiction is live on 101 Fiction!



101 Fiction: Maturity: by Sara Cordair Krikkri should’ve been excited, since it was initiation day. Still, she couldn’t suppress the sensation of minnows in her ...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 43: Results!

Check out the winning stories!



Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 43: Results!: So here we are again! I have the strangest urge to play Portal This time around, it is I, Mars, who is your judge! There was a nice...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Guest Blog on The Muffin

Today, I was featured as a guest blogger for the The Muffin's Friday Speak out.

"My impatience and sprinter mentality have been both a gift and a curse in my excursion into wild world of writing and publishing. "

Read the rest here: http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/2016/05/friday-speak-out-slow-and-steady.html

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 41

Join the fun! Exercise those writing muscles!



Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 41: Heeeey, everybody! Welcome back to a round of CFFC. Little did I know I would be writing this introduction on only 12% battery, so no fanc...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

End Elitist Information, Democratize Academia

End Elitist Information, Democratize Academia
By Sara Codair

Diamond is a slightly better average reader in her twenties. She reads novels when she has time, but a majority of reading happens on her smart phone: buzzfeed type articles, blogs and flash fiction. She finds herself drinking a lot of green tea and decides to research it. Google gives her millions of results, and most of the ones on the first page are lists of things about tea, like this:https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea/ orhttp://www.nutritionsecrets.com/health-benefits-green-tea/.
They are short, written in clear, concise language and full of pretty pictures to keep the reader engaged. They are also laden with advertisements about diets that flaunt images of skinny, clear skinned woman drinking tea that is practically glowing.
It’s only been a few years since Diamond had to suffer through First Year Writing courses at the community college she studied at, so she hasn’t forgotten her English teacher’s warnings about internet sources. The advertisements mean that the site is out to make money. The author isn’t a scientist or doctor, in fact, he only has two more years of college than Diamond does. It leaves her skeptical, so she heads down to her alma mater’s library to try and find more credible sources.
The librarians don’t look as friendly as she hoped, so after a few minutes wandering in the stacks, she finds herself on the computer, skimming through databases. The first article that “Green tea and health benefits” gives her is “Emerging evidence for tea benefits.” The title seems to be exactly what she was looking for, so she clicks on it and downloads the article. The first two sentences seem to be written in plain English, but then she comes to this: “The mechanism may relate to bioactive compounds found in tea, which exert anti-arteriosclerotic, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.” She is persistent, reads it a few times, looks up “arteriosclerotic” and presses on. Sentences like “For weight management, modest, positive effects were found for green tea when ingested by overweight/obese adults, possibly related to thermogenic effects,” make sense, mostly, but she doesn’t know what to do with things like “As shown in Figure 1, green and white teas are not oxidised, thus contain large amounts of polyphenols, also known as catechins, which include (–)–epicatechin (E), (–)–epigallocatechin (EGC), (–)–epicatechin- 3-gallate (ECG) and (–)–epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). A typical cup of green tea (2 g leaves and 200 ml water) contains 240–320 mg catechins, with EGCG providing 30–50% of that amount (Grove & Lambert 2009; Oliveira et al. 2013),” and “In terms of mechanisms of action, animal studies indicate that green tea extract (at doses of 50 mg/kg) may reverse endothelial dysfunction (Minatti et al. 2012) with the catechin EGCG being associated with reduced hyperplasia in the intima region of the carotid artery (Orozco-Sevilla et al. 2013).”
She skims the article enough to know that researchers did find evidence of at least some of the things mentioned in the internet articles. However, if she read carefully, she would see that scholars are reviewing studies are done by other people. There are a lot of words like “indicate” and “may” in the article, showing that while the studies are promising, they are not exactly definitive. They are starting to come together, but haven’t fully proven the benefits to the scientific community. On the other hand, the list articles are more definitive, proclaiming the health benefits as undisputed truth. She files that away in her head, and applies a little more skepticism the next time she reads online health articles.
The problem is, not everyone has a college education, and a good portion of the ones that do forget everything they learned about reading and writing classes as soon as they get that degree in hand. A less dedicated reader might have lost interest at the third sentence of the academic article if he or she even found it at all. A less dedicated reader would have just read things published on websites like Buzz Feed, or for a more credible source, the New York Times.
However, even publications known for their journalistic integrity are not the best sources for scientific information. They are business, after all, and they need to make money, which is especially hard when they are competing with the masses of free content available online. As a result, the public gets filtered and watered down versions from money making news outlets like the Atlantic or New York Times who spin the information to attract readers. We don’t need big brother telling us what we can or cannot read. Researchers and scholars do that for him by coveting their status and keeping the masses out of their smart people club.
Scholarly academic writing is often boring, needlessly complex and inaccessible to the average person. Maybe those who are not part of academia don’t care about knowing the details every study ever done. That is okay. However, one should be able to get the results and implications in a clear and accurate manner. Perhaps if academics wrote more engaging prose, more people would be willing to be read them, resulting in a more educated public.
The first hurdle faced by a person who his unaffiliated with an academic institution is access. Scholarly articles are not free online. Academic journals are more expensive than popular publications. So you either have to pay astronomical subscription fees or be affiliated with an intuition that pays those fees if you want to even see the article. Now, as a writer and adjunct, I can understand why the articles aren’t free. However, $75 is a steep subscription fee for a journal that only publishes three times a year. That’s what it would cost for someone who is not a student or NCTE member to subscribe to CCC or a similar publication. Science journals, which might be more relevant to the average person than articles about teaching writing, can cost even more. It isn’t easy to get information directly from the source, and that is a problem.
Do you remember playing telephone in elementary school? Did the sentence ever stay the same as it moved through the classroom? It never did in my experience. I find it terrifying when I realize that scientist and the media are playing a game of virtual telephone with information. In 2012, neuroscientist Molly Crocket gave a ted talk about how science in her field is misrepresented by the media. “Beware the Neurobunk” documents the journey of information as it transforms from facts to headlines.
What started out as study involving a nasty tasting drink containing a chemical called “tryptophan” morphed into headlines about how cheese and chocolate make people smarter, simply because they also contain that chemical. She gave several other examples of studies that have been misinterpret by the media. I could summarize more if it, but if you are interested, you should really just go watch the ted talk.
Essentially, it proves the public isn’t as educated or informed as they could be. Why? Why do academics need to love in a little elitist bubble? Yes, they do need to publish the professional lab reports for the peers, but why can’t they also publish a shorter version themselves that boils down the methods and limitations and focuses more on discussing the results and implications?
When journalist and bloggers act as middlemen, the integrity of the work is diminished. If the short versions were written by the scientist themselves, instead of a network of people playing telephone, the information is sure to me accurate, and less manipulated. And perhaps if researchers made more of their findings accessible to the public, they would get more support for the research. Imagine being able to get funding directly from the people – supplementing hard to come by grants from the government and corporations with money with crowd funding? Researcher wouldn’t be led by the whims corporations, the government and members of the 1% who seek to control what we know; it would be controlled by the people. It would make academia and the good work its people do more democratic.
Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments. I’d love to hear what you think about this issue one way or another. Feel free to challenge me if you think I am wrong.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 39: Results!

Check out these awesome stories all beginning with "But the night belongs to me"



Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 39: Results!: I regret nothing. Mars apologizes for her tardiness in beginning to write the reviews (working two jobs seems to suck the time out of e...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the 4th be with you!

Star Wars has survived the apocalypse. So has its rival, Star Trek. Find out how in this survivor’s tale that was just published by Sick Lit Magazine.

Here is a brief excerpt:

We said, “Save the world or die trying.”
Most of us did the latter.
Things like extinction or total annihilation were never certain. We just knew the demonic alliance used their fire and magic with no regard for the destruction they caused.
We tried to preserve the earth. She was our mother. We couldn’t bear to harm her, even in her own defense.
They won. We lost.
For a long time, I thought I’d died and gone to Hell. I floated in cold darkness, never quite awake, but never fully asleep. I couldn’t get warm. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t scream.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 38: Results!

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 38: Results!: Excellent entries all around! Many apologies for the lateness of the awards post. Si's week basically looked like this: *weeps into ...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 36: Results!

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 36: Results!: A worthy meme for this blog indeed. Awesome entries all around you guys! I love how some weeks we have wildly different stories with t...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 35: Results!

Cracked Flash Fiction Competition: Year 1, Week 35: Results!: Welcome back to our weekly judging session! Si was under time constraint and so the task fell to Mars to find something to put here. Sh...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Reflection on 60 degrees in February

Spring? By Sara Codair Toes sink into cool muck while the birds welcome the warmth with their song. The ice is almost gone. The breeze raises goose bumps on my bare arms, but that is not the point. The point is that they are bare. The cat was out with me, but the noise of people waking from winter hibernation chased him inside, back to his fluffy warm perch by the window where a layer of glass keeps him safe from big wide world and all its scary cliché’s. I want to go run, but I’ve already showered and I need to go to work soon. I want to dip my toes in the ocean, feel the col salt numb them to the bone and let the sand scrape away layers of dead skin while the salt heals the places where my nails dug to deep while trying to remove that dead skin in the bathroom. I want to see the king fisher and the duck, but not the swan, because lets face it, he is pretty scary with his flesh tearing beak and greedy stomach. I have two days left of being 30 - 3, then I will be 30 – 2. I’ll only be two years away from that three zero number that means I can’t run from adulthood any longer because I’m way into it an getting close to old. Its not spring, but it feels like it, and feels like it is enough to shake the clouds from my brain and make my eyes open wide. It’s enough to make my body feel light to dance across the soggy earth. It’s enough to give me hope.