Sarah Ann Hall

Flash fiction, progress on WIPs, and the occasional excuse for not writing anything.

#FridayFictioneers – 25/7/14 – Panda Geopolitics

with 24 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.


Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Marie Gail for the photo. I didn’t go with the fork people idea – am looking forward to lots of weird and wonderful stories that did – but I do always use chopsticks when eating Chinese, and feel suitably superior to the forkers around me.

 

Copyright - Marie Gail Stratford

Copyright – Marie Gail Stratford

 

Panda Geopolitics

(Genre: anthropomorphic rhetoric, 100-words)

Look at that! Another piece of bamboo furniture. First it was scaffolding and housing, then paper. You killed with it of course, and went fishing. Now you strip, laminate, and turn it into floors, or extrude it into clothing. That’s when you’re not eating the shoots we could.

You say it’s sustainable: quick growing, a pest even in some areas, with rampant rhizomes racing underground. So why is my habitat lost? We didn’t chop it down.

You bemoan our lack of progeny, then stick us in zoos and wait for our bellies to produce invisible offspring.

And we let you.

 

Friday Fictioneers

Written by Sarah Ann

July 25, 2014 at 6:15 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 18/7/14 – untitled

with 32 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

 

I’m late again this week but I do have a couple of excuses. I spent much of Friday inside an MRI scanner as part of a medical research project, and mum-in-law has been staying. Needless to say my story, if that it be, has no title or genre identification.

Thanks to Adam Ickes for this week’s photo and Rochelle for keeping us on our toes.

 

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Adam Ickes

Copyright – Adam Ickes

 

Untitled (100-words)

God I feel awful. At least I’m home. I can’t remember much about last night, but I know I didn’t drink that much.

Oh no. Not this. Not a bloody attack. Not now. Not on top of whatever this crappy feeling is.

Where’s my inhaler?

Why does Ed have to leave all his shit lying around the place?

Couldn’t find my keys for three hours yesterday.

Where’s my phone?

If I can’t find – my inhaler – perhaps – I can – ring – someone.

Not – on – the cabinet.

Where?

Breathing – getting –

worse.

Where –

is –

it?

Ed?

Not –

feeling –

good.

Not –

go-

 

 

Friday Fictioneers

 

If this needs an explanation then it didn’t work. If you want one, then here it is. Adam’s photo set me thinking about being able to change heads à la Worzel Gummidge, which got me thinking about the wonderful and greatly missed Charlotte Coleman and what must have been a terrible and frightening end.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

July 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm

WIP Update July 2014 – Fingers and Pies

with 9 comments

 

There isn’t much to report but, even without news, work continues and this post is a series of disjointed goings-on.

Having read Jennifer Pendergast’s post regarding sagging in the middle, I have attempted some longer short stories – both from scratch and revisiting some old pieces that have been languishing on my laptop for a while. This has been possible because my completed book manuscript is away being perused by agent Number 2. (I have to chase early next week as the allotted six-weeks to wait are almost up. I’m not feeling overly optimistic by the lack of response to date. To prevent any delay in sending my rejected manuscript to agent Number 3, I have finally compiled a list of half a dozen agents and know (when I check the list) whom I wish to approach next. I will, of course, increase the length of the list as the rejections pile up.)

Returning to write short stories has flagged up that I don’t seem to be able to write long and short pieces at the same time. I don’t know why, but I wonder whether holding the thread of a book-length story in my head squashes other ideas. I know I have been surprised by the amount of time it takes to write, read, edit, re-write, re-read, re-edit, and perfect (although nothing is ever perfect) a 2-3000 word story. However, thanks to Jennifer’s post, I have started submitting short stories again to competitions and publications. I had limited success when I did the same five or six years ago and I am hopeful something concrete will come of it this time too. If not, then maybe that’s an indication I really should give up this writing lark.

 

Which brings me to fingers in pies – I have the normal number of fingers, but probably have them stuck in too many pies. I never said I wasn’t greedy.

I am working (very slowly) on another book, but don’t want to rush into it until the first one has found a publisher.

I am busy editing and polishing diary entries from 20-years ago when hubby and I first moved onto a boat. I hope to self-publish the tale of what a pair of naïve idiots we were by Christmas. (Yes, that was a flying pig flashing past the window).

The illustrated short story collection to be undertaken with Janice Hume is resting as she has a proper job. We will be meeting and discussing illustrations based on my stories and stories based on her illustrations next month.

 

Before my temporary separation from my blog towards the end of last year, I had become slightly obsessed with flash fiction challenges. Whilst encouraging the muse to perform and keeping her front of house, this resulted in guilt and procrastination. Guilt that I wasn’t contributing enough to the blogs of others in terms of reading and commenting, and procrastination, in that I could avoid doing my own writing by entering challenges and reading other blogs. To wit, I have reduced the number flash fiction challenges I undertake. During a recent comment conversation with Janna T, we agreed to stop beating ourselves up if the muse and time just don’t allow us to submit. So I will be participating, sporadically.

 

I need to adjust my focus, re-assign my time. Not living a structured life is an excuse. I thrive on routine and its opposite, but always seem to be caught in the middle with a bit of both and can never get the balance right. Hubby has finished his studies so writing-Thursdays are a thing of the past. One day down and I’m trying to fit more in. I need someone to beat me into being organised and sticking to the plans I write.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

July 16, 2014 at 8:05 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 11/7/14 – Retribution

with 31 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

 

I’m not sure what has happened to time – it seems to be running away from me continually. Missing Friday Fictioneers is not good, missing two weeks is bad: I am a bad girl; I will try harder. That said, I am not at all sure about my (belated) effort this week. Read and criticise away.

Thanks to Kelly Sands for the photo and to Rochelle for doing a great and reliable job hosting.

 

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Kelly Sands

Copyright – Kelly Sands

 

 

Retribution

(Genre: morality tale?; 100-words)

The sky had had enough. The town’s inhabitants had sunbathed for weeks and all she received in return was abuse from those with sunburnt shoulders. Her senses were assailed by curling smoke and the smell of burning food.

All the hot air sent her way made the sky itch.

She soothed herself by hiding behind cotton wool clouds, which brought more complaint, so she spoke to her friend the wind. He whipped the gathering moisture into a tumbling frenzy before thunderous cymbals clapped.

When the townsfolk screamed anew at the sky’s duplicity, she smiled, unable to hear above the deluge.

 

Friday Fictioneers

Written by Sarah Ann

July 12, 2014 at 10:56 am

#Ligo Haibun – photo prompt – The Fair

with 6 comments

This week’s Ligo Haibun Challenge gave us two photos to choose from, and I picked this one:

 

Untitled

 

The signs went up weeks before it arrived. As soon as they appeared, my brother and I started pestering.

‘Pleeeeease Daa-aad.’

‘No,’ Dad said. ‘It’s a con. Too expensive. I don’t like them.’

I can’t remember all the reasons he didn’t want us go – he didn’t quite say it was a den of inequity – but it was plain how he felt. My brother and I whinged and Dad gave eventually gave in.

When we were young he stayed with us, bought my brother candyfloss – I never liked it – and both of us hot dogs. He won us goldfish, which we lavished with love and care, and were dead within two weeks thanks to over-feeding.

When we grew older Dad dropped us off with our best friend of the moment, and the sexes parted until home-time. My girlfriend stalked around trying to catch the eye of the ride owners, brash and coy. I stood way off, paid my money, didn’t make eye contact.

Today I am probably as miserly about fairs as my dad was. Who wants to traipse around a grass-flattened field with flashing lights, clashing loud music, and hawkers fleecing you with games of chance you never win. Maybe we just have the wrong sort of fairs come to town.

 

 

nagging children who

fight parental dislike

inherit same view

 

 

Ligo Hai badge

Written by Sarah Ann

June 21, 2014 at 11:05 am

Posted in Haibun

Tagged with , , ,

#FridayFictioneers – 20/6/14 – School Reunion

with 19 comments

Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT  Copyright -Mary Shipman

Copyright -Mary Shipman

 

School Reunion

(Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction(?); 100-words)

Today I crept up stairs I used to stampede, conscious of thunderous creaking. The corridors are no longer full of screaming girls; downstairs women have returned to regale of success since they boarded.

After thirty years I found the attic stairwell, pushed open the door we used to shoulder.

Crouching in the corner I trace the letters: Amy 4 Maria.

For years we snatched moments before our love shrivelled on the rocks between university and now.

I hoped she would be here. I wanted to –

The air shifts. I turn, smile; her eyes telling me all I need to know.

 

Friday Fictioneers

 

Written by Sarah Ann

June 21, 2014 at 10:37 am

Rural Idyll – #gargleblaster166

with 15 comments

 

Leaves kiss, branches squeak, twisting in the whispering breeze. Birds sing, cackle, call. Creatures rustle the undergrowth. All remind her that you chose to move from the traffic roar and sirens of the city.

Your voice is gone and nature’s cacophony deafens.

 




 

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

June 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm

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