Sarah Ann Hall

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

The Short Life of Lucy Butler – #gargleblaster176

with 36 comments

 

‘Congratulations. Kids next then?’

‘Not until we’ve finished the house.’

….

‘Good turn out.’

‘She was well loved.’

‘Always ran everywhere. Always busy.’

‘Thirty years I knew her. Never finished their house.’

‘No?’

‘For someone so busy, I often wonder what she did.’

 




 

 

 

#FridayFictioneers – 22/8/14 – A Life on the Road

with 34 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.

 

Before I forget, because I meant to do this last week, but didn’t manage to post at all, please read Patrick Prinsloo’s WordPress Noir story, loosely based on what we Friday Fictioneers get up to each week. It’s very clever and very funny.

 

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I struggled this week – the character arrived early, but his life was hard to condense into 100-words. This piece also raises something Jen of elmowrites wrote about earlier in the month – how much can we assume our audience knows? In 100-words I haven’t got the room to explain (hyperlinks follow) but I hope enough of you know enough for this to work.

 

Copyright-Roger Bultot

Copyright-Roger Bultot

 

A Life on the Road

(Genre: General Fiction; 100-words)

Bob’s love of wheels started early. He spent his twenties squealing around the Isle of Man. After the accident that took a leg, he navigated at Le Mans. When he lost an eye, he bounced across the moon at Dakar.

Whenever not racing, he grinned from the side of a track or tinkered under a bonnet.

‘Please do something else,’ his wife begged, as he reached 30% metal implant.

Bob shrugged, unsure how to leave the roads. It wasn’t speed but the views he needed.

He rests in the cab of an 18-wheeler now. After all, they can drive themselves.

 

Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

Isle of Man – TT

Le Man 24-hours

Dakar Rally

Driverless lorries

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

When the Drought Breaks – #gargleblaster175

with 42 comments

 

Blinded since the last rains, Agnes scrambles outside.

Wind pulls her skirt, loosens her hair.

Leaves jostle in the twisting, bird-less trees.

Agnes senses the first flash; flinches with the first rumble.

Raising her face and palms, she welcomes the sky’s blessing.

 




 

 

 

 

 

With thanks to Mel, Cyn and Tienne in the Bronze Lounge for pointing out the gaping holes (as well as the bits they liked) in my first effort. As the contents of the story changed, so did the focus of the title, hence my not adopting any of their very worthy suggestions.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

August 20, 2014 at 8:49 pm

My Baby Girl – #gargleblaster174

with 36 comments

 

‘She’s bright, isn’t she?’

I nod.

‘Very inquisitive.’

‘Don’t be scared to say precocious.’

‘Oh no. She’s lovely.’

Everyone adores my daughter, despite the incessant questioning. I spend hours seeking answers.

One day I will fail.

Her disdainful look will shatter me.

 




 

 

 

 

 

Poetry. Yes, really.

with 8 comments

Over the last few months I have taken part in a number of writing MOOCs, primarily to receive feedback on my writing from peers. This has happened with a varying degree of success.

I have really enjoyed the University of Iowa, International Writing Programme’s, How Writers Write Poetry. I would encourage anyone to take part next time it runs, or even log in now to see the video lectures. I didn’t know any of the writers – Robert Hass, Mervin Bell, Nick Twemlow, Lucy Ives, Sridala Swami, Alexandria Pearyor, James Galvin, Kwame Dawes, Larissa Szporluk (to name a standout few), or the course leaders, Christopher Merrill and Mary Hickman (although this might be simply because I am UK-based), but I am going to read more of their work. The course really has been fun and an inspiration.

When I started the course I didn’t know how to write poetry. Apart from the WWI poets, I have never really understood it. I am still clueless as to the rules of poetry writing, but the enthusiasm exhibited by these writers is infectious.  I’m not sure I’m any closer to being able to write poetry, but I’m throwing caution to the wind and posting a couple of my course efforts here. Criticise away – it’s feedback that I need.

 

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I wrote the below following a lecture on free verse and prose poems. Mervin Bell described writing free verse poems using a sentence as a line, a line being a sentence. This is the form I adopted. He now writes poems in paragraphs.

 

I wonder did he ….?

Does he really want children?
With you?
I don’t want to upset you, but I have to ask, did he stop drinking?
When you were taking the hormones to bolster your eggs, feeling weepy, getting heavy, did he stop drinking?
You know why I’m asking.
Excess alcohol is the primary cause of middle-age infertility, creating drowsy, lazy sperm, or ones with their tails missing.
And excess weight.
Are you heavy now with hormones, alcohol or despair?

I watched you both the other night, enjoying the delights of yeast and grape, and I wondered.
I wondered how much you wanted a mewling babe.
How much you both wanted.

My mother criticised my 16-year old niece for having a child.
‘She only did it so she had someone to love her,’ she said.
I wondered then and wonder still whether we have children for any other reason.
Why did you want children?
You say you’ve given up now, that you’re too old, but I have to wonder why – not why you’ve given up, but why you wanted.
Do you want someone to love you because he doesn’t?
You know he loves only himself.
He’d deny that, of course, you both would.
He loves his children, the ones he had by her, and of course he loves you.
But he doesn’t.
Not properly.
Not in the way you deserve to be loved.
So, I ask again, but expect no reply, when you were filling with hormones, creating the perfect nurturing womb, did he stop drinking?

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Two-thirds of the ways through the course, the lecture was entitled, Poetry as Pleasure. We were encouraged to find the delight in our writing. Hmm, well, I’m not sure this covers it at all, but it was fun to write.

 

Yogurt

Empty cold fridge.
Reach in, withdraw thin plastic pot.
Portents not good.

Pulling back lid.
Silver inner layer reflects
pink-flecked putty.

Hint of rhubarb.
Fibrous threads mashed to sweetened pulp.
Resistible.

Spoon dives in;
Rises overloaded with light;
Hovers, takes flight.

Lips held apart.
Tongue startled, teeth stripped, maw tingling.
Senses heightened.

Swirling around,
Overworked palate starts to heal.
Haltingly smooth.

Timid throat waits.

Creamy unctuousness passes through,
Drops to centre.

Taste and texture
Engender comfort and feeling.
Soul satisfied.

 

 

#FridayFictioneers – 8/8/14 – A Divided House

with 38 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.


After a few intense weeks, I finally caught the (dry) humour bug this week. Thank you to Björn for the photo and Rochelle for hosting us again.

 

Copyright -

Copyright - Björn Rudberg

 

 A Divided House

(Genre: Humour, 100-words)

‘It was Macey who said we should tunnel into the hill, to get more space. I was all for stretching along the cliff, or building out, to make the most of the view. But Macey said it was dangerous. Someone might fall off the balcony during one of our parties, get hurt, even die. She was right of course. The interior rooms are cool in summer and hold the heat in winter. The back of the house is all hers. She’s had half of everything else. It’s a bit unfair of her now to complain about the lack of light.’

 

Friday Fictioneers

Written by Sarah Ann

August 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 1/8/14 – Above and Below

with 40 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.

 

The first thing that came to mind when looking at Rochelle’s photo was the crossed patch of earth on the left and the idea of it being a target. And that was it. I couldn’t get any further. A walk early this morning gave me the below – this is an observational piece. As stories go, this is the middle – I don’t know how we got here, or what happens next – I’ve failed on the requirement for a beginning and an end. And it doesn’t work without the photo, so, all-in-all, not a great effort.

 

 

Copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields 

 

Above and Below

(Genre: General fiction; 100-words)

 

Rubber soles thump the sun-baked path, grass rustles his trouser legs, seed heads snap against his knees. The plaintive pee-o-wee of the buzzard rises over the keys jangling in his pocket.

 

Target acquired.’

 

Pausing to breathe in the still morning, the birds crowd him – shrill laughter overhead, rapid fire trilling from the long grass, chitchat back and forth in the branches, a miserable crow crowing.

 

Missiles locked.’

 

On the horizon, at the edge of his hearing, jetliners carrying holidaymakers moan. Close by, a cricket wakes his fellows, chirruping crescendos.

 

Launch initiated.’

 

Senses heightened, soul invigorated, he walks on.

 

‘Missiles away.’

 

 

Friday Fictioneers

Written by Sarah Ann

August 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm

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