Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Project 10K – Giving Up

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The car broke down, a ceiling fell down, and an elderly relative fell over. The car is fixed, the ceiling should be fixed, the elderly relative can’t be fixed. And then there’s the colleague off sick for whom I’m covering. October was a month full of stress and other stuff; a month where writing went out the window and its importance, or not, was brought into focus.

Why do I write? Because someone a long time ago said I could. I do not have a burning passion. I do not have a natural talent. It’s always fun to weave Thom’s prompts into a story, but it’s hard work meeting the self-imposed deadlines of Friday Fictioneers and the New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild. And that doesn’t touch on the other stuff I have on my to do list that I’ve been working on forever.

So I’m stopping. I’m taking a break. Currently working almost full time and travelling to visit the frail elderly relative we are desperate to get out of hospital leaves no time for writing, reading, and commenting on others’ work, so I’m off. There’s only so much a girl can do.


Goals for November

  1. Write nothing.
  2. Evaluate and assess whether I miss it.
  3. Take note of what else I do with my time.



Written by Sarah Ann

November 5, 2018 at 7:35 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 12/10/18 – Escape Plan

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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 looked at this week’s prompt and started to write a story based on not being able to fit everything in, and then a colleague went sick and I had even more on my overfull plate. I’ve stolen a moment’s pause to finally great creative – only six days late. I will get round to reading and commenting eventually, probably about the same time I respond to this Friday’s prompt.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and this week’s lovely photo.


© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


Escape Plan

(Genre: general fiction: 100-words)

‘I can’t do it.’

‘You can.’

‘I will never fit through there.’

‘Don’t be so defeatist. Where there’s a will –’

‘There’s usually a deluded fool. I know my life depends on escaping this room, but even my dissected skeleton couldn’t squeeze through that window.’

‘What window? We’re going through the door.’

‘Us and whose army?’

‘Just us, with full bellies and after a period getting to know our foe.’

‘It’s a heavily guarded steel door. No amount of studying will change that.’

‘No, but guards change. They’ll all tire of our lack of fight soon enough, and then we’ll pounce.’


Written by Sarah Ann

October 16, 2018 at 2:12 pm

OLWG#71 – haiku and shadorma – #micropoetry

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Time has condensed, disappeared, filled up with lots of other stuff that has to come first, which is why I’m answering the New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts for last week before the previous one’s, and I’m not going to look at this week’s in case they take me on another journey.

To make sure I get something posted, I’ve reverted to micropoetry and I’m hoping time and life return to normal soon.

Thank you Thom for another set of stimulating prompts. I am working on the monsters’ one – I have a setting and characters, but the plot’s a little thin right now.



snakes are everywhere

come rain or shine she carries

a knife in her boot



Trend expert

in must have items.

Art deco


wants fine and unique objects;

searches world markets.



start with baby steps

hop skip jump fall recover

stride with confidence


This week’s prompts are:

  1. a knife in her boot
  2. art deco
  3. start with baby steps


Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun


Written by Sarah Ann

October 14, 2018 at 12:09 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 5/10/18 – Symbiosis

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.

I’m late this week as painting the superstructure of home turns into something that steals time from everything else. After staring at the nature table and starting to think about sponges and foodstuffs, the idea for the below materialised.

Thank you to Rochelle and Sandra this week.


© Sandra Crook


(Genre: sci-fi; 100-words)

There was little change after the Others arrived. It was a peaceful and mutually beneficial annexation. Their planet was dying. They wanted to share ours and had the technology to save it. They looked a bit different, coming in all colours with their elastic limbs and extra digits, but their outlook on life and diet were similar. The main divergence was they preferred their protein very fresh and, in time, countryside walks became tricky as humans stumbled over an Other feeding, proboscis extended. Children reconnected with where meat came from and large swathes of the human population converted to veganism.



Project 10K (P10K) October – #amwriting

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September was a month of broken nails and split fingers. On the plus side, my boat-home now has three fresh coats of paint on the sides and front deck. The back deck needs another one coat and the roof probably another two. And my hands will recover in time.

I also did some writing and a bit of thinking. I have an idea for a new book, a complete departure for me, and I have started planning it. Unlike how I usually write, I am starting with character profiles and a story arc. These usually grow organically as I write, but this time I’m trying to be a plotter instead of a panster.

I have also decided to go back to school. I can write, I know that, but not well enough. I have been undertaking a number of online courses and am considering an MA in creative writing and am researching courses. I might go off the idea, and won’t start until next autumn, but I’ve made the decision to look into it further.



In terms of September’s goals, I approached an editor to read my WIP, and now have up to 12-weeks to wait for a reply. I didn’t get back in to looking at Scribophile regularly, but did read and comment on one piece. I kept up with FF and responded to the OLWG prompts, but not in good time. And starting to write this post finally prompted me to write the ‘writing jobs to-do list’ that first appeared as a goal in August. So that’s a win, even if I didn’t do it until October 1st.


Goals for October

  1. Complete character profiles of main characters of new book (KQ).
  2. Draw up story outline for KQ from start to finish.
  3. Write 5000 words of KQ.
  4. Read and comment on Scribophile at least 1-hour/ week.
  5. Participate in FF & OLWG.
  6. If I find a time bomb, contemplate to-do list and prioritise tasks.


Goals for September

  1. Contribute to Friday Fictioneers prompts. WIN
  2. Post responses to OLWG Sunday prompts by Thursday. FAIL. I’m changing my goal to making sure I take part rather than giving myself time boundaries.
  3. Login and look at Scribophile 1-hour/ week. FAIL
  4. Finish Iowa HWWF MOOC – submit last three assignments and read others’. Mostly a WIN – I didn’t submit the very last assignment but did have something drafted.
  5. Look for an editor for my WIP. WIN – approach sent.
  6. Create writing ‘to do’ list and put on the sidebar/ a new page, to keep me on my toes. FAIL, although it has been started and will be up in a couple of days.
  7. Have fun and not worry too much about low new word creation. Er…. WIN in that I didn’t worry too much about it. FAIL in that I’m not sure I had fun not worrying.



Written by Sarah Ann

October 1, 2018 at 8:01 pm

OLWG#69 – Just Another Stag

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With last week’s New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts, I thought and dithered, and thought a bit longer and then the prompts floated together into a story. For the first time with Thom’s prompts, I used them as a jumping off point rather than using them verbatim.


Just Another Stag

I wake naked and tied, cold and fuzzy. What the? How the? I pull against my bonds and pain lightenings across my shoulders. I’ve been in this slumped position too long. My mouth, now I think about it, tastes foul; cigarette smoke and stale beer, and as if I haven’t drunk anything for two-days. My lips are chapped and I swear I hear rasping as I pass my tongue over them. It must have been one helluva night. It will come back to me in time. I hope. I would like to know how I got here, what the plans are to extricate me from this tree, bush, whatever it is. At least that branch covers my modesty, although I couldn’t move if it didn’t. I am well and truly stuck and, as I come more alive, so do the aches. My feet have gone, frozen away by cold. Great, so now I’ll have chilblains to contend with as well as strained tendons and probably tennis elbow for a year. I don’t want you to think I’m moaning. This is my own fault after all, I agreed to come. As a rule I try to avoid stag nights – I hate the binge drinking, the strippers, the need to be a complete arse and behave as badly as possible thinking it’s okay because you’re getting married in the morning. Does the groom behave badly, or it just his mates trying to embarrass him as much as possible, letting out their sadistic sides because, ‘Hey, he ain’t gonna remember any of this in the morning so we can be as shitty as we like.’ Okay, so maybe I am moaning, but this isn’t my idea of fun. Thank God I only have to do this once.

Bloody hell my knees hurt.  There are sparkles and glitters of pain if I try to move, the gout crystals shifting position. If I try to stand straighter will that help?

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK.

When I get my hands on them I am going to thump someone, maybe everyone. I will be careful to smile as they approach to let me go, and then someone is going to get it. As soon as the blood has flowed, the pins and needles have passed, and I’ve had a fortifying cup of coffee, those bastards are going to feel some of my night.

I’m starting to remember now, how it started as the small affair Ned had promised. We were in his local, working our way across the ale festival board, sharing the odd bag of ready salted to clear our palates between pints. It was nice and civilised before Trevor, Chris and Charlie bowled in with ideas of a pub crawl, curry and clubbing. A crawl and an Indian would have been fine, but I hate dancing clubs and all that sex market stuff. And of course Chris had arranged a stripper. Nice enough she was, but it just isn’t my cup of tea. As Vegas (what sort of a name is that?) offered me her erotic dance, all of me shrivelled away. I can’t tell you why. Maybe finding my dad’s porn stash as a kid has irrevocably damaged me in that department. Not that I can’t perform, and I’ve never had any complaints, but that out-and-out, ‘I’m up for it’ from the club girls, and the lasciviousness of the escort trade, turns my stomach. Ned knows all this. Ned’s my best mate. Why couldn’t he have just stuck to our deal for a quiet ale night? It might be considered boring by some, and not out of the ordinary, but why do stags, and hen nights, have to be such outrageous debauched affairs? You’re only getting married, not moving to the moon, or emigrating half way round the world. In all cases of recent marriages my mates were already living with their wives-to-be and had a house together, so why the stupid expensive wedding, the dress and the food, and the late night drunken dancing? Why not a nice simple ceremony and a meal and the drunken dancing but call it something else on the booking form and be charged a third of the price?

I think I might be sounding bitter and stingy now. Blame the muscles in my arms, which I feel are just about to go twang. I need to change position but it was so painful last time. I don’t want to be stabbed again. In fact, being stabbed and slowly bleeding to death does strike me as a preferable position to be in at the moment. At least then I’d drop off again, instead of continuing to come round, feeling every stretched fibre. It’s taking all my effort not to scream blue murder. Where are the bastards to set me free? What’s the time? How much longer? For fuck’s sake. Thank God I’m only doing this once. Like I said, I’ve always avoided stags, but I couldn’t turn down being best man for my BFF. I wonder what state Ned’s in and, much as I love him, I hope it’s a worse one than mine.


This week’s prompts are:

  1. splitting up a bag of potato chips
  2. you can call me ‘Vegas’
  3. tied to the branch of a creosote bush


Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun



Written by Sarah Ann

October 1, 2018 at 7:33 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 28/9/18 – A Lifetime Opportunity

with 46 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. 

Some weeks I struggle, and then some weeks a spark fires. I’m not sure this is any good, but the idea came quickly, so much so I’ve posted on a Thursday.

Thank you to Rochelle and Yvette for this week’s rapidly stimulating photo.


© Yvette Prior


A Lifetime Opportunity

(Genre: speculative fiction)

Roll up. Roll up. Help yourself to the tipple of your choice. Honest to god these are no catch freebies. Pick a flavour. Choose a size. Opt for the adventure you most desire.

Do you want to be shrunk like Alice? Would you like to float above it all like Timothy Leary? Do you need to live the effects of arsenic poisoning to enhance that novel you’re writing? Whatever your pleasure in liquid form, we can provide.

Make your selection. Sign the waiver. Nominate an honest friend to provide the antidote when required.


No responsibility accepted for bad decisions.



Written by Sarah Ann

September 27, 2018 at 4:39 pm

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