Sarah Ann Hall

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

dVerse Haibun Monday 2 – Kahlil Gibran

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For dVerse’s second haibun Monday Björn and Hamish have chosen two quotes of Khalil Gibran as prompts to write to. I decided to go with the second, then the first, and think what I’ve ended up with could fit with either.


“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.”




“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.”




There are two women from the same town in Spain working in my London office. They didn’t know each other when growing up. In the UK the learnt they had acquaintances in common back home. Both are short, dark and wear their hair long. One is cuddly, the other svelte. With one I talk dance, food, family and not putting things off; with the other it’s paper jams in the printer.


for new discoveries

know which woman to befriend

she who lives and loves


Click here
 for more details of the haibun form.

Written by Sarah Ann

October 7, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Book review: “How Not to Write Fiction,” by David Armstrong

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Warning, this book is dangerous.

I don’t usually write book reviews, and I’m not sure this counts as one, but I do think more writers should read David Armstrong’s (2003) How Not to Write Fiction. I might be out of touch (it won’t be the first or last time) and perhaps the book is well known and much read. It should be. I found my copy in a charity shop over the summer when I was taking an unintentional rest from writing. The opening pages state, “If you’re thinking of becoming a writer, read it. If you’re still writing at the end of it, you’d better accept it: you’re probably a writer too!” (p. 3). I can’t say whether it was Armstrong’s witty prose, or the summer break that helped, but I am writing again after six-months of doing nothing.

Armstrong’s book doesn’t quite address its title. Instead it takes an A-Z approach, including advances, agents, editors, research, PLR, and explains these in terms of his own experiences. Armstrong wrote this book after publishing five novels. He describes the up and down, the emotional ride of broken promises, the crushing moment when the agent and publisher that had published his first four books decided to not take his fifth. The book doesn’t take a crowing, ‘here, look at me, do it my way,’ approach. Instead, it is measured, describing the real life experiences of a mid-list writer – Armstrong’s self-description.

It is a warm, informative, funny read. I want to encourage others to read it, and I’m going to look out for Armstrong’s fiction now I have been exposed to enticing snippets. But most of all, the book has made me feel I shouldn’t give up. I hadn’t written for so long and hadn’t missed it. I was beginning to wonder whether or not I was committed or needy enough. And that’s why I feel this book is dangerous, because at the end of reading it, I wasn’t ready to pack in writing for good. On the contrary, I picked up my pen.


David Armstrong. (2003) How Not to Write Fiction. Allison and Busby. ISBN 0 7490 0680 3

Written by Sarah Ann

October 5, 2015 at 2:42 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 2/10/15 – Raw

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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.

(No pretty froggy today.)


It’s ages since I’ve participated, but I hope to be able to stick around now I’m back. As I’ve been missing for so long, my writing skills will be rusty, so constructive comments are appreciated.



PHOTO PROMPT - © Marie Gail Stratford

PHOTO PROMPT – © Marie Gail Stratford



Raw (Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

There’s a photo on my wall of children giggling. It’s so vibrant that, after 30 years, I have no memory of what made them laugh, but still smile.

The pair are on the left, sunlight from the right fingering their hair. But this isn’t artfully cropped. It is raw, shot on 126mm film by my brother when photography still held surprises. We’re in the garden, taking advantage of the last days of summer.

It was three years before the film was processed. No one could explain why it hadn’t melted in the fire. He is gone; his skills remain, exposed.



Written by Sarah Ann

October 2, 2015 at 3:43 pm

I get there eventually

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Ever since Love the Bad Guy and Mike at Short Stories posted about Haiku Deck, I’ve been meaning to have a go. Well, it’s only taken me 18-months to get round to it.

Here are some of the 33-word stories I wrote for Trifecta, re-visited with images.




Also have a look at Love the Bad Guy’s Twitter stories and Mike Jackson’s 33-word stories.



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I can’t quite believe I haven’t blogged anything since February. I can’t remember what caused me to miss writing one Friday Fictioneer story, and what happened the following week, which meant I missed two.

Before Easter I was writing, reading through my WIP, making changes suggested by fellow writers who’d read chapter one, trying to develop it into more of a story than a series of scenes. I had finished by the end of March and planned to leave it a month before I went back to it to get the first 3000-words agent-ready. Six months later I still have to return to those 85000-words to perfect the first 3000.

I’m not the only one who seems to have stopped writing. The two writers I met this time last year at a ‘how to hook an agent’ event have similarly been beset by life events that have redirected the focus of their activities. We have met a few times since last September and shared our re-writing and search for agent experiences. This summer, though, seems to have over-taken all of us in different ways.

Mid-summer saw me organising a big family party, and then, when life was just about to return to normal, hubby was knocked of his motorbike. It was a slow speed impact and he was very lucky to only break his ankle, but this meant he wasn’t able to drive for nearly three months. Yours truly, with nothing scheduled work-wise, became chauffeuse for the summer, sitting in the car while hour-long meetings over-ran to three. This lack of brain-activity prompted me to start looking for a job and I will be working full-time for the next six months, commuting to and fro by train. I have planned to use this time to read, maybe I’ll even get to write a little. Perhaps my Friday Fictioneer stories will compose themselves as I walk to the station or stare out of a rain-streaked window. Whatever happens, I’m hoping a strict routine might bring me back to writing.


Written by Sarah Ann

September 25, 2015 at 11:59 am

#FridayFictioneers – 13/2/15 – The Village Green

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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.


Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and the photo this week.


Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


The Village Green

(Genre: General Fiction, 99-words)

There is a patch of green outside my window. As kids we chased balls across it between picnics. Marcie and Ian got married there, inviting all to share their joy from tables laden with buns and wine.

The lawn hosted concerts, dances, feast days and political rallies before the plague came. Tents were erected then; people queued up to be inoculated and left with hope.

When the nursing station closed, a pit was dug through compacted mud. Turf was laid over bodies failed by experimental treatments.

There is a patch of green outside my window, where no one walks.


Friday Fictioneers

Written by Sarah Ann

February 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 30/1/15 – Doing the Wrong Thing

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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.


There is an unformed story in my head related to Frankenstein’s monster – it’s got something to do with plugs and switches. I gave up on that one and worked with what I think Ted’s picture is of – a kiln.

I hope this translates, but have left a link for those who have different words for these things.


Copyright – Ted Strutz


Doing the Wrong Thing

(Genre: humour; 100-words)

Halfway through show and tell, Maria skipped to the front, blonde plaits swinging. Miss. Tregold prayed she didn’t trip.

‘My grandma is a potty,’ Maria said, holding up a vase of green swirls.

Maria was a confident child. Admonishment led to clenched fists and hamster cheeks, bulbous tears and wailing.

‘You mean nuts,’ Jason sniggered.

‘No I don’t. She made this,’ Maria brandished the vase, ‘on her potty’s wheel.’

‘It’s beautiful,’ Miss. Tregold said.

Maria beamed. So did Miss. Tregold. Fridays were draining enough without one of Maria’s tantrums. Someone else could remind her about the importance of word endings.


Friday Fictioneers


What Maria didn’t mean, but Miss. Tregold thought.



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