Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

#FridayFictioneers – 19/1/18 – Indubitable

with 43 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 at all sure about the below story. The idea is sound; I feel I failed in the execution as I’ve not had the time to edit I’d’ve liked. Critique away.

© J Hardy Carroll

 

Indubitable

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Adele was born ten minutes before Sue.

They shared school, friends, clothes, growing pains, boyfriends.

Love and marriage divided them when job and husband took them to different ends of the country. Post and phone united them as they relayed new experiences in food and music. Some believed they communicated telepathically, which explained how Sue knew Adele was pregnant before she did.

Throughout life they found it almost impossible to argue, always knowing what the other thought and why.

Now, as Adele holds Sue’s hand, watching her fluttering eyelids, she wonders how she’ll survive when Sue’s chest ceases to rise.

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

January 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm

OLWG #29-32 – Mabel and Marvin Take Tea

with 6 comments

2018 has not started well in terms of keeping on top of things…. Here I am responding to four weeks of New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts. All 12 are listed at the bottom. There’s one I couldn’t incorporate into my scene below. Any suggestions on how to include it are very welcome.

Thank you to Thom Kerr for providing this challenge each week.

 

Marvin and Mabel Take Tea

Mabel and Marvin sit in a plush red leather banquette. A pot of tea and milk jug sits between them; they each have cups, and a plate of gooey Death by Chocolate cake oozes in front of Marvin.

Mabel: Is it good?

Marvin: It tastes just as deadly as it looks. Do you want some?

Mabel: Over-rated rubbish. You’ll need CPA after eating that.

Marvin: You mean CPR. And I won’t. Why don’t you try some? There’s enough to share.

Mabel: No, I want you to tell me all about Melissa.

Marvin: Mother she’s wonderful. My ideal woman. Petite, red-headed. She sings like an angel.

Mabel: You met her at choir?

Marvin: That’s right. She joined last term. I loved her from the moment I saw her. I thought she’d be out of my league, she is so pretty. And she’s as tuneful as a songbird. Listening to her practise is like hearing the birds at dawn.

Mabel: Tell me more about her, less about the singing.

Marvin: She’s got blue eyes and freckles. She’s always smiling. She works as a teacher; has one brother who lives up north. Her parents are local. She loves running, reading, tanning and singing.

Mabel: And how old is she?

Marvin: Thirty-five.

Mabel: Really? That old? I’d’ve expected you to go for someone younger. Or at least someone with the prospect of giving me grandchildren.

Marvin: There’s plenty of time for that.

Mabel: I’m beginning to think you don’t want them. Children I mean.

Marvin: We don’t have to. There are no rules.

Mabel: Yes there are. We are born, we get together with someone to have kids, and then we die.

Marvin: Mother, this may sound hard to believe but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Mabel: Your father was just the same. The way he hitched up his trousers I thought I’d never conceive. His little swimmers were always overheating and dying in all that constriction.

Marvin: [Stares speechless.]

Mabel: Don’t look at me like that.

Marvin: Like what?

Mabel: Like I drive you nuts and you hate me. My heart is pierced like daggers.

Marvin: Mother your heart is so hard it would take a diamond tipped ice pick to penetrate it.

Mabel: I wonder sometimes if they swapped you in the hospital. I don’t believe you can be my son. And soon I’ll be old and then I’ll die and I won’t have rocked your baby in my arms.

Marvin: Can we change the subject?

Mabel: Sure.

Marvin: How’s Auntie June?

Mabel: Oh she’s good. Since she went on the HRT she’s been much better. She looks like an impeccably dressed transvestite these days.

Marvin: Mother!

Mabel: What? I’m only telling the truth. Auntie June has always looked like a man. Now she looks like one who used to be a woman, which you have to admit is better considering she is a woman.

Marvin: Okay, maybe you’re right.

Mabel: Next question.

Marvin: I don’t have any.

Mabel: Neither have I.

Marvin: Shall we go then?

Mabel: I haven’t finished my drink.

Marvin: Oh, I have tea too.

Mabel: And cake to finish.

Marvin: Please have some mother.

Mabel: Strange but true, but when I say I do or don’t want something I tend to mean it.

Marvin: Fine, have it your way. But I might be a while. It is very rich.

Mabel: I can wait for the moment. And if you take too long, you’ll be paying the bill.

 

 

  1. Neither have I.
  2. An impeccably dressed transvestite.
  3. The birds at dawn.
  4. Really? That old?
  5. Was she really invisible?
  6. Just as deadly as it looks.
  7. pierced like daggers
  8. CPA
  9. Strange but true
  10. hitched up his trousers
  11. there are no rules
  12. oh, I have tea too

 

Go ahead and dive in,
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

January 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 12/1/18 – Marital Bliss

with 47 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 have struggled since Wednesday trying to come up with a story for this week’s photo. I thought specimens, scrutiny, being under examination, and then I showed the prompt to my other half and he saw the corner of a restaurant.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Victor and Sarah Potter for this week’s photo.

 

© Victor and Sarah Potter

Marital Bliss

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Months I’ve waited for this table. I told them it was a special occasion and they said they’d pull out all the stops at this fanciest place in town so my wife and I could celebrate our thirtieth anniversary in style. So why am I sitting at a table squeezed in between the toilet entrance and the fire exit? Talk about filthy. I wonder whether the spiders are de rigeur or an environmentally friendly form of cockroach prevention.

Thankfully the wine is good, as I will be drinking a lot of it. The wife’s in Antigua with my best friend.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

January 12, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Project 10K – January 2018

with 7 comments

You might be able to tell how well January is going with goals given that we’re a third of the way through already.

The goals for this month are to get the first third of my WIP re-written (1) and ready to resubmit (2) to my prospective agent by the end of the month. I don’t think it will be sent of by 31st but as long as it’s ready for a re-read prior to sending I will be happy. This task has been taken up again this week and is bigger than I’d hoped as chapters chop, change and dive-bomb all over the place.

 

December goals were partially met, and I’m posting all of Flights of Fancy’s badges as achieved in different areas.

  1. Read 9 books and get them back to the library by the end of the month.

Mostly a fail. I read and returned two, am currently reading two, have started two others, and have two unopened by the side of my bed. I’m not sure what happened to number 9 and hope I returned it as I can’t remember doing so.

  1. Edit the first 3 chapters (approx 8k-words) of my book post-pitch.

Partially met and yet the task has grown to the first third of the book.

I’ve written a new Ch1, edited the original Ch1 into Ch2. Ch5 has become Ch3, which pushes the original Ch3 and Ch4 to positions 4 and 5 and I’m not sure they work there. This is very much still a work in progress, and I’m also having to adapt Ch7 to make this all hang together.

  1. Get a 1000-word ‘Christmas’ story ready for my writers’ group on 12th.

Yes, I managed it, and then the meeting on 12th Dec was cancelled because of bad weather. We read our stories to each other this month (9th Jan) instead. The group liked my character, could relate to the frustrations I described, and said my story flowed well. As I told them, in terms of constructive criticism, they were useless.

  1. Participate in one Friday Fictioneers’ challenge – I’ve missed the last two.

Success, I managed to complete two.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

January 10, 2018 at 2:33 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 5/1/18 – (In)Substantial

with 47 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 think I’m stuck in a semi-autobiographical rut. I wrote a story for last week’s prompt all about spinning plates, and ran out of time to post it. I have to say, I’m a much more linear-thinking person than my protagonist below.

© Roger Bultot

(In)Substantial

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Her life is a notice board of lists and torn out articles, held together with pins and tangles of string. It confuses everyone but her: the whorls of disparate events and their non-interconnectedness. It is the only way she can make sense of the world.

Linear is shaky, too straightforward and can be pushed off course by the slightest collision. Single gossamer threads break easily. Nets and webs allow for movement, change, adaptation.

She knows life didn’t used to be this complicated, but forgets when it became so. This is how she copes: loops and convolutions leading to clear sightedness.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

January 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 22/12/17 – The Crystal Caves

with 25 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.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Björn for this week’s photo. Happy Christmas everyone. I will get round to reading and commenting, but imagine I’ll be even later than usual over the coming days….

 

 

The Crystal Caves

(Genre: you decide; 100-words)

‘Twas a spectacular sight: light shining, bouncing, dancing.

Health and safety dictated: Everyone entering the cavern must wear a hardhat.

Visitors were counted in and out by hats returned.

‘There are 15 missing this month,’ Sergei said.

‘We must stop people going in.’

‘We don’t advertise. I’ve taken the signposts down. Word about its beauty still spreads.’

‘We’ll close; lock the gates.’

‘People would break in, take souvenirs. It might take more of them.’

‘At least I wouldn’t know how many had gone.’

Erica finally understood her parents’ reluctance to expand the generations old family business, and mourned their disappearance.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

December 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Pitch Feedback – #amwriting, well I was

with 2 comments

Awake in the middle of the night last week, having tossed and turned for one hour, read for another, and still nowhere near dropping off, I asked myself, what would I do if I had a week to live. The first thing that popped into my mind was that I would contact the agent to whom I pitched three weeks ago to let her know my revised manuscript would not be arriving in her inbox. This was a surprise to me. Is this really the most important thing I would need to do during my last days? Probably not, but the thought did spur me into action. Since my pitch meeting on 27th November I have been thinking about the changes the agent suggested, and attempted a few false re-starts to my manuscript. However, later on in the morning that this life-limiting thought arrived, I finally buckled down and set to work on the first five chapters of my book.

Chapter 2 has disappeared, being chopped up and pasted into Chapters 4 and 5, as Chapter 5 moves forward to the position of Chapter 2. Keeping track of all the pages and moved paragraphs has been a task, but one I’ve enjoyed as I see the start to the book reshape itself. I am yet to discover if this will result in additional changes through to the end.

The agent suggested I have started my book in the wrong place. Instead of Chapter 1 being a character looking back retrospectively on a lunch at which she hears some bad news, I need to open with that lunch and the receiving of that news. This I am still struggling with, as it was hard enough to get the first chapter written the tenth time I attempted it. Having to shift the timeframe, and add in a character’s voice I was reluctant to write in the first place, is a difficult task. I have to remember faint heart never won fair lady. Unfortunately, with the Christmas holidays almost upon us, my colleagues seem to be dropping like flies and I’m the only one who seems to be available to fill in. My work schedule has gone bonkers, and my re-started novel languishes neglected…. I’m going to have to take some time off in January!

 

Written by Sarah Ann

December 19, 2017 at 9:09 pm

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