Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 23/2/18 – Love is…

with 16 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’ve gone for a bit of schmaltz this week, at least I hope I have. And as I can’t do too sweet, a second version is less saccharine. Only the last two lines of the below differ, but I hope they change the mood and feel enough.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Marie Gail for this week’s prompt.

© Marie Gail Stratford

 

Love is…

(Genre: schmaltz; 100-words)

A glass-fronted mahogany display cabinet hangs on the wall. Inside, a silver vase holds grey, withered blooms.

‘Granny,’ says Simon, ‘why do you keep those dead flowers on the wall?’

Sylvia smiles wistfully. ‘That vase holds my life,’ she says. ‘There’s a marigold from the first posy your grandfather gave me; a rose from our wedding bouquet; a carnation from the flowers my sister sent when your mother was born; a lily from my mother’s funeral wreath.’

‘It’s not your whole life though, granny. I haven’t given you birthday flowers yet.’

Simon grins; Sylvia twinkles, and hugs her grandson tight.

 

Love is… (2)

(Genre: schmaltz with sting; 100-words)

A glass-fronted mahogany display cabinet hangs on the wall. Inside, a silver vase holds grey, withered blooms.

‘Granny,’ says Simon, ‘why do you keep those dead flowers on the wall?’

Sylvia smiles wistfully. ‘That vase holds my life,’ she says. ‘There’s a marigold from the first posy your grandfather gave me; a rose from our wedding bouquet; a carnation from the flowers my sister sent when your mother was born; a lily from my mother’s funeral wreath.’

‘It’s not your whole life though, granny. We haven’t had your funeral flowers yet.’

Simon grins; Sylvia frowns, and hugs her grandson tight.

 

 

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OLWG #35&36 – Picture the Scene

with 4 comments

I’m getting very behind with the Online Writer’s Guild prompts. I’m not sure what has gone wrong with my usual disorganisation.

I started the scene below when the prompts for #35 first appeared, and then incorporated some of those of #36. I’m still catching up on the most recent posts…..

Thank you to TNKerr for keeping me on my toes.

 

*****

 

Enter Stage Left: A woman walks in on her partner who is sitting at the kitchen table counting…..

 

‘One Milwaukee. Two Milwaukee. Three Milwaukee. Four -’

‘You timing something?’

‘Not anymore.’

‘Oh. Sorry.’

‘Never mind.’

‘But you obviously do.’

‘And you obviously wanted to say something.’

‘Did I?’

‘I imagine so or you wouldn’t have interrupted.’

‘No. Yes. Maybe.’

‘So what was it then?’

‘Oh it’s not important.’

‘It was important enough a minute ago that you needed to stop me counting.’

‘I said sorry.’

‘I know but you haven’t told me what you wanted.’

‘No, well you’re all het up now.’

‘I am not het up. But I will be if you don’t tell me what you wanted to say.’

‘I don’t feel comfortable saying.’

‘And I doubt you will be in a minute either when I leave the room.’

‘Why would you do that?’

‘Because I don’t want to shout at you, but if you don’t get on and tell me soon what it is you wanted to say, then I just might.’

‘You have no patience.’

‘I have the patience of Job. Now talk.’

‘What were you timing?’

‘What did you want to tell me?’

‘We’re going round in circles.’

‘Indeed you are. Me, I’m leaving.’

‘But – ‘

‘All you have to do is tell me what you wanted to say.’

‘I asked first.’

‘No you interrupted first.’

‘Sorry.’

‘You’ve said that already. What you haven’t said is what you interrupted me to say.’

‘No.’

‘And you’re not going to now are you?’

‘No.’

‘See you later then.’

 

Partner Exits Stage Right

 

*****

 

The prompts are all below. I’ve highlighted the ones I think I covered.

 

  1. The epic properties of ordinary
  2. Can you hand me that please
  3. Fraught
  4. Milwaukee
  5. right at them
  6. the high cost of loving

 

*****

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

February 20, 2018 at 7:47 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 16/2/18 – Waiting for Spring

with 30 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 Dale for this week’s prompt, although I say that having stared hard and not got very far very fast. I think my story might stand without the photo. Thanks too to Rochelle for hosting.

Because of commitments this weekend I will be late to read and comment, but I will get there.

 

© Dale Rogerson

Waiting for Spring

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

The snow saved her. She had never been so pleased to see a whiteout. She would get it when the thaw came, but she would have worked out a story by then.

If the frost lasted long enough she might even be able to convince her father that his prize peonies had rotted of their own accord, that the ice had cut its sharp edges through their stems.

She couldn’t tell the truth; that she had pruned harshly because he wouldn’t let her attend the school disco. He wouldn’t understand.

She hated winter, and hoped for a long cold one.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

February 16, 2018 at 10:53 pm

Project 10K – February 2018

with 7 comments

I seem to be keeping to some sort of schedule by posting my goals on the 10th of each month instead of the 1st.

I am happy to report that I achieved my one goal for January and yesterday re-submitted the first three chapters of my novel to the agent I pitched to in November. I hope that I haven’t taken so long to get them to her that she has forgotten my work and who I am. The first third of the book has been re-jigged – the first chapter written, others cut from, added to, and re-ordered – and I am still reading making further subtle changes, at least I hope any changes in the latter chapters will be subtle and not too involving. The book is better now for the agent’s suggestions, and I hope she likes how I have addressed them.

 

In answer to Gabrielle’s questions:

1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals?

Yes.

2. Did you have fun writing?

Yes, once it was all over and I could look back. Not so much while I was doing the writing; it was hard work.

3. Did the P10K help with motivation?

Yes.

4. Anything else you want to tell us?

Nope, I don’t seem to have done much else over the last month.

 

© Flights of Fancy

 

Goals for February:

  1. Participate in the remaining Friday Fictioneers challenges for the month. I have failed to participate recently as I’ve had no time to read and comment on others’ stories.
  2. Finish reading to the end of my novel so it is pitch perfect again.
  3. Write/ submit some new short stories. I have been looking at competition deadlines and not getting around to writing anything new. My muse needs challenging and developing. I need to set myself a specific word count on this one …..

 

Written by Sarah Ann

February 10, 2018 at 12:17 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 9/2/18 – Dreams of the Future

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.

I stared and stared at the prompts of the previous two weeks and came up with nothing. This week has been more successful in terms of words produced, albeit slightly depressing ones.

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

 

© JS Brand

Dreams of the Future

(Genre: speculative fiction; 100-words)

With waters rising daily, earth turned to swamp, and gradually disappeared. People adapted, building high, and then on stilts. Homes pitched and swayed in the wind, but held firm, woven together with wire and grasses: their flexibility, their strength.

Boats rafted out from jetties in their tens, then their hundreds. Only the sure-footed would endure, needing to jump across slippery decks to reach the vanishing land in their searches for drinking water and land to cultivate.

Those who despaired were found floating each morning. Survivors clung to their belief in lost hope in favour of the suggestion of selective extermination.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

February 9, 2018 at 3:26 pm

OLWG #33&34 – The Concert

with 2 comments

I’m still catching up with the New, Unofficial Writer’s Guild prompts and posts. As Thom reminds us each week, practise makes perfect. I’m not happy with my vignette below – it’s too disjointed and jerky – so any constructive criticism on what to cut/ where to add etc, will be most gratefully received.

 

The Concert

Felix looked out disconsolately from the park bandstand. The mist hung mid-fall: the bottom three feet of air showed dewy grass and slick tarmac; above, the moisture swirled thick and grey. It looked more like smog, or the smoke of battle, than the sea mist Felix knew it to be. The salt pricked his skin and stung his eyes.

The fundraising concert, for returnee soldiers, had been planned for months. They had chosen an early summer’s day, betting on a dry, hopefully sunny, weekend. They thought they had accounted for all eventualities. They’d been wrong it seemed.

The town’s band had had to recruit new members following the outbreak of war, with men going off to fight and die. They had had to recruit when it was over too, as whole men didn’t return. Missing limbs and shattered minds did not pretty music make.

Ex-band members had been approached to share their favourite tunes for today’s event, to make them feel included despite their incapacity to take part. Felix hoped those who’d asked for music suggestions had been diplomatic. Felix’s deputy could be an insensitive fool and many were the complaints after Steven led band practice in Felix’s stead.

Their preparations might come to naught, as the landscape remained completely obscured, and no sightlines existed. But all around him Felix could hear them gathering; the dragging feet, the chesty coughs, of men both alive and dead moving slowly toward him. He too had gone to war, and come back physically unscathed. His scars lay deep, his fears for the future voiced only to those he still trusted with his life.

There was still time, he mused, turning away from the shadows to unpack his baton, and paint on the smile with which to greet the brave and foolhardy, the new and luckier older ones. The sun might burn through. She might yet be strong enough to warm the earth and banish the ghosts for another day.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

The prompts:

#33

  1. One of my favourites
  2. What could go wrong
  3. bandleader

#34 ghosts in the fields

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

The rules:

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 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 19/1/18 – Indubitable

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’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.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

January 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm

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