Sarah Ann Hall

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

Project 10K – November Goals – #amwriting

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October turned out to be a mixed bag of a month where goals were concerned, with two achieved and one missed. Two out of three isn’t bad though. This month I am committing myself to one thing – to write 50000-words for NaNoWriMo. Trying to get all those down is going to be task enough and anything extra I achieve will be a bonus. So to do this properly, I need to answer some questions. Thank you to Gabriele at Flights of Fancy for the nudges and the badges.

1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals?
Yes, no, yes.
I started off well with my first goal of editing 10000-words of my NaNoWriMo2014 novel, went through a mid-month lull, and ended with me actually beating my target – hooray!
My second goal to write two new short stories for competitions was a complete failure. The ideas for one short story are scribbled down on various pieces of paper, but haven’t been pulled into a coherent shape yet. I gave up completely on the other one.
I wrote stories to three of four Friday Fictioneer prompts and received some encouraging feedback on those.

2. Did you have fun writing?
Yes. I enjoyed seeing my word count slowly increase as I got back in touch with characters I wrote about three years ago. I can recognise where I need to pad out and expand as well as what to cut during the next draft. It’s a slow process, but I will get there in the end.

3. Did the P10K help with motivation?
Definitely. Having a word counter on my blog for all to see made me push myself in the final few days of the month. Committing to ¾ FF stories also pushed me into making sure I took part.

4. Anything else you want to tell us?
I was in Las Vegas for four days – my first trip there. I didn’t lose my shirt, but came home with a cold I am still trying to shake off.

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

October 31, 2017 at 1:42 pm

OLWG #21 – American Cinquains

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As usual, I’m a little late with these as the new OLWG (#22) prompts are already up, but I’ve had fun this week attempting to write American Cinquains. These are 5-lined poems with a 2, 4 ,6, 8, 2 syllable pattern. For a more eloquent description, click here. The titles below are the prompts.

 

I’m gonna be late for work

Awake

But not in time

To catch the non-stop bus

Jump on bike, race away quickly

And hope

 

Hippopotamus

Mud caked

Grey wallowing

Bulbous flanks, massive jaws

River horses dancing in lakes

Thick skinned

 

Wait till your father gets home

Frightened

She thinks I am

Know I’m supposed to be

But dad doesn’t care about me

I know

 

They had one greedy son

Albert

Ate for them all

Forty-inch chest aged ten

Racing towards diabetes

Too soon

 

King of Clubs

Chairman

Oblivious

To upset he causes

Committee will have him replaced

In time

 

I do

He asked

I smiled, said yes

My life became weddings

Dresses, seating plans and favours

Jilted

 

 

With thanks to the New, Unofficial, On-Line Writer’s Guild for these prompts and a new challenge.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

October 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm

Too much to chew? #amwriting

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Before going away last weekend, I prepared a list of writing jobs to tackle on my first full day back – Wednesday. As I post, three and a bit more days have passed and none of those jobs has been completed. One has been partially addressed and I have decided not to attempt another – writing a new story for a competition with a deadline of 31st October. I might have managed it if I had written anything while away, but I wrote not a jot and read only a few pages of the book I took with me. This is good because it means I was busy doing new things and had no spare time, which is what holidays are about.

However, my inability to complete relatively simple writing tasks in the last few days has made me re-evaluate my decision to take on NaNoWriMo this year. On current form, I am not likely to be a winner. In fact, I am probably unlikely to get half the 50000-words down. I could give up now and not even start, but if I don’t try, I will never succeed. So, I will start writing on Wednesday, prepared to fail while hoping to succeed. I need to be writing something new as well as plodding on with the old, and I need deadlines to focus my energies. Hopefully my word-meter will be full by 30th November, but possibly not. 🙂

 

Written by Sarah Ann

October 29, 2017 at 1:52 pm

#FridayFictioneers 27/10/17 – Fireworks on the Beach

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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’m not sure this works at all so let me know. Roger’s photo looked like a holiday destination, and, having just come back from a weekend away with a stinking cold, I got to thinking what else people might bring home with them….

Thanks to Rochelle and Roger.

 

© Roger Bultot

 

Fireworks on the Beach

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words

‘It looks perfect,’ Katie breathes flicking through the book my mother’s had printed.

‘It was,’ I say from inside my transparent tent. ‘The whole holiday: perfect weather, hotel, food.’

The backs of her hands are flawless.

‘It’s so awful what happened.’ She looks at the book.

‘I’ll survive, hundreds didn’t.’ The screaming returns, the flickering light. I shiver and pain shoots through me. I did not escape lightly.

Katie looks straight at me, past the cellophane bandages holding my face together. She’s the only one who does. ‘We’ll beat this,’ she says, holding her fingertips to the wall between us.

 

Not #FridayFictioneers – alternative haiku

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weekend holiday
forces FF desertion
back next week refreshed

 

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.

© Sandra Crook

Written by Sarah Ann

October 19, 2017 at 8:30 am

OLWG #19 & #20 – American Sentences – #amwriting

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I have been meaning to participate in the OLWG (The New, Unofficial, On-line Writer’s Guild) writing challenges ever since they started. Three prompts are provided weekly to write to, you pick one, two or three, and post your response (full details here.) I made sure I stuck to Guideline 7 and had fun.

When TN Kerr posted about American sentences, with a great explanation and terrific examples, I saw a way in. This week I’m catching up on OLWG prompts #19 and #20. I’ve taken each one and used it as a title to set the context of my American sentences – 17-syllables left to right. I might have taken the prompts too literally, as I scribbled these in a quiet moment at work when I should have been paying more attention to what was going on around me.

 

My names not Bud

Clean and dry. Light and fizzy. Suited to a good meal as well as fries.

 

Southern Comfort and Smoke

After the lynching came the fires. She loved ol’ school hospitality.

 

Pull on Your Coat

Sky turns black. Wind whipping trees and tugging loose flesh. Deluge imminent.

 

Dirty Little Secrets

Going through paperwork when Mum died, I found out who my father was.

 

The Cure is Worse

Car runs red light. Numerous ops later he pleads for amputation.

 

Nothing they tell you is real

News report: battles lost; water shortages. “Life goes on as normal.”

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

October 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

That sinking feeling #amwriting

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I started to draft this post last night. Having taken August off to decorate, and finding that putting everything back together took much longer than expected, I had planed to report I was back to writing. Yippee. I now need to get back into the practise of goal setting and reporting of achievements/ not to keep me on my toes.

This week I managed to tick other things off my to-do list that have been hanging around forever. I finally bought my brother’s birthday present, four months late, and responded to some emails sent by friends in June.

On the writing front, yesterday I re-jigged my covering letter and synopsis and submitted the first three chapters of my manuscript to two more agents. I was on a roll and felt I was back on track, predicting that something would come along to upset my progress. And hey presto, the three hours I had home alone today disappeared as hubby came home after being out only half an hour. Today’s place of work had a burst water main and everyone was sent home. So, instead of typing in the hand-written edits to chapters 7 and 8 of my NaNoWriMo2014 novel, and instead of reading blog posts I need to catch up on, I had a nice lunch and chat with my other half – pleasant but not terribly productive. I had hoped to clear the decks of writing tasks today, as I’m working tomorrow and then away for a few days. I feel now my list of writing jobs will bleed into tomorrow. At least this update is written and posted.

 

Ongoing goals met since my last progress post in June (ouch): I have finished reading through my novel and made all (?) typo corrections; its cover letter and synopsis have adapted; novel submitted to 8 agents – 1 rejection, no other responses as yet; 8-short story competitions entered – no placings; editing of NaNoWriMo2014 novel has commenced; my friend loved her crocheted scarf (birthday present July); tap dancing has recommenced and I need to get back to practising between classes if I’m to keep up.

Priorities for the next fortnight: write and submit stories to three short story competitions; submit finished novel to two/ three agents; edit more of NaNoWriMo2014 novel.

Fails throughout the summer: I’ve spoken no Italian and played no piano, although it now has a new, more accessible, home so there’s hope I’ll put fingerprints in amongst its gathering dust.

Written by Sarah Ann

October 17, 2017 at 1:50 pm

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