Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 6/4/18 – Like Mother Like Daughter

with 37 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 obviously ill as I’m posting on Wednesday. Actually, I’m out of the country for two days so if I don’t post now I won’t. I’ll catch up with reading and commenting next week. My story is very rushed and bound to be full of holes so tell me where they are. I couldn’t even get to 100-words, no time, no time, falling down a rabbit hole….

Thanks to Rochelle and Dale this week.

 

© Dale Rogerson

 

Like Mother Like Daughter

(Genre: general fiction; 99-words)

Jenna’s mother taught her how to weave: how to select the canes, soak them, bend them to her will. Never satisfied with the way of things, Jenna experimented with shape and purpose, interweaving feathers and dried flowers, ribbons of paper, making each creation unique to the person for whom it was formed.

Daytrippers saw proud villagers walk about with baskets slung over arm, or lampshades on windowsills, and wanted to pay extortionate sums for something of their own to show off. Jenna turned them all down. ‘Tis not the way of things,’ she told them. ’Tis not my way.’

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

April 4, 2018 at 8:10 pm

Project 10K – April #amwriting

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© Flights of Fancy

 

March turned out to be more productive on the writing front than I could have imagined. At the end of February I decided to give a month’s notice to reduce my paid working hours come April. The universe had different ideas and I immediately lost my three times a week client, so March provided me with lots of writing time and I was able to meet my goals:

I have finished reading through my WIP.

I have entered some short story competitions and written some new words, albeit not too many.

I have looked at old short stories and started to edit a few.

I am a happy bunny as I go into April, although I do not expect my writing to fare that well this month. The next two weeks are the school holidays so hubby is home and we are entertaining friends and family. Having posted quite regularly in March, I expect my April posts will be infrequent, but I live in hope.

Putting my goals into numerical form with a bar to show how much I’ve achieved has been a great incentive as I’ve seen how far or not I’ve progressed, and I will be attempting to define my goals similarly for April.

 

Goals for April

  1. Participate in Camp Nano – edit the 50000 words I wrote last November. I really don’t expect to get this done but I do need to look at this writing again to see if it has legs.
  2. Write new short stories/ adapt old ones for short story competitions. I have a list of 7 possible deadlines to meet, so let’s aim to enter 4.
  3. Contribute to Friday Fictioneer prompts.
  4. Post responses to the On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts by the Thursday after a Sunday post.

 

With thanks to Gabrielle for keeping me motivated and on my toes.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

April 1, 2018 at 5:32 pm

OLWG#43 – Geriatric Parents

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This has a been a very disorganised week full of cancellations and reinstated meetings so I wasn’t sure I’d manage with this week’s OLWG prompts, but here I am. I’ve cheated and used a tanka, an American cinquain and an American sentence to make a story out of the three prompts, or that was my intention. With thanks as ever to Thom Kerr for making me work my imaginative, or is that imaginary, brain cells.

 

Here I sit, hiding,

Drinking alone and pregnant.

At least the wife is.

We’ve waited so long. I’m scared.

Hard to embrace our future.

 

That’s rich

Just great, she says.

Are you going to cope?

When the baby comes, will you help?

Useless.

 

Helpless. That’s how I feel. This just isn’t doing it for me. Sorry.

 

*****

This week’s prompts are:

  1. Drinking alone, and pregnant
  2. This just isn’t doing it for me
  3. that’s rich

 

*****

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

March 30, 2018 at 10:23 am

#FridayFictioneers – 30/3/18 – Always Something There to Remind Me

with 42 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.

When I saw this week’s prompt my immediate thought was to go maudlin, the empty chairs and table being an indicator of remembrance, but I turned my misery into joy.

With thanks to Rochelle for hosting, Fatima for this week’s photo, and Burt Bacharach, Hal David, and Sandie Shaw for the title and the earworm.

I’m hither and thither over the next few days (look, I’m posting on a Thursday already) so reading and commenting on others’ stories will be sporadic, for which I apologise.

 

© Fatima Fakier Deria

 

Always Something There to Remind Me

(Genre: general/ romantic fiction, lurching towards schmaltz; 100-words)

Light falls through curtains I didn’t close last night, just like it did the first morning I woke nuzzling George’s neck. He’s not here now.

I jump out of bed: feeling 21 again, legs supporting me, shapely as they ever were.

From the window I see the passage of years in the spread of tree canopy. It’s long since we danced barefoot under saplings during endless summers.

Things change; time moves on; we must too. I set the Nespresso* machine buzzing, and the doorbell rings.

On the doorstep George grins, crushing flowers against the morning’s paper. ‘Happy 75th, my love.’

 

 

*Other branded coffee machines are available.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

March 29, 2018 at 6:10 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 23/3/18 – At the Crossroads

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.

At my writer’s group this week we discussed metaphor in the short story using ‘It’s Beginning to Hurt’ by James Lasdun as an example. I think I have too literal a mind as opposed to a literary one. I don’t see or get metaphors. If someone writes about a fish (as above), it’s a fish, and leaving said fish in a filing cabinet is down to being a busy preoccupied person, not a representation of a failing marriage. But hey, as writers, we need to jump outside what we know and comes easy to develop our skills.

With thanks to Björn for this week’s photo and Rochelle for hosting.

 

© Björn Rudberg

 

At the Crossroads

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

The road ahead was stony and twisting, a hastily laid track thrown down without forethought. The one behind was equally uneven, marked by the rocks of career progression and oxbows of failed relationships. To left and right the paths appeared smooth and well made, but both branched giving no clue as to their ending; how long before they reached a cliff edge?

There was nothing to indicate which route might provide the best outcome, only a surety that continuing straight would be as hard as he’d come. He took one last look, before dismissing thoughts of ease, and stepped forward.

 

 

OLWG#42 – Lesson Learnt #amwriting

with 8 comments

Here is a short story in response to week 42 of the New Unofficial On-line Writer’s Guild prompts. My story started out as a jolly little caper, and then took a different course.

 

Lesson Learnt

The last time I saw her, Millie was walking away cheerily, a skip in her step. She had a new job, and a boyfriend who had just declared everlasting love. After the hormonal turmoil of her teenage years, and the stumbling entry into her twenties, she had settled into a comfortable existence. She wasn’t about to fetch pipe and slippers and fall into a boring drawn out middle age, but she was happy with herself, her body, her state of mind, her prospects.

They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Millie wasn’t like that. She knew exactly what she had and meant to cling on to it. I am the one who has to address my complacency. I was neglectful, too easy going, the opposite of Millie. While she had recognised her good fortune and was determined to make the most of it, I had not. I watched her walk away without saying I loved her. I assumed we would meet again, just as we had after every other lunch date in our lives. There would come another day soon when we would sit for a couple of hours, drink coffee and compare notes on salad dressings or cake recipes.

But that isn’t to be, not since the proverbial death bus knocked her over and she sustained life-changing head injuries. Life-changing. What a catchall meaningless phrase.

I didn’t go to the hospital. I left the usual crowd to do the bedside vigil for tube-fed, tube-oxygenated, tube-cleaned Millie, while I held on to my image of a happy dancing one, the girl with a good life ahead of her who knew she was loved. I hope she knew she was loved by me, and I regret never saying it aloud.

After six weeks of no change in her condition, Millie’s parents were advised to let nature take its course. If it had been me making that decision I wonder if I would have been able to let her go. I know I would have been keeping her alive for my own reasons.

Today we say goodbye. We will go to church and sing, we will meet in the pub after and drink and reminisce. And before I get drunk and maudlin, while the words from my mouth still have meaning, I will tell my friends I love them. Each one, individually, will hear from my lips how much they mean to me and make my life worth living.

________

 

Having done a bit of Googling and reading around ‘what is/ how to write’ a short story over the last week, I am trying to put into effect some of what I’ve gleaned. The first six sessions of the Reedsy Learning course, How to Craft a Killer Short Story, have been useful in helping me analyse my writing. So I have to ask:

Is my story focused and concise? I think so.

What literally happens? Someone dies.

What is explored below the surface? Loss, love, regret.

Is it emotionally true? Yes.

Does it have strong voice, details, perspective? A strong voice, few details, clear perspective.

Does my character have a lot going on under the surface that comes through implicitly? I’d like to think so, but I’m not sure.

Do I get to the conflict straight away by starting as close to the end as possible? No.

Does each sentence advance the plot or reveal something about the character? I think so. This question did prompt me to make changes during a last read through.

 

________

This week’s OLWG prompts are:

  1. the last time…
  2. Let her go
  3. the usual crowd was there

 

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

March 22, 2018 at 5:08 pm

How long is a #shortstory #haiku #justforfun

with 8 comments

Last night at my writing group we discussed short stories – how short or long, maximum number of characters, point of view and so on. We had all prepared a 100-word story about a shirt and it was interesting to see the assumptions we each made about character and meaning based on our own perceptions/ experience/ prejudice when so much has to be inferred. At least I find it interesting when readers don’t feel or see things the same way as the writer.

Haiku were brought up, and the 6- or 10-word story. I have haven’t yet written a 6-word story, I’ve tried a couple of 10-word ones and never been satisfied. However, I do play with haiku and, unable to sleep last night, I composed a 17-word haiku, and then a haiku story. Or did I?

 

bird’s feet curl round wires

chest preened he sings for a mate

squall puts pay to love

 

yesterday morning

was the last time I saw her

seat reclined, feet up

 

With thanks to TNKerr of the OLWG for ‘the last time’ as a prompt.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

March 21, 2018 at 2:36 pm

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