Sarah Ann Hall

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

#FridayFictioneers – 21/7/17 – Mothers’ Ruin

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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 very late to the party this week and have struggled with the below. I showed it to hubby who suggested a couple of minor changes. I don’t think either of us thinks this works. Perhaps I’m trying to squeeze too much in?

With thanks to Rochelle and Kent this week.

© Kent Bonham

 

Mothers’ Ruin

(Genre: general fiction: 100-words)

Sally smiled as she threw Rick her car keys. He was a sensible boy. It wasn’t his fault his parents had moved to the middle of nowhere during his first year at university. It was only fair they should lend him their car to go to see his friends in town.

Squeal, screech, thud.

That’ll be another bairn flattened, Irina thought, shuffling along. When would the young learn sense? How long before humans and hedgehogs lived in co-existence?

As the sun went down, Irina’s array all arrived home safely.

Less than a mile away, Sally’s cottage bathed in blue flashes.

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

July 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 14/7/17 – Nothing to Wear

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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.

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Janet for the beautiful photo this week.

Nothing to Wear

(Genre: fantasy; 100-words)

As the warlock’s summer party approached, Zilla resolved to attend, only the choice of perfect attire proved confounding. She could charm a gown of exquisite beauty, pervade a captivating scent, and might catch an eye with augmented lashes. It wouldn’t be the first time she had used her skills to bewitch a beau. And it wouldn’t be the last. Zilla was weary of being alone. She wanted someone to love and share her world.

She pondered hard.

Zilla arrived in standard garb, enchantment free, the plain young witch she was. She mesmerised and enthralled, and left with like-minded mate.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

July 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 7/7/17 – Alternative Summer

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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 wrote the below with one pair in mind, but another dynamic emerged once I was done. I’d love you to let me know who you see/ hear speaking. With thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Claire for this week’s prompt.

 

 

Alternative Summer

(Genre: general fiction/ humour; 100-words)

‘A cluttered desk is a sign of genius.’

‘And a tidy desk is a sign of an anal-retentive control freak?’

‘I didn’t say – ’

‘You didn’t have to. Clear it, or I will.’

‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’

‘I finished the rest of the house weeks ago. This is the last room to be decorated. It’s not as if I’m asking you to paint anything.’

‘I promise, tomorrow’s the day.’

‘You have until 10am before I fill a black sack.’

‘That’s harsh.’

‘Nope, harsh is a summer with no days off. There are plenty of jobs I can find for you.’

 

Written by Sarah Ann

July 7, 2017 at 7:21 pm

Quotations on Writing First Drafts

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Something we all need to bear in mind.

charles french words reading and writing

Here are a few quotations about creating first drafts to inspire all of us to keep writing:

mark-twain-67793_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” 

                                                               Mark Twain

jodipicoult

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“You might not write well every day,

   but you can always edit a bad page.

   You can’t edit a blank page.”

                                                                 Jodi Picoult

William_Faulkner

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the     only way you can do anything really good.”

                                                                      William Faulkner.

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Written by Sarah Ann

July 4, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Not #FridayFictioneers – 30/6/17 – haiku alternative

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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.

 

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

urgent work demands

push aside weekend writing

flash again next week

 

I really like this photo, but the writing gears haven’t engaged, and a busy weekend means I won’t be able to read the other entries either, so I’m bowing out this week.

Written by Sarah Ann

June 30, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Too organised – #amwriting

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It is time again to review my writing progress for the year. This is proving a really useful process for me as I see priorities change and move. Some of the goals from the beginning of the year have been discarded, others partially met, and the easy ones at the top of the list have been mostly achieved. Having a human accountability partner didn’t quite work out but, by blogging what I intend, I am keeping myself on task.

This week I have been looking back through old short stories, to see what could be deleted from my hard drive, and what might be adapted for submission. This has resulted in a story being submitted to a publisher looking for supernatural stories. I don’t think mine will hit the mark at all, but the process of trawling through old works was not completely wasted. It was good to see how my writing has developed over the years, and how tired and plodding stories have been adapted to be punchier. Coming up with new ideas is good, recycling old ones sometimes helpful.

Going through my hard drive also reminded me that, a long time ago, I had planned to self-publish some of the flash fiction from my blog. I saw how much work I had done on collecting these stories together and collating them into themes. Laying them out correctly on the page is a laborious process, and one that can be done with half an eye on the TV rather than stealing from precious ‘alone’ writing time. This forgotten project has, for the time being at least, been added to the list of the year’s tasks, albeit one to complete by Christmas.

August is earmarked for home re-decoration and writing will be sparse. With this in mind I have reduced my availability to work during July in order to have one full day free to write, and hopefully complete some projects before a month of physical hard labour. Thursday mornings will be taken up with completing work reports from Wednesday, and then I will have an afternoon and all day Friday to get on with short stories and editing the back end of my out-with-agents novel.

 

Task & original priority position – re-ordered June 2017 Ease of completion Progress 6 weeks later (end of Feb) Progress April Progress end of June
1. Keep up with blog Variable on time allowing/ having anything to say.

Hopefully on the easy side.

 

Not great. I’ve not posted as often as I would have liked. I’m doing better, but I might be running out of things to say already. I post at least once a week, but could be more regular with writing updates.
2. Read 85k word novel and decide whether to pitch or ditch.

Easy and relatively quick if I decide to ditch. Time commitment if I’m going to pitch and it needs editing. Time commitment if start sending to agents.

I have allocated the week of 13-17th March to do the read through. I’m away from home and will have the head space. Done – it’s a pitch. Sent to an agency’s open pitch process.I need to go back to a list of agents to approach I drew up 12 or more months ago and submit to others.

Deadline to have made other submissions: end of April 17, and ongoing.

 

Deadline met.

Sent to eight agents – a ‘near miss’ for one. Chs. 1-3 have been re-edited and are ready to resubmit. Deadline for resubmission: mid-July because of people taking the summer off.

8. Friday Fictioneer stories Easy to do if have nothing else on. Requires time and concentration. Can be addictive so need to limit or will get caught up and carried away to the detriment of other things. No progress.

I wrote a story to one prompt, which I was pleased to have achieved, but didn’t manage to post it.

I have managed to write and post a 100-word story two weeks running. It’s a bit early to say I’ve succeeded with this priority, but it has been met earlier than expected.

 

I have responded to most prompts and gained some encouraging feedback on my stories.
4. Write short stories to go with friend Jan’s paintings/ prints/ illustrations. Relatively easy if I come up with any ideas. Enjoyable. Able to do between other things as shorter time commitment. I have drafted one short story and am looking at the other pictures chosen. I need to re-visit the project with Jan to see if she wants to paint to my words. These stories are progressing slowly. There is a lot of research and re-drafting to be done. Need to determine number of stories to write and liaise with Jan on how to take forward.

Deadline to complete stories: end of summer.

 

Ongoing. One story is finished. I have done research for others. One is only just started. Deadline for completion will be missed.
7. Short stories for competitions Quite hard. Time commitment to look for competitions and then write themed stories to deadlines.

 

One short story submitted. No other competitions identified to enter. I have written another short story to a prompt and submitted it. This is something ongoing that I will fit in as time and interest allows.

 

I came runner-up for my one entry so have continued looking for competitions to enter.

Two more submissions made.

9. NEW ENTRY

Self-publish flashes and short stories.

Time-consuming but can be dipped in and out of. An organising project and learning experience, e.g. about self-publishing platforms. Takes less brainpower than writing.

 

Stories are collated. Laying out pages to be completed. Cover design needed. Self-publishing platforms to be researched.

Deadline: December 2017.

4 NANOWRIMO story from 2014. Work up 51k words into a novel. Medium. Big time commitment. Hopefully enjoyable to do. No progress No progress. I want to work on this story as I want to get back to the characters.

Deadline to have started second draft: end of summer.

 

No progress – this is off my radar.

New deadline to start second draft: before the end of the year.

3. Edit diaries of living and travelling on a narrow boat and self-publish. Hard. A lot of editing and additional writing to be done. Self-publishing is new. Large time commitment and learning new skill.

 

No progress There is too much work required to get this to a state suitable for publication. The narration needs to be completely re-written.

 

2018?
4. Continue with novel-length abuse story started 2014. Medium. Need time and space to pick this up again. Has a beginning but needs a middle and an end.

 

No progress No progress.  This is a project too far for 2017. 2019 maybe

Written by Sarah Ann

June 28, 2017 at 11:26 am

#FridayFictioneers – 23/6/17 – Summer Holidays

with 24 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 late to the party this week because I didn’t like my first miserable effort. This one came to me as I dozed off last night and is a bit more uplifting. Thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Ted for this week’s photo.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

 

Summer Holidays

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

It’s raining. It’s pouring. The old man is snoring.’

Dad stepped into the deluge, fed-up with our incessant noise.

Freddie and I couldn’t wait for ice cream everyday, running to the beach before breakfast, splashing in a sea warmed by daylong sun, tunnelling sand from dawn till dusk, grumbling when called inside to eat, falling asleep as soon as we hit sheets, and then doing it all again.

We’d find sand everywhere for weeks afterwards.

As the car clanged on to the ferry, Freddie and I grinned. ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday.’ And a dripping Dad joined in.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

June 24, 2017 at 11:42 am

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