Sarah Ann Hall

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

Posts Tagged ‘not writing

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

Closed for Maintenance

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August has arrived and with it the delicious task of decorating. Eight years ago, when we fitted out our boat, we covered every single knot in the pine cladding with knotting solution before painting everywhere white. We have repainted at least twice, but the knots are now rampant in their leeching and our home looks like it is suffering a dose of chicken pox. This month, with hubby’s diary mostly empty and me choosing to work fewer hours, we will be turning our walls off-white. After a good scrub, and painting the annoying knots with a stain block, the walls will be going calico, hessian, cotton and other shades of beige. This will necessitate us living between piles of books, stacked furniture, and other stuff moved to facilitate access to the surfaces in need of beautification. Living conditions will be more cluttered and cramped than usual, access to a tabletop or seat to sit on is a dream away. Hence I am not even going to attempt to write until things return to normal and the paintbrushes have been put away. Blog reading will also be even more sporadic than usual, for which I apologise.

Have a great summer and enjoy all you might be getting up to. See you in the autumn.


Written by Sarah Ann

August 1, 2017 at 1:52 pm

I’m useless

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Well, maybe that’s a bit strong, but I’m not finding it easy to juggle full-time work with writing.

There’s not much writing going on, but quite a bit of reading about writing on the train to work, and there’s been no blogging, as you’ll have noticed.

Instead of flogging myself and worrying about not keeping up, I’ve decided to not try for a while.

Hopefully I’ll return in 2016 refreshed and with a little more time.


Written by Sarah Ann

December 13, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Missing inaction

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Writing, blogging and reading have taken a back seat as hubby and I rush to get a friend’s house painted before autumn arrives.



Currently busy elsewhere.


Oh, and then there’s Dad to look after while Mum’s in convalescence care for two and a bit weeks.

Hoping to fit in some flash fiction, but I’m already exhausted and we’re only four days in.


Written by Sarah Ann

September 6, 2014 at 10:10 pm

#Trifextra: 105 – Free write – Whimpering

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This week’s last Trifecta Challenge is just not fair! Thank you Lisa and Joules for all the prompts, support, and work you’ve done making this challenge such a fun one.


”For the final challenge here at Trifecta, we considered some flash and dazzle, a wild prompt to send us off with a bang.  What we realized was the most achingly beautiful, haunting and dazzling words we’ve read from our brilliant community have been the ones you chose when you were given the freedom to write with abandon.  So we’re lovingly, and eagerly, placing the choice in your hands.  There’s no topic, no word, just a free write. Go anywhere your mind wants to travel.  Take us there too.  Just make it count, leave your blood all over this page.  Thirty-three words exactly.  Of course.  We couldn’t end it any other way.”



Whimpering (33-words)

What, no prompt? – I struggle with one.

Free-write the first thing that comes into my head? – NOTHING.

It’s as impossible as not thinking about pink elephants.

My last Trifecta response: out on a –


Written by Sarah Ann

March 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Excuse#10 Slightly stuck

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Last week I thought that having some long hand to type in would help me carry on with my character’s story. It didn’t. I had reached a natural end with the pen and I did the same with the keyboard. I added 800-words to my tally, and had to re-write the first paragraph because auto-save didn’t, but I came to a sticking point very quickly and went off to make tea.

I had Adam (my main character Pippa’s ex-boyfriend) cycling through woods, and then cycling to a party at which he has to have a conversation with Pippa. Because he doesn’t know how to bring up his impending triathlon, neither, it seems, did I. Thinking on it for a week, I decided to remove the other characters from the party – Adam and Pippa will have a quiet moment after all the hurly burly has died down – but this morning I have stared blankly at the screen waiting for inspiration.

I seem to have backed myself into a corner with my characters only meeting on high-days and holidays. They don’t have day-to-day interactions in the street because they live apart and have to arrange see each other. This was working well, but there are only so many events during a 12-month period you can contrive to meet up. And once I’ve described numerous Sunday lunches, Christmas and New Year, and we are into kiddies birthday parties, where else is there to go? This is a worry that has wormed itself into my brain and has not yet finished boring its way through my concerns. It is something I will have to address in the read through of the first draft. (Once I get to that point.)

Instead of writing the story itself, I spent some time plotting forwards. This helped and I whizzed off a couple of Pippa’s email insertions. I imagine that, as the story comes to an end, meetings between the characters will become less frequent. The pace of the story, and possibly the structure of the chapters/ inserts, will change. At the moment, and I should know in a month (in real time) whether I’m right, I suspect the chapters will become shorter (as the characters have little more to add) and Pippa’s inserts will grow longer (as she wants to leave her life in order and experiences huge changes in mood). At the moment, all I hope is to have written something tangible within that month as I seem to be filling my writing time with avoidance activities. Now, sweep the floor or put the kettle on?



Avoidance has paid off.

Or it might have been the coffee.

It suddenly came to me that I don’t have to put Adam through the stress of telling Pippa his news. Instead I can have her report it in one of her email inserts. This is a great weight off my mind and so I have gone back to Adam’s cycling through the woods and injected the whole piece with some enthusiasm and evocative description. (At least I hope I have.) I’ve added another 800-words without him doing much more and that’s chapter 14 put to bed. Pippa’s next two inserts might have to change or move, but that’s something I can cope with. When it all goes right I don’t mind moving words around to accommodate. It’s when it’s all going wrong that I sulk.

The sitting and staring has also got chapter 15 roughed out in my head. I was struggling for another event at which to get everyone together, but conveniently one of my characters had an up and coming birthday. Less conveniently (for him) chickenpox has hit one family so they’ve had to cancel. It makes for simplifying the chapter and keeping me happy when I only have to worry about two points of view.

So, knowing what happens in chapter 16 and the following insert, I can really see me getting the story finished by Christmas. New words today probably around 2500, and it was a good day for stucture and plotting.

Written by Sarah Ann

November 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

Excuse#2 A week full of other stuff

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I started the week well, with writing featuring quite highly on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday we had to move the boat to be in a convenient position to commute, as we then had to go out to set up for a six-day jewellery exhibition.

It wasn’t difficult moving two tables and covering them with cloths. The creative impetus was stolen by having to type up from longhand the stock we’ve made over the past few weeks once we were home again. It is tedious checking figures over and over again, but they need to be correct. And then there was the mad idea of sending off an application to edit online articles. The pay rates seem crap but hubby found the job and I need to do something to pay my way, so name, address, and test piece were emailed off.

Wednesday until now has been spent chatting to the odd potential customer who wanders, bemused, into the gallery. We’re hidden around a corner behind a garden gate marked ‘Private’ and people wonder if they are in the right place. Sales have not been high. The wind and rain of Thursday put pay to many visitors with all of 16 managing to find their way to our hideout. One highlight of yesterday was talking to fellow jeweller R (stalling opposite) about the casting of poussin bones for one of her ‘Flintstones’ inspired designs. The ladies sheltering from the rain were in stitches.

Written by Sarah Ann

May 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm

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