20 July 2018

Published July 18, 2018 by rochellewisoff


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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

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Genre: Historical/Biographical Fiction

Word Count: 100

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

            Resting his chin on his palm, Freddie pouted and stared out the window.

            Fred McPheely ached for his grandson whose asthma prevented him from roughhousing outside with other children.

            Sinking down beside him, Fred ruffled his namesake’s hair. “Feeling blue, kiddo?”  

            “Yeah, I guess so.” The boy sniffed. “Grandpa, why do neighborhood kids make fun of me?”

            “Can’t say. Maybe they just need love. One thing I do know…”

***

            Freddie never forgot what his grandfather said next. As Mister Rogers, he repeated it every afternoon to four generations of young television audiences across America.

            “You make my day very special.”

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Fred Roegers – 1928-2003

Farewell to Trolley, King Friday, Queen Sarah Saturday, Officer Clemmons, Mr. McPheely. Daniel Tiger and the gang. You made us all feel very special.

THE GENDER TRAP

Published July 14, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Baltimore, Maryland. Feel free to visit the library at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University  Or cruise around Baltimore and find your own street view or photo sphere for inspiration.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by this week’s location. Once your piece is polished, share it with fellow contributors using the link up below.

After entertaining guests for a week and another week to recover from all the festivities, I’m ready to revisit Pegman.  Thanks so much to Karen and Josh for co-hosting this group of globetrotting writers.

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

I would call this an excerpt from my most recent novel AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. However it’s actually a tweaked scene boiled down from over 600 words to a 150 word stand-alone. At any rate, a great challenge and a pleasant visit to two favorite characters. Not exactly about Maryland, but a tenuous connection. 😉 

THE GENDER TRAP

The woman skimmed a gloved hand along the top of the medicine cabinet and peered at the rows of bottles. “I assume you sterilize. I insist everything should be as clean as humanly possible.” Straightening, she extended the same hand. “I’m here to answer your ad.”

Florin’s tongue stuck to his teeth. “So sorry, my dear, I’ve hired a nurse.”

She withdrew her hand. “I am Eleanor Whitaker Turnbull, MD. Have you already hired a physician as well?”

Florin mopped his perspiring brow. “No I haven’t. But such an attractive—I thought—”

Her sorrel gaze pierced him. “I know exactly what you thought, Doctor. You’re a man after all.” She took a framed diploma from her carpet bag. ”I graduated from the New York Medical College for Women, class of 1892. Suma Cum Laude. I served my internship at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?”

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13 July 2018

Published July 11, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

DESTINED TO CARRY A NATION

          Crumpling the telegram in her fist, Carrie flung it to the floor.  Anger, coupled with grief, bubbled from the depths of her being. “That worthless excuse for a husband, Charles Gloyd.  I just knew demon rum would kill the shameless sot sooner than later.”

            Baby Charlien awoke to the sound of her mother’s sobs and added her own squalls. Carrie lifted her daughter into her arms and cuddled her to her breast. She softly sang, “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war…”

            As the child’s eyes fluttered shut, Carrie whispered, “Men are nicotine soaked, beer besmirched, whiskey greased, red-eyed devils.”

“You have put me in here a cub, but I will come out roaring like a lion, and I will make all hell howl!” Carry A. Nation upon being locked in jail.

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6 July 2018

Published July 4, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

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This is a rerun that perhaps a handful of you will remember from October 31, 2012 with a different photo prompt, then titled CIRCLE IN A SPIRAL. It’s still among my favorites. I’ve dusted it off and tweaked it a bit.  

Here in the States it’s Independence Day commemorating the freedom we enjoy. Amid the fireworks and feasting we do well to remember  countless men and women have paid the ultimate price for our celebrations. Pass the mustard, please. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

PRESUMED DEAD

            Before he deployed, Nathan loved amusement parks. He’d coax Jeanette onto the Ferris wheel and laugh so loud at her fear of heights others would turn and smile.

            Eight months ago a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan.

            Still wearing her engagement ring, Jeanette takes her brother to the park but greasy odors and the pungent crowd suffocate her.

            From the shadows, a marine balanced on his one leg, reaches for her with a prosthetic hand. “I’m half a man, Jeanette. I’m afraid I can never—”

            “Nathan! Shut up and kiss me.”

            She laughs so loud others turn and smile.

       

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Stained Glass Flag © Jean L. Hays

 

 

29 June 2018

Published June 27, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

UNFORGETTABLE

            When Nathaniel tickled the ivories, he mesmerized Chicago’s jazz club audiences. The talented sixteen-year-old played for hot dogs, soda pop and pure joy. In 1935, he and his band, the Rogues of Rhythm, challenged the great Earl Hines and his Orchestra to a musical duel—and won.

            Twenty-one years later, Capitol Records’ leading vocalist became the first African American to host his own television program. Performers from Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald clamored to donate their services. Despite rave reviews, white sponsors refused to back him.

            Fighting tears, Nat King Cole cancelled his show saying, “Madison Avenue’s afraid of the dark.”

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Buddy DeSylva, founder of Capitol Records, is quoted as having said, “If Nat Cole were white, he’d be bigger than Sinatra or Crosby.”

Here’s a clip from the ill-fated The Nat “King” Cole Show

IT’S WINE O’CLOCK

Published June 25, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This past Saturday, the town of Blue Springs, Missouri, hosted the annual event known as “Corks & Canvas.” Artists, musicians and wine vendors set up their tents up and down the street and hawk their wares. 

After a month of August weather in May and June, the heatwave broke and we were grateful for cool morning breezes and clouds. Although sunshine prevailed as the day progressed, it was still cooler than the past few weeks have been.

This is our second year to participate. When I say “our” I include my husband Jan who takes charge of the heavy lifting and set up. I don’t know what I’d do without my Chief. 😉 (You should hear his sales pitches for my art and books. Makes me want to buy them.) Things went smoother with set up this year since it was no longer our first rodeo. Last year we spent months shopping for display supplies such as tent, tables and walls. This year the only thing I needed to do ahead of time was paint, frame and have a few more prints made.

Although it seems that fewer people showed up this year, it was an enjoyable time, nonetheless. A few friends I hadn’t seen for a while showed up to visit and lend their support. Did I think to take pictures of them?

One thing I appreciate about signings is the way my books, informed by my Eastern European family, often inspire others to share their histories with me. No exceptions here. I sold out of PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME and sold a few of the sequels FROM SILT AND ASHES and AS ONE MUST ONE CAN. 

The wine glass note cards were also a hit. Many thanks to Alexis at Print Graphics for her diligence to details. 

We received an invitation to participate in another wine fest in September in Independence, Missouri. It looks promising. I’d better order more books and do a few more wineglass paintings. 😉

Note to self: Bring a change of shoes next time.

22 June 2018

Published June 20, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier

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As you read my story, you might be thinking the woman doesn’t know her geography. However the muse took me far from this Venice. Just think Thoreau. 😉

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

ENEMY NON-ALIEN

                                                                                                                       February 14, 1943

            Dear Diary,

            Last night I dreamt I was back at Venice beach with my baby brother when armed soldiers snatched him away. I woke up screaming.  

            This morning my mother smiled a smile that couldn’t hide her sorrow. “Happy birthday, Suzuka.”  

            For years my parents longed for another child. Mommy prayed for a son. Last year we celebrated Hiroshi’s arrival—my 14th birthday present—right before the ‘executive order.’

            Six months ago he died of pneumonia.

            Sun glints off the barbed wire fence as my classmates and I recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.

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One of my favorite books on the subject, The Red Kimono, was written by our own FF’r Jan Morrill.

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