11 April 2014

Published April 9, 2014 by rochellewisoff

WELCOME TO FRIDAY FICTIONEERS!

🙂 Two years ago this week, I posted my first flash fiction after seeing Madison Woods’ notice on Facebook. I’m amazed at how fast the time has gone and how Friday Fictioneers has grown!  😀 

*******

Henry David Thoreau said it best.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

THE CHALLENGE:

Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)

THE KEY:

MAKE. EVERY. WORD. COUNT.

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 99

To escape Paris gossip, a pair of lovers spent the winter of 1838-1839 on the island of Mallorca.  

FROM MALLORCA WITH LOVE

            “George, let me read this to you.

            “‘Estimado Señor,

            “‘To have a couple living outside the bonds of holy matrimony under my roof brings shame to my head. Your woman’s cigar smoking and wearing of the man’s clothes is a sin.

            “‘All this I have tolerated for the privilege of hosting such a celebrated musician.

            “‘While you have my sympathy, your disease puts the island in danger. Please burn the linens and leave.”

            Frédéric Chopin lit George’s cigar, set fire to the letter and tossed it on the bed.

            “Cherie, I am afraid we must do as he asks.”           

 

Frederic_Chopin_photo

Frédéric Chopin succumbed to the dreaded Consumption (Tuberculosis) 17 October 1849 at age 39.

Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin at age 34. A novelist, her pen name was George Sand.

Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin at age 34. A novelist, she went by her pen name “George Sand.”

The only thing better than hearing Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor on piano is savoring its sweetness on piano and violin. If you have an extra five minutes, for your listening pleasure (and mine):

151 comments on “11 April 2014

  • Wow. It’s amazing how fast the time goes. It’s been over a year since I started my own photo challenge and it doesn’t seem that long. My first attempt was the spiral staircase.

    I had a grandad who died of Tuberculosis, and my sister survived it. This is spot on and I like the way you have told it Rochelle. Thank you for taking up the reigns and hosting Friday Fictioneers.

    Like

  • Love your historical fiction writing. Puts a side to real people that you wouldn’t normally think about. It’s always lovely to give bigots exactly what they want! (It never turns out in their favor, it seems).

    Like

  • Great story with an insight into Fred and George’s life. My first husband had TB as a child, so all our children were immunised soon after they were born.

    NB. You might want to delete the extra ‘to’ from your first sentence 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Liz,

      I really didn’t think TB was around these days. Shows how much I know. Glad you liked the story and thank you for the word save. 😉 The excess “to” has been removed…in less than two seconds, too.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Björn,

      I’m glad your father survived. In grade school the school nurse administered annual TB tests. In American history, immigrants were tested for the disease at Ellis Island and turned away if infected.

      Thank you for stopping by. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle,
    you have a flair for historical fiction (or at least stories based on true events.) I didn’t realize he died so young. I feel like investigating this more, especially “George Sand”.
    -David

    Like

    • Dear David,

      Historical fiction is my favorite genre, but I guess it goes without saying. Finding these little nuggets is great fun. as for George, she could be a story in herself. What a character.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle

    As usual your flair for historical fiction hits the right note. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

    I have always been fascinated by the story of Chopin and George Sand and you have given it a new twist. The way you have used the letter to set out their story – his illness, her wearing of male clothing – very cleverly done, one of your best I feel.

    Take care
    Dee

    PS – Thank you for using one of my photos, it was a real surprise to see it at the top of your post.:)

    Like

  • Dear Dee,

    Glad you didn’t resist. 😉 I always enjoy a pun fitly spoken.

    George Sand was new to me prior to writing this story. I’ve long been a fan of Chopin’s music, but never spent time finding out about the man. Now I have to separate who he was from what he created.

    Thank you for your glowing comments and for the photo.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    He and Peter Townsend would have gotten along famously.

    I love your story (cool title) and how it wasn’t written only for your enjoyment, but for your reader’s. Someone recently told me that they write quickly and for themselves, not for the readers. They admitted this was selfish, but said they had no choice and added, “It’s what I do.” I think this comment may have inadvertently hit on the reason why many of the stories posted on Friday Fictioneers leave the reader feeling as if they have been taken advantage of.

    Your care, craft, and attention to detail are top notch and are matched only by their consistent appearance in each week’s story. You choose to write for the reader, and it shows.

    Mahalo and Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • Dear Doug,

      My muse was particularly creative on that title, eh?

      Certainly a writer should write for his or her enjoyment, but if not for the reader also, what’s the point?

      As always, I’m warmed by your comments and friendship. Thank you for your input and encouragement.

      You better, your better, you bet. 😉

      B’vahkeshah and Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • A beautiful snippet of history once again!! I feel your 100 words always make me learn something new about the world.

    And congratulations on 2 years!! Hopefully we’re all still here madly writing in another 2 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Jessie,

      Only time will tell where we’ll all be in two years. 😉 At any rate, thanks for coming aboard. Glad you liked my story. I always learn something myself when I research for a story and I love sharing it.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Ruth,

      Not sure if it’s my age or just an awakening, but history is something I really enjoy. This story was new to me. I’d like to know more about the relationship myself. I love the music, but I’m not so sure I’d have liked the man. 😉

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • What a bitter sweet piece of romance Rochelle and the added flavour of real time history just upped the value quotient!As always,you have wowed me with your story-entertaining,informative and I loved the sassy feel at the end 😉 Now off to post my weekly 100-missed last week and am still suffering from the lack of my “dose”,lol!

    Like

    • Oh Rochelle,I forgot! Congratulations on your successful completion of two years of FF and though I have been here for only 2/3 of those 24 lovely months,am thrilled to be a part of this community:-)May you celebrate many such FF anniversaries in future and may the tribe keep growing ((hugs))Loads of love xx

      Like

      • Dear Atreyee,

        Please forgive me for not answering your lovely comments sooner. No excuses. I thought I had answered and missed it. 😦 Thank you for the gentle nudge.

        I truly appreciate your presence and participation in Friday Fictioneers. I know what you mean about “dose”. I have to have my weekly fix, too.

        Thank you,

        Shalom,

        Rochelle

        Like

  • The letter captured the horrified pomposity of the host to perfection. Not to mention Chopin’s languorous response. Historical fiction as only you can do it, Rochelle. A story with a difference – I always look forward to your take.

    Like

  • Very interesting and well-written story, Rochelle. My husbands father was a doctor in India and contracted TB.He healed but after that was only allowed to treat TB patients. He contracted it again and eventually died of the disease in 1943 when my husband was ten years old .

    Like

  • Magnificent Rochelle, I love Chopin! I can play part of the Nocturne on the piano – such a sad song, but beautiful! Your story is really good and very well written. I know 1 hundred and 20 years ago that proprietors frowned on unmarried clients and with TB, it would have been worse because he was putting others in danger. – I also have a son with latent TB that is in remission from being in the army in Kosovo.

    Like

    • Dear Nan,

      I’m sending hopes and prayers that your son’s TB stays in remission.

      Thank you for your lovely comments. I’m a bit envious of your being able to play any part of the Nocturne. One of my favorite pieces of music ever.

      In my novels Nocturne in C-Sharp minor is practically another character.

      Thanks again,

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Rochelle – Today is April 15, 2014. Is there anyway you could email me, I have a question. However, if you don’t have the time to converse with your ‘kids’ then let me know next week if you have a chance then. I have listened once again to the Chopin piece “Nocturne” and remember the first time I heard it and thought how lovely it was, not realizing who had written it. Thanks Rochelle – and please if you don’t have time – just ignore this. Nan 🙂

      Like

  • I knew it was going to be George Sands! What a dynamic duo. I did not know that Chopin & Sands had hooked up! In fact I did not know George’s real name. So, once again Dear Rochelle… thanks for the education. I loved the tossing the burning letter on the bed!

    Rochelle… I’m listening to some nice music as I go back to see when Madison Woods got hold of me. Ah, here it is… March 4, 2012. It wasn’t even fiction, but a memoir… I had yet to write a piece of fiction, even though I wanted to try. Here is my first FF entry… http://tedstrutz.com/2012/03/04/friday-fictioneers-1-semi-precious-gememoirs/ Fun to see who liked and commented… dear ‘friends’ now, some still here. I wrote a few more ‘memoirs’ and on April 14, 2012 my first piece of fiction at Friday Fictioneers. So we started at the same time. Thank you so much for keeping the writing lamp lit each week.

    Like

    • Dear Ted,

      I didn’t know a thing about George Sand until I started following the threads. I, too, received an education. 😉

      So you preceded my by a little over a month. It’s fun to take those little trips down Memory Lane.

      Blame Doug, Kent and my husband. They talked me into it. But then, I couldn’t let it die, could I?

      Thank you for your comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Wow! Two years? It does go by fast. I really enjoyed your story, and before reading it I had never heard of George Sand. Thank you for taking the time to research and share this with us. You always put so much thought and care into your stories. I love the little twist at the end and the title is perfect. 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Lisa,

      It doesn’t seem like two years could’ve passed so quickly. After I’d written my first few flash fictions, my husband suggested I print them off and put them in a notebook. I did and that notebook’s gotten pretty full.

      I learned a lot with this piece, too. Following one research thread always leads me to many unexpected places. Great fun and happy to share. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Congratulations! thank you, Rochelle, for being such a wonderful hostess for FF. i’m happy to be a part of this group. this is where i started writing fiction, almost a year and a half ago, and FF has truly helped me grow. i’ll never forget that 🙂
    beautiful story, as always. i think i’ve told you this before, your stories always touch the readers.

    Like

    • Dear KZ,

      I’m thinking you came aboard about the time I took the driver’s seat. I’m happy it’s been helpful to you as a writer. I can honestly say that I’ve seen an improvement in your writing. All of us are students, aren’t we?

      Thank you for your comments on my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I started doing a happy dance about a third the way through this because I love stories about these two historical lovers. You told the tale beautifully.

    Congratulations on your anniversary!

    If you care to read more fiction that talks about Chopin and Sand, I highly recommend Cynthia Ozick’s Puttermesser Papers. Ms. Puttermesser, a single Jewish woman living in New York, is absolutely obsessed with the couple in this magical-realism novel.

    Peace,
    Marie Gail

    Like

  • I thought for a moment that there was something even more scandalous than extra-marital sex going on here, Rochelle, but your extra photographs have put paid to my homosexual interpretation. I enjoyed your story, and the little lesson too. The ending is beautifully subtle and deliciously subversive!

    Like

  • Rochelle, these historical ‘faction’ pieces you give really are your niche like no-one else’s. But they are much more than just short pieces. You have an unwaverable ability to find and choose important moments not one of us knew about, then let the story out bit by bit. Goodness knows how much research goes into it, and there is the lesson for many a FF. Fascinating piece, enjoyed reading and learning.

    Like

  • Congratulation Rochelle for completion of two years. I joined late but thank God for joining it. I get to rad your wonderful stories and some knowledge also. Also wonderful stories from other writers .Thanks to you. This one is beautifully written.

    Like

    • Dear Indira,

      One of the best things that has ever happened to me was to ask Madison Woods how to join Friday Fictioneers. And you could say I joined late as it had been going on for 7 months before. I never dreamed at the time I’d be facilitating. You are one of the blessings bestowed on me through this.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Two years- what an accomplishment! Your creativity and generosity are greatly appreciated by everyone here. I always love reading your stories. They’re authentic and leave me feeling a little bit wiser and inspired to improve my writing. I greatly enjoyed this story, as this is a piece of history I previously knew nothing of. Thank you so much for all that you do, Rochelle!

    Like

    • Dear Adelie,

      I’m not sure if it’s an accomplishment or just plain obsession. 😉 I fell in love with my first flash fiction. At the time I was the new kid on the block and found the community welcoming and helpful. It fascinated me that there were writers all around the world participating. Not to mention I’ve made a few lasting friendships. So when Madison asked if anyone wanted to take it over in Oct 2012 I begged for it. .(Be careful what you beg for).

      Thank you for your comments and support. This is why I do what I do.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle- This falls on my favorite list. Not just for my love of Chopin’s artistry or for the love of strong independent cigar smoking lasses but for your superb weaving of words. Dana

    Like

  • I don’t always read your story before I write mine because I don’t want to be unduly influenced. I wanted to know the origin of this picture though and your story was the only way (or at least the easiest). I loved the tale and found myself reading about George and Frederic. Your story and my brief investigation inspired my own love story.
    Thanks Rochelle.

    Like

  • How funny! I had first written a story of human trafficking (too depressing). Now reading yours….i see we wrote in similar vein of star crossed Lovers. Very nice Rochelle. and thanks so much for the inspiring you tube video!

    Like

    • Dear Karen,

      I, too, found Chopin and Sand to be fascinating. Their situation was not only difficult from the outside but from the inside as well. I hope at a later date to delve more deeply into their histories. Glad you enjoyed my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I’m listening to the video while I comment. 😉

    That letter had everything in it — everything. Composers are very near and dear to me being brought up in a formally-trained musical family. Geo. Sand was CUTE, if paintings are any indication! I can see, too, that the letter seemed to indicate nothing has really changed in the music world, has it? 😀

    Five gold stars!

    Like

  • Very succinct and tightly constructed! The best kind of historical fiction, that could actually be true.

    If only the challenge had more than 100 words, he could have asked Fred to burn the linens outside…

    Like

    • Dear Guapo,

      Apparently Chopin was notorious for trashing hotel rooms so it might be true. Who knows? 😉 I’m sure that when the landlord asked him to burn the linens he had no idea he would do it that way.

      Thank you very much for your kind comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Such a vivid story. In the last few weeks I watched a documentary about a fast-spreading TB strain in Africa that is resistant to conventional treatment. The fear of being outcast is so strong and so real that many people are trying to hide their illness, thus adding to the spread of the new strain.

    Like

  • Gorgeous, simply gorgeous, Rochelle. I enjoy all of your stories, but this one really swept me away… listening to the music, added to the pleasure. You really capture the energy in the room and the spirit of these characters. Wonderful!

    Like

  • Rochelle, I know I am commenting a second time, but I read your story twice more and it is brilliant! “Burn the linens” – by all means, we can do this, so Chopin tossed a lit cigar on the bed. Brilliant! I mean this Rochelle, you are so very good! Whatawhata writer! I’m so glad I can tell my friends that I sort of know you! WOW! And, once again I want to tell you how much I enjoyed listening to the video clip of Chopin and better yet your knowledge of the history about these two souls. BRILLIANT Rochelle! BRAVO! Nan

    Like

  • You reminded me that several years ago, my husband, daughter and I visited the Island of Mallorca and toured the home in which Chopin lived. We also heard a mini concert by a local musician who played Chopin’s music. I remember that I was both charmed and saddened by the tour. hugs for stirring up such lovely memories…

    Like

  • Loved your story Rochelle, beautifully done, the way you encapsulated the whole story and sadness in your few well-chosen words. I’ve always been awed by George Sand’s courage in choosing to live the life she did at that time in history.
    And thank you so much for putting us onto Midori – I spent the rest of the evening on Youtube listening to her and Googling her – what a genius…awe-inspiring…thank you again, Valerie

    Like

    • Dear Valerie,

      It’s always a treat when you stop in with your wonderfully affirming comments.

      I was delighted with where the research path led me this week and plan to learn more about George Sand. She was definitely ahead of her time.

      To find that my favorite piece of music had been transcribed to my my favorite instrument was a pleasure indeed. I, too spent the rest of the time listening to Midori.

      Thank you for coming by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • You must feel after two years of FF that you have a large second family. I like the story. It could well have come about. Thanks for the music with this one. The lives of musicians/composers are always fascinating and sadly, often tortured. I’m learning a song cycle by Schumann at the moment and researching into his life in the process. Dreadful. He had what today is called bi-polar and died in a psychiatric instituation. On writing ‘for the reader’ (Doug’s remark) I’d like to add that there are dangers in that, too, such as dumbing down, spoon feeding, not writing to the appropriate market. 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Ann,

      I do indeed feel like I’ve found a family of sorts…a global one at that. It’s the reason that, when Madison decided to step down, that I begged to take it on.

      The composers were the rock stars of their day. Artists are often plagued with neurotic tendencies, aren’t we? Seems to be the nature of the artistic beast.

      As for writing. I tend to agree with Doug. However I refuse to spoon feed or dumb down. Not sure yet what my market will be for my novels.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Maggie,

      Welcome back. Time does indeed fly. Where did those two years go? I’m pleased that you enjoyed my story. Great to see you back in the “Hollywood Squares” as Russell calls it.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,
    You are the mistress of historical fiction. Once again you tell us so much without telling us anything. You impart so much information subtly and entertainingly every time. Thank you.

    Like

  • i love your historical stories…in 100 words you pack so much information in. you are, as i have mentioned before, a wonderful hostess. thank you for all you do every week. i didn’t realize Chopin passed away so early in life. sad, but what a legacy of beautiful music he left for us to enjoy.

    Like

  • I don’t know if you are one of the most widely read and well informed people I have been acquainted with, or whether you just have too much time on your hands! 🙂 The effort and care with which you craft your little gems and the wonderful little historical cameos never fail to impress me. The music was hauntingly beautiful as well and an added treat. I doff my cap to you. 🙂

    Like

    • Dear JWD,

      I guess you could just call me someone with a thirst to learn all those things she was too foolish to study in her youth. 😉 The internet holds a wealth of information (and, sadly, misinformation). I’m not sure if it’s the age, but history has become a passion, if not an obsession.

      As for time…ah…how I wish I had more of it to study and write. I’m up before dawn so I can squeeze in writing time before going to my full time job as a cake decorator.

      I’m blessed with a long-suffering husband who shares me with my computer.

      Glad you enjoyed my story and my favorite music of all time. Thank you for making my day with your affirming comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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