13 November 2015

Published November 11, 2015 by rochellewisoff

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It is common courtesy to give credit where credit is due. The next photo in this sea of memes is the PROMPT. 

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PHOTO PROMPT – © J Hardy Carroll

FRIDAY FICTION CONCRIT SUBGROUP

Let’s give it a go for another week. Click on the line above to learn how to participate. For those who would rather not receive constructive criticism there’s no obligation. It’s also good to remember that concrit is the suggestions of the giver. There’s no pressure to agree. Personally I received some good suggestions last week. 

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Wednesday, November 11 is Veterans Day here in the States. Thank you, Jan, for your twenty-eight years in the United States Navy. And thank you to all the men and women who have served in the military.

Genre:Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Since I’ve agreed with another fictioneer’s concrit and changed a line, it’s been requested that I post my original post so everyone can see what I changed. I think it’s a good idea so here it is. No need to read if you don’t want to. It’s basically the same story with some minor tweaking. 😉 

Here’s the original version:

WHERE THE GRAPES OF WRATH ARE STORED

            “Water…somebody…please.”

Clara knelt next to the Union soldier and held a cup to his lips. The stench of defecation and decaying flesh made her stomach roil. Her back and neck ached from three nights without sleep.

“Don’t you remember me, Miss Clara?”

In her mind’s eye she saw the bright child in her long ago Texas schoolroom.

“Of course I do,” she whispered. “Save your strength, David. We’ll talk later.”

In one heart-stopping moment something ripped through her right sleeve, the cup dropped and David fell back, quivering in the agonies of death.

Clara Barton never mended the bullet hole.

***

Here’s the update:

WHERE THE GRAPES OF WRATH ARE STORED

            “Water…somebody…please.”

            Clara knelt next to the Union soldier and held a cup to his lips. The stench of feces and decaying flesh made her stomach roil. Her back and neck ached from three nights without sleep.

            “Don’t you remember me, Miss Clara?”

            At once she recognized the bright child from her long ago Texas schoolroom.

            “Of course I do,” she whispered. “Save your strength, David. We’ll talk later.”

            In one heart-stopping moment something ripped through her right sleeve, the cup dropped and David fell back, quivering in the agonies of death.

            Clara Barton never mended the bullet hole.  

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Clarabartonwcbbrady

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106 comments on “13 November 2015

  • I sometimes wonder how you come across all these (largely) unsung heroes and heroines, Rochelle. But I’m glad you do, and that they have their day in our focus. Movingly written, and an excellent title.

    Like

  • Your heartwarming story, based oh history, was a fitting tribute to a wonderful and memorable lady, Rochelle. I’ve been to some Civil War battlefields, and there still seems to be a feeling of sadness lingering there. I can imagine the horror that existed there at the time. Well written as always. Sincere thanks to your husband, Jan, and all those who have served, and are serving, in the military at present. —- Suzanne

    Like

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I relayed your thanks to Jan which made him smile and puff out his chest a little.

      We have a Civil War museum not to far away in Lone Jack MO. It’s small but impacting.
      Thank you for your kin words re my story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Alicia,

      We always think of soldiers…presumably men. But there have always been women who sacrificed as well. In fact there were quite a few female soldiers in the Civil War. Of course they dressed as men.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • ❤️ – I love how you humanize historically significant characters for us. You are a natural at bringing history into focus, as you have done exceptionally well in Please Say Kaddish for Me.

    C – It may just be my own pet peeve but is there a better way for writers to say “mind’s eye”? In that sentence you also told us that the memory was from a “long ago” classroom which tells me everything I need to know and there’s no need for the cliche.
    Tracey

    Like

      • The correction was excellent and it brought the relationship into focus quickly and made the death a lot more personal for Clara. It’s amazing how a few words can make such a huge difference. I have so much respect for your writing that I was reluctant to criticize. I think the benefit of the concrit subgroup is learning to receive and give critique.

        Like

  • Rochelle, Great bits of history that we all need to be reminded of now and then.

    C- Not related to the story but in general – If we make changes/edits based on the constructive crit of others , like how you did with Tracey’s crit – It’s not easy to see how it was before the change and therefore difficult to learn from it. Is it possible to cut and paste the newly edited story below the original one so we can see how the editiing makes the difference?

    Like

    • Dear Ansumani,

      As you requested I’ve posted the original. Also I edited again for I noticed in my edit I had two lines that were too similar. So “In that moment she recognized” is now “At once she recognized…” I hope this helps.

      I’m a firm believer in changing something if I agree with a suggestion.

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Another awesome story, Rochelle. The Civil War is full of heart-wrenching stories like this one. Clara Barton was one of the great heroes of the war. C – I honestly have nothing to criticize about this. I think it’s perfect just the way it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, you fit so much great stuff into such a small space: a moving tale, a fascinating insight into a character I’m sorry to say I hadn’t heard of before AND the unbelievably cute picture of a handsome young couple in your thumbnail. You haven’t changed a bit!

    Like

      • Ok, the photo’s small, but the smiles are big and, anyway, my mum says the best things come in small packages.

        I’m pleased to have learned about Clara Barton. Out of interest I did a quick google search to see if she’d been a victim of a phenomenon that’s affected Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, i.e. a tendency by some researchers to try to denigrate our heroines and heroes long after they’ve died. I’m pleased to say I didn’t find any attempts to sling mud at her. Until recently very few British people were aware of Mary Seacole (no doubt because of her African-Caribbean heritage) but already there are detractors arguing that she was more of a hotel keeper, in it for the profit, than a nurse. I like to think the account at the link below is balanced, but some of it makes for sad reading : http://www.100greatblackbritons.com/bios/mary_seacole.html

        Like

    • Dear Dawn,

      Cliches are cliches for a reason. No one’s above falling into the trap since there are certain things we say all the time without giving them a second thought. And there’s a reason there are editor’s out there. Pobody’s nerfect. 😉

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • C – You tell us so much here withut saying, and tht last line is a great example of this understatement.
    Couple of things. First, I wasn’t sure which version was the original and which the edited one. I read both and it took me a while to find the difference, but I think losing the mind’s eye lost you nothing except the potential cliche. Good stuff.
    My one question was whether David was dying anyway, and she was being nice when she said they’d talk later, or whether he should have survived until that bullet came. I’d have liked to know!

    Like

    • Dear Jen

      I thought that by posting the original draft un-bold and the update in bold that it made it obvious. At any rate I’ve labeled both for anyone else who might be confused.

      In any event, I really don’t think it matters if David was already at death’s door or not. The story was in the kill shot. The rest I’ll leave to your imagination.

      Thank you for your comments, crit and compliments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks for introducing yet another figure from history that would otherwise have remained unknown (at least to me).
    C – I have nothing to add but I do think the edit makes a positive improvement and being able to see both versions allows us to draw our own conclusions and thus is a great aid to learning.

    Like

    • Dear Ali

      I understand you’re not having heard of Clara Barton. I know little English history so we’re probably more than even. For that matter I’m not that well versed in American history. And let’s not even talk about geography.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Morticia,
    I love the way you invoke the senses in your writer (whereas, I tend to invoke the senseless). For a moment, I thought I could even smell the black powder from the battlefield, but it turns out Buster had broken wind. Powerful writing.
    W.I.P. – write in peace,
    Uncle Fester

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Uncle Fester,

      I hope you’re having some luck this weekend. So far my deer slayer is languishing in the underbrush waiting for Bambi.

      To be fair, your stories invoke the senses, too…or is that revoke/revolt?

      Thank you for your kind compliments.

      Shalom,

      Morticia

      Like

  • You presented another great heroine to us iin a moving story. I followed the link and got lost in reading about her and those associated with her. 🙂
    C– I think it’s a great idea to leave the original and post an edited version underneath. I’ll do that, too. Since people will be aware that it is an edit, I think the edited passages could be highlighted in some way. Less involved readers don’t need to read both versions.
    I didn’t even know that ‘in one’s mind’s eye’ is a cliche. It didn’t bother me reading it. But the edit makes things crystal clear now.

    Like

    • Dear GAH,

      Mind’s eye was a cliche that obviously went under my radar. Thank Ansumani for the suggestion that I post the version I changed. I think we should all be flexible in that way. I don’t always agree with a crit but when I do it’s to my advantage as a writer to heed and change.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Liz,

      I agree. It’s good to remember and honor all of the fallen. I love it that Armistice, Canada’s Remembrance and Veteran’s Day were on the same day.

      Welcome back and thank you for coming by.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I thought Clara Barton made candy?

    Both story versions are good. I see the changes in the second both in style – paragraph and bold-ing – as well as in the 6th line. I agree that it is an improvement – though the first was still good enough as it was.

    Tell Jan, thanks for his service.

    Randy

    Like

  • Querida Rochelle,
    I have been quietly taking a respite from my blogging routine. I have missed doing your prompt writes but health and daily life was calling. In addition, sea healing cruise fit in there for me to recuperate from my back surgery. All in all, I am inching my way back. I hope my entry this week is pleasing to you and a good read for others who participant in your wonderful Friday Fictioneers.
    Gracias y muy amable por su trabajo,
    Isadora 😎

    Like

      • Querida Rochelle,

        Perdona … Perdona … Perdona …!!!! ( Forgive … Forgive … Forgive …!!!)

        In my haste to bring you up to date on where I’ve been I mistakening forgot to comment on your story. I absolutely did read it. I learn a great deal from your writing and the writing of others in this FF challenge. It’s the reason I enjoy it immensely. I’ve gained confidence to add my stories. For a very long time, I was in the shadows oberserving and gaining confidence. But, enough about me.
        Your story is ~ as always ~ a wonderfully written story of a historical account. I felt the 1st one was fine but I’m not an expert. “In one heart-stopping moment something ripped through her right sleeve, the cup dropped and David fell back, quivering in the agonies of death” ~ this was the line that stayed with me after my chills died down. A poignant group of words evoking powerful feelings.
        Have a GREAT SUNDAY … and … do Live in Love !!! ❤️
        Con Carino,
        Isadora

        Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, what a great story spotlighting how people have served our country so selflessly at such sacrifice. I like the change. It’s a small one, but effective. I think it rings more true. I can imagine her connecting with a face instantly and that is why it is even more of a powerful moment. Great work!

    Like

  • Nice job telling a poignant story, of the remarkable woman who started the Red Cross, and that ties in with Veteran’s Day. The visceral details of the Civil War (all wars) are well done here. I like the change, it’s clearer. As always, wonderful writing!

    Like

  • You’ve done it again! In so few words you bring a hero to life. I could hear all the sounds of war in the background. I love learning so many times I visit your page! Thanks you!

    Like

    • Dear Cheryl-Lynn,

      I love it that you feel that way. I think in another life I would enjoy being a teacher. Actually I have taught some Hebrew classes and to see the ‘aha moment’ on someone’s face, knowing I helped put it there is intoxicating.

      There are so many unsung heroes in history and it’s fun to sing their praises.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • The change brings us more fully into their present moment.

    I’ve been reading quite a bit of historical fiction lately – some about the Civil War nurses. Heroes nursing heroes. Quite a tribute, Rochelle.
    Ellespeth

    Like

    • Dear Ellespeth

      I won’t change for the sake of change or just because someone says so, but if I agree, I’ll be all over it. 😉 Glad this one worked.

      Thank you for reading, commenting and complimenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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