31 August 2018

Published August 29, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Historical Fiction-Circa 1856

Shawnee Indian Mission School – Kansas

Word Count: 100

As I post this I’m becoming acquainted with new characters for another novel with the working title: WHAT THE HEART WANTS. This is an excerpt that has been rearranged and distilled down to 100 words to stand alone. It will be longer in the book. 😉


“Do you like your Christian name, Ruth?” asked Moon Glow

            Staring at her new school dress in the mirror, Bear Starfire shrugged. “Do you like yours, Marybeth?”

            “It doesn’t matter what we like. We’re the Waapa’s prisoners.”

            A girl carrying an armload of linens entered the dormitory room. “Howdy, ladies.” She whispered, “Don’t let nobody hear you talkin’ Injun talk. It’s evil.”

            In her mind, Bear Starfire heard Neega sing to baby Wolf-Child in the language of their people. K’otha’s voice rumbled with stories of their ancestors. Love flowed like fresh water with every word. How could that be evil?


Neega -Mother

K’otha – Father


Thank you to the real Bear Starfire for your input. (our own Jelli) You are a gift from the Great Spirit to me.




Announcing my latest. The fourth book of the Havah Cohen Gitterman Trilogy!

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155 comments on “31 August 2018

    • Dear Francine,

      I’m just getting to know these characters so I’m looking forward to the next part as well. 😉 Nothing pleases an author more than to know the reader was drawn in. Thank you. 😀




  • Indians could be good but many were evil. Maybe Ruth and MaryBeth were influenced by stories about the ones in Auriesville, N.Y. It’s really good that the girls, and their new friends, got along so well. Asking questions and observing their behavior can help them to understand well..


  • Oh this is so tragic… how minorities have been absorbed to conform for ages. I have read similar stories from our country when Sami children were forbidden to speak their language and had to conform in terms of religion and ways of living….

    Of course having the name Bear works fine here in Sweden… but that’s because it’s also an old Viking name. My name means Bear, and my sister’s name Äsa means a Norse Goddess…

    Liked by 5 people

  • How many times throughout history has the conqueror worked to eliminate all traces of the culture of the conquered. Take away their language, and you’ve gone a long way toward reaching the goal. Well done, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Rochelle
        My mother was born in Wales, and spoke Welsh until she was eight years old, when her family moved to England. The Welsh had completely gone by the time she was married. It’s hard to hold on…


  • Miigwetche (Thank you)! What a wonderful story you are writing, and I feel so very honored to read it and to see myself in every line. So beautiful! Good Medicine writing for sure! I came close, this weekend at powwow to buying a two volume Shawnee/English dictionary set. Just didn’t have the extra funds. So, our language is finally recorded (what has not been lost), and that is good, too. 🙂 ❤ Can't wait to read more of Mkwa Kikyshkote's story!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Beautiful Bear,

      Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your story and your culture. Your input will make Mkwa Kikyshkote’s story rich and authentic. I’m beyond happy that my story rings true with you.



      Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Rochelle,

    How you managed to scrunch this down to 100 words amazes me.. And you did it so well. A sad part of history and I can just picture the little girls’ confusion and fear and desire to rebel…

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 2 people

  • This is such a gripping scene. I can’t wait to read your new series. It will take a while until I can get my greedy hands on your new book, and congrats btw. You’re not planning to publish that as a kindle book, too, are you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gabi,

      It will be a while before the next novel is complete I think. But we’re off to a start. Last night the characters kept me all night with their stories.
      My publisher said that there might be a Kindle of this new book but he didn’t know when. There’s a lot of artwork in it and it is hardback. But this is out of my hands.
      Thank you re my scene. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

  • And that is how you systematically destroy a culture. I’ve read the stories about how the Native-American children were treated. What we did was disgraceful. I hope that we never forget so that it never happens again. Your story really brought that dark time to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Anshu,

      The First Nations weren’t exactly “slaves” as the Africans were, but the whites seemed to feel it their Christian duty to civilize the “savages.” Thank you for your kind comments.




  • Excellent, Rochelle. I feel like quoting Bob Dylan here: how many roads must a man walk down before he can finally see?
    American were so caught up in their western cowboy culture that they never saw that they decimated an indigenous race and even if they did, would they have cared? Do they care now? 😦 Probably no more than they care about other things/beings/etc being decimated. (sorry for the rant)

    Liked by 1 person

  • Another almost unbelievable true tale of a ‘civilising mission’. How many children were removed from their parents and culture, renamed, inculcated with a new religion. It happened all over the world, but every time I read about it – from the Aborigines in Australia, to America – it’s heart breaking. How many lives tainted by this kind of action? Your snippet of your new book is a tantalising new direction and yet your mission remains the same – shining a light on historical injustice. Sad read, but so well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The destruction of indigenous culture by ‘civilised’ conquerors is something that we are acknowledging only now. In the past it was easy to label indigenous cultures as savage and uncivilised and gloss over their way of life. And they were not even ‘Indians’, the famed navigator landed on the wrong continent 😉
    A beautiful and touching story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      When I was in the 8th grade, my Spanish teacher, a young woman, justified the treatment of Native Americans, calling them savages and pagans. To this day I’m still horrified by her calm, very white, self-assured demeanor as she said it.
      Thank you for your affirming comments.




    • Dear Sonia,

      I’m still learning, too. 😉 One of the wonderful things about writing flash fiction is learning to conserve words. As writers we tend to like to run on. In 100 words you’re forced to show more action, less passive voice and fewer adjectives. Not to mention it’s great fun and highly addictive. 😀 Thank you for your kind words.



      Liked by 1 person

      • I started writing fiction just four months ago. Initially my stories would be around 2k words because I always felt there was so much to say. And then I realized that not everyone will have the time to read so much and not every story will remain interesting if it drags on. So, I started restricting myself to 1000 words initially. I brought it down to 500 words eventually. It’s just two weeks that I woven a tale in just 100 words and I really feel empowered. I choose words wisely, expressions carefully and ensure to keep a punchline in the climax. And that’s because of this wonderful group and your initiative. I wish I found you sooner.

        Thank you again.


        Liked by 1 person

  • It’s sad what they did to take away the Indian heritage. The same thing happened in my home state in southern Louisiana. Most everyone up to my mother’s generation spoke French and English. But at school, they were shamed the children into not speaking French. Consequently, few in my generation speaks French. Some years after my generation, the school system thought to bring the French language back. They hired Canadian French teachers and gave them text books from France, which was different from what was spoken. Our ancestors’ 18th Century French had evolved slightly different from how the the language had evolved in France.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Phyllis,

      Isn’t it interesting that while English has never been the official language we are most uni-lingual country in the world? I’ve always wondered why and have longed for a second language since I was a child. What has been done to the indigenous in the name of civilization leaves me speechless.
      Thank you for reading and sharing your story.



      Liked by 1 person

  • it’s the sign of the times. i just came back from ireland and i was deeply surprised people rarely speak gaelic anymore. the young ones don’t care to learn it anymore. english has become the common language spoken.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Ralphetta Kramden W(T)F,

    Looks like a great novel in the making. I wonder if they gave any of the girls good Christian names like Ralphetta? Everybody knows whitey is evil. Always has been, always will be. It’s even worse now with Orange Hair in the White House. Nice snippet. Can’t wait to hear more of this story.

    Keep it between the ditches,
    Boxley Hairloom

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Boxley Hairloom,

      One moccasin at a time with this next novel. While some of my best friends are white, I’ve never understood why that’s considered superior. Those of us with pale complexion know the infinite agony of sunburn and the heartbreak of freckles.
      So…please sit down, quit throwing spit-wads and get your hands back inside the bus.


      Ralphetta Kramden W(T)F

      Liked by 1 person

  • I love these girls already and this is not a piece of history I know much about at all. Names and naming is so important. My son was delivered by a midwife who went by the African name of Bola. On her official notes I noticed her given name was Emily. Who named her and why and how she reclaimed the name she wanted, we never had the time or nerve to ask.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Miranda,

      I find names fascinating. Most American Jews, at least among my family and friends, are given an English name and a Hebrew name, usually after a deceased relative. I’m named for my grandmother Rose. We share the name Rukhel. Until 2nd grade I assumed all kids had Hebrew names.
      Thank you re my story. We’ll see what these girls tell me about their future.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi HRH66,

      While it’s okay for you to put your link in my comment section, you will get far more reads if you add it to the inLinkz list. (Click the blue frog and follow directions at the bottom of that page.) As I said, this is the comment section for my stories.




  • Your stories are always so good at making us feel what your characters feel. I am sad for these girls, that all that they love is called “evil,” and that “evil” must even become a part of a 6-year old’s vocabulary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      I think we have similar missions in our writing which is why your comments mean so much to me. I’m not sure what’s in store for these children at this point, but evil shouldn’t be in their vocabulary. 😦

      Thank you and Shalom,



  • Thank you for another beautiful and informative historical story. ‘Love flowed like fresh water with every word.’ is a wonderful line, full of truth and emotion. I have to say I much prefer Moon Glow and and Bear Starfire to Ruth and Marybeth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kalpana,

      All too many of the First Nations people were wiped out. At least the preservation of their cultures has come to be seen as important. I hope it’s not too little too late. Thank you.




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