A Stone for the Journey

All posts in the A Stone for the Journey category

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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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.

16 February 2018

Published February 14, 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

Please be respectful of your fellow writers/readers and keep your stories to 100 words. Thank you and Shalom. 

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Once more I’m sharing an excerpt from an excerpt from both FROM SILT AND ASHES  and A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY. As I write, I’m making progress with the latter. Thank you for your patience and kind feedback. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

GOODBYE, HELLO 

Ulrich held Havah’s letter to his nose and breathed in the aroma of rose water. He pictured her at her table, black waves cascading over her shoulders.

His mind harked back to Rotterdam Harbor where they bid each other farewell. The taste of their stolen kiss lingered on his lips, even as Arel waited on the dock.

“How are things in America?” asked his housemate Nikolai.

Ulrich tossed him the letter. “Read for yourself.”

“They’re happy despite the cold winter. Good for them.”

“Yes indeed.” Biting his lip, Ulrich crumpled the envelope. “I’m delirous for them.” 

“Ulrich, let her go.”

 

             

 

 

2 February 2018

Published January 31, 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

Please be considerate to your fellow writer/readers and keep your stories to 100 words. Thank you. 

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The crunch is on. I’ve started putting a manuscript together for A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY. So most of my writing energy these days is going into the short stories and excerpts for the book. The following is a tweaked excerpt from FROM SILT AND ASHES that’s cut down from the version that’s going in the next book. That made perfect sense, right? 

Genre: Historical Fiction circa 1904

Word Count: 100

DOORPOST

          Havah traced the shin, the first letter of the word Shaddai, Almighty on the weathered tube on her door jamb with her index finger. The mezuzah was one of the few things she managed to salvage from the ruins of her village.

        She remembered how David, then thirteen, spent hours carving the wood. Careful not to crack it, he hollowed out a place to insert the parchment scroll inscribed with Torah verses. How had it survived? She brought her fingertips to her lips and kissed them, remembering her brother’s face.

       “Sweet David, your words have I hidden in my heart.”

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FUROR

Published January 29, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman visits Bristol in the southwest of England.   This week’s location was suggested by the talented and inspiring Kelvin M. Knight, blogger and flash fiction ninja. If you haven’t already, wander over and check out his blog.

Your mission is to write a 150-word story, poem, or essay inspired by this week’s location. You’ll find both photo spheres and streetview to inspire you. Once your piece is polished, please share it with other Pegman contributors using the link up below.

It has been one majorly busy weekend with an unexpected trip to the ER and a whole day lost. Here it is Monday morning…still catching up on Friday Fictioneers and posting a late Pegman story. What am I meshuggeh? On the other hand, the following tweaked snippet from AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN puts me closer to having A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY  completed. So it’s all good, right? Of course right!

Colston Hall in Bristol taken in 1917

Genre: Historical Fiction (Vienna 1908)

Word Count: 150

FUROR

Deep satisfaction surged through Ulrich. Four-year-old Rachel enthralled audiences across Europe, from Colston Hall in Bristol, to, just days before, in Vienna’s Musikverein.

            “Rachel is a magnificent talent,” said Catherine.

            “A prodigy. My little Mozart.”

            The steady clop of the horses’ hooves along the cobblestones lulled Ulrich as they made their way around the circular courtyard called the Schwarzenbergplatz.

            He stopped the carriage. “The famous Hochstrahlbrunnen fountain.” 

            “It’s simply gorgeous!”

            In the midst of a large round pool, a geyser-like fountain spotlighted from below illuminated the night sky, by turns, with purple, blue, yellow, green and red.

            A strident voice split through the peaceful water’s swooshing. A rail-thin youth gestured with the fervor of one addressing thousands rather than one equally scrawny youngster.

            “These strange ones with their ugly language that sounds like snuffles and squeaking and their odd dress have no place here. We are Germans. ‘Deutschland über alles!’”

 

19 January 2018

Published January 17, 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 © J Hardy Carroll

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As the new year has begun, I need to concentrate on my coffee table book. (I hope you’re not tired of hearing about it.) 

There are always those scenes on the cutting room floor. Here’s one that didn’t make it into AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. It’s edited from over 200 words as well. The lesson to be learned here is ‘never throw anything away.’ 😉 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

A TIME TO LAUGH

            Guilt niggled Havah for watching Vaudeville at Electric Park on the Sabbath. But didn’t the Book say laughter is good for the soul?

            Jugglers wearing gaudy costumes spun plates on sticks. Acrobats in skintight outfits flipped in midair.

            Havah marveled when the magician made a pair of turtledoves appear out of nowhere.

            “It’s called sleight of hand.” Itzak shrugged. “He probably had them stuffed in his trousers.”  

            “Who cares? He’s amazing!”

            Next the trickster’s dog pointed to letters on cards with his paw to spell out his name—P-I-L-U.

            In a stage whisper, Itzak said, “Glad his name isn’t Constantinople.”

 

BURIED DEEP

Published December 30, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Talnakh, in Krasonoyarsk Krai, Russia. My story takes place in another part of Russia.

Thanks to Karen and Josh for the challenge and the extra 50 words. 

Now that the holidays are basically behind us, I need to turn my attention to my next book, A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY. This week’s location is the perfect inspiration for this edited scene from AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. Naturally it’s my hope that these excerpts I’ve posted will whet the reader’s appetite to read my novels and, of course the upcoming coffee table book–designed for those who like to look at the pictures.  😉 😉

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

BURIED DEEP

            “What’s the matter with you?” Sergei glared at Nikolai. “You’ve never told Oxana about your own identical twin brother?”

            Oxana seethed. “No. Why should he tell me anything? I am only his wife.”  

            “I don’t blame him for keeping it a secret.” Sergei took a labored breath. “I’m the one at fault. I used to slap him for even mentioning Bodrik’s name.”

            “He was always so competitive. Had to be the best at everything.” Protracted memories zipped through Nikolai’s mind. The frozen Neva River ran like a ribbon through St. Petersburg. “‘Race you to the bridge,’ Bodrik yells. Of course he’s in the lead. Suddenly the dumb durak stops and sticks out his foot. Our skates tangle.”

            “Nikolai looked like he’d been mauled by a bear. Bodrik escaped with a simple bump on the head.”

            “What happened to him?” asked Oxana.

            Nikolai shivered. “He died in my arms that night.”

 

 

 

 

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