As One Must One Can

All posts in the As One Must One Can category

20 October 2017

Published October 18, 2017 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 © Sandra Crook

Please be considerate and keep your stories to 100 words. Thank you. 

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This is a scene from AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN, the third in my Havah Cohen Gitterman trilogy. By the third book, the characters have survived the hardships of Eastern European persecution. Many of them are dealing with what we know today as PTSD. This scene takes place in 1907 when little was known, much less addressed. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

AMNESIA 

            “All these years the only thing I remembered was her suicide. I’ve hated her for it,” Shayndel shuddered. “How could I forget why?”

            “You were only five,” whispered Fruma Ya’el. “It’s understandable—”

            Shayndel buried her head in her hands. “‘Jew bitch,’ they called her. ‘Get help!’ she begged me. But I couldn’t move. I—I watched as they—”

            Protracted memories riddled Shayndel. “Bayla never spoke again—until the morning she…she climbed the tree in the yard to the highest branch. Naked. Great with child. She spread her arms, smiled at me and said,” Shayndel choked, “‘Goodbye, little sister.’”

 

 

AUGUST 2017 IN REVIEW

Published September 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

One of my favorite song quotes comes from the late John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.” “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” August was a busy month, but September has followed suit, leaving little time blog. I suppose better late than never applies.

Traditionally for the Fields of Belton, Missouri, the first two weeks of August is when Jan goes to Sturgis, SD for the annual bike rally. It’s also the time when the missus, ie me, has time to relax and hang around the house. However, this year, I didn’t spend nearly as much time relaxing as I’d expected.  

Yours Truly with Diane Yates

The first weekend, I packed up the purple tent, books, and artwork. With my good friend Barbara I drove to Fayette, Missouri for the weekend to take part in the Fayette Arts Festival where we stayed with my co-author and friend Diane Yates. Although the weather was unseasonably cold and wet, we girls had a great time. We even sold a few books. 😉 With all of our husbands off and running, the three of us spent Saturday night watching a movie, sipping wine and gabbing into the wee hours.

One of the things I love about doing these signings is the people I meet. Drawn in by the artwork and my novels’ connection to my family, someone will tell me, often in great detail, about their own backgrounds. Great fun.

Wednesday, August 9th, my cousin Kent and I headed to midtown where I was scheduled to do an interview on ArtSpeak on local radio station KKFI, Kansas City’s answer to NPR. He took the picture below during the interview.

Here’s the podcast of that interview. Note: I wasn’t the only guest. You’ll find my slot at 27:39. Friday Fictioneers gets a nod as I read three flash fictions and told Maria how I stumbled into one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Following the interview, Kent and I spent the afternoon meandering around KC’s famous Country Club Plaza. We spent at least an hour in Barnes & Noble’s media room geeking out over DVD’s. We capped off the day by devouring our favorite barbecue at Snead’s BBQ, another Kansas City tradition.

Leawood Barnes & Noble book signing, August 12.

Truly, the crowning moments of the month happened in Branson at the Ozarks Writers League (OWL) conference which happens four times a year. I’ve been a part of and learned much from this generous group of writers for the past ten years. This year I had the opportunity to give back in leading a workshop entitled “Using Flash Fiction as a Writing Tool.” Two FFr’s, our own class clown, Russell Gayer and Cuzzin Kent Bonham served as my peanut gallery (for those who remember Howdy Doody).  

 

A month ahead I sent out the photo prompt and challenged the OWLs to write a 100 word story, giving them a taste of Friday Fictioneers, using the same prompt we used that week on the blog challenge. As always, it’s entertaining to hear the different takes on the same photo. OWL president, Diane Yates and her husband Ricky both took part which was fun since the photo is that of their converted closet shower that he built with his own two hands.

August is the month of the OWL Annual Art Contest with three categories: 2 dimensional art, 3 dimensional and photography. Best in Show (not to be confused with the famous dog show) is awarded by the entry the judges consider the best of the 3 first place winners. I was pleased to learn that I won first and second place for 2 dimensional and the trophy. 😀

Since my husband Jan, my favorite roadie, cheerleader and wind beneath my wings, took the photos he isn’t in any of them. 

18 August 2017

Published August 16, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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A little teaser this week from my second novel FROM SILT AND ASHES

Genre: Historical Fiction circa 1904

Word Count: 100

LACK OF VISION

           “I’ve been reading.” Arel peered over his newspaper at seven-month old Rachel in her highchair. “There are places for people like her.”

            “She’s a person.” Havah seized the paper and ripped it in half.

            “In one of those schools she can be with other persons who are…” he lowered his voice, “…blind.”

            Choking on her anger, Havah hobbled to their bedroom where she hauled a suitcase from the closet. After stuffing it with his clothes, she shoved it down the stairs.

            “Havah, listen to reason.”  

           “I will when I hear it. Come back when you decide to be a father!”

 

DAYS OF WINE AND WATERCOLOR

Published July 3, 2017 by rochellewisoff

It all started when my agent Jeanie suggested I post character studies of my throng of characters on my blog to garner interest in my yet-to-be-published novels. I didn’t start rendering them in pencil and watercolor straightaway. You can blame it on Officer Lafayette A. Tillman, the second African American on the Kansas City Police Force. Since he shows up in FROM SILT AND ASHES and becomes an influential person in the life of Lev Gitterman in AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN I naturally wanted to post a character study about him. There are photos of him online but the only ones I could find were copyrighted. That’s when it occurred to me to paint a portrait of him.  

LAFAYETTE A. TILLMAN-Original Artwork – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Fast forward to two novels later with one on the way, my publisher wanted to know if I’d be interested in putting together a coffee table companion book. “Let me think about that a minute…yes.”  For going on two years, I’ve worked to make that book upwards of 220 pages. In addition to the sepia portraits of the characters, I’ve been painting watercolor scenes from each of the books. I hate to call it ‘work’ though. To be honest, I’m having the time of my life. 😉 

This brings me to three months ago when I was introduced to Alexis at a place in Blue Springs, Missouri called Print Graphics. It had been suggested to me that I have prints made to sell. A festival in the area called Corks & Canvas would be a good venue, I was told, to market, not only my novel trilogy, but my artwork as well. So the games began! 

GAVREL WOLINSKY- Orignial Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

My husband Jan was excited at the prospect of my finally showing my artwork. Maybe those student loans to the Kansas City Art Institute would finally pay off. At any rate, he was totally on board with purchasing the display racks and tables. He used his Academy Sports employee discount to buy a purple tent and matching chairs. (You expected, maybe white?) 

I didn’t think I’d have much to show, but thanks to Alexis, who is an artist herself, my stack of prints grew. My office/studio took on the appearance of an explosion in an art gallery. We found thrift stores to be wonderful places to find gently used frames, some with pristine mats that were the perfect size for my prints.

     When the time came, Jan, bless his heart, spent most of Friday packing the truck so there’d be little left to do Saturday morning. We lucked out. After a month of stifling heat and humidity, the temps dropped and we had pleasant weather. We were on site by 8:00 am and set up by 10:00.

     I enjoyed friends who showed up to support me and meeting new friends. One young Jewish woman stopped and we chatted for a long time. She was drawn to a couple of the paintings because they reminded her of her grandparents. While she didn’t buy anything, she said she would definitely get back with me. I hope she does. 

    If Corks & Canvas is any indication, it seemed to me that the artwork sold the books and visa versa. Financially, it was a successful day and makes us want to combine book signing and art display at other festivals. 

     Who knows where this will lead? 

Click on photos to view larger versions. 

A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY

Published May 29, 2017 by rochellewisoff

For Memorial Day Weekend, Pegman walks through  Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Many thanks to J Hardy Carroll and Karen Rawson for hosting this writing challenge. 

A hearty thank you to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we so richly enjoy. May their memories be blessing. 

So…this is the photo I chose from the Pegman menu. I confess to being a bit of a renegade on this one. My story has nothing to do with Kanchanaburi  or A. Rosenberg. You may recognize the characters in this story if you’ve read any of my books. 😉 However, this piece isn’t in any of them.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY

            The rabbi shut his prayer book. “May HaShem grant us strength to see beyond our sorrow and may the name of Sarah Tulschinsky be blessed.”

            Havah gazed at her sister-in-law’s newly unveiled headstone. Had it really been a whole year since the gentle woman who had welcomed Havah to America succumbed to pneumonia? She placed a large pebble on the marker.

            Sarah’s nine-year-old son Jeffrey tugged at Havah’s sleeve. “Auntie, why do we put rocks on graves when Christians put flowers on them?”

            Kneeling, she wrapped her arm around his shoulders. “What happens after you pick a flower?”

            “It turns brown and dies.”

            “Can a rock die?”

            “Huh-uh.”

            “A stone is eternal, like your mama’s soul. The more stones you see on a person’s grave, the more he or she has been remembered.”

            Jeffrey opened his clenched fist and dropped a handful of pebbles. “I will never forget you, Mama.”

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY

Published April 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

~~Henry Ward Beecher

Last November I was asked by an LA Talk radio host, Jim Christina which I preferred–writing or painting. I had to think about it for a moment for I consider both of them to be facets of creating art. With one I paint pictures with words, the other with pencil and paint.

To listen to the interview which I enjoyed so much click HERE

My next book will be out sometime next year and will be the companion to the HAVAH GITTERMAN SAGA, filled with illustrations and captions for those who’d rather look at the pictures. 😉 Of course, my preference is that one would enjoy reading the novels first.

In any event, this month marks a milestone for me. Nineteen pieces of my artwork, some illustrations for the upcoming book, are on display at the Colbern Road branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. 

1000 NE Colbern Road
Lee’s Summit, MO 64086
Phone: 816.525.9924
Mon. – Thur. 9 – 9, Fri. 9 – 6, Sat. 9 – 5
Branch Manager: Seth Moses

My thanks for the invitation go to:

Morgan Daigneault
Access Specialist II
Colbern Road Branch
mdaigneault@mymcpl.org
 ***
I’m somewhat late in posting this, but can only excuse myself by saying that I was waiting to gather all of my photos. I hope you enjoy the following photos, or, even better, drop into the library. While you’re there feel free to request my books. 😉

VOICE OF A SPANISH DANCER – COMING TO MY SENSES

Published April 3, 2017 by rochellewisoff

COMING TO MY SENSES

        There is a scene in my second novel, FROM SILT AND ASHES, where Yussel Gitterman tells his grandchildren that the Almighty is merciful. His fifteen-year-old grandson, who has survived the violence in Eastern Europe, lashes out. “When we light candles for the dead, it will start a bonfire. How can you call that God’s mercy?”

            Yussel, who is blind, answers by pressing his hand over Lev’s eyes. He then challenges the boy to see his surroundings with his ears, nose and skin.

 “Tell me what you hear, Lev.”

“I hear Bayla and Evie’s giggles.”

“Anything else?”

For a moment Lev stood still, bit his lip and cocked his head. “Kreplakh’s (dog) snoring under the sofa. Tikvah’s (infant) bawling.”

“Good, Lev. Now what do you smell?”

“What do I smell?” Lev’s voice scaled up an octave with each word.

“You have a nose?”

“Sure.”

“And it works?”

“All right. All right. I smell…mm…sponge cake and apple pie. Coffee. Aunt Cate’s lavender perfume and Uncle Wolf’s nasty cigar.”

“You see, Lev, not all smells are pleasant. Not all sounds are sweet. But…we are alive. That, my son, is God’s mercy.”

            For the past couple of weeks, the weather in our area has been, to say the least, wet and gloomy. Although the rain is much needed, day after day of grey skies has had me digging holes in my outlook.

            Inspired by my friend, Valerie Davies’ blog https://valeriedavies.com/2017/03/26/simple-pleasures-they-may-not-be-what-you-think/           and thinking about my book’s passage, which is one of my favorites, I’ve decided to take Yussel’s challenge.

            I exercise at least five days a week—sometimes less, sometimes more. More often than not, depending on the weather, I walk to the fitness center, a little over a mile away. This way I am able to do both weight bearing and aerobic exercise.

            To some, swimming laps might seem like the penultimate boredom. Not to this Spanish Dancer. The gurgle and swish of the waves is music. I note the difference in watery tones as I vary my strokes and the way the water billows when I exhale. As I flip-turn like an Olympic swimmer to change directions, I’m weightless, buoyed by the current. Unlike an Olympic swimmer embroiled in a race, I take my time when I somersault and enjoy the patterns the ripples make. As I suspend for a few seconds I note the way the water blossoms overhead.

Spanish Dancer Human

Spanish Dancer Jellyfish

            Once showered and dressed, I’m ready for my mile trek home.

            Spring is upon us and splashes of color are everywhere—bright yellow Daffodils and Dandelions—Redbuds and Dogwoods, stunning against a Payne’s grey sky. I fill my eyes with them.

The scent of charcoal from someone’s fire the night before hangs on the breeze. Exhaust fumes and a hint of cigarette smoke taint the rain and grass scented air. I wrinkle my nose. “Not all smells are pleasant.” As I near home I breathe in the scent of hyacinths from a neighbor’s garden.

            Crossing a bridge I, listen to the voice of the water as it flows over rocks. Although I don’t know one bird’s call from another, I can tell that there are several different species singing their arias. Robins, geese, crows and owls are among the few I recognize. A lawnmower starts up in the distance. A rooster crows. Two dogs bark as I pass their turf. A chainsaw grinds and a rake scrapes the sidewalk. “Not all sounds are sweet.”

            I am happy to be alive.  

 

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