Biography

All posts in the Biography category

15 September 2017

Published September 13, 2017 by rochellewisoff

 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

THE HEART OF A CLOWN

             Danny grabbed five-year-old Joey by the hand and led him onto the stage.    

            “Sing it like we practiced,” Danny whispered.

            Gazing at the sea of strangers, Joey bit his lower lip and nodded. “Okay, Poppa.”

            Mama played the opening notes on the piano.   

            Joey burst into a rousing rendition of “Brother Can you Spare a Dime,” imitating Al Jolson.

            When he took his final bow to resounding applause, he tripped into a footlight which exploded and startled him. The fickle audience laughed.

            Sixty years later, Jerry Lewis told an interviewer, “I decided then and there I preferred laughter to applause.”

 

Thanks for the Laughter, Mr. Lewis

1926-2017           

 

           

 

 

TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO AUTHOR HAS GONE BEFORE

Published April 1, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today, April 1st,  Pegman takes us 225 million kilometers to Mars.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post. Be sure to wear your helmet, and watch out for storms!

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.

Thanks to J Hardy Carroll and Karen Rawson for hosting this mission to Mars.

Happy April One-eth. So it should surprise me that our host should choose a place like Mars? Below is my choice from the Pegman Prompt Buffet and my story, submitted for your approval. 

Genre: Memoir and Musing

Word Count: 150

WHERE NO AUTHOR HAS GONE BEFORE

            In the 1950’s, my parents, who owned a restaurant in downtown KC, would hand my brother a few dollars and say, “Jeff, take your sister to the movies.” This afforded them a couple of child-free hours.

            Jeff chose the movies. I never minded. We saw them all—The Mysterians, Forbidden Planet, and so on—while munching popcorn and jujubes. I don’t remember being bothered by the fact that, in many of the flicks, the actors’ lips didn’t sync with the dubbed voices.

            When I turned eleven, Jeff introduced me to “The Martian Chronicles.”  I fell in love with Bradbury’s golden eyed, bronzed skinned Martians.

            My love for sci-fi has continued over the years. Yet, my writing hasn’t bent much in that direction. Heinlein I’ll never be.

            However, given the unprecedented popularity of “The Martian,” perhaps I’d attract a larger audience if I’d written, “Please Say Kaddish for Me on Mars.”

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In any event, if you do like historical fiction about the Jewish pogroms in Eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century you might enjoy my trilogy 😉 :

23 September 2016

Published September 21, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Friday Fictioneers and Poppy

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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 © Roger Bultot

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

PINOCHLE CHARLIE’S DAUGHTER

            Rose Borach’s heart sank. “Fania, don’t quit school. You’re too smart to end up like your worthless father.”

            “I won’t.” The skinny seventeen-year-old glided across the room with the grace of a ballerina. “My grades stink and I’m still in the eighth grade.” She sang, “Give my regards to Broooaddwaaay!” With an exaggerated curtsy, she kissed Rose’s cheek. “Someday you’re gonna see my name in lights.”  

            “What name? Borax? Jenny Waters? Muddy Waters?”

***

            Two years later in 1910, nineteen-year-old Fania burst through Rose’s door and flashed her newly signed contract. “Look, Ma, I’m in the Ziegfeld Follies. Me! Fanny Brice!”

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For those not familiar with this great lady of the theater, may I introduce on of my childhood heroes.

11 December 2015

Published December 9, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Snorkeling in St. Thomas

Undersea St. Thomas 4 Meme

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FRIDAY FICTION CONCRIT SUBGROUP

If you want to be part of this group click the link above and follow the rules set forth by Jennifer Pendergast, the leader of this subgroup. No one is under obligation to participate nor is it necessary to dig something up to criticize for the sake of critique. Please keep it polite and friendly. 

The next photo is the PHOTO PROMPT. I appreciate the diverse offerings from fictioneers. Please be courteous and give credit to whom credit is due. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Luther Siler

PHOTO PROMPT © Luther Siler

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 98

FLIGHT OF FANCY

                                                                                                                                                                               10 February 1830

Dearest Lucy,

When I think about your advocacy of this wild man who sails from one continent to another in pursuit of his ambition I am filled with love.

The English engravers are tirelessly rendering my dream into reality. I marvel at nature when dawn presents her in richest, purest array and hope my humble paintings shall be my legacy for our two sons.

I could not do better than to travel and finish my collection of the ‘Birds of America.’

Across the ocean, ma chérie Mrs. Audubon, your devotion sustains me.

                        Affectionately yours,

                        John

To learn more click here.

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.Audubon print

 

Mrs._Audubon_-_wife_of_James_Audubon

Lucy Audubon

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John James Audubon

22 May 2015

Published May 20, 2015 by rochellewisoff

FF Lunch with MG and David S.

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of sharing lunch and laughter with fellow fictioneers David Stewart and Marie Gail Stratford. It’s always fun to meet the face behind the keyboard. 

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program. 😉

Flowers from the Hill Thoreau

Friday Fictioneers Farm Path

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The next photo is the PHOTO PROMPT. Study it. What does it say to you? Remember, it’s about what you see, not what you’re looking at. 😉 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

BLUE SHADOWS

            Dark clouds loomed overhead as the boy picked a cotton boll and stuffed it into the heavy sack on his shoulder. Rain, mingled with sweat, soaked his thin muslin shirt. He closed his eyes and listened to spirituals on the wind.

            Back in the cabin that night, he played his new guitar and sang to his grandmother who shook her head.

            “What I gonna do wit you, boy? Fifteen hard-earned dollars for a hunk-a wood and then you uses it for devil music.”

            “Dontcha see?” said Riley B. King. “I gotta. The blues is bleedin’ the same blood as me.”

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R.I.P. 

B B King

September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015

 

All Together Now

Published January 15, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Over the course of two years I’ve written well over a hundred flash fiction stories for Friday Fictioneers. Four of my favorites stories about the Beatles. I’ve been a fan since I saw them on the Ed Sullivan show fifty-one years ago. It’s been suggested that I post a blog with all four of these stories which seems like a grand idea. I hope you’ll indulge me. 

The first in my unintentional series is a complete work of fiction. One of those ‘what if’ stories. 

John Lennon

RUMSPRINGA

Word count: 100

            Out for a walk in the night, lost in thought, I didn’t see him until we collided. I apologized repeatedly.

            “No, it’s me. Without me glasses I’m fair blind.” He pointed at my bonnet. “Costume party?”

            “Amish. I’m in New York to choose my future—my parent’s home or the modern world.”

            “Do you like rock and roll?”

            “What’s that?”

            “You really don’t know, do you?”

            “No.”

             “What’ll you choose—1694 or 1964?”

            “Not sure. I hate big crowds.”

            “So do I.”  He offered his hand. “Pleased to meet you, Miss…”

            “Julia.” 

            “Fab name.”

            “And you, sir?”

            “John. John Lennon.”

Originally posted here. 

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Later on, down the road, another prompt put me in mind of George Harrison. Up until this one I hadn’t intended on making it a series. Nor did I truly plan for it after this one. 

George Harrison

 ALL THINGS MUST PASS

Word Count: 100

            “‘A sunrise doesn’t last all morning,’” I sing and strum the chords that take me back to a New York television studio thirty years ago.   

            There to meet a friend, I loaned my Martin to an aging musician for his last live performance.

            “You don’t happen to have a capo, do you, Miss Guitar Lady?” he asked.

            Something in his serene eyes and genuine smile reached to the depths of my soul. 

            My fingers move on the fretboard where his once did. I never changed those strings.

            And as VH1’s cameras recorded history, George Harrison made my guitar gently weep.

Originally posted here. 

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 This is the story that sealed the deal. 

Ringo_Starr

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

Word Count: 100 words

            The boy stared out the window beside his bed and listened to his Alyn Ainsworth record. He tapped his fingers on the night stand in time to the music.

            Sentenced to the ‘greenhouse,’ a children’s sanitarium, he’d celebrated his fourteenth birthday with tea, boredom and Streptomycin. Yet, after a year of incarceration, the doctors still considered Ritchie too ill to go home. 

            “Join our band,” said a nurse. “Bring your new banjo.”

            “I’d rather play drums.”

            Ten years later Ritchie smiled over his drum set at a sea of screaming teenagers as Ed Sullivan cried, “Ladies and gentleman, the Beatles!”

Originally posted here. 

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It was only a matter of time until a photo prompt would inspire a story for or about Paul. 

james_paul_mccartney_smiling_vintage

 WORDS OF WISDOM

Word Count:100

            “I pressed your clothes,” said Mary. “Mind Dad and look after your brother whilst I’m in hospital.”   

            “Thanks, Mum.” Paul buttoned his shirt. “Deese are me bezzies.” 

            “Stop it. I’ve taught you better, now haven’t I?”

            “Not half.” He quipped in falsetto. “The Queen’s English. Ever so posh.” 

            She looked as if she wanted to scold him more. Instead, she embraced him and said, “If I don’t come back…”

            Emptiness flooded the boy.

            “Of course you’re coming back. Who’ll cook for us if you don’t?”

            “There will be an answer.” Mary McCartney kissed her son and whispered, “Let it be.”  

Although some have believed this to be a religious song, Mother Mary is none other than Paul’s dear mum who passed away when he was only fourteen.

Originally posted here. 

Marie Gail, this blog’s for you. 😉

  05-Beatles-300x214

6 June 2014

Published June 4, 2014 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Poetic Musing

Word Count: 95

NORTH STUDIO

He left delicate strokes of life

On rice paper.

Katsushika Hokusai embraced age,

Unshaken by his advancing years.

Seas swirled beneath his skillful fingers

As the eternal mountain loomed ahead.

Infinite wisdom rippled from the artist’s hand.

 

Here is her life.

Once young and wasteful,

Kishiko lights a candle.

Undimmed eyes stare into velvet darkness.

Sixty years flow behind her

As brilliant pathways loom ahead.

I am the artist.

 

Here is my life.

On the path,

Kindled by passion

Unafraid of the future.

Strength in my arms

And excitement in my steps,

I am Kishiko. 

Great_Wave_off_Kanagawa2

Hokusai had a long career, but he produced most of his important work after age 60. I find great comfort in this. To learn more about the prolific artist, click here.

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