Friendship

All posts in the Friendship category

31 January 2020

Published January 29, 2020 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

JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT, CLICK THE FROG

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

In the Talmud it is written, “To save the life of one man is to save the world.” 

TO SAVE ONE LIFE

Pain seared through the fifteen-year-old’s leg. “I’m so clumsy.”

“The snow is slippery. Needless to say, you won’t be dancing for a while, ma chérie.” The doctor’s kind eyes brimmed. “It’s a severe break. You need to be in hospital.”

“No, the SS—”

“Without medical care, one leg will end up shorter than the other.”

“Better to limp than be dead.” Huguette moaned.

“Then you’ll stay here—in my chalet.”

Today, Huguette is petitioning Yad V’Shem to recognize Dr. Frédéric Pétri of Val d’Isère as one of the Righteous among the Nations. Ken Y’hi Ratzon. May it be so.   

 

To read more CLICK HERE. Thank you, Dale for sharing this with me.

No reason to include this video with this story. No reason.

FIXING A WHOLE

Published December 19, 2019 by rochellewisoff

The following story is written for the photo prompt below and is part of the Writers Unite! challenge Write the Story

Twenty-three years ago, I fought the final round with Annie—Annie Wrecks Ya. At present I’m working on a novel based on my experience. Thus far the working title is Last Dance with Annie, but I’m not married to it.

FIXING A WHOLE

          The flashbacks started somewhere in my late thirties, upending my memories of a happy childhood. How could I have blocked out such things? Nothing made sense. I loathed the body that had betrayed me. My life spun out of control.

           It’s all about control, you know.

           Annie gave me control. No one, not my husband or even my doctor, could tell me what I could or couldn’t put in my mouth. I controlled my eating—until I didn’t. Annie did.

           Annie controlled my daily frenetic exercise. At the same time I fantasized about onion rings and fried chicken. Of course Annie would never allow me to eat them. She constantly reminded me numbers mattered. One hundred calories per meal. Twenty pink pills to purge it. The scale hovered between eighty-five and eighty-four. 

  “You like my new jeans?” I asked my friend and coworker Linda. “I can’t believe they fit.”

            “What size?” Her ice-blue gaze met mine. 

            “Zero.”

            “You’ll look nice in your child-size coffin.”

            Her comment almost became prophecy when my “dieting” caught up to me. After collapsing in a store, I was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital with an eating disorder unit.

            After two months of treatment and medical leave, I returned to work.

            My size 0 jeans no longer zipped and they’d become tight around the hips and thighs. In fact, I’d outgrown my size 2’s as well.

            “You look so much better,” said Linda. “There’s color in them thar cheeks.”

            That’s a good thing, right?

            Recovery was more difficult than I’d expected. Although Annie’s grip loosened, she continued to haunt me. When someone complimented me on my weight gain Annie translated it to, “My you’re getting fat.”  

            “Body image takes time to change.” My dietitian assured me during my weekly visits. “All I can do is provide the tools. It’s up to you to use them.”

            Tools? What tools?

            One of those so-called tools offered by Dr. Wilson, my psychiatrist, was Risperdal, a drug prescribed to treat such conditions as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mental health experts hoped the antipsychotic might calm the obsessive thoughts of anorexics and bulimics.

            I detested the way it made me feel. Strange. Out of touch with the rest of the world. Afraid of what I didn’t know.

            Dr. Wilson decided Risperdal alone wasn’t doing what it should. Diagnosing me as “mildly bipolar” and being “slightly” ADD, she added Lithium to my daily pill-age.

            My appetite dwindled and my anxiety level skyrocketed. I began to lose weight again, but took little pleasure in it. I barely functioned at work. How I stayed on the payroll is beyond me.

            “I’ve never seen such a severe reaction,” said Dr. Wilson. “Clearly you’re allergic.”

             My nightmare was far from over. The drugs’ half-lives of a week or two stretched into over a month. The debilitating side effects continued to take their toll, not only on me, but on my frazzled husband as well.

             One night it all came to a head.

            “I don’t know what do for you anymore.” He fumed when I broke down. “Crying won’t help.”

            I sniffed and choked back sobs. “Stop trying to fix me!”

           With a sigh, he sank into his recliner and gathered me onto his lap. Tears streamed down his cheeks. “Maybe you need to go back into the hospital.”

            I snuggled against him. His admission of helplessness comforted me. My true recovery began that very night when, together, we learned crying is sometimes the best of all tools.

***

*Note: The story is non-fiction, save the doctor’s name. (I can’t remember it 😉 ) I’m not sharing this to garner sympathy or shock anyone. Eating disorders strike any age, any ethnicity and any gender. Recovery isn’t as easy as ‘snapping out of it’ or ‘just eat something.’ The reasons are as varied as the individuals. Thank you for understanding.        

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – LONGEVITY

Published November 23, 2019 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s Comment Section.

Although it doesn’t always, my title does factor into my word count this week. 

My little attendants have grandchildren of their own.

Happy Anniversary to Jan Fields, my first husband for 48 years as of November 28!

LONGEVITY

“He’s too wild. She’s only 18 and he’s 25. I give it six months.” My mother told her friends. To me she repeated, “If things don’t work out you still have a bed here.”

The day I announced my first pregnancy her invitations changed to, “You made your bed, now you can lie in it.”

48 years, three sons and two granddaughters later, I still wake up in my bed next to my wild man.

Jan.

JUST LIKE STARTING OVER

Published November 18, 2019 by rochellewisoff

“Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love still is special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere

Starting over (over and over and over)”

~~John Lennon

 My writing journey began  about 15 years ago with my historical fiction Please Say Kaddish for Me. Once I finished the manuscript all I had to do was find a publisher and watch it rise to the New York Times Best Sellers list. Right?

Oh if only it had been that easy. The truth is I had so much to learn. Each time I went to a writing workshop or critique group, I realized changes needed to be made, whether it was too much passive voice, too many gerunds or word repetition.

After years of writing and rewriting, I pitched to a few agents until one fell in love with my novel. Contract signed, the wait began. Three years later W & B Publishers took on my novel and its sequels. Click here for more info on those books. 

Two years ago (maybe three?) I went to work on a new historical novel I titled What the Heart Wants. Once I felt the manuscript was complete I sent it to my beta readers who took me to task on typos and made wonderful suggestions.

Since I don’t feel self-publishing is a viable option for me, my next step was the daunting task of finding an agent to represent it. The group I belong to, Ozarks Writers League, brought in some agents to hear pitches at the September conference. Since I wasn’t able to attend, I sent a packet to one of them through a fellow OWL member. Thank you, Ronda.

I have to *kvell a bit here. The September conference is when awards are given for the annual writing contest. “What the Heart Wants” took first place in the Unpublished Manuscript category. As my British friends would say, “I’m chuffed to bits.”

By mid-October I’d not heard back from the agent. Mind you, I wasn’t stressing over it.

One morning I saw my friend, award winning author and fellow military wife Kathleen M. Rodgers on Facebook. It occurred to me we hadn’t chatted in ages so I asked in a PM if she had time for a call.

Kathleen and me a few years ago at an OWL conference. The bonding was immediate. 😀

As usually happens when authors chat we talked about our current works in progress. When I told her about mine, she thought it sounded like a worthy story and suggested I email her agent, Diane Nine. Kathleen said she’d email her as well to tell her to expect to hear from me.

Before I had a chance to write, Kathleen informed me Diane agreed to take a look at my work. Diane also requested a book proposal along with the manuscript. You think writing a novel is tough? Try writing a book proposal which includes short summary, full synopsis, chapter by chapter summary, author bio etc. etc. I’m not really *kvetching. It was a learning experience that I kind of enjoyed.

The Author-Illustrator in her natural habitat.

After spending nearly a week on the proposal and having it proofread, I sent it to Diane along with the manuscript on 19 October. A mere ten days later I received an email from her saying she enjoyed the manuscript and asked me to give her a call the following Monday. I nearly fell off my elliptical trainer. (That’s what I get for reading emails on my phone while working out. It’s simply not possible to jump up and down at the same time.)

Monday, 4 November, came complete with a tummy full of butterflies. But they all flew away when she answered the phone with, “I loved your manuscript or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

The conversation lasted close to two hours and left me with a silly grin on my face.

The contract is signed and the waiting begins. It feels just like starting over.

*kvell – Yiddish for “I’m bursting at the seams so I have to shout it to the world.” 

*kvetching – Yiddish for “Oy, this is so awful, you shouldn’t ask.” 

***

When I made the announcement on Facebook author, beta reader and friend, Lonnie Whitaker posted this:

“I was privileged to read an early draft and can report it is solid, engaging, and in many ways transcends genres. It’s historical, gritty, romantic, with a hint of mystery. No doubt we will see it in print soon. Congratulations, Rochelle.”

***

Short Summary –What the Heart Wants

For Asher, growing up as a Jew in Ukraine in the 1800’s, life is a minefield. Eastern Europe is a hotbed of violence and antisemitism. He blames God for the murder of his young bride and the slaughter of his father. All hope is gone.  

In America, the home of the free and the brave, Bear Starfire is torn from her family and carried off to boarding school. Her teachers are determined to beat the heathen out of her. The principal lures her into a “special friendship”.   

A few years later, having left Russia, Asher answers the call to “go west, young man” via covered wagon.  When a blizzard delays his journey, Missouri farmers provide refuge. Their adopted daughter, a tall, bronze beauty captures his heart.

Can these two wounded souls from radically different backgrounds find healing in each other’s arms?

 

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – LIMINAL

Published November 9, 2019 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s comment section.

I love this challenge! Today I learned a new word. Thank you, Sammi! 

I dedicate this bit of story to my insightful therapist Wayne Witcher who did more for me than I can say. He came to one of my book signings a couple of years ago and two months later he died. As I always told him I’m…

HIS SUCCESS STORY

 Wayne peered over his clipboard “What do you hope to accomplish by starving yourself to death, Rochelle?”

“They’ll be better off without me.”   

Had it really been twenty years? She wished he were still alive to share this liminal time in her life.

She picked up an imaginary phone. “Wayne, someone important says she loves my manuscript!”

ORIGINAL ARTWORK Rochelle Wisoff-Fields….an illustration from A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – INEFFABLE

Published November 3, 2019 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s comment section.

PORTAL

“This photo’s always fascinated me.” I turn over the cardboard and study the foreign print. “Wish I could read it.”

Oxana stares at it. “It’s Russian. Very old.”

I flip it back over and gaze at the girl with ineffable awe, wishing I could read her thoughts. “It’s my grandmother Nettie Weinberg and her mother Edith. Great-grandma looks like she walked right out of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, doesn’t she?”

 

 

 

25 October 2019

Published October 23, 2019 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 © Jean L. Hays

Kermit

Hi-ho! Give us a little click. 

Genre: Hysterical Fiction

Word Count: 100

PIN MONEY

“Drat. This is my favorite skirt.” Dale noted her unraveled hem. “I left my sewing kit at home.”

Rochelle dug through her purse. “Here you go.” She handed a safety pin to her friend. “Temporary fix.”

“Thanks.”

“Ever wonder who invented the safety pin?”

“No. Do you?”

“Glad you asked.” Rochelle grinned. “William Hunt, a little-known inventor from Martinsburg, New York, created it from 20 centimeters of wire in 1849 so he could pay off a $15 debt. He later sold the patent for a mere $400.”

“Oy!” Dale rolled her eyes.  “I just had to ask Encyclopedia  Britannica Wisoff-Fields.”

CLICK TO KNOW MORE

  • Note…Where did 7 years go? 7 years ago I was working on my first novel, employed as a cake decorator in a local grocery store and had just begun to write for Friday Fictioneers. I loved the feedback and meeting other writers around the world. Sandra Crook, Russell Gayer and Ted Strutz were among the first to welcome me. I had only been an FF’r for 6 months when Friday Fictioneers creator, Madison Woods decided it was time to move onto other things. I was devastated. Coerced by my husband and two other friends, I begged Madison to let me take the helm. Click Here to check out my first story as facilitator. Thank you to those who participate, reciprocate and have become great friends! ❤
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