Friendship

All posts in the Friendship category

1 March 2019

Published February 27, 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

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I hope the new format for the inLinkz works. Just click on the froggy.  I’ve put the update off for a month. Don’t you love updates? I think I’ve done this right. I’m still resisting the new WordPress dashboard. 😉 In any event, after wrestling with the new inLinkz format, here’s my ‘story’ for this week.

Genre: Hysterical Fiction

Word Count: 100

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

“It’s not what you look at that matters…,” said Sandra.

“…it’s what you see,” said Shrawley.

“Our Fairy Blog Mother posts it almost every week like it’s highly significant or something.” Russell repositioned his clown nose while his pooch, Liza Jane, warbled a tune. “Ask Louisa May Alcott Wisoff-Fields yourself.”

“You yanks are so obtuse,” fumed Ali. “Don’t you see the flying saucer over the market?”

“Pfft!” Dale rolled her eyes. “Give it up.”  

Rochelle’s frustration mounted. “The prompt is a mere suggestion. Use your imaginations, please.”

“Oooh. Now I see it.” Russell pointed to the Coors sign. “Bottoms up.”   

 

PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORIES

Published February 10, 2019 by rochellewisoff

This week Karen has invited us to take a cruise to the British Virgin Islands for WHAT PEGMAN SAW. As I’ve been in quite the reflective mood lately, I’m sharing a memory. Here in the frozen Midwest the skies have been dreary and the roads icy. A trip to a tropical island is just the ticket for this sleety Sunday morning.

St. Thomas © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 150

St. Thomas © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORIES

Lush hills and tree-studded mountains surround St. Thomas like an imperial crown. Is it any wonder my son and his bride fell in love with the area? They exchanged their vows there and invited their parents to share the honeymoon.

            Later, my son told me they had planned to have the ceremony on a mountaintop so his mother wouldn’t be tempted to swim away. Who would do something so utterly rude on such a grand occasion?

            However nothing compared to the thrill of snorkeling along the underwater nature trail in Magen’s Bay in St. Thomas or exploring Water Lemon Cay in St. John.

            I feasted my gaze on purple fan coral, yellow tangs and crimson starfish. As water takes on the shape of its container, I took on the shape of the water in an indescribable oneness. Unfettered by the mundane, I embraced the sea and it welcomed me home.

“When we’re in the water, we’re not of this world.”
……Gertrude Ederle

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RICHARD D. SMALL

Published January 14, 2019 by rochellewisoff
Two and a half years ago I received an email from a man in Israel named Rich Small who had submitted his manuscript to my agent entitled “Elisheva’s Diary.” He had found PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME on my agent’s website and ordered a copy. Over the course of a few emails we found much in common, including Eastern European Jewish backgrounds. Meanwhile, my agent rejected his manuscript, saying it needed too much work. So my newfound friend asked if I might take a look at it. 
As it turned out, I took many, many looks at it and had the privilege of watching the work grow and progress. Rich has been gracious about accepting my suggestions and putting up with my kvetching and nagging. 😉 Between emails, hangouts and Skype we’ve become friends. And the proverbial icing on the cake is that ELISHEVA’S DIARY has been published by Touch Point Press
Feeling a little like the book’s auntie, I interviewed Rich for my blog. I hope you will enjoy both our conversation and his book which is a unique little gem that blends past and present, as I did. 
Richard D. Small lives in Metula, the northernmost point of Israel, not far from Tel Dan and Tel Kedesh.  He received  PhD from Rutgers University in Aerospace Engineering. He taught at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology before joining a California Think Tank as Director for Thermal Sciences, founded Eastwind Research Corporation, and served in the Israeli Army.  Biographical sketches have included Who’s Who in America, and various scientific Who’s Who listings.  His work in science has been internationally recognized and featured on TV and radio including 60 Minutes, newscasts, and in magazines.  He is an avid student of history.  His passions include cooking, opera, reading, building cabinets, and gardening.  Elisheva’s Diary is his first novel.
***

 

  • Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.

Nature and its mysteries fascinated and motivated me to study science and pursue a career solving problems. I was fortunate to work on several problems of national interest.

I live in Metula overlooking the Hula or as it was known in biblical times the Merom Valley. From my living room, I see ancient locations that carry the long history of the Jewish people. In front of my house is a Tel, Evel Beit Maacah, that is now being excavated. Maacah was King David’s fourth wife and the mother of Tamar and Avshalom. Many of the great leaders of the ancient world passed through the valley.

The valley, aside from being spectacularly beautiful in all seasons, has several ancient sites: Tel Dan, Tel Anafa, Hazor, Banias, and Tel Kedesh. The streams flowing through the valley water a fertile soil that provides a rich bounty. It is a peaceful valley replete with protected wildlife and dotted with national parks celebrating and preserving the beauty of nature.

It is special to live in a place where recorded events date from the beginnings of western civilization. It is a land that beckons the history and civilization buried in us all.

 

  • After a career as a renowned scientist, why did you decide to write a novel? What inspired you?

I had always wanted to write a novel. From a very young age, I enjoyed reading and greatly admired authors that could transport you to another world and portray love, hate, tragedy, triumph, the beauty of nature and the magnificence of the human spirit.

 

  • What was the most difficult scene in Elisheva’s Diary? What made it difficult?

The death of Elisheva’s husband. For me, death is difficult to describe. It is definitive that leaves surviving family injured, saddened and takes a little of life from them.

 

  • What sort of research did you do for your work?

I read several books about the history of the Mediterranean focusing on the Galilee region of Israel. I picked the period about 50 BC for several reasons. Momentous events such as the clash of empires, the emergence of Rome as the predominant power, and a political atmosphere not unlike today were shaping the world at that time.

 

  • Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?

I have quite an eclectic taste in books. I enjoy novels, history, cook books, science fiction occasionally, and books that make me think. At different periods, I have enjoyed John Steinbeck, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Bruce Catton, Barbara Tuchman, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Francis Fukuyama, Mark Helprin, and a long list of others including RW-F. 😉

 

  • Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
  • I wanted to write, but found I had a lot to learn about writing and crafting a story. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields guided, taught, encouraged and without her, Elisheva’s Diary would never have been completed.
  • What would you say are your strengths as an author?

I cite two: empathy and a great appreciation for nature which I can translate to words.

 

  • Do you have another work in progress? If so, how often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?

I have started research for a new book. It will relate a story from the time of King Solomon. The research will take another half year or so before I start to write.

 

  • Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?

Hopefully having published a second novel.

 

  • If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?

Don’t quit. Keep writing until your story is complete.

  • What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?

“I liked Elisheva.”

  • Would you provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with my readers?

Chapter Four

My City—April 3675 (85 BC)

I was born in paradise three thousand six hundred sixty-five years after the creation of the world. Dan was well known when Abraham and Sara arrived from Ur. In the beginning, the city was named Laish, and only hundreds of years later did the Israelite tribe of Dan cross the Jordan, after 40 years in the desert, to settle in the city. Legend says Dan first arose a thousand years after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. I am proud of my city; it has a grand history filled with triumphs as well as much sorrow and anguish.

I cannot imagine a more beautiful place on Earth than the Merom Valley. To the east, the Golan Heights rise to a high plateau. Across the valley, the hills, home to the tribe of Naphtali, frame the Merom Valley in the west. Every evening, I delight in the breathtaking harmony and beauty as the Golan glows a soft pink in the setting sun, while the hills of Naphtali darken to a deep purple. The valley floor accents the surrounding hills with a rainbow of colors from the orchards, fields, vineyards, and forests.

Twice a year, countless numbers of storks, cranes, egrets, pelicans, and herons fill the sky heralding a change of season. Vast flocks, tired from their journey, seek safety and respite in the fields around the small sea. In the morning, I watch amazed as they face the warm sun, capture its energy, and spiral upwards to continue their journey.

I have always taken the beauty of my city and its surroundings as normal. Aba often told me of his travels across Israel to the Great Salt Sea in the west, to magnificent cities along the coast, to inland valleys, and to the desert in the south. He said the desert holds a special beauty—siren colors at sunset and the tranquility of a seducing wind at night under a sky filled with countless stars. Often shooting stars, traversing the heavens in seconds, punctuate the night panorama. But surely, nothing compares with Dan.

From my home, I look east to Mount Hermon. Like a giant shielding us from a hostile world, it stands over Dan dominating the hills to the north and the plateau to the south. Clouds sometimes hide the peak’s majesty, and swirling storms mask it in a threatening atmosphere. On clear days, sunlight reflects from the forests and valleys on the lower elevations and projects magnificence, breathtaking to behold. During much of the year, a blanket of snow covers the upper reaches of the mountain. It is the source of the icy pure water flowing through Dan. In the winter, the blinding white peak often mirrors the sunset’s rainbow of pastel colors.

I am lucky to live in the most beautiful part of the most beautiful kingdom in the whole world.

I have listened to travelers talk about the Galilee. They describe marvelous towns and villages built in beautiful settings: sculpted valleys with plentiful water and rich soil. Their descriptions of Kedesh are so vivid I can almost feel the excitement of the big market. Farmers send produce from the fields around Dan, and our artisans send goods from our ceramic and metal workshops through Kedesh to the coastal cities of Lebanon in return for rare woods, glass, cloth, dyes, and manufactured goods that arrive in Tyre and Sidon from Greece, Egypt, and Rome. Kedesh itself is built on a large hilltop surrounded by a rich valley famous for well-kept vineyards and exquisite wines.

They speak of olive groves on the road leading to the Great Sea. The trees twisted and gnarled as generation after generation of growth is added to life drawn from the soil.

Travelers from distant lands tell me the Great Sea is a wonder. Salty to the taste, it contains strange fish and exotic creatures not found in the Merom or the Kinneret seas. They say, sometimes, like the tempests blanketing Mount Hermon, storms rage over the Great Sea, with relentless waters swirling in an angry rhythm and pounding the shore; sometimes the sea turns a deep blue hiding a mysterious depth, and sometimes it is tranquil.

They speak of a beautiful land beyond the Galilee: villages located across a varied geography, ranging from mountains rich in forests, tranquil deserts producing fine wines, a coastal plain with thick forests, abundant agriculture, and rich fishing: all with a well-developed ethical and cultural life.

And towering above everything, the crown jewel of Israel and the world, the magnificent city of David and Solomon, the location of our Temple, Jerusalem.

 

 

11 January 2019

Published January 9, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

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 © Priya Bajpal

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The following is an excerpt, cut down to size, from my WIP “What the Heart Wants.” The year is 1881. Aggie, a former nun who worked at the Indian boarding school, has fled, taking Ruth Bear Starfire with her for her own protection.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

NEGOTIATIONS

            “Pretty li’l Injun,” said the general store clerk. “What tribe?”

            Ruth’s cheeks blazed. 

            “She’s my daughter,” said Aggie.

            “Uh-huh.” He eyed Aggie’s blonde hair. “Strong resemblance.”  

            “How much for the Winchester?”

   “$40. Firm.”

            “I’ll give ya $25.”

            “$35.” 

            “Please, sir. My baby ain’t et no meat in a coon’s age.” Aggie crossed herself. “I’m a-prayin to the Blessed Virgin my Ruthie don’t perish from starvation.”

            “$25 it is.” With a bucktoothed grin he laid sacks of sugar and flour on the counter. “I can’t have your deaths on my conscience.” 

            “Would you mind tossing in some sorghum and cornmeal, too?”

*Note to those who feel they can’t cut their stories down to 100 words. The excerpt I started with was 383 words. Certainly, cutting it lost the original intent of the chapter. However it turned it into another aspect of the same story and, I think, stands alone. 

*Note 2, for those wondering how the photo prompt inspired my offering. This takes place in an old fashion general story where candy was kept in large jars. In the original chapter the store clerk offer little Ruth a candy stick. 

 

 

2018 ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: BLOGGERS FLOOD THE INTERNET WITH HAPPINESS AND POSITIVITY

Published January 1, 2019 by rochellewisoff

How did 2018 go by so quickly? As has become a tradition, I’m joining Dawn Landau’s positive affirmation challenge (my words 😉 ) You can find the directions here on her post. Do set your timer. I did and was surprised that in 15 minutes I exceeded 50 things I was thankful for and when the timer went off I really wasn’t finished. I named a few names but could name so many more. The number order has nothing to do with importance. This is totally stream of consciousness. 

I dare you to join the fun. I double dare you!!! 

CLICK HERE TO LINK 

Thank you, Dawn for doing this again. 😀 

And for another perspective here’s my friend Susan’s list. 

  1. My re connection with my brother in 2018
  2. Healthy food
  3. Water in which to swim
  4. I’m 65 and can still do a cartwheel
  5. Dancing
  6. Good friends
  7. Blogging friends
  8. Going on 7 years of Friday Fictioneers
  9. A car to drive
  10. A comfortable bed to sleep in
  11. My sons
  12. My daughters in law
  13. My granddaughters
  14. A computer on which to write
  15. Jigsaw puzzles online
  16. My elliptical machine
  17. My God who loves me, and understands me when I’m at my worst
  18. A cell phone that keeps me connected
  19. Languages – I wish I were more fluent in Spanish and Hebrew than I am
  20. My new book of illustrations and short stories –My dream book
  21. Watercolors
  22. My rapidograph pen that has never failed me.
  23. The friends I’ve made through blogging
  24. The ability to write
  25. The ability to paint
  26. Art fairs
  27. Being alive and still pursuing dreams
  28. Breathing
  29. Eating
  30. My imagination
  31. Great hats
  32. The color purple, of course
  33. Books to read
  34. Chaim Potok
  35. Did I mention my brother with whom I made a major reconnection this past year?
  36. Spending the holiday with my youngest son in Chicago
  37. The ability and opportunity to read Torah from the scroll
  38. Teaching Hebrew
  39. My Hispanic Hebrew students who help me with my Spanish
  40. Gluten free options for pizza
  41. Coffee, strong and black
  42. Cheese which goes great with wine
  43. Soft sheets on my bed
  44. Scented candles – patchouli is my favorite
  45. My desktop easel that serves me well
  46. My husband Jan of 47 years
  47. Ozarks Writers League where I’ve met agents and found wonderful mentors
  48. My sister in law who has put up with my brother for over 35 years.
  49. The opportunity to visit them in North Carolina this past year
  50. Drawing and painting with granddaughter Olive
  51. My 5 speed 2011 Chevy Cruz that’s paid for and still running
  52. Being retired from cake decorating and sign making
  53. The friends I’ve made and kept from those years of working at Hy-Vee grocery
  54. Days I don’t put on makeup and stay in my PJ’s all day
  55. Skype that allows me to chat with friends overseas
  56. The internet that has made the world a little smaller and given me the opportunity to connect with people of other races and belief systems
  57. Potatoes
  58. Chocolate
  59. My wonderful female doctor who I’ve been seeing for 20 years
  60. Continued recovery from major depression and anorexia (a little too recovered)
  61. Paper to paint on
  62. Good neighbors to share wine and laughter with, Bud and Cindi you know you are
  63. My beautiful home
  64. Fresh herbs that add so much to food
  65. My hunky dory best friend, Regina

2 November 2018

Published October 31, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

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 © Jeff Arnold

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Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

This is actually an excerpt from my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME. I removed the names and didn’t have enough words to give you the setting anyway. The book itself is historical fiction but this scene could take place anywhere I think. (If you want to more, the book’s available on Amazon or from the author. 😉 )

GODSPEED

Like a brother, he gave her forehead a discreet kiss.  “Farewell, my sweet friend. You’ve written a melody on my heart that will play on forever.” 

            Suddenly his forced smile dissolved. He engulfed her in a strong embrace and mashed his lips against hers. Then he dropped his arms and stepped back.

            Lips tingling and unsure of what to do or say next, she studied his face. She wanted to remember every detail, every line. Taking a step toward him she rose on tiptoe, brushed her lips over his cheek and whispered, “I will miss the music in your eyes.”

*

*

*

I hope you’ll check out all four books of the Trilogy.

 

19 October 2018

Published October 17, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

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 © Jilly Funell

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Genre: Wish List

Word Count: 100

VANTAGE POINT

She pries my sweaty fingers off the railing, her face lit with a sinister glow. “Come on. Step to it.”

            My life, like a Roadrunner cartoon, flashes before me. Wile E. Coyote, eyes wide with terror, suspends in midair before plummeting 170 meters and landing in a distant poof.

            On the verge of unconsciousness, I croak. “I’m begging, Sarah. Don’t make me do this.”

            “We agreed to go sightseeing whilst you and Dale were here in Portsmouth and the view from Spinnaker Tower is magnificent.”

            Dale shakes her head. “When Rochelle says she’s afraid of heights, she isn’t kidding, eh?”

I hope one day to meet these two in person, but 170 meters in the air won’t be one of my choices of places to see. Sigh. For now I’m happy to meet with Sarah and Dale on Skype. It makes the world seem a bit smaller somehow.  (Yes. I really am afraid of heights.)

 

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