Girl’s Got Skills

All posts in the Girl’s Got Skills category

Weekend Writing Prompt – Syzygy

Published July 4, 2020 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.

This would be such a great word in Scrabble, especially if you hit a triple word score. Of course, you’d need a blank because there are only three ‘y’s’.

WHEN FRIENDS ALIGN

“Sammi’s joking. Syzygy can’t be a real word.” Rochelle fumed.

“Look it up,” said Na’ama. “It’s between ‘systole’ and ‘Szechuan.’

“Oooh, Szechuan. Yum!” Dale flashed her million-dollar-smile. “Let’s do lunch.”

 

Half-Year Rehash

Published June 22, 2020 by rochellewisoff

I’m certainly not the first to say it’s been quite a year thus far. Can you say understatement?

My adventure truly began in October of 2019…pardon the rerun…when my award-winning author friend, Kathleen M. Rodgers introduced me to her agent Diane Nine, president of Nine Speakers Entertainment Agency  

No matter what your political leanings, it’s a compelling book about a longstanding relationship between two women. I loved it from cover to cover.

I must read this book soon!

Kathleen M. Rodgers, one of the most generous people I know.

With fear and trembling I sent my manuscript of my latest novel with working title WHAT THE HEART WANTS and a book proposal to her. When we spoke November 4, Diane opened the conversation with what every author dreams of hearing from a potential agent, “I loved your manuscript or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”  

So far the book has been turned down a few times but, knowing Diane loves it, assures me she’ll find the right home for Bear Starfire and Asher Gorovich. 

Here is short summary. (Yes, I’ve posted this before and might post it again. 😉 )

In 1879, Eastern Europe is a hotbed of Antisemitism. In the midst of a pogrom, a government sanctioned massacre against the Jews, sixteen-year old Asher Gorovich witnesses the slaughter of his father, the blacksmith in his Polish village. Life doesn’t improve for him as he endures more persecution and loss of other loved ones.

Meanwhile, in America, eleven-year-old Bear Starfire is torn from her family and forced to attend St. Salvinus Indian boarding school. There she is stripped of her culture and endures both emotional and physical cruelty at the hands of staff members.

When these two wounded hearts meet will they find more conflict or the answer to their prayers?

Bear Starfire on the Wings of the Wind

Enter the Quarantine. Yeah, as much as I’ve avoided writing about it, it is the proverbial elephant in the room (and all over the media). For those of you who remember elephant jokes, you can tell he’s there by the peanuts on his breath. 

As per Diane’s strong suggestion, I’ve worked on my Twitter presence. You can follow me @RochelleFields 😉 At any rate, that’s how I met Jimmy Leonard, a young man with a podcast entitled “World on Fire”. In April he emailed saying I fit the profile of someone with a passion and asked if I’d be willing to do an interview on Zoom. Although we did the interview on April 22, it didn’t go “live” until mid June. 

We spoke for at least 45 minutes. Please excuse my cluttered background. That’s my environment. Unfortunately, the above portion about meeting Diane and WHAT THE HEART WANTS didn’t make the final edit.

Disclaimer: I had no idea what his intro would be. Although, I think Mr. Leonard makes some good points and it is his podcast.

Keep in mind, we spoke in April. Our topics were my artwork, Friday Fictioneers and the novel I’m currently working on and am three-fourths of the way through. My interview begins about 11:36 into it. 

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CLICK HERE

or

HERE

to learn more about ordering art or books.

Re his “off the wall” question, “If you could paint a portrait of any person, living or dead, who would it be?” This took me by surprise, because I’ve done quite a few portraits. For whatever reason, the first person who popped into my overloaded mind was Maya Angelou, a woman I greatly admire. What’s not to admire?

Nu? I had to put my paintbrush where my mouth was, right? Of course right! 

Meet the Creator of Friday Fictioneers

Published May 29, 2020 by rochellewisoff

Once upon a time, eight years ago to be exact, I was a fledgling author with a newly published short story anthology. I’d recently started a blog and occasionally received more than two comments on my posts! Sigh. 

One April Wednesday morning in 2012 as I scrolled through my Facebook feed I saw a notice on the Ozarks Writers League, OWL, page from someone named Madison Woods. It was a reminder that it was time for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly blog challenge that would change the course of my life. 

I was hooked from the first prompt. 

(I had a lot to learn about commenting and reciprocation 😉 )

Who knew that six months later I’d be adopting Madison’s baby? Enough of that! The purpose of this post is to introduce you to the lady, author and artist who birthed the idea of Friday Fictioneers. 

© Madison Woods, Friday Fictioneers’ Birth Mother

Original Artwork © Madison Woods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO READ A RECENT INTERVIEW WITH MADISON.

Creation in Confinement

Published May 23, 2020 by rochellewisoff

I could begin this post will all kinds of platitudes about the strange new world that’s upon us but there are others who are doing a fine job of that. Which is not to say that I’m thumbing my nose at the powers that be, carrying a protest sign or refusing to wear a mask. None of the above need apply. I will admit to the strong desire to take a sledgehammer to the television when the news comes on. Yes, I want to stay informed, just not 24/7. 

The toughest part of shelter in place for me has been the closure of my fitness center. More specifically the lap pool. The last mile I swam, at this writing, was Friday, March 20 at 11:00 AM, but who’s counting? Not being able to go shopping (aside from grocery shopping) has been a minor inconvenience. Yes, I’ve missed going out to eat, but we have enjoyed carry out from some of our favorite places. I’ve been cooking more, and, truthfully enjoying it more. My blog challenge Friday Fictioneers, continues to thrive with plenty of loyal participants. 

As an introvert who enjoys alone time, particularly in the wee early morning hours before the sun inches over the horizon, I’ve continued to write and paint. There’s no greater joy than enjoying a cup of hot, black coffee while communing (or wrestling with) the muse. 

Swimming has been replaced by long walks and I continue my three-mile workouts on the elliptical trainer.  However neither form of exercise does it for me like an hour of swimming. It’s hard to explain that to non-mermaids. 

I will admit to panic buying the day before our town shut down. But not what you might think. It wasn’t toilet paper, but watercolor paper. I realized I only had two sheets of my favorite left. This would never do. Wasting no time, I pointed my little Chevy in the direction of the closest arts and crafts store. 

For the duration of the quarantine my easel has not been empty or my head so full. Any subject is fair game. To start off this season of obsessive rendering, my husband helped me set of a still life, featuring his new obsession; an autographed Zager guitar.

Olive’s birthday present. A portrait of her and her dog, Poppy. One of my favorite photos of the two of them.

My granddaughter Olive, who is a budding artist in her own right, was about to turn nine at the end of the month. (Bragging rights. 😉 ) Since she seems to like her bubbie’s art work, I set to work on a special birthday present for her. I had a print made for our wall, but send the original to her.  

What to do next?

I have the good fortune of being blessed with friends who know which end of a camera to use. Sometimes, they offer their photos and other times I…uh…erm…borrow them. The following painting is from an award winning photo taken by Ricky Yates.

Posting my process and the finished painting, has helped boost sales for prints and note cards. Not to mention it keeps me entertained.

Two more of my photographer friends, Dale and Marie Gail, loaned challenging photos that I couldn’t resist. In fact I had prints sold of the beach picture and following two before I ever made it to the printer:

From photo by Marie Gail Stratford

From a photo by Dale Rogerson

And then there were the ones I did from my own photos. 

I took this on the beach in NC last summer thinking it would make a good painting.

Am I the only person who takes pictures of the drinks when they go out to eat?

In the midst of this, I did have a commission, but am not at liberty to share that one. 😀

Then there was the day thunderstorms raged. I had to capture the shelf cloud caused by cool and warm air colliding. 

Meet Ruth Bear Starfire, one of the main characters in my novel, represented by Diane Nine at Ninespeakers.com. Hopefully she’ll find a home for WHAT THE HEART WANTS soon.

Here are the final three painted this past week: 

Granola passed away about 15 years ago. I still miss that silly girl.

Meet Liza Jane who owns Russell Gayer. What’s so Funny?

Before you ask, yes, I have another picture started. And, yes, prints will be available for sale.

Shalom,

Rochelle

Weekend Writing Prompt – Fade

Published May 16, 2020 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.

Counting on my fingers, to make sure I had the right number of syllables…I give you Haiku

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Flower petals fade

Shriveling blossoms will fall

The artist preserves.

(Realizes she has seven words left over.)

24 April 2020

Published April 22, 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 © C.E.Ayr

Yeah, I know, the frog’s not blue and the following story is a rerun (the story, not the photo) from March 2013. Hard to believe as of this month, I’ve been writing Friday Fictioneers stories for 8 years. Many writers have come and gone since then, but still there remains a handful of us die-hard FF’rs. Thanks for participating one and all. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

PACK RAT

            Boxes overflowing with rusted ten-penny nails, camping equipment and car parts cluttered the garage. Judith hated the chaos, but other things got in the way of Greg’s promise to organize until the day he deserted her.  

            It took months to sort through the cardboard jungle.

            Then she came across a crate with “Judith” painted on the lid. In it she found her class ring, his first speeding ticket and a bottle of cognac—same vintage they’d shared on their honeymoon.

            A note in his uneven scrawl read,

            “Damned cancer. Wish I were there to toast forty of my happiest years.”

Weekend Writing Prompt – Obsolete

Published April 18, 2020 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.

Summing it up in 24 words. 

Older?

Yes.

Wiser?

Questionable.

Exploring possibilities

At my keyboard

At my easel

A dreamer?

Always and forever.

Obsolete?

Qui, moi?

Not by a longshot!

17 April 2020

Published April 15, 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 © Roger Bultot

Click the Frog to Play Along!

Word Count: 100

Genre: Historical Fiction

I told myself I was going to give Historical Fiction a rest, but this story found me and begged to be shared. For those across the sea, let me introduce you to an American icon. (she should be) 

AFTER A FASHION

The sun rose on New York’s horizon, Lena’s adopted city since immigrating from Lithuania in 1895, as a 16-year-old orphan. The baby on her soaking hip crammed his fist into his mouth and whimpered.

            “Oy. My little pisher needs his vikileh changed.”

            Once the deed was done she sat at her sewing machine, sleeping infant on her lap. She yawned. “No rest for weary Widow Bryant. Miss Feingold needs her wedding dress.”

            Four years later, Lena opened her own shop. Thanks to the bank’s misspell on her loan, we now remember the designer of fashionable plus-size dresses as Lane Bryant.

 

  • Pisher is a Yiddish word for someone who can’t keep his drawers dry. Vikeleh is diaper or nappie depending on which side of the pond you’re on. 😉 

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Weekend Writing Prompt -Continuity

Published March 28, 2020 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.

JUGGLING ACT

I work on my current WIP only to be sidetracked by a blog challenge or to add a detail to my painting. Mustn’t forget my beta reading. No continuity for this multitasker. Life is grand!

  • WIP – Work In Progress

KEYSTROKES

Published March 25, 2020 by rochellewisoff

Another idea struck me this morning and decided why not double dip? This is what happens when a person wakes before 04:00 with her mind on spin cycle. A hearty thank you to my mother who sat me down with my brother’s Gregg textbook and insisted I learn to type. I argued, “What does an artist need with typing?” 

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

Genre: Questionable

Word Count: 100

KEYSTROKES

Q is for quill which is what Charles Dickens used to write his stories.

W is for the white-out I would need were I using a manual machine.   

E is for happy endings.

R is for ruminations, renderings and rebuttals. It’s also the first letter in my name.

T is for typewriter. Imagine writing a novel in longhand. Hats off to Christopher Latham Sholes.

Y is for yesteryear when life was simpler. Was it really?”

Rochelle studied her brightly-lit desktop screen. “Not so sure about this one.” She tapped the delete key. “Or maybe…” She hit CTRL Z. “Viva technology.”

Could I avoid history? I think not. CLICK HERE.

The reason Jeff took the picture. 😉

 

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