Girl’s Got Skills

All posts in the Girl’s Got Skills category

4 August 2017

Published August 2, 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 © Dale Rogerson

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

PERSPECTIVE

            Linda sat at Bridgette’s kitchen table and pointed at two floral arrangements. “Who are they from?”

            Bridgette’s aquamarine eyes sparkled. “One’s from Noah and the other’s from Frank.”

            Even in her late 40’s Bridgette maintained her slender form and vibrant red hair.

            “You’re such a femme fatale.” Linda sighed and gulped her espresso. “Me? I’m just fatal.”           

            “Nonsense, ma chère! You’re adorable. I just haven’t found my Prince Charming like you. I’m jealous. You have it all.”

            Linda fingered the crumpled divorce papers in her pocket served by her adulterous Prince Charming that morning. “Yes, I’ve certainly had it…all.”

WATER BABY

Published July 24, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Feel free to swim 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 K Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for hosting this challenge every week. Facilitating a weekly commitment that often requires more effort than meets the eye. I doff my swim cap to you, Karen and Josh. 

Great Barrier Reef

While the photo is from the Pegman prompt, I confess, I swam far afield. As often happens, the research trail leads where I least expect. The ideas came to me while swimming. Like the protagonist in my story, I’m a water baby. I considered what my goggles allow me to clearly see, such as the watery ceiling when I flip turn. So I considered the history of swim goggles and ended up with the following story. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

WATER BABY

            Anna helped her daughter take off her wet clothes. “Gertie, my little pollywog, whatever am I to do with you?”

            The child shivered. “I wanted to swim and I couldn’t find the ocean.”

            Anna bit her lip and wrapped a warm towel around her. “A horse trough is no substitute for the sea, liebling.”  

***

            Anna Ederle’s heart swelled as tickertape floated over her twenty-year-old daughter who waved to adoring fans lining Manhattan’s streets shouting, “Trudy! Trudy!”

            Slathered with lanolin and olive oil, Gertrude had conquered the English Channel in 14 hours and 31 minutes, beating records previously set by men.

            The press sang her praises. President Coolidge even invited her to the White House.

            Yet, she’d dodge the accolades in favor of a long swim. Anna grinned, remembering Gertie’s words when her brother pulled her from the horse trough.

            “When I’m in the water, I’m not in this world.”

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Want to know more? Click Here

 

7 July 2017

Published July 5, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Sheldon

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Genre: Hysterical Fiction

Word Count: 100

GEM OF AN IDEA

            Darren scratched his ear with a straightened paperclip. Gina slapped it from his hand. “Stop! You’ll perforate your eardrum!”

            “Then I won’t havta hear your nagging.”

            “Ohhh, just do your homework.”

            “Do your own.” He rolled his eyes. “Sisters.”

            “My report’s done.” She stacked three typewritten pages and paper-clipped the corners together. “Consider the lowly paperclip. Know who invented it?”

            “Who cares?”

            “Some think it was Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian. But it was actually an American, William D. Middlebrook, who even patented the machine to make them in 1899. Whaddya think?”  

            “I think you need to get a life.”

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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. 

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.  

 

10 March 2017

Published March 8, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Friday Fictioneers and Poppy

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The disc and the dragonfly

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 © Shaktiki Sharma

PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

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

 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME

“No, Poppa, don’t fence me-e-e-e i-i-in,” sang Ellen Cohen, her pudgy hands on her swaying hips.

Bess marveled at her seven-year-old daughter who looked at home under the bright lights. “Imagine, Phillip, our little girl at the Hippodrome.”

“Kate Smith couldn’t sing it better.” He grinned. “Today Baltimore, tomorrow Hollywood.”

After the show, anger drilled Bess when a stranger pinched Ellen’s cheek and said, “What a voice. Too bad she’s,” the woman lowered her voice, “on the zoftig side.”

The future Cass Elliot stuck out her tongue.  “Someday I’m going to be the most famous fat girl in the world.”

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Ellen Naomi Cohen aka Cass Elliot

September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974

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