Historical Fiction

All posts in the Historical Fiction category

24 February 2017

Published February 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Phriday Phictioneers Phone

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Another Highway

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 © Sarah Potter

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

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

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Genre: Historical Fiction

A tweaked excerpt from my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME

psk-amazon-jpg

Word Count: 100

CHARNEL HOUSE

            Havah gazed out the window.  Snowflakes like milk-white dove wings glimmered past the streetlamp and floated to the sidewalk.

            “Have you ever seen anything more beautiful, Arel?”

           “We had snow in the old country. It’s all the same.”

            She grasped Arel’s hand and held it to her belly. Their unborn child kicked against his palm with such force Havah flinched. Brushing her lips across her husband’s disfigured cheek she fought the stone forming in her throat. One by one, faces of those who had perished before her eyes drifted through her memory.

           “No, Arel, nothing will ever be the same.”

***

*Reviews do help sell books. If you’ve read any of the three, would you do this author a favor and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or both? Thank you. 

 

street-light-in-kc-1903

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Look who I visited with at the Ozarks Writers League Conference.

rr-at-owl

Russell Gayer and the Purple Obsessed Princess

17 February 2017

Published February 15, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Condolences to Suzanne Joshi on the loss of her husband. https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/break-from-blogging

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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 © Liz Young

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Please be considerate and do your best to keep your stories to 100 words. 


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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

SWEET LITTLE ALICE BLUE GOWN

            He bowed. “Shall we dance, my dear gadfly?”

            Alice took a final puff from her cigarette. “Certainly, Father.”

            “Despicable, unladylike habit.” He waltzed her across the ballroom. “Mother asked me to speak with you.”

            “Stepmother. Did Emily Spinach sneak into mumsy’s boudoir again?” 

            “It’s not about your snake. We’re disturbed by your public escapades such as gambling and jumping into swimming pools fully clothed. Must you insist on being the center of attention?”

            “Moi?” Alice Roosevelt bristled. “You’re the one who wants to be the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, and the baby at every christening.”

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Theodore Roosevelt and Family 1903

Theodore Roosevelt and Family 1903

roosevelt-quote-about-alice

*CLICK*

longworth-quotes-5

3 February 2017

Published February 1, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Blue Ceiling FF

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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

A WEAVER OF DREAMS

Not even a light breeze blew through the open window. As it did every night, sleep eluded Myrtle Reed. Sweat oozed from skin-folds under her ample arms.

“Why doesn’t this so-called windy city offer some relief from this fiendish heat?” She glared at the clock. “Eleven-thirty, August 17, 1911.”

She searched the street below for James. “He’s probably passed out drunk somewhere. I was so wrong. Love is not an orchid which thrives on hot air.”

Raising a bottle of sleeping powder to her lips, the young authoress swallowed disappointed dreams. “Insomnia be damned—forever. Happy anniversary my ‘model husband.’”

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portrait_of_myrtle_reed

a-weaver-of-dreams-front-page

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SWING SHIFT

Published January 28, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Wonder of wonders, I’m back for another round. 😉 It must be the lure of those fifty extra words. Here are the simple directions:

Today, Pegman visits Buffalo, NY.  Thanks to Prior for this week’s location.

Feel free to stroll around 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 for hosting.

ivy-street-in-buffalo

The following story is a rework of an old story. I thought perhaps the addition of fifty words might help it along. I also think this one will be lengthened at a later date. Still rolling it around my head.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

SWING SHIFT

            On Black Tuesday Pop lost his Wall Street job.

             He sold everything of any value except Mom’s prized antique vase, our phonograph and his clarinet.

            We moved from our Park Avenue apartment to a shabby house in Buffalo. Pop found employment as a night janitor.   

            One Sunday afternoon, drawn by phonograph music, I wandered into his room.  Hunched over, he held a gun to his temple.

            I screamed and knocked it from his grasp.

            It discharged. The bullet ricocheted off the wall, whizzed through my hair and shattered Mom’s vase.

            “Forgive me.” He crushed me against his chest. “I’ve forgotten what’s really important.”   

            After that Pop found solace playing his “licorice stick.” He delighted our neighbors at backyard barbeques.

            At Mom’s urging, he auditioned for a local swing band. From 1935 to 1962 they toured the Borscht Belt.

            His zest for life was contagious.

            Incidentally, Mom never mentioned her vase.           

 

Borscht Belt

Probably not Pop’s band, but thrown in for flavor.

27 January 2017

Published January 25, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Undersea St. Thomas 4 Meme

Note: You can call me crabby or controlling if you like, but…over the past few weeks some writers are going way over the word limit. No one will be kicked out for doing so, but the challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. While I don’t take issue with a word or two over, last week one of them went over 200 words. 

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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 © Al Forbes

PHOTO PROMPT © Al Forbes

Think you’ve seen this photo before? You have. It’s been pointed out that I posted this prompt in February. 😯  A repost was unintentional, but is what it is. If you have a story for it you were happy with, feel free to use it. 😉 Thank you Dawn and Suzanne for pointing it out. This is a first. What was I thinking? 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Not exactly a flash fiction and not exactly an excerpt. Here’s a scene from AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. 

OLIVE BRANCH

            Nikolai Derevenko and his father had hardly spoken in twenty years so Sergei’s sudden appearance in Kansas City for his grandson’s graduation mystified him.

            Sergei rotated the crank on the front of the car, starting the motor, and climbed into the driver’s seat. “It’s a Ford. Almost new—Model N, made in 1906,” he shouted over the clatter. “My gift. Tomorrow you learn to drive it.”

            Nikolai scowled. “Thanks, but no thanks. God gave us legs and there are streetcars. With all of your frivolous spending you won’t have enough for your fare back to Russia.”

            “I’m not going back.”

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nikolai

Dr. Nikolai Derevenk0 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Sergei Derevenko © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Sergei Derevenko © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Vasily Derevenko © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Vasily Derevenko © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

***

If you’ve made it this far down the page I hope you’ll take the time to watch the short video. Perhaps this is the reason I’ve been impressed of late to write so many Holocaust themed stories. I plan to post my picture on Twitter and Facebook. When push comes to shove there is one race…THE HUMAN RACE #WeRemember

FACE TO FACE

Published January 23, 2017 by rochellewisoff
Theodore Roosevelt portrait

Theodore Roosevelt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Several times over the past few years, as I’ve painted “portraits” of my characters, someone has asked who I used for models. As a rule the answer is, “no one in particular.” In fact, I’ve often thought if I ever need a regular job, I could apply for one as a police sketch artist since I’ve become adept at composites: the eyes from one model coupled with a nose and mouth from another. “Oh, and that’s the perfect hairstyle.” I admit to using a few celebrity photos, although I try not to make them look like portraits. On the other hand, if it’s meant to be a portrait I’m a little more particular. 

        Google images and Pinterest are wonderful places to find vintage photos for the dress and hairstyles of the day. All great fun for the girl who used to get in trouble for daydreaming in class while drawing pictures. Of course those daydreaming episodes were practice for my future storytelling career. 😉 

        From my first chapters of PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME I’ve had a mental image of Havah Cohen. 

havah-at-16

Havah at 16 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Havah in her 20's © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Havah in her 20’s © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Last week I had lunch with some friends. One of them brought an American history book he thought would come in handy for my research. It’s a lovely hardbound coffee table book with lots of pictures. 

He opened it to a bookmarked page and pointed to a photo of a young Russian Jewish immigrant and said, “I thought you might know this lady.” 

I suddenly felt like Karen Eiffel, (Emma Thompson) the author in the movie “Stranger than Fiction” coming face to face with Harold Crick (Will Ferrell). There she was, the girl whose voice I heard in my dreams. Do you agree? 

i-know-this-lady

 

POETIC INJUSTICE

Published January 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman has gone to Moscow. Many thanks to K Lawson for graciously hosting. To choose your own photo click here. Write your own flash fiction of 150 words or less. Click the blue frog to add your own link.

Here’s the photo I chose:

moscow-street

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

POETIC INJUSTICE

           “I adored the stage,” said Bubbe Gittel of her time in the Moscow State Jewish Theater. “I had a crush on the director, Shlomo Mikhoels. What a performer he was!”  

            I switched off the TV. My grandmother’s stories beat summer reruns. Even in her 80’s she could still recite Shakespeare—in Yiddish.

            “During the war Mr. Stalin kept us safe from Hitler and made Shlomo the head of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. The show would always go on. So I thought.”

            Bubbe’s smile faded. “The war ended and with it, Stalin’s favor.”

            “What happened, Bubbe?”

            “They called it an accident, but I saw it with my own eyes. A KGB monster shoved Shlomo in the path of a speeding truck. Other members of the committee were arrested for treason—poets and writers they were. Four years later, they were executed. Their real crime? We know what that was, don’t we?”

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solomon-mikhoels

 

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