Historical Fiction

All posts in the Historical Fiction category

21 April 2017

Published April 19, 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 © Magaly Guerrero

PHOTO PROMPT © Magaly Guerrero

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

SPLIT WEEK

“Papa, how could you fire Joe?” Myra Cutler flung her dance shoes into her suitcase. “He was an asset to the show.”

“You’re only off by two letters.” Frank, head of the Cutler Comedy Club, embraced his seventeen-year-old daughter. “All that wastrel has on his mind is my talented baby girl. You’ve no future with him.”

 Pulling back, Myra clenched her teeth. “We’re going to be huge Vaudeville stars.”

___

A year later, in 1895, after a show in Piqua, Kansas, weary from performing, Myra gave birth to the third member of their act—Joseph Frank Keaton—better known as Buster.

***

keaton-family

Buster, Myra and Joe Keaton known in Vaudeville as “The Three Keatons”

For those unfamiliar with silent film star Buster Keaton, here’s a taste of his comedic genius. 

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. 😉

ACT OF GOD

Published April 16, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Feel free to stroll 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 Karen Rawson and her highly significant other J Hardy Carroll for co-hosting this challenge.

One of the differences you might notice in my Pegman stories is that my stories do fit the prompt more closely than in Friday Fictioneers. The difference is that participants in this challenge can ‘make the punishment fit the crime.’ 😉 In other words, as long as we stay in the vicinity, we can choose the photo we want to use. Not to mention, there’s the sheer luxury of 50 more words. 😀

Today Pegman takes us to Christchurch, New Zealand

No surprises. My story is Historical Fiction. A little more recent than most, this takes place in Christchurch on February 22, 2011 when the city was shaken to its foundation by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Word Count: 150

ACT OF GOD

            Sack full of cardboard containers in hand, I pushed the restaurant door open with my foot. The aroma of soy sauce and seafood made my empty stomach growl.

            I shoved the dog that blocked my path. “Out of my way! You’ll make me late for work.”

            Her ribs practically poked through her black fur. “Poor thing.” I reached into my sack and pulled out a piece of shrimp. “Now scat!”

            Moments later, amid screams, barking and smashing glass, I lay trapped under piles of debris.

            Two weeks later, following extensive surgery, my right leg and life as I knew it were memories. 185 of my coworkers at CTV had perished.

            The authorities wanted to euthanize the dog for she’d lost her hind legs. I couldn’t let them, could I?

            Today, Awhina the Wonder Dog shares my home. Looking back over the past two years, I ask myself, who saved whom?   

 

Note: Awhina, pronounced ‘Afeena,’ is a name that means ‘help or support’ in the Maori language. Kia Ora and thank you for reading. 😀

QUEEN OF THE ILLYRIAN SEA

Published April 9, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Feel free to stroll 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 Karen Rawson and her highly significant other J Hardy Carroll for hosting this refreshing prompt challenge.

Below is my prompt of choice. 🙂

Word Count: 150

Genre: Speculative Fiction

QUEEN OF THE ILLYRIAN SEA

            The sea laps against the shores of former Ragusa, Yugoslavia, now Dubrovnik, Croatia.

            In the words of exiled sixteenth century Portuguese poet, Yeshaya Cohen, “If I had to find a peaceful place to rest in my old age, above any other city I would fancy only Ragusa.”

            Although it sounds boastful, I must tell you I have survived two earthquakes and several major wars.

            Torah scrolls within my Holy Ark, Moshe Rabaynu’s words inscribed on lamb skin, are centuries old. A handful of the faithful still worship the God of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya’akov within my formidable 700-year-old walls.

            Humans can’t see my tears, but I’ve shed many. They seeped between the stones and juddered my walls when I helplessly watched beloved Rabbi Baruch being taken captive by swastika-ed guards. Babes in arms perished with him on the Island of Rab.

            Despite harassment and persecution, like my people, I stand.  

 

Inquiring minds click here. 

7 April 2017

Published April 5, 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. 

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

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

ROAD KINGS

            Arthur mopped his forehead with his sleeve while holding his bicycle’s handlebar with his opposite hand. He tried to keep up with his buddy who had been blessed with longer legs.

            “Wait up, Bill!”

            The other boy grinned over his shoulder.  “Pedal faster, slowpoke. The fish ain’t gonna wait all day, ya know.”

            Once they reached the river, the boys laid their poles beside their bicycles and raced to the bank.

            Relishing the cool water, Arthur sighed. “Pedaling’s hard work. Someone oughta build a bike with a motor.”  

            “Who knows, Mr. Davidson?” Bill Harley splashed and sputtered. “Maybe someone will.”

*

*

*

William S. Harley

Arthur Davidson

 

William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson circa 1914

(L-R) My Road King, Jan Fields with Arthur’s great nephew,”Willie G” Davidson and his biker babe.

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.  

 

LORD OF ALL BEASTS

Published March 20, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to Kampala, Uganda.

Feel free to stroll 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 J Hardy Carroll and K Rawson for hosting this challenge that I can’t seem to resist.

Due to another insanely busy weekend and no extra head space, I’m a bit late for the party. This was a learning experience for me. 

My prompt selection from the Pegman Buffet

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

LORD OF ALL BEASTS

            Assa handed the young woman a package filled with herbs. “Put these in your tea and, in less than a year, you will hold your little one in your arms, Dembe.”

            Dembe’s full lips spread into a smile and her dark cheeks shone with tears. “Thank you, I hope he will be a strong, handsome boy like yours, Mrs. Dada.”

            “Call me Mzazi, for I am not longer a wife, only a mother.”

            Gazing out the window, Assa watched her ten-year-old son trudge up the dusty road. His slow pace and stooped shoulders told her he was weary from a day of working in the fields. This would not be so had Andreas not cast them out, swearing the child was not his. Her anger burned white-hot.

            “Jambo, Miss Dembe.” He bowed as he entered the house.

            Hugging her package to her chest, Dembe nodded. “Jambo yourself, Bwana Idi Amin.”

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