Historical Fiction

All posts in the Historical Fiction category

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.”  

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            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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7 July 2017

Published July 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. 

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. 

UNTER DER WAND

Published July 1, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to Berlin’s Stresemannstraße in the former GDR.

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.

Thanks to J Hardy Carroll and K Rawson for facilitating this weekly challenge. 

The Berlin Wall Today

Some of you might remember a shorter version of this story. I confess. It’s a refurbished rerun. It just seemed to fit and it’s been two years since I posted it. Perhaps the addition of fifty words has freshened it up a bit.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

UNTER DER WAND

            “Hurry, Annika.” Vati whispered, glanced over his shoulder at the border guards and pulled me by the hand down Bernauer Strasse. “Mr. Schulenburg and his friends have risked their lives for this moment. This is our one and only chance to get to West.”

            “What about Fritz?”

            “Forget him!”

            It was October 1964, a few days before my seventh birthday. What did I care of Mr. Schulenburg’s sacrifice? I only cared about Fritz.   

            Blinded by tears, I stumbled into a crowded building once used as a toilettenhäuschen where we followed other refugees through a hole in the floor. My father held me as we crawled through the dank tunnel. Within minutes we were lifted out on the other side.

            While others shouted for joy I mourned my loss.

            “Don’t cry, Liebling.” Vati grinned and took a groggy puppy from his coat pocket. “I couldn’t forget him either.”  

 

Once more I share a link that’s worth a little over three minutes of your time. 

             

 

MUTINY ON THE USS MGM

Published June 27, 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.

Here it is, Friday Fictioneers Eve and I still couldn’t resist Mr. Pegman. I’m very late to the party due to an extremely full weekend. My first art show/book signing was an immense success. So with a sheepish, but happy grin, I submit my story. Many Mahalos to K Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for hosting this challenge. 

Pitcairn Island

When I saw Pitcairn Island, my mind went to Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh. Christian’s descendants still live there after over 300 years. At any rate, I chose a different facet of its history. 

MUTINY ON THE USS MGM

            “The role of a lifetime and you’re perfect for it,” Frank handed the actor the script. “I promise you an epic your fans won’t forget.”

            Steely gray-green eyes pierced through Frank. “Get Fairbanks, he’s a natural in sissy knee-pants.”

            “That’s what they wore in the 1700’s.”

            “And you want me to wear a damned pigtail? Like a little girl?” The actor ran his fingers through his dark waves and flexed his pectorals. “I have an image to maintain.”

            Frank’s irritation at the petulant performer mounted. “Queues were normal for manly men of the day. And…er…one more thing, Clark. Seamen in the Royal Navy weren’t allowed facial hair.”

            Clark Gable tossed the script in Frank’s lap. “You want me to shave? Have you lost your mind?”

            Frank held up a photo of a Polynesian beauty “Meet Mamo Clark. Your costar.”

            A dimpled smile spread Gable’s lips. “The moustache will grow back.”

23 June 2017

Published June 21, 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 © Ted Strutz

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Genre: Speculatively Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

DESIGNATION

 

 Slow moving traffic and gray skies contributed to Ted’s equally gray mood. The rhythmic thump and swish of windshield wipers lulled him.

            He had almost drifted off when banging on his passenger-side window startled him. Leaning over, he opened the door.

            “Mahalo, hoaloha. I must get back to my sheep near the harbor.”

            “Friday Harbor?” Ted stared at the stranger’s crescent-shaped eyes and old fashion clothing. “Where’re you from?”

            “Hawaii, but I work for Fort Cowitz.”

            “They shut down in 1869. What’s your name?”

            “Poalima. ‘Friday’ in English.”

            A horn’s blast made Ted jump and the stranger vanished like steam.  

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Mahalo, hoaloha – thank you, friend.

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16 June 2017

Published June 14, 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: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

COMMISSION NUMBER 3

           Trina wasn’t forced to wear a yellow star like her friend Hanna, but she was ostracized by the other children who called her schwarz schimpanse.

            One day a uniformed woman entered the classroom. “Trina Azikiwe, I’m here to take you to the doctor.

            “I’m not sick.”

            The officer dealt Trina’s cheek a stinging blow. “Silence, Rheinlandbastard!”

            Trina would never forget the cruel procedure that rendered her forever childless or the doctor’s admonition. “Never have sexual relations with good Germans.”

            Good Germans? There were none better than her golden-haired mother and handsome bronze father who perished for their ‘sin’ in Dachau.

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NOTE -Schwarz schimpanze – Black chimpanzee…(Do I need to translate ‘Rheinlandbastard?’)

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