Historical Fiction

All posts in the Historical Fiction category

8 August 2020

Published August 5, 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.

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PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast

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Today I’m on my way to North Carolina with a supply of masks to visit my one and only brother. So once more, a SUMMER RERUNIf you wrote a story for this prompt from 10 April 2015, feel free to rerun yours. Thank you for understanding. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

ONLY THE MOUNTAIN REMAINS

My dearest Zhilan,

            This night my thoughts turn toward home and you. I cherish the times we invited the moon to join us as we shared rice wine. Remember how we dreamed I would find Gold Mountain?

            Now my journey is hard and my days are filled with the pickaxe and train tracks. Never will I see you again, my fragrant orchid, nor our precious son…

***

            “Fever musta took him.” Levi knelt beside the body and pried a piece of crumpled paper from its stiff hand. “Whatcha make a this?”

            Orville squinted and shrugged. “Jest some ignorant Chinee scribbles.”

Railroad_workers0001

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Engaging, Uplifting and Altogether Heartbreaking

Published August 2, 2020 by rochellewisoff

Some of my readers may recognize the name of this prolific participant in Friday Fictioneers. Over the past week, I’ve been completely lost in this beautifully written novel. So I’m posting my review here. 

I never did learn to speed read. It will usually take me a while to plod through a book, even if I’m enjoying the read. It’s rare for me to pick up a 400 plus page novel and read it from cover to cover in three days.

Emilia by Na’ama Yehuda is one of those books. The multi-faceted story sucked me in from the first paragraph and didn’t cut me loose until the last line.  

Granted, other tasks ended up in the ignore pile. Things like sleeping.

Set in the 1800’s, the story opens with KayAnne, Emilia’s tutor, rescuing the child from the unimaginable horror she’s suffered at the hands of her guardian. Determined to take Emilia to a safe place, KayAnne boards a train to a place she’s only heard of in passing—a lighthouse run by an old woman who helps broken women heal.

Not only did the compelling story draw me in, but the well-developed characters from Marion the keeper of the lighthouse to Big Ben, a gentle intuitive horse. The moment I met Marion, I felt safe.

I laughed at the antics of puppy, Billy-Boo and ground my teeth at the cruelty exhibited by certain characters. The intricate plot twists kept me engaged and in suspense. As I came to the final line, my heart cried out for more.

Na’ama’s experience working with childhood trauma shines through exquisitely in this sensitively written novel.

You can find EMILIA here. 

Weekend Writing Prompt – Peristeronic

Published August 1, 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.

(A mini history lesson in 53…Of cabbages and kings, of pigeons ant things.)

PERISTERONIC

“Cher Ami.” said Grandpa, “was a hero of the Great War. The Krauts shot a hole in his chest, blasted out his eye and blew off his leg. Yet nothing could deter him from his mission.”  

“He must’ve been a tough.”

“Yessir. Two-hundred of us doughboys owe that tough carrier pigeon our lives.”       

October 4, 1918

31 July 2020

Published July 29, 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 © Jean L. Hays

Between finishing a novel, writing a book proposal and visiting my one and only brother, I’ll be somewhat out of pocket for the the next couple of weeks. Therefore it’s SUMMER RERUN TIMEFor those of you who recognize this prompt from 2013 and were part of Friday Fictioneers, feel free to reprise your own story. 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

KIA ORA

            In March 1956, the year I turned fourteen, my best friend was murdered. They found her mangled body wedged in a rock crevice at Koutu Point.

            For days I refused to get out of bed. No amount of Mum’s tea and sympathy could ease my broken heart or stem my anger.  

            The winter wind off the Tasman Sea brought waves of loneliness.

            Never again will Opo and I swim together in Hokianga Harbour, but whenever I watch a dolphin spin above the water in gleeful abandon, I see her.

            I hope the fisherman who blew up my Opo exploded, too.   

Original artwork. Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Original artwork.
Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opo_(dolphin)

With Dream Awakened Eyes

Published July 22, 2020 by rochellewisoff

I feel that more of Charlotte’s story needs to be told. So bear with me as I double dip this week.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Click on the frog picture to add your link.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

WITH DREAM AWAKENED EYES

Following her grandparents’ deaths, a doctor suggested Charlotte take up painting to ease her depression. She lost herself in gouache. Every day her paintbrushes illustrated her life story.  Humming, she rendered herself as a child waiting for her angel mother to return from heaven. Sketching by the sea. The Wehrmacht marching through the streets.  

            “I become them all,” she said. “I travel their paths. No power on earth can stop me.”

            One night, she handed Dr. Moridis her hundreds of masterpieces. “Keep these safe, they are my whole life.”

            Months later Charlotte Salomon and her unborn child perished in Auschwitz.

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24 July 2020

Published July 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 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

INHERITANCE

“Your mother committed suicide, and her sister before her.” Grandfather sneered. “Now your grandmother. You’re all cursed.”

            The night before, he’d forced Charlotte to share his bed “to ease his sorrow.”

             She whipped and poured eggs into a skillet. “Influenza killed Mama.”

            “Your papa lied.  Mark my words, you’re next.”

            She plopped an omelet onto his plate. “Bon apetit.”

            “Aren’t you going to eat.”

            “I’m not hungry.” She propped her drawing board on her lap.

            “What are you drawing now?”

            “You, Grandfather. I want to remember this moment.”

            “What did you put in this?”

            “Not much. Salt, pepper and Veronal.”

 

*Did she murder her grandfather? Historians are divided.  

Charlotte Salomon with her grandparents

26 June 2020

Published June 24, 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 © Todd Foltz

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

REMOVAL

             Morning sun shoots burnished orange and golden flames across the horizon as I help Elisi gather wild onions. She’ll cook them with eggs, Cherokee style.

            As we dig our fingers in the moist dirt, she tells me ancestral stories.

            “My grandfather grew up in Georgia. A good life.”

            “If it was so good, why’d they move to Oklahoma?”

            “They had no choice, Unisi. Our people walked a thousand miles, some without shoes. My great-grandmother died, giving birth.” Tears trail Elisi’s wrinkled cheek. “President Jackson claimed it was to keep us out of harm’s way.

            “Don’tcha mean out of his way?”

***

          Elisi is Cherokee for Grandmother and Unisi means granddaughter.

*Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole had by the early 19th century begun to assimilate into Anglo-American culture. We can’t change history, but perhaps we can make our grandchildren’s history a sweeter memory. 

If you have 17 minutes to spare to learn more CLICK HERE.

***

And if you have a little more time click the portrait below to listen to my latest interview with Jimmy Leonard and learn the reasons behind the painting. Thank you. 

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. 

***

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! 

29 May 2020

Published May 27, 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 © David Stewart

Click the Frog…you know you want to. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

AUTUMN FRAGRANCE

“How are you, GI Joe?”

Even though we listened to her every day, nobody took her seriously.

“They have forgotten about you back home. Your sacrifice means nothing to your people.”

Let her spout her bullshit, we looked forward to the music from home.

“Your great nation has abandoned you.”

After months of being shot at by the VC and suffering jungle rot, my orders came. I was headed for home!

At Travis I was met not with ticker tape and hurrahs, but with protesters screaming, “Get back on the plane, baby killer!”

Hanoi Hannah was onto something, after all.

***

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22 May 2020

Published May 20, 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 © CEAyr

Come on along and click the dancing frog to join the fun!

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

THE LEADER OF THE BAND

Cossacks torched the shtetl of Tolochin. Flames shot up from Cantor Beilin’s home. Five-year-old Israel choked on the billowing smoke, huddled in a ditch with his brother and sisters. He had never seen Papa weep so.

A ship carried the Beilins to America. In New York’s Lower Eastside, Izzy discovered his talent and at thirteen sang on the streets for thrown pennies.

Music and America. His love for both welled up inside of him and spilled over in the songs he wrote.

Composer Jerome Kern said of Izzy, “Irving Berlin has no place in American music—he is American Music.”

***

Born in 1888, Irving Berlin lived to be 101. Trying en-capsulize him in 100 words is no easy task. While you might not be familiar with name, I’ll bet you’re familiar with his music. “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (Scandalous in 1911), “Easter Parade,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “God Bless America,” and that seasonal favorite “White Christmas” to name a few. 

Irving Berlin 1906

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