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29 November 2019

Published November 27, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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Happy Anniversary to Jan Fields, my first husband for 48 years as of November 28!

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 © C.E. Ayr

 

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Genre: Historical Fiction circa late 1800’s

Word Count: 100

DIRECT OUR PATHS

“Dear Lord, we thank you for the bounty we are about to receive…for the Pilgrims and their faith…the first Thanksgiving…”

Folding her hands, ten-year-old Wawatseka renamed Victoria by her teachers, shut her eyes while Reverend Prichard droned on.

Grandfather’s stories wafted through her mind—a distant memory. “They feasted after each massacre of our people.”

Wawatseka’s ears ached for Mother’s songs and Father’s drumbeats.  Detesting white gravy and mashed potatoes, Wawatseka longed for savory corn stew.

Thick fingers thumped her head. “Victoria! We’ve finished grace. What do you say?”

She glared at the reverend and, through clenched teeth, whispered, “Amen.”

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – LONGEVITY

Published November 23, 2019 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.

Although it doesn’t always, my title does factor into my word count this week. 

My little attendants have grandchildren of their own.

Happy Anniversary to Jan Fields, my first husband for 48 years as of November 28!

LONGEVITY

“He’s too wild. She’s only 18 and he’s 25. I give it six months.” My mother told her friends. To me she repeated, “If things don’t work out you still have a bed here.”

The day I announced my first pregnancy her invitations changed to, “You made your bed, now you can lie in it.”

48 years, three sons and two granddaughters later, I still wake up in my bed next to my wild man.

Jan.

22 November 2019

Published November 20, 2019 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 © J Hardy Carroll

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Before beginning my rather somber story, I have some happy news. My WIP entitled “What the Heart Wants” is under contract with agent Diane Nine of Nine Speakers, Inc. To read more about it click here

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

PROJECT PINK

Dedrick intertwined his fingers with Levin’s long slender ones and stared at the ragged nails worn down by hauling stones from the quarry. Dedrick remembered winter nights when those elegant hands, never meant for such cruel labor, prepared succulent meals that would delight a king.

            Levin’s hoarse voice brought him back to Auschwitz. “Dedrick, I—”

            Dedrick pressed his finger against Levin’s chapped lips. “Save your strength.”

            Bruises marred Levin’s flawless complexion. One long-lashed eye had swollen shut. He reached out and touched the pink triangle on Dedrick’s striped uniform. “You must know…”

            Kissing Levin’s palm, Dedrick whispered, “I do.”

For more on this lesser known atrocity CLICK HERE

JUST LIKE STARTING OVER

Published November 18, 2019 by rochellewisoff

“Our life together
Is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love still is special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere

Starting over (over and over and over)”

~~John Lennon

 My writing journey began  about 15 years ago with my historical fiction Please Say Kaddish for Me. Once I finished the manuscript all I had to do was find a publisher and watch it rise to the New York Times Best Sellers list. Right?

Oh if only it had been that easy. The truth is I had so much to learn. Each time I went to a writing workshop or critique group, I realized changes needed to be made, whether it was too much passive voice, too many gerunds or word repetition.

After years of writing and rewriting, I pitched to a few agents until one fell in love with my novel. Contract signed, the wait began. Three years later W & B Publishers took on my novel and its sequels. Click here for more info on those books. 

Two years ago (maybe three?) I went to work on a new historical novel I titled What the Heart Wants. Once I felt the manuscript was complete I sent it to my beta readers who took me to task on typos and made wonderful suggestions.

Since I don’t feel self-publishing is a viable option for me, my next step was the daunting task of finding an agent to represent it. The group I belong to, Ozarks Writers League, brought in some agents to hear pitches at the September conference. Since I wasn’t able to attend, I sent a packet to one of them through a fellow OWL member. Thank you, Ronda.

I have to *kvell a bit here. The September conference is when awards are given for the annual writing contest. “What the Heart Wants” took first place in the Unpublished Manuscript category. As my British friends would say, “I’m chuffed to bits.”

By mid-October I’d not heard back from the agent. Mind you, I wasn’t stressing over it.

One morning I saw my friend, award winning author and fellow military wife Kathleen M. Rodgers on Facebook. It occurred to me we hadn’t chatted in ages so I asked in a PM if she had time for a call.

Kathleen and me a few years ago at an OWL conference. The bonding was immediate. 😀

As usually happens when authors chat we talked about our current works in progress. When I told her about mine, she thought it sounded like a worthy story and suggested I email her agent, Diane Nine. Kathleen said she’d email her as well to tell her to expect to hear from me.

Before I had a chance to write, Kathleen informed me Diane agreed to take a look at my work. Diane also requested a book proposal along with the manuscript. You think writing a novel is tough? Try writing a book proposal which includes short summary, full synopsis, chapter by chapter summary, author bio etc. etc. I’m not really *kvetching. It was a learning experience that I kind of enjoyed.

The Author-Illustrator in her natural habitat.

After spending nearly a week on the proposal and having it proofread, I sent it to Diane along with the manuscript on 19 October. A mere ten days later I received an email from her saying she enjoyed the manuscript and asked me to give her a call the following Monday. I nearly fell off my elliptical trainer. (That’s what I get for reading emails on my phone while working out. It’s simply not possible to jump up and down at the same time.)

Monday, 4 November, came complete with a tummy full of butterflies. But they all flew away when she answered the phone with, “I loved your manuscript or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

The conversation lasted close to two hours and left me with a silly grin on my face.

The contract is signed and the waiting begins. It feels just like starting over.

*kvell – Yiddish for “I’m bursting at the seams so I have to shout it to the world.” 

*kvetching – Yiddish for “Oy, this is so awful, you shouldn’t ask.” 

***

When I made the announcement on Facebook author, beta reader and friend, Lonnie Whitaker posted this:

“I was privileged to read an early draft and can report it is solid, engaging, and in many ways transcends genres. It’s historical, gritty, romantic, with a hint of mystery. No doubt we will see it in print soon. Congratulations, Rochelle.”

***

Short Summary –What the Heart Wants

For Asher, growing up as a Jew in Ukraine in the 1800’s, life is a minefield. Eastern Europe is a hotbed of violence and antisemitism. He blames God for the murder of his young bride and the slaughter of his father. All hope is gone.  

In America, the home of the free and the brave, Bear Starfire is torn from her family and carried off to boarding school. Her teachers are determined to beat the heathen out of her. The principal lures her into a “special friendship”.   

A few years later, having left Russia, Asher answers the call to “go west, young man” via covered wagon.  When a blizzard delays his journey, Missouri farmers provide refuge. Their adopted daughter, a tall, bronze beauty captures his heart.

Can these two wounded souls from radically different backgrounds find healing in each other’s arms?

 

ECONOMICS

Published November 16, 2019 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Shewdagon Pagoda in Myanmar. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to write up to 150 words inspired by this week’s location. Feel free to use the image supplied in the prompt, or take to Google maps and find your own view with in the borders of Myanmar.

Once your piece is polished, share it with others at the linkup below. Reading and commenting is part of the fun!

Thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating this round the world blog challenge.

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Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 150

ECONOMICS

            Muu Yi tugged at the wang around her neck. “It makes my shoulders hurt, Aahwarr.”

            “You only have five coils.” Her grandmother glanced up from her loom and grinned. “Wait until you have eighteen like me.”              

            “Why do we wear them when a lot of the women in the village don’t?”

            “Modern girls. They care nothing for tradition.” Aahwarr hunched over her weaving and clucked her tongue. Then she straightened. “Listen. I will tell you a story. Thousands of years ago, a sorcerer fell in love with and married a dragon. The dragon laid three eggs which became the Pa-Oh, the Karen and our tribe the Padaung. To honor our dragon mother we make our necks look like hers.”

            “I am proud to wear the rings.” Muu Yi clapped her hands. “I like that story.”

            “So do the tourists, little one.” Aahwarr patted her granddaughter’s cheek. “So do the tourists.”

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – DRACONIAN

Published November 16, 2019 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.

AROUND THE BLOCK

At her insistence I rose before the sun came up every morning. Throughout the day she sent me message after message. No matter what I did or where I went, she was ever-present, giving directions, barking orders.

              “Not that way. Go this way.”

            “Now?”

            “Right now!”

            She was relentless, never allowing me to sleep, flooding my mind with her words. The voices never ceased. Strangers stalked me. Images plagued me.

            “Write every word I say.”

            Now I strain to hear her assignments. There’s a story deep inside me, waiting to be burst forth. Why is my draconian taskmistress of a muse ignoring me?  

 

15 November 2019

Published November 13, 2019 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 © Roger Bultot

Hop right up and Click the Frog

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

O MEIN PAPA

             Papa belted out prayers with off-key passion. A few small congregations who couldn’t afford real cantors hired him as a ba’al tefillah.

            Shabbos mornings, Natty Birnbaum stood close to him and sang. He’d bask in Papa’s approving smile. It was the only time he ever saw it. 

            When Natty was seven Papa passed away while reading prayers.

            Nearly 100 years later, Birnbaum, better known as George Burns, remembered with a wry smile, “After he sang in one little synagogue, the following synagogue, instead of hiring him, they kept it closed during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.” 

            Natty never forgave God.

 

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