Life’s Ephemeral Nature

All posts in the Life’s Ephemeral Nature category

HOMEWORK

Published January 20, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, in the central Caribbean. Feel free to use the crazy capture I posted, or find your own photo sphere anywhere within the country’s borders.

Your assignment is to produce 150 words (or less) inspired by this week’s location. Will it be fiction? Essay? Poetry? The only limit is your imagination. After you’ve polished your piece, you can share it with other participants at the link up:

I’m back after being MIA last week and probably will be a few more times. However, when I saw Dominican Republic in my inbox I was hooked. 

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 150

HOMEWORK

                There’s a special place in my heart for the Dominican Republic. However, not in the way one might think. I’ve never played on the sandy beaches of Santo Domingo nor lounged under its palm trees beside the Caribbean Sea.

            From 1964-65 I was in 6th grade. Our teacher, Mrs. Humo, assigned each student a country to study for the entire school year. This included keeping track of current events.

            Those lucky ducks given Laos and Vietnam, as you might imagine, had much to report and clipped tons of newspaper articles. Not so for the hapless girl assigned the República Dominicana.

            I diligently studied, drew detailed maps and combed the Kansas City Star for any news of my tiny tropical island. Nada.

            The following spring, after I’d moved on to the trials of junior high, revolution broke out. The Dominican Republic headlined the news. What? They couldn’t have revolted last year?

19 January 2018

Published January 17, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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“The key to building an audience is reading and commenting others’ works.” Russell Gayer

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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As the new year has begun, I need to concentrate on my coffee table book. (I hope you’re not tired of hearing about it.) 

There are always those scenes on the cutting room floor. Here’s one that didn’t make it into AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. It’s edited from over 200 words as well. The lesson to be learned here is ‘never throw anything away.’ 😉 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

A TIME TO LAUGH

            Guilt niggled Havah for watching Vaudeville at Electric Park on the Sabbath. But didn’t the Book say laughter is good for the soul?

            Jugglers wearing gaudy costumes spun plates on sticks. Acrobats in skintight outfits flipped in midair.

            Havah marveled when the magician made a pair of turtledoves appear out of nowhere.

            “It’s called sleight of hand.” Itzak shrugged. “He probably had them stuffed in his trousers.”  

            “Who cares? He’s amazing!”

            Next the trickster’s dog pointed to letters on cards with his paw to spell out his name—P-I-L-U.

            In a stage whisper, Itzak said, “Glad his name isn’t Constantinople.”

 

12 January 2017

Published January 10, 2018 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. 

Out of consideration for your readers/fellow writers, please keep your stories to 100 words. Thank you and shalom. 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

WEB OF THE ABSURD

            “It’s a great role, awesome potential,” said Fred. “Who knows? Could make you a star.”

            Apprehension flooded Adam. “I’m trying to have a serious career.”

            “You call spaghetti westerns and chocolate milk commercials serious? C’mon, kid, whaddya got to lose?”

            “All right, it can’t hurt to read the script.”

            Weeks later, Adam slid tights over his muscular legs. “No one’s going to buy this.”

            Securing the long cape, he flexed his toned pectorals and grinned at his reflection through his cowl’s eye openings. “Not bad.”

            As Adam West emerged from his dressing room, Burt Ward shouted, “Holy guano, it’s Batman!”

*

*

*

Here’s one of those commercials that led to the creation of an icon:

Toodle-loo, Mr. West. 

The Dynamic Duo: Burt Ward as Robin & Adam West as Batman

 

Hey!

MOST HOLY PLACE

Published January 6, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week, Pegman takes us to the cradle of civilization: Tel Saki, Syria.  The country has been at war longer than Pegman has been mapping, so the pictures are confined to photo sphere and often feature shattered lands and cityscapes.

Thanks to J Hardy and his lovely missus Karen for hosting. 😀

I really was going to wait to write a story today, but this photo grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

MOST HOLY PLACE

                                                                                                                           25 October 1973

My Dearest Y’hudit,

This morning, the doctor told me I’ll be home in time for our son’s Brit Milah. Unless he is a she. I would wink but my eyes no longer work.

Why on the holiest of holidays? One minute I’m davening in shul and the next I’m dodging tanks and enemy bullets. No time to break the fast.

I watched our field doctors bind the wounds of Egyptians. “Would Moses do the same?” I asked Baruch Levin, one of our medics.

He replied, “Talmud teaches, ‘He who saves one life… is as if he saves an entire universe.’ On the battlefield no life that can be saved should be lost.”

Later, one of his grateful patients blew Baruch’s righteous head off. It was the last thing I saw…forever.

I’m sorry to burden you, my beloved. I hope you can still love me.

Eem ahavah,

Amitai

 

Glossary

Brit Milah – Rite of Circumcision, performed when a baby boy is eight days old.

Davening – Praying

Shul – Orthodox term for synagogue

Eem ahavah – With Love

 

5 January 2018

Published January 3, 2018 by rochellewisoff


“Reciprocation is the glue that holds this community together.” Neil MacDonald 

Remember : “It’s not what you’re looking at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau 

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

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Although we think of arranged marriage as something that happened in Fiddler on the Roof, many cultures still adhere to the custom today, including Ultra Orthodox Jews. The following is a scene from my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME. The year is 1902 and takes place in a little village in Eastern Europe. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

BEHIND THE VEIL

“Mama?”

White satin gleamed in the lamplight. Straightening to ease the ache wracking her spine, Fruma Ya’el set the gown aside.

“What’s troubling you, child?”

“This wedding’s a mistake.” Gittel knelt and laid her head in Fruma Ya’el’s lap.

Fruma Ya’el’s heart ached for her girls. Any fool could see Havah and Arel had fallen in love. What could she do? Betrothal papers were signed years ago.

 She combed her fingers through Gittel’s auburn hair. “Some things cannot be changed. Arel’s love for you will grow over time, as will yours for him. You believe this don’t you?”

“Do you?”

 

50 Happy Things 2018: Bloggers Unite to Flood the Internet With Gratitude

Published January 2, 2018 by rochellewisoff

Thanks to Dawn Landau for making Gratitude a New Year’s Tradition. I’m happy to be taking part once more. 

“For the fourth year in a row, this is an opportunity to hit pause and focus on all the good things that each of us has in our lives. The holiday season has a way of rushing in, every year, and making it hard to remember that throughout the year, there are blessings. There are so many things that bring joy, so many happy things; yet it’s easy to find to lose sight of this fact, as we manage busy lives.”

To take part, set your timer for ten minutes and write 50 things you are grateful for. Once I started it was hard to stop. 

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  1. My home – just celebrated our tenth year in our dream home. 
  2. My husband – 46 years of marriage. 
  3. My 3 sons who have all grown to be men I’m proud of. 
  4. My granddaughter Olive
  5. Her new sister Elsie born on my dad’s birthday, 12 November 2017
  6. Olive’s adorable dog, Poppy
  7. Friday Fictioneers – I’ve made so many friends through sharing stories, learning how similar we are in our hopes and dreams no matter where we’re from. 
  8. What Pegman Saw…I took part in it this past year. Nice to have a different prompt and 50 extra words to play with.
  9. My health
  10. A nearby place to swim
  11. The joy of swimming a mile, flip turning at each end of the pool
  12. Counting backwards in Hebrew and Spanish to keep track of my pool lengths
  13. My elliptical trainer for those times it’s too cold to get out of the house
  14. A good hot shower after a hearty workout
  15. A warm cozy room that serves as office and studio
  16. Strong, hot black coffee in the wee morning hours when it’s still dark outside
  17. My G-d who speaks in a still small voice during those quiet times
  18. Abundance of healthy foods
  19. A sense of humor, the ability to laugh at myself
  20. My friends and family who’ll laugh at me if I don’t.
  21. My synagogue
  22. My dancing friends on our synagogue dance team
  23. My rabbi, who knows the value of a good pun
  24. My blogging friends
  25. The internet and Skype friends around the globe
  26. The ability to make people happy with my writing and art – I say this with gratitude for the feedback from others
  27. My 6-speed Chevy Cruz that’s paid for
  28. No longer having to punch a clock and the privilege of doing what I dreamed of doing as a child, ie being a professional artist
  29. Some successful book signings and art fairs.
  30. A growing number of art commissions.
  31. Books to read and lose myself in
  32. Music, all kinds (I won’t deny it, I love classical…particularly Chopin).
  33. Being able to read and write Hebrew (more or less)
  34. Taking time to enjoy the quiet
  35. Good paintbrushes
  36. My computers: desktop and laptop
  37. Legs that still work
  38. Smelling fragrances and odors, it means my olfactories works
  39. The color PURPLE
  40. Other colors beside purple 😉
  41. The fresh smell after a rainstorm
  42. Flowers, Daffodils being my favorite
  43. My muse who tells me stories when I least expect it
  44. My spinning mind that decides to go into overdrive when I want to sleep.
  45. A good Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
  46. Gluten free pasta so I don’t feel deprived
  47. Ozarks Writers League – OWL
  48. All of my Wisoff cousins I never knew I had until we discovered each other online
  49. Friends I’ve known since early childhood. It’s a rare blessing to share pictures of grandchildren with the same ‘kids’ I used to play hopscotch with
  50. I can still turn a cartwheel.

BURIED DEEP

Published December 30, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Talnakh, in Krasonoyarsk Krai, Russia. My story takes place in another part of Russia.

Thanks to Karen and Josh for the challenge and the extra 50 words. 

Now that the holidays are basically behind us, I need to turn my attention to my next book, A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY. This week’s location is the perfect inspiration for this edited scene from AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. Naturally it’s my hope that these excerpts I’ve posted will whet the reader’s appetite to read my novels and, of course the upcoming coffee table book–designed for those who like to look at the pictures.  😉 😉

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

BURIED DEEP

            “What’s the matter with you?” Sergei glared at Nikolai. “You’ve never told Oxana about your own identical twin brother?”

            Oxana seethed. “No. Why should he tell me anything? I am only his wife.”  

            “I don’t blame him for keeping it a secret.” Sergei took a labored breath. “I’m the one at fault. I used to slap him for even mentioning Bodrik’s name.”

            “He was always so competitive. Had to be the best at everything.” Protracted memories zipped through Nikolai’s mind. The frozen Neva River ran like a ribbon through St. Petersburg. “‘Race you to the bridge,’ Bodrik yells. Of course he’s in the lead. Suddenly the dumb durak stops and sticks out his foot. Our skates tangle.”

            “Nikolai looked like he’d been mauled by a bear. Bodrik escaped with a simple bump on the head.”

            “What happened to him?” asked Oxana.

            Nikolai shivered. “He died in my arms that night.”

 

 

 

 

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