Life’s Ephemeral Nature

All posts in the Life’s Ephemeral Nature category

THE MEASURE OF CIVILIZATION

Published February 25, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to the Amazon…not Amazon.com…but the original one in Brazil.

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’s the photo I chose from the Google Buffet.

Thanks to K Rawson for hosting this challenge!

the-amazon

 Ah the joy of 50 extra words! I’ve taken one of my older Friday Fictioneers pieces and given it a make-over. 

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 150

THE MEASURE OF CIVILIZATION

Half naked Himba people in Nambia, a sweaty camera crew and millions of TV viewers witnessed our marriage vows. 

I followed Trevor up the Himalayas and drank sun-scorched canteen water instead of Cabernet.

In Nepal he slipped on animal feces and narrowly escaped being trampled by a choleric elephant.

After Trevor’s ankle mended, his next assignment was the Amazon. There we lived in a grass hut. Mosquitos and humidity made it impossible to sleep.

Trevor kissed my eight-month belly. “You should go home.”

“You are my home.”

Before the words left my mouth, my water broke.

Twelve hours of spine-crunching labor later, a Waurá midwife helped deliver our daughter. We named her Kauné in her honor.

_______

Back in the states, safe from cheetah attacks and hippo stampedes, Trevor’s mangled body lies on a cold steel table. The driver, texting on her cell phone, never saw him cross the street.  

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waura-child

24 February 2017

Published February 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Phriday Phictioneers Phone

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Another Highway

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 © Sarah Potter

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

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

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Genre: Historical Fiction

A tweaked excerpt from my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME

psk-amazon-jpg

Word Count: 100

CHARNEL HOUSE

            Havah gazed out the window.  Snowflakes like milk-white dove wings glimmered past the streetlamp and floated to the sidewalk.

            “Have you ever seen anything more beautiful, Arel?”

           “We had snow in the old country. It’s all the same.”

            She grasped Arel’s hand and held it to her belly. Their unborn child kicked against his palm with such force Havah flinched. Brushing her lips across her husband’s disfigured cheek she fought the stone forming in her throat. One by one, faces of those who had perished before her eyes drifted through her memory.

           “No, Arel, nothing will ever be the same.”

***

*Reviews do help sell books. If you’ve read any of the three, would you do this author a favor and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or both? Thank you. 

 

street-light-in-kc-1903

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Look who I visited with at the Ozarks Writers League Conference.

rr-at-owl

Russell Gayer and the Purple Obsessed Princess

17 February 2017

Published February 15, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Condolences to Suzanne Joshi on the loss of her husband. https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/break-from-blogging

Friday Fictioneers Bookshelf

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The disc and the dragonfly

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 © Liz Young

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Please be considerate and do your best to keep your stories to 100 words. 


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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

SWEET LITTLE ALICE BLUE GOWN

            He bowed. “Shall we dance, my dear gadfly?”

            Alice took a final puff from her cigarette. “Certainly, Father.”

            “Despicable, unladylike habit.” He waltzed her across the ballroom. “Mother asked me to speak with you.”

            “Stepmother. Did Emily Spinach sneak into mumsy’s boudoir again?” 

            “It’s not about your snake. We’re disturbed by your public escapades such as gambling and jumping into swimming pools fully clothed. Must you insist on being the center of attention?”

            “Moi?” Alice Roosevelt bristled. “You’re the one who wants to be the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, and the baby at every christening.”

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Theodore Roosevelt and Family 1903

Theodore Roosevelt and Family 1903

roosevelt-quote-about-alice

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longworth-quotes-5

HATH NOT A JEW EYES?

Published February 5, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Hammerfest, Norway

This location was suggested by the talented Alicia over at Up From the Ashes . Thanks Alicia!

Feel free to stroll around 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.

I’ve gone ‘there’ again. It’s what I saw. Thanks to K Rawson for hosting this group. Below is the photo I chose from Pegman’s Buffet.

My Chosen Prompt

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

HATH NOT A JEW EYES?

            Do you know the word “Jew” is a common insult among Norwegian teens? Should this bother me? After all, I am a Norwegian Jew.  

            “If you prick us, do we not bleed?”

            Reptilian? I’ve been called this. Do people seriously believe this mishegoss—that Jews are lizard creatures from another planet?

            “If you tickle us, do we not laugh?”

             I will never forget holding my father’s hand as we strolled along a mountain path. Two youths shoved him and shouted, “Child murderer!”

             The memory of warm spittle dripping down my face sickens me still.

            “If you wrong us, do we not revenge?”

            Not in Norway. Instead, we hide in plain sight.

            Last summer a group of Hasidim invited all of us to a Jewish gathering in Oslo. We cranked up the music and danced in front of Parliament.

            I’ve heard that work makes us free, but we’re not falling for that again.  

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Here is a link to the video that informed my story. It’s over 20 minutes long so I don’t expect everyone to have the time. However, if you do…

 

3 February 2017

Published February 1, 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 © Roger Bultot

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

A WEAVER OF DREAMS

Not even a light breeze blew through the open window. As it did every night, sleep eluded Myrtle Reed. Sweat oozed from skin-folds under her ample arms.

“Why doesn’t this so-called windy city offer some relief from this fiendish heat?” She glared at the clock. “Eleven-thirty, August 17, 1911.”

She searched the street below for James. “He’s probably passed out drunk somewhere. I was so wrong. Love is not an orchid which thrives on hot air.”

Raising a bottle of sleeping powder to her lips, the young authoress swallowed disappointed dreams. “Insomnia be damned—forever. Happy anniversary my ‘model husband.’”

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portrait_of_myrtle_reed

a-weaver-of-dreams-front-page

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SWING SHIFT

Published January 28, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Wonder of wonders, I’m back for another round. 😉 It must be the lure of those fifty extra words. Here are the simple directions:

Today, Pegman visits Buffalo, NY.  Thanks to Prior for this week’s location.

Feel free to stroll around 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 for hosting.

ivy-street-in-buffalo

The following story is a rework of an old story. I thought perhaps the addition of fifty words might help it along. I also think this one will be lengthened at a later date. Still rolling it around my head.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

SWING SHIFT

            On Black Tuesday Pop lost his Wall Street job.

             He sold everything of any value except Mom’s prized antique vase, our phonograph and his clarinet.

            We moved from our Park Avenue apartment to a shabby house in Buffalo. Pop found employment as a night janitor.   

            One Sunday afternoon, drawn by phonograph music, I wandered into his room.  Hunched over, he held a gun to his temple.

            I screamed and knocked it from his grasp.

            It discharged. The bullet ricocheted off the wall, whizzed through my hair and shattered Mom’s vase.

            “Forgive me.” He crushed me against his chest. “I’ve forgotten what’s really important.”   

            After that Pop found solace playing his “licorice stick.” He delighted our neighbors at backyard barbeques.

            At Mom’s urging, he auditioned for a local swing band. From 1935 to 1962 they toured the Borscht Belt.

            His zest for life was contagious.

            Incidentally, Mom never mentioned her vase.           

 

Borscht Belt

Probably not Pop’s band, but thrown in for flavor.

FACE TO FACE

Published January 23, 2017 by rochellewisoff
Theodore Roosevelt portrait

Theodore Roosevelt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Several times over the past few years, as I’ve painted “portraits” of my characters, someone has asked who I used for models. As a rule the answer is, “no one in particular.” In fact, I’ve often thought if I ever need a regular job, I could apply for one as a police sketch artist since I’ve become adept at composites: the eyes from one model coupled with a nose and mouth from another. “Oh, and that’s the perfect hairstyle.” I admit to using a few celebrity photos, although I try not to make them look like portraits. On the other hand, if it’s meant to be a portrait I’m a little more particular. 

        Google images and Pinterest are wonderful places to find vintage photos for the dress and hairstyles of the day. All great fun for the girl who used to get in trouble for daydreaming in class while drawing pictures. Of course those daydreaming episodes were practice for my future storytelling career. 😉 

        From my first chapters of PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME I’ve had a mental image of Havah Cohen. 

havah-at-16

Havah at 16 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Havah in her 20's © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Havah in her 20’s © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Last week I had lunch with some friends. One of them brought an American history book he thought would come in handy for my research. It’s a lovely hardbound coffee table book with lots of pictures. 

He opened it to a bookmarked page and pointed to a photo of a young Russian Jewish immigrant and said, “I thought you might know this lady.” 

I suddenly felt like Karen Eiffel, (Emma Thompson) the author in the movie “Stranger than Fiction” coming face to face with Harold Crick (Will Ferrell). There she was, the girl whose voice I heard in my dreams. Do you agree? 

i-know-this-lady

 

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