Life’s Ephemeral Nature

All posts in the Life’s Ephemeral Nature category

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)

Weekend Writing Prompt – Nuance

Published July 25, 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.

COMPOSITION

Soaring on the wings of her no. 10 round sable,

She swirls it through wet pigment

And brandishes it across the paper.

Under her hand the background takes shape

Images form amid

Light, subtle shadow and nuanced colors.

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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

Click on the frog picture to add your link.

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

Weekend Writing Prompt – Hinterland

Published July 18, 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.

I’ve no doubt my friends who are writers will relate. 

FAR AND AWAY

Her hair gleamed in the soft candlelight. Desire flooded him. No longer could he—

“Yoo-hoo, Mom.”

I flinch and stare at him. “What?”

He peers at me over his beer. “You didn’t hear a word I said.”

“What did you say?” I cut into my steak. “Mm. Underdone to perfection. I’m sorry, I had something on my mind.

My son, the professional wordsmith, winks. “You have the writer’s look.”

“What’s that?”

“Your body’s here, but your mind is far away in the hinterlands of your imagination.”

Busted.

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Weekend Writing Prompt – Cavalier

Published July 12, 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.

I hope, for your sake, you can’t relate to his story. Sadly they’re often demons in clerical garb. 

BANE OF MY EXISTENCE

The talented cleric in whiteface dubbed himself the love clown. His movements, were graceful and fluid. Hailed as a gifted artist, he brought Bible characters and stories to life. Nation-wide congregations welcomed him. He thrived on their adoration.

What a shock it was to learn he cared only for himself and how to control his followers. His cavalier narcissism left no room for benevolence.

3 July 2020

Published July 1, 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 © Na’ama Yehuda

Genre: Hysterical Fiction

Word Count: 100

STOP!

Jeff drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “Damned red light.”

“Down, Scruffy.” Meredith looked up from her magazine. “Can you imagine the chaos without traffic lights? In fact, until 1923, our fair city of Cleveland was a mess until inventor Garrett Morgan witnessed a serious collision between an automobile and a cart. The horse had to be put down and a little girl was severely injured.”

“And…?”

“And Mr. Morgan patented a three-position traffic signal which brought order to roads worldwide. He later sold the patent to General Electric who added colored lights. Hey, Jeff?”

“What?”

“The light’s green.”

 ****

Garrett Morgan

CLICK for more info re Garrett Morgan

Weekend Writing Prompt – Unwelcome

Published June 27, 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.

QUARANTINE

“It itches, Mommy.” My feverish two-year-old pointed to a cluster of blisters on his chest. “Make it stop.”

Sesame Street Live is out of the question.”

“But I’m not sick.” Six-year-old Simon whined. “It’s all Trevor’s fault.”

“Pretty sure it’s Chicken Pox,” I told Margo, the company secretary. “It’s making the rounds at daycare.”  

Fortunately, Trevor had a mild case. An easy week—alas, without pay.  

Fourteen days after Trevor’s outbreak, Simon woke with a bumper crop of unwelcome lesions.

Covered from stem to stern, Simon whined. “It’s all Trevor’s fault.”  

***

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