Literary Fiction

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2019 Attitude of Gratitude Challenge!

Published January 6, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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Spreading positive vibes throughout the internet.

Four years ago Dawn Q. Laundau of Tales from the Motherland (Click for more details) presented other bloggers with the challenge to spread gratitude throughout the internet. It’s very simple. Take 10 minutes to list 50 or more things you are thankful for. I managed to type 52 before the chicken went off on my iPhone timer. 

  1. My husband of 48 years
  2. My children – 3 grown sons
  3. My granddaughters- 2 adorable little girls.
  4. A contract with Diane Nine, ninespeakers.com for my latest manuscript What the Heart Wants (She said she loves it! Who can ask for better than that?)
  5. I can still do a cartwheel
  6. My regular mile swim and a pool less than a mile from home
  7. Being able to work out regularly
  8. Good health
  9. Painting-love me some watercolors 
  10. Good friends
  11. Art shows
  12. Finding my books on display in a local library
  13. Goat cheese omelets
  14. Reconnecting with my brother Jeff and making the 2nd annual trip to see him in NC
  15. Getting my furry fix with his dogs there
  16. Strong black coffee every morning
  17. A trip to Israel in May
  18. The gift of the trip financed by my cousin Kent
  19. Reconnecting with my first cousin Wendy who moved to Tel Aviv years ago
  20. My brand new, wonderful HP Pavillion desktop.
  21. My HP laptop so I can travel and still write. 
  22. My latest WIP a novel based on my experience with anorexia
  23. My continued recovery from the same
  24. A cozy office
  25. Book club-the opportunity to discuss a book with others
  26. The dance team at my synagogue
  27. KC BBQ none like it on the planet
  28. Blogging friends
  29. Friday Fictioneers – Try it, you’ll like it!
  30. Other blog challenges
  31. Facetime with friends around the world
  32. My printer, Alexis (a person and an artist in her own right) \ who makes my artwork look even better
  33. Good art and book sales in 2019 (not as good as 2018 – but good)
  34. Folk music
  35. Classical music
  36. My little Chevy Cruz, a standard transmission (dying breed that one)
  37. Nieces and Nephews
  38. Typing skills my mother taught me when I refused to take it in school (why did I need to know how to type?-what foresight she had!)
  39. A slightly warped sense of humor or humour, depending on which side of the pond you’re on 😉 
  40. Being able to flip turn in the pool (ecstasy)
  41. Spring and Autumn
  42. Lilacs and daffodils
  43. Eyes to see
  44. A tongue to taste a good Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon
  45. Indian food
  46. Israeli food
  47. Fresh vegetables and fruits
  48. A woman doctor who understands and supports me
  49. A mother of blessed memory who was a grammar patrolwoman
  50. A muse who shares stories with me.
  51. Being young enough to enjoy life and old enough to remember the 50’s and 60’s…black & white TV’s, rotary phones…good times those.
  52. A blog friend like Dawn who facilitates a Gratitude Challenge.

CLICK THE FROG TO JOIN THE FUN!

9 August 2019

Published August 7, 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 © Randy Mazie

Some of you may recognize this photo and may even think you’ve written a story for it. If you were part of Friday Fictioneers the week of December 6, 2013, you’re probably right. 😉 I’m off to visit my brother in North Carolina this week so I’m taking the liberty of posting a retread. To see the original post and who the Fictioneers were click here

Do it! Do it! Click the frog!

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

CLOSE ENCOUNTER

             Darlene rescued the tiny, squalling creature from a smelly garbage can. He squirmed and squeaked as she cuddled him on the way home.  

            “It’s E.T., Mommy. Can I keep him?”  

            “He needs special care, honey.” Mom gently wrapped him in a blanket and picked up the phone.

            To Darlene’s delight, after months of social workers’ visits, Mom said, “He’s ours, sweetie, but we can’t call him E.T. What shall we name your new brother?”

            “Elliott!”

            Five years later, when Elliott scribbled green flying saucers all over her math homework, Darlene screamed, “You little monster! You really are from outer space.”     

 

***

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To check out my artwork, order prints or commission specialized artwork CLICK HERE

           

3 August 2018

Published August 1, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

Note- I am out of town this week so my replies and comments will be delayed. Thank you for understanding. Shalom, Rochelle

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 © Sandra Crook

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

ANNIVERSARY WALTZ

            “Oh how we danced on the night we were wed.”

            Charlene remembers the song the band played for their first dance as man and wife. With his wavy blond hair, Larry was her Prince Charming.

            His hot breath in her ear gave her shivers when he sang, “Two hearts gently beating were murmuring low.”

            An unrestrained belch brings her back to the present. His golden curls are long gone, but his eyes remain as blue as ever. She leans her head on his shoulder.

            His hot breath still gives her shivers when he sings “My darling, I love you so.”

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NOTE ON MY PROCESS

(not required reading. 😉 )

Without a doubt, there are some of you scratching your heads, wondering how I came up with this story from that photo. I understand. As briefly as possible I will try to explain. At first glance the photo said “Dust in the Wind.” (dry leaves, etc) From there my mind took me to crumbling relationships like marriages that end up being anything but “Happily Ever After.” From there I looked up the lyrics to the Anniversary Waltz. Somehow, my muse decided that my story should have a happy ending. So there you have it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉 

Shalom,

Rochelle

WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN?

Published July 22, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Melbourne, Australia. Feel free to use the photo provided in the prompt, or seek out your own using Google’s street view or photo spheres.

Your mission: write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Once your piece is polished, feel free to share it with others using the link up below. Or, if you don’t have a blog to link to, you’re invited to post your story in the comments of this post.

Many thanks to Karen and Josh for facilitating this challenge for globetrotting writers. It’s the extra 50 words that keep me coming back. 😉

Adass Israel School in Melbourne

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN?

Tonight Mama locked me in the cupboard under the stairs. “Beyz meydl! Evil girl!” I could hear her rant all the way down the hallway. “What dybbik enticed you to venture outside the safe confines of Adass Israel? Ours is a sacred community.”  

I only went to a bookstore in Melbourne. I want to read novels that don’t have half the sentences marked out. Why is this so wrong?

I hate the dark. When I’m there I see my principal’s hands. I can still feel them touching me under my blouse and skirt. She claims she’s performing a mitzvah and preparing me for marriage. Sometimes I think she might be the only person who has ever loved me. Other times I’m not so sure. If this is a good thing, why does Mrs. Leifer always close the door and lower the blinds? Why do I feel disgusting and rotten inside?

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Malka Leifer

JUSTICE AT LAST (Click to read about it) 

6 July 2018

Published July 4, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

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

get the InLinkz code

This is a rerun that perhaps a handful of you will remember from October 31, 2012 with a different photo prompt, then titled CIRCLE IN A SPIRAL. It’s still among my favorites. I’ve dusted it off and tweaked it a bit.  

Here in the States it’s Independence Day commemorating the freedom we enjoy. Amid the fireworks and feasting we do well to remember  countless men and women have paid the ultimate price for our celebrations. Pass the mustard, please. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

PRESUMED DEAD

            Before he deployed, Nathan loved amusement parks. He’d coax Jeanette onto the Ferris wheel and laugh so loud at her fear of heights others would turn and smile.

            Eight months ago a roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan.

            Still wearing her engagement ring, Jeanette takes her brother to the park but greasy odors and the pungent crowd suffocate her.

            From the shadows, a marine balanced on his one leg, reaches for her with a prosthetic hand. “I’m half a man, Jeanette. I’m afraid I can never—”

            “Nathan! Shut up and kiss me.”

            She laughs so loud others turn and smile.

       

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Stained Glass Flag © Jean L. Hays

 

 

THE FROZEN SEA WITHIN US

Published February 25, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman is back in Europe, visiting the Czech Republic for the first time. You’re invited to stroll the city of Karlovy Vary and choose your own view. Take your inspiration and write no more 150 words. Once your poem, story, or essay is polished, share it with others at the link up below:

I’m a little late to the party this week, but after being MIA for the past two weeks, I’m happy to have made it. 😉 Many thanks to Karen and Josh for their dedication to their growing challenge. I’m pleased to announce that I’m rounding the bend of the final heat for A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY. Hopefully it will debut this Spring. 

Here’s the photo I chose from the Pegman Buffet. My story doesn’t exactly take place here but a few kilometers away in Prague.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

THE FROZEN SEA WITHIN US

Shadow monsters chased Franz. Twisted trees and thorny brambles caught his clothes. He snapped open his eyes. Demons vanished like steam over Mother’s cooking pot.

            The wind blustered and howled outside, sounding like shouts of tyrants and wails of children. Franz’s tongue cleaved to the bottom of his mouth.

            He cried out. “May I have a drink of water?”

            “Go back to sleep, you little insect,” his father hollered.  

            “Please, Father, I am so thirsty.”

            “Thirsty are you?” Heavy footsteps thundered down the hallway. Franz opened his eyes. Father loomed over the bed like the ominous forest creatures of his nightmare. Instead of comforting words the child longed for, Father carried him to the balcony. “Never disturb my sleep again.” The door locked behind him.

            Frigid wind whipped through the boy’s thin nightgown. For the rest of his all-too-brief life, Franz Kafka despaired of ever winning his father’s love.

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Click here for more of Kafka

26 January 2018

Published January 24, 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. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook


get the InLinkz code

Saturday, January 27th is the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The following story is one that I discovered a few years back and never ceases to fascinate me. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction based on a True Story

Word Count: 100

RENOVATION

As he did every morning, Dov Ben Avraham recited the Sh’ma, “Hear O, Yisrael, Adonai is our Lord, Adonai is one.” The Hebrew words from Deuteronomy 6 were sweet to his tongue and uplifting to his heart. After saying his final amen, he added, “Thank you for making me a Jew.”

Later that night, at the synagogue he prepared to tell his story at a memorial dinner to honor those who perished at Auschwitz.

Gazing at a few survivors among the guests, Dov, Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, said, “Please forgive me for the sins of my father, a Nazi tank commander.”

 

 Bernd Wollschlaeger, M.D.

 

To see an interview with Dr. Wollschlaeger CLICK HERE

SWIMMING LESSON

Published December 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

A resounding HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Pegman. Can you believe it’s been a year already? Many happy returns to Karen and Josh. You’re doing a great job. 

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

This photo didn’t take me to Iowa, but to the back woods of Arkansas. The story is an edited snippet from a story in my short story anthology THIS, THAT AND SOMETIMES THE OTHER which is out of print (save copies still available from the author 😉 ) It’s still available on Kindle. The story is based on one of my husband’s memories of spending summers with his best friend Ray (Francis Ray Stills). We had fun working on the longer version together.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

SWIMMING LESSON

Granny Stillwell’s shack, built into the hills, was propped up on cinderblocks. Another rough-hewn cabin sat just the other side of a vegetable garden. A tire-less, 1940’s pick-up truck, also set on cinderblocks, had been pushed up against one wall “to keep it from a-leaning too much.”

After supper, his stomach full of catfish and rhubarb cobbler, Kenny Lord lazed on the porch and thought about the day.

“Hey, Lordy-Lordy, know how to swim?” 

“No.” 

“Time to learn.”  

He would never forget his terror when Boyce shoved him off the cliff to the Buffalo River 50 feet below. Boyce’s evil laughter filled his ears until water surged up his nose and his panic-stricken lungs blazed.

Kenny seethed. “Boyce better watch his back.”

“He was jest funnin’,’” said Frankie-Ray Stillwell.

Granny spat out a wad of chewing tobacco. “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”

Kenny smirked. “That’s me, Kenneth Donald Lord.”

THE SWIMMING LESSON

 

LEGACY

Published November 5, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman walks through  Córdoba, Argentina.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post. Use it to inspire you however you like. We ask that as a token of respect for your readers that you keep your piece to 150 words or less.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

I didn’t think I’d have time to write for Pegman this week, but when the muse says “write it” I must obey. This week marks the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht so it’s where my mind and heart went this week. The following story is based on the experience many Jewish descendants (myself included) have had. 

Shalom

This picture from the Cordoba, Argentina speaks ‘olive branch of peace’ to me.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

LEGACY

            Rosita’s grandparents had managed to survive Ravensbrück and Auschwitz. In 1945 they immigrated to South America where they built a new life. Ingrid’s grandfather emigrated from Germany the same year.

            With a myriad of conflicting emotions, Rosita watched the newscast beside her best friend. A bunker had been unearthed in the Argentinian jungle loaded with Nazi artifacts, not too far away.

            Although the apprehension of war criminals in Argentina was hardly news to the twenty-year-old college student, the discovery of the hideout unearthed a hidden truth.  The direct descendant of one of her grandparents’ torturers now begged for absolution.

            “Lo siento con todo mi corazón,” said Ingrid, her fair cheeks wet with tears streaming from her ocean-blue eyes.  

            What an esqueleto to tumble from the armario. Rosita’s heart ached for her friend who was as much a victim as the Jews. What could she say?

            “Perdono con todo mi corazón.”      

Glossary:

Lo siento con todo mi corazon. – I’m sorry with all of my heart. 

Esqueleto – skeleton

Armario – Closet

Perdono con todo mi corazon. – I forgive with all of my heart. 

 

 

 

 

COUNTRY ROADS

Published October 8, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman returns to the Western Hemisphere to take us on a tour of Littleton, West Virginia. Although I missed the challenge last week, a story formed pretty quickly for this one. I’m a day late and see that this group is growing. Nice to see. Thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting. I so appreciate the two of you on more than one level. 😉

To enjoy this week’s stories or to submit your own, visit the inLinkz button:

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

This story is dedicated to the forgotten veterans, the women who unassumingly served as nurses and ‘Donut Dollies.’

COUNTRY ROADS

“My dearest Jimmy,

Remember 1971?  We came home from Vietnam that year—the same year John Denver’s song became a hit. I think he must’ve written it with you in mind.  

‘Littleton,’ you laughed, your eyes shining like the stars over the Shenandoah River. ‘It’s just a Podunk town in the middle of nowhere.’

Nonetheless, to you it was home…’almost heaven’.”

Sharon set aside her pen and paper. Picking up Jimmy’s guitar, she strummed the melody and sang, “…West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountain…” She closed her eyes. “Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains…”

A gentle breeze riffled her hair. “You promised to bring me here after the war. And so you have.”

She folded the note, tucked it inside the guitar and propped it against his headstone. Forever she would carry his face and hear his last words, “Nurse, please don’t let me die.”

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In this image provided by the U.S. Army, the 2nd Brigade was faced with a new problem at their Bien Hoa, Vietnam base: from Fort Rilay to Vietnam come the 93rd Evacuation Hospital complete with nurses on Dec. 19, 1965. The problem of getting a private shower for the girls fell to Company B 1st Engineer Battalion. In the interests of the health, welfare and cleanliness of the nurses, the men of Company B decided to give up their own air-conditioned shower. The dressing area of the shower was boarded up and the entrance-way closed off. An appropriate “Off Limits” sign was made and posted. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

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