Love and more love

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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. 

get the InLinkz code

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

FLOWER AND WILLOW WORLD

Published February 19, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman visits Tokyo.

ありがとうございました
Arigatōgozaimashita, 
thnk you to Karen Rawson for hosting this unique challenge. 

To enjoy other 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.
My photo choice from stroll through Google

My photo choice from stroll through Google

Again, I’m late for the party, but couldn’t resist the challenge. Maybe it’s the extra 50 words or the fact that I’m merely a participant. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

FLOWER AND WILLOW WORLD

A thousand butterflies swirl in my stomach as I peer out the window, watching for the car that will bring my Hoshi-chan, my shining star, for a brief visit.

After we left her at the Okiya in Kyoto, six months ago, I cried for a week.

“It’s all for the best, Fumiko-chan,” said my husband Ichiro. “She’s following her life’s path.”  

“What does she know of life? She’s only fifteen.”

“We’ve five more children and can hardly feed them.”

I cannot argue, but Hoshi is our only daughter, my ally in this man’s house.

At her Misedashi—formal presentation ceremony—my heart swelled with pride. In exquisite silk kimono, painted face and jeweled hair, Hoshi, renamed Kikuyu, was welcomed into the secret society of Geisha.

She glided to me on lacquered getas and uttered those words I will forever cherish. “Okaasan, when I come home, please cook me a hamburger.”

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geisha-doll-painting

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

HERDING CATS

Published February 13, 2017 by rochellewisoff

HERDING CATS

The Joys of Hosting a Blog Challenge

A few weeks ago former Friday Fictioneer  Karen Nelson invited me to write an article about my experience for her new online magazine entitled

literary-citizen-cover

Click here to read the rest of the magazine.

To learn more about the editor click here to read an interview with another former fictioneer and fellow author Jan Morrill.

Karen Nelson

Karen Nelson

Following is the article as it appears in the magazine. Warning! It’s longer than a flash fiction. 😉 

HERDING CATS

            Four years ago, as a newly published author of a short story anthology, writing and rewriting my first novel, I didn’t have much of a direction for my blog. The few articles I posted were met with overwhelming disinterest.

One April day I noticed a Facebook post by someone named Madison Woods on the Ozarks Writers League page announcing the time had come for Friday Fictioneers. I found the title intriguing so I asked her about it.

She explained that every Wednesday she put up a photo and each participant was to insert it into his or her own blog page and write a short story to go with it. I decided to try my hand at it. From the first hundred words, I was hooked. I quickly learned that less really can be more. This revelation spilled over into my longer pieces.

Even more addicting than the writing was the interaction of an international group of writers. Although it took me a few weeks to catch onto comment protocol, I soon learned how to give and receive. I was fascinated by the variety of stories and poems one photograph can inspire. The themes range from light and funny to dark and sinister.

Soon, I developed close friendships with some of the other writers. I looked forward to my weekly serving of magic until one morning my friend, Doug, on the Big Island asked, “Are you going to take over Friday Fictioneers?”

“Why would I do that?”

“Didn’t you get Madison’s email?”

Sure enough, I found an email from Madison saying it was time for her to move on. She offered Friday Fictioneers to anyone who might be interested in taking over after October. I felt like I’d lost my best friend.

When I shared the news with my husband, Jan and cousin, Kent, they, too, encouraged me to bid for the facilitator role. Never one to take on leadership roles, I couldn’t see myself in that position.

“Why not you?” asked Kent. “You know the ropes and you have the chops. I think you should go for it.”

Jan agreed with Kent.

I bounced the idea around in my head for a few hours. Nothing will change. I haven’t missed a week in six months. I’ll still post my stories. The only difference will be that I’ll be choosing the photos.  

Apparently the impassioned plea I sent Madison convinced her, too, for she announced my adoption of her baby that very week. The photo prompt she chose was of a bus and I knew I was in for an exciting ride. Here’s the story I posted:

FRIDAY’S BUS

Apprehensions whelmed the new driver. How could she steer this behemoth? Her feet barely reached the gas pedal.

A lithe maiden with pointed ears and iridescent wings floated past her.  Next was an imposing man whose black silk cape skimmed the floor. One by one, diverse passengers stowed their baggage and found their seats.

“Welcome,” said the last in line. “I’m Russell.”

Warmed by his congenial smile she tried not to stare at his plastic clown nose and grasped his offered hand.

Zzzzzzt! His joy buzzer sent shockwaves to her shoulder.  

He chortled. “Are we there yet?” 

Here’s a link to that post complete with comments from my fellow fictioneers. https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/fridays-bus/

Russell Gayer, FF Class Clown

Russell Gayer, FF Class Clown 

***

            The first month or so went smoothly. I received a lot of support from other members and quite a few offers of photos for potential prompts.

As with any group, even those online, personality quirks and conflicts arose. One fictioneer I’d considered a friend, lashed out at me in a scathing email in which she accused me developing “an over- inflated Friday Fictioneers Ego.” Without going into detail about the situation, suffice it to say, her words stung like needles.

Another memorable time came when one member decided to use my page as a platform to preach her religion. This sent a flurry of complaints to my inbox.

I tried, via email, as diplomatically as possible, to persuade the would-be evangelist to confine her proselytizing to her own page. She never replied but, eventually disappeared from our midst.

Occasionally, a zealous blogger will link his unrelated blog to the Friday Fictioneers’ inLinkz in order to draw traffic to his site. In those instances, I will notify the person to let him know I’ve deleted his link and why. Most of the time there’s no response but in a few instances I’ve been called a control freak or worse.

For the most part, I enjoy the interaction and have learned from other writers. As a child I had a few pen –pals, one in Wales and another in South America. It was so much fun to get those letters and feel like I’d, in some way, traveled overseas. To me, Friday Fictioneers is akin to having pen-pals on steroids.

To my amazement, Friday Fictioneers has gained popularity and has been featured in three separate WordPress articles about blog writing challenges. Each time my following increased exponentially and participation has topped out as high as 100 writers in one week.

Pet Peeves

            In the beginning, I felt it my responsibility as facilitator to read and comment on each story. After a couple of years it occurred to me that I had neither the time nor the stamina. Perhaps it sounds selfish but I’ve come to the point where I mostly comment on stories of the writers who most often comment on mine. I understand we live in busy societies and not everyone has time to read every story. As I tell folks in the rules, reciprocation is half the fun. Some are great participants while others merely link their pages and neither comment nor reply. To those I return the favor.

And in the end, the love you send…

            An article about Friday Fictioneers wouldn’t be complete without a few examples. I’ll begin with the photo submitted by C. E. Ayr, who describes himself as a Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d’Azur in France. The following five stories were inspired by this single photo.

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAYR

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAYR

 

HERO

By Himself, C.E. Ayr

Times change.
The floodlights still illuminate the night sky.
The crowd still roars as once it roared for me.
But no more.
The sound echoes across the water to where I sit, feet wet, in my little boat.
I think back to the good times when I was the city’s hero.
When everyone loved me.
When she loved me.
As the dampness reaches my knees I recall faces smiling, doors opening.
And I remember the mistakes that were made.
Followed by scowls, and impassable barriers.
And she said goodbye.
The lights go out abruptly.
The darkness closes over my head.

***

LONG DISTANCE CALL

by Margaret Leggatt – Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia

‘Hello. Zack speaking.’

‘Hi, honey. It’s me. I’m going to be late.’

‘What’s happened?’

‘Well, I had such a long list of pickups. I travelled miles. The professor’s so particular about what he wants, but I did my best, and I’ve collected some great specimens. I’m sure he’ll be satisfied.’

‘So what’s the hold-up? You haven’t lost a specimen again, have you?’

‘Oh no – all sedated and secure. The problem is, these streets all look the same at night; I can’t remember where I parked, and now the portal’s closed and I’ve missed the last transporter beam out of here.’

***

THE MEET-UP

By Dale Rogerson – Boucherville, Quebec

It was supposed to be for a light lunch. Neither was hungry, so they had a drink: water for her, soda for him.

They sat at a table and exchanged pleasantries. He asked questions, his gaze intense and she felt like he was reading more than her words. She felt the tension build and squirmed in discomfort, feeling totally exposed, yet strangely excited.

Before she knew how, he made her feel things she never imagined.

As he left her, dazed, yet lit up, he said, “You’ll see, this will play out in your head all day.”

He was not kidding.

***

I SAW IT

By Kent Bonham – Olathe, KS. USA

My last trip to Spain won me a date with Alicia, an actress-model I had been trying to go out with a long time.

We walked arm in arm through the dark streets, like in the movies!

Pigeons flew from the ground, almost on cue.

I turned to kiss her lovely face.

A pigeon swooped down, pooped a nasty on my white pants.

Startled, I spun around, knocked Alicia into a fountain. Her skirt flew over her head … and “Victoria” shared ALL her “secrets!”

“C’est la vie,” I said.

She slapped me.

She thought I said, “Se la ví.”  

***

Lastly, another one from the author herself.

SWINGJUDEN

            In 1969 my mother packed me off to my aunt and uncle’s dairy farm in Wisconsin.

“But Mom, Uncle Otto’s weird. That eyepatch and those scars—ick.”

***

            One night he took my Jefferson Airplane record from the stereo and replaced it with his own 45.

“You tink das ist protest music? ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing,’” He sang. “The SS ransacked our nightclub, but I danced all the way to Buchenwald.”

Uncle Otto taught me more than the jitterbug that summer.

***

            At his funeral last year I saluted my favorite uncle with, “Swing Heil!”
 

NO TENGO COCHE

Published February 12, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week I’m late to the fiesta. I didn’t think I’d make it at all but this one just came to me.

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.

¡Muchas gracias to Karen Rawson for hosting this challenge!

Mi fóto está aquí:

calle-4

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

NO TENGO COCHE

            Kevin couldn’t resist las señoritas. While vacationing in Mexico City he met Alicia del Flores.

            “I adore men with blue eyes and yellow hair,” she said with a smile bright enough to light up an entire football field.

            Every night he took her to a new café or theater.

            “I wish you had a car,” she whispered in his ear, sending shivers through him. “My feet hurt from all this walking.”

            All too soon Kevin’s vacation ended. He embraced her. “Will you marry me?”

            “Sí.”

            He quit his job in Kansas, sold his house and bought a one way ticket to Mexico.

            Heart pounding, diamond in hand, he knocked on her door. Her brother opened it. “Kevin? ¿Por qué?

            “I’m here to claim Alicia.”

            “She married Roberto the taxi cab driver last Sunday.”

            “She promised to wait.” Tears streaming, Kevin sank down on the porch. “At least she has transportation.”

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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South KC Sky Banner

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

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