Make Every Word Count

All posts in the Make Every Word Count category

WATER BABY

Published July 24, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Feel free to swim around the area 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 and J Hardy Carroll for hosting this challenge every week. Facilitating a weekly commitment that often requires more effort than meets the eye. I doff my swim cap to you, Karen and Josh. 

Great Barrier Reef

While the photo is from the Pegman prompt, I confess, I swam far afield. As often happens, the research trail leads where I least expect. The ideas came to me while swimming. Like the protagonist in my story, I’m a water baby. I considered what my goggles allow me to clearly see, such as the watery ceiling when I flip turn. So I considered the history of swim goggles and ended up with the following story. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

WATER BABY

            Anna helped her daughter take off her wet clothes. “Gertie, my little pollywog, whatever am I to do with you?”

            The child shivered. “I wanted to swim and I couldn’t find the ocean.”

            Anna bit her lip and wrapped a warm towel around her. “A horse trough is no substitute for the sea, liebling.”  

***

            Anna Ederle’s heart swelled as tickertape floated over her twenty-year-old daughter who waved to adoring fans lining Manhattan’s streets shouting, “Trudy! Trudy!”

            Slathered with lanolin and olive oil, Gertrude had conquered the English Channel in 14 hours and 31 minutes, beating records previously set by men.

            The press sang her praises. President Coolidge even invited her to the White House.

            Yet, she’d dodge the accolades in favor of a long swim. Anna grinned, remembering Gertie’s words when her brother pulled her from the horse trough.

            “When I’m in the water, I’m not in this world.”

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HOW IS MY DRIVING?

Published July 19, 2017 by rochellewisoff

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

Kent’s photo put me back on that tour bus with Zvi. Normally I eschew Friday Fictioneers sequels or double dipping. With red, although unapologetic, countenance I am doing both this week. 🙄

Genre: Memoir/Anecdote

Word Count: 100

HOW IS MY DRIVING?

            A rather shy man, our Israeli bus driver, Gabi had a welcoming smile for everyone. Every day we spoke, he in halting English and I in limited Hebrew.

            What a driver! He maneuvered that behemoth through narrow streets I wouldn’t dare attempt to navigate in my Saturn. I was reminded of cartoon car chases where vehicles curved around corners like Gumby.

            My seatmate grasped the armrest, her knuckles white. “He must ride a motorcycle.”   

            “Ahtah rokhev al ofanoah?” I asked him.

            His sunny expression gave way to horror. “Lo! Mesukahn! Mesukahn!” He flashed his pocket translator which read, “Dangerous! Perilous!”

****

Aych ahnee noheg? How is my driving?

Gabi

21 July 2017

Published July 19, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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Our Mantra

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 © Kent Bonham

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

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Genre: Anecdote

Word Count: 100

INCARNATE

            Most people I know have fond memories of their first automobile. Mine was a used 1971 royal blue Volkswagen Beetle. Fun size—like me.

            My father hated it. “A Jew has no business driving a Nazi-mobile.”

            The kids loved to sit in the ‘back-back,’ a mini cargo hold behind the rear seat and the bug was easy to maneuver. I enjoyed tootling around in it until the clutch went out. The heater worked great—all summer. Other quirks included slowing to a crawl at busy intersections while I floored the gas pedal and prayed.

            Could Dad have been onto something?

14 July 2017

Published July 12, 2017 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 © Janet Webb

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

BUTTON-DOWN CONFESSION

             My mother’s button collection fascinated me. Among my favorites were pearly ones with silver trim or grape-shaped ones made of glass. Like the jar in which she stored them, they smelled of stale mustard.

            One afternoon I dumped them out on the table. A shiny blue straggler embossed with curvy white leaves rolled toward the edge. Mom caught it.

            Her faraway eyes sparkled like the button itself. “My dress fastened in front. Indigo satin.  He called me Princess Blue Belle.”

            “Cute. Daddy’s clever, isn’t he?”

            “Oops!” Blushing, she crammed the button into her pocket. “Time to clean up for supper.”

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Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

COUNTRY OF THE BLIND

Published July 10, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Bogota, Columbia.

Feel free to stroll around the area 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.

Thanks to K Rawson and J Hardy Caroll for hosting this irresistible challenge each week.

Unfashionably late to the party this week. In fact I didn’t think I’d be on the guest list at all, but this piece sort of niggled inside my head. I seem to be in a reflective mode lately. I did try a bit of research…Jews in Bogota…”Famous People in Bogota for $50, Alex.” But this one haunted me and begged to be written. Now, if I haven’t bored you with intro…

Genre: Anecdote/Memoir

Word Count: 150

COUNTRY OF THE BLIND

            The 1950’s through the 1960’s is often referred to as the Golden Age of Television. In a day where astounding computer graphics have replaced the salt-in-water special effects of Star Trek’s transporter beam, Millennials might scoff at such presumption.  

            Where are programs such as Playhouse 90 and, my personal favorite, The Twilight Zone? In my opinion, reality shows or over-the-top sitcoms are no match for them.  

            One black and white production of the DuPont Theater etched its stamp on my psyche and gave me nightmares. The play starred Lee Marvin who portrayed Juan De Nuñez, a prospector from the city who seeks wealth in the mountains of Columbia. Instead he finds himself held captive in village where everyone is blind.

            To this day I feel the shock that sizzled through eight-year-old me when the camera zeroed in on an eyeless Marvin who said, “I am the richest man in Bogota.”

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7 July 2017

Published July 5, 2017 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 © Claire Sheldon

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Genre: Hysterical Fiction

Word Count: 100

GEM OF AN IDEA

            Darren scratched his ear with a straightened paperclip. Gina slapped it from his hand. “Stop! You’ll perforate your eardrum!”

            “Then I won’t havta hear your nagging.”

            “Ohhh, just do your homework.”

            “Do your own.” He rolled his eyes. “Sisters.”

            “My report’s done.” She stacked three typewritten pages and paper-clipped the corners together. “Consider the lowly paperclip. Know who invented it?”

            “Who cares?”

            “Some think it was Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian. But it was actually an American, William D. Middlebrook, who even patented the machine to make them in 1899. Whaddya think?”  

            “I think you need to get a life.”

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UNTER DER WAND

Published July 1, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to Berlin’s Stresemannstraße in the former GDR.

Feel free to stroll around the area 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.

Thanks to J Hardy Carroll and K Rawson for facilitating this weekly challenge. 

The Berlin Wall Today

Some of you might remember a shorter version of this story. I confess. It’s a refurbished rerun. It just seemed to fit and it’s been two years since I posted it. Perhaps the addition of fifty words has freshened it up a bit.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

UNTER DER WAND

            “Hurry, Annika.” Vati whispered, glanced over his shoulder at the border guards and pulled me by the hand down Bernauer Strasse. “Mr. Schulenburg and his friends have risked their lives for this moment. This is our one and only chance to get to West.”

            “What about Fritz?”

            “Forget him!”

            It was October 1964, a few days before my seventh birthday. What did I care of Mr. Schulenburg’s sacrifice? I only cared about Fritz.   

            Blinded by tears, I stumbled into a crowded building once used as a toilettenhäuschen where we followed other refugees through a hole in the floor. My father held me as we crawled through the dank tunnel. Within minutes we were lifted out on the other side.

            While others shouted for joy I mourned my loss.

            “Don’t cry, Liebling.” Vati grinned and took a groggy puppy from his coat pocket. “I couldn’t forget him either.”  

 

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