Memoirs

All posts in the Memoirs category

AUGUST 2017 IN REVIEW

Published September 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

One of my favorite song quotes comes from the late John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.” “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” August was a busy month, but September has followed suit, leaving little time blog. I suppose better late than never applies.

Traditionally for the Fields of Belton, Missouri, the first two weeks of August is when Jan goes to Sturgis, SD for the annual bike rally. It’s also the time when the missus, ie me, has time to relax and hang around the house. However, this year, I didn’t spend nearly as much time relaxing as I’d expected.  

Yours Truly with Diane Yates

The first weekend, I packed up the purple tent, books, and artwork. With my good friend Barbara I drove to Fayette, Missouri for the weekend to take part in the Fayette Arts Festival where we stayed with my co-author and friend Diane Yates. Although the weather was unseasonably cold and wet, we girls had a great time. We even sold a few books. 😉 With all of our husbands off and running, the three of us spent Saturday night watching a movie, sipping wine and gabbing into the wee hours.

One of the things I love about doing these signings is the people I meet. Drawn in by the artwork and my novels’ connection to my family, someone will tell me, often in great detail, about their own backgrounds. Great fun.

Wednesday, August 9th, my cousin Kent and I headed to midtown where I was scheduled to do an interview on ArtSpeak on local radio station KKFI, Kansas City’s answer to NPR. He took the picture below during the interview.

Here’s the podcast of that interview. Note: I wasn’t the only guest. You’ll find my slot at 27:39. Friday Fictioneers gets a nod as I read three flash fictions and told Maria how I stumbled into one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Following the interview, Kent and I spent the afternoon meandering around KC’s famous Country Club Plaza. We spent at least an hour in Barnes & Noble’s media room geeking out over DVD’s. We capped off the day by devouring our favorite barbecue at Snead’s BBQ, another Kansas City tradition.

Leawood Barnes & Noble book signing, August 12.

Truly, the crowning moments of the month happened in Branson at the Ozarks Writers League (OWL) conference which happens four times a year. I’ve been a part of and learned much from this generous group of writers for the past ten years. This year I had the opportunity to give back in leading a workshop entitled “Using Flash Fiction as a Writing Tool.” Two FFr’s, our own class clown, Russell Gayer and Cuzzin Kent Bonham served as my peanut gallery (for those who remember Howdy Doody).  

 

A month ahead I sent out the photo prompt and challenged the OWLs to write a 100 word story, giving them a taste of Friday Fictioneers, using the same prompt we used that week on the blog challenge. As always, it’s entertaining to hear the different takes on the same photo. OWL president, Diane Yates and her husband Ricky both took part which was fun since the photo is that of their converted closet shower that he built with his own two hands.

August is the month of the OWL Annual Art Contest with three categories: 2 dimensional art, 3 dimensional and photography. Best in Show (not to be confused with the famous dog show) is awarded by the entry the judges consider the best of the 3 first place winners. I was pleased to learn that I won first and second place for 2 dimensional and the trophy. 😀

Since my husband Jan, my favorite roadie, cheerleader and wind beneath my wings, took the photos he isn’t in any of them. 

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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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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PRICELESS

Published June 19, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes us to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

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 Carroll for heading up this challenge, one that I can’t seem to avoid. 😉 I’m not even caught up on my Friday Fictioneers reading, commenting and replying.

The Gold Souk in Dubai

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 150

PRICELESS

            “Cash for your old gold,” boasted a reputable local jeweler.

            He set up a table at the front of the grocery store where I worked as a cake designer. There he made his offer to employees and customers alike.  

            “Wish I had something to trade in, I could use the money,” said Maggie, my coworker. “You got anything?”

            My husband is something of a jewelry junkie and bought some stunning gold pieces while stationed in Dubai during the Gulf War. Nothing I care to part with. My favorite is a simple heart ring, the symbol of storms we’ve weathered in our marriage.

            “Nah, but I wonder what this is actually worth.”

            Maggie took it and left the bakery. When she returned she tossed it on the counter. “It’s fake.”

            Isn’t it sad that a “trained professional” didn’t recognize 24 carat gold?  

            Like my daddy used to say, “It’s always something.”   

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It’s rarely left my right index finger since December 1999. 24 carat gold is soft and easily bent. BUT it’s never turned my finger green.

 

BE IT EVER SO DYSFUNCTIONAL…

Published May 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman walks through  Portal, ND

Bizzy bizzy weekend so I’m late for the party, but I just can’t seem to avoid it. I’m not sure if it’s the lure of choosing my own prompt, since I choose the prompts for Friday Fictioneers. 😉 Nonetheless, it’s different and if the muse tells me a story I havta write it. Write? Of course, write! 

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post. Many thanks to J Hardy Carroll and K Rawson for hosting.

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.

The photo is a house in North Portal, Saskatchewan. My choice from Pegman’s smorgasbord.

Genre: Historical Faction

Word Count: 150

BE IT EVER SO DYSFUNCTIONAL, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE EMOH

Elise picked up a magazine from the end table and flipped through the pages, stopping at an article about Portal, North Dakota.  “Lovely place. Looks safe.”

“Let’s start where we left off.” Audrey peered over her reading glasses. “Tell me more about your childhood.”

“Idyllic. I drank from garden hoses and bought spoon malts from the ice cream man.”

Audrey’s mouth twisted to one side. “Last week you told me your uncle forced you to—”

“Did I ever tell you about my dog Ami? Odd little Beagle. Hated to be petted.”

“Evasive.” Audrey wrote on her clipboard. “Tell me more about the fights at the diner.”

Memories flooded Elise. Four years old again, she huddled under a table.            

Dad lunged at Mom. “You selfish bitch!”

Mom hurled a napkin holder, clipping his forehead. “I hate you!”  

Elise bit her trembling lip. “Aside from that, I had a perfect childhood.”

 

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