Memoirs

All posts in the Memoirs category

17 August 2018

Published August 15, 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 © Yvette Prior

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Genre: Histrionic Faction

Word Count: 100

UNLUCKY STRIKE

            Remember how commercials bombarded us with catchy slogans?   

            “I’d rather fight than switch.”

            “Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should.”

            Serling delivered his famous Twilight Zone intros while wisps of smoke framed his face.

            During his renowned interviews in the 1950’s, Mike Wallace brandished his ubiquitous coffin nail.

            I coughed. “I wish you’d quit smoking those nasty things, Mommy.”

            Taking a long drag, she covered a burn hole in her skirt with a daisy applique. “I need them to calm my nerves.”

            She finally quit in 1980—just a year before lung cancer claimed her.

            “Were they worth it, Mom?”  

 

These little goodies came on the back Raleigh cigarettes. You could save them and buy all kinds of things, from jewelry to appliances. We used to joke that Mom would use hers for an iron lung. Somehow that’s not as funny as it used to be.

TURKISH DELIGHT

Published June 17, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Taşlıçay, Ağrı, Turkey. You’re welcome to mine street view and photo spheres anywhere within its borders to write your story. The Pegman challenge is to write 150 words or less inspired by the prompt.

As always, a hearty thank you to Karen and Josh for facilitating the fun.

I didn’t exactly go to Turkey with my story but there is a link to it in my story. 😉 

Genre: Anecdote

Word Count: 150

TURKISH DELIGHT

            At first glance, Mediterranean Market, with its dusty shelves, cheap souvenirs and a calendar on the wall above the cash register didn’t look like much.

            The smoky baba ghanoush and succulent kabobs more than compensated for the lack of atmosphere. And who could resist flaky crusted Spanakopita stuffed with spinach?

            As much as the cuisine, I enjoyed co-owners Jihan and Sinan who loved to reminisce about the homeland they had left several years before.

            With a faraway look, Jihan would smile. “I miss the mountains and my mother.”  

            Sinan, the more outgoing of the two brothers, would serve friendly chatter along with strong Turkish tea. His slicked black hair curled just below his ears and his huge eyes never quite went the same direction.

            “Best meal ever,” I told him every time.                     

             With a wave of his hands, he’d prance around and reply, “When the womens is heppy, everybody’s heppy.”           

*

*

*

I wish I’d thought to take pictures of Jihan and Sinan in all of the many times Cuz Kent and I spent three hour lunches plotting plays and laughing until we cried. The guys are still around but have closed the shop. My taste buds ache with longing.  

11 May 2018

Published May 9, 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 ©Jill Wisoff

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Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

The story you are about to read is true. No names have been changed to protect the guilty. 

 

FAMILY TIES

            “Wise-off?”

            “No. ‘Wiss-off.’ It’s a short ‘i’.”

            Very few can pronounce it correctly on the first try. We were the only Wisoffs in Kansas City—probably the world. Talk about feeling like the odd one out.          

            “Your great-grandparents who came over from Lithuania with 7 children shortened Wissosky,” said Dad. “There are plenty more little Wisoffs running around back east.”   

            In 1999 thanks to AOL, I met Jill Wisoff who lives in New York City.

            Say what you will about the evils of social media, but thanks to my unique surname, I don’t need DNA to find relatives on Facebook.

 

Click to hear and see a recent reading I did. Sight, sound and four flash fictions. 

Cloudburst 2018

30 March 2018

Published March 28, 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 © Fatima Fakier Deria

My weekly admonition to over 70 participants. Please keep your stories to 100 words or less. Thank you for your consideration. 

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Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING

            I spent my twelfth summer with my aunt and uncle in Monticello, NY.

            Uncle Harold won my heart, not just because he showered me with attention and frozen custard, but because he was an artist. While he never achieved national acclaim, he did win a few awards in local shows for his impressionistic works.

            I cherish memories of painting with him on the patio.

            “A masterpiece,” he proclaimed my robin watercolor.

            Today, as I put the finishing touches on my latest opus, I almost hear Uncle Harold say, “Good job! Let’s go for a frozen custard. Don’t tell Aunt Lu.” 

***

Nothing fictitious about this story. 😉

This painting holds a special place in my office/studio.

Never heard of frozen custard? CLICK HERE

frozen-custard-buffalo--niagara-falls

I personally favored chocolate.

WOODSMOKE AT TWILIGHT

Published March 4, 2018 by rochellewisoff

There is a road some fifty-three miles NNE of New York City with a strange reputation. This week, Pegman has stranded you there.Volumes have been written about Clinton Road in West Milford, NJ, but you only need to write 150 words. The only limit is your imagination.Feel free to capture your own streetview. If you’re not up to a weird tale, feel free to wander anywhere within the state of New Jersey for your story.Once your 150 words are polished, you can share with other contributors using the Linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Many thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this challenge that gives me 50 more words to play with. 😉

While the photo below is taken from the Pegman Buffet, I must confess, despite the directives, I didn’t stay in New Jersey. I went to Rickey Road in Raytown, Missouri, where, as with Clinton Road, the stories abound. 

Genre: Fictionalized Memoir

Word Count: 150

WOODSMOKE AT TWILIGHT

            I looked forward to my troop’s wilderness excursions. Had it not been for scouting, I might never have seen the great outdoors beyond my backyard. My parents, while not religiously observant, adhered to the eleventh commandment—“Jews don’t camp.”

            Overnights were the best. Following an afternoon of dodging poison ivy and climbing hills, we’d gather around the campfire. Our mouths and fingers gooey from roasted marshmallows, we topped off the day with ghost stories about the infamous and spooky Rickey Road.

            “My uncle found a man’s head in the grass,” said Lucy in a loud whisper.

            “Ooooooo,” we’d giggle. “Gross!”

            Margo’s cheeks glowed in the blaze. “It opened its eyes and screamed, ‘I want my golden arm!’”

            Our childish imaginations kicked into overdrive. Each storyteller sought to outdo the last.

            Back home in my own bed, I wouldn’t sleep for a month without a nightlight.  

            I miss those good times.

 

*********

 

Troop 499-Can you find me?

 

HOMEWORK

Published January 20, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, in the central Caribbean. Feel free to use the crazy capture I posted, or find your own photo sphere anywhere within the country’s borders.

Your assignment is to produce 150 words (or less) inspired by this week’s location. Will it be fiction? Essay? Poetry? The only limit is your imagination. After you’ve polished your piece, you can share it with other participants at the link up:

I’m back after being MIA last week and probably will be a few more times. However, when I saw Dominican Republic in my inbox I was hooked. 

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 150

HOMEWORK

                There’s a special place in my heart for the Dominican Republic. However, not in the way one might think. I’ve never played on the sandy beaches of Santo Domingo nor lounged under its palm trees beside the Caribbean Sea.

            From 1964-65 I was in 6th grade. Our teacher, Mrs. Humo, assigned each student a country to study for the entire school year. This included keeping track of current events.

            Those lucky ducks given Laos and Vietnam, as you might imagine, had much to report and clipped tons of newspaper articles. Not so for the hapless girl assigned the República Dominicana.

            I diligently studied, drew detailed maps and combed the Kansas City Star for any news of my tiny tropical island. Nada.

            The following spring, after I’d moved on to the trials of junior high, revolution broke out. The Dominican Republic headlined the news. What? They couldn’t have revolted last year?

50 Happy Things 2018: Bloggers Unite to Flood the Internet With Gratitude

Published January 2, 2018 by rochellewisoff

Thanks to Dawn Landau for making Gratitude a New Year’s Tradition. I’m happy to be taking part once more. 

“For the fourth year in a row, this is an opportunity to hit pause and focus on all the good things that each of us has in our lives. The holiday season has a way of rushing in, every year, and making it hard to remember that throughout the year, there are blessings. There are so many things that bring joy, so many happy things; yet it’s easy to find to lose sight of this fact, as we manage busy lives.”

To take part, set your timer for ten minutes and write 50 things you are grateful for. Once I started it was hard to stop. 

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  1. My home – just celebrated our tenth year in our dream home. 
  2. My husband – 46 years of marriage. 
  3. My 3 sons who have all grown to be men I’m proud of. 
  4. My granddaughter Olive
  5. Her new sister Elsie born on my dad’s birthday, 12 November 2017
  6. Olive’s adorable dog, Poppy
  7. Friday Fictioneers – I’ve made so many friends through sharing stories, learning how similar we are in our hopes and dreams no matter where we’re from. 
  8. What Pegman Saw…I took part in it this past year. Nice to have a different prompt and 50 extra words to play with.
  9. My health
  10. A nearby place to swim
  11. The joy of swimming a mile, flip turning at each end of the pool
  12. Counting backwards in Hebrew and Spanish to keep track of my pool lengths
  13. My elliptical trainer for those times it’s too cold to get out of the house
  14. A good hot shower after a hearty workout
  15. A warm cozy room that serves as office and studio
  16. Strong, hot black coffee in the wee morning hours when it’s still dark outside
  17. My G-d who speaks in a still small voice during those quiet times
  18. Abundance of healthy foods
  19. A sense of humor, the ability to laugh at myself
  20. My friends and family who’ll laugh at me if I don’t.
  21. My synagogue
  22. My dancing friends on our synagogue dance team
  23. My rabbi, who knows the value of a good pun
  24. My blogging friends
  25. The internet and Skype friends around the globe
  26. The ability to make people happy with my writing and art – I say this with gratitude for the feedback from others
  27. My 6-speed Chevy Cruz that’s paid for
  28. No longer having to punch a clock and the privilege of doing what I dreamed of doing as a child, ie being a professional artist
  29. Some successful book signings and art fairs.
  30. A growing number of art commissions.
  31. Books to read and lose myself in
  32. Music, all kinds (I won’t deny it, I love classical…particularly Chopin).
  33. Being able to read and write Hebrew (more or less)
  34. Taking time to enjoy the quiet
  35. Good paintbrushes
  36. My computers: desktop and laptop
  37. Legs that still work
  38. Smelling fragrances and odors, it means my olfactories works
  39. The color PURPLE
  40. Other colors beside purple 😉
  41. The fresh smell after a rainstorm
  42. Flowers, Daffodils being my favorite
  43. My muse who tells me stories when I least expect it
  44. My spinning mind that decides to go into overdrive when I want to sleep.
  45. A good Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
  46. Gluten free pasta so I don’t feel deprived
  47. Ozarks Writers League – OWL
  48. All of my Wisoff cousins I never knew I had until we discovered each other online
  49. Friends I’ve known since early childhood. It’s a rare blessing to share pictures of grandchildren with the same ‘kids’ I used to play hopscotch with
  50. I can still turn a cartwheel.
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