Memoirs

All posts in the Memoirs category

2 December 2022

Published November 30, 2022 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

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How did we get to December already? I want to take a moment to thank all of you who’ve contintued with Friday Fictioneers. You’re all a gift to me.

My story below is pure non-fiction. Rarely has a patron of an art fair followed through with “I’ll definitely get back with you about a commission.” Rarely? Now that I think about…never. I really thought this one was a sure thing.

Genre: Just the Facts
Word Count: 100

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

She held up her iPhone with a photo of a windmill at sunset. “Have you ever painted a scene like this?”

The brilliant oranges and golds spoke to me. “Could you text it to me?”

Her face lit up. “Done. Let me know if you paint it.”

Within days, the painting was done—one of my best according to my husband. I sent a jpeg to my potential client.

“I want it.” She replied. “How much?”

She agreed to the price. I packaged it with receipt and certificate of authenticity.

A sure sale? Ha! I never heard from her again.

Not to despair. Although the original still languishes in my studio, wrapped and ready to roll, I’ve sold many prints and note cards with this picture. Nothing’s wasted. 😉

For listings of my original paintings or signed prints CLICK HERE

Many of these renderings are available as a note card. CLICK HERE for my ETSY shop.

18 November 2022

Published November 16, 2022 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 © Starsinclayjars

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The following story is 100% true. Should you care to read the expanded blog post from 2014 CLICK HERE (Boring really). At any rate this is my sordid story is inspireded by Stars’ photo.

Gnere: Embarrassing Anecdote
Word Count: 100

FRACTURED FLICKERS

Until eight years ago I’d never broken a bone. Not even a pinkie finger. Sometimes I felt cheated. I never got a nifty cast for friends to sign.

One morning, heading to the kitchen for coffee I stubbed my big toe. After work I made a beeline for the doctor’s office.

An X-ray showed a fracture at the top joint.

To add injury to injury, before the left toe had a chance to heal, I fractured my right toe getting out of the bathtub.

They don’t set broken toes, but I did get a nifty orthopedic sandal and a boot.

30 September 2022

Published September 28, 2022 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 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Hysterical Fiction (Wow, what a rush!)
Word Count: 100

If this is phto and story’s deja vu for you, it’s true. This is a rerun of a rerun. I wrote it in 2013 and posted it again in 2016 for the same reason I’m posting it this week. It has been an incredibly busy week and my muse is flat comatose. Since the high holidays are upon us, I take liberty…because I can.

If you’ve posted a story for this photo before, feel free to give yourself a break and post it again. Hey. It’s been 6 years. 😉 Who’s going to remember it? Right? Of course, right!

ASHAMNU

             Rhoda cast furtive glances in all directions, inhaled throat-burning smoke, held it, and then exhaled, handing the joint to Marcus.

            “Don’t be so paranoid.” His bloodshot eyes glittered.

            Candles illuminated the corners of his darkened bedroom. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida blared from the stereo and patchouli incense tickled her nose.

            After they’d downed an entire bag of chips, Marcus plopped his yarmulke on his head.

            “So much for fasting. Let’s get back before they miss us.”

            Side-by-side they sneaked into the synagogue and giggled through repentance prayers.

            Every year afterward, when Rhoda dutifully attended services, she chuckled as she recalled the “High” Holiday.

The Ashamnu  is a traditional prayer of repentance  recited on Yom Kippur, the Jewish highest of holy days or day of atonement. The word “ah-SHAM-nu” means we are guilty or we have sinned. 

5 August 2022

Published August 3, 2022 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

Genre: Hysterical Faction
Word Count: 100

ROAD READY

My best friend and I took Driver’s Ed the year we turned sixteen thinking we’d get our licenses together.

I passed the written part with flying colors. Recognizing road signs and learning the rules of the road was a snap.

The actual driving part was another story. Both excitement and terror welled up as I gripped the steering wheel. Images of every traffic accident I’d seen on the news zipped through my mind.

My instructor shook his head at my attempt to parallel park. “Your final driving score is negative fifty-one. Might I suggest you purchase a lifetime bus pass?”

20 May 2022

Published May 18, 2022 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. (Although I can’t imagine what one would want to use this photo 😉 ) It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The following story is the first thing that popped into my head and begged to be shared. As you can see, I’m literally seeing double. 😉

Genre: Memoir
Word Count: 100

HOLIDAY TRADITION

            During the holiday season we exchanged wish lists ahead of time, so no one received a Chia head or underwear they didn’t want. For grins and giggles, we’d add impossible things to our lists.

            During our leanest years my husband would ask for a shoebox full of twenties. That is, until the Christmas the kids and I filled a shoebox with twenty safety pins, twenty pennies, twenty paper clips, and so on.

            The year I finished my first novel, I added to my list, “A literary agent with a contract and huge check.”

            And my wish was granted. Sort of.

A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. Please forgive the fact my story requires this photo to be understood. My very clever son, Travis made this little figurine and is one of my favorite gifts of all time.

8 April 2022

Published April 6, 2022 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 © David Stewart

Genre: Historical Friction
Word Count: 100

TRASH 80

            “Isn’t it beautiful?” Jan showed off his latest acquisition from Radio Shack.

            I fumed. “Our electric typewriter works just fine. A computer will end up being another dust collector like your precious Polaroid SX-70.”

            “How was I supposed to know the film would cost a fortune?”         

***

            Several years have passed since that day.  I’ve acquired my own desktop, scanner-printer combo, a laptop for travel and Jan takes sharp pictures with his iPad.  

            He reads the screen over my shoulder and says with a sly smile, “Lemme get you a rag.”

            “Why?”

            “You’ve been at it for hours. You’re collecting dust.”

*Note: Radio Shack’s computer was actually named TRS 80 but became widely known as Trash 80. From there we went to the Commodore 64 and Jan had a Kaypro, a portable computer that I refer to as the Commodore in a Can. All cutting edge technology in the latter part of the 20th Century.

Remember computers in the early 60’s?

4 February 2022

Published February 2, 2022 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 © Na’ama Yehuda

Genre: Hysterical Faction
Word Count: 100

CUSTOMER DISSERVICE

As a small business owner, Missouri sales taxes I’ve collected the prior year are due 31 January. For five years I’ve sent in a paper form and a handwritten check. No problem.  

This year the Department of Revenue introduced the “more efficient” electronic submission.

Determined to master the system, I kept banging my head and phoned for help five times. Call waits took 45 minutes–minimum. Emails were answered with breakneck-turtle-speed.

Storm clouds of frustration mounted

“Look. I’ve got thirty others waiting,” said one DOR representative.

Two days ago, I sent the paper form and a handwritten check. No problem.

*
*
*

I’m pretty amazed at our growing small business. Loving “retirement.”

28 January 2022

Published January 26, 2022 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 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Anecdote
Word Count: 100

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Our junior high art teacher, Mrs. Spears introduced Taffy and me saying, “You two need to know each other.”

            We became fast friends. Comparing our latest projects, the highest praise we gave each other was, “I hate you.”

            After graduation we went our separate ways.

            Forty years later I gave her a call. Since that night ten years ago, we’ve spoken or texted nearly every day as if no time has passed.

            A gifted stained-glass designer, she amazes me. My favorites are her handmade butterflies.

            When asked the key to her craft she says, “Band-aids. Lots and lots of Band-aids.”

You’re welcome, Taffy. He he. 😉

21 January 2022

Published January 19, 2022 by rochellewisoff
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Friday Fictioneers and Poppy

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 © Ted Strutz

Genre: Memoir
Word Count: 100
WORLD OF HER OWN

Her fourth-grade teacher dubbed her “Messy Bessy.” Each time the frustrated child attempted to organize her desk chaos quickly returned.

Mrs. Smith moved the girl’s desk to the front of the room. Perhaps sitting beside the teacher would encourage her to mend her slovenly ways.

The kid didn’t mean to misbehave. Reading or illustrating stories she wrote in her head took priority over neatness. She’d simply lose herself in her latest adventure.  

One morning, Mrs. Smith jolted Rochelle from the Ingalls’ cabin on the prairie with, “Miss Wisoff, would you care to join the class for our daily spelling test?”

My granddaughter Olive and her faithful companion Poppy

Weekend Writing Prompt – Smuggle

Published December 12, 2021 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s comment section. Thanks for the challenge, Sammi!

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
One of my therapists suggested I illustrate my feelings during this particularly ugly and potentially lethal time in my life.

CIRCLES IN THE SPIRAL

Denise and I used aspirin to punish our hungry stomachs. Did you know you can get high on mega doses of plain old Bayer? Or that you could be addicted to them?

Once when she was in treatment, I smuggled the contraband in a baggie in my large Diet Coke.

Oh, we had lots of tricks up our sleeves next to our boney arms.

Killer ideas.

**Not one of my prouder moments. Denise wasn’t her name and I’m not sure if she’s still alive. 😦

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