Non-Fiction

All posts in the Non-Fiction category

Weekend Writing Prompt – Gallivant

Published June 20, 2020 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.

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

A sharecropper’s son, Matthew Henson never lived in one place very long.

The twelve-year-old dropped out of school in Baltimore to go to sea.

With explorer Richard Peary, Matthew gallivanted from Nicaragua to the Arctic.  

In 1909 Henson planted the American flag on the North Pole.

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Weekend Writing Prompt -Obdurate

Published June 13, 2020 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.

 

YELLOWISH

            They agreed on house colors—grey with black and white trim. Her excitement mounted. “No more ugly green. How about a purple door?”   

            His face became an obdurate fortress. “Plain white is fine.”  

            “Boring.” She pointed to a pastel sample. “This. ‘Fun yellow.’”

            When the paint arrived, it was much brighter. He fumed. “You said ‘funky yellow.’”

            “You misheard.”

            She grins when the neighbors compliment her door. “Score one for the missus.”

 

Weekend Writing Prompt – Downpour

Published May 23, 2020 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 Sammi’s Comment Section.

Word Prompt

Downpour

Challenge

We hope history doesn’t repeat itself. 88 words on the button, not including title.

I HEARD GOD LAUGHING

Although overcast, no rain befell us Saturday morning. Excited energy prevailed over the park full of local artists whose crafts ranged from jewelry and ceramics to paintings and photography. I hoped this two-day fair would be as successful for me as last year.

Patrons crowded my tent.

“Beautiful work.

“Magnificent watercolor technique.”

Sprinkles gave way to downpour. I tried not to let it dampen my spirits.

That was then, this is now. I fill out the application.

Nothing can stand in my way—except for, maybe, a plague.

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Weekend Writing Prompt – Fabric

Published April 26, 2020 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.

When I figure out how to keep the machine threaded I’ll finish hemming my jeans.

NEEDLES AND THUMBS

I referred to it as home wreckanomics with good reason. I hated cleaning and I was a disaster in the kitchen.  At twelve, I’d already set my sights on, one day, becoming a professional artist. I’d never be Suzie Homemaker.

I only took the class because seventh graders were offered two of three “electives”—music, homemaking for girls and shop for boys. No art class until eighth grade. Boo. Hiss.

I still have nightmares of trying to make baked Alaska for a class presentation. What? You don’t dump sugar into the egg whites all at once?

Then came sewing. We were to make simple shifts. I chose a white cotton duck fabric with a red, white and blue nautical theme. I actually wore it once or twice before it mysteriously disappeared.

The author. The artist. The dress.

3 April 2020

Published April 1, 2020 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 © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Click the Frogs to join the fun!

Genre: Hysterical Faction

Word Count: 100

HASHTAG-GIMME-A-BREAK

Ah those befuddled moments between waking and the first swallow of coffee. Anything’s possible, isn’t it? Or so it seemed this morning when I turned on my iPad to find Keanu Reeves followed me on Twitter. Fame had found me. I followed him back.

A few minutes later, I received his private message. “Good day, beautiful, your face looks so familiar. Are you an actress?”

Puh-lease. I was born on a day, but not yesterday.  

I went to his page @John_wink. Wink?

Hard to believe a star of Keanu’s ilk only had twenty-seven followers.

Unfollow. Block. Report spam. Bye-bye fame.

20 March 2020

Published March 18, 2020 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 © J Hardy Carroll

 Green, not blue, click on the frog anyway. (You were expecting maybe poetry?)

A little snippet about Claudette Colvin not COVID 😉 Another woman history glossed over.  

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

WRITE ME DOWN IN HISTORY

“’Thy kingdom come…’” The fifteen-year-old girl huddled on the musty cot, gazing through jail cell bars.  Her arms ached from brutal policemen’s hands, gauging and yanking. “’…Thy will be done…’”

            “Stand strong,” whispered Sojourner Truth.

            “You shall overcome,” sang Harriet Tubman.

            Now in her 90’s, Claudette Colvin recalls that fateful Wednesday, March 2, 1955, when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white woman.

            “If she’d been an elderly white woman, I might have given her my seat.”

            Few know or remember it was a child who inspired Rosa Parks and led her people out of bondage.

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It’s a Writer’s Life

Published March 13, 2020 by rochellewisoff

At first meeting with Kathleen Rodgers, we found we had much in common. Both of us are military wives as well as authors. As life has a way of separating even the best of friends, our writing paths took us in different directions. So it has been such a pleasure to reconnect with her recently. Now we have an agent in common as well–Diane Nine, president of Nine Speakers

Kathleen and me. We connected at first meeting. We found we have a lot in common. (Height isn’t one of them.)

About three weeks ago, in conversation, she asked if I’d ever thought of painting an old typewriter. She thought it would make a great note card for authors. I found the prospect somewhat daunting but decided I had nothing to lose. I’m extremely pleased with the outcome. Even my husband had only “Wow” to say about it. 😀 

NEW!

So intent on promoting the prints and note cards, Kathleen has posted this wonderful, if not head-swelling, article on her blog. CLICK HERE for her side of the story. 😀

Weekend Writing Prompt – “EPOCH”

Published February 29, 2020 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

I love the way these word prompts send me in very different directions. Usually straight down Memory Lane. 27 words, title not included. 

THIS, THAT AND RECENTLY, THE OTHER

The day my anthology debuted was

overwhelming

epoch.

I write.

The publisher mysteriously vanished.

Still I write.

Four more books-in-print later,

I write.

I write.

I write.

On the verge of a new career in 2011.

Apologies to the inspirational Maya Angelou, may her memory be blessed. 

FIXING A WHOLE

Published December 19, 2019 by rochellewisoff

The following story is written for the photo prompt below and is part of the Writers Unite! challenge Write the Story

Twenty-three years ago, I fought the final round with Annie—Annie Wrecks Ya. At present I’m working on a novel based on my experience. Thus far the working title is Last Dance with Annie, but I’m not married to it.

FIXING A WHOLE

          The flashbacks started somewhere in my late thirties, upending my memories of a happy childhood. How could I have blocked out such things? Nothing made sense. I loathed the body that had betrayed me. My life spun out of control.

           It’s all about control, you know.

           Annie gave me control. No one, not my husband or even my doctor, could tell me what I could or couldn’t put in my mouth. I controlled my eating—until I didn’t. Annie did.

           Annie controlled my daily frenetic exercise. At the same time I fantasized about onion rings and fried chicken. Of course Annie would never allow me to eat them. She constantly reminded me numbers mattered. One hundred calories per meal. Twenty pink pills to purge it. The scale hovered between eighty-five and eighty-four. 

  “You like my new jeans?” I asked my friend and coworker Linda. “I can’t believe they fit.”

            “What size?” Her ice-blue gaze met mine. 

            “Zero.”

            “You’ll look nice in your child-size coffin.”

            Her comment almost became prophecy when my “dieting” caught up to me. After collapsing in a store, I was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital with an eating disorder unit.

            After two months of treatment and medical leave, I returned to work.

            My size 0 jeans no longer zipped and they’d become tight around the hips and thighs. In fact, I’d outgrown my size 2’s as well.

            “You look so much better,” said Linda. “There’s color in them thar cheeks.”

            That’s a good thing, right?

            Recovery was more difficult than I’d expected. Although Annie’s grip loosened, she continued to haunt me. When someone complimented me on my weight gain Annie translated it to, “My you’re getting fat.”  

            “Body image takes time to change.” My dietitian assured me during my weekly visits. “All I can do is provide the tools. It’s up to you to use them.”

            Tools? What tools?

            One of those so-called tools offered by Dr. Wilson, my psychiatrist, was Risperdal, a drug prescribed to treat such conditions as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mental health experts hoped the antipsychotic might calm the obsessive thoughts of anorexics and bulimics.

            I detested the way it made me feel. Strange. Out of touch with the rest of the world. Afraid of what I didn’t know.

            Dr. Wilson decided Risperdal alone wasn’t doing what it should. Diagnosing me as “mildly bipolar” and being “slightly” ADD, she added Lithium to my daily pill-age.

            My appetite dwindled and my anxiety level skyrocketed. I began to lose weight again, but took little pleasure in it. I barely functioned at work. How I stayed on the payroll is beyond me.

            “I’ve never seen such a severe reaction,” said Dr. Wilson. “Clearly you’re allergic.”

             My nightmare was far from over. The drugs’ half-lives of a week or two stretched into over a month. The debilitating side effects continued to take their toll, not only on me, but on my frazzled husband as well.

             One night it all came to a head.

            “I don’t know what to do for you anymore.” He fumed when I broke down. “Crying won’t help.”

            I sniffed and choked back sobs. “Stop trying to fix me!”

           With a sigh, he sank into his recliner and gathered me onto his lap. Tears streamed down his cheeks. “Maybe you need to go back into the hospital.”

            I snuggled against him. His admission of helplessness comforted me. My true recovery began that very night when, together, we learned crying is sometimes the best of all tools.

***

*Note: The story is non-fiction, save the doctor’s name. (I can’t remember it 😉 ) I’m not sharing this to garner sympathy or shock anyone. Eating disorders strike any age, any ethnicity and any gender. Recovery isn’t as easy as ‘snapping out of it’ or ‘just eat something.’ The reasons are as varied as the individuals. Thank you for understanding.        

WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT – LIMINAL

Published November 9, 2019 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.

I love this challenge! Today I learned a new word. Thank you, Sammi! 

I dedicate this bit of story to my insightful therapist Wayne Witcher who did more for me than I can say. He came to one of my book signings a couple of years ago and two months later he died. As I always told him I’m…

HIS SUCCESS STORY

 Wayne peered over his clipboard “What do you hope to accomplish by starving yourself to death, Rochelle?”

“They’ll be better off without me.”   

Had it really been twenty years? She wished he were still alive to share this liminal time in her life.

She picked up an imaginary phone. “Wayne, someone important says she loves my manuscript!”

ORIGINAL ARTWORK Rochelle Wisoff-Fields….an illustration from A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY

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