Non-Fiction

All posts in the Non-Fiction category

SIBLING REVELRY

Published August 12, 2018 by rochellewisoff

SIBLING REVELRY         

My brother Jeff was six when I came along and a sibling didn’t fit into his plans. As far as he was concerned I didn’t exist. He went to great lengths to let our parents know of his displeasure by not coming home from school on time.  

One night he was three hours late. Mom was frantic. A crowd of police and neighbors met Jeff when he finally decided to show up. An officer sat him in the squad car to lecture him about the consequences of such behavior and how it worried his parents. After the officer finished, Jeff asked for the time. When the officer told him, my sensitive brother replied, “I missed Howdy Doody.”

Fast forward a year or two to the present. Jeff and his wife Debbie have retired to Wilmington NC where they enjoy living 15 minutes from the beach. Due to geographic distance, we don’t see each other often, save an occasional Skype session or Facebook post.

I decided it was time to pay the Wilmington Wisoffs a visit. The first week of August seemed the perfect time since my husband would be going to Sturgis for the annual bike rally.

Although my connecting flight from Charlotte to Wilmington was delayed and I didn’t arrive at ILM until after midnight, Jeff, Debbie and I sat and talked until after 3:00 AM. After a short night’s sleep, we had leisurely morning, drinking coffee and chatting some more. This was pretty much the pattern for the week—lots of coffee and conversation.

The first day—Wednesday—Jeff and Debbie showed me around the area which included a walk on the beach.

Thursday it was time to suit up and ‘swim’ at Kure Beach. However the waves were particularly forceful. While I didn’t spend a lot of time in the water, I did snap a few shots of wine glasses on the beach as models for future paintings.

After dumping at least a pound of sand in the shower, we settled in for a cozy evening of conversation and a wonderful salmon dinner. Or was that Wednesday night’s dinner?

Friday night we went to downtown Wilmington for a wonderful seafood dinner at Elijah’s Restaurant and a free concert in front of the courthouse with AC/DC tribute band Shoot to Thrill. Not my favorite kind of music but I was with two of my favorite people.

Every day I enjoyed my furry fixes from my three canine nieces, Pip, Lacee and Jackie. Pip, in particular, is a lover. I call her Pip-Plop since all you have to do is make eye contact and she falls on her side for a tummy rub. Jeff says I’m just another pair of hands to her, but I’m sure there was some bonding. You’re buying this, right?

Saturday we visited Airlie Gardens to see the Gnome Invasion. However rain put a damper on things so it wasn’t a lengthy visit, albeit an interesting one. Even under gray skies, the scenery was gorgeous.

Sunday night we went to see Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose music I honestly wasn’t familiar with. Where have I been the past 30 years, right? In any event, she and her backup musicians were fantastic as was her warm up singer, Emily Barker from Australia. Both of these ladies can entertain.

On Monday the shops were closed so it was the perfect time to see if the ocean had calmed any at Kure Beach. I’m happy to say it had, but not calm enough to swim laps. The waves are more geared to surfers but it was still fun to attempt a breast stroke or two.

Tuesday, my last day in Wilmington, we went back downtown to shop. There are quite a few art, clothing and curio shops. Jeff and Debbie showered me with a lot of early birthday presents.

Alas, the week went too fast. I had a very early Wednesday morning-before-sunrise flight, leaving little time for much coffee or conversation.

More than anything I will cherish the memory of this vacation. No one can reminisce about shared parents the way a sibling can. I hope I apologized for taking advantage of my status as “Daddy’s little girl” to find many ways to get him in trouble. What can I say? I was a brat. So the best moment of the week came when my big brother, my hero said, “I’m sorry it’s taken 60 years for me to really appreciate my little sister.”

 

 

 

 

26 January 2018

Published January 24, 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 © Sandra Crook


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Saturday, January 27th is the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The following story is one that I discovered a few years back and never ceases to fascinate me. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction based on a True Story

Word Count: 100

RENOVATION

As he did every morning, Dov Ben Avraham recited the Sh’ma, “Hear O, Yisrael, Adonai is our Lord, Adonai is one.” The Hebrew words from Deuteronomy 6 were sweet to his tongue and uplifting to his heart. After saying his final amen, he added, “Thank you for making me a Jew.”

Later that night, at the synagogue he prepared to tell his story at a memorial dinner to honor those who perished at Auschwitz.

Gazing at a few survivors among the guests, Dov, Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, said, “Please forgive me for the sins of my father, a Nazi tank commander.”

 

 Bernd Wollschlaeger, M.D.

 

To see an interview with Dr. Wollschlaeger CLICK HERE

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?

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!”

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Aych ahnee noheg? How is my driving?

Gabi

9 June 2017

Published June 7, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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 © Sarah Potter

Please be considerate and try to keep your story to 100 words. Thank you. 

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No doubt everyone has their own version of my story. This came to mind on one such night where I solved all of the world’s troubles and none of my own. 

Genre: Somewhat humorous

Word Count: 99

EARWORM

            I stare at the ceiling fan, hoping to hypnotize myself into oblivion. Instead my tangled thoughts rage with each rotation.

            “Sherry ba-abeee…Sher-er-reee.”

            Midnight.

            “I’m gonna make a you my-yi-yi-in.”

            “Authors are a dime a dozen. Chaim Potok I’ll never be. Loser.”

            “Come, come, come out toniiight.”

            01:45

            Every person who’s ever wronged me comes to mind. I plot revenge.

            “We’ll dance the night awaaaay.”

            03:30. Numpty o’clock. I should just get up.

            Finally my head sinks into the hollow of my pillow and I succumb to a delicious wave of drowse.

            “Crap! I forgot to pay the gas bill.”

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And just because I can. 😈 Buah ha ha!

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.”

 

TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO AUTHOR HAS GONE BEFORE

Published April 1, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today, April 1st,  Pegman takes us 225 million kilometers to Mars.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post. Be sure to wear your helmet, and watch out for storms!

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 Karen Rawson for hosting this mission to Mars.

Happy April One-eth. So it should surprise me that our host should choose a place like Mars? Below is my choice from the Pegman Prompt Buffet and my story, submitted for your approval. 

Genre: Memoir and Musing

Word Count: 150

WHERE NO AUTHOR HAS GONE BEFORE

            In the 1950’s, my parents, who owned a restaurant in downtown KC, would hand my brother a few dollars and say, “Jeff, take your sister to the movies.” This afforded them a couple of child-free hours.

            Jeff chose the movies. I never minded. We saw them all—The Mysterians, Forbidden Planet, and so on—while munching popcorn and jujubes. I don’t remember being bothered by the fact that, in many of the flicks, the actors’ lips didn’t sync with the dubbed voices.

            When I turned eleven, Jeff introduced me to “The Martian Chronicles.”  I fell in love with Bradbury’s golden eyed, bronzed skinned Martians.

            My love for sci-fi has continued over the years. Yet, my writing hasn’t bent much in that direction. Heinlein I’ll never be.

            However, given the unprecedented popularity of “The Martian,” perhaps I’d attract a larger audience if I’d written, “Please Say Kaddish for Me on Mars.”

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In any event, if you do like historical fiction about the Jewish pogroms in Eastern Europe at the turn of the twentieth century you might enjoy my trilogy 😉 :

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