Personal Musing

All posts in the Personal Musing category

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

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?

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.

 

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. 

get the InLinkz code

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!

HEAD TRIP

Published June 5, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman walks along the docks of Cebu City, Philippines

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.

Another week, another Pegman tour. Thanks to J Hardy Carroll and K Rawson for hosting this weekly challenge. 

Fort San Pedro

What writer among us has never suffered from writer’s block? 

Genre: Questionable

Word Count: 150

HEAD TRIP

“Señorita Wisoff? Daydreaming again?”

“No, Señor Scott.” I snap my head to attention. A twitter travels around the classroom. My cheeks blaze with embarrassment. “I—I guess I dozed off.”

“Can you tell me which explorer landed in Cebu in 1521 and converted Rajah Humobon and his queen to Christianity?”

“Vasco de Gama?”

“Guess again. This explorer met his death soon after.”  

“Pope John?”

“Where’s your homework, Señorita?”

Sweat trickling down my backbone, I open my notebook to a page of scrawled sentences. “I did my deberes gramáticas.”

Eyes aflame, my high school Spanish teacher rips out my paper and holds it aloft. “You see, class, what comes of not paying attention.”

Suddenly I’m up to my knees in Pacific Ocean, surrounded by angry natives wielding bamboo spears.

“Holy Magellan! What a nightmare!” Snapping open my eyes, I kick off the bedcovers. “What on earth can I write for Pegman?”  

VOICE OF A SPANISH DANCER – COMING TO MY SENSES

Published April 3, 2017 by rochellewisoff

COMING TO MY SENSES

        There is a scene in my second novel, FROM SILT AND ASHES, where Yussel Gitterman tells his grandchildren that the Almighty is merciful. His fifteen-year-old grandson, who has survived the violence in Eastern Europe, lashes out. “When we light candles for the dead, it will start a bonfire. How can you call that God’s mercy?”

            Yussel, who is blind, answers by pressing his hand over Lev’s eyes. He then challenges the boy to see his surroundings with his ears, nose and skin.

 “Tell me what you hear, Lev.”

“I hear Bayla and Evie’s giggles.”

“Anything else?”

For a moment Lev stood still, bit his lip and cocked his head. “Kreplakh’s (dog) snoring under the sofa. Tikvah’s (infant) bawling.”

“Good, Lev. Now what do you smell?”

“What do I smell?” Lev’s voice scaled up an octave with each word.

“You have a nose?”

“Sure.”

“And it works?”

“All right. All right. I smell…mm…sponge cake and apple pie. Coffee. Aunt Cate’s lavender perfume and Uncle Wolf’s nasty cigar.”

“You see, Lev, not all smells are pleasant. Not all sounds are sweet. But…we are alive. That, my son, is God’s mercy.”

            For the past couple of weeks, the weather in our area has been, to say the least, wet and gloomy. Although the rain is much needed, day after day of grey skies has had me digging holes in my outlook.

            Inspired by my friend, Valerie Davies’ blog https://valeriedavies.com/2017/03/26/simple-pleasures-they-may-not-be-what-you-think/           and thinking about my book’s passage, which is one of my favorites, I’ve decided to take Yussel’s challenge.

            I exercise at least five days a week—sometimes less, sometimes more. More often than not, depending on the weather, I walk to the fitness center, a little over a mile away. This way I am able to do both weight bearing and aerobic exercise.

            To some, swimming laps might seem like the penultimate boredom. Not to this Spanish Dancer. The gurgle and swish of the waves is music. I note the difference in watery tones as I vary my strokes and the way the water billows when I exhale. As I flip-turn like an Olympic swimmer to change directions, I’m weightless, buoyed by the current. Unlike an Olympic swimmer embroiled in a race, I take my time when I somersault and enjoy the patterns the ripples make. As I suspend for a few seconds I note the way the water blossoms overhead.

Spanish Dancer Human

Spanish Dancer Jellyfish

            Once showered and dressed, I’m ready for my mile trek home.

            Spring is upon us and splashes of color are everywhere—bright yellow Daffodils and Dandelions—Redbuds and Dogwoods, stunning against a Payne’s grey sky. I fill my eyes with them.

The scent of charcoal from someone’s fire the night before hangs on the breeze. Exhaust fumes and a hint of cigarette smoke taint the rain and grass scented air. I wrinkle my nose. “Not all smells are pleasant.” As I near home I breathe in the scent of hyacinths from a neighbor’s garden.

            Crossing a bridge I, listen to the voice of the water as it flows over rocks. Although I don’t know one bird’s call from another, I can tell that there are several different species singing their arias. Robins, geese, crows and owls are among the few I recognize. A lawnmower starts up in the distance. A rooster crows. Two dogs bark as I pass their turf. A chainsaw grinds and a rake scrapes the sidewalk. “Not all sounds are sweet.”

            I am happy to be alive.  

 

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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