Please Say Kaddish for Me

All posts in the Please Say Kaddish for Me category

5 January 2018

Published January 3, 2018 by rochellewisoff


“Reciprocation is the glue that holds this community together.” Neil MacDonald 

Remember : “It’s not what you’re looking at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau 

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 © Roger Bultot

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Although we think of arranged marriage as something that happened in Fiddler on the Roof, many cultures still adhere to the custom today, including Ultra Orthodox Jews. The following is a scene from my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME. The year is 1902 and takes place in a little village in Eastern Europe. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

BEHIND THE VEIL

“Mama?”

White satin gleamed in the lamplight. Straightening to ease the ache wracking her spine, Fruma Ya’el set the gown aside.

“What’s troubling you, child?”

“This wedding’s a mistake.” Gittel knelt and laid her head in Fruma Ya’el’s lap.

Fruma Ya’el’s heart ached for her girls. Any fool could see Havah and Arel had fallen in love. What could she do? Betrothal papers were signed years ago.

 She combed her fingers through Gittel’s auburn hair. “Some things cannot be changed. Arel’s love for you will grow over time, as will yours for him. You believe this don’t you?”

“Do you?”

 

LIGHT ONE CANDLE

Published December 13, 2017 by rochellewisoff

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

I couldn’t resist. Since my initial story is more of a discussion than a story, I thought I’d take the liberty of posting a second piece. And since it’s Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights I’ve edited a snippet from PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME, my debut novel. In the scene, the Abromovich children tell the story of Hanukkah (sort of ) for their gentile guest. 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

LIGHT ONE CANDLE

          Twelve-year-old Zelig, the quintessential scholar, pointed to each Hebrew letter on the dreidel.  “They stand for ‘A great miracle happened there,’ Professor Dietrich.”

          As Zelig’s younger sisters, Ruth and Rukhel, set the table, they fluttered around it chirping like excited pigeons. Ulrich could hardly tell where one left off and the other began. Even their voices were identical.

         “Hanukkah is all about the Macaroons’ victory over their enemies in ancient days…It was a miracle…The oil in the temple menorah burned for eight whole days…That’s why we light the candles for eight nights.”

           Zelig rolled his eyes. “It’s Maccabees not macaroons!”

Click to hear Mayim Bialik shed light on the holiday. 

Ulrich Dietrich © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Abromovich Children: B. Ruth, Rukhel, Front, left to right: Zelig, Velvil, Tuli
© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

dreidle

This is a dreidle I’ve had in my possession since I was four years old. Cheap plastic, but precious to me. The game of dreidle is one of the staples of Hanukkah. Each letter dictates whether or not the player takes a penny from the pot,tosses one in or takes them all.

A Lovely Interview

Published November 14, 2017 by rochellewisoff

I will make this blog short and, hopefully, sweet. 

Last week I had the unexpected pleasure of interviewing with Dr. Paul Reeves on Impact USA out of Detroit. Click on his name under the photo to learn more. 

I say unexpected because it all came about quickly and seemingly out of nowhere. 

I was chatting in a Facebook private message with friend Caroline Giammanco , author of “The Boonie Hat Bandit” and “Guilty Hearts” who asked if I would be interested in doing an interview. If so she could get me in touch with Deborah Ratliff who gathers info for Dr. Paul. (Are you with me?) I emailed my particulars to Deborah and within hours I received an email from Dr. Paul. I’ll stop there since my head’s spinning just writing it. 

Here I am with Caroline in Chicago May before last.

Without further adieu, here’s the interview if you have 30 minutes to spare. For those of you in Friday Fictioneers, you’ll note that the subject came up more than once. Perhaps we’ll see Dr. Paul in our midst as a Fictioneer in the not too distant future. 

October’s End

Published October 31, 2017 by rochellewisoff

The weekend, beginning with Thursday, the 26th was  busy one. It began with an interview with Jim Christina and Russ Avison on The Writers Block. Some will remember that I had the joy of going out to California to interview in the studio with them last November. The opportunity just didn’t present itself this year so we muddle through via telephone. Nonetheless, I had a great time. 

Here is the link with Jim’s generous intro: 😀

Russ and I had a great conversation with author and artist Rochelle Wisoff Fields last evening. An informed writer and unique historian of early 1900’s Russia and the US. Giver her books a read! Here is the podcast address: http://latalkradio.com/content/writer-102617%20#audio_play 

It’s an hour long and 40 minutes of it is Yours Truly. I hope you’ll take the time to listen.

Russ Avison

Jim Christina

Finding  Cure Through Literacy

Friday morning we hit the road at 5:00 AM to make the long drive to Texarkana for the 8th Annual Gathering of Authors, a charity event and book signing. The festivities were kicked off with  benefit banquet. All proceeds were to go to St. Jude’s Hospital. 

I made some new friends and valuable connections.  Not to mention it was nice to just get away for a couple of days with my hubby. 

Afterward went to spend the rest of the weekend with gracious hosts Tom and Frances Mosby in Dover AR.  Since Jan hadn’t heard my interview and we had a long drive we listened to it. Now he knows that “big men walk in fear of me.” (Thanks, Russ.) 

Frances and I have known each other since kindergarten so we can always find things to talk about. Yes, we still chatter like a couple of school girls. I’m glad that the guys get along so well, too. 

Below are a few photos from the weekend for your viewing pleasure. 😉

As we meandered down our street toward home, our neighbor Bud who we’d asked to take in our mail, stopped us to tell us there was a serious problem. With my heart in my mouth, I followed Bud and Jan into their house. Bud’s wife, Cindi met us at the door with wine and said, “You won’t want to be our friends anymore. I washed your mail.” 

Have you ever seen a stack of mail that has been trough wash, rinse and spin? Most of it was recognizable. Just mush around the edges. Once we ascertained that there was nothing of any consequence, we toasted our friendship with laughter and wine. 

Thank you, Bud and Cindi Turner for being such good friends!

AUGUST 2017 IN REVIEW

Published September 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

One of my favorite song quotes comes from the late John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.” “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” August was a busy month, but September has followed suit, leaving little time blog. I suppose better late than never applies.

Traditionally for the Fields of Belton, Missouri, the first two weeks of August is when Jan goes to Sturgis, SD for the annual bike rally. It’s also the time when the missus, ie me, has time to relax and hang around the house. However, this year, I didn’t spend nearly as much time relaxing as I’d expected.  

Yours Truly with Diane Yates

The first weekend, I packed up the purple tent, books, and artwork. With my good friend Barbara I drove to Fayette, Missouri for the weekend to take part in the Fayette Arts Festival where we stayed with my co-author and friend Diane Yates. Although the weather was unseasonably cold and wet, we girls had a great time. We even sold a few books. 😉 With all of our husbands off and running, the three of us spent Saturday night watching a movie, sipping wine and gabbing into the wee hours.

One of the things I love about doing these signings is the people I meet. Drawn in by the artwork and my novels’ connection to my family, someone will tell me, often in great detail, about their own backgrounds. Great fun.

Wednesday, August 9th, my cousin Kent and I headed to midtown where I was scheduled to do an interview on ArtSpeak on local radio station KKFI, Kansas City’s answer to NPR. He took the picture below during the interview.

Here’s the podcast of that interview. Note: I wasn’t the only guest. You’ll find my slot at 27:39. Friday Fictioneers gets a nod as I read three flash fictions and told Maria how I stumbled into one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Following the interview, Kent and I spent the afternoon meandering around KC’s famous Country Club Plaza. We spent at least an hour in Barnes & Noble’s media room geeking out over DVD’s. We capped off the day by devouring our favorite barbecue at Snead’s BBQ, another Kansas City tradition.

Leawood Barnes & Noble book signing, August 12.

Truly, the crowning moments of the month happened in Branson at the Ozarks Writers League (OWL) conference which happens four times a year. I’ve been a part of and learned much from this generous group of writers for the past ten years. This year I had the opportunity to give back in leading a workshop entitled “Using Flash Fiction as a Writing Tool.” Two FFr’s, our own class clown, Russell Gayer and Cuzzin Kent Bonham served as my peanut gallery (for those who remember Howdy Doody).  

 

A month ahead I sent out the photo prompt and challenged the OWLs to write a 100 word story, giving them a taste of Friday Fictioneers, using the same prompt we used that week on the blog challenge. As always, it’s entertaining to hear the different takes on the same photo. OWL president, Diane Yates and her husband Ricky both took part which was fun since the photo is that of their converted closet shower that he built with his own two hands.

August is the month of the OWL Annual Art Contest with three categories: 2 dimensional art, 3 dimensional and photography. Best in Show (not to be confused with the famous dog show) is awarded by the entry the judges consider the best of the 3 first place winners. I was pleased to learn that I won first and second place for 2 dimensional and the trophy. 😀

Since my husband Jan, my favorite roadie, cheerleader and wind beneath my wings, took the photos he isn’t in any of them. 

18 August 2017

Published August 16, 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 © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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A little teaser this week from my second novel FROM SILT AND ASHES

Genre: Historical Fiction circa 1904

Word Count: 100

LACK OF VISION

           “I’ve been reading.” Arel peered over his newspaper at seven-month old Rachel in her highchair. “There are places for people like her.”

            “She’s a person.” Havah seized the paper and ripped it in half.

            “In one of those schools she can be with other persons who are…” he lowered his voice, “…blind.”

            Choking on her anger, Havah hobbled to their bedroom where she hauled a suitcase from the closet. After stuffing it with his clothes, she shoved it down the stairs.

            “Havah, listen to reason.”  

           “I will when I hear it. Come back when you decide to be a father!”

 

DAYS OF WINE AND WATERCOLOR

Published July 3, 2017 by rochellewisoff

It all started when my agent Jeanie suggested I post character studies of my throng of characters on my blog to garner interest in my yet-to-be-published novels. I didn’t start rendering them in pencil and watercolor straightaway. You can blame it on Officer Lafayette A. Tillman, the second African American on the Kansas City Police Force. Since he shows up in FROM SILT AND ASHES and becomes an influential person in the life of Lev Gitterman in AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN I naturally wanted to post a character study about him. There are photos of him online but the only ones I could find were copyrighted. That’s when it occurred to me to paint a portrait of him.  

LAFAYETTE A. TILLMAN-Original Artwork – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Fast forward to two novels later with one on the way, my publisher wanted to know if I’d be interested in putting together a coffee table companion book. “Let me think about that a minute…yes.”  For going on two years, I’ve worked to make that book upwards of 220 pages. In addition to the sepia portraits of the characters, I’ve been painting watercolor scenes from each of the books. I hate to call it ‘work’ though. To be honest, I’m having the time of my life. 😉 

This brings me to three months ago when I was introduced to Alexis at a place in Blue Springs, Missouri called Print Graphics. It had been suggested to me that I have prints made to sell. A festival in the area called Corks & Canvas would be a good venue, I was told, to market, not only my novel trilogy, but my artwork as well. So the games began! 

GAVREL WOLINSKY- Orignial Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

My husband Jan was excited at the prospect of my finally showing my artwork. Maybe those student loans to the Kansas City Art Institute would finally pay off. At any rate, he was totally on board with purchasing the display racks and tables. He used his Academy Sports employee discount to buy a purple tent and matching chairs. (You expected, maybe white?) 

I didn’t think I’d have much to show, but thanks to Alexis, who is an artist herself, my stack of prints grew. My office/studio took on the appearance of an explosion in an art gallery. We found thrift stores to be wonderful places to find gently used frames, some with pristine mats that were the perfect size for my prints.

     When the time came, Jan, bless his heart, spent most of Friday packing the truck so there’d be little left to do Saturday morning. We lucked out. After a month of stifling heat and humidity, the temps dropped and we had pleasant weather. We were on site by 8:00 am and set up by 10:00.

     I enjoyed friends who showed up to support me and meeting new friends. One young Jewish woman stopped and we chatted for a long time. She was drawn to a couple of the paintings because they reminded her of her grandparents. While she didn’t buy anything, she said she would definitely get back with me. I hope she does. 

    If Corks & Canvas is any indication, it seemed to me that the artwork sold the books and visa versa. Financially, it was a successful day and makes us want to combine book signing and art display at other festivals. 

     Who knows where this will lead? 

Click on photos to view larger versions. 

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