This That and Sometimes the Other

All posts in the This That and Sometimes the Other category

SWIMMING LESSON

Published December 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

A resounding HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Pegman. Can you believe it’s been a year already? Many happy returns to Karen and Josh. You’re doing a great job. 

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

This photo didn’t take me to Iowa, but to the back woods of Arkansas. The story is an edited snippet from a story in my short story anthology THIS, THAT AND SOMETIMES THE OTHER which is out of print (save copies still available from the author 😉 ) It’s still available on Kindle. The story is based on one of my husband’s memories of spending summers with his best friend Ray (Francis Ray Stills). We had fun working on the longer version together.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

SWIMMING LESSON

Granny Stillwell’s shack, built into the hills, was propped up on cinderblocks. Another rough-hewn cabin sat just the other side of a vegetable garden. A tire-less, 1940’s pick-up truck, also set on cinderblocks, had been pushed up against one wall “to keep it from a-leaning too much.”

After supper, his stomach full of catfish and rhubarb cobbler, Kenny Lord lazed on the porch and thought about the day.

“Hey, Lordy-Lordy, know how to swim?” 

“No.” 

“Time to learn.”  

He would never forget his terror when Boyce shoved him off the cliff to the Buffalo River 50 feet below. Boyce’s evil laughter filled his ears until water surged up his nose and his panic-stricken lungs blazed.

Kenny seethed. “Boyce better watch his back.”

“He was jest funnin’,’” said Frankie-Ray Stillwell.

Granny spat out a wad of chewing tobacco. “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”

Kenny smirked. “That’s me, Kenneth Donald Lord.”

THE SWIMMING LESSON

 

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!

Conferring with OWLs

Published August 22, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Four times a year a group of writers from all over the Midwest and beyond gather to share writing and marketing tips. Often agents and editors are invited to share their expertise and take pitches from aspiring authors. The conferences are free to members, save the motel fee and food costs.

OWL 2016 CG

With fellow authors Caroline Giammanco and Diane Yates

 

Madison Woods, OWL friend and creator of Friday Fictioneers.

Madison Woods, OWL friend and creator of Friday Fictioneers.

My first time at a conference was in the summer of 2007. I’d “completed” PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME and was interested in finding an agent. I really didn’t expect to find anyone in an organization with the word Ozarks to be interested in my Jewish historical novel.

How wrong can a person be? I found not only interest but a group of generous mentors. Each time I went to a workshop, I learned something new which precipitated a rewrite. One of the most significant classes was on how to pitch a book to an agent in five sentences.

Jeanie and Me Aug 2016

Jeanie Loiacono and Me

The panel: Publisher Duke Pennell, Publisher Lou Turner, Editor Alex Hess, Agent Jeanie Loiacono

The panel: Publisher Duke Pennell, Publisher Lou Turner, Editor Alex Hess, Agent Jeanie Loiacono

Over the years I’ve made some good friends and met people who have been instrumental in changing my life. The first is Lou Turner, founder of High Hill Press. In 2010, after I’d submitted short stories to ECHOES OF THE OZARKS and VOICES, two OWL publications, she invited me to compile my own anthology for HHP. In the process I learned a lot from her short story editor, Delois McGrew.

I’ve had the opportunity to pitch to and be turned down by a few agents until I met Jeanie Loiacono at the May 2012 conference. She now represents my two novels and is reading my third.

 

My book table OWL August 2016

When I joined OWL in 2007 I was in awe of the authors with their tables. Now in 2016 I’m blessed to have three books of my own and one on the way.

Visiting old friends and meeting new ones made for a pleasant weekend. I was thrilled to see Lou and Delois. Jeanie was also one of the speakers. Hugs all around.

OWL art and photo contest winners.

OWL art and photo contest winners.

My paintings took first and second place in the annual art contest.

My paintings took first and second place in the annual art contest.

Alex Hess, an editor from Skyhorse Publishing in NY spoke to us about the ever changing face of the publishing industry. I hope to implement some of her suggestions on using social media in the not too distant future.

President of OWL, Diane Yates, asked the two biggest hams in the group to open Friday night with entertainment. Ronda Del Boccio captured us on video.

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