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3 February 2017

Published February 1, 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 © Roger Bultot

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

A WEAVER OF DREAMS

Not even a light breeze blew through the open window. As it did every night, sleep eluded Myrtle Reed. Sweat oozed from skin-folds under her ample arms.

“Why doesn’t this so-called windy city offer some relief from this fiendish heat?” She glared at the clock. “Eleven-thirty, August 17, 1911.”

She searched the street below for James. “He’s probably passed out drunk somewhere. I was so wrong. Love is not an orchid which thrives on hot air.”

Raising a bottle of sleeping powder to her lips, the young authoress swallowed disappointed dreams. “Insomnia be damned—forever. Happy anniversary my ‘model husband.’”

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portrait_of_myrtle_reed

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Blog Tour Interview-Why I Do What I Do

Published March 10, 2014 by rochellewisoff

photo (57)

Thank you, Erin Leary for the invitation to participate in this blog tour. Read about her writing process and her novel in progress, BROKEN PARTS here.

Two other authors participating in this week’s tour are Alicia Audrey and Whats-so-funny-russell-gayer.

What am I working on?

At present, Friday Fictioneers takes a fair amount of my time. Besides facilitating, which entails choosing photo prompts, provision of the venue and commenting, I spend at least two days on my own one-hundred word story.

I am a few pages away from finishing edits on my second novel entitled FROM SILT AND ASHES. Once I’m satisfied with how it reads I’ll send it to my agent Jeanie Loiacono who is seeking a home for my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME. The second book is a sequel to the first. A third book, AS ONE MUST ONE CAN is in the works to create a trilogy.

Generating Genre

My maternal grandmother, Nettie Weinberg, standing. I’m guessing my great-grandmother sitting.

How does my work differ from others of its genre and why do I write it?

My first two novels could be subtitled “The Dark Side of Fiddler on the Roof.” As the granddaughter of Russian Jewish immigrants I’ve always had a personal affinity for the play. However there’s a grisly side to an otherwise romanticized history that isn’t widely known and I wanted to tell the story.

My characters aren’t the stereotypical Jews who settled in New York’s Lower East Side. Like my grandparents, when my main character Havah and her family immigrate to America, they settle in Kansas City.

When I first started to write in earnest, I imagined my muse looked a little like Yenta the Matchmaker. After all, aside from Jewish historical fiction, what else is there? The answer is, “Plenty.”

In 2010 I’d had short stories published in two High Hill Press anthologies. To my surprise  Louella Turner, owner of High Hill Press, emailed to say she wanted to publish an anthology of just my stories. I had to read that email several times. Then I did what any aspiring writer would do when offered a contract, I set the novels aside for a year.   During that time I explored all sorts of themes and settings.

Two years ago I “fell” into Friday Fictioneers, run then by creator Madison Woods. It’s a wonderful venue for further exploration. I’ve tried my hand at memoir, speculative fiction, science fiction and, of course, my favorite genre, historical fiction.

Quite a bit of what I write comes from personal experience. One of the perks of being a bit further along on this journey called life is that I have plenty of grist for the mill. I’m still in discovery mode. In which case, the questions,”how does my work differ from others” and “why do I write it”  are still being answered.

Miriam Reuben Wisoff, my grandmother who was a published poet.

Miriam Wisoff, my grandmother who was a published poet.

How does your writing process work?

Because I work a full time job and have to be there by 7:00 AM, I’m up and at the computer by 3:00, the quietest time of the day. Of course this morning ritual includes caffeine. Must have coffee—strong and black. As sleep-fog lifts I’ll read what I’ve written the day before to see if it’s worthy of survival.

Often I’ll print a chapter or story and then pencil whip it. Then I make the corrections on computer and save it on three flash drives, my  hard drive and an external hard drive. Thank heaven for word processors. If I had to use a typewriter I’d have to own a paper mill and a white-out concern.

Another part of my process is daydreaming which I do during my 45 minute drive to work or while I swim laps.  Conversation or  scenes play out in my head like movies. My job is to figure out the best way to articulate it.

Research is my passion and a huge part of the process. Old newspapers are better than textbooks for history because they’re written in the language of the day. I’ve found some incredible articles that have served as fodder for events in my books. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is to read a piece of fiction where the writer didn’t do his homework. This applies to novels, short stories and screenplays. One such example is a movie I saw a few years back. For the most part it was a wonderful movie. Great acting. Known stars. But the only thing I remember is a scene set in the 50’s or early 60’s and the female lead is holding a piece of Tupperware that didn’t come out until the 70’s. Am I a nitpicker? Perhaps. I’ve been known to spend hours combing the internet to find the origin of a word or phrase to make sure my characters would use it. I can’t have someone in 1903 saying, “Whassup yo?”

An important part of my writing process is feedback from other writers. I used to belong to a wonderful critique group but we disbanded a couple of years ago for the winter and never re-banded. There are still friends I can go to for crit. I am blessed with one particular writing buddy, a gifted writer, who I appreciate for his sometimes brutal honesty.  

So why do I do what I do? Isaac Asimov said it best. “I write for the same reason I breathe–because if I didn’t I would die.”

Nyad in office

***************

Every writer is unique. Special thanks to these three sister writers who have agreed to participate in the blog tour. Look for their answers next week, Monday, March 17.

Stephanie Briggs

 Born and raised in the Heart of Dixie, STEPHANIE BRIGGS is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a refugee from corporate America. Stephanie charged into adulthood with the words, “No one is going to tell me what to do, I’m joining the military.” Out of the frying pan into the fire, but the choice was hers to make, and she is grateful to the women who fought the good fight to make it possible. A no-nonsense attitude keeps Stephanie true to the value of living an authentic life. She is married to a loyal New York Yankees fan with whom she has raised two children, relocated a dozen times, and shared the best years of her life. She currently resides in Texas where community service, creating content for HonieBriggs.com, and the pursuit of higher education keep her occupied. Experience has taught her there is always more to learn. SUMMONING THE STRENGTH, available on Amazon, is her first published work of fiction.

Marie Gail

MARIE GAIL STRATFORD is a writer, poet, interpretive dancer and all-round creative woman from the greater Kansas City area. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her five nieces and three nephews, all of whom live nearby. In addition to writing and creating, she passionately loves candles and reluctantly admits to also loving cats. A self-proclaimed “dog person,” she only has two cats, one of whom thinks he is a German shepherd. She hasn’t had the heart to disabuse him of this notion.

Currently, Marie Gail works as a freelancer, creating unique web content for a wide range of clients. Between drafting descriptions of plumbing parts and composing narratives for travel blogs, she also finds time for creative writing projects. Currently, she is working on a book of jazz poetry inspired by the stories and sounds of American roots music. Publication is tentatively set for early this summer, but she wonders if her publisher might be slightly delusional concerning the projected timetable.

imageDAWN QUYLE LANDAU lives in Washington state. She is lucky enough to wake up every day to unparalleled beauty, and is grateful for even the rainy days. There are fewer than most believe, but locals like to perpetuate the rain myth, to keep population down. She has raised three highly spirited kids:  a daughter who now lives in Israel, and two sons. One will graduate from college this May and the other from high school in June, and then her nest, will hypothetically be empty; her husband refuses to leave. To further feather the nest, she had been known to take on exchange students, from China, Denmark and currently from Germany– so her travel options are extensive. She’s been married to her husband, Smart Guy, for 27 years; they met in college. In another life, Dawn got her MSW, and currently volunteers with Hospice, the public schools, the hospital foundation in her community, and a local agency that works with sexually abused kids. “Not working” has her busy, way too much of the time.
When she isn’t volunteering, Dawn is a writer. She has become a huge fan of flash fiction, and never misses a week of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. She is currently marketing her first novel and working on a memoir, about the year she took in two exchange students, and lost her mother to Huntington’s Disease.  In addition to those two projects, she is an active blogger who posts three times a week. Her blog, Tales From the Motherland, covers everything from raising those three spirited kids, to self-esteem, aging, travel, sex toys, Justin Bieber and her affair with Barack Obama– a post which recently had 1,500 hits in one day!  Her work has been Freshly Pressed on Word Press two times, and she’s proud to be a blogger. 

7 December 2012

Published December 5, 2012 by rochellewisoff

Welcome to FRIDAY FICTIONEERS, a growing global family of blogging writers founded by Madison Woods.

We have some December Fictioneer birthdays. I apologize if I’ve missed any. My sources are limited.

Ted Fashion statement

Ted Strutz-Dec. 4

Sandra Crook-Dec. 15

Kent Bonham-Dec. 21 

Mary Shipman (Oldentimes)-Dec. 22

Jennifer Pendergast (elmowrites)-Dec. 31

************

The rules that follow are simple:

  • Please copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the tab following the photo prompt. It’s the little white box to the left with the blue froggy guy. Click on it and follow directions.
  • Please make sure your link works. If you find that you’ve made an error you can delete by clicking the little red ‘x’ that should appear under your icon. Then re-enter your URL. (If there’s no red x email me at Runtshell@aol.com. I can delete the wrong link for you).
  • If your blog requires multiple steps for visitors to leave comments, see if you can simplify it.  Please, for the sake or our writerly nerves, disable CAPTCHA –that wavy line of unreadable letters and numbers.  It’s frustrating to have to leave a DNA sample, your blood type and your shoe size  just to make a comment. (So I exaggerate. But hopefully you get the picture).
  • Challenge yourself to keep stories to 100 words. (There’s no penalty for going over or under).
  • Make note in your blog if you’d prefer not to have constructive criticism.
  • Be kind in your comments to others. Please, exercise discretion.
  • My story follows the photo prompt for those who would rather write before reading other stories. I appreciate your comments and critiques. 😉
  • *NOTE-If you’re not posting a flash fiction, please DO NOT use this site or anyone else’s page for political platforms or advertisements. 

***Click here to see what others are saying about blog challenges and us.***

THIS WEEK’S PHOTO  PROMPT 

from Rich Voza

Copyright-Rich Vosa

Copyright-Rich Voza



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Here’s my own story for this week. 

PRELUDE TO SUCCESS

            “Failure.”

            The sterile walls echoed the word as he shuffled down the long corridor and ruminated over the loss of his day job. It was the first morning in five he’d showered or dressed.

            “Why me?”  

            He wanted to turn back but he couldn’t renege on a promise.

            Stopping at room 223, he pushed open the door and then tiptoed to the bed.  Feeding tubes and IV’s snaked around the tiny girl.

            His heart raged with more why’s.

            “Marissa?” He caressed her chemo-bald head.

            Her chocolate-brown eyes fluttered open and shone with innocent faith.

            “Santa, I knew you’d come!” 

****

Final Note: This story is dedicated to a couple of genuine Santas, John Schuech and Allan Buford. (Yes, the beards are real). 

John Schuech

John Schuech

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/03/3947216/santa-brings-holiday-cheer-to.html

Allan Buford

Allan Buford

*Epilogue: Months after the posting of this blog, the much commented on word, “glabrous” meaning bald still bugged me. So I’ve returned and changed the word to “chemo-bald”. I think it works better and is more understandable. So for those who might happen by and wonder at the comments, there’s the explanation.

 

Shalom,

 

Rochelle

23 November 2012

Published November 21, 2012 by rochellewisoff

I am thankful to be a part of this awesome global family called Friday Fictioneers.

Writers:

  • Depending on your preference, leave your blog link  in the comment section or use the linkz tool (or both ;)). My story follows for those who’d rather not read it before writing their own.
  • Please make sure your link works. There were a couple last week that didn’t. If you find that you’ve made an error you can delete by clicking the little red ‘x’ that should appear under your icon. Then re-enter your URL. (If there’s no red x email me at Runtshell@aol.com. I can delete the wrong link for you).
  • If your blog requires multiple steps for visitors to leave comments, see if you can simplify it. If you can disable CAPTCHA –that wavy line of unreadable letters and numbers– please for the sake of our writerly nerves, disable it. It’s frustrating to have to leave a DNA sample, your blood type and your shoe size  just to make a comment. (So I exaggerate. But hopefully you get the picture).
  • Challenge yourself to keep stories to 100 words. (There’s no penalty for going over or under).
  • Make note in your blog if you’d prefer not to have constructive criticism.
  • Be kind in your comments to others.
  • ABOVE ALL–HAVE FUN!
  • Copyright-Joyce Johnson

*Note-I know some view this link tool as something of a pain, but the reality is that you’ll garner more reads and comments if you leave your link here. Click the blue guy and follow the instructions. Please make sure you’ve entered your link correctly. 


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And now…

Following a wrestling match…

Is my story.

FACE TO FACE

             “It was a dark and stormy night.”

            “Seriously?” Tad peered over his book.

            “It worked for Snoopy.” Jaycee slammed her finger against the backspace key and glared at the professor’s photo prompt. “I’m blank.”

            “It’s only a hundred words. Write what you know.”   

            “I know nothing.”

            “Ha! You’ve got plenty floating around in that pea brain of yours.”

            “Like alphabet soup.”

             “Stir it.”

            Who knew a simple creative writing class would be filled with so many trapdoors? The sculpted face in the picture mocked her with its sideways grin.

            Fingers trembling she typed, “The Me Nobody Wants to Know.”

EVERY. SINGLE.WORD. *YKWIM

Published September 2, 2012 by rochellewisoff

Special thanks to Doug MacIlroy for permission to share this article from his 12 October 2011 post. When I read it I thought it worth repeating. Enjoy the read.

Shalom-Aloha, Rochelle

 

I spend a great deal of time proofreading my posts because it is important to me to say what I mean. A long time ago when I was working on my first novel with my co-author, John Pace, we developed the habit of working on two computers (an Apple IIe and an Apple IIc. Thanks Steve and Steve.) side by side on a large desk in our office. One of us would write and the other would edit previous chapters, chiming in whenever a question came up or an idea needed to be explored. During this process, in either mode, we would often come across sentences, paragraphs or entire passages that needed to be rewritten or entirely excised. What remained following that necessary surgery was the task of saying as clearly and succinctly as possible what we wanted to convey in the first place.

Picture the two of us there, staring into space as we struggled to find the right combination and arrangement of words to replace what we’d removed. To keep our heads from exploding we took to starting the revison process by typing *YKWWM at the beginning of the blank spot.  These letters stood for “You Know What We Mean.”  We would laugh because, though we knew what we meant, until we wrote it correctly, the world would not know what we meant. Once we’d tackled the problem and fixed it, the removal of those six characters signified that we were happy with the changes and could move on.

Words have meanings. Every single one of them. Put them in the wrong order and you’ve thrown Mary down the stairs the ball. No matter how much we wanted it to be easy, writing was work and short cuts got us absolutely nowhere. We had to get it right. The false joy of ‘finishing’ a passage or paragraph pales in comparison to the satisfaction of getting it right. It takes just as long to write a good book as a bad one and typing ’The End’ doesn’t always mean you’re done. 

With that I’d like to share a link to an article that I found very interesting. It’s about an inaccurate “quote” set, unfortunately, in stone. Here’s the link.http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/11/opinion/clark-king-monument-inscription/index.html I hope you enjoy it. The solution might be to carve in the characters, *YKWWM.

It worked for me. 

For more great words from Doug go to http://ironwood.wordpress.com

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