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THE MEASURE OF CIVILIZATION

Published February 25, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to the Amazon…not Amazon.com…but the original one in Brazil.

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.

Here’s the photo I chose from the Google Buffet.

Thanks to K Rawson for hosting this challenge!

the-amazon

 Ah the joy of 50 extra words! I’ve taken one of my older Friday Fictioneers pieces and given it a make-over. 

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 150

THE MEASURE OF CIVILIZATION

Half naked Himba people in Nambia, a sweaty camera crew and millions of TV viewers witnessed our marriage vows. 

I followed Trevor up the Himalayas and drank sun-scorched canteen water instead of Cabernet.

In Nepal he slipped on animal feces and narrowly escaped being trampled by a choleric elephant.

After Trevor’s ankle mended, his next assignment was the Amazon. There we lived in a grass hut. Mosquitos and humidity made it impossible to sleep.

Trevor kissed my eight-month belly. “You should go home.”

“You are my home.”

Before the words left my mouth, my water broke.

Twelve hours of spine-crunching labor later, a Waurá midwife helped deliver our daughter. We named her Kauné in her honor.

_______

Back in the states, safe from cheetah attacks and hippo stampedes, Trevor’s mangled body lies on a cold steel table. The driver, texting on her cell phone, never saw him cross the street.  

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waura-child

24 February 2017

Published February 22, 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 © Sarah Potter

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

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

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Genre: Historical Fiction

A tweaked excerpt from my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME

psk-amazon-jpg

Word Count: 100

CHARNEL HOUSE

            Havah gazed out the window.  Snowflakes like milk-white dove wings glimmered past the streetlamp and floated to the sidewalk.

            “Have you ever seen anything more beautiful, Arel?”

           “We had snow in the old country. It’s all the same.”

            She grasped Arel’s hand and held it to her belly. Their unborn child kicked against his palm with such force Havah flinched. Brushing her lips across her husband’s disfigured cheek she fought the stone forming in her throat. One by one, faces of those who had perished before her eyes drifted through her memory.

           “No, Arel, nothing will ever be the same.”

***

*Reviews do help sell books. If you’ve read any of the three, would you do this author a favor and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or both? Thank you. 

 

street-light-in-kc-1903

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Look who I visited with at the Ozarks Writers League Conference.

rr-at-owl

Russell Gayer and the Purple Obsessed Princess

FLOWER AND WILLOW WORLD

Published February 19, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman visits Tokyo.

ありがとうございました
Arigatōgozaimashita, 
thnk you to Karen Rawson for hosting this unique challenge. 

To enjoy other 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.
My photo choice from stroll through Google

My photo choice from stroll through Google

Again, I’m late for the party, but couldn’t resist the challenge. Maybe it’s the extra 50 words or the fact that I’m merely a participant. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

FLOWER AND WILLOW WORLD

A thousand butterflies swirl in my stomach as I peer out the window, watching for the car that will bring my Hoshi-chan, my shining star, for a brief visit.

After we left her at the Okiya in Kyoto, six months ago, I cried for a week.

“It’s all for the best, Fumiko-chan,” said my husband Ichiro. “She’s following her life’s path.”  

“What does she know of life? She’s only fifteen.”

“We’ve five more children and can hardly feed them.”

I cannot argue, but Hoshi is our only daughter, my ally in this man’s house.

At her Misedashi—formal presentation ceremony—my heart swelled with pride. In exquisite silk kimono, painted face and jeweled hair, Hoshi, renamed Kikuyu, was welcomed into the secret society of Geisha.

She glided to me on lacquered getas and uttered those words I will forever cherish. “Okaasan, when I come home, please cook me a hamburger.”

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geisha-doll-painting

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

17 February 2017

Published February 15, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Condolences to Suzanne Joshi on the loss of her husband. https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/break-from-blogging

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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 © Liz Young

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Please be considerate and do your best to keep your stories to 100 words. 


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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

SWEET LITTLE ALICE BLUE GOWN

            He bowed. “Shall we dance, my dear gadfly?”

            Alice took a final puff from her cigarette. “Certainly, Father.”

            “Despicable, unladylike habit.” He waltzed her across the ballroom. “Mother asked me to speak with you.”

            “Stepmother. Did Emily Spinach sneak into mumsy’s boudoir again?” 

            “It’s not about your snake. We’re disturbed by your public escapades such as gambling and jumping into swimming pools fully clothed. Must you insist on being the center of attention?”

            “Moi?” Alice Roosevelt bristled. “You’re the one who wants to be the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, and the baby at every christening.”

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Theodore Roosevelt and Family 1903

Theodore Roosevelt and Family 1903

roosevelt-quote-about-alice

*CLICK*

longworth-quotes-5

NO TENGO COCHE

Published February 12, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week I’m late to the fiesta. I didn’t think I’d make it at all but this one just came to me.

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.

¡Muchas gracias to Karen Rawson for hosting this challenge!

Mi fóto está aquí:

calle-4

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

NO TENGO COCHE

            Kevin couldn’t resist las señoritas. While vacationing in Mexico City he met Alicia del Flores.

            “I adore men with blue eyes and yellow hair,” she said with a smile bright enough to light up an entire football field.

            Every night he took her to a new café or theater.

            “I wish you had a car,” she whispered in his ear, sending shivers through him. “My feet hurt from all this walking.”

            All too soon Kevin’s vacation ended. He embraced her. “Will you marry me?”

            “Sí.”

            He quit his job in Kansas, sold his house and bought a one way ticket to Mexico.

            Heart pounding, diamond in hand, he knocked on her door. Her brother opened it. “Kevin? ¿Por qué?

            “I’m here to claim Alicia.”

            “She married Roberto the taxi cab driver last Sunday.”

            “She promised to wait.” Tears streaming, Kevin sank down on the porch. “At least she has transportation.”

10 February 2017

Published February 8, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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Another HighwayThe 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 © Ted Strutz

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

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Contrary to the familiar Thoreau quote, this week it’s what I’m looking at that matters in my story. 

Genre: Hysterical Fiction

World Count: 100

ETHEL AND CHERYL AND TED AND ALICE

              Ethel, Cheryl and Ted strolled along the banks of Egg Lake singing “Alice’s Restaurant” in three-part harmony.

            “Walk right in, it’s around the back…,” sang Ethel.

            Cheryl chimed in with, “…just a half a mile from the railroad track.”

            Ted stopped at the lake’s edge and raised his trusty Canon. “Whoa, what a great shot!”

            Ethel frowned. “With all this beautiful scenery why would you take a picture of an old chair in the water?”

            “To post on my blog.” Ted snapped another angle. “I never know when that purple-obsessed midget might snag one of my photos for Friday Fictioneers.”

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ted-strutz-and-psk

Ted and a familiar book. 😉

AN AUTHOR IN PARADISE – AN INTERVIEW WITH C. E. AYR

Published February 6, 2017 by rochellewisoff
C. E. Ayr

C. E. Ayr

C.E. Ayr has always been somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
His work history ranged from
selling programmes at his local football club to running his own company which supplied IT solutions to the retail sector.
He has now discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d’Azur.
Hence the title of his recently published book of Sound Bite Fiction, MEDVILLE MATTERS.

medville-matters

Your Bio was written a few years ago, has anything changed?

On the surface, not much.
I am still, to my surprise, in Medville.
I am, rather sadly, happier than I have ever been in my life.
I am relaxed and creative, I write Sound Bite Fiction of 100 words and novellas of 20,000 words.
I write poetry and, arguably, song lyrics.
I have heard very different versions of my stuff produced in very different ways by very different musicians.
Yep, Bluegrass to Heavy Metal.
I have seen Carolina Sartor, a Canadian artist of exceptional talent, translate a children’s poem into twenty-two breathtakingly beautiful images well beyond the scope of my imagination, culminating in the creation of The Famous Green Hunchback Turtle of Béthune, my latest book for children.

he can sky dive

he can sky dive

I have met some interesting guys and some beautiful ladies.
And, most amazingly, I have found the best friend I have ever had in my life.
I have grown up and become sensible.
Did I mention that I write fiction?

What made you decide to be a writer?

I grew up in South Africa at a time when there was no television and very little English-language radio, so I became a voracious, almost compulsive, reader.
So story-telling has always seemed natural to me.

What is your favorite genre? Why?

I read across-the-board fiction, enjoying anyone who can tell a story.
I would say I am not a big fan of horror, but I am a huge admirer of Stephen King, or of Westerns, but I love Elmore Leonard.
I am also not too keen on Science Fiction, but I am impressed by Wells, Asimov and Clarke, and the dystopian works of Orwell, Bradbury and Huxley.
I devour the crime stories of quality writers like Michael Connelly, John Connolly, Robert Crais, and Scotland’s Ian Rankin.

Who is the author who inspires you the most?

I guess that John Steinbeck is top of that list, his seemingly effortless prose creating works as diverse as The Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row. His writing always seems to have a power unmatched by anyone else.
But I have to give honourable mentions to Franz Kafka and Hermann Hesse, along with more modern authors including Paul Auster, Sebastian Faulks and Iain Banks.
Apart from Rankin and Banks, I am also inspired by other compatriots, from Robert Louis Stevenson and Lewis Grassic Gibbon, through Alasdair Gray to Irvine Welsh and A L Kennedy.
And, of course, I pay homage to the genius who is Dr Seuss!
I apologise to other favourites who are temporarily hidden in strange dark corners of my mind.

How often do you write?

Pretty much every day, but times vary.
Typically the afternoon is my leisure time when, depending on season, I walk or swim. This is when I am most creative, and I constantly make notes of thoughts and ideas, no mean feat when I am up to my ears in my beloved Mediterranean Sea.
Then I draft stories on paper, longhand, while I relax at the Little Café in the Square or the Little Café  at the Port, both of which I feature in my tales.

'tis a hard life

’tis a hard life

The following morning I input these to my laptop, filling in the blanks and trimming the redundancies, before emailing them to my friend and first line editor Emmy L. Gant for her critical analysis. And as a backup in case of natural disaster, which I can be!

Do you have any major projects in the works?

Most importantly, I am currently looking for a publisher for The Famous Green Hunchback Turtle of Béthune, as mentioned above.
I have two novellas at the finishing stage, with no clear idea of what I will do with them.
I rarely write with a market in mind, I produce just what the muse says at the time.
Occupation tells of a small group of resistance fighters in a land occupied by The Creation, while Abduction is a tale of vengeance, where one man pursues the organisation who kidnapped his girl.
They are very different in content but, like my previously published e-book, The Second Request, are written in my trademark short line style.

the-second-request-image
I am, of course, thinking about a second book of Sound Bite Fiction, but living in a non-English speaking country makes marketing difficult at a personal level.
I certainly have enough material, in fact probably enough for three books, I am nothing if not prolific.
My recent stories are generally slightly longer and, I believe, even more personal than Medville Matters.

In what way is your writing becoming more personal?

Ah, good question!
I find it an interesting paradox that the more fiction I write, the more of myself I expose.
But we create using ideas from within ourselves, our imagination, our dreams, our memories.
And not just our successes but, more pertinently, our failures and losses.
Some stories are pure fantasy (I kill far fewer folk in real life), but in others I feel that I have stripped my soul naked.

You say you also write poetry and songs. Who are your inspirations here?

Again, they are many and varied but, as a Scot who did several years of schooling only a couple of miles from his Ayrshire birthplace, I have to say that Robert Burns stands alone.
Outwith his work, my favourite poem is probably The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde.
And I am in awe of Leonard Cohen.

What are your writing goals for the future?

I don’t make goals, I rarely make any plans, I tend to live in the moment.
A few years ago I sold, or otherwise disposed of, everything I owned.
With my worldly possessions in two suitcases (one summer, one winter) I took a coach 500 miles to the English Channel, crossed to Calais and rented a car.
Other than the offer of temporary accommodation at Emmy’s home a further 750 miles to the south, I had nothing fixed in my mind.
Every day is an adventure.
Or, as Robert Heinlein (I forgot him earlier!) said, life is short, live wide.

What advice would you give other writers?

As Shakespeare says, advice is free and that’s all it’s worth.
But I do make a plea to everyone who tries to write.
Please, learn some basic grammar, and use a spell checker.
Okay, two words of advice.
Read.
(Not Tweets or the Sports pages, but real books by decent writers.)
Write.
(All the time.)

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