historical fiction

All posts tagged historical fiction

22 February 2019

Published February 20, 2019 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook 

Please be considerate of 70 or more participants and keep your story to 100 words. Thank you. 

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

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

AWAKENED AND STIRRED

“You admit to helping to spread leaflets for those subversives calling themselves The White Rose?”

            “What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare express themselves as we did. And I would do it again.”

            Swastika flag draped behind him, the judge stood and shook his fist. “For your crimes you’ve been sentenced this 22nd day of February 1943.”

            “As you will be judged for yours.”

            Schubert’s “Andantino” played in twenty-one-year-old Sophie Scholl’s mind. Birds sang and the whole of creation called joyfully to her as she trembled before the guillotine, head held high.

 

*Note: This Friday is February 22, 2019 …76 years to the day Sophie, her brother Hans and his friend Christof were executed for standing up to Nazi barbarism. May their memories be blessed. 

Sophie Scholl

***

The following video I add “just because.” The fact is the Nazis often forced Jewish musicians to accompany the condemned to the gas chambers. It’s long and not directly related to the story. To me it seemed to fit. Listen or not.

 

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RICHARD D. SMALL

Published January 14, 2019 by rochellewisoff
Two and a half years ago I received an email from a man in Israel named Rich Small who had submitted his manuscript to my agent entitled “Elisheva’s Diary.” He had found PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME on my agent’s website and ordered a copy. Over the course of a few emails we found much in common, including Eastern European Jewish backgrounds. Meanwhile, my agent rejected his manuscript, saying it needed too much work. So my newfound friend asked if I might take a look at it. 
As it turned out, I took many, many looks at it and had the privilege of watching the work grow and progress. Rich has been gracious about accepting my suggestions and putting up with my kvetching and nagging. 😉 Between emails, hangouts and Skype we’ve become friends. And the proverbial icing on the cake is that ELISHEVA’S DIARY has been published by Touch Point Press
Feeling a little like the book’s auntie, I interviewed Rich for my blog. I hope you will enjoy both our conversation and his book which is a unique little gem that blends past and present, as I did. 
Richard D. Small lives in Metula, the northernmost point of Israel, not far from Tel Dan and Tel Kedesh.  He received  PhD from Rutgers University in Aerospace Engineering. He taught at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology before joining a California Think Tank as Director for Thermal Sciences, founded Eastwind Research Corporation, and served in the Israeli Army.  Biographical sketches have included Who’s Who in America, and various scientific Who’s Who listings.  His work in science has been internationally recognized and featured on TV and radio including 60 Minutes, newscasts, and in magazines.  He is an avid student of history.  His passions include cooking, opera, reading, building cabinets, and gardening.  Elisheva’s Diary is his first novel.
***

 

  • Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.

Nature and its mysteries fascinated and motivated me to study science and pursue a career solving problems. I was fortunate to work on several problems of national interest.

I live in Metula overlooking the Hula or as it was known in biblical times the Merom Valley. From my living room, I see ancient locations that carry the long history of the Jewish people. In front of my house is a Tel, Evel Beit Maacah, that is now being excavated. Maacah was King David’s fourth wife and the mother of Tamar and Avshalom. Many of the great leaders of the ancient world passed through the valley.

The valley, aside from being spectacularly beautiful in all seasons, has several ancient sites: Tel Dan, Tel Anafa, Hazor, Banias, and Tel Kedesh. The streams flowing through the valley water a fertile soil that provides a rich bounty. It is a peaceful valley replete with protected wildlife and dotted with national parks celebrating and preserving the beauty of nature.

It is special to live in a place where recorded events date from the beginnings of western civilization. It is a land that beckons the history and civilization buried in us all.

 

  • After a career as a renowned scientist, why did you decide to write a novel? What inspired you?

I had always wanted to write a novel. From a very young age, I enjoyed reading and greatly admired authors that could transport you to another world and portray love, hate, tragedy, triumph, the beauty of nature and the magnificence of the human spirit.

 

  • What was the most difficult scene in Elisheva’s Diary? What made it difficult?

The death of Elisheva’s husband. For me, death is difficult to describe. It is definitive that leaves surviving family injured, saddened and takes a little of life from them.

 

  • What sort of research did you do for your work?

I read several books about the history of the Mediterranean focusing on the Galilee region of Israel. I picked the period about 50 BC for several reasons. Momentous events such as the clash of empires, the emergence of Rome as the predominant power, and a political atmosphere not unlike today were shaping the world at that time.

 

  • Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?

I have quite an eclectic taste in books. I enjoy novels, history, cook books, science fiction occasionally, and books that make me think. At different periods, I have enjoyed John Steinbeck, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Bruce Catton, Barbara Tuchman, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Francis Fukuyama, Mark Helprin, and a long list of others including RW-F. 😉

 

  • Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
  • I wanted to write, but found I had a lot to learn about writing and crafting a story. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields guided, taught, encouraged and without her, Elisheva’s Diary would never have been completed.
  • What would you say are your strengths as an author?

I cite two: empathy and a great appreciation for nature which I can translate to words.

 

  • Do you have another work in progress? If so, how often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?

I have started research for a new book. It will relate a story from the time of King Solomon. The research will take another half year or so before I start to write.

 

  • Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?

Hopefully having published a second novel.

 

  • If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?

Don’t quit. Keep writing until your story is complete.

  • What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?

“I liked Elisheva.”

  • Would you provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with my readers?

Chapter Four

My City—April 3675 (85 BC)

I was born in paradise three thousand six hundred sixty-five years after the creation of the world. Dan was well known when Abraham and Sara arrived from Ur. In the beginning, the city was named Laish, and only hundreds of years later did the Israelite tribe of Dan cross the Jordan, after 40 years in the desert, to settle in the city. Legend says Dan first arose a thousand years after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. I am proud of my city; it has a grand history filled with triumphs as well as much sorrow and anguish.

I cannot imagine a more beautiful place on Earth than the Merom Valley. To the east, the Golan Heights rise to a high plateau. Across the valley, the hills, home to the tribe of Naphtali, frame the Merom Valley in the west. Every evening, I delight in the breathtaking harmony and beauty as the Golan glows a soft pink in the setting sun, while the hills of Naphtali darken to a deep purple. The valley floor accents the surrounding hills with a rainbow of colors from the orchards, fields, vineyards, and forests.

Twice a year, countless numbers of storks, cranes, egrets, pelicans, and herons fill the sky heralding a change of season. Vast flocks, tired from their journey, seek safety and respite in the fields around the small sea. In the morning, I watch amazed as they face the warm sun, capture its energy, and spiral upwards to continue their journey.

I have always taken the beauty of my city and its surroundings as normal. Aba often told me of his travels across Israel to the Great Salt Sea in the west, to magnificent cities along the coast, to inland valleys, and to the desert in the south. He said the desert holds a special beauty—siren colors at sunset and the tranquility of a seducing wind at night under a sky filled with countless stars. Often shooting stars, traversing the heavens in seconds, punctuate the night panorama. But surely, nothing compares with Dan.

From my home, I look east to Mount Hermon. Like a giant shielding us from a hostile world, it stands over Dan dominating the hills to the north and the plateau to the south. Clouds sometimes hide the peak’s majesty, and swirling storms mask it in a threatening atmosphere. On clear days, sunlight reflects from the forests and valleys on the lower elevations and projects magnificence, breathtaking to behold. During much of the year, a blanket of snow covers the upper reaches of the mountain. It is the source of the icy pure water flowing through Dan. In the winter, the blinding white peak often mirrors the sunset’s rainbow of pastel colors.

I am lucky to live in the most beautiful part of the most beautiful kingdom in the whole world.

I have listened to travelers talk about the Galilee. They describe marvelous towns and villages built in beautiful settings: sculpted valleys with plentiful water and rich soil. Their descriptions of Kedesh are so vivid I can almost feel the excitement of the big market. Farmers send produce from the fields around Dan, and our artisans send goods from our ceramic and metal workshops through Kedesh to the coastal cities of Lebanon in return for rare woods, glass, cloth, dyes, and manufactured goods that arrive in Tyre and Sidon from Greece, Egypt, and Rome. Kedesh itself is built on a large hilltop surrounded by a rich valley famous for well-kept vineyards and exquisite wines.

They speak of olive groves on the road leading to the Great Sea. The trees twisted and gnarled as generation after generation of growth is added to life drawn from the soil.

Travelers from distant lands tell me the Great Sea is a wonder. Salty to the taste, it contains strange fish and exotic creatures not found in the Merom or the Kinneret seas. They say, sometimes, like the tempests blanketing Mount Hermon, storms rage over the Great Sea, with relentless waters swirling in an angry rhythm and pounding the shore; sometimes the sea turns a deep blue hiding a mysterious depth, and sometimes it is tranquil.

They speak of a beautiful land beyond the Galilee: villages located across a varied geography, ranging from mountains rich in forests, tranquil deserts producing fine wines, a coastal plain with thick forests, abundant agriculture, and rich fishing: all with a well-developed ethical and cultural life.

And towering above everything, the crown jewel of Israel and the world, the magnificent city of David and Solomon, the location of our Temple, Jerusalem.

 

 

11 January 2019

Published January 9, 2019 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook 

As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

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 © Priya Bajpal

get the InLinkz code

The following is an excerpt, cut down to size, from my WIP “What the Heart Wants.” The year is 1881. Aggie, a former nun who worked at the Indian boarding school, has fled, taking Ruth Bear Starfire with her for her own protection.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

NEGOTIATIONS

            “Pretty li’l Injun,” said the general store clerk. “What tribe?”

            Ruth’s cheeks blazed. 

            “She’s my daughter,” said Aggie.

            “Uh-huh.” He eyed Aggie’s blonde hair. “Strong resemblance.”  

            “How much for the Winchester?”

   “$40. Firm.”

            “I’ll give ya $25.”

            “$35.” 

            “Please, sir. My baby ain’t et no meat in a coon’s age.” Aggie crossed herself. “I’m a-prayin to the Blessed Virgin my Ruthie don’t perish from starvation.”

            “$25 it is.” With a bucktoothed grin he laid sacks of sugar and flour on the counter. “I can’t have your deaths on my conscience.” 

            “Would you mind tossing in some sorghum and cornmeal, too?”

*Note to those who feel they can’t cut their stories down to 100 words. The excerpt I started with was 383 words. Certainly, cutting it lost the original intent of the chapter. However it turned it into another aspect of the same story and, I think, stands alone. 

*Note 2, for those wondering how the photo prompt inspired my offering. This takes place in an old fashion general story where candy was kept in large jars. In the original chapter the store clerk offer little Ruth a candy stick. 

 

 

30 November 2018

Published November 28, 2018 by rochellewisoff


Like us on Facebook

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 © Nick Allen

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

HEARTLESS

Buddy woke up one morning, struggling to breathe. He sat up, but the intense pain in his stomach doubled him over. “Must be something I ate.”

            After two weeks in the hospital, he shook the doctor’s hand. “Thanks, Doc. For a while I feared I was going to that yellow brick road in the sky.”

            The doctor handed him a prescription. “Take it easy—no more aluminum makeup.”

            “No problem—lost my job.”

            Later Buddy Ebsen called Ray Bolger. “Hey, you old scarecrow. I should never have traded roles with you. Tell Mr. Haley to keep his oil can handy.”

*

*

*

For a little more info CLICK

THE GENDER TRAP

Published July 14, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Baltimore, Maryland. Feel free to visit the library at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University  Or cruise around Baltimore and find your own street view or photo sphere for inspiration.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by this week’s location. Once your piece is polished, share it with fellow contributors using the link up below.

After entertaining guests for a week and another week to recover from all the festivities, I’m ready to revisit Pegman.  Thanks so much to Karen and Josh for co-hosting this group of globetrotting writers.

Johns Hopkins Hospital

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

I would call this an excerpt from my most recent novel AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN. However it’s actually a tweaked scene boiled down from over 600 words to a 150 word stand-alone. At any rate, a great challenge and a pleasant visit to two favorite characters. Not exactly about Maryland, but a tenuous connection. 😉 

THE GENDER TRAP

The woman skimmed a gloved hand along the top of the medicine cabinet and peered at the rows of bottles. “I assume you sterilize. I insist everything should be as clean as humanly possible.” Straightening, she extended the same hand. “I’m here to answer your ad.”

Florin’s tongue stuck to his teeth. “So sorry, my dear, I’ve hired a nurse.”

She withdrew her hand. “I am Eleanor Whitaker Turnbull, MD. Have you already hired a physician as well?”

Florin mopped his perspiring brow. “No I haven’t. But such an attractive—I thought—”

Her sorrel gaze pierced him. “I know exactly what you thought, Doctor. You’re a man after all.” She took a framed diploma from her carpet bag. ”I graduated from the New York Medical College for Women, class of 1892. Suma Cum Laude. I served my internship at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?”

*

*

*

 

 

 

23 March 2018

Published March 21, 2018 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook

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 © Björn Rudberg

get the InLinkz code

As always, please be considerate to your fellow fictioneers and keep your story to 100 words or less. This does not include the title. Thank you and Shalom. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

TURN THE PAGE

“Happy birthday!” Grandma sang out in her Kentucky drawl. “G’wan, child, open your present.”

            Heart thumping, Karen tore open the colorfully wrapped package. “I hope it’s my Cabbage Patch doll! Oh boy, it’s—” She fought tears.—“Tom Sawyer by M-mark Twain. Thank you.”

            Grandma’s eyes flashed. “Disappointed, aintcha?”

             “No, I…”Karen braced herself for a ‘when I was your age’ story.  

            “Betcha never heared o’ the Pack Horse Librarians.”

            “Huh-uh.”

            “Not many have, I reckon. In the Great Depression, them valiant ladies braved hell and high water on horseback just so’s us hill kids could have something to read.”     

*

*

*

     Click Here to know more

 

FUROR

Published January 29, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman visits Bristol in the southwest of England.   This week’s location was suggested by the talented and inspiring Kelvin M. Knight, blogger and flash fiction ninja. If you haven’t already, wander over and check out his blog.

Your mission is to write a 150-word story, poem, or essay inspired by this week’s location. You’ll find both photo spheres and streetview to inspire you. Once your piece is polished, please share it with other Pegman contributors using the link up below.

It has been one majorly busy weekend with an unexpected trip to the ER and a whole day lost. Here it is Monday morning…still catching up on Friday Fictioneers and posting a late Pegman story. What am I meshuggeh? On the other hand, the following tweaked snippet from AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN puts me closer to having A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY  completed. So it’s all good, right? Of course right!

Colston Hall in Bristol taken in 1917

Genre: Historical Fiction (Vienna 1908)

Word Count: 150

FUROR

Deep satisfaction surged through Ulrich. Four-year-old Rachel enthralled audiences across Europe, from Colston Hall in Bristol, to, just days before, in Vienna’s Musikverein.

            “Rachel is a magnificent talent,” said Catherine.

            “A prodigy. My little Mozart.”

            The steady clop of the horses’ hooves along the cobblestones lulled Ulrich as they made their way around the circular courtyard called the Schwarzenbergplatz.

            He stopped the carriage. “The famous Hochstrahlbrunnen fountain.” 

            “It’s simply gorgeous!”

            In the midst of a large round pool, a geyser-like fountain spotlighted from below illuminated the night sky, by turns, with purple, blue, yellow, green and red.

            A strident voice split through the peaceful water’s swooshing. A rail-thin youth gestured with the fervor of one addressing thousands rather than one equally scrawny youngster.

            “These strange ones with their ugly language that sounds like snuffles and squeaking and their odd dress have no place here. We are Germans. ‘Deutschland über alles!’”

 

Sammi Cox

Author Aspiring

Neil MacDonald Author

A writer's journey

Autumn Leaves

For those who enjoy fiction

sorryless.wordpress.com/

So Many Buns . . So Little Coffee

Native Heritage Project

Documenting the Ancestors

Living In Eternity

If Eternity Is Forever, Am I There Now?

Rereading Jane Eyre

Author Luccia Gray

zicharonot

Catskills Memories, Genealogy, travel and commentary

e.l. dalke: survivor

a journey of fractures, in my own words

Creativity for You

Posts about creativity from Thomas Ward, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Alabama.

David Writes

Life, fiction & other unrealities

Jellico's Stationhouse

Grab a cup of coffee, and have a seat...

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

a weekly flash fiction prompt inspired by google maps

Lori Ericson, Author

An author's perspective of mystery and more.

Alyssa Davies

You Can Never Be Overdressed or Overeducated

Flights of Fancy

The Totally Unambitious Blog

The Off Key Of Life

Or….Identifying The Harmless Unhinged Among Us.

What's So Funny?

Russell Gayer, author speaker

The Write Melony

Renowned Writer Extraordinaire - in my mind!

unbuttoned or undone

Hang on, Hang on

A Dalectable Life

The little and large things making my life delicious!

Hoxton Spanish Tutor Info

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Sound Bite Fiction

where nothing is quite what it seems

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

mezzojan

a libretto for the comic opera of my life

elmowrites

Writing about writing

%d bloggers like this: