Please Say Kaddish for Me

All posts tagged Please Say Kaddish for Me

26 May 2017

Published May 24, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook

Our Mantra

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 © J Hardy Carroll

get the InLinkz code

Genre: Historical Fiction-Book Excerpt

Word Count: 100

JESUS WEPT

            Broken glass, paper and other debris littered the once cheerful apartment. The prophet Jeremiah’s words swirled through Ulrich’s mind like a hollow wind.

            “A voice was heard in Ramah…

            …Rachel weeping for her children…”

            Dim light from his lantern cast macabre shadows on the spattered walls. He gazed at the children’s battered faces and twisted forms. What could reduce men to such bestial acts?

            His stomach shuddered and emptied itself. He wiped his mouth on the back of his sleeve.  “You bloody bastards! Christ died for you and you use Him as an excuse for your bloodletting! Why? Why? Why?”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 *Note: The title is John 11:35, the shortest verse in the New Testament and reflects Ulrich Dietrich’s beliefs. Ulrich is a Christian gentleman who is outraged that innocent people would be murdered in the name of his Lord.  

 

CAST FROM HER FATHER’S HOUSE

Published May 15, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Cirque de Navacelles, France. This week’s location was suggested by JS Brand.

Many thanks to K Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for hosting this unique challenge. 

Feel free to stroll around using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

This challenge has become a favorite of mine and I couldn’t bear to miss it this week. This weekend has been an incredibly busy one. And as I’m working toward Book Four of my trilogy (coffee table companion book of illustrations and character studies), I hope you’ll forgive my posting an excerpt from my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME. 

While the photo I chose is in Cirque de Navacelles, my story is not.

Genre: Novel Excerpt

Word Count: 149

CAST FROM HER FATHER’S HOUSE

            Rocks, frozen grass and thorns stabbed the soles of her bare feet. There had been no time for shoes, no time to dress. 

            Who would pray for their souls? Who would remember David, the artist or Mendel, the poet or Mama or Papa?  She forced her heavy mouth to shape the Hebrew prayer—Kaddish—prayer for the dead and prayer for the bereft.

            “‘Magnified and sanctified is your great Name…’”

            Havah Cohen detested its beauty. Her hands, held over her ears, could not blot out the anguished cries of friends and neighbors, fast becoming memories.

            “‘…in the world which you have created…’”

            Thorns grabbed at her nightgown and she fought to ignore the fire in her lungs. “‘…according to Your will.’”

            Run. 

            Brambles ripped into her flesh.

            Run. 

            The muscles of her legs burned. 

            Don’t stop. Run.

            “‘Let His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.’”

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

24 February 2017

Published February 22, 2017 by rochellewisoff

Phriday Phictioneers Phone

Like us on Facebook

Our Mantra

Another Highway

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. 

get the InLinkz code

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

CHARACTER STUDY – The Gitterman’s Hanukkah Menorah

Published December 11, 2016 by rochellewisoff

In the beginning, I referred to Havah’s trilogy as “The Menorah Saga.” Although the series has gone through numerous revisions over the past twelve years, one thing has remained a constant–Rabbi Yussel’s menorah. Although, it’s an inanimate object this holiday candelabra holds a very special place in the Gitterman family in all three of the novels.

***

menorah-step1

Crafted to look like a tree in the wind, the main stem curved with nine branches arcing in opposite directions. The candle cups sat upon them like majestic crowns. Between seven of the branches and the trunk an opening hosted a pair of doves, positioned breast to breast, and perched on a flower covered vine, spreading their graceful wings. The vine twined around the trunk, ending at the wide base.

Proud of its history, on most occasions Arel was usually more than willing to recount the story. Tonight his tongue turned to dust. “My grandfather…of blessed memory…was a rabbi as was his father before him.” menorah-step-2

“Mine, too.” Havah leaned forward, elbows on the table, and propped her head on her hands.

Did Adam feel this way in the Garden of Eden when he brought the succulent fruit to his hungry lips?

Arel found his voice again, though not without a struggle. “Zaydeh…Papa’s father…an artist. After my grandmother died he made this menorah in her memory. She was very young”

“What did she die of?”

“Christian poison! Tell her Arel.” Yussel’s bony hands curled into fists. “A pogrom. In the street like an animal. Fifty-three years ago. Like yesterday I remember.”

“You must’ve been a boy.”

“Five years old. Her Yosi, her heart, she called me.”

Tears quivered in Havah’s eyes. “You can tell how much he loved her by the verse he chose to engrave on the menorah, ‘Behold, you are lovely. Your eyes are like doves.’ It’s from Song of Songs.”

~~From PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME

***

menorah-step-3

To evade his pleading gaze, she studied the menorah that sat like royalty on decorated oilcloth in the middle of her oak dining table.

Nine candle flames reflected in the silver stems of the candelabra that had survived three generations of Gittermans and a journey across the sea. It had been crafted to resemble a tree with nine branches swaying in the wind. A flowered vine twined around the trunk which was etched with the Hebrew words for “Behold your eyes are like doves.” Just above the trunk, snuggled together like lovers, were two doves.menorah-step-4

At their first meeting—Sabbath dinner with her adoptive family—Arel told her how his grandfather had crafted it in memory of his slain wife when Yussel was only five. While the story fascinated Havah, it was Yussel’s son who fascinated her more. As he recounted the history, his luminescent gray eyes gleamed with enthusiasm and intelligence. Her grief fresh and wounds painful, she found solace in the rise, fall and lilt of his resonant voice.

“Havah? Where are you?”

~~From FROM SILT AND ASHES

***

 

menorah-step-5      Havah stood on tiptoe to put the menorah away. The unique candelabra still fascinated her even as it had the first time she saw it, the night she met Arel.

            Feeling Arel’s hot breath on her neck, she shivered and set the menorah back on the table. He slipped his arms around her waist. She turned in his embrace. “Remember, Arel? It was love at first sight.”

            “I wasn’t such a hideous sight back then.”

            “Miss Tova says Bayla has the prettiest Papa in town.”

            “Havah, do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?”

            “You know what I mean.”

            As he opened his mouth to reply, Lev rushed into the dining room with an armload of books.

            Arel dropped his arms to his sides. “Where have you been?”

            “Didn’t Aunt Havah tell you I’d be late?”

            “She didn’t say you’d be this late.”

            “It’s only eight-thirty.”

“Well?”

            “I went to Vasily’s to study.” Lev set his books on the table. “He’s a year ahead of me so he gave me his old textbooks.”

            “Have you had supper?” asked Havah. “How was school?”

            “School was great and Oxana invited me to eat with them.”

            “Oh dear, you must be starved.”

            “Not to worry, Auntie mine.” Lev playfully pinched Havah’s cheek. “Vasily cooked.”

            “Vasily is younger than you.” Arel thumbed through a book. “Shouldn’t you be ahead of him?”

            Lev’s jaw tensed. “I’ve missed a lot of school.”

            “And you’re proud of this?”

            Lev crimped his lips together.

            Havah’s stomach kinked into a knot. “Arel, listen to him for once.”

            “Damn you, Uncle Arel!” Lev seized the book. “Nothing I do pleases you.”

            In one heart-stopping motion Arel slapped Lev, hitting the menorah. It toppled to the floor and broke in two at Havah’s feet. The ground listed beneath her. The color drained from Arel’s face. Lev held his book to his chest, Arel’s handprint bright on his cheek.

            Yussel dropped to his knees and searched for the menorah with trembling hands until he found it. His shoulders sagged as he pressed the two pieces against his heart. Sitting on the floor, he rocked to and fro. Tears soaked his beard as he chanted, “‘Gahm kee elekh b’gay tzalmavet…yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…’”

“It’s only one branch, Papa.” Havah knelt beside him. “Surely it can be fixed.”

            “Once a limb is severed can the tree be made whole again?”

~~From AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN

 

yussels-menorah-in-frame

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

psk-amazon-jpg

fsaa-amazon-jpg

aomoc-titled-cover-art

 The Trilogy is Complete! All books available in print, Kindle and Nook. Look for them at Amazon.com,  Barnesandnoble.com or Argusbooks.com

Represented by Jeanie Loiacono 

Loiacono Literary Agency

9 December 2016

Published December 7, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Phriday Phictioneers Phone

Like us on Facebook

Our Mantra

Cuzzinz and 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 PTOMPT © Lucy Fridkin

PHOTO PROMPT © Lucy Fridkin (my friend since kindergarten…wow, that’s a loooong time!)

get the InLinkz code

The following is a tweaked scene from my first novel PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 99

MOMENT OF MOMENTS

            Like an impetuous child, Havah hopped from foot to foot.  New York City’s imposing skyline appeared to be painted against gray clouds.

            What kind of life would they have in this unfamiliar place? She wound and unwound the fringes of her shawl around her index finger. Would Americans understand her English?

            Yussel grasped her arm. “Is she there?”

            “Yes, Papa. Like a queen with flowing robes and a crown, she’s standing in the harbor holding her torch high in the air for the entire world to see.

            His sightless eyes brimmed and he smiled serenely. “Yes, I see her.”

*

*

*

Framed Havah at 16

HAVAH COHEN GITTERMAN – Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

YUSSEL GITTERMAN -Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

YUSSEL GITTERMAN -Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The final edits are complete! The third book in the Havah Cohen Gitterman trilogy is out! 

CLICK HERE

aomoc-titled-cover-art

What’s a Little Jet Lag?

Published November 21, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Last Wednesday I set forth from Belton, Missouri to Burbank, California with more than one mission. The primary one was to do a live interview on The Writer’s Block Radio Show. Although I could’ve stayed home and phoned the interview in, when I found out how close my son lives to the studio I made travel arrangements. To read my other two blogs leading up to this Click Here and Here

Yes, I do have a purple suitcase. Why do you ask?

Yes, I do have a purple suitcase. Why do you ask?

Thursday night came and with it butterflies in my stomach doing loop-de-loops. My son, Travis drove me to the studio and sat in on the interview. 

latalk-entrance

I felt a little nervous as I sank down in front of the microphone, reminding myself not to say, “Um” or “Er”. However, as soon as we went live, host Jim Christina and his co-host, Russ Avison put me at ease. It seemed more like sitting in someone’s living room having a great conversation than a question and answer interview. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

latalk-warmup

Jim Christina

Jim Christina who took the time to research the pogroms in Eastern Europe.

la-talk-interview-and-shoes

Wearing my magic shoes.

russ-avison

Russ Avison, who read Please Say Kaddish for Me and asked some brilliant questions.

With the interview behind me, I spent the rest of the week getting to know my five-year-old granddaughter, Olive. It happened that her other grandmother Dru was also in town to spend Thanksgiving. I enjoyed visiting with her as well. art-time-with-oliveolive-and-bubster

We stopped in at the Bookstar Barnes & Noble in Studio City so I could sign two copies of PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME and two copies of FROM SILT AND ASHES. 

bn-bookstar2

Even though we weren't able to arrange a book signing, the manager was nice enough to order in my books and invited me to come in and sign them. (I suppose we could call this a book signing. Right?)

Even though we weren’t able to arrange a book signing, the manager was nice enough to order in my books and invited me to come in and autograph them. (I suppose we could call this a book signing. Right? Of course, right!)

L-R Grandma Dru, Jaimi, Travis with Olive and Bubbie Rochelle

L-R Grandma Dru, Jaimi, Travis with Olive and Bubbie Rochelle

Last but not least, a little artwork from the budding artist. Remember when Grandmothers carried brag books? Today’s Bubbie blogs. 

Poppie the Troll by Miss Olive Fields

Poppie the Troll by Miss Olive Fields

The highest point of the week might have been the moment Olive said, “I love you, Bubster.” 

 

Out of the Zone

Published November 3, 2016 by rochellewisoff

I can’t remember a time I didn’t love to draw. So much so, that my mother’s most common laments included those of never being able to find a clean sheet of paper to write on.

I’ve  always enjoyed drawing people; figure studies, hands, feet and faces. When my agent, Jeanie Loiacono, suggested posting character studies to generate interest in my novels I jumped on the idea and added portraits hoping to heighten that interest. 

Shortly after FROM SILT AND ASHES debuted, my publisher asked if I might consider putting these character studies into a coffee table companion book. Would I? After letting out a whoop and breaking into a happy dance at my computer, I calmly answered, “Oh yes!!!”

Framed Arel in Svechka

Arel Gitterman as he appears in PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Framed Havah at 16

Havah Cohen as she appears in PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

While imagining and rendering my character’s faces comes easily, buildings and landscapes do not. I sweated bullets on the painting of the Richelieu Steps that lead from the harbor in Odessa Ukraine. 

FSAA Front Cover

Published by W & B Publishers Represented by Jeanie Loiacono

It occurred to me that A STONE FOR THE JOURNEY, the companion book to Havah’s trilogy needs to include scenes from the novels. Once more I’ve taken a giant leap from my comfort zone.

As with writing, painting is a process. I usually share this process with my friend Jean Hays in New Mexico who is also an artist. As my co-authors offer me suggestions and critique on my writing, Jean does the same with my artwork. Because I was quite nervous with this next piece, I texted her photos each step of the way. 

The subject,  which appears in AS ONE MUST, ONE CAN, is the Hochstrahlbrunnen fountain in Vienna.  The prospect of trying to paint water was a challenge. 

hochstrahlbrunnen-step-1

Step One – The Rough Draft

hochstrahlbrunnen-step-2

Step Two – Laying in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Three

Step Three

Step Four

Step Four

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Five

Step Five

Step Six and Seven

Steps Six and Seven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A full day’s work later, the finished work.  

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

RedheadedBooklover

Just a redheaded woman who is obsessed with books

zicharonot

Memories and commentary.com site

e.l. dalke: survivor

a journey of fractures, in my own words

Creativity for You

Posts about creativity research and application from Thomas Ward, Professor of Psychology, University of Alabama.

The Wasted Love Song

life, fiction & other unrealities

Jellico's Stationhouse

Come on in and sit a while...

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

a weekly flash fiction prompt inspired by google maps

Lori Ericson, Author

An author's perspective of mystery and more.

anelephantcant

Random thoughts and images, some serious, some humorous, some pointless

Honie Briggs

SERIOUSLY!

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?

A WordPress.com humor blog

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

What's for dinner, Doc?

La Gringa's Kitchen : Flips & Flops in Baja, Mexico

Claire Fuller

Writing and art

Green Writing Room

Hilary Custance Green's reading and writing notepad

Oldentimes's Blog

a little old, a little new, life in the slow land of country living

%d bloggers like this: