Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose, poetry, and music.

November’s Guest Storyteller, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Kansas City native Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is a woman of Jewish descent and the granddaughter of Eastern European immigrants. She has a close personal connection to Jewish history, which has been a recurring theme throughout much of her writing. Growing up, she was heavily influenced by the Sholom Aleichem stories, the basis for Fiddler on the Roof. Her novels Please Say Kaddish for Me, From Silt and Ashes and As One Must, One Can were born of her desire to share the darker side of these beloved tales—the history that can be difficult to view, much less embrace.

She is also the author and illustrator of This, That and Sometimes the Other, an eclectic anthology of short stories.

Before becoming an author, Rochelle attended the Kansas City Art Institute, where she studied painting and lithography. Her preferred media are pen and ink, pencil, and watercolor. Her artwork is featured on the covers of her books and within them as well. Her coffee table companion book to her trilogy which will feature character portraits, A Stone for the Journey, is due out in the spring 2017.

Rochelle maintains a blog called Addicted to Purple where she facilitates the internationally popular flash fiction challenge known as Friday Fictioneers. She and her husband, Jan, raised three sons and live in Belton, Missouri. When she takes a break from writing and illustrating, Rochelle enjoys swimming, reading and dancing.

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Sarah saysI’m delighted to welcome Rochelle to my blog as this month’s guest storyteller. I know her as a  person of great talent, both on the writing and artistic front, and have read her two published novels, both of which I’ve awarded 5 stars (links to my reviews below, plus links to the books on Amazon). She’s also known to me for her inexhaustible commitment to running Friday Fictioneers on a weekly basis, which I can only imagine is a huge but rewarding undertaking.

It’s now time to hand you over to Rochelle for a beautiful, tender, and haunting piece of storytelling…        

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DREAM GIRL

The splintered sign above the door hung by a single nail.  The red paint boasting “Miller’s Burger Barn” had faded to pink. With his handkerchief Neil brushed a layer of dust from the window and peeked inside. The counter where he used to chow down on grilled cheese sandwiches and grease-laden Suzy-Q fries was piled with trash. Broken chairs littered the chipped linoleum floor. Hard to believe this ramshackle building was once the hub of youthful activity.

He took a step back and stared at his mottled reflection. A spindly old man with thick-lensed glasses and stringy white hair returned his stare.  His rumpled suit and skewed bowtie wanted for attention. He shrugged. What difference did his appearance make now?

His mind backtracked to his senior year in high school. 1955. That’s when the Millers moved to town and opened the diner. Their curvaceous daughter Evalyne served up sodas and snacks three afternoons a week and all day Saturday.

Every muscled athlete in school hung out there to compete for the pretty blonde’s attention. Neil didn’t stand a chance. Myopic and thin as a barber pole, he was a straight ‘A’ student and captain of the debate team. What chick would want to be seen with a square like him?

He’d accepted his lot until one Saturday the object of his secret fantasy asked him for help with her geometry homework. After dinner on Sunday, his sweaty hands shook as he rang the Miller’s doorbell. Evalyne opened the door, displayed a plateful of chocolate chip cookies and flashed a timid grin. “I baked them myself.”

While geometry was not her strong suit, she excelled in chemistry and biology—a goddess with a brain. For the next five years they studied together, sharing complex equations, chemical formulas and dreams. Like brother and sister.

Music from inside the deserted building brought him back to the present. The Platters sang “Twilight Time.” Evie’s favorite. How could it be? It had to be in his addled, grief-stricken head.

He pushed open the door. The air smelled of hamburgers and onions. He blinked and rubbed his eyes. Balloons and streamers hung from the ceiling. It was June 1961 again. The day of their college graduation.

Hands on her hips, Evalyne tapped her saddle-shoed foot. “Neil, where have you been? I called your house three times. Your mom’s worried sick.”

“I…I went for a walk…to clear my head. I’ve been accepted to Harvard Law School.”

“Terrific! I’ve been accepted to NYU’s med school. That’s not too far from Boston. Isn’t it exciting?  I’m going to be a doctor!”

“Of course! You were…are… I mean…will be a cardiologist. One of the nation’s best.”

Her aquamarine eyes glittered. “Neil, what’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Tears fogged his glasses. “Your…funeral. It was…today, Evie. We were married for fifty years. We have three sons, four grandkids and a great granddaughter.”

“It was just a dream and this silly thing is always crooked.”  She straightened his tie with both hands and pressed her lips against his. “Married? Us? Oh, darling, I thought you’d never ask.”

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Available in print and on Kindle

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 amazon.com & amazon.co.uk

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amazon.com & amazon.co.uk

Review: Please Say Kaddish For Me

Review: From Silt and Ashes

And not yet published but on its way, the last part of the trilogy! 

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You can find the links to previous guest storyteller posts at 

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26 thoughts on “November’s Guest Storyteller, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

  1. Dear Sarah,

    I’m honored to be your guest storyteller this month. Thank you for asking. It was fun to step out of the 100 word limit for a change. 😉

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle

      It’s a great honour to have you guesting here:-) I was so into your story, that I didn’t even think to check the word count! I find the Friday Fictioneer’s 100 word limit challenge an excellent exercise in disciplined writing, which I hope is having a positive knock-on influence upon my longer pieces.

      Did you notice my proof error under the section “Sarah says” in your post? Hah, I repeated the word “piece” twice in one sentence! Now corrected. I don’t know how many times I read it through yesterday without noticing it. Grrr, to those embarrassing slip-ups.

      All best wishes,
      Sarah

      Like

      • Nope, I didn’t notice. The word count is around 500. I originally wrote it for a Flash Fiction contest. I’ve edited and changed some parts of it, but I think the count’s about the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple and commented:
    I’m honored to be Sarah Potter’s guest storyteller this month. My story is more than 100 words and one of my favorites. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This story is one of my favorites from the short story anthology. Very emotional and visual. Such a fantastic writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Sarah, for having Rochelle as a guest for this interview and story. Congratulations, Rochelle, on this great interview and the lovely story. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was wondering when Rochelle would be your guest! What a beautiful story she chose to share as well.
    I so admire that woman!
    And you! However did I end up in a circle that contained the two of you? Thank you, Universe!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That was fun and informative. Thanks for the introduction.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. As I read this story, I got chills; you know the kind when you’re reading something really good that touches you, and you can’t wait to see what happens. That seems to happen a lot when I read Wiseoff-Fields. Looking forward to her third book. Thanks for showcasing her work, Sarah.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Ted, I felt that chill, too. Rochelle often brings tears to my eyes when reading her stories and novels — sometimes happy tears and sometimes sad, and sometimes a bit of both. Likewise, I’m looking forward to her next book.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A FF admirer of Rochelle, I found it interesting to read a longer piece of her work.
    Quite delightful, written with her usual flair for observation, and empathy for the characters.
    And sublime skill with words, of course.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am honored to represent Rochelle. Every word and piece of art are stunning. I can’t wait to display the coffee table book with the other three. Like you said, visual, and ever so emotional. I get so attached to the characters and worry myself silly till I find out they are OK. That is exemplary writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It must be so rewarding to represent someone as talented as Rochelle. I believe it’s quite unusual for traditional publishers to accept an author’s own artwork, but I’m not surprised that they’ve broken their rule for Rochelle. She manages to capture the characters that she has created so exactly. Reading her books leave me emotionally wrung-out, but I wouldn’t want to miss a word of her intense and meaningful writing. The historical side of it is extremely interesting, too: both the big picture and the fine details of daily life.

      Like

  10. Oooh that is a spooky piece of writing indeed! Great to meet Rochelle 🙂 Nicely done with the post, Sarah!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A very touching story Rochelle, thanks for introducing her to us Sarah 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: Interview: Meet Author, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields | Sarah Potter Writes

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