Katerina’s Kiosk – Friday Fictioneers

I remember this prompt, but for whatever reason I did not write a story for it. So, here’s a new one from me and it’s inspired by a story about Kiosks in Lisbon that I heard on NPR. See a description of the words below the story.

Thanks to our fairy blog mother Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and to Ted Strutz for the remarkable photo. I’m five words over. Sorry about that.  I’m feeling a bit rusty.

icon-grill-ted-strutz
PHOTO PROMPT- ©Ted Strutz

(105 words)

Katerina’s Kiosk

Those from the old country knew “Katerina’s Kiosk” as simply “The Kiosk.” They nodded when they heard the words roll off Katerina’s tongue into the ears of her chosen ensemble of baristi, who prepared drinks with 100-year recipes.

Groselha. Capilé.

Patrons rubbing their temples, expecting their usual lager, received a frothy-white liquid of honeyed sweetness with crushed almonds and figs. Leite Perfumada.

A harpist played, plucking at your thoughts, inviting the gentle promise of new possibilities. After a visit here, patrons left jobs, wrote poetry, and traveled to faraway lands.

Don’t be afraid to get what you really want, a sign read above the bar.

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

Baristi – baristas (plural in Italian)
Groselha – red currant refreshment
Capilé – maidenhair leaves with orange blossom water
Leite Perfumada – perfumed milk

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

Click here for more stories from the Friday Fictioneers.

Please Say Kaddish for Me: A Novel for Everyone

PleaseSayKaddishForMe

From the very first page of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’s novel Please Say Kaddish for Me, I was swept up in Havah Cohen’s story. I was spellbound, so much so, I didn’t want to put this book down. The book is simultaneously driven by character and events at a quick pace, divided into four parts. The year is 1899 in Czarist Russia, a time marked by Jewish pogroms in which entire families are randomly massacred. 

The book begins with a horrible tragedy of Havah Cohen, our main heroine, and the slaughter of her family in the middle of the night. When we meet her, Havah is driven from her home, shocked and grief-stricken, and wanders barefoot, reciting the Hebrew prayer of Kaddish, a prayer for the living for the dead and for the bereft.

Because Havah is a rabbi’s daughter, she is well versed in its study which was uncommon at the time. So, when a father and son, Yussel and Arel Gitterman, find Havah at their doorstep, mumbling Kaddish, they are awestruck and quickly come to her aid. What’s more, Arel who has been promised to another since the age of 13, is completely captivated by Havah’s presence. When Havah is conscious and recovering, she too becomes aware of her forbidden connection to Arel. At the heart of this story is romantic, passionate love between Havah and Arel, and the barriers that they face.

This story is also about the love of family and of community, and how this love transcends the horrible acts inflicted upon them. There are many characters in Ms. Wisoff-Fields’s story, but I was never overwhelmed, but rather carried along, almost as an eavesdropper, but just as easily a participant, for it is hard not to get wrapped up in the anguish of this community and the depth of their suffering. Her descriptions of the horror of these brutal acts are gruesome, vivid and difficult to read, I believe as they should be.

I am struck by the authenticity and honest portrayal of this dire time in history, and by this family’s resilience, their bravery and the way that they lift one another up. Their Jewish faith holds them together, but their traditions and customs are also challenged in the face of all that is at stake and with the complete upheaval of their lives.

Wisoff-Fields’s storytelling is keen and her writing both crisp and fluid, but underneath it all, the author’s passion is undeniably present. There are no words wasted here. As I read, I felt as though I was standing next to them, hearing them breathe and listening to them speak. It’s not often I feel this way when I read a book. Her characters are well-drawn and, in fact, as the author is also a talented artist, she has actually illustrated many of her characters and provided character studies. You can find them posted on her blog Addicted to Purple and on her publisher’s website Loiacono Literary Agency.

As many of you may know, Rochelle is also the host of a wonderful writing community, Friday Fictioneers. There, I have enjoyed many of her well-crafted stories. It is with great pleasure that I recommend Please Say Kaddish for Me. As I read the last page, I thought to myself, “Everyone should read this book.” Now, more than ever, this story needs to be read and shared, because unfortunately the world is not a more kind and gentle place. I hope that this story also finds a place inside the classroom, with its message of compassion and courage of the human spirit.

Please note this story is the first part of a trilogy. Her sequel From Silt and Ashes is also just recently published and available.
fromsiltandashes

You can find Rochelle’s books here on Amazon and from W&B Publishers. 

Here is video for Please Kaddish for Me, I think you’ll enjoy. (used with permission)

Aside

Happy Blogaversary to The Bumble Files!!! 

Happy Birthday to my blog. My blog is three years old today!!

While I ask myself where has the time gone, I also admit these three years have felt more like six years. It’s not that the time hasn’t flown by. Usually, when someone says something seems longer than it is, it would be a negative connotation. Not so here. But, indeed, it feels longer than three years. I’ve heard other bloggers share the same sentiment.

What is it with blogging that makes us feel this way?

I’ve been blogging so long, I’ve been doing it since the very beginning…since the beginning of blogging time. What? That wasn’t three years ago?

Let’s see now:

Three years = (@365 x 3)  = 1,095 days = 26,280 hours 

Whew! No wonder it seems like a lot. We can agree it’s an intensive experience, is it not? It’s not simply throwing up a post, as those non-bloggers think while rolling their eyes at you. We all know it’s reading, commenting, and sharing in an active community. Granted, I haven’t blogged every hour, but I may have thought about my blog many of those hours. I have had a few forced breaks, a few unintended, but mostly my blog has been a part of my life and an extension of me.

For me, The Bumble Files has been a life philosophy about finding the path in life that is meaningful and true. Most of the time, I’m feeling my way as if in a tunnel of darkness. Not really, just kidding. I see the light just as much.

But I’ve been doing it so long, I feel a little like this penguin here:

Where did everybody go?

I’ve seen bloggers come and go…come back and leave again. It’s understandable and there is always a valid excuse explanation. Perhaps they got a new job or a new boyfriend or husband or had a new baby, finished school, or they’re finally binge watching on Netflix writing that book. Sometimes, it’s just burn out. I bet some of you are nodding your head at me now. Sadly, a lot of my friends have left the scene and have abandoned their blogs.

They have what I call a “Ghost Blog.” While they are absent from their blog, their spirit is still here with us.

Happily, there are always new blogging friends to make. If you’ve followed me recently and have never returned, oh, please come back and have a chat. Just because I’ve been blogging for three years does not mean that I don’t want to make new friends.

While some things change, some things remain the same.

The numbers always change:

Some current numbers:

Number of posts: 354 
Views: 51,792
Number of comments: 16,651

But the thing I’ve realized is that the bigger some of these numbers get, the less significance they seem to have. While some bloggers may have higher numbers, I am proud of these no matter what.

More things remain the same:

  • I still haven’t written my book. Argh!
  • I still haven’t met most of my followers. Please come back.
  • My biggest search item is still boobs!
  • I still don’t have a blogging schedule, because that would be so “Un-Bumble” like.
  • I still have blog posts lined up to write.
  • I still laugh my way through much of my blog reading. You are all so funny and talented.
  • I still have trouble reading everyone and am searching for that “balance.”
  • I’m still meeting fascinating people from all over the world.
  • I still feel proud every time I publish a post.
  • I still feel excited when you stop by to like/comment or both!

Recently, with the death of my father, I am reminded why I blog. You were here with your kindness, giving me strength, and in some ways, more comfort than I experienced in my real life. You were really there for me. For me, this speaks to the power of the blogging bond and the deep connection we share with words. And this just gets better over time.

A celebration would not be complete without cake. And this, my friends, is still the best cake on the Internet (thanks Sandee!). Won’t you have some?

Image Source: http://www.willcotton.com/

I still have the best WordPress community. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Truly, I hope everyone feels that way about their blog because that’s what it’s all about. Thank you one and all! You are simply the best.

My Blog is Three Years Old!

My Blogging One-Year Anniversary

Look at that, blogging friends. It’s my One-Year Blogging Anniversary!!

The truth is I’m surprised it’s a year already, because I thought my anniversary was next month. Way to go, huh, not knowing when my own anniversary is. This really caught me off guard and I’m afraid I don’t have anything for you to eat or drink, no fanfare, no hoopla or giveaways.

I feel like I should do something monumental…change my theme, my gravatar…something. I know some housekeeping is in order.

I suppose you’d like some stats and numbers, only because it is a benchmark and seems like the thing to do at a time like this. Here’s what I got, plus other things for which I am proud:

This is post #161
761 followers
20,275 views
Freshly Pressed about some big balloons.
Black Box Warnings Contributor. I’m really proud about that.
NaNoWriMo Winner of 50,000 words (I haven’t picked up that novel since!)
Friday Fictioneers – It’s still quite the challenge and is such a giving community of writers.
Hooray to my most frequent commenters: Carrie, David, Frank, Dianne, Denise and Robert. Thank you!

My blog has evolved. If I just think about my attitude about blogging when I began, it went something like this. Blog? No way…I’m not touching it! It sounds disgusting. I’m NOT doing that. That sounds like a complete waste of time.

What is a blog?  - I don't know, Princess, but is sounds absolutely horrid!
What is a blog?
– I don’t know, Princess, but is sounds absolutely horrid!

Now look at me. Now I’m called “Miss Blogalot” in my household, and am quite fond of the title. I still remember when I published my first post and I awaited in anxious anticipation whether someone would read it. And then I got two likes from Sam and The Background Story, and later my first follower, Jason Alan. You could never know how much that meant to me at the time and I want to say thank you. My first post was about a fall in a ballet performance, meant to be humorous and an opportunity to laugh at myself.

At the time, I thought my blog would be based on my follies, my mistakes, my falls. I certainly could fill up a whole blog about this! As it turns out, I have, indeed, written about my mistakes, but also about my self-discoveries. It is my audience, you, who have given me the courage to share my stories with honesty.

I still await with anticipation and wonder how a post will be perceived, what you will say, or if you will like it. I don’t take you for granted. I appreciate all your comments, the stories you’ve shared, and your presence. Our exchange has been both rich and satisfying for me. Thank you your support, your encouraging words, and your kindness.

The big story is you, blogging friends. I adore my community here at The Bumble Files. Reading your blogs and sharing in your stories is the other side of the equation that completes my blogging experience. I’m always surprised by the blog’s power to suck me in. It’s your blogs that do that for me.

I have laughed, a lot, cried, and been moved in ways that have surprised me. I have read about difficulties, achievements, family, relationships, political and social issues, as well as enjoyed imaginative works of fiction and poetry. I have had the privilege to witness amazing works of art in photography and artistic endeavors. The blog continues to excite me because I never know what may cross my path.

Even though we may have never met face-to-face, I feel a bond, a blogging bond which extends far beyond the sphere. Although it has only been a year, it feels longer somehow. Thank you for sticking around, and a special thank you to those who have been with me from the beginning.

Here’s to another fulfilling blogging year. Cheers!

Blog Reflection #3

Honestly blogging friends, I never thought I would have a blog. It was my husband who made the suggestion. Why do I need a stupid blog, I said to him. And then, I went to a job interview with an employment agency for kicks, and the recruiter said to me off the record, “You want to write and you don’t have a blog?” It was like hearing it for the first time…sorry honey. Well, of course, that’s what I need to do…a blog! So, there you have my blogging roots.

This writing is Post #62. The number is not important except that you may consider this to be a random reflection. Only it isn’t. I only pause to  reflect when I feel I have something worthwhile to share with you, dear readers. What is held steady since my last reflection is my admiration of my fellow bloggers. In fact, I feel enamored of you and continue to feel inspired by you on a daily basis.

Personally, my own blog has become a mish-mash of ideas. In my quest to write about the mysteries of life, I’ve allowed myself to write anything I fancy.  The more I think about it and the deeper in I get into this blog, the more appropriate the name “The Bumble Files” has become. You know those people who choose a path in life, follow it, achieve wild success, and never look back. That’s never been me. I have trouble getting on the path, you see. So, The Bumble Files, really what better name to reflect my life thus far.

Lately, I’ve experienced a real sense of community in my blogging world. I’ve felt this immensely when I stumbled upon a certain Blogroll Contest. I’d never heard of a blogroll contest. I’ve never even had a blogroll for my own blog. Who would have a contest? Why would a blogger want to be on this blogger’s blog? Who could pull this off? Who would have the prestige? The gumption? The bravado?

I’ll tell you who…It’s Le Clown over at A Clown on Fire (also L’Eric). Let me tell you, Le Clown has it going on over at his blog. With the partnership of his lovely wife, the Ringmistress (Laments and Lullabies), his Blogroll Contest was a smashing success. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

Bloggers fully committed themselves, their Labor Day weekend hijacked (for Americans), and they stretched their creative muscle. He pushed his followers to a new blogging capacity. It was intoxicating, and I was entranced. Le Clown was handing out clown noses and points, responding to thousands of comments. I could hear the laughing, the applause, the music, the horns honking and blowing…the excitement, the fervor. You think I’ve lost it? It was magic, I tell you. Pure, blogging magic. I wanted my own little bottle of it. I thought to myself, this is what blogging is all about.

So, I followed Le Clown on the spot. He’s personable, witty, and happens to be quite, well…magnificent, Le Clown. In the process of this blogroll contest, I met many wonderful bloggers. Not surprisingly, Le Clown was recently Freshly Pressed (I knew he would be) in his post spotlighting the Bloggers for Movember, an online campaign to raise for money/awareness for prostate cancer. He continues be involved in great things.

I will continue to bumble along…Occasionally, I’ll have an episode of manic writing where I feel all is right with the world and I’ve come up with something meaningful. I might have a sudden burst of energy and stay up later than I probably should, and then, I’ll hit the publish button. I’ll wake the next day with what I refer to as a Blogging Hangover…that moment when I  first wake up and think, “Did I really say that? Did I really put that post out there?” Oh, but dear readers, you are always supportive and encouraging, and I thank you.

Until next time,

The Bumble Files

photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc