Writer’s surprises, all in one day

Moving forward with author’s events in West Michigan

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- It’s unbelievable what all can happen in one day; even if it is a Monday.

WGVU Morning Show with host Shelley Irwin

First, I opened my inbox, and there was the response from host Shelley Irwin of the WGVU Morning Show.

“I get to share stories in a talk show format,” she wrote. “I would like to interview you at a time frame of your convenience.”

So, we are scheduling the time frame for the TV segment about my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories.” I thought it was a radio segment. I freaked out when I found out it was also TV.

As I went into the panic mode, Mr. Self-Doubt introduced himself into my writing studio; what am I going to say and wear?

I jumped on the dreaded treadmill that I have been neglecting because we have a special visitor here. That is our French granddaughter Ella.

I felt like Oprah, who started exercising two days before her birthday. And to make up for the excellent Sunday pork schnitzels, I dined on vanilla SlimFast tonight in front of the computer screen.

“That’s great mom,” said my son Jake about the TV interview. “It’s easy.”

“Yeah, how many times have you been on a live TV show?” I asked Jake, the business man, who made the schnitzels.

“The main thing is you have to know what you’re talking about,” he said. “You know the buzzwords.”

I like to think that after almost 30 years in the writing business, I can offer insights,  rather than buzzwords.

And the Monday goodness continued when I discovered the best kept secret on the lakeshore.

3rd Annual Writer’s Rendezvous in Ludington, July 21

I’ve been looking for writers’ and authors’ events in Michigan for years. But, it was only yesterday at the Ionia Free Fair that I found out about the Writer’s Rendezvous in Ludington.

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Author Emma Palova

It is my parents’ favorite place on the Michigan lakeshore. They’ve been going to Ludington ever since they moved to Big Rapids in the 1980s. We immigrated to the USA from former Czechoslovakia based on the 1968 Soviet occupation of the country. I am writing a memoir “Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West” about the family immigration saga.

Annually, my dad Vaclav celebrates his birthday on Stearns Park Beach.When we couldn’t find a hotel, I told my mom Eliska:”There must be something going on.”

“There’s always something going on there,” she said on the phone in the heat of the Sunday afternoon.

While searching for a hotel on mom’s smart phone, dad came across “some kind of a writing conference.”

 

I refined the search this morning and found out that the 3rd Annual Writers’ Rendezvous featuring more than 20 Michigan authors will be this Saturday, July 21.

I was ecstatic, hoping to get in at the last minute. Barry Matthews from the Ludington Arts Center immediately responded that there is some space left for $25 for half a table.

“Yes, I am in and I can’t wait to meet the other authors and visitors.”

The goal is to bring cultural and literary perspective to the lakeshore, according to the Visiting Writers group.

Ludington has always inspired me ever since I visited the town in 1990 around the 4th of July holiday. The visit inspired one of my first articles I have written for a publication in the USA. It was also the only time I wrote in my native Czech language for the Czechoslovak Newsweek. I had a regular column for the biweekly newspaper. In spite of the longevity of the print paper, it never made it to digital format.

I remember this opening line of the lead paragraph.

“Thousands of red, white and blue petunias lined the Ludington Ave on the back drop of the shimmering blue waters of Lake Michigan.”

I went back many times; most recently last year in August for a voyage on the Badger across Lake Michigan.

Now, I am getting ready for it all. I’ve been told a million times; you’re not ready.

Other than the treadmill and Slimfast, I ordered books, brochures and posters for my upcoming author’s events.

Epilogue Books

And finally from a Facebook friend, I found out about a new local book store in Rockford.

“Shockingly nostalgic entrepreneur opened a book store next to my law office, wow. There is hope,” Genie Eardley, owner of Eardley Law, PC posted.

The name is Epilogue Books.

That’s what life is about: adventures, surprises on Mondays, shocking entrepreneurs, the joys and pains of technology, our lovely French granddaughter Ella and family get togethers on Lake Michigan.

See you at the Writer’s Rendezvous this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I will be offering writing, marketing, PR and publishing tips, and of course my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories.”

For more info on the rendezvous go to:

https://www.ludingtonartscenter.org/literary-arts.html

It is also available locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and Lansing. It will be available at the Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo, and hopefully at Epilogue Books in Rockford.

The long road to resilience

You can pick up an issue of the Grand Rapids Magazine City Guide at your local bookstore or newstand to find out more about me.

My book is now available on Amazon Prime special for the next 30-some hours at a discounted rate.

I encourage readers to buy the book, print or Kindle, ahead of time for signing and discussion. I will have print copies available at my station inside the Ludington Area Center for the Arts located at 107 S. Harrison St.

Amazon print

https://www.amazon.com/Shifting-Sands-Short-Stories-stories/dp/1521130226X

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

ISBN

9781521302262

Connect with Emma Palova on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/emma.palova.9

Emma on Twitter

 

 

 

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Taurus daily info overload

How to fuse ideas into writing projects

By Emma Palova

My Taurus horoscope is 99 percent on target. I truly am on informational overload from all sides: Work, family, nature and summer.

I overwhelm myself and others with infinite ideas, feelings and emotions.

According to my horoscope, I should organize a flow chart. It would be more like the river Mississippi with its sandy bluffs.

Heck, I don’t even use a calendar unless I have to. I’ve never used a watch in my entire life; yet I am always on time.

The fact of the matter is that I am afraid of time; not of aging. I am afraid of time as a physical quantity.

Our Lowell Area Chamber director Liz uses a linear calendar for the entire year.

It drives me nuts to see all those days in a row.

However, I do use outlines for complex writing projects like the memoir Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West, that I am trying to finish.

I have re-worked the outline several times. I have involved my mother Ella in it.

I use journals, both digital and paper. I use apps like One Note to improve my productivity. I have formed a writer’s group on Facebook Writers Loop and joined Lowell Writes.

The most difficult times are when the project ideas fuse together in my head.

Then, I do a drive around to pull it all together and I meditate near a body of water.

“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”

Albert Einstein

Don’t forget to pick up the July print issue of The Grand Rapids Magazine and my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories” @Schuler Books in GR and Lansing.

I will have another series of author’s events in the West Michigan region and @LowellArts.

For more info on LowellArts go to https://www.lowellartsmi.org

https://m.tarot.com/daily-horoscope/taurus

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

24th Covered Bridge Bike Tour

On a perfect Sunday, more than 100 cyclists headed out into the Kent County country side on their chosen routes. Follow us through the day.

Fallasburg Today

Cyclists head out on a perfect day

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Fallasburg, MI- On a perfect Sunday, more than 100 bicyclists headed out into the country side for their chosen tour route ranging from 12 to 100 miles.

“It’s been our best turnout yet,” said registrar Tracy Worthington

It was a mix of regulars and newcomers. They all had one thing in common; the love for the area and the charm of the Fallasburg pioneer village.

Also new to the bike tour was Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) board member Mark Kuzee

“I love this place,” he said.

Follow us through the day to the grand spaghetti dinner finale at the Misner House. The dinner will be served until 3 p.m.

Like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Also for more info go to our blog Fallasburg Today @fallasburgtoday.com and our website http://www.fallasburg.com.

Also check out our brand new video…

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Let freedom ring

I feel so fortunate to be living in the USA with my family. Our emigration saga from former Czechoslovakia started in August of 1968 due to the occupation of the country by the Soviet Army.

Now, there are three generations of us living permanently abroad. While most of us live in the USA, my daughter lives in Burgundy, France.

We just picked up our lovely French granddaughter Ella yesterday in Chicago. She will spend the summer with us to brush up on her English.

Always thankful for our freedoms.

More to come.

Copyright (c)2018. Emma Blogs, LLC All rights reserved.

American Dutch couple fits into Lowell community

Happy Independence Day

Watch for more immigration stories, participate in survey about what makes America great

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- In the beginning, leaving your homeland is like leaving a part of you behind; not to mention friends and family.

Owners of Arctic Heating & Cooling Catharine “Kitty” and Evert Bek left the Netherlands in 1977 to pursue their dream in the USA. However, their parents Anna and Gerard Sr. Schuivens left first for Grand Rapids and ended up in Lowell.

Catharina and Evert visited them in 1976 and fell in love with the USA.

“When we came to visit, we loved the openness, the opportunities of having your own business, the freedom and the acreage,” said Catharina.

american flag clouds flag flagpole
Photo by Danne on Pexels.com

The Beks lived close to Rotterdam, a big harbor city, in the Netherlands. Much like the rest of Europe, everything was crowded, tight and overpopulated.

For the first two years, the Beks lived in Kentwood and in Wyoming.

“We wanted some property and found five acres on 36th Street,” Catharina said. “We moved to a different house in Lowell in 1997.”

One of the biggest challenges of immigration is learning the language. Any immigrant can attest to that including Catharina.

At the time, Lowell Middle School was offering English classes.

“I also learned English from shopping and TV,” she said. “Evert had no problems; he learned English at work. He has always worked in the heating and cooling industry.”

Another challenge was finding a job.

Pictured above are Dutch treats: Dutch Rusks, oliebollen fritters. The wooden shoes are now used as decorations.

“I worked in an office since 16,” she said, “and I went to trade school.”

Here, she worked for an insurance company in Grand Rapids.

But, it was friends who got them through the first tough years.

“It’s hard to leave your friends, but we still have friends in the Netherlands,” Catharina said.

It took three to four years to adjust to the new life in America.

“Friends helped us settle best of all,” she said. “This is home for me now.”

Catharina said she managed to combine the good parts from the old country with the good parts from the new world.

However, everything became easier when daughter Kim was born in 1983 at the Metropolitan Hospital in Grand Rapids. Kim went through the entire Lowell Area Schools system.

“I met new people at the school,” Catharina said.

And then finally, the couple’s dream came true when they started their own business, Arctic Heating & Cooling in 1983 in Lowell.

Pictured above: licorice, Dutch pancakes and St. Nick.

Catharina works at the business as a bookkeeper.

“Having our own business and owning a home, was one of our many dreams,” she said. “Sometimes I wonder how we would end up if we hadn’t left the Netherlands.”

There are no regrets about immigration for either Catharina or Evert.

“I wouldn’t go back,” she said. “Evert feels the same way. “I love it here. We met good people and made great friends.”

They speak Dutch at home including their American-born daughter and grandson.

As far as traditions go, the Beks celebrate St. Nick on Dec. 5th.

Kitty cooks Dutch dishes like meat, potatoes and vegetables, pea soup and Dutch pancakes.

She goes shopping for spices for meatballs to VanderVeen’s Dutch store on 28th street.

“You have to have windmill cookies with coffee or tea,” she said.

A typical Dutch tradition for breakfast is a slice of white bread with chocolate sprinkles.

Other Dutch specialties include Gouda cheese, a Dutch Rusk with pink or blue sprinkles when a baby is born.

“Dutch people love licorice in all shapes and forms,” Catharina said.

On New Year’s Eve, she makes oliebollen. They are fat balls or fritters, deep fried with raisins and served with powdered sugar. A typical beer is Heineken and egg nog liquor Advocaat.

They became naturalized after five years.

On the theme of the recent immigration crisis, Catharina said she doesn’t agree with separation of families.

“I don’t agree with mothers being separated from kids,” she said.

Over the years, the Beks have built up their business with repeat customers.

“We’ve been lucky,” she said. “I feel that I do fit in and that I am a part of Lowell.”

Catharina also works part-time at the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.

Both Catharina and Evert are known for their community involvement.

 

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Creative streak

Several things are happening in my creative life.

I am getting ready to shoot the missing scene for the “Guardians of History ” at Fallasburg video with Tina Siciliano Cadwallader.

So, far the “Guardians ” @Fallasburg are looking good.

I am working on a brand new assignment for the Buyer’s Guide about the important topic of immigration.

I am no stranger to this highly political issue. On the contrary, our family has been dealing with it since 1968. According to Time magazine, it was a year that changed a generation.

The second immigration story is about successful local entrepreneurs of Arctic Heating & Cooling from the Netherlands, Kitty and Evert Bek.

“We are lucky, we have a successful business, we made a lot of friends and we fit in,” said Kitty. ‘It was our dream to come to America. ”

Watch for both stories in next week’s Independence Day edition of Buyer’s Guide and on my blogs.

Also next week, I will be featured in the print edition of the Grand Rapids Magazine as a local author.

“That was my dream to become an author, “Emma said. “I would not have been able to do that in Czech Republic.”

I will have a summer book signing of Shifting Short Stories @LowellArts. TBA

Always follow your heart and your dreams.

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Summer Solstice 2018

Welcome summer

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Today is my favorite day of the year. It is also the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, known as summer solstice. I woke up this morning to a striped sky with orange, white and blue and to a cacophony of sounds; the nature sounded to me better than any symphony in this world. Ludek left at 6:05 a.m. for work in nearby Grand Rapids in full daylight.

It is my morning ritual to wish him a good day on the doorstep into the garage. I make a point to do this in the deadbeat of winter, as well as in the beauty of summer. I may have missed maybe two mornings sleeping in.

Then I continue my morning with yoga, treadmill or a walk to the Franciscan Sisters , meditations with coffee and tying myself to a chair in the studio to write. I missed the solstice last year, as I was wrapping up the formatting of my new book “Shifting Sands Short Stories.” I could not believe it, when I found out from the evening news that it was indeed the summer solstice. It stayed with me for the rest of the solar year. I felt cheated.

Most often people ask me, “What inspires your writing?”

I do have to say that it is definitely nature and its seasons.

I had to make up for that this year. The saying goes, that real stories are in “what you have missed” or “what is not there” and “what is not said.”

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On this day, the Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun.

I felt better when I saw at the Franciscans that the grass hasn’t been cut yet.That’s what I missed last year, the first grass cutting.  I drove there instead of walking because of a new assignment that is very close to my heart and to the nation’s heart: immigration.

The meadow was delightful in the sun’s direct rays, as the grasses and wildflowers swayed in the breeze. The Japanese lilac tree was in full bloom as well as the ornamental dogwood by the tower. I discovered a birdhouse made from Michigan license plates inside the lilac tree. Hundreds of spirea shrubs were in full maroon bloom.

Earlier in the morning at my hideout on a nearby lake, I took photos of the local heron resident on the swampy shores and hundreds of lotus blooms.

I would never want to miss this longest day of the year again. I will keep it in my heart forever. I will savor the fragrances of the meadow,  and all the sounds of this first day of summer.

The Sizzlin Summer Concert Series in Lowell is now in full swing on the Riverbank, and the Farmer’s Market is open.

Life is good.

It’s been hot and it’s been cold, so far. But, it’s summer in Michigan on the Great Lakes. And I am ready for it.

 

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

Guardians of History

My newest venture, filming @Fallasburg. I wrote the script to the “Guardians of History “ video. I enjoyed every second of making this video with Ludek Pala, and the entire team. Thanks to all of you.

Fallasburg Today

I am so excited about our new video “Guardians of History.”

Here is a sneak preview on You Tube:

https://youtu.be/DKw3aEQrzS420180509_1059491048618129.jpg

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Guardians of History script

I have just finished scripting the video “Guardians of History ” for the Fallasburg Historical Society.

We’re shooting tomorrow on location at the Fallasburg pioneer village.

I am very excited about this.

Stay tuned for the release.

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

87th Annual Writing Competition

Writer’s Digest Writing Competition deadline is today

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – My latest news is that I submitted a short story for the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition right on the deadline today, June 1st.

It has many advantages. That’s how I accumulated short stories for my first book “Shifting Sands: Short Stories.” Sure, you have to pay the $35 entry fee, but you have content enough for a book.

There are nine entry categories including: script, stage play or television/movie script.

The poetry fee is $20. I’ve been a subscriber to the Writer’s Digest for at least 20 years. It’s essential for writers.

What I do like about the magazine that it is entertaining and full of advice.

I’ll keep you posted on the results. You still have time to enter.

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved

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