In Silence Do We Make Confessions That Chaos Creates

Very nice and deep post on silence. I like the way the author thinks and warns us about it.

Sketches By Nitesh

In silence do we make confessions that chaos creates.

It is neither a random line, nor a pathetic attempt to fit the daily prompt into an unrelated post. It’s one of the lines I wrote which I still love.

It’s been a while. Since I’ve tried my hands at prompts. I could give many reasons, but let’s skip it.

Let’s decipher that line, shall we?

Pain is addictive. Does it seem random or would you say it’s a plausible extension to the first line?

Yeah, I’m asking you, my silent friend.

See, I’m one of those crazy soul who will always choose rain over sunlight. So, I’m always a bit biased.

The line we are talking about, it had a simple thought process behind it. When we introspect, we debate all our faults, within our head, and we do them in a moment of internal silence.

Chaos. The faults of…

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Building a fan base

Building a fan base long before the book or screenplay are done is paramount.

How do you build a fan base?

Fan by fan.  The best place to start are social media. Start a page on Facebook, that you can later connect to your WordPress blog. Also do twitter.

Blogging for a writer is essential. It was the first recommendation I got from an agent.

“Start blogging,” agent Barbara Lowenstein said. “You should be writing reviews like crazy.”

I started blogging in January of 2013 to build my fan base.  I chose WordPress for its impeccable reputation. I started with two follows from friends. Typically, I post twice a week.

What to post?

Give fans a value in your writings; whether it’s inspiration, information, entertainment, insights or a reprieve.

The best posts are relevant to what you are working on. Write about how you came up with the idea for your book, screenplay or business. How does it impact other people?

Why do you feel your work is important, and not just to you?

I can answer this one based on my new collection of short stories “Shifting Sands.”

The reason I put the collection of stories that span more than two decades, was preservation. I knew they would just get lost with time. I wrote some of them on my Smith Corona word processor with only a small screen that showed at the max three to four lines. I bought it for $450 in 1990 at a Kmart store in Big Rapids.

Later, I continued to build my fan base with my journalism career. But, I always had the book in mind first. It was the goal of my life.

Now, that the book is out, I continue to build my fan base with book signings and public appearances. I give it away at raffles.

I accommodate my fans by reaching out to them with also a private book signing, when they already bought one book for themselves and now they want it for a relative as a gift.

I made brochures about me and  my book that I hand out wherever I can. I send out newsletters to my mailing list. If you don’t have one, create one. Use  MailChimp. It’s free up to 2,000 emails.

Don’t just rely on the Internet to market your work. Be personal and be in the public eye. People love meeting up live with authors.

“How many people can say, they had an author at their museum,” said vice-president Tina Siciliano Cadwallader.

Plus, I love meeting up with fellow authors like Glad Fletcher during Christmas through Lowell. At the age of 80, she took a class so she could pen her memoir “My Garden of Stones.”

Glad is 85 now, and does all her own book marketing including public speaking.

My other favorite local author is the Oakwood Cemetery sexton Don DeJong. I bought his book, he bought mine. He writes stories about the people buried at the cemetery using old newspaper records.

Does being an author carry a responsibility?

You bet it does. People have expectations from you.  You have to live up to them.

Whether people read your book or not is a factor you cannot control. The main thing is if they have it in their library. I read an interesting post from “Brain Pickings” on Facebook about the importance of having books at home, even if you’re not going to read all of them. It doesn’t mean you are ignorant or that you’re wastefully spending your money.

Why would you want a book that you’re not going to read?

It’s the energy behind the book that counts. You never know when you’re going to pick it up and just browse through it or use a Snippet for inspiration. I have tons of books that I use for inspiration including poetry and haiku. I also look for book cover ideas, formatting and quotations.

I compare my library to my garden and the books to my flowers. I don’t cut or pick all my flowers, but I enjoy all of them in their natural environment. They inspire and comfort me by their presence.

How do you stay motivated?

Solid motivation is a must to finish your work, whatever it may be. For me motivation is accomplishment. I need to have that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. The fans are also motivation when they ask you about your next book.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

All around me in daily happenings, in old magazines and newspapers. I also find inspiration in arts and old pictures.

When I had my book signing at the Lowell Arts Gallery, I was inspired by other artists’ energy and expression.

How do you filter through ideas?

Sometimes, I have too many ideas and I don’t know how to connect them. Then, I have to discard some or jot them down in my diary. I prioritize. Now, that I am working on my second book of short stories, I made an index of them. I can shuffle the stories around, as inspiration comes. You can do the same with book chapters or scenes.

What matters the most?

The most important is every day writing. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you write. Later, it will make sense. Establish your own writing routine. Listen to your fans and followers. They are your valuable readers.

Now this all could just be a theory if not put to work.

For more info on “Brain Pickings” go to: https://www.brainpickings.org

Watch for my series “Year in Review.”

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Christmas magic in Fallasburg

Christmases of the past all come together into one during the annual “Christmas in Fallasburg” party set for tomorrow Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The public is always welcome. Join us for an evening of camaraderie, food and music.
This party in the 1850s pioneer village is worth traveling to.
ThePatina of time has settled in.

Fallasburg Today

Christmases of the past

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI – The weather outside is frightful with an arctic invasion coming our way, but I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s Christmas party in Fallasburg.

It has become a tradition much like baking, shopping and writing Christmas cards. It’s like recapturing part of the past magic of Christmas that we all have experienced as kids.

It’s all the Christmases of the past coming together into one. We each have special memories of Christmas tied to our childhood past.

Every year we meet out there inside the old Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse to share camaraderie, to break bread and enjoy Christmas music.

First you have to cross the Covered Bridge at the speed of no more than a walk. And then you immerse yourself into the magic of the pioneer village.

I live three miles from the village, and I have discovered it…

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Wild game dinner

8th annul wild game dinner at St. Pat’s featured many suprises

By Emma Palova

Parnell, MI -To close off this year’s hunting season, which runs in Michigan from Nov. 15 through Nov. 30, my husband Ludek and I went to the annual wild game dinner at St. Pat’s on Dec.1.

Neither one of us hunts anything except maybe seashells or Petoskey stones on Lake Michigan, but we’ve heard nothing but great things about this premier event. It is also impossible to get into this camo gala complete with a gun raffle. I still don’t know what got us in this year, since most people buy tickets for next year as soon as one dinner is over.

I got a phone call that we have been added in. The event is a fundraiser for the youth ministry. What followed was a surprise after a surprise. They just never stopped coming in.

First of all I noticed horses and a mule in the gym set up with tables for the dinner. There were live trees behind them and bales. On the basketball posts were stuffed trophies of a cougar, but I couldn’t see the other one.

The place was full to the rafters of its capacity of 385 people. I felt like on Tenterhookssince I didn’t know what to expect, let alone what to wear. So I just wore a dress and boots. My husband was the one who was dressed up to “kill” in his navy dress jacket with a shirt with fish design and a green tie.

There was only one person who beat him in his white velvet vest, bow tie and black shirt. He looked like he lost his way from Hollywood into the northern woods. Later, I found out it was the announcer.

However, I didn’t feel out-of-place or out of my element in spite of all the camouflage outfits. The boots saved me. Since, it was a potluck, there were hundreds of different dishes ranging from pheasant, venison meatballs, venison salami and steel head.

A creative giveaway

Plus I had a task too. I donated my new book “Shifting Sands Short Stories” into one of the baskets. The prizes also were great; everything a hunter could possible dream of, and for his hunter’s widow too. These included crossbows, bows, camo outfits and much more.

But, the best was yet to come. That was the gun raffle and the bidding on a steak and beer dinner with Fr. Mark Peacock. The dinner with the Fr. Mark was auctioned off for $2,500 for six couples.

A 50:50 raffle wrapped it up. There were also games set up in the cafeteria along with the prizes, and the buffet style game dinner. This was the 8th year for the dinner, that has been steadily growing.

It was a night to remember. Thank you for an unforgettable experience.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Loyal public servant

Note: This article is part of a new series “Inspiring Communities.” This is the second installment following the article about Arctic Heating & Cooling owner Evert Bek “Installing water filters in Haiti.”

Nominate a person who has inspired you.

Former Lowell mayor Jim Hodges retires

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – After 23 years of public service, former Lowell mayor Jim Hodges has decided it is time to move on. He officially retired from the Lowell City Council on Nov. 6, 2017.

EW Jim Hodges retires
Former mayor Jim Hodges retires from the Lowell City Council after 23 years.

He started his successful career in public service in 1982 as the director of YMCA, which at the time functioned as the city recreational department.

“A connection with the city was established,” he said, “I attended meetings.”

In 1991, Hodges became the chairperson for the Lowell Area Schools millage campaign. He helped pass two millage proposals.

He applied for the city council seat in 1988, and he was elected to two four-year terms. In 1997, he was defeated in an election by 20 votes. Hodges took a break from the Lowell City Council for six years.

In 2004, he became a city council member all over again after being asked to run by Jeanne Shores, who became the mayor twice through 2009. Shores was the only female mayor the city of Lowell has ever had.

“Because of my loyalty and friendship, I encouraged Jeanne to run,” Hodges said.

“I have always encouraged women to run. It’s crazy not to. Everybody needs to be involved in politics to get a better balance and diversity in the society. Otherwise you’re cutting your assets in half.”

Due to Shores’ sickness, Hodges became the acting mayor in 2008.

All throughout his public service, Hodges believed in respecting others opinions and diversity.

“I have three big takeaways from my public service,” he said.

The first takeaway was to pay tribute to Shores; Hodges arranged for her to run her last meeting on Dec. 21 in 2009 from a wheelchair and named her mayor emeritus.

The second takeaway was negotiating for Dave Pasquale, manager of 23 years, to take retirement.

The third takeaway was putting a traffic light at the intersection of Bowes Road and Alden Nash.

“As the mayor, you have to be less bold and more proper than as a council member,” he said.

In an era of corrupt politics and improper behavior of various officials, Hodges was one of a kind. He was always diplomatic and smiling his impeccable smile.

Public service came with the good and the bad: the deaths of mayor emeritus Shores and council member Jim Hall, as well as the clash between the personalities on the city council.

There were some controversies during the more than two decades of service in a relatively quiet community on the banks of the Flat and Grand rivers.

Some pertained to the firing of the previous city manager Mark Howe. Other controversies involved the police chiefs; one had resigned, the other chief Steve Bukala was put on first paid administrative leave in April, and on unpaid leave in June as investigation into misusing police database and subsequent charges took place.

Since, then Bukala has been reinstated.

“It will make him a better police chief,” said Hodges. “It adds another dimension of being a better professional. We have a solid team of people working together. Steve brings leadership to them as we move forward.”

Hodges had the vision to locate the chamber building on the current Riverwalk in downtown Lowell.

And would Mr. Hodges do it all over again?

“Absolutely,” he said smiling. “I would like to think that I have helped. I like a variety of people and this has given me the chance to meet many different people.”

Hodges also takes pride in being able to balance his third shift work at Amway with his public service which included meetings in the evening or in the morning.

“You have to be disciplined,” he said.

He plans on traveling with his wife Chris and enjoying their grandson.

“I hope I have added some humor and entertainment,” he said.

Following are some moments in time from Hodges’ tenure with the city of Lowell. Hodges participated in countless city parades and in the Riverwalk flushing of the city manager.

A Loyal public servant.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Traditional Czech holiday baking

Traditional Czech holiday baking is a lot of work, but the tiny desserts are delicious. They are not too sweet, and quite often they are filled with apricot marmalade & cream, chocolate or vanilla.

My cousin Marta Krajcova made these. Kudos to Marta.

For recipes and more info go to CJ Aunt Jarmilka’s Desserts at http://jkarmaskova.wordpress.com

You can find both on Facebook.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs LLC. All rights reserved.

Traditional Christmas

Traditions alive in Fallasburg

By Emma Palova

Fallasubrg, MI – Old-fashion Christmas in the Fallasburg historical village is reminiscent of a bygone era with only horse-drawn carriages.

First you have to cross the Covered Bridge at the speed of no more than 5 miles into the village with the landmark Fallasburg Schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse is decked out for Christmas. The food buffet features everything from several types of meatballs to casseroles, appetizers and desserts.

The music is by Hawks & Owls band. The featured drinks are wine and spiced grog. The community known as the “villagers” annually flocks to the schoolhouse to celebrate Christmas in style.

A large bonfire caps off the event. Come and join us.

 

via Christmas in Fallasburg

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