All posts by emmapalova

Emma Palova, born in Czech Republic, is an author, a writer, a screenwriter, a journalist, a photographer, a designer and the founder of Emma Blogs, LLC, based in Lowell, Michigan. Currently, she is working on her memoir "Greenwich Meridian" which she intends to turn into a screenplay. Palova started her blog EW Emma's Writings at http://emmaplova.com in support of the publication of her memoir in January, 2013. The blog has grown into a passion and a company that designs blogs for other people under the umbrella of Emma Blogs. Palova is a prolific online publisher open to new ideas and to new horizons. A natural innovator, Palova loves to create progressive brands into the future. Check out her inspirational post "Desert epiphany" and the authors page on About_me and on Facebook. I am looking forward to seeing you around the greater Grand Rapids area and on my blog. I am seeking an agent or a publisher for the memoir that I intend to publish for my mom Ella's 80 birthday on Aug. 23. I celebrated my fourth anniversary on the WordPress publishing platform on Jan. 15th, 2017 with more than 1,000 followers and 500 plus posts. Love always, Emma

Merry Christmas

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St. Rose of Lima in Hastings.

Christmas in Hastings 2018

We spent Christmas Eve and the morning on Christmas Day in Hastings, the seat of Barry County. The Barrry County Courthouse is on the backdrop of the nativity in the feature photo. The life-size nativity was donated to Hastings by Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland.

We combined both Christmas traditions: Czech with American. On Christmas Eve, we enjoyed the traditional fish and potato salad dinner, preceded by mushroom soup.

Our skillful chefs were Jake and Maranda.Angel Girl singing “Let it go”. A new generation of toys

The children’s choir at St. Rose of Lima lifted the spirit and touched the heart when they sang “The Little Drummer Boy.”

Back at the house, Jake and Ludek delivered a Christmas performance. Jake played Christmas music and carols on the saxophone. We also sang “Nesem Vam Noviny” translated as “We’re bringing you the good news.”

Both Santa and “Jezisek” were generous and creative.

In the morning, we had a festive Christmas brunch: quiche, potato scallops and ham.

Czech traditional desserts-baskets and vanilla crescents, topped of the feast.

Thanks to our hosts, Jake and Maranda. We are all blessed with our families.

Happy holidays.

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

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Driving home for Christmas

I like the story about the two strangers chatting on the train about global warming. Thanks for sharing Natalia. Safe travels.

renegade7x

Hey. Just as I’m typing this I’m sitting in a train on my way home. There is 10 hours of train and car drive in front of me, over 21 stops till I get home as I’m traveling from Prague czech republic to Presov Slovakia – almost final destination of this inter-state train (and then i still have to travel some more east)

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Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining I love traveling. I’m sitting in a comfortable leather chair, got my laptop, free wi-fi connection, netflix, I just ordered food, got my christmas playlist going on and I’ve got beautiful view over the country.

There is this interesting conversation going on between two strangers sitting across me and I know it’s rude to listen to other people’s conversations  but what they talk about just warms my heart. They both speaks english and that’s what caught my attention in first…

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29th anniversary

First Christmas

Today is the 29th anniversary of our landing at JFK from former Czechoslovakia.We headed out into the frozen Midwest for a two-day trip to my parents’ home in Big Rapids, MI.

We arrived on Christmas Eve just in time for the traditional Czech dinner: mushroom soup, fried fish and potato salad.

All that was topped off by mom’s

delicious Christmas desserts.

They had the Christmas tree up and decorated.

I will never forget that first Christmas in the USA.

I am grateful for my parents’ Ella & Vaclav’s help in adjusting to our new life in the USA.

Today, 29 years later we’re all alive and well on our life’s journeys.

Happy holidays to all. May peace prevail on earth.

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

Winter Solstice

Czech American Christmas preparations

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – Today is the shortest day of the year with the longest night; it will be followed by a full moon. This occurs only once a year. According to NASA that is all we need to know.

As people head out for their Christmas vacations, and nature unleashes her wrath hampering travel, I am happy to be at home in the country.

And even though, we’re having a green Christmas; “Baby, it’s cold outside.”

It’s dark, raining and I can see the grass from my studio. I haven’t done any Christmas traditional Czech baking yet, because I can’t stand up due to my sciatic nerve pain.

Christmas bouquet with cutout ornaments.

I did get the pretty fir tree decorated before the pain hit after long hours of sitting behind the computer during the #NaNoWriMo 50K word marathon. We got the tree from Horrock’s Nursery in Ionia for $50.

That’s where I found out that this year we had a shortage of Christmas trees.

Since we are an international family, we adhere to both countries’ traditions. We combine Czech traditions with American. In Czech Republic, the main holiday is Christmas Eve; while in the USA it is Christmas Day.

In Czech Republic, we open presents on Christmas Eve, in the USA it is in the morning on Christmas Day. In Czech, the main spirit of Christmas is Jesus; in the USA it’s Santa Claus.

Under communism in Czech, Christmas was the holiday of Winter Solstice.

This is not all that unusual that different countries have Christmas celebrations on different dates with different characters. In Russia, the main holiday is Yolka or New Year’s Day, while in the Netherlands it is St. Nick’s Day on Dec. 6.

But, during the holidays, when emotions are running high, any detail can cause friction. In this case the detail was time.

“How do we do it all in one day? That is between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning in two separate locations?”

Mom with the wisdom of an 81 year-old woman, commented on the issue: “You can’t have two celebrations in one day,” she said. “You have to alternate.”

There’s also a saying that each one of us should start a new tradition; I started the tradition of the Christmas bouquets here in the USA.

It has no cultural origins; we just probably had those cutoff branches from a Christmas tree and I wanted to save them. So, the Christmas bouquet was born.

Christmas to be continued

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

Dad professor Konecny

Contributor Profile

I found my dad Vaclav Konecny’s contributor profile for the Crux Mathematicorum math magazine of the Canadian Mathematical Society on the Internet yesterday.

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I am including it in one of the chapters of the Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West memoir. The title of the chapter is: Contributor Vaclav Konecny.

Below is a link to the pdf.

ContributorProfile_36_5 Konecny

Dad still contributes to the magazine, either by proposing math & geometry problems or by solving them. He received an honorable mention as one of the six problemists of 1996, who had participated in one-third of the solutions for the year.

My Escape from Czechoslovakia

Another document of great value is his letter: “My Escape from Czechoslovakia” dated Nov. 18, 1976 to the Department of State in Washington D.C.

As a true mathematician, dad, in great detail, describes his journey through various border crossings between four different countries. He even describes his alternative plan. Here is an excerpt:

I made two plans:

  1. To get from Eastern block through some check point
  2. To go to Bulgaria-Micurin- and swim to Turkey. I exercised a lot for this purpose and I was well prepared.

But plan one worked out okay.

Law-abiding citizen Vaclav

What fascinates me the most about his escape story is that he used any means necessary to get to his target; that is a Western country that would give him visa to re-enter USA.  My father is a law-abiding citizen who never breaks any rules. And he definitely never breaks his own tough rules, forged by the years spent at the Archbishop Seminary in Kromeriz.

However, in his escape journey, he had to resort to lying and deception. Dad even came very close to breaking traffic rules in Yugoslavia.

“I went as fast as the traffic rules allowed to Belgrade. I was stopped by police there, but they let me go even if it were just in the opposite direction to Sophia. I reported to Mrs. Julia Cardozo-Neitzke, U.S. Consul on July 27, 1976. No embassy wanted to issue me visa, but after enormous effort of the U.S. Embassy I got German visa.”

His Contributor Profile closes with the following statement:

“Vaclav’s sincerest hope is for world peace.”

Thanks dad for so much inspiration.

Note: Dad Vaclav and mom Ella currently winterize in Venice, FL. I will be joining them for my annual writer’s retreat in February.

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

Christmas in Fallasburg

Experience an old-fashioned Christmas in the country on Dec. 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the 1840s pioneer village of Fallasburg.

Fallasburg Today

ON DECEMBER 6, 2018 BY EMMAPALOVA IN CHRISTMAS IN FALLASBURG, COVERED BRIDGES, FALLASBURG HISTORIC VILLAGE, FALLASBURG HISTORICAL SOCIETY, HISTORIC PRESERVATION, HISTORY, PURE MICHIGAN, UNCATEGORIZED

Old-fashioned Christmas in Fallasburg

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI – This year the party is set for Dec. 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A $20 donation is requested at the door.

Step into the holiday spirit as you cross the beautifully lit Covered Bridge into the 1840s pioneer village. However, you can only drive at the speed of walking or you get a fine of $5; so the sign on the bridge states.

The Christmas party is a premier event and a fundraiser for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).
Fallas party 3

“We never know how many people will come out,” said FHS president Ken Tamke.

“Villager Craig Wood spent the whole year building the bonfire,” said Tamke.

The party started in 2006 and it is Tamke’s…

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National Novel Writing Month – winner 2018

Daily insights from #nanowrimo with story excerpts

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings 

Lowell, MI – What does NaNoWriMo mean to me?

I can only answer this question now that I have completed the 50K creative project and claimed the Winner 2018 cetificate.

NaNoWriMo is like a powerful fuel that you need to keep you going. You also have to keep on refueling as often as possible. It’s a gauge that efficiently measures your progress as you go.

Secondly, I have realized that there is no such a thing as a writer’s block; only slumps, slowdowns and funks around the Thanksgiving holiday and on Sundays.

Is creative activity as mysterious as we all think? Yes. You don’t know at the end of the day, what you’re going to come up with.

Is it scary? It can be, if you don’t know what your character is going to do next.

The creative project required a lot of discipline without credits or end of the year bonuses. But, also you were your own boss in determining when and how you were going to accomplish the 50K challenge.

I was amused by some of the questions on social media like: “What is your favorite writing drink?”

Mine is definitely tea, because I get a headache from drinking a lot of coffee.

Will I do it again in 2019? Most likely yes.

Would I recommend it? It depends on your writing goals. Fifty-thousand words is a nice chunk to start with.

Is it doable with kids and a full-time job? It depends on your partner on how many house chores will he or she take on.

Is writing still the most lonesome activity in the world that in the end depends on the the public’s liking or disliking? Yes.

WHAT NOW?

At the end, I committed to revision and editing, as well as writing more short stories to include in the new book “Shifting Sands: Secrets.” (c) 2019 Emma Palova.

The NaNoWriMo certificate defines a winner as:

A literal literary hero. A disciplined wordsmith.

A squirrel-suit flyer who just earned their wings…………

For more info about NaNoWriMo go to:

http://www.nanowrimo.org

My sincere thanks to the staff, organizers and pep talk authors of the NaNoWriMo creative project for support and encouragement.

I will be using  Pacemaker.press on http://www.pacemaker.press to further measure my progress into the publishing of the new anthology of short stories.

Excerpts from “White Nights” (c) 2018 Emma Palova

It was the gossip of the village that Joe beat his wife. He was a fourth-generation farmer on the largest farming plat in the village.

In front of the public eye, he acted as a proper man. Joe did everything that was expected of the largest landowner to do. He sat on the township board, on the school and the church boards. In spite of the gossip, he was a respected man with other great qualities than self-control.

Unlike Father Sam, he had no choice of what he wanted do. He inherited the land, so he had to farm it. When farming got tough with the dumping of the cheap apple juice from China in the late 1990s, his two brothers decided to get out of working with dirt. They went to work forthe largest milling company out by Shimnicon Corners. At that time, Joe too had to seek his soul, after beating one of them near death.

“You will never cross the threshold of my house,” he yelled that winter when they fought over the buyout money. “Where do you think I am going to get two million bucks?

They left anyways, and Joe owed them for the rest of his life. Joe sold off land fordevelopment and paid off some of the money, while making enemies with other farmers.

NaNoWriMo sponsors

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

Days 24 through Nov. 26 of National Novel Writing Month

Insights from #nanowrimo with excerpts

National Novel Writing Month.

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – This morning I finished “Oceans Away” stort story and I started “Fallasburg Code.” I logged in with 47,568 words in the 50K word marathon. I would like to finish by Wednesday or Thursday depending on how the last two stories go.

This was my first time participating in the National Novel Writing Month. Many people have already completed the creative project. My major takeaways are:

Finding my optimum daily writing quota of six pages or 1,500 words. The hardest part is always the start-up of new stories, on day two usually the plot unravels, and the wrap up is on day three.

I will have a total of 14 stories in the new book “Secrets” (c) 2019 Emma Palova. There were a lot of suprises for me in this one as well. In some cases, I changed titles to better fit the story. The second book is definitely not any easier than the first one.

Is it different and how?

I added some historical fiction in stories “Silk Nora” and “Fallasburg Code.”

Do I have a favorite short story? People asked me this question about the first book “Shifting Sands: Short Stories.” In this collection it is definitely “Silk Nora” which is set in my favorite time period of the 1920s.

In this sequel, I don’t dedicate as much to immigration as in the first one. Some stories like “Secrets in Ink” still draw on my newspaper writing experience.

I would like to thank the National Novel Writing Month staff for the opportunity and for the encouragement.

For more info go to:

http://www.nanowrimo.org

Excerpts from “Oceans Away”

Book cover for “Secrets” aka the Face of Gossip.

Even though she was suspicious at first, Norma went for the app and diligently filled out all the fields about herself.

Paul was good looking as she requested, blonde and tall; while she tallied up to his expectations as well, brunette and medium height and weight. Their first rendezvous was in Budapest, Hungary on a boat.

Norma insisted on neutral grounds such as Europe. It was Paul who picked the capital of Hungary for their first meeting. The app set their date on a boat “Princess” floating on the Danube to explore the river towns.

The date was expensive and exotic, that’s what they both wanted for their first time together. They had separate cabins on the boat. The first night, the boat was just anchoring in Budapest and they took a taxi into the city.

Paul proudly started first telling Norma all about himself. He was a doctor of Slavic origin, who wanted to get away from the nationalistic France. Norma wasn’t ashamed of her new job of the Warhol Museum executive director, either. She worked hard to get the job studying online for her master’s degree.

Budapest at night was like a star waiting to shine on the night sky. They sat long into the night on the deck bar on the boat eating shrimp and drinking red Hungarian wine.

“Will you come and see me in Noumea?” Paul asked on the boat looking at Norma.

Nanowrimo sponsors.

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

Day 23 of National Novel Writing Month

Daily insights from #nanowrimo with excerpts

National Novel Writing Month.

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – The day after Thanksgiving, I finished the short story “40 Hunks” (c) 2018 Emma Palova logging into the #nanowrimo dashboard with a total of 43,723 words toward the 50K word marathon. That puts me on the final stretch to the winner mark on this publishing journey.

The story will become a part of the new collection of short stories “Secrets” (c) 2019 Emma Palova. After the revision period in January and February supported by #nanowrimo, it is my clear intention to have the book published next year.

The National Novel Writing Month, an Internet-based creative project, started in 1999 with 21 participants. It has grown over the years to 0.5 million participants around the globe.

Two days ago, I found a thank you letter in my email from the #nanowrimo executive director Grant Faulkner titled:

“Thank you for the light of your stories.”

It truly warmed my heart, as Grant described writer Matt Forbes’ reaction to his home burnt by the wildfires in Paradise, CA, as well as the entire community.

His response to tragedy? To create.

“I plan to write. That’s about all I can do…I don’t want one huge fire to burn out everything that was taken in its wake, and this is the only thing I can do to show otherwise.”

For more info go to:

http://www.nanrowrimo.org

Takeaways

You can easily gauge your progress on the dashboard widget and graph.

Editing and revisions take place later in the months of January and February.

We also went out on Black Friday to Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids, and it was jam packed. The same story was in rural Greenville. Speaking about the economy booming, it definately was at JC Penney’s who practiced Black Friday on both days, Nov. 22 and Nov. 23.

The staff was exhausted:

“We’ve been opened for the last 24 hours,” said a tired clerk in the men’s clothing department.

Excerpts from “40 Hunks”

Book cover for “Secrets” aka the Face of Gossip.

“Not, now,” he said. “They have to be on the farm as soon as Friday.”

Antonio walked inside the gas station store looking around the shelves.

“You got booze,” he asked the scared girl.

Jose straightened up from the counter and looked at Antonio.

“No, booze on the bus,” he said strictly. “When we get there, you can talk to theproducer. Not here. We’re heading out.”

Antonio grabbed Jose by his shirt and tore it apart as he lifted Jose up on his feetand dragged him against the counter.

“ I said, I want some booze,” Antonio pulled out his knife and put it to Jose’s throat. “You girl give me some whiskey or I will slash his neck.”

Avlen quickly grabbed a bottle from behind her and handed it to Antonio, who opened it and drank from it, still holding Jose.

“That’s $20,” Avlen said to Antonio.

Antonio let Jose loose and turned him to Avlen like a puppet.

“You pay her,” he said. “I am going back on the bus.”

Jose gave Avlen the $20 bill shaking his head.

“Don’t call the police,” Jose begged. “I’d get in trouble that I let him loose.”

He waved to the girl and left the gas station store. Mike was smoking nearby shaking his head.

“I saw what happened,” he said. “Do you want me to call the police?”

Jose shook his head as he boarded the bus.

“No, I want us to get to the farm as fast as possible,” he said. “You deal with him at the farm with the producer. I don’t want to have anything to do with him. If he disappears, I won’t look for him.”

Featured photo: Butterflies from the Butterfly House on Mackinac Island.

Nanowrimo sponsors

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