Heading to Paradise in Upper Peninsula
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI – I am getting ready for my next book stop in Paradise located in Upper Peninsula in Michigan. The tiny village nestled on Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay annually hosts the popular Wild Blueberry Festival-Arts & Crafts Fair on Aug. 15, 16 & 17 with close to 100 vendors peddling everything from Lake Superior agate pendants to books.
My new book “Secrets” from the Shifting Sands Short Stories series is a collection of 15 short stories with the main historical fiction story “Silk Nora” set in the turn-of-the-century Belding.
One of the stories “When Layla met Corey” is set in Mackinaw City, which is a gateway to Upper Peninsula.
The book made its debut at the Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon in July.
An artist’s dream
Paradise, a community rich with nautical folklore, logging and Native American History attracts thousands of visitors and vendors due to close proximity to Tahquamenon Falls.
For its natural wonders and wilderness, Upper Peninsula has traditionally drawn writers, photographers and artists from all over the USA. Among the most famous authors were: Earnest Hemingway and John Voelker.
Where inspiration abounds
A recent wave of emerging Michigan authors is sweeping the shores of the Great Lakes from Lake Michigan to Lake Superior. They write from Michigan with Michigan settings and locations. They market themselves under the umbrella of Michigan Authors. Follow them on http://www.MichiganAuthors.com
This is by far, not my first visit to UP or Paradise. I have fond memories of vacationing Up North, both from years ago with our kids and most recently with our granddaughter Ella.
I love the wilderness of UP and its natural pristine beauty, as well as the spirit of the Great Lakes.
For info about the Wild Blueberry Festival in Paradise go to: http://www.WildBlueberryFestival.org
To be continued
Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
All set for LAF in Muskegon this weekend
By Jean Darla Davis
This is the festival we are a part of as an “Emerging author tent”: https://lakeshoreartfestival.org/ We’re billed that way simply because we’re not widely recognized famous authors. Some authors prefer to get a vendor space on their own. This group name format sets us apart from them, gets us in with a bulk artist rate, and allows for customers to easily browse many authors in one place. Everyone did a great job referring people to fellow authors to help them find the types of books they were looking for.
We will again be doing two 20 x 20 tents as they are the most sturdy cost effective option and do give us room to move inward if we have a rainy day. The only difference this year is I’m asking you to bring your own chairs. Most of us found the supplied chairs uncomfortable anyway and did end up using our own.
I anticipate setting us up in the U or L shape (outward facing tables) like we did last year on the second day as that offered the best frontage for everyone and higher interest/sales. If we have rain, we will rearrange the tables to allow for traffic flow through the tents while keeping our books dry. I do have a layout prepared for that as well.
Payment can either be made by check or paypal (see end of email). If you are mailing a check, please let me know so I can watch for it and mark you as confirmed.
Lakeshore Art Festival 2019
Friday July 5, 10am-8pm
Saturday July 6, 10am-6pm
Our Tent name is: Michigan Authors at the Lakeshore
• We will be in the same location as last year at the corner of Clay and 2nd. The lot directly behind us is a pay to park lot. There is free parking along the streets and further down the road by the farmers market. You may pull up to the blocked streets by the tents and unload.
• You must attend both days for the duration of the listed hours. You may have a helper if you wish. However, most spaces will only have room for one by the table. In order to give as many of us frontage as possible, we do have a tight fit.
• You may only sell only your own books. This means no additional items that are not books (such as mugs, coasters, posters, etc) even if they are related to your book(s). We are billed as an author tent and must conform to the rules set forth by the festival.
• You may not split or share your space with another author.
• The cost is $100 for a 3ft space. This covers both days.The cost covers your portion of the rental items and your entry fee into the show as a vendor. This is a discounted exhibitor rate provided from the Lakeshore Art Festival as part of the author tent. We will be included in festival advertising, promotion, website and social recognition as well as potential media and press release coverage.
• Funds are not refundable. Once funds are received, I will be sending the full check off to the Art Festival to cover our vendor fees and tent rental. I will not have funds to refund you. If you are unable to attend, I will do my best to help you find someone to take over the space, but can make no guarantees.
• Set up is 9am on July 5. Tear down is immediately after the event ends at 6pm on the 6th. This all goes pretty smoothly as the tents and tables will be there ready for us and we leave them as we found them on Sunday evening.
• We will have tent sides available in case of inclement weather.
• I do recommend taking your inventory with you on Friday night.
• You are responsible for your own sales and sales tax. Acceptance of cash and credit card is strongly suggested.
• Last year we were blessed with beautiful weather and we’re hoping for that again. Do be prepared for wind (something to hold down business cards or other promotional items) and bring plenty of water. Food vendors are nearby. You may also bring your own. There is no electricity so bring extra batteries for phones if necessary. We are very close to the portable restrooms.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me: Darla Davis via messenger on Facebook.
Listen to our podcast coming soon.
For a list of participating authors go to:
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Local author Emma Palova at the gallery on Main Street in downtown Lowell with her new book.
I am very excited about my upcoming book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories on March 10 @LowellArts from 1 to 4 pm.
It will take place on the magnificent backdrop of the West Michigan Regional Art Competition on display at the downtown gallery.
I will be talking about the marketing of your book using a blog to grow your audience, as well as other platforms.
Below is an example of marketing on the Goodreads platform for authors. The goal is to get as many people as possible to shelve your book.
Check out this book on Goodreads: Shifting Sands Short Stories https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35192820-shifting-sands-short-stories
You can also buy my book locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and in Lansing.
I will have a few copies on hand to autograph.
The book is also available on Amazon in both formats:
I will be working on audio version.
Copyright (c)2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Come for inspiration and author’s insights to my February book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories tomorrow on Feb. 3 at 1 pm at LowellArts.
I will share writing tips on how to write about love, with or without a happy ending.
Writings of a love stifled by years of monotony
Stop by at the Lowell Arts gallery in downtown Lowell this Saturday Feb. 3 for my book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories from 1 pm to 4 pm.
I will be sharing author’s insights from the publishing industry, and answering questions such as:
How many hours a week do you think I spend on marketing my new book and my writing business Emma Blogs, LLC?
What are the most effective channels of marketing?
Should you pay and how much for advertising of your book?
How do you stand out? What makes you unique?
How do you reach the right reader?
Feel free to shoot me an email with your questions at email@example.com.
Bring a copy of my new book for an autograph. You can buy it locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, Lansing Okemos or on Amazon. I will…
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Excerpt from “Orange Nights” included
My book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories is Saturday, Oct. 28th at the Lowell Arts gallery from 1 p.m to 3 p.m.
Bring a copy of my book to autograph. They are available locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, in Lansing, and on Amazon.
It is also the last day of the show “Between Turbulence and Tranquility” before the Holiday Artists Market.
Based on earlier book signings, I will also be giving tips how to start and finish a book, about characters and plot.
During my last book signing on Girls Night Out, some women asked me how to finish a book.
The Halloween weather is perfect for a visit to the gallery on Main Street.
“This is an active day for Lowell Arts with Dixie Swim Club dinner theatre and LA house concert,” said executive director Lorain Smalligan.
I called one of the stories in the book “Orange Nights” based on three clearance nights at a Midwest retailer I had worked for. The clearance racks had orange balloons tied to them.
Excerpt from “Orange Nights”
The most interesting thing in the store were the changing seasons and the colors reflecting them. The summer colors were still vibrant, and hanging in the air or it could have been nostalgia after a summer passing by.
“Why did you stay in the store all these years, Irma?” asked Rachel doubtful and wondering about her own future.
“You come in young like most because you don’t know what to do with yourself,” said Big Irma. “And after a while you just get used to it, and you’re afraid of change. Just look around you. What do you see?
However, it was all in what you didn’t see. Those were the underlying currents of being stuck in any situation in life, and not being able to move forward. It had different names, that all came under one label. That label was fear. And fear had many faces. It was hiding under different coats of comfort and security, assurances or the lack of them.
“Have you ever been afraid in the store?” asked Rachel. “You know really afraid. I know we have security department and all that, but afraid as in who is going to walk in and what is he going to do?”
People were already streaming in along with normal day people who had nothing to do with the orange balloon clearance in the soft and hard lines, like the grocery people and the food court.
For the moment Rachel envied them their normal daily jobs with set schedules. They came in and they left on regular basis without the madness of wanting to do something else with their lives.
“Why aren’t you in your own department?” a scowling voice breathed down her neck.
Startled she turned around. The tall orange blonde man with a mustache still dressed in civil clothes, was right behind her back. Wendell pulled out of the cart with never-ending returns shorts tangled in with a bra and panties. The lines manager smelled of beer and cigarettes, after a night of drinking.
“How did the night go?” Wendell asked. “What’s all this crap?”
Big Irma tired after the night turned to Wendell.
“You have to go over there and see,” she said. “There’s a lot of clearance this year. I guess people weren’t buying as much or we overbought, or both. You never know from year to year.”
Copyright (c)2017. Emma Blogs LLC. All rights reserved.
Thoughts on Popular places in the wake of Las Vegas shooting
By Emma Palova
Grand Rapids, MI -I am beyond shocked over the Sunday night shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people without any connection to terror.
My husband and I just spent a fantastic Saturday in downtown Grand Rapids enjoying the most Popular arts event in the world. That is the 9th annual ArtPrize that featured 1,500 artists from 47 countries.
ArtPrize is the world’s largest competition and the most attended annual art event on the planet.
Thousands of people packed the sidewalks, the arts venues and the cafes on a beautiful sunny Saturday.
Other than seeking inspiration, the main reason why we went to ArtPrize was to cast a Popular vote for local photographer Bruce Doll for his entry, “As Grand As It Gets.”
The photo is a fabulous non-conventional take on the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a fish-eye lens.
“I thought I can never capture this,” said Doll.
In order to vote, you had to physically register in any of the ArtPrize districts using the app in the first round of voting.
The second reason was to see “The American Dream” by finalist Tom Kiefer. We strolled from the peaceful Hillside Veteran’s Park area to the much busier DeVos Place Convention Center on Monroe.
Kiefer photographed the personal belongings of migrants seized at the border.
“I felt a visceral connection between his art and our farm workers,” said Teresa Hendricks, director of Migrant Legal Aid hosting the artist.
DeVos Place had the finalists’ artwork on display. We inched the skywalks between the finalists’ exhibits and the railing; sometimes without seeing the art exhibits. There was a demonstration of tattoo art among others. As I leaned across the railing to get a picture of the interior of the hall, it occurred to me.
No matter how Athletic you were, you wouldn’t be able to run out of that glass hall with waved glass ceiling, if someone had opened fire.
We were all conveniently gathered there in the sky walks in front of the artwork, packed in the hallways. We were separated from the ground floor by escalators and elevators.
There were no security checks at the entrance.
Inside the Amway hotel, we paused by the art of “Lincoln.”
After we got out of the venue complex through a system of catwalks, and back on the street, it occurred to me again; the vulnerability of crowds. The crowds also packed the Blue Bridge and the Gillett Bridge with artists.
People gathered in front of art everywhere. After several hours, I felt nauseated from the crowds and the autumn heat.
I had to take a deep breath in front of an eagle sculpture by the Rosa Parks Circle.
It was to a certain point comforting. But that was Saturday, before the Sunday shooting in Las Vegas.
Then, everything changed.
Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
IW Inspiring Women – Jan Y. Johnson
Longtime artist inspires generations embedded in Lowell area
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Note: The IW winter series, which leads up to the International Women’s Day on March 8, features women from all walks of life who continue to inspire others in our communities.
Their positions in the society are not measured by money or the accolades they receive, but by contributions to progress and well-being of all.
Nominate a woman who has inspired you for the series.
Lowell, MI – Artist Janet Y. Johnson, 86, is an icon. Together with artists late David Davis and current Kathleen Mooney, they have created an artistic legacy for generations embedded in the greater Lowell area.
Johnson has been a staple at the Flat River Gallery & Framing in downtown Lowell with countless exhibits of watercolor and acrylic paintings.
The gallery will celebrate its fourth anniversary with the “Let’s celebrate” event with champagne and chocolates on Feb. 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Johnson recalls all the great years of exhibiting and painting in the Lowell area.
“They’re all realistic paintings,” said Johnson about her work.
Some of them go as far back as to the heydays of another icon, the Lowell Showboat on the Flat River in the 1950s.
“I used to sing on it, and then I painted it,” Johnson said during a recent interview at her home.
As we looked at the dark blue watercolor painting of the Showboat with strings of lights floating on the Flat River hanging in the detached studio, one could imagine the lively atmosphere on the deck.
You could almost hear the voices singing:
“Here comes the Showboat.”
Johnson sold two paintings of the Showboat and bought one back when the owner stated, that the painting should stay in the Lowell area.
Johnson has lived in the Lowell area for 57 years.
Growing up on a farm in Alto, Johnson acquired a natural affinity to all animals.
Johnson studied animal drawing at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, FL and graduated in 1951.
Prior to that, she studied at the Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, and worked as a publication designer for Amway in the 70s.
“It was a wonderful place to work,” she said.
Among her favorites are vivid paintings of exotic animals in circus settings.
Johnson’s most recent watercolor painting is of the Miller Circus which performed in Lowell last August after the fair. She will hang the painting of the circus at the gallery for the new February show.
According to Johnson, the circus ringmaster at the Miller Circus was connected to the Ringlings.
Johnson spent most of 2016 illustrating the children’s book “Gertie Goose.”
“It’s a story about bullying,” said Johnson.
Pat Markle, former teacher of Hastings Schools, wrote the book. This was the third project for the author illustrator duo during the last decade.
The book is available at the Lowell Arts and at the Flat River galleries for $15.
“Gertie Goose” was published by J-Ad Graphics of Hastings in 2016.
“They do a good job,” said Johnson.
For more info on publishing go to www.http://www.j-adgraphics.com/
It is also available on Jan’s Facebook page at
Johnson’s art will be at the ArtPrize 2017 from Sept. 20 through Oct. 8.
For more info on the Flat River Gallery go to: http://www.flatrivergalleryandframing.com
Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this story or its photos may be reproduced without the written consent of author Emma Palova. @EmmaPalova
Christmas time unravels epiphany
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI-This morning, I was fortunate enough to come across the “saidsimply” blog about artistic ventures. And the labyrinth-like colorful painting inspired me to write this epiphany piece.
I looked at the photo of the “Sea in Me” painting and the following took place in my head:
This is how I feel about writing when I don’t write for a while; I am lost in a labyrinth of thoughts.
Yesterday, my friend Kitty from the Netherlands really encouraged me. We ran into each other in the snack aisle at the Lowell Meijer store.
I needed to get some yellow lemonade, ribbons and nuts for undisclosed reasons.
We chatted about Christmas and getting old. We both agreed that Christmas is more about getting together with friends and family than about gifts.
“But, we can do that anytime right?” I asked for assurance all frazzled at this time of the year.
“Sure, that’s what it’s all about, we don’t need Christmas for that,” she laughed.
Kitty has re-posted the Christmas bucket list on Facebook with comment:
“My kind of Christmas.”
Here is the Christmas bucket list
1-Be present instead of buy presents
2-Wrap someone in a hug vs. wrap gifts
3-Send love vs. send gifts
4-Donate food vs. shop for food
5-Make memories vs. make cookies
6-Be the light vs. see the lights
“I am already tired of people asking if the shopping is done and if we are ready for Christmas. Flying the coop again,” Kitty commented.
Kitty told me she was leaving for the holidays for a cruise somewhere in the Caribbean. I was jealous.
“Keep writing, Emma,” she smiled and off she walked with her shopping cart that wasn’t fully loaded with goodies.
And I left the store with warmth in my heart, two yellow Fanta lemonades, hecho en Mexico, a yellow ribbon and some trail mix nuts.I was determined to keep on writing.
Thank you, Kitty and the saidsimply blog for all of the above.
For the simply said blog go to: https://saidsimply.wordpress.com
About the featured tiled photo mosaic:The big photo on the right accompanies post “Secrets, we all have them.”
Small photos on the left from top to bottom:
1-Me at Sea…at the Gulf of Mexico
2-“Glass Flowers” (c) Emma Palova, a manuscript with hand blown pink glass flower from the castel Karlstein in Czech Republic. This was a gift from my daughter Emma.
3-The Wedding Tree at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, FL.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Feeling inspired today by the Traveling Nurse’s Haiku on “Magic.”
I might try to write a few of my own Haikus.
I wrote some and illustrated them in the early 2000s and later in 2008. I feel like it’s coming back to me at full force during this busy holiday time.
I actually find reprieve in Haiku writing. Haiku to me is like an island in the midst of the vast ocean of writing.
I need to spend some time on this Haiku island to gain strength to head out back into the ocean of writing.
Sometimes, like most writers and authors, I am intimidated by my upcoming writing. I know the idea has already taken some form in my head, and it is waiting to break out.
Will it be the right time and shape for that idea?
I’ve been carrying all these ideas in me for a long long time.
I’ve also been storing the products of my ideas on the shelves of my book cases for what seems like infinity.
Sometimes, I find old stories all dusty and fading on the yellow paper. Editors demanded hard print copies back then.
As I pick those products back up, I wonder what am I going to do with them this time?
Should I wake them up and bring them to life? Like a sleeping giant or a boring midget?
I have an entire collection “Glass Flowers” (c) Emma Palova that was inspired by an important time in my life.
I am dusting that off and bringing it out into the daylight.
It’s about time for my “Glass Flowers” to be broken into endless pieces.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.