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.
I had to share this morning picture from our pretty little town of Lowell that nestles on the Flat and the Grand rivers in the northeast part of Kent County in Midwest Michigan.
In the forefront is the famous & inspiring Showboat idling on the Flat. It will be replaced with a replica in the near future.
I consider the Showboat a Penchant that crowns the town’s treasures waiting to be explored.
Come and visit with us this weekend for the Fallasburg village bazaar, Emma’s Book Signing event of Shifting Sands Short Stories and the Fallasburg Arts Festival.
All the action will take place three miles north of town @Fallasburg on Sept.16 and Sept.17 from 10 am to 5 pm. Just cross the romantic Covered Bridge into the 1850s pioneer village of Fallasburg founded by John W. Fallass.
You will be enchanted by the autumn ambiance of the village nestling on the banks of the shallow Flat River.
Emma’s Book Signing event at the one-room Fallasburg schoolhouse is from 1 pm to 4 pm on both days.
Pick up a copy of the book @Schuler Books in Grand Rapids on 28th Street and in Lansing or order on Amazon.
We will have desserts and cider.
Stop by to discover treasures, history, arts and great conversation.
Local author pens Shifting Sands book of short stories
A press release is a TraditionalGate way to media coverage at large, don’t be a Dormant writer,or author. You’ve finished your book now what?
For immediate release
July 25, 2017
Lowell, MI- Local author Emma Palova of Lowell has published the book Shifting Sands Short Stories, formats kindle and paperback, now available on Amazon for $7.99 and $11.99.
Palova’s book will also be available at the Kent District (KDL) libraries, the Hastings Public Library and in Big Rapids.
She will have a book signing event at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum on September 16 & 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the Fallasburg Fall Fest and the Fallasburg village bazaar, with more local author events to be announced. The public is welcome.
The Shifting Sands Short Stories book is a collection of 13 short stories that Palova wrote and collected over the span of more than two decades. The fiction’s genre is magic realism, a combination of fantasy with reality.
“In magic realism you combine the fictitious with fantasy and sometimes you use real characters to model the fictitious characters,” Palova said. “It can be a hybrid. I don’t write about Martians. I write about real people.”
Palova started writing for the Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 upon arrival in the USA. She initially wrote a column, “A Place for Commentary” in Czech.
Many of the stories are based on experiences Palova has had during her time living and working in the greater Lowell area, West Michigan.
“I am passionate about the hometowns in Midwest America their characters and personalities,” she said. “They are a hardy bunch.”
Palova has been writing for the area publications since 1997 when she launched her journalistic career with Kaechele Publications in Allegan. In 1998, she joined the staff of the Ionia-Sentinel Standard where she received awards for community reporting from the Ionia Chamber of Commerce in 2000 and the Ionia County Community Mental Health, 2003. In 2011, she received an award from American Legion for covering veterans’ events. In 2015, Palova also had a community blog in the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.
Palova worked as a correspondent for the Grand Rapids Press, the Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Lowell Ledger.
Palova is currently working on the second volume of stories, as well as on the memoir “Greenwich Meridian, where East meets West” about the Konecny family immigration saga from Czechoslovakia to the USA.
She is preparing her first novel, “Fire on Water” based on her communist experience for publication.
Palova has a lifetime passion for history and politics. She does social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS), and she is working with the Tri-River Historical Museum Network.
“I am deeply humbled by the opportunities this country has given me,” Palova said.
Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon, author’s page
Have you been through the publishing odyssey between agents, traditional publishing houses and self-publishing?
I have been on this route for the last 28 years, and I have learned a lot about the publishing, the filming and the arts industries, as well as about myself. I traveled this path as a print media journalist who swapped ink for the digital WordPress platform in 2013 with the first post published on Jan. 15.
I am an author, journalist, writer, screenwriter, designer, photographer and an entrepreneur of Emma Blogs, LLC, based in Lowell, MIchigan. That is professionally. I am also a human being: a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a grandmother. Some people call me, Mrs. Emma.
And I am somebody’s aunt, a Godmother and a”babe.”
How many different hats can a writer wear? Many. But the real question is, “Which is the right hat, and where do we hang it? Where do we put what?
My new friends like T.G., Barb and Wendy, think I am a geek. Ask my old artistic friends like Tom and Pam Woodruff of Leland, or Eva Laurencikova of Kromeriz, Czech Republic, “Who am I?”
I started my own flagship blog EW Emma’s Writing on http://emmapalova.com after advise from agents to build up the Emma Palova name brand in pursuit of publishing Greenwich Meridian (c) 2017, a memoir about the Konecny family immigration saga, @emmapalova@ludekpala now spanning three generations.
The mission of Emma Blogs, LLC
Over the four years of my publishing journey on WordPress, I have diversified into providing an advertising platform for others on the Emma Blogs portfolio, creating blogs for other people, publishing and most recently re-branding old structures into new designs. In Russia, they called it “Perestroika.”
Opportunities await if we keep our minds open to them
You guessed it, the “Wasteland” (c) 2017 theme park is on my mind. After all, who doesn’t want to re-do a theme park or the arts sphere? Stay tuned for more on this.
Re-branding and re-structuring into new designs
I have assisted in the digital re-do of the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) organization founded by a group of women in 1965, who used to get together somewhere on the grounds of the Fallasburg Park, into a digital conglomerate, known around the world.
The FHS slogan now is, “The next 50 years of Fallasburg.”
When asked about the direction of the Fallasburg historical organization, president Ken Tamke said the goal is to spread the word about the Fallasburg village on the Internet, and then people may actually find the hamlet in the northeast Kent County.
Currently, I am working with the arts community of the greater Lowell area to create a new palette.
Thai wind 1 by Kacey Cornwell, Art Prize entry
Prague horloge on the Old Town Hall by “I love Czech Republic” group
You can call or e-mail Emma for a re-branding consultation as we fly fast toward 2020. Don’t wait around. You can do your research, but make a move now, or we will all miss the train. One person cannot rebuild an empire overnight.
My publishing ventures on Edition Emma
Join me on my explorations of the publishing industry on both platforms; print and digital. Like most of my friends, authors and artists, I’ve learned the hard way; endless rejections, phone calls from sales people from different Publishing Houses that are now going digital.
Being constantly broke, I had to get more resourceful than just waiting around for a publishing prince to arrive on a white horse at my doorstep. He or she never did.
I also looked for the magical publishing white horse in the actual zoo as a kind sign that I might find an avenue one day.
That’s why I rolled out the blogging/writing portfolio, Emma Blogs, LLC in the summer of 2014.
Part of the portfolio is my own Publishing House Edition Emma (c) 2017 copyright. All rights reserved.
If you want to get published, submit your work to Edition Emma. Looking forward to seeing your work.
Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
I am bringing back the popular IW Inspiring Women series for the winter. The series carries the logo of the enigmatic orchids which come in a thousand of varieties, each bringing joy with her own beauty. Much like the women in this world.
In this series I bring to you the stories of women who inspire others with their character, actions and the love for what they do. As daughters, mothers, grandmothers and wives, they all make a difference in their own way.
All of them juggle different responsibilities; to themselves, to the families and to the society at large.
Their value is not listed in dollars they bring to the economy, but in their contribution to bettering the lives of other people.
Meet artist turned hunter Linda Kropf Phillips
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI- I first met artist Linda Kropf Phillips, owner of Natures Serenity, at a little known bazaar in the historic village of Fallasburg two years ago.
She was manning the booth with her brother Jerry Kropf. Most people in the area know the name Kropf, as the well- established owners of the Kropf apple orchards.
“Are you related to the Kropfs?” was one of my questions during a recent interview with Linda.
“Which ones?” she asked.
“The apple farmers?”
“My father was the carpenter in the family,” Linda said.
It was her father Bob Kropf ,who not only inspired Linda, but who also taught her perfection in glass etching of gun cabinets and everything else in business, like reasonable pricing.
“My dad challenged me,” she said. “I worked in his wood shop for 20 years at Murray Lake. He taught me a lot of woodwork. I taught myself glass etching on china and glass cabinets.”
Yes, there was no challenge too big for Linda to handle, whether it was the etching of a standing bear and a partridge flying over his head, or other intrinsic scenes from nature.
“I found a picture of a standing bear in a magazine,” Linda said.
One of her first drawings was a sketch of the GI Joe doll. Some four decades later, Linda easily found the pencil drawing at the house. And it was not just the doll, but also some sketches of the Beatles.
Linda started drawing when she was 11 years old. Growing up as a 4-H girl and doing rodeo, she loved to draw horses.
She went to the Alton country school from 1964 to 1968 prior to going to the Lowell public schools.
“I rode my horse to school,” she laughed.
But, sometimes it was mom Jan Kropf who played the bus driver loading up the kids in a car and hauling them to school.
Linda graduated from the Lowell High School in 1976, and she received the perfect graduation gift.
It was tuition for one year at the Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids. She had already taken advanced ceramics and design classes in high school. In sixth grade, Linda also took art classes from local artist Jan Johnson.
Four years ago, Linda started her Natures Serenity line of artwork on slab and drift wood.
“I love being outside, hunting, taking pictures of nature and kayaking,” she said.
While kayaking on the Flat River on the morning the Whites Bridge in Smyrna burnt, Linda found pieces of driftwood and metal from the bridge down the river.
She painted the covered Whites Bridge on a piece of driftwood and hung it on the metal from the bridge. First the driftwood had to dry out and Linda coated it with three to four coats of polyurethane to preserve them.
The two pieces sold at the Danish Festival in 2014 in Greenville with half of the proceeds going to the “Rebuild Whites Bridge” organization.
Artist Linda is also an avid hunter, who annually heads out into the woods in the Upper Peninsula with her husband Scott. Naturally, she would not reveal their “sacred hunting grounds” somewhere northwest of Marquette.
Scott has been hunting for the last 45 years, while Linda started hunting 11 years ago. Before that Linda rabbit hunted with her brother. She took her first deer with a gun, when she was three months pregnant in 1986.
For Linda, family always comes first.
“I started going with Scott with my camera and took my artwork with me,” she said. “We go during the gun season hunting for bear, and I bow hunt for deer.”
Naturally, Linda who took up bow hunting three years ago, is inspired by the great outdoors and what it has to offer. Her booth at the Dec. 3 Rogue River Arts Show was an amazing display of nature’s scenes on wood. Everything from deer, fowl, fish, Queen Anne’s lace to footprints captured on a wooden slab. Some of the artwork boasted 3D imagery in detailed foliage and branches during different seasons.
“I like the fall, so bow and arrow wins,” she said. “I feel safer.”
One of her scariest experiences was while hunting on the ground.
“I had a wolf behind sniffing at me,” she said. “I was nervous. I thought it was just a squirrel crinkling again.”
Well that “crinkling squirrel” turned out to be a 157 pound black bear. But, these adventures do not prevent Linda from going “Up North” to hunt in the “sacred land.”
“We stay in a camper, 10 days at a time depending on the weather,” she said. “Sometimes it’s two hours to the closest processor.”
And back home in Lowell, the dinner always features some wild game, whether deer, bear, fish or fowl in the form of burger, roast or steaks.
“We have deer all the time,” Linda said.
Most recently, based on popular demand from the less macho side of the population, Linda added to her wildlife art portfolio paintings of chickadees and cardinals.
“It runs the gamut from deer, moose, bass and I added flowers, “she said.
Natures Serenity artwork is available at Bodacious in Rockford and at Pinky’s Place Antique & Artisan Market in Grand Rapids.
Her busy art show season starts in July with the Fourth of July Artist Show in the UP, Lake Odessa Arts in the Park on Aug. 5th, Danish Festival on Aug. 19th & Aug. 20th and Rockford on Sept. 10th
The last show of the season is always the Rogue River Arts & Artisan Show on the first Saturday in December at the Lowell High School.
Nominate a woman who has in any way inspired you this year or in the past. In the IW women’s series, I have featured artists like Kathleen Mooney, entrepreneur Station Salon’s owner Nancy DeBoer, hiker Gail “Chosen” Lowe who has hiked all five national trails in the USA, Lowell Area Chamber director Liz Baker, former Lowell city clerk Betty Morlock, trail developer Carolyn Kane, founder of SowHope Mary Dailey Brown and many others.
E-mail Emma via the contact page or on Facebook at emmapalova@Facebook.com
“What I should like to do, Van Gogh writes to brother Theo in Paris in 1889, is to go there as an inmate patient at the end of the month or early in May…let’s try three months to start with, and we’ll see how it goes..it is very likely that I am yet to suffer much.
Vincent van Gogh self-portrait created in Saint-Remy de Provence.
Van Gogh painted the Starry Night in Saint Remy.
The landscape of St.Remy is very attractive and I shall gradually become acquainted with it.”
Vincent Van Gogh
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Saint- Remy de Provence, FR- Leaving our beloved bastide near Cheval-Blanc behind, we headed further south for Saint- Remy, a city that proudly carries Van Gogh’s heritage with its Saint-Paul asylum.
We drove through alleys of stately plane trees lined by olive and almond groves, cypresses and cornfields at the foothills of Alpilles that have all inspired the master of post- impressionism.
Saint- Remy, whipped by mistral from the Mediterranean Sea, bustled with tourists.
A large painting of Van Gogh’s self-portrait without the straw hat greets the visitors at the 18th century Hotel Estrine. Van Gogh’s museum is located inside. He created more than 150 paintings during his stay in Saint Remy.
My French granddaughter Ella, 6, immediately recognized the famous painting.
“Our teacher showed us that,” she said all excited.
The French nation has immortalized its artists and scientists with busts, sculptures, in schools, museums and gardens scattered all over the country.
However, the lively town of Saint-Remy did not partake in any of Van Gogh’s pathos, who also painted the gardens of the asylum. Hundreds of boutiques, souvenir shops, bistros and cafes vibrated with l’art de vivre, known as the art of living prevalent in France.
Throughout our stay in Provence, our ladies “international squad” sampled this l’art de vivre on every corner of the tiniest streets, in regional dishes, in gourmet cafes, and in the Provencal architecture of churches, bastides and mairies.
All French city halls carry the motto of the French revolution: liberty, equality, fraternity.
To this day, it remains a mystery to me, why the People’s House aka Lidovy Dum in downtown Vizovice, Czech Republic, has the French national motto engraved in its coat-of-arms.
After exploring local shops with Provencal herbs, yellow and blue linens, lavender soaps, perfumes and candles along with the l’Occitane line of body products, we found a reasonable restaurant on Boulevard Mirabeau.
Fashionable Bistrot des Alpilles sits on the Mirabeau loop around the medieval city with the massive Roman catholic church Collegiale Saint Martin as its anchor.
“You should try their local soup,” said daughter Emma.
Wherever my writing takes me, I always make it a point to sample the local fare and drinks. In Provence, the regional dishes feature different variations of fish soups depending on where you are. It is the royal bouillabaisse in Marseille and fish pistou in the rest of the region, ratatouille or vegetable stew accompanied by a glass of pink wine from the local caves. Desserts in France always include an assortment of cheeses or you may opt for gourmet café.
So, the entree cassoulet de poisson was a natural choice for me with a glass of the house wine, the “Lovely IGP Alpilles”, 2015.
Daughter Emma chose the lighter sweet aperitif Kir. The kids of course had the syrup –dissolved- in- water fruit concoction that I despise from my childhood years in Czechoslovakia.
As I write this, I realize that I haven’t tried the “Eau de Vie poire”, the water of life pear liquor or the pastis.
“It’s nasty,” Emma said about the pastis liquor made from licorice.
At the adjacent newsstand, I bought “Van Gogh in Provence” English Edition booklet with photos of major paintings created during the master’s stay in Arles and Saint-Remy.
As we embarked on the long road up north back to Fixin, we got stuck in the traffic jam, called “bouchon” in France due to the returning vacationers from the Mediterranean resorts.
“They all go for their vacation at the same time to the Med,” Emma said. “They use the only highway that goes from north to south, the A7.”
But being stuck in a “bouchon” in France is not necessarily a bad thing, because it’s another opportunity for more sight- seeing and treats for the palate. We stepped out at the Aire- de- Montelimar rest stop and I bought the real French white nougat with hazelnuts, the local specialty from Montelimar. At first Ella refused to taste the nougat.
“I don’t eat that.”
“Ella, you’re like an old person,” I laughed. “Don’t be afraid to try something new.”
“It’s delicious,” she said.
In the Lyon “bouchon” I admired the renaissance buildings on the banks of the river Rhone, reminiscent of the Prague riverside on Vltava. Emma pointed out the Museum of Confluence built on a peninsula in the river, where the Saone meets the Rhone.
“I love being stuck in traffic,” said sarcastically our driver Selene. “Give me some coke, please.”
Hundreds of cars stood still on the major Paris bound thoroughfare going through downtown Lyon, pop. 2.2 million. Only the colorful trams crossing the bridges and the boats navigating the Rhone were moving.
To the right, I noticed a girl waterboarding on the massive turquoise-colored river that originates from the Rhone glacier in the Swiss Alps.
The boat pulling the girl was full of young people having the time of their lives, while the nervous drivers drummed their fingers on the steering wheels. We were melting in the late afternoon heat in front of the tunnel.
Thanks to the obsolete infrastructure in Lyon dating back to the advancement of the automobile, I finished reading the Van Gogh booklet intended for the transatlantic flight home to Chicago. Two hours later, the youngsters were still waterboarding on the Rhone.
“Thank you Lyon, Mr. Van Gogh and Doc Emma for great entertainment, as always.”
Notable mention for Van Gogh lovers:
Van Gogh in Europe
The Estrine Museum in Saint-Remy de Provence is part of Van Gogh Europe, a vast European project associating places and museums concerned with the life and work of the painter.
The objectives of the Partners of Van Gogh Europe are to value the life and works of art by Vincent van Gogh by developing cultural, educational and touristic projects of the highest quality.