Category Archives: books

Storyteller 2017, the third circle with book excerpts

Storyteller 2017 -part VI

 I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.

Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.

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Storyteller 2017 Emma

This is the sixth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21, the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22, fueling the passion of the Storyteller on June 23, and Storyteller-the passion on June 26.

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 The first circle of stories draws on the early years of immigration and includes: Danillo, Honey Azrael and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

The second circle of stories from retail experience includes: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.

The third circle of stories is from the media business;  papers, newspapers, newsletters and magazines where ink used to be bought by the barrell. Since printing is also becoming a lost art, I decided to collect these short stories and publish them, all the while remembering the words of a city official:

“If it isn’t written, it hasn’t happened.”

As I wrote this I realized this was a great fit for the June 22 Daily Post prompt: paper.

Paper

 
These stories include: In the Shadows, Iron Horse, Foxy, Riddleyville Clowns and Chatamal.

My writing passion is coupled by my love of history.

 I started writing for Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 with my own column, “Commentary Place.” That was also the only time I wrote in Czech language. It was a biweekly column about the issues pertaining to the Czech community living in the USA. I wrote essays as well.

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My first official newspaper job was with the Kaechele Publications in 1997. I commuted 145 miles round trip to Plainwell. The editor Dave Trinka, who interviewed me, loved the fact that I had included the newspaper clips in Czech. Go figure.

I loved the hometown Union Enterprise newspaper based in Plainwell. Due to the distance of the commute, I found closer newspaper jobs, the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, Lowell Ledger, Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Grand Rapids Press.

Here is an excerpt from the “Iron Horse.”

 “Everybody in the room was wearing yellow. The tablecloths on round tables were yellow. I bit my lips hard, so that a streak of blood appeared on them. I was hoping the blood wouldn’t drop on the blouse.

I closed my eyes and I could see the old township hall at the Shimmicon Corners.

“So, is this all you expected,” an angry farmer barked into my face.

His face was swollen and his Adam’s apple was rolling in his throat. He was wearing Carhart overalls smeared with manure. His hands were big with strong fingers.

I backed away. He smelled of hay and manure. A terrifying stench spread in the meeting room of the Shimmicon Township.

I looked around me. The township hall was packed. The latecomers were peaking in from the windows. Two policemen were standing by the door, their hands on their pistols and truncheons. I could hardly breathe because the air was so heavy with sweat. Somebody spat on the floor in front of me. There was straw on the floor.

The farmers were thumping their feet against the plank floor and shaking their fists. I sank into a chair in the first row right across from the supervisor’s seat. Everyone else was seated except for him. As minutes ticked by, the farmers got angrier. Finally, supervisor Ned walked in looking at the mob. His big eyes were protruding from its sockets. Ned was a medium built man with thick hair. He pounded the mallet to bring order to the room.

“Silence,” he yelled. “I said quiet.”

The angry farmers were shaking their heads, gesturing and talking. Pig farmer Frank was standing in the corner. Tall Frank with black mustache and hair was leaning against the wall wearing his rubber boots. He came directly from the pig pens. His hands were stuck in his pockets.

Supervisor Ned pounded the mallet again.

“I will use the police, if you do not shut up.”

This post is also about how to create in writing.

@create

Create

 

 

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Storyteller 2017-the passion

The passion in the Shifting Sands Short Stories continued from June 23

 Book excerpts from Shifting Sands Short Story Therese’s Mind

 I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.

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Storyteller 2017 Emma

Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.

This is the fifth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction last Tuesday on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21, the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22 and fueling the passion of the Storyteller on June 23, and now on June 26-the passion and commitment.

About commitment

The Storyteller 2017 series also fits the Daily Post prompt commit. The biggest part of the Shifting Sands Short Stories project that spans more than two decades of writing has been commitment.

Commit

 

The first circle of stories was inspired by the early years of immigration and includes: Danillo, Honey Azrael and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

The second circle of stories includes: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.

 The second circle of stories draws on the years of working in a Midwest retail chain in the  mid 1990s and beyond. It was a time of assimilation into the American culture after tumultuous years of wanting to return back to the old country, former Czechoslovakia that still existed under that name.

I had packed and unpacked my luggage several times.

At the time, I was working the second shift in the store, writing and taking journalism classes at the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in the morning.

About inspiration

My stories are usually inspired by human struggle, whether physical or emotional, real or perceived.

Here is an excerpt from Therese’s Mind:

 The “Singing in the rain” rose was her favorite one. It was a hardy breed. Copper-like leaves stood defiantly against the onset of another fall. The ground was almost frozen now, yet the rose kept yielding new dark reddish leaves. From the depth of the reddish leaves, new buds unleashed a strange smell. It was the smell of a lost summer and the captured sun for one fleeting second. Therese could only imagine the smell from what she had known many years ago.

The thorns broke off easily, so she didn’t have to be careful anymore. They wouldn’t hurt her. Therese drew in deep breath inhaling all the secrets of a fragrance, and sat down on a bench. The bench was like her; all weather-worn and beaten down a thousand times with repeating rains, leaving and coming back again. She felt the constant drumming of the raindrops in her heart and bones. Coming and leaving, leaving and coming.

She was in her fifties. Therese was a grown-up woman with a child’s heart, longing to be held in someone’s arms. During her fifty-year long journey, she never learned the tricks of womanhood or adulthood for that matter.

Therese was pure as refined sugar that makes up a fine Bacardi. She was fine and fragile like the leaves of the roses in her garden in the first October frost.

“Therese, hurry up,” somebody hollered from the house.

“You have a phone call.”

Therese had trouble recollecting her thoughts due to severe brain damage over the years from non-malignant tumors. The doctors said that the tumors were not immediately deadly, but they spoke kindly of several options, all equally dangerous.

“You can’t have anything in our head,” they said at the nearby Heart of Blessed Hospital.

Storyteller 2017….part VI to be continued book excerpts

You can pre-order the Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon at:

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

Storyteller 2017- Fueling the passion with book excerpts

Fueling the passion of the Storyteller 2017 with book excerpts, part IV

 I have named my book campaign Storyteller 2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.

Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.

20170611_101314

This is the fourth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21 and the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22.

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 As I have mentioned in the previous installments, I have divided the 13 stories in the Shifting Sands Short Stories collection thematically and chronologically into three circles.

The first circle of stories draws on the early years of immigration experience of learning French in Montreal, and taking creative short story writing at the International Correspondence Schools, ICS.

Those were the transformative years or impermanence for me and the characters like Danillo in Danillo, Vanessa in Honey Azrael and the couple Martin and Ellen in the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

The second circle of stories reflects the time for assimilation into the American culture. These include: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.

The characters in the second circle suffer from the boredom of a daily routine in a store, but they fear change. The setting is rural Midwest America. I created the town of Riddleyville with its secrets and vices. The Riddleyville characters range from robust Big Irma, Shorty, philosophical Ula, pretty Rachel, boxcutter Amy, sick Therese to deceitful Vadim in the Death Song.

Here is an excerpt from Orange Nights:

The store kept its secrets in the backrooms where the employees gathered for breaks and meetings. Things not said on the floor, were exaggerated here freely over nasty coffee and lunches brought from home in plastic containers.

The kid who extended his stay at the store instead of going to college usually cleaned the backrooms and the public restrooms. Sometimes he worked in the smelly bottle room. Customers and  employees called him “Shorty.”

It just caught on.

“Hey, people, do you have to make such a mess or what?” he asked.

If Shorty was in a bad mood, he’d complain, and mop the floor under your feet, and knock down your lunchbox.

He wasn’t a typical loser, he just acted like one.

The second shift already faced the remnants of the day, including the bad attitudes and unfulfilled dreams of yesterday.

The saying around the town of Riddleyville was that at one point in time, everyone has worked at the store for a million different reasons.

My passion for writing continued to grow as I took journalism classes at the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in the mid-1990s. At that time I wrote feature stories for the GRCC paper the “Collegiate.”

I wrote a chunk of the short stories, while taking these classes and working at the store.

The passion continues in the next part V of the Storyteller 2017 series.

The book Shifting Sands Short Stories is now available for pre-order on Amazon at:

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

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Storyteller 2017 with excerpts from book

The beginnings of Shifting Sands Short Stories

 I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.

Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.

20170611_101314
Storyteller Emma 2017

I started writing short stories in grade school in Stipa, Czech Republic when I won a short story contest with a story from a summer camp in Texas under the tutelage of Czech language teacher Mr. Dolezal.

But, a more coordinated and structured effort came with the creative writing program at the International Correspondence Schools (ICS) in Montreal, Canada, 1990-1993.

The first circle of stories was inspired by the early years of immigration from our homeland former Czechoslovakia to Canada, and then to the USA. During that time I wrote short stories that I now call the first circle: Honey Azrael, Danillo and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

For 3.5 years, we lived in Montreal, and I went to the French language immersion school COFI. The French classes and the students inspired the story Danillo. I transported the character and the setting to the shores of Lake Michigan and to one of the apple farms.

The common elements in the first circle of short stories are the powerful forces behind immigration. These are loneliness, being homesick and the fear of the new strange culture. The main character Danillo longs to go back to his home country, as he struggles to assimilate into the new American culture.

Honey Azrael depicts a woman chemist Vanessa who is no longer in love with her first husband, Rudi. She loves her collection of beetles more than she loves Rudi.

In the Temptation of Martin Duggan, the couple who left Czechoslovakia due to the 1968 invasion of their homeland by the Soviet Army, tries to desperately fit into the small pretense culture of a small university town close to Lake Michigan.

 

 

Here is an excerpt from Danillo:

 

 

“He came with the warm southern winds, and the birds. On the first spring day, Danillo was 23. Young and strong, with a body designed to love. It was a body pure and perfectly cut for any woman. The skin covering his muscles was tight. The color of Danillo’s skin was the color of the sand that he was standing in.

He was half dreaming, subconsciously perceiving the light spring wind. From the vantage point, Danillo could see the green water coming in and out of the small bay. Each wave washed away some sand from underneath his feet, like small grains slipping away from his brief life. He felt cold and the chill surprised him. Danillo was counting the endless waves, as well as his years.

This was his third birthday Up North, as he learned to call it from the locals. He never quite understood the expression Up North. Every spring, he came to the beach to watch the winter birds arrive from the South.

To be continued………in the Storyteller 2017 series leading up to the release of Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 30.

You can pre-order now at:

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

 

 

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Why writing is so important?

Writing opens a new  window into the world.

Writing as a form of therapy. Writing is  healing. Once you write on a regular basis, it becomes a part of you and who you are.

You discover and rediscover yourself and your surroundings. You see people that you have known for years through different eyes.

You gain new insight, as you better connect with the world.

The advantage of every day writing is that you get to compare your underlying emotions from one day to the next. You get to monitor them, as they change with every minute.

Writing opens a new window into the world. Yours and mine.

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I firmly believe that if there were more writer’s in the world, there would be less violence.

Follow me on my publishing journey of Shifting Sands Short Stories. The ebook will be released on June 30.

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