Category Archives: Daily Post prompt

Writers group network

From idea to paper, bit, print & market

LowellArts to form a writers group

Lowell, MI- Are you a writer or an author interested in networking to gain insights into the publishing industry?

Have you encountered endless obstacles on your writing journey that seem to lead nowhere? Are your manuscripts collecting dust? Do you have a stack of rejections from agents?

Have you ever doubted yourself on your writing journey from the original idea to seeing your book on the bookshelf  at the local Schuler  Books store or at your hometown library?

Are you still wishing you could see your screenplay on the big screen?

A writers group will bring confidence and synergy to your writing, screenwriting & publishing efforts. It will help streamline them into a flow of great content for publishing: print, digital, audible and/or all of the above.

It will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and insights with fellow  wordsmiths.

You can start by joining the Facebook group: Writers Loop

Contact Emma at 1-616-550-3885 or email me at

Also follow my publishing blog Edition Emma Publishing

For more info on LowellArts go to:

About the feature photo & logo:

The path shows the poet’s Meandering  journey through the woods of the publishing maze. The lights of insight are shining on it.

The poem is by an unknown poet

I see a pleasant path, and I begin to ramble

On either side are thorns and rocks

The ground is full of brambles……..

Fallen trees to trip me, the woods are very dark…..

But around the corner, and down the path,

I think I can see a park,

I think I’ll walk on the path today, the woods are too scary..

The path is my way,

It has a few hills as I walk toward the park,

But the sun is shining, and I am not in the dark……

It is simple to do….

Just stay on the path,

And we’ll walk with you!

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


Happy International Women’s Day

This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign theme is #PressforProgress which calls for action to press forward and progress gender parity.

Now, more than ever it takes on a new meaning in light of the recent events not just exclusive to Hollywood and the politicians.

The campaign gives us five options of positive behaviours toward gender equality starting with maintaining a gender parity mindset all the way to celebrating women’s achievements.

I have chosen all five. But long before this campaign I had the positive influence of celebrating womanhood in the old country.  The socialist government encouraged the celebration of IWD.

One of my favorite memories from the former socialist Czechoslovakia is the celebration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), both at work and at home.

The country very much valued its female population to the point that women could stay on a maternity leave for up to three years without losing their job. They received 60 percent of their salary for the first two years of their maternity leave with full salary for the first six months.

The nurseries were free as well as other preschool child-care establishments. While capitalism swiped all that away, the country did manage to keep all its old holidays along with the new ones. The country doubled up on fun when they picked back up Mother’s Day with the advance of the free market economy, and retained International Women’s Day from the past.

I still see well wishes to women from my Czech friends on Facebook on this day. Now, that warms my heart; the fact that both systems acknowledge a woman’s place in the society and in the workplace.

We used to get flowers or pantyhose at work, or the other way around at home. Even though now I don’t get either for this day, I still dedicate a memory, a post, or a wish to all the women in the world.

Inspired by the IWD tradition, I started my most popular story series, “Inspiring Women” in the winter of 2014. The series features women that are making a difference in their communities.

Since then, I have featured women from all walks of life: small town politicians, businesswomen, sportswomen, nuns, artists, doctors, herbalists, bloggers and many more. Each woman told her own story, and they were all inspiring. They are the
Fabric of their families and communities.

Just to name a few: Gail Lowe, Liz Baker, Betty Dickinson, Sharon Ellison, Betty Morlock, Mary Dailey Brown, Kathleen Mooney and most recently Betsy Davidson.

If you run into them, say thank you. Nominate a woman who has inspired you for a story.

Link to IWD is:

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

Notes from Ocean 2018

Seaside Inspirations

By Emma Palova

Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Sipping coffee at a Turkish café on the corner of Sunrise and N. Ocean boulevards in Ft. Lauderdale with my daughter Emma, I found life easy.
This writer’s break from the northern vortex in West Michigan was different from the previous ones.
First of all, I changed bodies of water;that is the Gulf of Mexico for the Atlantic Ocean. Then I changed company. We all went with our adult children and the grand kids.
We stayed at an Art Deco villa five minutes from the beach. It gave us the opportunity to explore the Atlantic Ocean up close and personal.
And for the writer in me it was also good to compare the two shores; that is the Atlantic and the Gulf coast.
The weather was marvelously warm in the 80s with equally warm waves of the Atlantic splashing the beaches. Surfers were abundant unlike on the Gulf, where the waves are not big enough for surfing.

On the downside of the Atlantic, there were less shells and no shark teeth hunters. However, the lifeguards were on full duty and warned of rip currents. Our fellow traveler Maranda almost got caught in one. The lifeguard warned us with his whistle.“Always swim with the current to get out of it, never against it.”
The sounds of the waves rocked the youngest ones to the best nap in the world: on the beach.
Just listening to the ocean and watching the white combs as the waves crested was the best meditation in the world. Enhancing the motion and the sounds of the ocean were the freighters anchoring off shore. These lit up at night.

South Beach, Art Deco & Miami Yacht Show

A pretty nerve-wrecking drive south on Collins Ave and onto Ocean Blvd. took us to South Beach and the Art Deco district.
On the cusp of the 30th annual Miami Yacht Show running from Feb. 15 through Feb. 19, we drove past hundreds of yachts-in-water for sale on the Indian Creek Waterway. Yacht brokers were just building entrances to the yacht in-water displays on 1.2 million square feet.

Art Deco district

As a civil engineer by trade and a history buff, I was fascinated by the chic historic Art Deco district. Sitting in the South Beach neighborhood within a short walking distance from the beach, the colorful historic buildings span three basic architectural styles: 1920s Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and MiMo or Miami Modernist architecture.
In search of Cuban fare & Daiquiri cocktails, we ate at Mango’s Tropical Café.
The beach scene beyond the Lummus Park featured colorful Art Deco lifeguard stands and the hottest fashion trends such as the thong swimwear.

Seaside Inspirations

Las Olas, Venice of America, Ft. Lauderdale

We took a pirate boat ride on the Intracoastal Waterway lined by million dollar homes and mega yachts of the rich and the famous. Captain Kris took us past Steven Spielberg’s mega yacht equipped with three-quarter of a full length movie screen.
Knowledgeable about the lives of the famous, Chris told us the story of the founder of Phillips 66 petroleum company after whom the famous Grille 66 & Bar on the waterway has been named.
Then came the story of entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga known for Blockbuster Video, Waste Management & AutoNation.


We visited this small town of 6,000 north of Ft. Lauderdale twice for its walkable shopping district, the pier and snorkeling opportunities. It is full of small beach motels, unlike its high-rise neighbors.
I marveled at the sign for the local Farmer’s Market open from December through May.
In Michigan, we get first produce in June.

Fond memories

I will treasure timeless moments spent in the coarse sand, on the waves of the Atlantic, on the veranda of Ocean 2000 of the Pelican Resort and Valentine’s dinner on the deck of the Sandbar Grille.

And yes, we did also meet some Rubes, like the clerk at the Beach Shop.

However, we bargained with her for the best price for our Budweiser and Corona swimwear.

“You girls will never have to buy a drink for yourself on the beach,” she noted with a deep hollow laugh. Emma noticed her turquoise colored earrings in the shape of balls from the smallest to the big one.

Or maybe the real rube was the obnoxious bad pirate Barnacle Bill who stole our key to the treasure aboard the Bluefoot Pirate Adventures.

At the Aruba bar, women sported heart-shaped Valentine shades, and Publix was overflowing with heart-shaped balloons and cakes.

During this brief break from the freezing cold, we marked Mardi Gras, Valentine’s and Ash Wednesday, as well as the Greek Festival weekend in southern warmth and hospitality.

Alligator Alley, Everglades

However, I would be remiss, if I didn’t mention our 123 mile long drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Myers through the Everglades area of South Florida.

The freeway I-75 from the east coast of Florida to the west coast is appropriately called Alligator Alley, as it cuts through the Everglades for 80 miles.

I noticed hundreds of white egrets congregating on the palm trees by the river fenced off from the freeway to protect the endangered Florida panther.

According to popular lore and crime movies, dead bodies are being disposed off here at the Alligator Alley. You will find no traces of anything. What the alligators didn’t get, the birds and the panthers will. It’s called balance in nature.

Well, our time on the Atlantic Ocean came and went like the afternoon tide. But, it washed ashore thousands of precious memories.

And I close this “Notes from Ocean 2018” account with the words of the Frontier airline captain.

“Join us. We’re flying like crazy from the tip of North America to the tip of South America.”

Copyright © 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Inspiring Women- Betsy Davidson

About the Inspiring Women series

This feature series is dedicated to all women who are making a difference in their communities. They work to improve other people’s lives, as well as their own.  They give  Profusely of themselves. In putting together this feature series, I was inspired by several moments in my life that in particular stand out.

Orchids in full bloom
Enigmatic orchids

No.1  A dedication of a Relax, mind, body & soul book by Barbara Heller from my son Jake: “I dedicate this to my inspiring and motivational mother.” Kuba

No. 2  While on a story prior to Mother’s Day, I dropped in at Ace Bernard Hardware to talk about the prizes with owner Charlie Bernard. We talked also about the Lowell Area Chamber and its director Liz Baker.

“You know what I like about Liz, she keeps re-inventing herself,” Bernard said.

No. 3 Again on a story prior to the International Women’s Day on March 8, I talked to Sow Hope president Mary Dailey Brown.

“If you want to make a difference in this world, seriously consider helping impoverished women. Helping women is the key to unlocking poverty.”

No. 4  At a parents teacher conference at Cherry Creek Elementary in Lowell in the mid 1990s, I spoke with my son’s teacher, Karen Latva:

“Mrs. Pala, we do not give up,” she said.

This series is geared toward the International Women’s Day on March 8. Nominate a woman who has inspired you. Contact Emma at with subject Inspiring Women.

There is a parallel series “Inspiring Communities” where you can nominate both men and women, year round.

Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce names Betsy Davidson  Person of the Year 2018

IW betsy
Addorio owner Betsy Davidson

“Find something that you are passionate about and jump in with both feet.”
Betsy Davidson

Lowell, MI- Betsy Davidson, owner of Addorio Technologies, is the recipient of the 2018 Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year Award.
She will accept the prestigious award at the winter gathering of the chamber membership on Feb. 15.
The award came as a total surprise to Davidson, who found out about the honor at the ambassador breakfast club. “It’s very humbling,” she said. “My customers have been congratulating me. I am very happy.”
Davidson has been the owner of Addorio Technologies since 2000. She started the company when her former employer Creative Handling of Hudsonville went out of business.
Her first job was at Deer Run Golf Course, and her first car was a blue Renault.

How does she gets things done

Davidson described herself as a dedicated and persistent individual. In preparation for a big project as in building a website or a server/network upgrade, Davidson first meets with the customer to make sure expectations are met and details are communicated.
The major challenge in the technology business, according to Davidson, is keeping up with constant changes in IT. That means attending trainings, workshops, webinars and on the job training.
For inspiration, Davidson looks up to fellow business owners. Her role model is chamber executive director Liz Baker.
“She has so much energy,” she said. “I can’t keep up with her.”
There was another reason why Davidson wanted her own business, since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Positive thinking

“Positive thinking has always kept me going,” she said, “my family, my husband Matt and my friends.”
She has never wanted to quit her job.
“I get more excited as I grow my business,” she said. “I keep moving forward.”
A lot of Davidson’s business is in the greater Lowell area.
In response to a question about fear in both professional and personal lives, Davidson said the only fear she has in business is disappointing customers.
However, in personal life Davidson said she’s afraid she could miss out on spending time with the family and friends.


Her biggest professional accomplishment is receiving the 2018 Person of the Year award.
Also, last year, Davidson was presented with an award for raising $50,000 for the MS Society.
“We were among the top 10 for a “do it yourself fundraiser” for the state of Michigan.
Davidson and her family have been doing this fundraiser for the last 16 years.
On the theme of success, Davidson attributed her achievements to her determination.
“I am kind of stubborn, and I keep going,” she laughed. “I don’t stop.”
Among her goals is to continue to do 5k runs, and a 10k run tentatively in 2018. She does the 5/3 Fifth Third Run, Ionia Parks run and Alpha Women’s Center run.
Her interests include travel. She plans to visit her grandma Annette Addorio, 103, in Maine. She named her business, Addorio Technologies after her grandmother.


Davidson is an active volunteer with the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and the Lowell Area Trails network. Between the three organizations, Davidson spends approximately five to 10 hours volunteering a week on top of her 50 to 60 hours a week work schedule.
She offered the following tips and advice to other women:
“Number one is balance,” she said. “It’s hard to squeeze time out of the day, but I have a passion for what I am doing.”Also, Davidson advises not to be afraid to ask other people for help.
“Find out who else is passionate about the same thing, and it will strengthen the project,” she said.
In face of negativity, Davidson always focuses on positivity.
“There is a lot of negativity, try to focus on the positive,” she said.
The Person of the Year Award annually honors people who make contributions in the greater Lowell community above their regular work.
“It is a huge honor to receive the award,” Davidson said. “It’s all-encompassing. I wouldn’t have received this award, if it weren’t for the help of the people I work with.”
Davidson hopes to continue to do all this and more into the future.

About Betsy

Name: Betsy Davidson

Residence: Lowell

Occupation: Business owner of Addorio Technologies

Education: Central Michigan University

Family: husband Matt

Hobbies & Interests: walking, running, travel and spending time with family

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

Emma’s February Book Signing @LowellArts

February expands new horizons, get the scoop at Emma’s author events & new Cool Vendors Abound blog

Author’s note: These are my thoughts prior to the Feb. 3 book signing of my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories at the award-winning arts gallery in downtown Lowell from 1 to 4 p.m. The gallery presents the Grand Valley Artists-In View show.

LowellArts has received the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce reward for the best non-profit organization for providing more arts programs and services, while positively impacting the downtown businesses.

“Yes, this is a big deal for Lowell,” said Lorain Smalligan, executive director of LowellArts. “There are not many communities the size of Lowell with an arts center like LowellArts.”

I look forward to February for several reasons: I consider February as the month of love, and the Mardi Gras extravaganza. I also squeeze in my annual writer’s retreat in Florida.


1- January, the longest and coldest month will come to an end tomorrow, but we will also get to see the rare Super Blue Blood Moon for the first time in 150 years. The phenomenon consists of a super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse, aka blood moon, all in one. Don’t miss out on Jan. 31.

2- I get to revise if I have stuck to my new year’s resolutions. Let’s look at this one close-up.

Among my many new year’s resolutions was to get in shape; that is physically and mentally. I continue to exercise; 30 minutes of yoga and 30 minutes on the treadmill, plus freestyle weight lifting. I have yet to explore the possibilities of the yoga fitness 75-cm ball.

Mentally: My husband and I have signed up for Spanish classes so we can order lunch in Cuba. We both continue to go on Monday evenings under the tutelage of Mr. Jim Albert. I can now put together an entire sentence in Spanish:

“Yo voy a apprender Espanol.”   I am going to learn Spanish.

I meditate with one of the greatest thinkers of this world: Deepak Chopra in his “Making every Moment Matter” meditations.

3- Straighten out or strengthen relationships. Build new DIY sites.

Trainman Vas with Lionel train models in Paris, MI.

Now, this one is tougher than it looks. I have a lot more work to do, even though I managed to visit my brother Vas in Paris, MI last Sunday. A story “The Trainman” (c)  Emma Palova is coming to my new site Cool Vendors Abound.

Visit Cool Vendors at

I re-purposed the farm country theme blog to a broader base for vendors, hobbyists and DIY crafts.

4- Moderation; I practice moderation on drinking only two cups of coffee a day .

5- The Dominant goal reigns over it all; and that is fiction writing.

I am currently working on Shifting Sands: Secrets, Book 2.

I will be discussing at my upcoming Emma’s author events including the book signings at LowellArts on Feb. 3 and March 10 the following themes:

“How to start and finish your book in 2018.”

“How to write about love.”

Looking forward to seeing you soon. You can also shoot me a note or a question at Come for inspiration.

Buy a copy of my book locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and in Okemos, Lansing. I will have a few copies on hand.

For info on LowellArts go to:

For info on Schuler books go to :

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




Lorenz, Czech restaurant with Austrian flavors

Restaurant Lorenz, a dream come true for Czech & Slovak couple

After working as a chef at a Viennese restaurant for 30 years, Jan Laurencik opened a restaurant in beautiful Kromeriz with wife Eva on this wintry day at the end of January.

Having a restaurant in Kromeriz has been a lifelong dream for this enterprising couple, Jan & Eva. Jan is from Slovakia, Eva is a lifelong resident of Kromeriz in Czech Republic.

The fusion of the Austrian dishes with Czech is apparent in the entrees such as the featured Old Viennese pork knee on a skewer with red cabbage sauerkraut, hot pepper and bread, served on a plank and accompanied by Bernard beer.

“It is delicious with a well-balanced tangy taste of the sauerkraut,” said Emma Palova. Palova visited Kromeriz and the local restaurants many times. “I love this Moravian specialty. The beer washes down the grease from the knee. It’s finger-licking good.”

The weekly menu features daily specials with soup included and a choice of four  entrees ranging in price from 85 kc to 135 kc. KC stands for Czech currency, Czech crowns.

The restaurant/cafe menu is complete with a piece of Vienna; that is the Sachr Torte. The Sachr chocolate cake has been the most famous cake in the world since 1832, and the original recipe remains a well-kept secret.

The featured coffee is the Vienna melange with Mozart’s kugel confection. The large selection of desserts also features traditional Czech “pohar” cup with fruits, whipped cream and ice cream.

And of course the dessert menu would not be complete without the famous apple strudel, home to both Austria and Czech Republic.

Congratulations to my friends Eva Larencikova and her husband Jan to the opening of the Lorenz Restaurant & Kavarna in beautiful Kromeriz, Czech Republic.

Note: Eva and I met on a “Hops” train to Zatec in 1982. We spent three weeks in the Bohemian hops fields picking hops in order to obtain a university credit from the Technical University of Brno. The hops brigade was mandatory under the socialist educational system. Hops in all forms including liquid as in beer, have cemented our lifetime long distance friendship. The pork knee on a plank with beer was our favorite dish during our student years in Brno, because it was good and cheap. The distance across the Atlantic Ocean has changed nothing in our relationship.

You don’t need a Reservation to  this Czech Viennese cafe.

Featured photo: Courtesy of Lorenz Restaurant & Kavarna

Smoked pork knee on a skewer with red sauerkraut and bread served on a plank.

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

Five years on WordPress

What I have learned while blogging on the WordPress platform

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – It’s hard to believe that yesterday marked five years since my registration on WordPress. My first post “About” followed on Jan. 15, 2013.

Some people asked me at my author’s book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories, why do you need a blog, if you have a Facebook page. There are at least a million reasons to blog; for me the most important one was to support my fiction career.

Five years on WordPress.

I had a successful journalistic print career for two decades, and I wanted to build on that following with a virtual audience.  When I embarked on penning our immigration saga from communist Czechoslovakia titled “Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West” agent Barbara Lowenstein of Lowestein Associates Inc. suggested I need a blog/website.

I didn’t have a Facebook page, so I startedmy blog on WordPress with 0 followers that grew to two brave pioneers, Lowell artist Kathleen Mooney and Vergennes Broadband owner Ryan Peel. My Twitter account was  insignificant.

Over the years, I built the blog out just like you would build a fortress, stone by stone, wall by wall; that is post by post, page by page.

I’ve compiled  the following Q&A based on what people asked me in person and on the Internet. These include my insights gained over the last five years, including the publishing of my new book in the summer of 2017 on kdp publishing platform.

Q & A:

Q:How often do you post?

A: Twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays before the weekend.

Q: What do you write about on a weekly basis that grows your following?

A: You have to be able to offer a value to your readers based on the subject matter of your blog. Be relevant.

For example: if you have a food blog (and I do), give out recipes.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Everyday life and writing. As an author and a writer, I write every day. Even if it’s not writing behind the computer screen, I write in my wide ruled spiral notebook.  I jot down notes of everyday observations. I always keep these handy for future reference.

Q: What kind of insights have you gained during your blogging & author careers?

A: This is where I have to distinguish between blogging and being an author of fiction.

Even though one feeds into the other, that is blogging feeds into my fiction writing and vice versa, there is a difference.

Blogging: Numbers matter, that’s why you have to work the social media relentlessly. Connect your social media platforms to your blog. Post on a regular basis. Build a faithful following.

Fiction writing:  Write every day solid blocks of coherent text. Seek feedback, reviews and build a network of contacts. Make public appearances so people know about you.

In both cases, nurture the contacts in your network with a monthly newsletter. Enahnce writing with videos and book trailers.

In the sea of daily published new books in different formats, you cannot expect the reader to find you. You have to find the right reader to match what you have written.

Q: Where and when does it all come together?

A: It all comes together once you’re published on publishing and readers’ platforms.

Publishing platforms:

Kdp publishing on Amazon. Update your author centrale page.


Readers’ platforms

Goodreads authors

Summary: In both blogging and as an author encourage engagement with reviews, questions and feedback.

As such, I will be actively answering your questions until my departure for writer’s retreat in Florida on Feb. 8 on all platforms. Use slug: Emma answers.

Tips: You Study  the forums and help materials on WordPress.

You not only study the materials, but you implement everything that you have learned. Don’t forget to visit other blogs.on the Dai ly Post round-up. They are a constant source of inspiration.

To get discovered and for further insights: Participate in the Daily Post prompts

Happy blogging and writing.

Thank you WordPress for providing this free platform to all writers, authors and dreamers around the globe.

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

First book signing in 2018

Plotting writing projects this year

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – My first book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories in 2018 is today at @LowellArts from 1 to 4 pm in the beautiful new location of the gallery in downtown Lowell. Stop by to chat with local author Emma Palova.

“I love the opportunity to chat with my fans during the book signings made possible by local venues such as Lowell Arts,” Emma said. “I’ve always been their fan in everything they do to represent all arts.”

Check out the book trailer by Doc Emma of Fixin’, France. Doc is also in charge of the audio production of the book.

The video Evokes the mood of the book set in hometown America.

Link to trailer:

You can buy a copy of my new book locally at @SchulerBooks in GR, Lansing or on Amazon.
I will be offering writing tips for your projects in 2018.
I am currently working on Shifting Sands: Secrets, Book 2 (c) 2018 Emma Palova. I have also resumed work on Greenwich Meridian: East meets West. Follow me on my author’s journey for insights and adventure.

My next book signing will be on Feb. 3 at Lowell Arts from 1 to 4 p.m. Make plans to stop by for insights and adventure.

Currently, on display at the gallery are the Grand Valley Artists-In View.

For more info on LowellArts go to:

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

Emma’s winter book signings at LowellArts

This is a Viable press release that you can re-purpose many times.

Shifting Sands Short Stories book signing press release

Local author Emma Palova will have book signings at Lowell Arts Gallery

To be released immediately

January 5, 2018


Emma Palova



EW Emma’s Writings blog

Lowell, MI- Local author Emma Palova will have book signing events of “Shifting Sands Short Stories” at the Lowell Arts Gallery on Main Street on Jan. 13 & Feb. 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Palova, a former reporter for the Lowell Ledger, has published the book of short stories based on her immigration, retail and journalistic experience. Both formats, Kindle for $7.99 and paperback for $11.99 are now available on Amazon, and locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and in Lansing.


The 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, “Place for Commentary” in Czech. That was the only time she wrote in her native language, Czech.

Many of the stories are based on experiences Palova has had during her time living and working in the greater Lowell area in Michigan.

“Life is an awesome tapestry of stories,” she said. “I love chatting with my fans. People mostly want to know how to finish the books they have started writing. It’s not an easy question to ask, and definitely not an easy one to answer.”

Palova will be offering writing and publishing tips at her upcoming author’s events.

“Success comes from everyday writing, building a following and meeting with fans,” she said.

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. 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 communist Czechoslovakia to the USA.

She is preparing her first novel “Fire on Water” for publication. She has also penned a screenplay “Riddleyville Clowns.”

Palova has a lifetime passion for history and politics. She does social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunities this country has given to me,” Palova said.

She became a US citizen in 1999 in Grand Rapids.

Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon






Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and Lansing

Lowell Arts Gallery



Copyright (c) 2018. 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.

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