Category Archives: daily writing

Writer’s retreat & an unplanned reunion

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, I’ve returned to my annual winter writer’s retreat on the island of Venice in Florida.

I missed everything; from the turquoise waters, tropical flowers to Mahi Mahi and Mango Bango at Sharky’s.

This year’s stay was very special because we had an unplanned family reunion that just happened when Doc Chavent and Ludek decided to join us in “Paradise.”

Since it was sort of a reunion, mom Ella slaved in the kitchen and made some tropical goodies like open-faced sandwiches with mango chutney and blue cheese spread. We bought cold cuts at the International Food deli in nearby Northport owned by Ukraine owners.

I admire these Ukrainian women who have been running the store sine 1989 with little knowledge of English, but with a lot of gusto for life and preserving the old country traditions by carrying foods such as sproty, smoked mackerels, Russian champagne, Alexander II black tea and loose tea packed in Russian nesting dolls.

Venice on the island with sandy beaches and pelicans is better known as “Paradise.” The temperature in the winter months is around mid 70F. We lucked out it was in the 80s all week long, and sunny.

We all met on Sunday, Feb. 20 by the beach at Sharky’s, the only restaurant on the beach in Venice. Ludek waited for us by the picnic bench and surprised Doc Emma and the grandkids, as well as Vincent by his unexpected presence. Our daughter didn’t recognize him in his beach attire and hat, and her new friend Vincent didn’t stand a chance, since they’ve never met.

However, the grands eventually realized that it was their own grandpa sitting underneath the palms drinking beer, even though they were jet-lagged after the long flight from Paris.

We all enjoyed the sunny tropical afternoon on the beach in February. Usually, we spend Sunday afternoons at home shopping after the Sunday mass.

This was a much-needed break from the winter drill of taking care of the house and our new business. But I also had to somewhat break away from my usual retreat routine except for the morning yoga on the beach with Elin.

My dad Vaclav gave me a ride every day for the 9 am yoga session on Venice Beach. The class is always well attended by close to 200 participants from all over the USA. But most of us are from either the Midwest or from New England.

I enjoyed the morning conversations about how many inches of snow was the northeast getting and how many flights have been canceled. The last yoga class before my departure was dedicated to Dotty of Michigan who was celebrating her 100th birthday and until two years ago did yoga with Elin on the beach, a definite testimonial to the overall benefits of yoga.

“Dotty wouldn’t want us to do any balances today,” said Elin holding a poster of Dotty. “ So we’re not going to do them.”

Elin offers plenty of tips on how to maintain balance, good posture, and fall correctly, if necessary. We often do executive stretches and airplane balances. Plus there’s a lot to do in town including Farmers Markets on Saturdays.

I love downtown Venice with palm-lined streets, boutiques, Ciao Gelato shop, Coffee and Wine Co., and restaurants. This year, colorful sculptures of mermaids and seahorses adorned the street corners and storefronts.

We only made it once to town for coffee with mom, and a few times to Jetty’s Jack for ice brewed latte with Ludek. However, we indulged in a fancy tropical lunch at Finn’s on an unlimited budget sponsored by the Docs from France.

You should never tell a Czech person that he or she can order whatever they want from the menu. Because they will. LOL

Mom ordered filet mignon, while dad went cheap and ordered fish and chips. We all shared octopus for appetizers. I have yet to acquire a taste for that.

The North and South Jetty located on the north side of Venice are wharves with marinas, kayaks, and boat rentals such as sailvenice.com and the Freedom Boat Club.

We enjoyed a sunset cruise with Captain Paul Aquaholic Charters starting at the Venice Marina by the Old Salt Dog. Marine patrol officer Paul for Sarasota County during the day turns into Captain Paul at night. Barefoot Paul took us out to sea via the Venice waterways past the dockside restaurants on the waterways.

We saw dolphins playing by the docks. They chased our small boat in the waterway and Paul even lent the Captain’s bridge to the grandkids to steer us toward the setting sun.

The journey into the sun that lit the gold and orange waters on fire to see the Gulf sunset lasted more than an hour, and created memories for a lifetime.

Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Dockside restaurants.

NaNoWriMo 2021 complete

What am I grateful for this holiday season

First of all, I haven’t had a chance to express my gratitude for this holiday season that I am alive and well.

My deepest gratitude goes to my family, friends, and fans for their support of my work. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the daunting 50k NaNoWriMo word challenge.

This was my third year participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I entered with word count zero on Monday, Nov. 1 after some prep work in October. That same day, our grandson Henrik was born at 2:30 p.m., and I drove to Hastings to babysit his siblings and came back to Lowell the next day.

For days leading up to the challenge, I stared into the historic map of Saugatuck, hoping that awesome inspiration will strike a chord in my heart and mind. The opposite was quite the truth. Every morning of the challenge, I stood up against the same goal: logging in at least 1,667 words a day to reach the coveted 50,000-word summit by Nov. 30th.

Since I picked for my NaNo project the historical fiction genre, I had to do research as well. Weeks of previous research didn’t help much. On the third day of the challenge, I figured out that breaking the writing marathon into two daily sessions will make it more doable. From then on, I worked in two parts: morning and afternoon.

What I found out was that even between the two sessions, I sometimes didn’t know what was going to come next. Just like watching a movie, I worked from scene to scene, not knowing what’s going to come next.

I was in for a few big surprises; I call them forks in major decision-making in the plot. I took advice from veteran Wrimos like author Jean Davis: do something or kill somebody, she advised in a special podcast panel.

Then, came times, when I thought I couldn’t go on physically; my entire being was hurting. I remember in a podcast, the host asked me: “Does writing hurt physically? Can you feel it?”

Yes, I could feel it, but I also felt accomplishment and movement forward, because I had no time to stagnate in murky waters. At one point, I realized I would have to log in more than the required 1,667-word quota, because of the upcoming holiday, and author’s events like Christmas Through Lowell which ran for three full days.

From my previous NaNos, I knew I would have to be fit also physically. I started walking on Oct. 11. I first walked on the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail, then to the Franciscan Life Process Center, and finally, as the weather got worse, I switched to the treadmill upstairs.

To this day, I believe if I hadn’t been physically fit, I wouldn’t have finished the challenge. I reached the 50k summit on Nov. 19th in the morning. I continued to write inspired by my NaNo buddies authors Andrew Allen Smith, Diana Plopa, and Marianne Wieland.

On the final day of the challenge, which is today, I logged in a total of 62,288 words, which puts me at 80 percent completion of my new book “Shifting Sands: A Lost Town.”

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along this journey including my author buddies, my family, and my fans. I celebrated NaNo today with a haircut, chocolates, music “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and a ride to Murray Lake.

It’s the simple things that count on a writing journey to publishing a new book. To me, it boils down to logging in daily word count, enjoying the journey, sharing insights, and offering support to others.

I was delighted to host podcast episodes of “For the Love of Books Podcast” during NaNoWriMo; it lifted my spirit, and hopefully, it helped others as well.

So take a listen to the following NaNo expert authors wherever you get your podcasts: Jean Davis, Sara DeBord, Kate Meyer, Melanie Hooyenga, Amy Klco.

http://emmapalova123.podbean.com

Power your NaNo 2021 authors offer tips to win the 50k word challenge

Today is the first day of the @NaNoWriMo 50k word challenge.
Listen in to expert NaNo authors Jean Davis, Sara Shanning, and Kristine Brickey who

NaNoWriMo 2021
Today is the first day of the NaNoWriMo 50k word challenge.

share their insights from their experiences in conquering the word marathon./ppAccording to all the panel participants whether you hit a writers’ block, crossroads in the plot, or the midway slump, you just keep on rolling./pp’Just keep on writing,’ Davis said./pp /p

Upcoming NaNo authors are Melanie Hooyenga, Amy Klco and Kate Meyer in November. Subcribe to the “For the Love of Books Podcast,” don’t miss out on a single episode.

https://emmapalova123.podbean.com/

Source: Power your NaNo 2021 authors offer tips to win the 50k word challenge

Day 35: COVID-19 Waste, wait & help

CZECH STAROPRAMEN WASTED

Lowell, MI – This morning I found out from the Expatriots.cz newsletter, that Prague’s Staropramen Brewery will dump hundreds of thousands of liters of beer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coming from this country, that holds monopoly on both beer production and consumption, I find this sad and excessive. Staropramen, a subsidiary of Molson Coors, could export the beer.

For more info go to:
news.expats.cz/czech-food-drink/pragues-staropramen-brewery-will-ecologically-dispose-of-hundreds-of-thousands-of-liters-of-beer/

The media reported earlier in the pandemic, that the US farmers will be dumping milk because the schools and the restaurants didn’t need it due to the shutdown. However, the cows still had to be milked.

Helping out Lowell, Canfield’s matching program until May 1

You can still buy a gift certificate to the local hair/nail salons or restaurants and Canfield Plumbing & Heating will match it up to $50 per household. We went for Sneaker’s.

THE FESTIVAL WAITING GAME 2020

Festival news from the Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon

We have heard from a number of exhibitors and guests and are so thankful for the outpouring of support for the Lakeshore Art Festival and would like to provide an update for this year’s event. We are closely following the status of COVID-19 within our state and throughout the country. Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our community, artists and guests. We also understand the extreme financial burden that is being placed on artists, businesses and employees. Taking all of that into consideration and the fact that our event is in July, we have decided to wait until mid-May before we determine how to proceed with the festival. By the end of May we will provide another communication with details on the status of Lakeshore Art Festival 2020. Please note: Status may change based on new directives put forth by the Governor of Michigan.

Thank you all health care and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day quarantine coverage from Michigan.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 33: COVID-19 quarantine break

I am taking a break today from the daily routine of journaling the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan. We went to Caledonia to pick up some crushed stone and the trailer broke under the weight. It took us more than an hour driving 40mph to get home. Most of the landscaping companies are now open after Gov. Whitmer eased the restrictions on Friday. I made a fun GIF yesterday, that I will post too. I called it the “Unicorn Fun.”

We also supported Lowell businesses- Big Boiler Brewing- with takeouts on Friday and purchasing a gift certificate to Sneakers matched by Canfield Plumbing and Heating.

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Next post: pandemic dreams and empty spaces.

Copyright (c)2020. EMMA Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 32: Stay at home order extended until May 15

Ban lifted on boats & golf in Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eased social distancing restrictions on motor boats, golfing and landscaping at 11 am today, while extending the stay-at-home order until May 15.

Landscaping and nursery workers can return to work, and gardening sections in box stores can reopen now.

However, the Governor was crystal clear on continuing social distancing as much as possible.

“The overarching message is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe,” she said. “Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat the enemy.”

This easing of restrictions is a result of protests “Operation Gridlock” in Lansing two weeks ago. It comes on the heels of yesterday’s death tally of 50,000 Americans.

Featured photo: Fishermen at Murray Lake keep their distance.

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Next: Pandemic dreams and empty spaces

Copyright (c) 2020. EMMA Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

day 31: poetry in the covid- 19 quarantine

Opening Michigan economy in waves

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – April is poetry month. The featured photo is a poem “Love’s Omnipresence” by Joshua Sylvester printed on an Almond Butter chocolate wrapper.

My hopes are high as we await Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s word on Friday about the possible extension of the stay-at-home order and mainly about the reopening of the Michigan economy.

Coronavirus isolation.

To the dismay of the most vulnerable people in the COVID-19 pandemic, protests have been sweeping the country to reopen the economies.

In the meantime, I moved ahead with the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” formatting on Kindle Create. The manuscript is now available for reviews. Please email Emma at emmapalova@yahoo.com for Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs).

Visit the page for reviewers:

https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/emmapalova.com/325962

Overall, it’s been a dark, cold and cloudy April in Michigan. We had an occassional frost in the morning. I managed only three walks to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, two walks on the trails, and a total of four zoo room meetings. But the main thing that I really feared is done until the next formatting comes up for the paperback.

I also filed for the Library of Congress cataloging number for the upcoming “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” If you wish to check that out go to:

https://www.loc.gov/

I have just found out that April is poetry month from the Library of Congress website. That’s good to know, since I love poetry, so I used Sylvester’s poem for the featured photo.

Hopefully, the economy will reopen to the satisfaction of everyone; I would be surprised if it did.

Introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir

I wrote this introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus pandemic, as we celebrated the Easter Triduum in front of televised services in empty churches across the nation without audiences. 

More than half a billion people around the globe are under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. This includes my homeland, the Czech Republic. The coronavirus did not discriminate or recognized borders between the states, the countries or the continents. Time will show if this was a modern apocalypse. 

Our immigration story from former socialist Czechoslovakia to the U.S. has come full circle; from one history milestone to another one. 

The milestone that offset our journey across three continents–Europe, Africa, USA– was the reformist movement known as the Prague Spring 1968 under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek.  

The epic story of love and desire for freedom spans 52 years at the date of publishing of this memoir. The major characters, Ella and Vaclav Konecny, are my parents, to whom I have dedicated this memoir. Mom Ella was a happy pharmacist in former Czechoslovakia, while Dad Vaclav was an unhappy mathematician in the old country. 

Dad’s quest for his career fulfillment has been a constant source of inspiration for me in good and in bad times. Recently, I found out that dad was afraid in the old country of persecution by the communists due to our religious beliefs. He thought that he wouldn’t be able to fully realize his teaching ambitions. 

From the humble hometowns of Vizovice and Stipa in the hilly Moravia, we traveled to exotic places such as Khartoum in Africa, to the ancient Byblos known for its papyrus and the “City of Jasmine” Damascus in Syria with the Roman Temple of Jupiter. 

We were no strangers to dangers connected to travel in the Third World Countries. My parents had a few close calls: the tourist boat on the Nile capsized with all the people on board either drowning or the crocodiles ate them in the murky waters, a week after we were aboard the cruise. 

Then a cable car to the second highest peak in the Alps, Matterhorn, crashed also a few days after my parents were on it. 

An interview with my parents in Venice, Florida in March of 2013 revealed that the hardest trial of all was the separation from the family back in Czechoslovakia. Nothing can bring back the lost time or not being able to say the last good-byes to the loved ones, as we have recently found out during the COVID-19 quarantine. 

My parents both surprised me with an answer to my question about immigration. 

“Would you do it again?” I asked seated in their pretty white dining room with mirrors in Venice. 

The unison answer from both was a definite no. They both added their own written accounts of the immigration experience to the memoir, which I am grateful for. 

I structured the memoir in a way that all three of us tell our stories. I lead off each chapter with the storyteller part, as I remember it. Then follows either my mom’s account titled “In her own words” or dad’s experiences. 

I put emphasis on the phrase, “As we remember it.” 

The accounts may wary in details, but together they bring forth a cohesive picture of immigration through the eyes of both adults and a growing up kid. The immigration experience has left its scars on all four of us, but it has also transformed us. 

We lived through the hardline communism and the rolling capitalism. In addition to that, we are Catholics, so we have had the religious experience that is often tied to different regimes. Religion gave another dimension to our story, since it stood at the roots of our immigration together with the Prague Spring movement. 

The immigration experience touched each one of us in a different way. Here is quote from my mom Ella: 

During my lifetime, I have met a lot of good people that I wouldn’t have met in Czech Republic, because of limited travel. USA has its pluses and minuses–the society is too materialistic. In Czech Republic, we didn’t make a lot of money, but we were all equal. We had basic rights: right to work, right to education and healthcare. USA does not have that. People are afraid of socialism, but they basically don’t know what it is. I lived in socialism and I will continue to live in capitalism; one must try both regimes to know what’s better. 

On the other hand, we most likely wouldn’t have houses, if we had stayed in Czech Republic. The majority of the population lives in apartments, that is if they are lucky waiting it out on long lists. I wouldn’t have realized my author’s dream in the old country. 

The Greenwich Meridian Memoir is by no means a treatise on either of the above- mentioned regimes, then or now.  

We each were free to return back to our homeland at any point in time during the 52 years. And we have. That is our story. Come along on a journey of a lifetime. 

April, 2020 

The latest COVID-19 tally in Michigan on April 22, 2020.

Total cases: 33,966

Total deaths: 2,813

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 30: Earth Day in COVID-19 quarantine

Where is spring?

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – As days flow by, nice reminders like the Earth Day tell us that everything has its place in time and space, even in the quarantine. I often miss this very important day because of other stuff on my calendar. This year all events, like planting trees around the community, have been cancelled. The Wege Wittenbach Nature Center cancelled maple syrup community breakfast among other events.

Not only, did we miss Easter in April of 2020, but spring doesn’t want to come either to Michigan. We’ve been waking up to 30-degree temperatures and frost on the cars. Light snow was flying in the morning. Even the furnace sounded tired of the cold. The birds disappeared from the patio.

Silver linings aka good news

My seeds in the mini professional greenhouses have sprouted including the much -coveted cucumbers for our future sweet and sour dills Znojmo style.

Zoo room

The meeting went well today except for a few glitches when I disappeared from the screen and someone else didn’t appear at all, only with lines like a blind. However, a friend informed us of a close Coronavirus death.

Take-outs

We got take-outs from Mynt Fusion- a delicious red curry dish with three way protein and a gyro from Arby’s.

Kindle Create

I am learning a new formatting tool kindle create for publishing. Once I reach the apex on the learning curve, it should be easier to format both kindle ebooks and paperbacks. Kindle Create converts files to a reflowable eBook, which allows the reader to resize text and is available on all kindle devices and free kindle reading applications. Kindle Create works with several word processing applications.

Stay tuned for more info about the newest in formatting.

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the Coronavirus quarantine.

Copyright (c)2020. EMMA Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

DAy 29: Working in the COVID -19 quarantine

“Hope…is the companion of power and the mother of success, for who so hopes, has within him the gift of miracles.”

– Samuel Smiles

Greenwich Meridian Memoir project update

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI -Following the quote above, I am hoping to launch my new book the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” at the Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon on July 3 &4. At this point in time, there are no further details available about reopening the economy in waves in Michigan beyond May 1.

Coronavirus distancing.

I am moving ahead with the formatting of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” on the Kindle Create platform by Amazon. I finished the front and the back matters for the book: these include the acknowledgment, dedication and intro to the book and the biography on the back.

I am including the full introduction to the book here:

Introduction to the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir”

I wrote this introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus pandemic, as we celebrated the Easter Triduum in front of televised services in empty churches across the nation without audiences. 

Greenwich Meridian Memoir cover designed by Jeanne Boss.

More than half a billion people around the globe are under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. This includes my homeland, the Czech Republic. The coronavirus did not discriminate or recognized borders between the states, the countries or the continents. Time will show if this was a modern apocalypse. 

Our immigration story from former socialist Czechoslovakia to the U.S. has come full circle; from one history milestone to another one. 

The milestone that offset our journey across three continents–Europe, Africa, USA– was the reformist movement known as the Prague Spring 1968 under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek.  

The epic story of love and desire for freedom spans 52 years at the date of publishing of this memoir. The major characters, Ella and Vaclav Konecny, are my parents, to whom I have dedicated this memoir. Mom Ella was a happy pharmacist in former Czechoslovakia, while Dad Vaclav was an unhappy mathematician in the old country. 

Dad’s quest for his career fulfillment has been a constant source of inspiration for me in good and in bad times. Recently, I found out that dad was afraid in the old country of persecution by the communists due to our religious beliefs. He thought that he wouldn’t be able to fully realize his teaching ambitions. 

From the humble hometowns of Vizovice and Stipa in the hilly Moravia, we traveled to exotic places such as Khartoum in Africa, to the ancient Byblos known for its papyrus and the “City of Jasmine” Damascus in Syria with the Roman Temple of Jupiter. 

We were no strangers to dangers connected to travel in the Third World Countries. My parents had a few close calls: the tourist boat on the Nile capsized with all the people on board either drowning or the crocodiles ate them in the murky waters, a week after we were aboard the cruise. 

Then a cable car to the second highest peak in the Alps, Matterhorn, crashed also a few days after my parents were on it. 

An interview with my parents in Venice, Florida in March of 2013 revealed that the hardest trial of all was the separation from the family back in Czechoslovakia. Nothing can bring back the lost time or not being able to say the last good-byes to the loved ones, as we have recently found out during the COVID-19 quarantine. 

My parents both surprised me with an answer to my question about immigration. 

“Would you do it again?” I asked seated in their pretty white dining room with mirrors in Venice. 

The unison answer from both was a definite no. They both added their own written accounts of the immigration experience to the memoir, which I am grateful for. 

I structured the memoir in a way that all three of us tell our stories. I lead off each chapter with the storyteller part, as I remember it. Then follows either my mom’s account titled “In her own words” or dad’s experiences. 

I put emphasis on the phrase, “As we remember it.” 

The accounts may wary in details, but together they bring forth a cohesive picture of immigration through the eyes of both adults and a growing up kid. The immigration experience has left its scars on all four of us, but it has also transformed us. 

We lived through the hardline communism and the rolling capitalism. In addition to that, we are Catholics, so we have had the religious experience that is often tied to different regimes. Religion gave another dimension to our story, since it stood at the roots of our immigration together with the Prague Spring movement. 

The immigration experience touched each one of us in a different way. Here is quote from my mom Ella: 

During my lifetime, I have met a lot of good people that I wouldn’t have met in Czech Republic, because of limited travel. USA has its pluses and minuses–the society is too materialistic. In Czech Republic, we didn’t make a lot of money, but we were all equal. We had basic rights: right to work, right to education and healthcare. USA does not have that. People are afraid of socialism, but they basically don’t know what it is. I lived in socialism and I will continue to live in capitalism; one must try both regimes to know what’s better. 

On the other hand, we most likely wouldn’t have houses, if we had stayed in Czech Republic. The majority of the population lives in apartments, that is if they are lucky waiting it out on long lists. I wouldn’t have realized my author’s dream in the old country. 

The Greenwich Meridian Memoir is by no means a treatise on either of the above- mentioned regimes, then or now.  

We each were free to return back to our homeland at any point in time during the 52 years. And we have. That is our story. Come along on a journey of a lifetime. 

April, 2020 

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 28: Friendships in COVID-19 quarantine

Contagion cannot stifle relationships

Contagion: coronavirus

By Emma Palova

Among a multitude of other things COVID-19 has impacted how people meet due to social distancing. Since there are no coffee shops or restaurants open, a meeting alternative is nature. Even some parks are closed in Michigan.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, we sat on the shore of Murray Lake with a friend. I will call her Lilian. She is a pretty blonde, who usually dresses up for the smallest of occasions. Lilian arrived all disheveled, wearing her black tights and a skirt with a flashy pink sweater. Her mask has slid down her chin to the neck. She drove 18 miles so we could talk about life’s troubles outside of the contagion realm.

We didn’t hug. She rolled out her sleeping bag on the green grass. I pulled out a folding chair from the trunk, that I didn’t know I had, and set it not quite six feet apart in order to hear her in the wind.

We watched the wind whip the waves on the lake from west to northeast as a blue heron glided above the water, swiftly navigating the wind. The water in the lake had a soothing feeling on the emotions that were riding high. Even though cars and bikes kept flying on the road behind us in spite of the quarantine restrictions, we felt a sense unity in the Coronavirus isolation.

Of course, we could have talked on the phone or texted. However, some things don’t convey well via media, and this was one of them. Just the fact that we could get together helped us both relieve the tension and anxiety of the last few weeks.

“Sorry, that I look like thrash,” I apologized for my Up North orange sweatpants and a black jacket with a ripped zipper. My hair was a mess too, due to the wind and the lack of a proper haicut.

“That’s ok, I had the same clothes on yesterday,” Lilian said looking at me.

“We finally meet under these circumstances,” I said. “It took Coronavirus for us to meet.”

During normal times before the virus, we had ample opportunities to meet in the eclectic cafes or restaurants in the Grand Rapids area. Seldom, we took the advantage of our freedom to meet, until yesterday.

What will the next meeting look like?

Work front in the quarantine

On the work front, I continued with my front and back matters for the upcoming book, the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” I will include the introduction in one of the upcoming daily posts.

Since the COVID-19 quarantine has impacted everything around us including book marketing, I was happy to find out that May is the National Novel Promoting Month brought to us by the goodwill of the NaNoWriMo organizers.

Join us in May.

Michigan may re-open on May 1

Below is a link to a warning from Dr. Fauci about premature opening of the economy.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/493647-fauci-warns-protests-against-against-stay-at-home-orders-will

Check out also the newest post on our partner site “Fallasburg Today” at

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.