Category Archives: events

Franciscan Rhythms 5K Trail Run Walk

The Franciscan Rhythms Trail Run Walk to raise funds for the Music Therapy Program is set for Oct.1 at the Lowell Campus of FLPC.

So what sets this 5K apart from the rest?

Music. There will be seven music stations at the different turning points on the trail. The music works as a motivator to overcome challenges on the trail.

I checked out the trails today at the Franciscan Life Process Center. It was just before it started to rain. Once you cross the wooden bridge the trail winds uphill.

It was very calm and peaceful by the old apple trees and the picnic area overlooking the rolling hills and meadows.

The temperature drop from yesterday’s 80s into the 60s made it feel like fall. The nature trail was well groomed and widened since the last time I went there.

The seasons are marvelous on the trails. The entire trail system encompasses 4 miles or 6.4 km on three different loops.

I met people on the trail at the foot of the hill with retreat yurts which is rather unusual. I noticed that new Sisters have professed their vows in 2021 by the Stations of the Cross.

Register online today at

https://runsignup.com/franciscanrhythmstrailrun

Happy Fourth of July 2022

I am sitting underneath our octagon pergola covered with wisteria and trumpet vines listening to the Florentine fountain, a gift from mom for one of my birthdays. The first orange trumpet vine cones are falling into the fountain.

I am basking in the simplicity of this unique day that will never repeat itself. A gentle breeze is lifting the foliage ever so lightly. I can feel the lightness of my being after the stress and anxiety of the previous week.

Wearing a pink beach cover up that states, “I need beach” I am far from any beach or a larger body of water. I am listening to the birds chirping in the wisteria and earlier this morning I spotted a red cardinal.

The Frenchies and Ludek left for town to return empties, so I grabbed that moment for myself. I lack nothing; the gardens and the plum trees are watered, we will be grilling thirsty birds this evening an shooting fireworks with the grands.

Upon checking the vegetable patch with Sam, I found out that we’re going to have plenty of cucumbers for pickling and more.

My stillness is elusive in the long run, but right now I am just being. I love watching the nature’s relay, as the blossoms of bloody red weigelas and purple spiraeas wane, the orange of day lilies takes over.

Summers are easy and I celebrate them with my summer books from the Shifting Sands series. They are the culmination of my summer happiness.

Have a great Independence Day, 2022.

Happy Mother’s Day

It’s my birthday and Mother’s Day at the same time.

This coincidence with another holiday has been a part of my life, no matter where I lived.

Back in the old country of Czechoslovakia, my birthday coincided with the Czech Independence Day. We’ve always had it off as a national holiday.

Later, the new Czech regime changed the holiday to May 8, when the American troops freed the town of Pilsner from the Nazi occupation. But the capital Prague was freed by the Soviet troops on May 9 which ended World War II. You can’t change history.

I love the dichotomy that the country kept the old socialist holidays like the International Women’s Day and added Western holidays like Mother’s Day.

My mom always says that the entire country breaks into blossoms to celebrate.

I love May because of the awakening of nature after the long winter.

I always get orchids for my birthday as they are my favorite flowers. I have a pretty decent collection of phalaenopsis orchids known as moth orchids.

This year I am so grateful for the vaccine and for the good news from our son. We’ve had one dose of Moderna vaccine already, and we’re gearing up for the second one.

Happy Mother’s Day

I am feeling blessed to be a mother and privileged to be doing what I love the most: writing.

I am looking forward to this selling season as the country opens up. I am excited about my new podcast show “For the love of books” featuring Indie authors. Become a guest or a sponsor.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes and blessings.

Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Author Emma on iHeartRadio

Check this out. We had a lot of fun discussing my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” with filmmakers Larry Sands and Erick Kaslov on the “Something Something creative podcast” show. I started working on the screenplay based on the memoir. I am done storyboarding Act One that I started on Nov. 30. I modified Blake Snyder’s style to fit my own using big poster boards for each act.

About the storyboard; Each index card represents a scene which equals one minute in the movie and one page in the script. The beat sheet includes the following scenes: opening image, theme stated, set-up, catalyst, debate and break into Act Two.

Today, I was setting up the storyboard for Act Two.

I introduced the main characters in the first 10 minutes or on the 10 pages of the script.

A great interview with Larry Sands and Erick Kaslov.

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

Blue Moon October

A spooky Blue Moon month, a spooky year

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Welcome “Blue Moon” October with your two full moons, pumpkins, candy, spooky characters, books, Girls Nites Out in ugly sweaters and paranormal investigations in the Fallasburg historic village.

Pumpkins decorated with hair from wool.

The month started off strong with a full moon, a storm in the morning and a brainstorming session in the afternoon with Anthony Mora Communications for the PR of my upcoming book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA. As part of the project, they will also be marketing my book no. 2 that never fully reached the market because of covid-19. Thank you Anthony and Lindsey for your work on this project.

While most of the events have been cancelled, the nature hasn’t canceled her show in hues of oranges, browns and yellows. Moreover, today was the Feast of the Guardian Angels. We each have a guardian angel, and this year we need more than one. As I drove to the Vergennes Township hall to pick up my absentee ballot, I noticed a sign on Bailey: “Jesus 2020.”

https://prforfilmmakers.com/

Just 10 minutes before the brainstorming session, I found out from my Romanian poet/publisher friend Valeriu Dg Barbu, that my book has already been translated into Italian. Thank you Valeriu. Valeriu owns a small publishing house Editura Minela at:

Editura Minela

Editura Minela

Autumn Virtual Book Festival

The Autumn Virtual Book Festival organized by Pages Promotions LLC, with authors and books extraordinaire started yesterday.

Follow us all month long on

Autumn Virtual Book Festival

Plus my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on Oct. 7. Happy anniversary Ludek.

The Pala-Konecna wedding at the “Zlin Zamek” in former Czechoslovaka.

The socially distant Lowell Harvest Celebration will take place on Main Street on Oct. 10. This year, the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce is taking over the Larkin’s Chili Cook-Off. The chamber will be selling $5 wristbands for chili tastings at different venues.

Featured photo: Hannah Rietzema at the Springrove Variety, that is now closed.

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

Day 37: COVID-19 Quarantine Highlights

“Please do not come to Holland to see the tulips this year.”

Holland city mayor Nathan Bocks

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- In the highlights posts, I will include curiosities and unbelievables as I come across them during the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Holland city mayor Nathan Bocks made a request on Tuesday, April 28. He hopes he will never have to make that request again. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 91st Tulip Time Festival was cancelled for the first time in history.

“Please do not come to Holland to see the tulips this year.”

The only sign of normalcy on this Wednesday morning was the Red Creek trash pick up truck. Thank you dear essential worker.

The annual Lowell Area Crop Hunger Walk on Sunday May 3 will be conducted virtually with the line: Walk virtually. Give online. Change the world. Go to: https://crophungerwalk.org to donate.

On the other hand, normal became our Wednesday zoo room meetings.

May e-Newsletter

As we head into May, I am working on May e-newsletters. I will be highlighting Mother’s Day, Mayday and May as the month of love, according to the Czech literature.

I love the month of May from its Mayday to Memorial Day, and everything in between. It’s the month of summer promises, blossoming lilacs and cherry trees.

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 in Michigan.

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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.

Day 3: COVID-19 shutdown

By Emma Palova

Weighing in on the positives of the coronavirus pandemic: in search of humanity

In spite of the state shutdown, and shows like the Lowell Expo not happening this weekend, I see positives of the coronavirus shutdown in Michigan.

I pay more attention to the good things around me: my flowering orchids and amaryllis. My husband Ludek can get caught up on stuff rather than wining that he never has time to do anything around the house.

Our son Jake is homeschooling the grandkids and loving it.

I talk more to my daughter Dr. Emma, who is on the frontlines of fighting  COVID-19 in France. Before the outbreak, I never heard from her. My brother calls me more nowadays and I return his phone calls.

I finished the FallasburgToday newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/065459a763c2/springtime-in-fallasburg. Check it out and visit Fallasburg during this shutdown. We are allowed to go outside for walks and visit parks.

There is goodness coming out of this pandemic. The pandemic too shall pass and we’re in it all together. 

I think in this isolation we find a common bond- humanity and we recognize the need for each other.

I spoke with Dr, Emma Palova- Chavent about the Coronavirus pandemic this morning.

Dr. Emma Palova-Chavent on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19.

“We’re treating COVID-19 as triage,” she said.

She stressed that the social isolation is the most important and effective tool in the battle against the COVID-19 spread due to the resilience of the virus. It can live on surfaces up to seven days outside of the human body unlike the HIV virus. It has yet to be determined if the Coronavirus can be airborne.

France has reserved up to 50 percent of hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients after observing outbreaks in Italy and China. The remaining 50 percent is reserved for cardiac emergencies, chemotherapies and births.

“We’re behind them like two weeks,” she said.

According to Chavent, the USA and France, as well as other countries have taken late confinement measures.

The isolation must last at least two to three weeks to be able to assess the drop in new cases.

However, not every patient gets tested and most are not hospitalized. Patients with risk factors such as diabetes are more likely to get tested. Any low number of cases is an indicator, that infected people have not been tested, such as the Russians.

Ultimately, the death caused by the coronavirus results in respiratory failure.

“We’re not able to untubate people,” she said.

The outbreak should definitely not to be underestimated.

“It’s a highly infectious illness.

Hang in there. Stay at home. Stay well.

Featured photo: Melinda Cosgrove of Snow Avenue Greenhouse at last year’s expo in Lowell.

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

NANOWRIMO DAY 27

Grateful for NaNoWriMo

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – As the 50k National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge winds down and Thanskgiving is upon us, I have decided to share this letter from its director Grant Faulkner. It expresses exactly how I feel about the challenge, its impact and reaching writing goals way beyond the formidable 50,000K mark.

Deep inside me, I feel like I’ve always been a part of this collective effort to share our stories with the world, even though I have participated and won only twice in NaNoWriMo’s 20 years of existence. If I had known about it, I would have always participated to make a difference in this world, and not just to appease my ego.

I would like to thank all the wrimos and my readers for support. Stay tuned for a separate post on my writing day no. 27- Velvet Revolution.

For my project I chose the completion of the Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the U.S.

As of today, I have logged on my NaNoWriMo dashboard 55,895 words with Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West.

The memoir will be available for pre-order on Amazon at the end of January.

Don’t forget to shop Black Friday deals on my books no. 1 & no. 2 from the Shifting Sands Short Stories collections by clicking on the following link:

https://www.amazon.com/author/emmapalova

Books make a great Christmas gift.

From Grant Faulkner

Dear writer,

The other day, I was talking to a Wrimo at a write-in, and she told me how she didn’t go to write-ins for several years because she was too nervous. She worried that she’d walk into a room without knowing anyone and be greeted by cold, quizzical stares.

But that didn’t happen. 

“When I walked in, people greeted me, asked me about my novel, and gave me snacks and tea. I felt like I belonged,” she said.

The ostensible goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, but as I talked with this writer, I was reminded how NaNoWriMo is about much more than that. It’s about expanding your world through your story. It’s about going places you might be afraid to go. It’s about connecting to something larger than yourself—both on the page and beyond. 

It’s about belonging, in short. We find belonging in our stories because our stories show us how our longings and our needs aren’t just ours alone, but part of something larger, something more universal. That’s important because when you feel you belong, you can do big things.

So I’m pausing today to thank you for helping to create a world of belonging through our stories. I thank you for welcoming people into write-ins and tweeting encouragement to writers you might not even know. I thank you for creating this community that is somehow the largest table of writers in the world, yet still feels so personal, so intimate, and so generous. 

Grateful for a world where people find a home in their stories,

Grant Faulkner
Executive Director
43,174 words and counting….

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

NaNoWriMo Day 21 & 22

Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West memoir with Havel quote

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Between the two dreary November days, I logged in 4,000 words into the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo 2019) dashboard. The Greenwich Meridian memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia is my writing project. The 50K word writing challenge has entered its final week, as we also approach Thanksgiving and I have to do some grocery shopping.

The turkey is already in the freezer and the tasks have been assigned among the family members; mom Ella is making the stuffing and a vegetable casserole, if she feels good she will make the traditional Czech pastry “kolache.” Yay! We’re doing the turkey, cranberry relish and baked beans, daughter-in-law Maranda is making the twice baked potatoes. Yay again!

Czech kolache

For many participants, NaNoWriMo is a great motivator and if you get your winner certificate and finish writing your content, it’s also a great marketing tool for your new book. I penned the core of my second book Shifting Sands: Secrets during last year’s NaNoWriMo.

I would not have been able to do it, without the daily accountability of the word count. Plus, by participating in the month-long NaNoWriMo, you form a daily writing habit, if you don’t have it already. That’s how you unlock your daily writing badges.

I have been writing for the last 22 days in a row after I exercise and do my meditations in the morning. If I have to do something else before I reach the daily writing quota, I continue to write in the afternoon. Overall, my less productive time is in the afternoon, so I leave it for marketing and communications.

I agree with all the great writing gurus:

“Protect your writing time, no matter what.”

If that means writing early in the morning or late at night, so be it. There is no time for goofing around on social media instead of writing. As I have learned at the 2018 Calvin College writing conference, some authors don’t even watch TV after they finish writing in the evening or in the morning.

This week I have been working on chapters “Velvet Revolution” and “Back in the U.S.” Looking back at the historical events like Prague Spring in 1968 and Velvet Revolution in 1989, has been an eye-opening experience. My love for history, politics and arts has only grown stronger while doing research for the memoir.

The Greenwich Meridian memoir will be available for pre-order in January of 2020. Follow me on Amazon on:

https://www.amazon.com/author/emmapalova

Vaclav Havel quote

The Red Truth newspaper, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, interviewed Vaclav Havel on Dec. 2, 1989. This was his first opportunity to introduce himself as a playwright and writer, rather than a dissident and a political prisoner. Previously, the newspaper only published bad news about Havel’s actions against the regime.

“You must not like this newspaper?”

“Now is not the time for recriminalization of the past,” he said. “We have to think about the future. The party will enter the democratic system just like any other political party.”

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.