Category Archives: Greenwich Meridian memoir

Virtual Festival souvenirs

The “Blind Date with a Book ” virtual book festival dances into its third week in February as the freezing temperatures plunge below normal and another weather advisory awaits us tonight..

Over the weekend, childrens’ authors read from their books last Saturday followed by the spinning “Wheel of Happiness” for the lucky ones who won some prizes. To soothe the disappointment of those who didn’t win, there is good news; the wheel will spin again tonight with Young Adult genre authors.

You can connect with all the Indie Authors via the festival PopUp Book Shop by clicking on the link below:

http://www.pagespromotions.com/feb21shop.html#/

However, if you have purchased an Indie Author book from a different sources, it is probably not signed. Check out the shop to request a limited commemorative book plate signed by the author.

“It’s a nice souvenir from the festival,” said organizer Diana Plopa.

For a complete schedule of events go to:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ppvirtualbookfestival/events

There are more workshops coming up as well. #ppvirtualbookfestival

And I got wind of another wacky wild festival coming up this summer. Watch for more info.

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

Blind Date with a Book

Moving right along through February, the Winter Virtual Book Festival organized by Pages Promotions, LLC has covered genres from action and adventure to inspirational fiction, with non-fiction, poetry, short stories and memoir, in between. We’re in for a night of mystery on a freezing Monday evening.

Indie authors read from their books while readers match up the right book with its author for bragging rights on Facebook. Then Diana Plopa spins the “Wheel of Happiness” for great prizes donated by the authors.

You have to be present in the Zoom room to win. If you happen to find a gold, silver or bronze ticket in your book, you’re in for more prizes such as Kindle Fire without ads and more books and swag.

Speed dating

PopUp Book Shop

Visit our PopUp Book Shop during the festival at:

http://www.pagespromotions.com/feb21shop.html#/

Excerpt from “Greenwich Meridian Memoir”

Here is an excerpt of what I read on Friday evening from my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir”, chapter “The Haves and The Have Nots.” This reading was five minutes.

Everyone had the right to work. There was no such thing as unemployment. If you were unemployed for more than six weeks, you went to jail. Since the economy was regulated and planned, there was always work, whatever work and any work at any given time. However, if you wanted a good job, you needed connections or my mom’s long arm.

That was balanced out by having to stand in long lines for basic items such as toilet paper and laundry detergent. However, college education was free, along with healthcare for all and free daycare. 

Travel was a different ball game based on your profile.  We each had a profile ever since we were old enough to join the Socialist Youth Union at the age of 14. The profile also contained information about your parents. Then volunteer hours on socialist projects were added to the profile. At 18, you were expected to become a member of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and get your red membership card. Soon the profile info started to add up in your favor or against you. 

Certain things were unacceptable like if your family was a member of the bourgeoisie, royalty or if they owned land, you would definitely go nowhere. Based on the bizarre profile criteria, if they were good, you could go to Yugoslavia or maybe somewhere west, if you got the exit visa. 

If your profile was bad like mine, because we left the country illegally for the USA, you sat at home. The profile thing continues to puzzle me to this day. 

Like in Hitler’s Germany nothing was ever forgotten or forgiven. That was in an era before computers. The whole socialist machinery was like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You always got what you didn’t wish for, but somebody else wanted it for you. 

“Oh, we just wanted the best for you,” a voice would say. 

“How do you know what’s best for me?” I asked. 

“Socialism never sleeps,” the voice would persist. “We know what’s best for the country. Look at all the improvements in the last 40 years.” 

Banners hung on buildings proclaiming the “Building Successes of Socialism” and the bright future for the socialist youth like me. 

Bringing up properly the communist youth was very important to the regime, which feared intellectuals. On the other hand, the system put the working class known as proletariat on a pedestal. The most famous slogan was: “Proletariat of all countries, unite.” I think it was a Lenin quote.

Interestingly enough, some five decades later Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg achieved the same goal without the communist or socialist propaganda of uniting.  Four billion people now volunteer their information on the Facebook social media platform. I don’t think the communists realized that you cannot force unity or freedom. Just like you cannot force or enforce peace. 

Yet, thousands in Czech Republic now still yearn for the old socialist regime that provided certainties such as: shelter, food, water, jobs and the sun in the morning, and the moon at night. 

The communists even claimed they could command the rain and the wind. I know they couldn’t, but the fact they claimed that showed their infinite arrogance deeply rooted in the propaganda. 

But there were also true communists like our late neighbor. And I will change his name for all purposes. Let’s call him Mr. Rudi Vlk. Rudi, in his early 40s, went through political school while working. He never missed a communist party meeting. Rudi lived the party philosophy. He studied the Marxist-Leninist traditions and its pillars. He never cheated, lied or stole. But, in the process of it all, he got ulcers. 

Needless to say, that honest communist Rudi was in the minority. Most people who joined the party had an ulterior motive. This labeled them as career communists like my second removed Uncle Henry. 

There were other career communists in the female ranks as well. Many teachers became communists to protect their teaching jobs. Although communists did not like the intelligence class, they were fond of socialist education free of any religious influence. All religious schools shut down, along with the confiscation of the church estates. 

To climb up on the company ladder, you had to be a member of the communist party. There were no discussions about that. Uncle Henry went through the same process as Rudi, only he lied, cheated and stole for the benefit of the party and his own. 

The two breeds of communists hated each other, even though they often sat at the same tables, and in the same meetings. Aunt Anna’s favorite joke went along the following lines. A man and a woman have a discussion in a coffee shop. 

“I know you,” says the man. 

“Oh, yes? How?” asks the lady. 

 “We slept together,” the man answers. 

“Excuse me, sir,” she turns red. 

“Yes, in the same meeting last week in the boardroom,” the man laughs. 

Register for tonight’s readings: Mystery

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cORYiP3rT5a7Ylg4ycoKqw?fbclid=IwAR2Q_XwiBJ6O3dnwl900FWKb1MKQ1KcrATbSVnIsRLZQiux4f-BYOKjXox4

Pictured in the Zoom screenshot are authors: Diana Plopa, Emma Palova, Donny Winter, Jared Morningstar, Kate Mc Neal and Andrew Smith.

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

A snowy Friday evening with Indie Authors

Join us this snowy Friday evening for some literary fun at the third Virtual Book Festival organized by Pages Promotions, LLC.

The evening will feature memoirists with the theme “Blind Date with a Book.” You can try to match up the reading with the right book for bragging rights.

So far, we’ve had so much fun while spinning the Wheel of Happiness for prizes galore.

The non-fiction authors from last night crushed it. They were: Caroline Topperman, Angela Verges, Erik Bean and Kelly Bolton.

Below is a link to register on Zoom.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KcSF6yd_SHCyYVU6arK7zQ?fbclid=IwAR3FWSVgz8LDAJmXkhbJGGkwf9sV-gW0vZd32geW5d4uhhoieakhj0exMNA

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.

Advent 2020 ushers in Christmas spirit

Christmas spirit has arrived

By Emma Palova

This wintery December morning was the first time I appreciated its beauty sitting in the sunroom and watching the Advent candle flicker in the expectation of the sun rays to stream in.

The Advent season started on Sunday Nov. 29, 2020. Although I usually observed the four candles of Advent being lit at the church, I never really paid much attention to it due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Often, I missed some of the Advent Sundays, because I probably went shopping for more things. Thus, I was surprised when I found out that one of the Advent candles is rose coloured for Gaudette Sunday on the third week of Advent.

However, this time due to the COVID-19 restrictions and increasing cases, we don’t go to church physically but watch the mass broadcast from the St. Andrews Cathedral in Grand Rapids. I found myself paying more attention to the spiritual preparation for Christmas than ever before.

I meditated in the morning before I started the day to streamline my thoughts and actions. This time I could just sit and watch the daylight come in after a very light night due to the full moon.

I have already gathered what I could as far as gifts and food; I have my poinsettia, pistachios, Manchego and Winternacht chocolate figurines from Aldi’s. Black Friday wasn’t as packed with deal hunters as usual. And there was no apres shopping dining due to the restaurants being closed until Dec. 7. So we stood outside in the November cold, drank cold beer and had a burrito from the Voodoo food truck in front of the New Union Brewery in Lowell. I have yet to buy the Christmas Eve fish from the Fishmonger of the Great Lakes tomorrow in Ada and meet with a very good friend.

Czech Christmas mass by Jakub Ryba

The mailman has been good to me. I have received most of the gifts on time that I could even delight myself over a set of beaded ornaments still with a tag “Made in Czechoslovakia” and a treasure trove of children’s mysteries from the Dubois Files by Ludington author Joan H. Young. Rarely, had I ever been able to examine what I had bought always in the rush to usher in the holiday spirit, and then pack it all up in the festive wrapping paper, that tears up so easily.

Somehow , the COVID-19 isolation reminded me of what the Christmas spirit is really about. When I received an email from Tres Bohemes with a link to Jakub Ryba’s Christmas mass yesterday, I knew that I finally had to pause and stop pretending that everything is back to normal.

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday alone with a delicious take-out from the Candlestone Resort- at least there was no mess in the kitchen. I had a well-attended book signing of “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” at LowellArts on Saturday with my friends and invitees showing up in different time slots-what more can I ask for. My next book signing will be on Dec. 13 from noon until 2 p.m. at LowellArts. Stop by for a last minute gift. I will be in good company of the Holiday Artists Market in the gallery.

My parents, Ella & Vaclav Konecny with my brother Vas came to wish us happy holidays and a farewell, as they are leaving for Venice, Florida on Saturday. We had a good chat abiding by the CDC rules wearing masks and social distancing. All holiday fights were preempted by the restrictions.

We were on the phone with our two kids: Emma and Jake to converse about the holidays. And no, I have not decorated yet or put up a Christmas tree or baked traditional Czech Christmas cookies. But we watched both “Christmas Vacation” and “Christmas Chronicles” together with Ludek on our red couch, and that’s all that matters.

And sadly, there will be no Santa parade except for the Drive-Thru one at the Kent County Fairgrounds this Saturday, and no old-fashioned Christmas at Fallasburg. But there will be other promising new things.

So, stay tuned how it all goes.

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

Minddog TV

You can watch this interview at 1 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. today.

See you this Satuday @LowellArts between noon and 2 p.m. Order you books by commenting below, email or facebook messenger.

I will be signing my brand new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” on Nov. 28 and Dec. 13. Stop by at LowellArts for your holiday shopping. The holiday artists market is on at the main gallery.

I will be in the classroom.

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

31st Anniversary of Velvet Revolution

Today marks the 31st anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia led by late Czech president Vaclav Havel.

https://emmapalova.com/2019/11/27/30th-anniversary-of-velvet-revolution-in-czechoslovakia/

Watch for excerpts from my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir:”

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

Emma’s author events

Following are Emma’s author events for November and December. I will be signing books at LowellArts on Nov. 28 & Dec. 13 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on both days.

You can also order your books here by sending an email to Emma: emmapalova@yahoo.com, calling or messaging on Facebook messenger. You can pick up your signed copies on the following dates at LowellArts: Nov. 28 and Dec. 13 from 12 to 2 p.m.

Emma’s Virtual Book Launch on Facebook on Sunday Nov. 15 at 5 p.m.

You can submit your questions in the comment section for a chance to win a free signed copy of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.”

Click the link below to join this Sunday.

https://www.facebook.com/events/3751102538242043

Emma’s book signings at LowellArts on Nov. 28 & Dec. 13 from 12 to 2 p.m.

Lowell author Emma Palova will be signing her books including the new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” at LowellArts located at 225 W. Main Street on Nov. 28 from 12 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dec. 13 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Stop by to chat with the author and check out the Artist Market inside the beautiful gallery.

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

Greenwich Meridian Memoir goes live on Amazon on Nov. 12

Join me for Virtual Book Launch on Sunday Nov. 15 at 5 p.m on Facebook
 Greenwich Meridian Memoir goes live on Amazon
Above is a scene from Africa; mom Ella is standing by the irrigation equipment. On the right, in the first row, second from the right, is dad Vaclav at the Archbishop’s Gymnasium in Kromeriz.

A book is born

I am happy to announce that my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” goes live on Amazon on Nov. 12, 2020 in both formats: Kindle ebook and paperback.
The epic story of love and emigration from former Czechoslovakia to the U.S. portrayed by the main characters Ella & Vaclav Konecny, Emma  Palova & Ludek Pala, plays out on the backdrop of two major historic events: the 1968 Prague Spring and the 1989 Velvet Revolution led by late president Vaclav Havel.
In the aftemath of the Soviet occupation of the country in 1968, dad professor Vaclav Konecny, made the pivotal decision to leave Czechoslovakia. What followed was a thread of events that propelled the characters across three continents and into dangerous situations.
“What I consider unique about the book is that all of the players contributed in their own way to the memoir,” Palova said.
My dad wrote the chapter ‘How Professor of Math Escaped Czechoslovakia.’ It is an account of his physical escape from the country, and his plans for how he plotted the whole escape. 
“Can you visualize a math professor taking a painted dinghy across the Black Sea to Turkey?” Palova said. “That was his plan B in case plan A of escape didn’t work.”
The second generation of characters Emma & Ludek followed the Konecny lead and plotted their very own escape out of the country, that put Ludek at peril as he crossed the Karawanks Mountains from Yugoslavia to Austria and into the Traiskirchen refugee camp.
“It’s been a long process in the making,” said author Emma Palova. “The publishing has been delayed several times due to the COVID-19 situation.”
I finally made a decision in late September to go ahead with the publishing since nothing has changed with the pandemic. I hired my awesome publicist team “Anthony Mora Communications” to present the book in front of the world.
The book will also publish in Romanian and Italian languages by Editura Minela, Romania. The publisher is Valeriu Dg Barbu.
The cover was designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford.
The book was edited by Carol Briggs of Lowell.
I would like to express my deepest thanks to everyone involved in this very complex publishing process. I hope you enjoy the book, as I am planning to write a screenplay based on the memoir.
We are looking for a Czech translator of the memoir, so our fans, friends and family living in the Czech Republic, can enjoy it as well.

In the newsThe Lowell Ledger published the article about our escape on the Czech Independence Day, which was a total coincidence.

AUTUMN VIRTUAL BOOK FESTIVAL

Check out the recording from the first annual Autumn Virtual Book Festival organized by Pages Promotions, LLC.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUlgFTP-lBs

 VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH NOV. 15 AT 5 P.M.Join us for the Virtual Book Launch on Facebook this Sunday for a live discussion with author Emma Palova about her new book. The event will be moderated by Jakub Pala. Post your questions in the comment section for a chance to win a free signed copy of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.”
Following is a link to join:
https://www.facebook.com/events/3751102538242043
 LINK TO THE BOOK ON AMAZON

https://www.amazon.com/Greenwich-Meridian-Memoir-Emma-Palova/dp/B08MSVJKFR/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Find Out More

Excerpt from Greenwich Meridian Memoir

Into the U.S. on Halloween, 1970

By mom Ella

On Oct. 30, 1970, we headed for Winnipeg into the province of Manitoba to pick up the U.S. visa and continued the road trip to the unknown. On the Canadian border with the U.S., I hesitated and cried that I did not want to go anywhere, because I could still return back to Czechoslovakia until Dec. 31, 1970 before the expiration of the exit visa. However, my husband talked me into it, stating that I should at least try it and that the USA has more people than Canada and that I might like it. The reality was far from it.

We crossed the border at North Dakota on Oct. 31, 1970. I remember that evening driving through towns and villages where we saw kids trick or treating. The kids were also carrying lit lanterns at the time and I felt sorry for my own children because they couldn’t go, that they didn’t have a home and that they didn’t even know what to expect at the next stop.

We drove through the deserted autumn regions of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas.  When we entered Oklahoma, it was warmer, and cotton was harvested in the fields. That was already the neighboring state to Texas.

               The next day we crossed the border to Texas and watched for Hawkins with the tension and suspense of a cheap action movie. We envisioned a city, but it was a village, so small that we missed it and drove right through it.

At that moment, I knew I was in trouble.

When we turned around, we noticed the sign Hawkins, population 848. At that moment, I realized this was not going to be a place for me. Even back home, I did not like villages and solitary places with only three houses.

In Europe, universities were always located in big cities. We both studied in Brno which is a major city with population of 300,000. Hawkins shocked us.

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