Words can be weapons. That is my horoscope for the first day in June. As an author and journalist I find this to be very true, but also motivating to reach higher and go farther in everything I do.
The horoscope is basically warning me to watch what I write or say today. As I always I will speak my heart.
I am looking forward to the upcoming release of my new book “Shifting Sands: The Lost Town” in the Shifting Sands franchise and my first event of the season Palmer Park Art Fair in Detroit this weekend.
GREENWICH MERIDIAN MEMOIR, PALMER PARK ART FAIR, DETROIT
For all the Czechs living in the greater Detroit area organized around Sokol & other groups, stop by at booth no. 140e in the authors’ tent at the Palmer Park Art Fair.
I will be signing my Greenwich Meridian Memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA. The book is set on the backdrop of two major political events: 1968 Prague Spring and 1989 Velvet Revolution.
The protagonist is my father professor Vaclav Konecny whose ambition took us across three continents and back to Czechoslovakia for the presidential amnesty in 1973. Will he make it back to the USA?
Summer is finally here and I am getting ready for several road trips. My first event of the year is the Palmer Park Art Fair on June 4 & 5 located at 910 Merrill Plaisance St. in Detroit. I am very excited since I’ve never been to this event. I tried to avoid big-city gigs but because of the nature of Greenwich Meridian Memoir which describes our life in communist Czechoslovakia and our travels across three continents, Detroit with a large Czech community is a must-stop.
Palmer Park Art Fair is a premier event on Lake Frances with an authors’ tent with 13 authors, and 120 other art vendors selling original artworks of various media, including painting, sculpture, music, mixed media, and more. In addition, the event will have a music stage and specialty booths.
The hours are on June 4 from 10 to 7 p.m. and June 5 from 11 to 5 p.m.
Next weekend I will be at GIZZARD FEST, POTTERVILLE, JUNE 10& 11Gizzard Fest is not your ordinary festival. Thousands of people stream into Potterville for this unique event and good old-fashioned fun! The small-town atmosphere, live music, carnival, and great food (including plenty of gizzards) bring people from across the Midwest.
The hours are on June 10 from 9 a.m. to DARK, June 11 from 8 a.m. to DARK
LAKESHORE ART FESTIVAL, MUSKEGON, JUNE 25 & 26
This event is held in downtown Muskegon with more than 20 authors representing all genres. The LAF features a unique blend of fine art, handcrafted goods, music, food, and fun. Experience over 300 juried fine art and specialty craft exhibitors, a Children’s Lane, an artisan food market, street performers, multiple interactive art stations and so much more.
The hours are on June 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and June 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Detroit Virtual Book Fest July 15-July 17 see the link at the bottom
COMING SOON The Lost Town is a historical fiction novel set in a ghost town. Protagonist Ida is torn between her hometown of Chicago and her new home across Lake Michigan, and between two men. Who will win her heart- her husband or her lover?Shifting Sands is a growing anthology of short stories and a brand new novel Shifting Sands: The Lost Town coming soon. The novel was edited by Carol Briggs of Lowell with the cover designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford. The first book is a collection of 13 stories divided into three circles based on my life experiences: retail, journalism, and immigration. The second book Secrets is a collection of 15 short stories with the main historical fiction story Silk Nora set in Belding, MI. There are other stories as well such as the Chief about a corrupt small-town police chief and 40 Hunks exploring cheap labor from Mexico. FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS PODCAST with host EMMA PALOVA Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy in the podcast book giveaway. http://emmapalova123.podbean.com and major podcasting apps.
June Schedule Jon Stott, Summers at the Lake, June 2 Mark Loeb, special guest at Palmer Park Art Fair, June 3 Kris Gair, The Beautiful Moment, June 3 Nikki Mitchell, Nightshade Forest, June 17 Deborah Frontiera, Superior Tapestry, June 17 Victor Volkman, U.P. Reader, June 24 Sponsored by Doc Chavent, The Lowell Ledger, Modern History Press, Nikki Mitchell Find Out More
Detroit Virtual Book Fair, July 15-17, link to the catalog of my books in my virtual booth coming soon.
Copyright (c) 2022. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.
Visit the new delightful bookstore in downtown Lowell during the Girls Night Out this evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and at any time you can. It’s located on Main Street next to Station Salon.
Bettie’s Pages opened during the pandemic and survived the lockdown. Owner Nicole Lintemuth is one of the “Unsung Heroes” that fits this year’s GNO theme.
I asked Lintemuth if business was back to normal.
“I don’t know what normal is,” Lintemuth said. “We didn’t have Girls Night Out last year. We were closed during the pandemic.”
You will find all genres here plus charming gifts. My books are here in both, the fiction and non -fiction sections. My new “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” and the Shifting Sands Short Stories series are among the store’s inventory.
“I am so happy that we finally have a bookstore in our town. It’s just as bad as not having a coffee shop,” I said.
Frankfort, MI – What better way to meet your next favorite read than on the shores of Lake Michigan at a local art festival.
After a succesful Lakeshore Art Festival (LAF) in downtown Muskegon, where even a tornado watch couldn’t stop Michigan Authors from selling their books, we have somewhat dispersed. But if you check the previous post about the Michigan Authors Comeback in 2021, and go to the authors websites, you will be able to catch up with them.
I will be in Frankfort on July 4th at the Art in the Park craft show at 517 Main Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Stop by to pick up a book or two; I will have Shift Sands Short Stories series, book 1 and book 2 and my newest release “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” I will also have posters of the cover of “Secrets.”
I will be around Lowell during the Riverwalk next weekend.
July 31- Grand Ledge, Island Fest
Aug. 7- Holland, Art in the Park
Aug. 28- Lowell, Hometown Reception on the Showboat
I also have a virtual booth at the Detroit Book Fest. Check it out at:
“I want to dance always, to be good and not evil, and when it is all over not to have the feeling that I might have done better.”
-Ruth St. Denis
Dancing into the fourth week of the Winter Virtual Book Festival, I hear thawing snow drops falling from our gutters and making holes in the white cupola on the balcony. The sun flooded my Covid Sanctuary with golden rays. Most importantly I heard birds chirping in the pergola this morning.
Last night the festival participants marvelled at the readings of childrens’ book authors Carol Trembath, Jordan Scavone and MT Falgoust.
Leave behind your old misconceptions, that children’s books are for kids only. I’ve personally devoured the Indie authors presentations with illustrations like I would have a pepperoni pizza with tons of cheese.
Trembath and Scavone tackled serious subjects like Covid and grief. In her “Fairies and the Global Tree to the Rescue,” Trembath depicts scared fairies seeking help from the Global Tree. The fairies are told to wear a mask and wash their hands and “pixie wings” to stay safe from the “Fairy Flu.” The illustrations were so surreal, that the Global Tree even scared me.
In Scavone’s “Might-E Emilia”, Emilia searches for her inner superhero in the wake of her grandfather Abuelo’s death. Can she find the superhero?
MT Falgoust presented a tasty count down for young readers in “Ten little Crawfish” including a stop for a Mardi Gras parade.
In case you missed it, visit the festival PopUp Book Shop at pagespromotions.com and get your signed book.
I’ve learned so much in the festival workshops about social media marketing for authors presented earlier in the month. Last week, historical fiction authors JuliAnne Sisung and Xander Cross unraveled for us mysteries in histories such as: “Why does history repeat itself?” and that YouTube can be used for primary history research. Hm, who would have thought.
There’s still much more coming this final week as the snowbanks on our gravel road continue to melt. Tonight I will immerse myself with more historical fiction writers who are still undercover until they appear in the Zoom room. However, we will not know which book they are reading from; thus the festival theme “Blind Date with a Book.”
Last but definitely not the least of the festival workshops is “Building Suspense” by author Andrew Smith who will be giving away his “Slice of Fear” to workshop participants. Smith has also served as a backstage hand to the festival organizer Diana Plopa along with author Kate McNeal.
Don’t miss non-fiction readings on Thursday and science fiction this coming Saturday.
Stay tuned for the details on replays, the PopUp Book Shop and the Festival Wrap Up Party on Sunday.
Copyright (c) 2021. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Proud to report that I am in the prep phase for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2019 at full speed. During the month of October , I logged in 12,195 words. My goal is to complete the Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West in November and follow up with revisions.
It is a memoir about our family immigration saga from former communist Czechoslovakia to the US.
NaNoWriMo is a great tool for any writing project that you may have. First of all, it gives you daily accountability of writing by logging in daily word count. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in the month of November.
I had to do a lot of prep work, because I also have author events in November with my new book “Secrets” from the Shifting Sands Short Stories series.
I will be at the Lowell Area Historical Museum during the Christmas through Lowell tour on Nov. 15, 16 & 17 signing my books. So stop by to pick up an autographed book. I will be offering writing and publishing tips, as well.
Locally, my book is available at Springrove Variety in downtown Lowell.
I am extremely excited about this Christmas event. I’ve done it before with my first book “Shifting Sands: Short Stories.” I was at the Red Barn Market with other vendors including my daughter-in-law Maranda, who has “Little Dreamers Sleepovers” party business.
I would still like to get in one more author’s event before the end of this year. And what a year it has been. Watch for my post “Year in Review 2019.”
“Keep your head in the clouds and your hands on the keyboard.” Marissa Meyer
Back to the keyboard
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI- I am back behind the computer after a summer filled with author’s gigs, book marketing, anniversary parties and granddaughter Ella’s departure for Fixin, France.
The fall solstice weather is also much more conducive to being tied to the chair without any distractions; that includes minimum social media and Internet browsing only for research purposes and logging in daily word count on the NaNoWriMo website at https://www.nanowrimo.org/
However, I have one more big author event to go to before I embark on my second National Novel Writing Month 50k challenge starting on Nov. 1 with prep work in October.
Belrockton Dormitory , home of the Belding Museum
107 Hanover St. Belding, Oct. 6, 2019 1 pm – 4 pm
I am especially looking forward to this book signing of “Shifting Sands: Secrets” inside the original dormitory that housed the silk city girls when Belding was known as the” Silk City of the World.”
The making of “Silk Nora”
The long short story “Silk Nora” is the main story in book 2 in the Shifting Sands Short Stories series. By genre, it belongs to the historical fiction/historical romance catefories. So a good way to search for the book online is by using the keywords #historical fiction #historical romance. In physical bookstores, the book can be found in the fiction category.
The story digs deep into the history of the silk city girls’ dormitory “Belrockton” in Belding at the turn-of-the-century.
The Classical Revival-inspired building was erected in 1906 at a cost of $30,000 . It provided accommodations for 100 single female workers and staff. It was better known as the “Bel” and it is the last dormitory left from the three buildings. Much like the Richardson Mill is the last structure left from the three silk mills in Belding.
As a reporter for the Ionia Sentinel-Standard in the early 2000s, I visited the museum on multiple occassions. But, it wasn’t until two years ago, when I spotted a picture of a woman in a hat during the museum’s fashion hat display in the fall of 2017. She was very elegant and beautiful with a nostalgic look on her face.
That woman in a hat served as a model for creating the main character Nora in the historical fiction story “Silk Nora,” which is the main story in the new book “Shifting Sands: Secrets.”
I also explored extensively the interior of the dormitory including the girls’ rooms. There was another picture in an oval frame. This was a photo of Mathilda Adrian, who lived in the dormitory. Right next to the oval photo was her marriage certificate to John Mahar dated April 1917. And a double love story was born.
This discovery inspired the character of Mathilda, who became Nora’s best friend. So, at this point I had the main characters, and then I added Doris, the matron and the men into the story. All the characters are woven into Belding’s history of the silk industry started by the Belding Brothers in 1860 by selling silk from house to house.
Creativity of Belrockton staff
The creativity of the Belrockton Museum staff, Jane Forth, Barb Fagerlin, Jan Mehney along with others inspired my own creativity.
T he creative displays at the museum from Hotel Belding such as the receptionist’s desk helped me recreate the scenes of social life at the hotel.
The displays of girls’ rooms complete with mannequins, the movie theater, grocery store, fueled my imagination.
When I discovered the optical illusion picture of the “Face of Gossip” at the dormitory bathrooms, I was totally flabbergasted by the chain of coincidences that made the individual pieces fit into a complete story.
To be continued
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Palova. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Shifting Sands: Secrets My new book “Secrets” in the Shifting Sands Short Stories series is ready for July 1 release. You can now preorder on Amazon. Just enter Emma Palova historical fiction. Below in the book section are listed links to book 1 and book 2 on Amazon. The core of the book is the long short story “Silk Nora” that takes place at the turn-of-the-century Belding. You will be swept away by the historical setting of the “Silk City Girls” dormitory known as Belrockton. The major characters are Nora, her friend Mathilda and the matron of Belrockton- Doris from Sussex in England. Other characters include newspaper man Harry and band player John. The cover “Face of Gossip” and the main story “Silk Nora” were inspired by my multiple visits to the Belrockton Museum over the last two decades. A story from the hosiery mills was picked up by the Associated Press and major newspapers in Michigan ran it. I will be with the new book at the Muskegon Art Festival on July 5th and July 6th inside the author’s tent on Clay & 2nd Streets. I will be at “Books Alive” in Ludington on July 19th, followed by a series of book signing events at LowellArts with exact date TBA. Fall events will include the Belding Labor Day twilight parade on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 9 pm. My major event will take place at the historic Belrockton in Belding on October 6th in the afternoon. The museum is open from 1 to 4 pm on the first Sunday of each month. For up to date news follow me on EW Emma’s Writings on http://emmapalova.com SecretsThe new book is a collection of 15 short stories. Thematically, the stories range from the action-packed 40 Hunks where driver Jose transports 40 Mexican men to labor in Michigan orchards to the core of the book which is historical fiction “Silk Nora”.
Excerpts from “Silk Nora”Signs of progress were touchable everywhere from the interior six bathrooms at the Bel to a space designated for women in the saloons of the bustling city. At the time, the city of Belding had four hotels. Known as the “Silk City Girls” the young women spent much of their time weaving silk on spools. Silk at the time was on high demand as the major feminine fabric due to the existing shortage of woolens and cottons. Nora and Mathilda worked together long hours at the silk mill earnings 47 cents an hour. The Belding Banner called the girls “Sweethearts in Silk” blasting propaganda about their happiness with headlines such as “The Silks with Happiness Woven into Them.” The girls sat at their stations on the floor of the factory in orderly rows. The downstairs of the Richardson Mill was used for making stockings. Sentiment played a part in the founding of the silk industry in Belding by the Belding brothers. After prospering in silk manufacturing in New England, they built a plant in Belding, where they had made their start as door-to-door textile salesmen. Mathilda traveled home to Alpena twice a year for the holidays, while Nora stayed year- round at the Bel. She had a beautiful view of the Flat River and the boardwalk from her room. Nora was an avid reader and she frequented the dormitory library. Nora easily made friends with other girls, both at work and at the dorms. She cut her hair short, a sign of times. Matron Doris Applebaum managed the Belrockton dormitory and the girls who lived in it. She came from England to take the job at the “Bel” when it opened in 1906. Doris kept her English accent and manners. “Girls, I will make you into ladies,” she said at the dinner table. “You already have the right foundation otherwise you wouldn’t be here in the first place. You’re a diamond in the rough. I will make you shine.” The silk girls respected this English lady from the county of Sussex on the English Channel seaside. Doris was single and constantly happy. She competed for the Belrockton job with other ladies from around the world and won. She took a special liking of well-mannered Nora. “We’re going to be friends,” Doris said resolutely to Nora at their second meeting, since Nora arrived in Belding. “We have a lot in common. You come from New England, I come from the real England. But you have better food here.”You can pre-order the new book at: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Shifting-Sands-Emma-Palova-ebook/dp/B07SH9YGQH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Secrets%3AShifting+Sands&qid=1559745646&s=digital-text&sr=1-1
Book 1 in Shifting Sands Short Stories series, 2017
Upcoming author’s eventsInterview with author Donald Levin on https://donaldlevin.wordpress.com/ on June 20 Muskegon Art Fair …..July 5th and July 6th Ludington ……………..July 19 LowellArts……………….TBA Radio shows TBABelding Twilight Parade…. Sept. 1 Belrockton, Beding………….Oct. 6 Girls Nite Out…………………..Oct. 17 Christmas through Lowell…..Nov. 15, 16, 17
I have completed goal one for the April Camp NaNoWriMo which serves either as an extension of the novel challenge started in November and/or fuel for new writing.
I penned the core of “Secrets” during the November challenge reaching 56,433 words. The anchor story in the collection is “Silk Nora” inspired by my multiple visits to the Belrockton Museum in Belding.
I going through the stories for content and insights. I will be submitting some of the stories via app Submittable for reviews to magazines.
I am sending the manuscript “Shifting Sands: Secrets” (c) 2019 Emma Palova to the editor this week. Thank you Carol.
Camp goal no. 2 is to recast the Konecny family immigration saga. This includes the title and the cover.
Follow me on my publishing journey.
Shifting Sands: Secrets
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.