Category Archives: inspiration

Inspiring Communities

Inspiring Communities

Note: The Inspiring Communities series features men and women who inspire us in our communities to serve others and to help people achieve well-being in an increasingly complex world. Nominate a person who has inspired you.

EW Jim Hodges retires

Councilmember Jim Hodges bid farewell to the Lowell City Council at his last meeting on Monday Nov. 6.

Watch for full story with Loyal citizen Jim Hodges.

Following is an excerpt taken with permission from Lowell’s First Look on Nov. 6

“Tonight marks the end of an era. After 23 years of service, Jim Hodges will attend his very last meeting as a Lowell City Council member.

Hodges’s retirement means the city not only loses a trusted public servant but also will see the bulk its institutional memory disappear.  That means the departure of Hodges will leave a significant gap when it comes to understanding the history of city policies and evolution of various initiatives.

Jim Hodges edition

Previous inspiring story featured Lowell businessman Evert Bek from Arctic Heating & Cooling:

Installing water filters in Haiti

https://wp.me/p34jQ1-Rtd

 

 

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Orchards as inspiration

Local author at Red Barn Market during Christmas through Lowell, Nov. 17, 18, 19

Following is an example of a Press Release.

For immediate release

November 6, 2017

Contact: Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Local author Emma Palova will have a book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories at the Red Barn Market during the annual Christmas through Lowell tour from Nov. 17 to Nov. 19.

Bring your locally purchased book available at Schuler Books & Music in Grand Rapids or Lansing. The book is also available on Amazon in two formats: Kindle for $7.99 and paperback for $11.99.

Palova divides the stories in the book into three circles: early immigration years, retail and journalism. The stories feature characters such as professor Martin Duggan in “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” based on the family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia.

 

The hometown politics circle from journalism depicts ruthless supervisor Ned in the “Iron Horse” and charismatic Lisa in “Foxy.” The retail circle of stories highlights the retail madness during the “orange balloon clearance” in the “Orange Nights.” Rachel suffers under the yoke of the Midwest store routine.

Apple orchards served as a source of inspiration for “Danillo,” a story about a Mexican immigrant who works at the apple orchards.

“Orchards of any type have inspired me ever since I’ve read Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard,” Palova said.

 

The Red Barn Market is no. 1 location on the Greater Lowell map of the Christmas tour located at 3550 Alden Nash.

“I have deep ties to the Red Barn Market,” said Palova. “I’ve watched them grow over the last three years. We’re practically Neighbors. Red Barn and the surrounding Kropf apple orchards also inspire my work.”

The Red Barn Market has inspired one of the stories in Palova’s Book 2: Shifting Sands Short Stories: Secrets.

Annually, the tour attracts hundreds of visitors from far and near.

“It is our busiest event,” said general manager Barb Kropf-Roth.

The Trademark  of the Christmas event are various vendors with unique wares & services such as the brand new Hastings-based “Little Dreamers Sleepovers.”

Little Dreamers Sleepovers
West Michigan’s premier sleepover specialist.
The list of vendors includes:

Amy Pearson – Paisley Productions – dolly clothes, tutus and jewelry!

Joyce Hofman – The Milk Bucket Goat Soap Company – goat milk soaps, lotions and more!

Bree Duffy – Flat Caps for Sale – unique handmade hats!

Ana Maria Pimentel – magical houses!

Sandy VanDyke – Sandy’s Fudge – homemade fudges and hot fudge!

Sam Soyka – “Made New” – blanket ladders, pallet Christmas trees, refurb side tables, old doors, wash tubs, pallet wine holders, pillows, antique Christmas decor!

Arlene Newell – western motif purses, barnwood crosses and more!

Kimberly Danielski – hand knit scarves!

Kate Kropf – Mi.Home wood signs!

Patty Schoonmaker – Chrstmas ornaments, painted canvas, holiday pins and more!

Alicia Hollern – “Burlap & Brushes” – burlap banners, painted mason jars, wood tray, fabric garland and more!

Bogoski and Hofman Girls – homemade chocolate suckers!

Sarah Cooper – Sarah B. Cooper Art nativities and Christmas decor’!

Boy Scouts of America Troup 102 of Lowell – Chirstmas wreaths!

Glad Fletcher – book of memoirs – “My Garden of Stones”

Brooke Vermullen – Drink Up, Michigan – Michigan shaped bottle openers!

Katie Johnson – Katie J’s – sterling silver hand cragted jewelry!

Emma Palova – author – “Shifting Sands Short Stories”!

Maranda Palova – Little Dreamers Sleepovers – sleepover parties!

Carol & Duane Hamilton – Palletability – reclaimed wood items!

Emma’s book “Shifting Sands Short Stories” is available on Amazon at:

paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Shifting-Sands-Short-Stories/dp/152130226X

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

For more info about Little Dreamers Sleepovers go to:

https://marandassweetdreams.com

For more info about Red Barn Market go to:

https://redbarnmarket.biz

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Shakespeare by proxy

Shakespeare on a chocolate wrapper

I have Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” by Proxy on the wrapper of my salted almond butter dark chocolate.

The other day, I ate the entire chocolate bar in the morning for breakfast to get some energy. Now, that is exactly 480 calories. But, it did the trick of putting me back on my feet. Prior to eating the chocolate bar, I felt like a snake making his way through the tall grass by my pond.

Breaking into writing space

However, I didn’t realize until today what was going on. I was entering the subconscious working space of my new book “Riddleyville Secrets.” It took all that energy to break the outside barriers of consciousness.

And following are William Shakespeare’s lines from “Romeo and Juliet”:

Juliet:

          A thousand times good-night!

Romeo:

          A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.

          Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from their books;

          But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

Juliet:

          Hist! Romeo, hist! O! for a falconer’s voice,

          To lure this tassel-gentle back again.

          Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud,

          Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,

          And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine,

          With repetition of my Romeo’s name.

Romeo:

          It is my soul that calls upon my name:

  How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,

          Like softest music to attending ears!

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

How to finish a book or a screenplay

Don’t leave unfinished projects behind to haunt you. Don’t be afraid to pick them back up with new energy behind them even if they have been collecting dust or taking up space in the computer.

A woman surprised me at one of my recent book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories by the following question:

“I am on chapter six, how do I finish my book,” she asked me.

It was a definitely out-of-the-box question, because not everyone wants to admit they can’t finish something.

Here is what I have gathered over the years about  finishing​ any major writing project like a book or a screenplay:

Set a target finish goal, something that’s important to you like your birthday or any other milestone.

Write every day a quota of pages, such as 5 pages.

Always have an end in mind for the  book or script, but also for each chapter or scene.

Ask yourself: What do I want to carry out in this chapter or scene?

A loose flexible outline always helps.

Establish a reward program for yourself after each chapter. It can be anything from having a coffee with a friend or a token that will remind you that a particular chapter or scene is done.

Create a cover or poster early on even as a draft. It will help you visualize the book, play or film and the entire process.

Have a color theme in mind for the characters and the book overall.

Be cohesive. Don’t let it fall apart into pieces just because you stumble on a block in your way.

Explore, see, discover. I especially like these three verbs that I found on a sign by the Wittenbach nature center. They will continue to feed your inspiration. And in turn, the reader will keep turning pages.

Use character compass to balance out your stories. That means the right amount of thoughts, appearance, action and dialogue.

Don’t forget about the place and tension.

Don’t let unfinished Ghoulish projects haunt you.

The feature photo is from the Lowell Arts show “Between Turbulence and Tranquility” by artist Kim Ensch.

 

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs LLC. All rights reserved.

Express life in PR

My life condensed in an Express  PR

Shifting Sands Short Stories book press release

Emma’s book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories come to downtown Lowell

For immediate release

Oct. 19, 2017

Contact

Emma Palova

 

emmapalova@yahoo.com

EW Emma’s Writings blog

http://emmapalova.com

Lowell, MI- Local author Emma Palova of Lowell has published the book Shifting Sands Short Stories, formats kindle and paperback, now available on Amazon for $7.99 and $11.99, and locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and Lansing.

She will have a series of book signing events in historic downtown Lowell.  Following today’s event during Girls Night Out at Sweet Seasons Bakery & Café, her next book signing will be at Lowell Arts on Oct. 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. located at 223 W. Main Street.

“This is an active day for Lowell Arts with Dixie Swim Club dinner theatre and LA house concert,” said Lowell Arts director Lorain Smalligan.

It is also the last day for the current gallery exhibit “Between Turbulence and Tranquility,” before the Holiday Artists Market goes up on Nov. 7.

The book is a collection of 13 short stories that Palova wrote and collected over the span of more than two decades. The fiction’s genre is magic realism, a combination of fantasy with reality.

“In magic realism you combine the fictitious with fantasy and sometimes you use real characters to model the fictitious characters,” Palova said. “It can be a hybrid. I don’t write about Martians. I write about real people.”

Palova started writing for the Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 upon arrival in the USA. She initially wrote a column, “Place for Commentary” in Czech.

Many of the stories are based on experiences Palova has had during her time living and working in the greater Lowell area in Michigan. The stories are thematically divided into three circles: Immigration, journalism and retail.

Palova has been writing for the area publications since 1997 when she launched her professional journalistic career with Kaechele Publications in Allegan. In 1998, she joined the staff of the Ionia-Sentinel Standard where she received awards for community reporting from the Ionia Chamber of Commerce in 2000 and the Ionia County Community Mental Health, 2003. Palova joined the staff of the Lowell Ledger in 2006. In 2011, she received an award from the American Legion for reporting on veterans’ affairs. Palova also had a community blog in the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.

Palova worked as a correspondent for the Grand Rapids Press, the Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Lowell Ledger.

Palova is currently working on the second volume of stories, as well as on the memoir “Greenwich Meridian, where East meets West” about the Konecny family immigration saga from Czechoslovakia to the USA.

She is preparing her first novel “Fire on Water” for publication in 2018.

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

Palova became an American citizen in 1999.

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

Other author’s events will be held during Christmas through Lowell, and on Jan. 6, 2018 at the Lowell Arts.

Locally the book is available at Schuler’s Books

2660 28th Street

Grand Rapids, MI 49512

1-616-942-2561

Schuler’s Books, Okemos

1982 Grand River Ave

Okemos, MI 48864

1-517-349-8840

Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon

Paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Shifting-Sands-Short-Stories/dp/152130226X

The book is also available throughout the libraries of Kent District Library (KDL), Hastings & Big Rapids.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Interesting things

Excerpts from Orange Nights in Shifting Sands Short Stories

The most Interesting things in the store were the changing seasons and the colors reflecting them. The summer colors were still vibrant, and hanging in the air or it could have been the nostalgia after a summer passing by.

And then there were the never-ending returns in the Women’s department always shoved in a heaping basket by the fitting rooms that served as a hangout spot.

Dressing up for "Chaos."
Never-ending stream of returns in Women’s department.

“Why did you stay in the store all these years, Irma?” asked Rachel doubtful and wondering about her own future.

“You come in young like most, because you don’t know what to do with yourself,” said Big Irma. “And after a while you just get used to it, and you’re afraid of change. Just look around you. What do you see?”

However, it was all in what you didn’t see. Those were the underlying currents of being stuck in any situation in life, and not being able to move forward. It had different names, that all came under one label.

That label was fear. And fear had many faces. It was hiding under different coats of comfort and security, assurances or the lack of them.

“Have you ever been afraid in the store?” asked Rachel. “I mean really afraid. I know we have security department and all that, but afraid as in who is going to walk in through that door and what is he going to do?”

People were already streaming in along with normal day people who had nothing to do with the orange balloon clearance in the soft and hard lines, like the grocery people and the food court.

For the moment Rachel envied them the regularity of a normal day job. They came in and they left on regular basis without the madness of wanting to do something else with their lives.

“Why aren’t you in your own department?” a scowling voice breathed down her neck.

Startled she turned around. The tall orange blonde man with a mustache still dressed in civil clothes was right behind Rachel’s back. Wendell pulled out of the cart with the returns shorts tangled in with a bra and panties. The lines manager smelled of beer and cigarettes, after a night of drinking.

“How did the night go?” Wendell asked about the clearance mark-downs with orange stickers. “What’s all this crap?”

Big Irma tired after the long night turned to Wendell.

“You just have to over there and see,” she said. “There’s a lot of clearance this year. I guess people weren’t buying as much or we overbought, or both. You never know from year to year.”

Popular places ArtPrize 9

20170930_151825395656458.jpg
ArtPrize Grand Rapids

Thoughts on  Popular  places  in the wake of Las Vegas shooting

By Emma Palova

Grand Rapids, MI -I am beyond shocked over the Sunday night shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people without any connection to terror.

My husband and I just spent a fantastic Saturday in downtown Grand Rapids enjoying the most Popular arts event in the world. That is the 9th annual ArtPrize that featured 1,500 artists from 47 countries.

ArtPrize is the world’s largest competition and the most attended annual art event on the planet.

Thousands of people packed the sidewalks, the arts venues and the cafes on a beautiful sunny Saturday.

Other than seeking inspiration, the main reason why we went to ArtPrize was to cast a Popular vote for local photographer Bruce Doll for his entry, “As Grand As It Gets.”

The photo is a fabulous non-conventional take on the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a fish-eye lens.

“I thought I can never capture this,” said Doll.

In order to vote, you had to physically register in any of the ArtPrize districts  using the app in the first round of voting.

The second reason was to see  “The American Dream” by finalist Tom Kiefer. We strolled from the peaceful Hillside Veteran’s Park area to the much busier DeVos Place Convention Center on Monroe.

Kiefer photographed the personal belongings of migrants seized at the border.

“I felt a visceral connection between his art and our  farm workers,” said Teresa Hendricks, director of Migrant Legal Aid hosting the artist.

DeVos Place had the finalists’ artwork on display. We inched the skywalks between the finalists’ exhibits and the railing; sometimes without seeing the art exhibits. There was a demonstration of tattoo art among others. As I leaned across the railing to get a picture of the interior of the hall, it occurred to me.

No matter how Athletic  you were, you wouldn’t be able to run out of that glass hall with waved glass ceiling, if someone had opened fire.

We were all conveniently gathered there in the sky walks in front of the artwork, packed in the hallways. We were separated from the ground floor by escalators and elevators.

There were no security checks at the entrance.

Inside the Amway hotel, we paused by the art of “Lincoln.”

After we got out of the venue complex through a system of catwalks, and back on the street, it occurred to me again; the vulnerability of crowds. The crowds also packed the Blue Bridge and the Gillett Bridge with artists.

People gathered in front of art everywhere. After several hours, I felt nauseated from the crowds and the autumn heat.

I had to take a deep breath in front of an eagle sculpture by the Rosa Parks Circle.

It was to a certain point comforting. But that was Saturday, before the Sunday shooting in Las Vegas.

Then, everything changed.

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

A Crescendo for Taurus

Interesting horoscope for Taurus today

You revel in the certainty that today’s good intentions will reap tomorrow’s just rewards. Although your practicality may be tested now, your consistent actions add up in your favor. Stay strong and keep the faith, even if the attainment of your goals seems closer to a distant horizon than to your doorstep. Continue moving forward one step at a time.

I liken this time to a  Crescendo in music.

Author Josh Shipp wrote, “Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose.”

My author’s journey continues

Grab a book at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids or Lansing, or on Amazon, and come to my book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17 from 1 pm to 4 p.m.

For book excerpts go to Edition Emma Publishing at http://editionemma.wordpress.com

Visit with unique vendors during the 3rd annual Fallasburg village bazaar.

 

For more info on Fallasburg go to:

http://fallasburgtoday.org or http://www.fallasburg.org

Schuler Books at schulerbooks.com

https://www.tarot.com/daily-horoscope/taurus/2017-09-12?

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Delivering my new book

All set for book signing during the Fallasburg village bazaar & Fall Festival for Arts  on Sept.16 and Sept.17

By Emma Palova

East Lansing, MI – What a way to spend the Labor Day weekend. We delivered copies of my new book to Schuler Books in East Lansing at the chic Eastwood Towne Center.

My new book Shifting Sands Short Stories will be available after Labor Day at Schuler Books in the Okemos and East Lansing stores.

 

It is now available at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids on 28th Street.

Stop in. Chat with a friend at Chapbook Cafe. Pick up a copy of my book just in time for the upcoming book signing at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse during the 3rd annual Fallasburg village bazaar on Sept.16 and Sept.17 from 1 to 4 pm.

Come and chat with the author of Shifting Sands Short Stories, Emma Palova about the egotistical characters in the book.

For more info go to EW Emma’s Writings on http://emmapalova.com and on Fallasburg Today on http://fallasburgtoday.org

Schuler Books is locally and independently owned with a local author program.

We will be working together on local author’s events.

They accept independently published books on consignment.

For more info go to Schuler Books at http://www.schulerbooks.com

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

 

Happy birthday mom

Mom Ella turns 80 in a Visceral celebration

Big Rapids, MI – Today, my mother Ella Konecny turns 80 in Big Rapids, MI. Together with my father Vaclav, they’ve been living in this small university town, home to Ferris State University, for more than three decades.

Their friends at the Saturday’s birthday party for mom have known both for that long.

wp-image-370383369
Mom Ella turns 80 in Big Rapids, MI.

“Your parents are great people,” I heard over and over again.

Mom was born Drabkova in former communist Czechoslovakia on Aug. 23, 1937 in Zlin to Anna and Joseph Drabek.

My mother has inspired the memoir Greenwich Meridian, where East meets west about the family immigration saga. She was the one who didn’t want to leave the communist country after the Soviet invasion on the night of August 20-21 in 1968.

Their journey from the Moravian hilly villages of Vizovice and Stipa to Big Rapids in Michigan was tumultuous with many twists and turns.

Some of the milestones included the 1973 return to hardline Czechoslovakia from Texas, and then the escape back into the New World for my dad in 1976. Mom joined him in 1980.

Dad landed the math professor job at the Ferris State University, and that finally anchored them permanently in their new home.

To this day, mom says she loved her bio lab technician job also at the university. The warm friendly welcome atmosphere proved that at the birthday party.

Their true story has also inspired my fiction in the new Shifting Sands Short Stories book. “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” was inspired by some bits and pieces from the early years of immigration.

I wrote that story shortly after  my immigration to the USA in 1989. When I compare some of the elements of the short story to the memoir, I consider them Visceral in character, coming from a gut feeling.

The main character in the story is professor Martin Duggan obsessed with his own quest for perfection.

May you both enjoy many more years of love, good health and optimism. Thank you for all your love and support.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.