Category Archives: inspiration

Hard at work

It’s a chilly Saturday afternoon in Michigan, but this nifty thingy steers it up and keeps the atmosphere warm.

Here we go

Stay tuned….for more.

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

Roaring 2022

The twenties are delivering suprises with twists and turns

“You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

Indira Gandhi

By Emma Palova

The predictions for 2022 are taking shape and form just like in an irregular pentagon. So far, it has been full of surprises, twists, and turns with discoveries along the journey. I will list the first 10 discoveries of the year, followed by a list of more discoveries, less sensational.

Later, I take a step back to gain perspective and shake off negativity and criticism after being in the public eye and scrutiny. The balancing act is important to me. At times, like on this sunny day, my psychic reaches out to me which I am grateful for, and then I know I am loved and embrace all the cosmic energies. Thank you Diana Plopa for bringing sunshine into my day. Yes, I am lucky enough to have a personal adviser, because we’re all in this together.

  1. Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.
Zoom interview with poet Donny Winter

The blitz and downfalls of podcasting

I wanted to have a podcast show, and I got it with all its blitz and downfalls. First the blitz. The podcast “For the Love of Books” hosted and produced by Emma Palova, co-produced by author Colleen Nye and sponsored by Doc Chavent immediately garnered attention, both from the authors and the public. Not too many authors have podcast shows. Why? Because it is a technological and scheduling nightmare for one person including a whole new layer added to already a full stack of tasks. I had to close down the Sigh Up Genius because it was flooded with requests and start sorting through the authors.

2. Discoveries and insights

Discoveries and secrets

Author Luba Lesychyn

Secrets should just stay secrets regardless of what they are. They shift around like the loose grains in the sand. They evolve like the characters in our books. All secrets have their own hidden energy behind them. Once uncovered, they’re not secrets anymore with different energy attached to them causing havoc and chaos in everything. And then comes another secret that needs to be hidden. And it’s a chain reaction of secrets and hiding them under the mask of goodness and sweetness. Like the Russian nesting dolls, inside one secret is hidden another one and so on.

3. Insights

Insights versus secrets

Why do we do the things we do? Are we troubled, unhappy, not motivated enough? Or just unappreciated. Maybe we don’t want to lead a normal life bored to death. So we start acting out like the Lansing killer Steve Miller. I totally enjoyed the interview with true crime author Rod Sadler.

At the end of the interview, I asked him, “Would you like to read to us?”

“I thought you would read to me,” Sadler said.

I chuckled. Luckily I had Sadler’s book Killing Women so I did read to him although not his horoscope or like a psychic from his hand.

4. The unrelenting quest for money

Money is like poison

Money or the quest for it poisons everything including relationships. This one covers a wide spectrum from partners, families to neighbors. You can chase after money and never have it, or you have it and don’t know what to do with it because you are bored and unappreciated.

5. The pretense of kindness and sweetness

Kindness and sweetness get results

You can get almost anything under the pretense of kindness and sweetness including a slice of bread. You can even have both, the icing and cake. But you can’t have peace.

6. Beyond anger

Anger manifesto

Former Lowell police chief Steve Bukala

Anger follows the act of getting caught doing evil and denying it or standing behind your citizens’ rights. It manifests on daily basis in your actions and reactions, as well as in the behavior of people around you.

7. Cheating on tests

Cheating on tests

So your notes written in the palm of your hand didn’t help you or the three geniuses sitting in the back of the classroom during a calculus exam, because a stupid Canadian ass turned around to confirm the insecurity of her own results. And you spend the summer studying for a make-up exam instead of being with your family. Some celebrities went to jail for cheating bribing and casting on the couch. But you never pay the price. You just blow it off into the wind and someone else catches it for you.

8. The polygon effect

The Polygon Effect using characters in plots

A pentagon-shaped circus tent

A classic circus tent is an example of an irregular pentagon, not to be confused with the most famous pentagon of all, the government building in Washington D.C. A regular pentagon is a five-sided polygon with five sides and angles in geometry. It can rotate into a concave resembling a crown, turned upside down it is the shape of a baseball field, it can change angles and sides. Sometimes stars shape pentagons or other polygons. When combined with vectors they become constellations.

In the Polygon Effect plotting, the characters rotate positions. You never know who is going to be at the top or flipped to the home base in the baseball field at the bottom. The sides too are not equal in an irregular pentagon, and the angles or positions change, just like politicians in the government, clowns in the circus, or royalty in the court.

10. The lightness of being

The Unbereable Lightness of Being II from Czech Republic to the U.S.

Apartment complex Jizni Svahy in Zlin

And it all started here inside the somber apartments of the mega-complex where there was nothing else to do but watch hockey, drink beer or just get creative about how you achieve your goals, any goals you wish to accomplish. That’s when I started writing……a diary.

Check out Kundera’s “Unbearable Lightness of Being,” a novel based in Prague made into a movie. The plot uses the polygon method of four characters.

To be continued……a downscaled version.

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

Czech Christmas Traditions II

The live carp in a bathtub

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Among the age-old Czech Christmas traditions that I consider as the most bizarre and “fishy” was the purchase of a live carp on Christmas Eve or the day before for Christmas Eve dinner at the Czech open-air holiday markets.

The carp were transported in barrels with fresh water from the carp ponds in Southern Bohemia such as Trebon. The carp ponds were started in medieval times in the Rozmberk area. Annually in the autumn, the ponds are drained and the carp are netted and kept in large vats before they hit the holiday markets on city squares.

We had to stand in lines for fresh carp at the open markets and the no. 1 tip was not to forget your crochet net bag so the carp could breathe in it before you got the poor fish home, that had already been fighting for oxygen with hundreds of carp in the barrels and vats since November.

If you were lucky to get the carp home live, you had to release it into the bathtub. The next day the men in the household butchered it and it was served for Christmas Eve dinner. Sometimes the head was used for fish soup. We have always used the mushroom soup alternative.

The next hurdle you had to overcome was not to get a bone stuck in your throat. The fried carp always had plenty of bones, fat, and smelled of mud from the ponds, if it was big enough. Yet, it was the fish of choice for the festive dinner accompanied by potato salad, and soup.

If you had something different like fish fillets or fried schnitzel, it was looked down upon.

Fishy tradition modified

This fishy tradition I have modified accordingly since there is no live carp sold on American open holiday markets. At least not that I know of. For years I bought fish at the local grocer’s fish counter, until 2020, the year of Covid.

As I frequented farmer’s markets in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, I discovered fishmonger Dan Sodini from Middleville. He brings fresh and frozen fish from the cold waters of Lake Huron to the markets in West Michigan. Last year, he started the annual winter “fish drop” and I rejoiced.

I knew the Great Lakes Fish annual fish drop was as close as I could get to the Czech live carp tradition. During the first winter fish drop on Jan. 16th at the Ada market, I bought our Christmas fish: lake trout, whitefish, and salmon. And yes, I had to stand in a line. Thank you, Dan, for keeping our “fishy” tradition alive.

Some Czech families feeling sorry for the carp let it loose the next day, which was not recommended.

Back to Christmas Eve; those who fasted all day before dinner got to see the golden pig, signifying prosperity. Also if you put a scale from the carp under your plate or in your wallet, you will enjoy prosperity.

Creative Czechs have been inspired by the live carp tradition for generations; it has made its way into movies, folk tales, legends, poems, new blog posts, and radio talk.

If you see a star made from apple seeds by cutting an apple in half, the whole family will enjoy health for the entire year or there will be a birth in the family. On the other hand, if you see a cross from the apple seeds or the center is rotted, there will be a death in the family.

Single girls threw a shoe behind them at the doorstep, if the tip pointed to the door, the girl would get married next year. If it pointed inward, the girl would stay single for at least the next year.

Sometimes, we each floated a nut shell with a candle resembling little sailboats in a pot; the sailboats that traveled away from the edge, meant travel for their owners, the ones that stayed by the edge, meant staying home.

A major difference between Czech and American Christmas is that gifts are found underneath the tree right after dinner. “Jezisek” brings them while we eat.

This was preceded by a long period of hiding gifts, and hunting for them; finding gifts in unusual places and boxes marked with something else than the content. I picked up this tradition from my dad, Vaclav Konecny. Once in Africa, he put my doll in a box from a train. I remember the tears of disappointment, that didn’t last too long.

Mom Ella found her golden bracelets hanging like ornaments on the Christmas tree. Thanks, dad for this fun tradition.

Then, we play traditional Czech carols on the piano and the trumpet. We usually go for the Christmas mass the next day on Dec. 25th. Now, almost exclusively to St. Pat’s in Parnell.

In the Czech Republic, the day after Christmas Day was known as the Feast of St. Stephen, which we all celebrated by visiting with family and going to church.

Since we have been sharing our favorite Christmas traditions on my “For the Love of Books Podcast,” I would be remiss if I didn’t share my own.

Here we go:

Favorite holiday tradition

After a long day of working in the kitchen, my favorite moment was finally sitting down at the festive dinner table, lighting the candles, and seeing all the hungry faces ready to eat after the prayer led by the head of the family.

Check out the “For the Love of Books Podcast” on

http://emmapalova123.podbean.com

Merry Christmas

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

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

Happy Valentine’s Day

Have a great Valentine’s. Treat yourself and your loved ones to some good food and sweets or a trip to the wineries of Grand Traverse area. Stay tuned for a story. “Grand Traverse Rediscovered.”

Featured cake by

http://jkarmaskova.wordpress.com

Lake Huron trout and caviar.

Great Lakes fish provided by DMS Fish Supply of Midland, MI. For more info about DMS click below:

https://emmapalova.com/2020/08/28/the-fishmonger/

Copyright (c) 2021 Emma Blogs, LLC.

First festival weekend

Blind Date with a Book

Rolling into the first weekend of the Winter Virtual Book Festival organized by Pages Promotions, LLC, we’ve covered genre from action and adventure, non-fiction to memoir. The theme of this festival is “Blind Date with a Book.”

Events

You pick an event by clicking on the caption below, and register on Zoom.

The participating authors read from their books without revealing the title. The screen shows scrambled covers, and it’s up to you to find the perfect fit.

If you match up the author with the book, you get the bragging rights on social media. Please use the hashtag #ppvirtualbookfestival.

Wheel of Happiness

Diana has given out a lot of prizes spinning the Wheel of Happiness, and a lot more is to come during the month of February. If you win a book, check it for the gold, silver or bronze ticket for major prizes.

If you don’t attend, you can’t win. Invite your friends, fans and family and cast the authors’ event on your TV.

PopUp Book Shop

Visit the festival PopUp Book Shop to meet your next favorite book. It will be up only during the festival month. So do not procrastinate.

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

Register on Zoom

Don’t forget to register for tonight’s poetry and short story readings at 8 p.m.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_j5NEnqg-TJuqedWh7JuovQ?fbclid=IwAR1lgWWg9kp4MT6ecBEANZ2aLBsbkPy6-0lSDD-r0pZFmiigGKrvrWiOD0Q

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.

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.