Category Archives: inspiration

Five years on WordPress

What I have learned while blogging on the WordPress platform

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – It’s hard to believe that yesterday marked five years since my registration on WordPress. My first post “About” followed on Jan. 15, 2013.

Some people asked me at my author’s book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories, why do you need a blog, if you have a Facebook page. There are at least a million reasons to blog; for me the most important one was to support my fiction career.

anniversary-2x
Five years on WordPress.

I had a successful journalistic print career for two decades, and I wanted to build on that following with a virtual audience.  When I embarked on penning our immigration saga from communist Czechoslovakia titled “Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West” agent Barbara Lowenstein of Lowestein Associates Inc. suggested I need a blog/website.

I didn’t have a Facebook page, so I startedmy blog on WordPress with 0 followers that grew to two brave pioneers, Lowell artist Kathleen Mooney and Vergennes Broadband owner Ryan Peel. My Twitter account was  insignificant.

Over the years, I built the blog out just like you would build a fortress, stone by stone, wall by wall; that is post by post, page by page.

I’ve compiled  the following Q&A based on what people asked me in person and on the Internet. These include my insights gained over the last five years, including the publishing of my new book in the summer of 2017 on kdp publishing platform.

Q & A:

Q:How often do you post?

A: Twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays before the weekend.

Q: What do you write about on a weekly basis that grows your following?

A: You have to be able to offer a value to your readers based on the subject matter of your blog. Be relevant.

For example: if you have a food blog (and I do), give out recipes.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Everyday life and writing. As an author and a writer, I write every day. Even if it’s not writing behind the computer screen, I write in my wide ruled spiral notebook.  I jot down notes of everyday observations. I always keep these handy for future reference.

Q: What kind of insights have you gained during your blogging & author careers?

A: This is where I have to distinguish between blogging and being an author of fiction.

Even though one feeds into the other, that is blogging feeds into my fiction writing and vice versa, there is a difference.

Blogging: Numbers matter, that’s why you have to work the social media relentlessly. Connect your social media platforms to your blog. Post on a regular basis. Build a faithful following.

Fiction writing:  Write every day solid blocks of coherent text. Seek feedback, reviews and build a network of contacts. Make public appearances so people know about you.

In both cases, nurture the contacts in your network with a monthly newsletter. Enahnce writing with videos and book trailers.

In the sea of daily published new books in different formats, you cannot expect the reader to find you. You have to find the right reader to match what you have written.

Q: Where and when does it all come together?

A: It all comes together once you’re published on publishing and readers’ platforms.

Publishing platforms:

Kdp publishing on Amazon. Update your author centrale page.

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

 

Readers’ platforms

Goodreads authors

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16875736.Emma_Palova

Summary: In both blogging and as an author encourage engagement with reviews, questions and feedback.

As such, I will be actively answering your questions until my departure for writer’s retreat in Florida on Feb. 8 on all platforms. Use slug: Emma answers.

Tips: You Study  the forums and help materials on WordPress.

You not only study the materials, but you implement everything that you have learned. Don’t forget to visit other blogs.on the Dai ly Post round-up. They are a constant source of inspiration.

To get discovered and for further insights: Participate in the Daily Post prompts

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/

Happy blogging and writing.

Thank you WordPress for providing this free platform to all writers, authors and dreamers around the globe.

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Year 2017 in review II

Note: This is the second part of a mini-series of posts that look back at 2017 with all its joys and tribulations. It was a year of big changes and adjustments both professional and personal. It rolled in like a monster a truck and flew away like a balloon.

April

Living in the Midwest, April  means spring and gardening. We enjoyed a late Easter after a mild winter. All along I was plugging away at my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories” that I had hoped to finish on my birthday.  Since I wrote the majority of the stories so long ago, I had to rewrite some of them, based on my new experience as a journalist. It was a true labor of love.

Writing got harder once it got nice outside. Like any writer, I would procrastinate finding every excuse not to write. There were days when I’d rather do dishes than write. But as May approached I intensified my writing.

I also started walking right after Easter. I walked 1.8 miles to the Franciscan Life Process Center every day. The walk was a source of inspiration also for my therapy app.

May

I love May when everything blossoms. I am talking mainly about lilacs and cherries in  the Lower Peninsula. I’ve only been once to the Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island in June, and once to the Traverse City Cherry Festival.

I didn’t finish my book by my self-imposed deadline. The formatting was a lot more difficult than I expected. I pushed the deadline back.

June

However, I knew I would have to finish the book in June because our French granddaughter Ella spends summers with us. I had to add a brand new story into the book “Orange Nights.” So, I wrote the oldest story “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” in 1990, and the newest one in 2017 for length so the name could go on the spine of the book. You have to have more than 100 pages for the book’s name to go on the spine.

 

I uploaded the final version on June 27 to  Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon. The print version was more complex than the kindle e-book format.

 

July

In July we took the Badger ship across Lake Michigan and did a circle tour around the lake plus visited Munising on Lake Superior. I never wrote about this because of all the social events. Mom Ella turned 80 on Aug. 23. We returned from the mini-vacation on Aug. 22.

That’s one the many advantages of writing your “Year in Review” because you get to write about something you wouldn’t otherwise get to.

 

In spite of the fact that we’ve been many times to the Upper Peninsula aka UP we’ve never done the glass bottom shipwreck tours to Bermuda and Hettler aboard the Fireball. It was an amazing voyage by the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

About the featured photo

It is an old map of the Great Lakes placed in the Belrockton historical museum in Belding.

The  shortlink to the first post of “Year in Review 2017” is:

https://wp.me/p34jQ1-UhW

Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tour in Munising. Reservations are recommended.

https://shipwrecktours.com

Kindle Direct Publishing

kdp.amazon.com

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Year in Review 2017

Note: This is a mini-series of posts that look back at 2017 with all its joys and tribulations. It was a year of big changes and adjustments both professional and personal. It feels like the year just flew away like a balloon. 

2017  A Year to Remember

By Emma Palova

January

Quick trip to Czech Republic

When January rolled in like a monster truck, we found out early on that we had to fly out of the country for Aunt Martha’s funeral in Stipa. My aunt was the only living sibling of my father Vaclav Konecny former  math professor at Ferris State University in Big Rapids.

The trip to Czech Republic in frigid temperatures on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean was an eye-opening experience. From today’s perspective, I consider it our last good-bye  to the homeland emotionally.

Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague
The airport of Vaclav Havel in Prague.

 

After the funeral, we met up with the cousins and our teachers from ZDS Stipa School at the local restaurant  “Stipsky Senk.” Deceased Aunt Martha was a math and an arts  teacher at ZDS. Those three hours of catching up were worth a million dollars. My husband Ludek and I met at the ZDS School in mid 1970s. We shared some of the teachers. They remembered us just like we were in school: young and beautiful. We remembered them just like they were back in school: semi-old, bossy and strict.

It’s amazing how 40 years changed exactly nothing about the perception you have established at the beginning. We saw each other through the same eyes.

“Do you write?” Mrs. Slaharova asked me.

“I do, how do you know?” I was surprised.

“Your aunt always said you take after grandma and she wrote poetry, right?” she said.

“Yes, she did.”

I thought to myself, “Yes, it’s true you cannot escape your destiny.”

Lowell Showboat

The Lowell Showboat closed as an entertainment venue on Jan. 4. Santa has no home, but he moves to the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.

February

A Valentine’s shock

February was a Valentine’s shock.  I got an invite to a Valentine’s party at the Flat River Gallery from the local iconic artist Jan Johnson. We interviewed prior to the party at Johnson’s house at the end of January. We enjoyed each other’s company and coffee. We talked about animation and Johnson’s love of painting circus animals. She was upset that the Ringling Brothers had to get rid of the elephants.

“What is a circus without elephants,” she said.

https://emmapalova.com/2017/02/03/lowell-artist-inspires-generations/

We were both at the fancy Valentine’s party “Champagne & Chocolates” at the  gallery. on Feb. 13. Eight days later, I found out from Facebook that Johnson passed away. We were more like friends. I’ve written more than a dozen stories about this prolific watercolor artist & illustrator.

NASA

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

Lady Gaga

300 Drones dance behind Lady Gaga during Superbowl half-time show.

Oscar’s Showdown 2017

And the real winner is the movie ‘ Moonlight’ not ‘La La Land.’

March

Spring madness

For me March signals spring, wherever I may live on this earth. I look forward to St. Pat’s Day with all the green traditions. But, the most significant event was the departure of our kids to Bali, Indonesia for our son Jake’s 30th birthday on March 1.

We in turn went to Hastings to watch the grand kids for the stormiest week in Michigan. I am grateful that I could work from the local libraries, both in Hastings and at the KDL Englehart Library due to power outages. I worked on the “Inspiring Women” series for the International Women’s Day on March 8.

 As I drove north to Lowell through the Barry County farmlands on Wednesday, 54-mile wind gusts were throwing the small orange Dart across the country road. Broken limbs and twigs were hitting the dancing car in the wind. 

To be continued………..

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

 

 

 

 

Inspired by philanthropy

Christmas gift of health inspires

Going to a hospital is never easy. We’ve all been there during our lifetime at least once when we were born. Last Friday, I accompanied my lifelong partner Ludek to Metro Health for left heart catheterization with possible intervention at the Metro Hospital in Wyoming.

I was actually the designated driver on this trip. We packed our bags, because we didn’t know if we were going to stay overnight depending on the outcome of the procedure. The sarcastic locals dub Metro as Hotel 6 since it sits directly on freeway M-6.

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions.  The doctor inserts  a long thin tube called a catheter in an artery or vein in the wrist, neck or groin and threads it through the bloods vessels to the heart.

It was a follow-up to the echo stress test that showed possible narrowing of the blood vessels, that in turn causes chest pains and difficulty breathing. Ludek had been complaining of breathing difficulties.

We got to the hospital at noon. We first went to the Metro Cafe because I was starving, but Ludek had to fast. The enormous cafeteria was full with staff and visitors. It boasted that everything was made from scratch. Actually the salad was delicious. They also had a Subway there.

Walking side by side with nurse Leann we passed the Coffee Bar and the hospital boutique  on our way to Cath Lab. The staff hooked up Ludek to all the necessary equipment showing vitals in Bay 9.

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After that it was mostly waiting. The procedure was delayed twice due to previous complications with other patients.  While Ludek got some sleep, it was introspective time for me. Then finally Dr. Larry Diaz, cardiologist, entered to inform us what’s going to happen. Dr. Diaz was wearing a  biker’s cap with word Venezuela on it, a shielded floral apron and he had a slight accent.

We introduced ourselves.

“I am Dr. Diaz and you?” he asked.

“I am Emma,” I said.

“My daughter’s name is Emma,” he said.

“Are you from Venezuela?” I asked boldly.

“Yes, born and raised there until 24,” he said. “A long time ago.”

We discussed the procedure with all the possible outcomes including bleeding and death.

“The positives outweigh the negatives,” he said.

I was far from being calm, but once you’re this far into it, you have no other choice then to stay. I wanted to run so bad. Once they hauled Ludek into the surgery room at 3:21 p.m., I left Bay 9 quickly.

I walked through the hallways around the Healing Garden atrium to the Metro Cafe to replenish fluids. It was really cold and dry in the entire building. I got some Peace Tea with Georgia peach flavor and stared into the Healing Garden at the art on the wall, the bare trees, and at the chairs and tables that had snow for cushions.

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Luckily, I was there by myself  with only a student working on his computer. The lunch buzz was gone.  The bins designated for trash were marked “compost.” A chain link wall closed off the check-out registers from the other side of the Cafe.

I felt grateful to philanthropists Bill & Bea Idema who made the Healing Garden possible. The daylight was leaving us gradually under the dark clouds. I had pager #614 on me, so the cath lab staff could reach me anywhere in the building except for the Coffee Bar.

I passed a big waterfall sign with rolling water over the donor plaques with the inscription: Inspired by Philanthropy. The hospital was celebrating 25 years of philanthropy.

Restless, I changed location to the Reflection Seating area overlooking the atrium closer to the cath lab. I was exhausted over all the possibilities of what could happen. I didn’t want to stay there overnight.

“How could I ever consider being a doctor?” I asked myself. “I can’t even stand being here.”

Yes, at one point in my life, I actually wanted to be a doctor, specifically a cardiologist.

I got lost in my thoughts staring into the garden behind the glass wall. If it was summer, I would have been sitting there, but then I wouldn’t have been able to keep my lunch salad leftovers in the car.

I called our son Jake after seeing endless messages on the phone. It was comforting to speak to an outsider about something else than catheters and moderate sedation with  opioid  analgesic fentanyl.

20171215_1636092017577578.jpg

“How is dad?” he asked.

“I don’t know yet,” I said. “He just went in.”

Jake, a chronic complainer, talked about the rotten healthcare system.

“Well, at least, it’s available to us,” I said. “Can you imagine in the Third World countries, you would just die.”

We talked about Christmas with Jake stirring my focus away from the tension of the moment. It helped. After the phone call, I pulled out the classic “The Night before Christmas” by Clement Moore out of my computer bag, and read it. I bought it for our grandkids. I started translating it into Czech for our Christmas Eve bilingual performance at Jake’s house. It did wonders for me. I forgot I was in a hospital with the husband having a serious heart procedure done.

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A call from mom Ella in Florida put me back into the reality of the hospital on a Friday evening. The staff was rapidly deserting it. The labyrinth of hallways was growing  Silent.

“Can you get me my medication from Big Rapids?” she asked. “Next time, when I go to Florida, I’ll take a U-Haul.”

“I got to go,” I said as the pager started vibrating and blinking red like crazy.

It was 5:06, when I re-entered Bay 9. Just in time for Ludek being hauled back in from the surgery room. He had a bloody wrist and some contraption on it. He was smiling and so was the nurse.

“He’s good to go,” jumped in Diaz giving us two thumbs up. “He can shovel snow now. He had no blockages, there was nothing to fix.

“Merry Christmas.”

I gave him a big hug. The biggest hug that I could give.

“Thank you Dr. Diaz.”

Ludek had his arm all bandaged up, like it was broken.

We left the building around 7 p.m. Ludek said he saw stars from the sedation, but other than that he was feeling okay.

As I drove through the wintery night through the city with homes decorated for Christmas, I felt relieved with the outcome; no balloons, no stents to fix blockages in the arteries.

“The arteries feeding your heart are clear,” Dr. Diaz’s words resonated in my ears.

Ludek got the best Christmas gift. That is the gift of health.

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

Book a friend

Books are perfect gifts for any age. They put a smile on a child’s face as they hold their first book in their little hands for the first time.

They also put a smile on your friend’s or grandma’s face s they glance at another new novel yet.

There’s still time to buy a book this week as a last minute gift. Just in the “Nick” of time.

Featured photo: Illustration of the nativity scene by Czech illustrator  & writer Josef Lada.

via Book as a friend

Building a fan base

Building a fan base long before the book or screenplay are done is paramount.

How do you build a fan base?

Fan by fan.  The best place to start are social media. Start a page on Facebook, that you can later connect to your WordPress blog. Also do twitter.

Blogging for a writer is essential. It was the first recommendation I got from an agent.

“Start blogging,” agent Barbara Lowenstein said. “You should be writing reviews like crazy.”

I started blogging in January of 2013 to build my fan base.  I chose WordPress for its impeccable reputation. I started with two follows from friends. Typically, I post twice a week.

What to post?

Give fans a value in your writings; whether it’s inspiration, information, entertainment, insights or a reprieve.

The best posts are relevant to what you are working on. Write about how you came up with the idea for your book, screenplay or business. How does it impact other people?

Why do you feel your work is important, and not just to you?

I can answer this one based on my new collection of short stories “Shifting Sands.”

The reason I put the collection of stories that span more than two decades, was preservation. I knew they would just get lost with time. I wrote some of them on my Smith Corona word processor with only a small screen that showed at the max three to four lines. I bought it for $450 in 1990 at a Kmart store in Big Rapids.

Later, I continued to build my fan base with my journalism career. But, I always had the book in mind first. It was the goal of my life.

Now, that the book is out, I continue to build my fan base with book signings and public appearances. I give it away at raffles.

I accommodate my fans by reaching out to them with also a private book signing, when they already bought one book for themselves and now they want it for a relative as a gift.

I made brochures about me and  my book that I hand out wherever I can. I send out newsletters to my mailing list. If you don’t have one, create one. Use  MailChimp. It’s free up to 2,000 emails.

Don’t just rely on the Internet to market your work. Be personal and be in the public eye. People love meeting up live with authors.

“How many people can say, they had an author at their museum,” said vice-president Tina Siciliano Cadwallader.

Plus, I love meeting up with fellow authors like Glad Fletcher during Christmas through Lowell. At the age of 80, she took a class so she could pen her memoir “My Garden of Stones.”

Glad is 85 now, and does all her own book marketing including public speaking.

My other favorite local author is the Oakwood Cemetery sexton Don DeJong. I bought his book, he bought mine. He writes stories about the people buried at the cemetery using old newspaper records.

Does being an author carry a responsibility?

You bet it does. People have expectations from you.  You have to live up to them.

Whether people read your book or not is a factor you cannot control. The main thing is if they have it in their library. I read an interesting post from “Brain Pickings” on Facebook about the importance of having books at home, even if you’re not going to read all of them. It doesn’t mean you are ignorant or that you’re wastefully spending your money.

Why would you want a book that you’re not going to read?

It’s the energy behind the book that counts. You never know when you’re going to pick it up and just browse through it or use a Snippet for inspiration. I have tons of books that I use for inspiration including poetry and haiku. I also look for book cover ideas, formatting and quotations.

I compare my library to my garden and the books to my flowers. I don’t cut or pick all my flowers, but I enjoy all of them in their natural environment. They inspire and comfort me by their presence.

How do you stay motivated?

Solid motivation is a must to finish your work, whatever it may be. For me motivation is accomplishment. I need to have that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. The fans are also motivation when they ask you about your next book.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

All around me in daily happenings, in old magazines and newspapers. I also find inspiration in arts and old pictures.

When I had my book signing at the Lowell Arts Gallery, I was inspired by other artists’ energy and expression.

How do you filter through ideas?

Sometimes, I have too many ideas and I don’t know how to connect them. Then, I have to discard some or jot them down in my diary. I prioritize. Now, that I am working on my second book of short stories, I made an index of them. I can shuffle the stories around, as inspiration comes. You can do the same with book chapters or scenes.

What matters the most?

The most important is every day writing. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you write. Later, it will make sense. Establish your own writing routine. Listen to your fans and followers. They are your valuable readers.

Now this all could just be a theory if not put to work.

For more info on “Brain Pickings” go to: https://www.brainpickings.org

Watch for my series “Year in Review.”

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

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.

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.

 

 

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