Category Archives: inspiration

A Haiku on “Magic”

Feeling inspired today by the Traveling Nurse’s Haiku on “Magic.”
I might try to write a few of my own Haikus.
I wrote some and illustrated them in the early 2000s and later in 2008. I feel like it’s coming back to me at full force during this busy holiday time.
I actually find reprieve in Haiku writing. Haiku to me is like an island in the midst of the vast ocean of writing.
I need to spend some time on this Haiku island to gain strength to head out back into the ocean of writing.
Sometimes, like most writers and authors, I am intimidated by my upcoming writing. I know the idea has already taken some form in my head, and it is waiting to break out.
Will it be the right time and shape for that idea?
I’ve been carrying all these ideas in me for a long long time.
I’ve also been storing the products of my ideas on the shelves of my book cases for what seems like infinity.
Sometimes, I find old stories all dusty and fading on the yellow paper. Editors demanded hard print copies back then.
As I pick those products back up, I wonder what am I going to do with them this time?
Should I wake them up and bring them to life? Like a sleeping giant or a boring midget?
I have an entire collection “Glass Flowers” (c) Emma Palova that was inspired by an important time in my life.
I am dusting that off and bringing it out into the daylight.
It’s about time for my “Glass Flowers” to be broken into endless pieces.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

That Traveling Nurse

It’s Haiku Fridays, People!

20161007_104718

Looking for fairies
Enchanted woods and magic
Please don’t wake me up!

(In response to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge on Magic)

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27. November 1989

A step back in time to  Monday Nov. 27 in 1989

Lowell, MI- It was Monday under the sign of Sagittarius as George W. Bush took the presidential torch from Ronald Reagan.

It was also the release of “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase and John Grisham topped the bestselling list with his “A Time to Kill.” Two major tragedies set 1989 apart from the rest: the massacre at Tiananmen Square and the Exxon-Valdez oil spill.

Just as the world lost Salvador Dali in 1989, Taylor Swift was born, according to takemebackto.com.

The following are excerpts from my memoir “Greenwich Meridian” (c) copyright 2016 Emma Palova.

“That Monday morning I dressed up warm in my Benetton jacket adorned with an tricolor ribbon, a red, white and blue sweater and jeans. I made a quick snack for the four-hour trip from Zlin to Prague. It was probably an old croissant with salami.

I boarded the 6 a.m. train to Prague called “Citron” packed with young people in the standing room only aisles.

As daylight broke into the dark morning, I felt the crisp air from the outside brush my red cheeks. Exhausted from the events of the past few months, I didn’t sleep much. I was shaking and not just from the November chill.

The last 10 days since the Nov. 17 student demonstrations in Prague were filled with political turmoil and uncertainty. I was either glued to the TV much like the entire nation or demonstrating on the town square in Zlin.

The communist regime has already fallen in the neighboring Poland. We all supported the Polish leader of revolution, Lech Walesa along with our own dissident Vaclav Havel and the Civic Forum (CF) that led the movement for freedom. This movement entered modern history as the Velvet Revolution, lasting from Nov. 17 through Dec. 10, 1989.

The mass media in former Czechoslovakia informed the nation about the General Strike on Nov. 27 in Prague and all the major cities.

“Please participate in the strike,” the media encouraged, “or if you cannot hold solidarity with the people on strike.”

That Monday, a nation that could not agree on anything, walked out of universities, factories and offices to show the power of the people.

Twenty-seven years later sitting behind my desk on a Sunday morning in rural America, while it’s still dark outside, I ask myself:

“What if the manifestation went violent like in Tiananmen Square?”

I left that trail of thought untouched.

As we disembarked from the train at the art nouveau Prague Main Station, like a river, the crowds flowed into the Wenceslas Square. 300,000 people howled in the square from noon to 2 p.m. holding their arms up with hands in the peace sign.

“Havel to the castle,” I chanted along with the crowds.

We wanted the poet, the playwright and the dissident Havel, to become the next president of Czechoslovakia, as we rang our keys and little bells.

That ring magnified by millions across the nation signified that the hour of freedom has arrived after years of darkness and oppression.

For Havel, it was an uneasy progression from a communist jail cell to the Hradcany Castle, over the last two decades since the Prague Spring in 1968.

I’ve always been claustrophobic, and the moving crowd made me nauseous. The defunct communist leadership under President Gustav Husak met most of the demands of the Civic Forum (CF), so the demonstration ended peacefully.

I remember heading into one of the pubs on the Lesser Square aka Mala Strana on the other side of the Vltava River. Havel frequented that area, and in 1994 as the president of Czech Republic, visited one of the pubs with the former USA president Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, a different story was transpiring on the home front on that gloomy Monday. The late afternoon train took me back to hometown Zlin.

My grandpa Joseph passed from lung cancer at the Vizovice Hospital of Merciful Friars after steadily deteriorating for six months.

In one of the last conversations held at the white hospital room, that smelled of a heavy disinfectant agent, grandpa asked me about his beloved ranch. That is the house at 111 Krnovska Street in Vizovice that I inherited in grandpa’s will. Together, with husband Ludek and daughter Emma, we spent many delightful years at the ranch.

“You know I had to sell it, so I can leave the country,” I explained patiently for the 100th time.

After selling all my worldly possessions as a condition to emigration, I was holding tight onto my exit visa to the USA. Ludek was waiting for his emigration visa in Pabneukirchen, Austria.

“The ranch is in good hands of a person who loves it,” I reassured grandpa.

“Who is it?” grandpa whispered in pain.

“It’s Eugene,” I said in equal emotional pain.

“Mr. Drabek, do you want your yogurt,” asked a nurse traditionally dressed in blue with white apron and a starched white hat.”

“No,” sighed grandpa turning away from us.

…………………………………………………………….I remained in the country until Dec. 22.”

What’s your story?

In the pictures: Top, late Vaclav Havel lays flowers at the Velvet Revolution memorial on Wenceslas Square in Prague.

Bottom: Grandpa Joseph Drabek with wife Anna, daughters left to right: Ella & Anna.

For more stories on Velvet Revolution go to https://wordpress.com/post/emmapalova.com/172636

For more info on certain dates go to takemebackto.com

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving & Christmas traditions inspire creative work

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – From our family to yours, I would like to wish everyone a great Thanksgiving. Like many, I consider Thanksgiving a kick-off to the holiday season filled with joy and traditions.

Being the little kid that I am, I love to discover new things and start new traditions.

Last night, I watched the 90th Anniversary special of the Thanksgiving Macy’s Parade in NYC.

In awe, I watched the balloons flying seven stories high, and I wished I could be in one of the apartments watching the parade at the same level as the balloons fly by you.

“What is your favorite character?” was the question at large during the TV anniversary special.

Living here in the 70s, I loved the Peanuts, and pretty much I didn’t know anything else.

“Of course it’s Lucy,” I laughed.

“Mine is Popeye,” said Ludek.

Since, I am not from this country, I have only heard about the famous parade in NYC. I don’t know what I’ve been doing up until now, but I definitely haven’t been watching TV on any given Thanksgiving morning.

Like most women, I must have been cooking and getting the house ready for the guests.

But, last night’s anniversary special about the Macy’s Parade totally changed my perspective on Thanksgiving.

I got up early this morning to get a head start in the kitchen, so I could be ready by 9 a.m. to watch the parade and start a new Thanksgiving tradition.

“How come the communist parades in Czechoslovakia didn’t have these cool balloon characters or the floats?” I asked my husband Ludek.

“They did,” he laughed, “Don’t you remember the allegoric vehicles?”

“Is that what they called the floats?” I smiled. “What did they look like?”

“I don’t remember,” Ludek said.

That’s the problem with time as it passes by like a parade, you don’t remember all of them. But, some stick in your mind.

I am a natural lover of all parades. They inspire my creative work. A hometown parade in Lowell, MI in October of 2006 with a clown theme prompted me to write the short story, “Riddleyville Clowns” © copyright Emma Palova.

Three years later based on the short story, I penned the screenplay “Riddleyville Clowns” © copyright Emma Palova.

Along with the short story “Tonight on Main” © Emma Palova, these two original works have base in small town America.

“Mom, that’s a great story,” said my daughter Doc Emma.

“Really?” I paused in disbelief.

I have learned to love dearly this piece of Americana; that is the traditional parades.

And I rejoiced, as I watched the 90th anniversary Macy’s Parade special when I found out that the Rockford Marching Band will be in the 2017 Macy’s parade.

I live 10 miles southeast of yuppie Rockford.

The two towns, rural Lowell & suburban Rockford, have engaged in an unfair competition in everything ranging from sports, bands to MEAP scores and more. Lowell steadily wins the sports competition not just with Rockford, but in the entire West Michigan region, under the tutelage of coach Noel Dean.

I suppose one day, coach Dean will be in one of the allegoric vehicles or honored as an oversized balloon floating high above the crowd.

Lowell will hold its night Christmas parade next Saturday on Dec. 3rd. Even though it’s a lot of vehicles sounding off sirens on Main, I still love the flavor of the parade with the marching bands and the Grinch, and finally Santa and his wife, Mrs. Santa.

“I would love to have an exuberant parade,” said Lowell Chamber director Liz Baker. “We have the village theme this year.”

My favorite is the Lowell Area Historical society float with horses and period costumes.

The noontime Christmas parade in 1999 set off my writing of the novel “Fire on Water” ©copyright Emma Palova.

I remember writing notes on a receipt from the Meijer store, while I waited for my son Jake who played the saxophone in the parade.

After all these years with all the parades, I still love clowns and the characters from Peanuts.

Have a great holiday season.

What is your favorite character?

About the featured photo: Prague Christmas markets on Wenceslas Square. Watch for stories about the Christmas markets in Europe that coincide with the Advent Sundays.

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

November events inspire memoir

November events fuel Greenwich Meridian © memoir

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- The months of November and May, with events both in the family and in the history of the Czech Republic, have inspired entire chapters in my Greenwich Meridian © memoir.

November is significant historically and spiritually worldwide. The thread of events that I track in the memoir starts with All Souls Day on Nov. 2, touches on US elections and leads up to the 27th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on Nov. 17, a state holiday.

“We’re surrounded by death,” said Fr. Mark Peacock pointing to the shrine of the dead at the altar of St. Patrick’s Church in Parnell during mass last Sunday. “Look at the trees and the nature; but we know all will live again in the spring and in heaven.”

On All Souls Day in former Czechoslovakia, we headed out to the decorated cemeteries to remember all the dead in the family. The cemeteries glowed in the night with only the light from thousands of candles.

Spooky, you might say. But entire families gathered at the graves to reminisce and pray. Before the souls remembrance day we cleaned and polished the monuments at the gravesites.

I loved the yellow spiky asters arranged in wreaths, pots and vases.

At that time in 1989, my grandpa Josef Drabek from Vizovice was already very sick. He was transferred from the hospital in Olomouc to the Hospital of the Merciful Brothers in his hometown Vizovice.

I visited him at the hospital on regular basis. Pale, skinny and weak, grandpa could always recognize me. Stepping inside the hospital room, I already feared the next time.

One Sunday afternoon, I took him in the wheelchair to the hospital garden. The leaves on the trees were still orange and red, and there was water in the fountain and the pond. I could hear coughing and I could smell smoke.

More men congregated by the garden shed. My socialite grandpa didn’t want to join the group. As we passed by them, I could not believe my eyes. Standing or sitting in their hospital striped robes, that were hanging down from what used to be their shoulders and chest, the terminally ill men were smoking.

With shaking hands and fingers, they were holding onto what may be their last cigarette.

“Come and join us,” said one of them with a scratchy voice.

Grandpa turned his head the other way.

“You sold the ranch?” he asked me.

“Grandpa, you know I had to, so I could pay for my education before I leave,” I was crying.

Grandpa’s serious illness consumed me, so I hardly noticed that Nov. 7th has rolled around. Back in the totalitarian era from 1949 until 1989, November was the month of Czechoslovak Soviet Friendship.

It was a month of mandatory celebrations of the “Great October Socialist Revolution the military coup of 11.7. 1917 or 10.25. 1917 according to the old Russian calendar in St. Petersburg.

“Hurry up, Emma, you can’t be late for the parade,” I put a coat on my daughter and handed her the Chinese lantern. “You’ll light it when you get to the Revolutionary Boulevard.”

This time father-in-law Joseph took Emma to the parade, and I just stayed home. It was cold and dark. I was shivering from the upcoming events.

I had nothing to lose. I had my exit visa to the USA, and I had sold everything. No one could hurt me anymore by writing some bad cadre profile about me not being at the Russian Revolution celebrations.

The news magazine before movies was all about the Russian Revolution; that is about the Bolshevik movement with Trotsky and V.I. Lenin and the occupation of the Winter Palace.

My Alma Mater, the Gottwaldov Gymnasium pumped all the Russian & Soviet history into us. It was a total brainwash with weird results.

But behind the scenes, a different revolution was brewing preceded by months of unrest.

 

To be continued…..

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Orderly Chaos

Seems like an oxymoron? It isn’t. Just remember Dali, VanGogh or Russian painter Chaim Soutine. And I must mention one of my favorite author’s Nobel Prize winning piece of literature “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

This photo is in response to the Daily Post
Chaos  prompt “Chaos.”

Dressing up for
“Dress rehearsal” for “Chaos” in me.

I was inspired by Soutine’s chaotic paintings of a wild game catch and his twisted villages.

I threw my three summer dresses haphazardly on the bathroom floor along with the yellow ballerina flats that walked 10 kilometers through Paris to the Musee de l’Orangerie in the Tullerie Gardens near the Place de la Concorde.

Inside the gallery, I was flabbergasted by Soutine’s twisted chaotic paintings. The orderly chaos stayed in me.

1921_soutine_view_of_ceret
Chaim Soutine’s “View of Ceret”

The little girl Ella in the featured photo is confused in the little garden by the house not recognizing any of the plants or berries in the plot.

The left photograph shows the chaos in my EW studio, where I can find everything in its place. Next to the studio is the chaos in the nearby woods with broken tree limbs and trunks rolling in the bed of leaves.

How about the chaos in the upcoming election on Nov. 8th? There are so many different forms of chaos in the world, in nature and in the society.

Take a bite at this “Chaos” assignment. You can’t go wrong with this one. I thoroughly enjoyed how different bloggers treated this encompassing subject.

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

WordCamp US 2016 comes to Northeast

WordCamp comes to Northeast, brings technology evolution

Lowell, MI- Since one of my goals for 2016 was to stay up to date with technology, I would like to go to the WordCamp in Philly from Dec. 2 to Dec. 4.

First of all, the camp is close to home and I’ve never been to Philly or to a WordPress Camp. That in itself is very exciting for me.

I have recently completed a large Podcast Website project for Americas Community Voices Network (ACVN) based in Tampa, FL with founders Ronald & Donald Brookins. It was a very interesting project on the cutting edge of British developers changing under continuous development.

I finished one phase of the project during a recent stay at my daughter Emma’s house in Fixin, FR. The Internet in my studio wasn’t working half of the time, so I had to use my son-in-law Adrien’s studio overlooking the wine village.

 

The view from the window of the vineyards or the “climats” of Burgundy was awesome and inspiring.

Even though, I arrived back at home in Grand Rapids on Sept. 6  with a smashed computer screen, I still feel inspired by the stay in France. Travel has always fueled my writing, design and photography. It doesn’t matter if I go three miles east from my home to take photos in Fallasburg, Lowell or 4,000 miles to Paris, or even to visit my brother Vas Up North in Paris, MI.

Thoughts on fear in the wake of Paris attacks.
Paris from a rooftop restaurant with the view of the Eiffel Tower.

I keep my eyes open for new angles, new stories as everything changes in the flow of time. Whenever I look at the grandfather clock that says “Tempus Fugit,” I get scared. I am afraid of time. The clock was one of the first things I bought here in the USA in 1990.

Now, we don’t even need watches anymore because we have cell phones. Long before cell phones, I never had a watch. I didn’t want one. Not wearing a watch has sharpened my sense of time and dimensions.

I was comfortable using the clocks on church and cathedral towers. While hiking in Burgundy, I used the church steeples to orient myself in the “climats.”

This morning, I discovered the news about WordCamp on Facebook and I got a kick out of the fact that the after party “A Night at the Museum” will be at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

My husband Ludek and I organized “A Night at the Museum” Thanksgiving party at the Lowell Area Historical Museum in 2012. Ludek wanted to alleviate the stress on women during the holiday season.

What a great coincidence.

Last year in November, I participated in the 30 Day Content Challenge by Learn to Blog. On Day #3  I posted the following article:

“Thoughts on fear in the wake of Paris attacks.” And that was the end of my blog on Gateway Media. Some corporate brass didn’t like my thoughts.

While respecting both, my passion and fear of time, I love history. I always have. All the history, I don’t pick and choose. So, Philadelphia is the perfect location for an all time history lover and a technology user.

For more info on WordCamp go to: https://2016.us.wordcamp.org

For “Thoughts on fear” go to: https://emmapalova.com/2015/11/19/30-day-bloggigng-challenge-3/

or go to www.sentinel-standard.com/article/20151120/opinion/151129832

For Americas Community Voices Network go to: http://www.americascommunityvoicesnet.org

For Podcast Websites go to: https://podcastwebsites.com

 

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on big & brave

The strength to face another day

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I had to take a break from writing my own EW Emma’s Writings blog because I was working on a client brand new podcast website Americas Community Voices Network from Tampa, Florida.

The ambitious project was plagued by everything possible you could think of: from novelty of the British Podcast Websites, still under development and changing, to Hurricane Matthew and sicknesses on both sides, the clients’ and my own.

When I finished the podcast website last Friday around 2 p.m., I was totally drained, exhausted and dehydrated. My energy level was zero. I could hardly stand up from the computer. I was shaking with cold and my hands were sweating.

When my husband Ludek came home from work, my head started to spin. He started disappearing in front of me and instead I saw a dark tunnel encircled by a wreath of stars, kind of like the European Union logo. Then I passed out with my body shaking. My husband thought I was having a stroke.

I woke up in the ambulance close to the Metro Health Emergency Center in Grand Rapids on a Friday evening. All the emergency personnel kept asking me for my name. I knew who I was. But, I didn’t understand what was going on.

“Emma Palova,” I responded.

The emergency staff put at least 50 MediTrace electrodes on me and connected me to the EKG equipment. I was still finding electrodes on me three days later.

“We’re going to pump some liquids into you,” said the technician. “What are you in for?”

And they got the bag of IV going into my veins.

After a C-scan of the brain, x-rays and blood work, they rendered different diagnosis such as vasovagal syncope or neurocardiogenic syncope, fainting due to extreme emotional distress. That is a definition according to Mayo Clinic. And other stuff, that I may or may not write about later.

The emergency doctor prescribed me Oxazepam to get me rid of anxiety and for sleep, so I could finally sleep after weeks of sleepless nights.

Insomnia has been troubling me ever since I can remember.

Five hours later, I got home scared, still exhausted, but relatively alright. I dropped into the bed thankful to my husband Ludek for his fast reaction.

Now, I am recovering from the shock of what had happened. There is a long road ahead of me, but I will not be walking it alone.

Big and brave, Ludek has always been by my side. He never wavered, he never flinched. Just like God.

Thank you for saving me.

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.