Category Archives: local author

Silencing the inner critic in me

Ousting the inner critic in me

I too love this word Critical writing  prompt because it describes me so well that I could cry over everything.

But, maybe I am just nostalgic over the bygone summer that went by hard and fast. Blitzkrieg, they call it in military terms.

I could list 50 million things that I did not manage to do this week, but instead I will list things that I have accomplished.

I delivered 5 copies of my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories to Schuller’s Books at the Meridian Mall in Lansing with my daughter Doc Emma and my buddy Ella on Monday.

Schuler Books is an independent local store in Midwest Michigan that accepts books from independent authors on consignment. They also give advise on how to publish a book.

The book will be available after Labor Day in both the local author and the fiction sections of the bookstore. It is now available at Schuler’s Books in Grand Rapids and at the KDL libraries.

We enjoyed the atmosphere of a real bookstore at the Chapbook Cafe that was alive with chatter. Doc Emma bought the “Trolls” book hot seller for Ella’s trip back to France.

It was our last road trip for a long time, as it rained happiness on us all the way to Lansing and back. Before heading out, we had breakfast at our favorite joint, the Backwater Cafe by the Lowell dam.

We got that done just in the nick of time before their next day flight to Paris.

Now, it’s all back to normal at our New Era ranch. The fall is upon us with its abundance and glory. The crop of fall birthdays is amazing. It seems like everyone whom I am related to was born in September.

Yay. What a way to start the majestic autumn.

Stay tuned for Summer Flashbacks: Pirates of the Great Lakes aka Circling Lake Michigan.

My next book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories is set for Sept. 16 & 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum during the annual Fallasburg village bazaar and Fall Fest for Arts.

Be sure to stop by and visit with us in the autumn glory of Fallasburg.

For more info on Fallasburg pioneer village go to Fallasburg Today at http://fallasburgtoday.org or http://www.fallasburg.org

For more info on Schuler Books & Music go to: http://www.schulerbooks.com

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

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Exhausted

I am exhausted and ready for a vacation. Follow me on my author’s journey deeper into the Midwest as the sands shift some more into a new book.

I need some reprieve after all the commotion with the recent book Shifting Sands Short Stories that came out in July, both in kindle and paperback on Amazon.

I still have quite a way to go before the vacation next week, so at least I can write about it. It feels good to finally be able to think about some time off.

Watch for exclusive excerpts from the book, and more author events coming to the area.

What keeps me going are my morning therapeutic walks on the gravel road into the peaceful untrodden meadows, and meditations with Deepak & Oprah.

I especially love the Desire & Destiny meditation about fulfilling your purpose in life. It seems so relevant now with the new book.

Today, I did Day 12: “Inspired Me” with the centering thought, “I am inspired. I am unstoppable.”

I found out that I’ve been pushing too hard. I need to be effortless.

 

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

Late July with excerpts

It’s no ordinary Friday, as the late July sun shines on my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories. The paperback came out at the beginning of July.

Writing, collecting and publishing the stories that I have gathered for over more that two decades wasn’t a walk through the strawberry fields by any means.

On the contrary, the stories and their characters are not Shallow.

Check out one of the major characters, professor Martin Duggan who struggles with his own perfection.

Excerpt from the Temptation of Martin Duggan short story:

“He walked to his gray Chevrolet, the only brand he trusted over the years. Just like everything else Martin had ever owned, it was perfectly clean. He didn’t forget to grab a bottle of cold diet Coke from the machine.

Driving through Rocky Rapids was a balsam on his nerves. The town was neat and clean too with a few banks, a video store, a car dealership and a long gone Spartan grocery store.

Rose used to shop there, when they still loaded groceries into cars back in the 1980s. As a remnant of the past, there was a Bear furniture store, a drive up restaurant and a Dairy Queen by the city park and creek.

It could have been a perfect day, in a perfect life in a perfect town of one perfect professor and a perfect couple.”

At one of my newspaper jobs, the publisher called me shallow for not following up on a major story about a Belding boy who delivered his sister in the bathroom of the family home. After being syndicated by the Associated Press, the story made it to the Dave Letterman Show.

Dave held up the front page of the Ionia Sentinel-Standard with the story.

However, I did not know about that, another paper reported on that.

“You are shallow and selfish,” said the publisher.

I remembered that. I will always remember that.

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

Shifting Sands Short Stories book press release

Local author pens Shifting Sands book of short stories

A press release is a Traditional  Gate way to media coverage at large, don’t be a
Dormant writer,or author. You’ve finished your book now what?

For immediate release

July 25, 2017

Contact info

Emma Palova

phone

email

website

 

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.

Palova’s book will also be available at the Kent District (KDL) libraries, the Hastings Public Library and in Big Rapids.

She will have a book signing event at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum on September 16 & 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the Fallasburg Fall Fest and the Fallasburg village bazaar, with more local author events to be announced. The public is welcome.

The Shifting Sands Short Stories 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, “A 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,  West Michigan.

“I am passionate about the hometowns in Midwest America their characters and personalities,” she said. “They are a hardy bunch.”

Palova has been writing for the area publications since 1997 when she launched her 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. In 2011, she received an award from American Legion for covering veterans’ events. In 2015, 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” based on her communist experience for publication.

Palova has a lifetime passion for history and politics. She does social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS), and she is working with the Tri-River Historical Museum Network.

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

Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon, author’s page

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

For Fallasburg info go to: Fallasburg Today at http://fallasburgtoday.org

 

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

Professor Martin buries his obsessions

Daily Post prompt Bury with book excerpts from Shifting Sands Short Stories

By Emma Palova

Not only am I buried with all the tasks around marketing my new book of short stories, but one of the early stories “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” touches on burying one’s miseries.

We often would like to bury a lot of things, and some of them we actually do in meaningless stockpiles. However, sometimes we need to refer back to them, and dig out some parts of the past.

The main character professor Martin Duggan in the story “Temptation of Martin Duggan” finds himself in this position as he confronts the major conflict in his life: and that is his son Joe.

As soon as the daylight broke, Martin grabbed a spade from the garage. There was still morning dew on Rose’s mauve tulips, as Martin started digging a hole in the middle of the garden. Soil and tulips were flying around as Martin dug deeper into the earth.

Along with the brown soil, Martin was also exhuming his suppressed past longings. He intended to bury in the hole all the role models, present and past, including the model of himself.

He ran back into the den. Rose couldn’t sleep all night long. Courageously, she went after him into what used to be his pride, his office. She looked at the rampage Martin left. Little tears, tiny like the dew drops on the destroyed mauve tulips, rolled down her swollen cheeks, as she watched the man she once had loved.

There were broken pieces of furniture scattered all around along with the broken window pane. There were blood stains on the white carpet and some of the papers.

“Martin, stop. Are you crazy?” Rose cried.

Yes.”

Martin was stuffing his books, notes and computer perforated paper into black garbage backs. He filled six bags with equations and solutions. He tied the bags up neatly and ran back into the garden.

Martin, stop, you don’t what you’re doing,” Rose cried helplessly.

He threw the garbage bags into the hole and threw dirt on top to cover them up. He worked diligently, all sweating. He made a neat mound, and stomped on it to level it.

He grabbed again the axe and wanted to chop up the pretty Danish teak furniture in the living room, he only stopped for a minute in front of the oil painting of the Dutch windmill.

“Stop, I am going to call the police,” Rose said. “Don’t you dare turn on me, you crazy fool.”

Rose walked boldly toward Martin and took away his axe. She pushed him into a chair. Martin was panting, exhausted. He was all flushed and couldn’t breathe.

The book Shifting Sands Short Stories is now available on Amazon at:

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

Emma’s book signing is this Sunday, July 16 at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Everyone is invited.

Come and chat with the author in the beautiful historical setting of the 1850s pioneer village of Fallasburg.

Ask the author questions about the egotistical characters in the short stories.

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

Shifting Sands Short Stories discussion

Join in the discussion and also #AsktheAuthor, add your review.

Here is a link to reviews and stories discussion on Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18669446

You can add the book to your bookshelf using the Goodreads icon in the sidebar

Currently discussing Shifting Sands Short Stories, Tonight on Main

Author Emma:

I think the first story “Tonight on Main” is the most mysterious out of the bunch, followed by the Death Song.

Illusion
Illusion plays a big role in both stories.

Reviews

Tonight on Main is a story that puts side by side the deception in the soul and heart of the old and the anticipation in the eyes of the young. We see several contrasts happening at the same time, the exposed sins in the thoughts of the old women and the innocence of the young boy. The fast paced and noisy main street and the slow nonchalantly unveiling card game on the table. Once in a while one of the old women resurfaces from her sea of nostalgia to bring everyone back to reality with a simple phrase, later proven to be fateful, which goes ignored. Hard to say if purposefully or by simple oblivion. The card game continues as the women sink deeper into their memories. Everyone is attached to the past and no one wants to live in the present as portrayed by the decaying porch and old curtains on the window. In the end, we find out that feelings like jealousy and the need for revenge burns strong in the human heart.

 

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

On the other side

Ask the author, Storyteller 2017

In this series following the release of the Shifting Sands Short Stories collection, I answer questions about the stories, characters, me and my writing career.

By Emma Palova

I’ve been on the other side of an interview only twice in my life. That is if I don’t count job interviews. As a reporter, I’ve interviewed thousands of people for newspaper and magazine stories over the years. I’ve always been very comfortable at asking questions, in person or over the phone.

The subject didn’t really matter, unless it was a personal issue of officials resigning under duress.

Recently, Tim McAllister  interviewed me for the local paper the Lowell Ledger about the Shifting Sands Short Stories book release. I wrote for the paper for many years as the lead reporter. The article “Ledger reporter pens book of short stories” came out on July 5.

It was a great interview that resulted in a great story. And I am grateful for that. Thank you.

An interview is like a Bridge  to a destination. A good interview is a firm bridge to a good story with a firm foundation. It is a lot like the physical structure that connects two places.

Here is a picture of one of my favorite bridges, and that is the Fallasburg Covered Bridge built in 1871. It has been connecting people with the Fallasburg pioneer village  for the last 146 years.

And because everything is connected, my book signing on July 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. will be held at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum. Everyone is invited into the historic setting, that well fits the premise of the short stories set in hometown Midwest America.

The only other time I was interviewed was when I became an USA citizen in 1999 in a naturalization ceremony at the Gerald Ford Museum, along with my daughter Doc Emma.

And now I have found out that I am equally comfortable on the other side of the interview. That is answering questions about my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories, me and my writing career.

I love the interaction with my followers, friends and family.

Just yesterday, I got this question:

“What is your favorite story in the book?” asked my daughter-in-law Maranda.

I love this question. I used to ask artists the same thing.

“What is your favorite painting?”

I use the analogy of releasing the book to releasing your child into the world, after he or she graduates. You nurture them or the book idea for years. Then you work it into a book, and release it to the world.

“You’re kind of sad, and it’s also a highly emotional situation that you did everything you could possibly do,” I said.

The entire world around the publication of the book is different from anything else. I had to write it down on a piece of paper:

“Don’t treat this like everything else you’ve done in life, because it’s different.”

The difference is mainly in the novelty and the complexity of the entire publication process from the inception of the idea to holding the actual book in your hands.

“I got shivers for you when we got your book in the mail,” said Maranda.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Thank you all for making this possible.

Ask the Author, Storyteller 2017 to be continued

The book is available at https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

 

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

Impermanence in Shifting Sands Short Stories with excerpts from book

Storyteller 2017 journey from writer journalist to author

By Emma Palova

20170611_101314

Author’s note:

In the Storyteller 2017 series leading up to the June 30 publication of Shifting Sands Short Stories, I write about the origins of the characters and the stories.

I’ve named my campaign Storyteller 2017 because of the big changes taking place this year. These changes continue to inspire me, along with my passion for history, arts and nature.

I can divide the 13 stories in the book into three circles: The first circle draws on my early years of immigration to North America, and living in between Canada and the USA.

These stories in the first circle include: Danillo, Honey Azrael and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

The second circle of stories is from the time of assimilation into the American culture. These stories draw on my experience of working in a Midwest retail store. They include: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.

The third circle of stories is from the newspaper business for various media; on staff and freelance. These stories include: Foxy, In the Shadows, Iron Horse, Riddleyville Clowns and Chatamal.

20170428_064314_001

The characters in the first immigration circle of stories Danillo in the story “Danillo”, Vanessa in “Honey Azrael” and Martin with Ellen in the “Temptation of Martin Duggan” embody impermanence as they struggle under the burden of immigration.

They find themselves in a transient state between their old countries and the new American world. They have trouble adapting to the new culture in everything that surrounds them: food, people, spices and love.

In that aspect, the characters are living in a state of impermanence, and as such are transient for the rest of their lives like  driftwood on the beach.

Also the featured photo of transient dew on grass in the morning.

Transient

They adapt or go back to the old status quo in their homeland. Either way this struggle transforms the transient characters into a new state.

Excerpts from “Danillo”:

He had trouble adapting not only to the winters Up North, an expression Danillo never quite understood, but also to the language. And of course loneliness. He had no friends, except for old Jose on the apple farm.

His family was thousands of miles away. His only connection with the warmth of home was the phone, the letters and memories of the past; the rising and the setting sun on the horizon of the small bay.

Danillo was living between the sunny past and the cold present. Back home by the Sierra Madre, he used to drive to the warm waters of the bay, but here Up North, the waters were cold.

Another cold wave came and washed more sand from under his feet.

About the design of the cover to Shifting Sands Short Stories by Emma Palova:

People have also been asking me about the cover design to the Shifting Sands Short Stories collection.

I used the hour-glass with the shifting sand as an anchor to the cover. The grains of sands make up the characters like the genetic make-up of our DNA. This was inspired by Dali’s fascination with genetic spirals. The grains shift like the destinies of the characters, like the fluid energy of our lives.

Further the  mood/tone of the stories  is expressed in the shade of the hour-glass and the fallen mauve colored petals of a tulip at the base.

Watch for more excerpts from Shifting Sands Short Stories now available for pre-order on Amazon

at

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

 

 

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