Category Archives: Michigan authors

Winter arrives on Day 9 of #nanowrimo

TGIF, Daily insights from #nanowrimo

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – It’s Day 9 for the National Novel Writing Month participants, and it’s Friday. I couldn’t be happier. I logged in a total of 20, 242 words with “Silk Nora.” (c) 2018 Emma Palova. The story is taking on a nice historical spin that I will carry on into the weekend.

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Thanks to the characters, both old and new. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. And of course the lovely historical setting of Belding on the banks of the Flat River makes everything flow.

At the daily rate of 1,667 words, you really don’t take a break on the weekends, because you wouldn’t make up for it, unless you’re a writing machine. It reminds me of the studying sprints before the exams at the University of Brno.

But, writing daily is also the only way to get a novel or any piece of literature to print. The next badge is set at 25,000 words, which will mark the half-way point of the 50K creative project.

It is my clear intention to see the new collection of short stories “Secrets” (c) 2018 Emma Palova, which is a sequel to “Shifting Sands: Short Stories,” to print.

Insights

The project keeps you accountable and helps you move forward. You have to find your optimum writing window during the day or night.

If you can do any prep work outside of writing time, do it. Revise later. Keep track of revisions. I do it on one note. Rome wasn’t built in one day either. Stay motivated and focused. There isn’t really much time to fight with your inner editor, just keep on writing. Get up hourly for five to ten minute breaks.

Excerpts

Nora unpacked her petticoats, camisoles, bloomers, black stockings and an extra nightgown and went down to the main lobby. She could smell the dinner from the kitchen downstairs by the main dining room. Nora was waiting patiently to get connected.

“Mother, thank you very much for the dresses and the furniture,” she said. “It arrived today on the afternoon train.”

“How are you and how is your new home,” mom as always wanted to know everything at once and immediately.

“I love it here, mother,” Nora said. “I’ve already made friends, and there are only good people here.”

“My dear, there are good people wherever you go,” said mom. “But, I did fear for you. It must have been a long journey, was it not.”

“Yes, it was,” said Nora.

“But, mainly how is the work, Nora?” asked mom. “Do they treat you well?”

“It’s nice to have my own money, but I do spend a lot of time at the mill,” said Nora. “I’ve made friends there and at the dormitory.”

“Is it nice; is the “Bel” nice?” asked mom, who even knew that the dormitory was called the “Bel.”

“Oh, it’s absolutely exquisite and Doris is fabulous,” said Nora immediately feeling guilty about her friendship with Doris.

“Who is Doris, my dear?” asked mom.

“Doris is the matron at the dormitory and the main nurse at the hospital,” Nora said.

Then, the phone went dead as it got disconnected.

That evening at the main dining room, a lively chatter warmed up the space between the white walls. Mathilda was back from her trip to Alpena. The two girls chatted about Mathilda’s trip and family.

 

 

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

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Join Motown Literacy Writers’ network

Set yourself apart, be unique and bold

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

I find the Motown Writers  Network full of  great tips and writing advise. What really caught my eye was the  post about author branding.

As I step into the role of  an author, I realize more and more how branding is important.  What kind of author am I? What is my target audience? How will  my title “Shifting Sands Short Stories” stand out among millions of book titles? What does it have in  common with my other work?

As a journalist, I ask this question quite often, “What  sets you apart from others in your industry?”

Yes, writing is a business. So, it has to be branded.

“Just like me going to work every day,” said #WGVU morning show host Shelley Irwin in last week’s interview.

Regardless the trade, many people struggle with the answer to this  question including the campaigning politicians.

As of today, I can say that the following sets me apart from other authors and other titles: I  am a Czech-born author who was naturalized as a US citizen on Aug. 19,  1999 at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.

At the time I was featured on the front page of the Ionia Sentinel-Standard in  the article “U.S. citizenship a ‘natural’ step for  Lowell woman.  I was a reporter for the paper,  and I received hundreds of congratulatory phone calls. The Associated Press syndicated the naturalization story.

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I collected and put together the short stories that I have written over a span of more than two decades. So, I call that also  a “history preservation” project. I wrote the first stories from the immigration  circle of stories on my Smith Corona word processor in Montreal, Canada in the early 1990s.

History is my other love besides writing. Naturally, I plan to include a historical fiction piece in the sequel to Shifting Sands Stories.

I  consider the Greenwich Meridian memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia partly a historical piece., although not fictional.

With my passion for languages, I also teach ESL. I am learning Spanish, so I can visit Hemingway’s Finca Vigia in Cuba.

I’ve already visited the Hemingway House in Key West.  The descendents of his six-toed cats are there. His writing studio was connected by a catwalk to the main house.

Author branding

I see myself as a romantic author with Hemingway’s hardiness. I portray every day characters in their struggles; whether in love, disease, aging, under duress or in pursuit of perfection.

Some of the characters like Vadim in “The Death Song” are macho men, totally immersed into themselves.

The struggle for perfection is best portrayed in the character of math professor Martin in “The Temptation of Martin Duggan.” His own son is his only imperfection. Everything else in his life is perfect, otherwise he wouldn’t survive.

As in real life, the endings are not always happy. See “The Death Song” or “Honey Azrael.”

Following is part of Hemingway’s acceptance speech sent to Stockholm, since he couldn’t travel to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. I find it inspiring.

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is good enough of a writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.”

I’ve also written a screenplay registered with Writers Guild of America, West. Personally, I consider screenwriting easier than writing novels. I write a short story first and based on that I write the screenplay. Writing has to be very visual.

Join our local LowellArts group  #lowellwrites. Contact Debra Dunning Duiven at 897-8545.

To join the Motown network click below.

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#MotownWriters Article: The Basics of Author Branding

Source of quote:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Hemingway

For info on LowellArts go to https://www.lowellartsmi.org

Link to #WGVU interview:

http://www.wgvunews.org/post/shifting-sands

My author’s events:

Aug. 4 th 1-3 p.m. Emma’s book signing at #LowellArts

Aug. 6th  7 to 9 p.m.  LowellArts panel discussion with poet Ian Haight

Sept. 16 & 17 Fallasburg Village Bazaar 1- to 3 p.m. at the one-room schoolhouse.

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

Writer’s steps

A long journey starts with the first step, leaving footprints in Ludington

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – I attended the Ludington Writers’ Rendezvous on the shores of Lake Michigan last Saturday. It was my first encounter with the Ludington Writers group, and my second author’s conference experience after Calvin College in the spring.

It was a great gathering of 28 authors with a total of 80 titles and the tension of 10 million volts.

As the raindrops drummed on the roof of the Arts Center lodged inside the former Methodist Church in beautiful downtown Ludington, I absorbed the energy output of the organizers and fellow authors.

I loved author Carol L. Ochadleus’ poster designed by her son.

“We got the wrong cover on the last one,” Ochadleus laughed. “This time we got it right.”

The rush before the authors’ events is always nerve wrecking. An author, whose name I didn’t catch, stormed in with her pink luggage. Sudanese author Dominic Malual of “Barefoot in the Boot” had a wooden giraffe in front of his table.

In most cases, the conference attendance was the result of teamwork of entire families. The “assistants” were usually the partners of the authors, while the “runners” were book lovers who delivered food from the local restaurants. The extensive menu featured everything from the “Swiss Hammer”, “Ojibway Dip” to “Dirty Russian.”

Ludington Writers' Rendezvous
Authors (left to right) Jeanie Mortensen and Emma Palova of Lowell share a giggle.

Since, I missed my dad Vaclav’s birthday lunch, my assistant Ludek personally delivered my grilled chicken wrap from Jamesport Brewing Co., where the international family crew got together.

That fusion of aspirations, dreams and hopes fueled my own author’s drive that sometimes goes into overdrive.

“I want you to have a good experience,” wrote author/organizer Joan H. Young in her final approach to the conference message. “We want this to be the event to come to.”

For many authors it was their first time at anything and everything. Author Joseph Tilton debuted with his “Apocalypse” book here.

“My next thing is the parade,” he said.

Tilton promotes his book using a parade float. I immediately felt inspired. Of course, I love parades. Parades inspired my screenplay “Riddleyville Clowns”© Emma Palova. I am looking for a producer.

I thoroughly enjoyed the “wannabee” authors circulating around the authors’ tables. I didn’t catch their names. One wanted to write a dystopian novel and was seeking some direction. The other one carrying a stack of papers asked me about my book, “Shifting Sands Short Stories.”

“It’s a collection of short stories, that I have written for over two decades,” I said.

“Oh, I would have had a book like this big,” she said pointing to the huge stack of papers.

I smiled, thinking, “So, why didn’t you put it together?”

Today, on my morning walk to the Franciscans, I realized I should have said that out loud:

 “Whatever you have written, put it together.”

 I sat next to Ludington author Jeanie Mortensen and that was the greatest delight of all. The locals knew her and came to buy her books; both poetry and a novel.

I bought her “Taking in the Seasons” poetry collection, because I can’t handle long chunks of text. Mortensen bought my book; we swapped business cards with other authors.

It was not only an authors’ event, it was also a family deal like I mentioned before.

Mortensen’s daughter Amy stopped by and so did my adult children, Emma & Jake to say hi.

It was an unforgettable rendezvous, both professionally and personally. The survey asked: “Will you come back?”

For me it was a definite, “Yes.”

Thanks to organizers, Joan, Hanne Kelley & Barry Matthews  of the Ludington Center for the Arts and the Writer’s Group.

My next author’s events:

July 26 @ 10 a.m. WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin 88.5/95.3

July 28 & Aug. 4   LowellArts, Lowell 1 to 3 p.m.

Aug. 6 panel discussion and reception with poet Ian Haight at LowellArts.

Check out the Grand Rapids Magazine City Guide at your local newsstand for the “Reading Room” article. My book is available at Schuler Books, Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo and on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats.

To join our local Lowell Writer’s group contact Debra Duiven Dunning at 897-8545 at LowellArts.

https://www.lowellartsmi.org

Copyright © 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writer’s surprises, all in one day

Moving forward with author’s events in West Michigan

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- It’s unbelievable what all can happen in one day; even if it is a Monday.

WGVU Morning Show with host Shelley Irwin

First, I opened my inbox, and there was the response from host Shelley Irwin of the WGVU Morning Show.

“I get to share stories in a talk show format,” she wrote. “I would like to interview you at a time frame of your convenience.”

So, we are scheduling the time frame for the TV segment about my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories.” I thought it was a radio segment. I freaked out when I found out it was also TV.

As I went into the panic mode, Mr. Self-Doubt introduced himself into my writing studio; what am I going to say and wear?

I jumped on the dreaded treadmill that I have been neglecting because we have a special visitor here. That is our French granddaughter Ella.

I felt like Oprah, who started exercising two days before her birthday. And to make up for the excellent Sunday pork schnitzels, I dined on vanilla SlimFast tonight in front of the computer screen.

“That’s great mom,” said my son Jake about the TV interview. “It’s easy.”

“Yeah, how many times have you been on a live TV show?” I asked Jake, the business man, who made the schnitzels.

“The main thing is you have to know what you’re talking about,” he said. “You know the buzzwords.”

I like to think that after almost 30 years in the writing business, I can offer insights,  rather than buzzwords.

And the Monday goodness continued when I discovered the best kept secret on the lakeshore.

3rd Annual Writer’s Rendezvous in Ludington, July 21

I’ve been looking for writers’ and authors’ events in Michigan for years. But, it was only yesterday at the Ionia Free Fair that I found out about the Writer’s Rendezvous in Ludington.

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Author Emma Palova

It is my parents’ favorite place on the Michigan lakeshore. They’ve been going to Ludington ever since they moved to Big Rapids in the 1980s. We immigrated to the USA from former Czechoslovakia based on the 1968 Soviet occupation of the country. I am writing a memoir “Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West” about the family immigration saga.

Annually, my dad Vaclav celebrates his birthday on Stearns Park Beach.When we couldn’t find a hotel, I told my mom Eliska:”There must be something going on.”

“There’s always something going on there,” she said on the phone in the heat of the Sunday afternoon.

While searching for a hotel on mom’s smart phone, dad came across “some kind of a writing conference.”

 

I refined the search this morning and found out that the 3rd Annual Writers’ Rendezvous featuring more than 20 Michigan authors will be this Saturday, July 21.

I was ecstatic, hoping to get in at the last minute. Barry Matthews from the Ludington Arts Center immediately responded that there is some space left for $25 for half a table.

“Yes, I am in and I can’t wait to meet the other authors and visitors.”

The goal is to bring cultural and literary perspective to the lakeshore, according to the Visiting Writers group.

Ludington has always inspired me ever since I visited the town in 1990 around the 4th of July holiday. The visit inspired one of my first articles I have written for a publication in the USA. It was also the only time I wrote in my native Czech language for the Czechoslovak Newsweek. I had a regular column for the biweekly newspaper. In spite of the longevity of the print paper, it never made it to digital format.

I remember this opening line of the lead paragraph.

“Thousands of red, white and blue petunias lined the Ludington Ave on the back drop of the shimmering blue waters of Lake Michigan.”

I went back many times; most recently last year in August for a voyage on the Badger across Lake Michigan.

Now, I am getting ready for it all. I’ve been told a million times; you’re not ready.

Other than the treadmill and Slimfast, I ordered books, brochures and posters for my upcoming author’s events.

Epilogue Books

And finally from a Facebook friend, I found out about a new local book store in Rockford.

“Shockingly nostalgic entrepreneur opened a book store next to my law office, wow. There is hope,” Genie Eardley, owner of Eardley Law, PC posted.

The name is Epilogue Books.

That’s what life is about: adventures, surprises on Mondays, shocking entrepreneurs, the joys and pains of technology, our lovely French granddaughter Ella and family get togethers on Lake Michigan.

See you at the Writer’s Rendezvous this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I will be offering writing, marketing, PR and publishing tips, and of course my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories.”

For more info on the rendezvous go to:

https://www.ludingtonartscenter.org/literary-arts.html

It is also available locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and Lansing. It will be available at the Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo, and hopefully at Epilogue Books in Rockford.

The long road to resilience

You can pick up an issue of the Grand Rapids Magazine City Guide at your local bookstore or newstand to find out more about me.

My book is now available on Amazon Prime special for the next 30-some hours at a discounted rate.

I encourage readers to buy the book, print or Kindle, ahead of time for signing and discussion. I will have print copies available at my station inside the Ludington Area Center for the Arts located at 107 S. Harrison St.

Amazon print

https://www.amazon.com/Shifting-Sands-Short-Stories-stories/dp/1521130226X

Kindle

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

ISBN

9781521302262

Connect with Emma Palova on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/emma.palova.9

Emma on Twitter

 

 

 

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