Category Archives: National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo 2021 complete

What am I grateful for this holiday season

First of all, I haven’t had a chance to express my gratitude for this holiday season that I am alive and well.

My deepest gratitude goes to my family, friends, and fans for their support of my work. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the daunting 50k NaNoWriMo word challenge.

This was my third year participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I entered with word count zero on Monday, Nov. 1 after some prep work in October. That same day, our grandson Henrik was born at 2:30 p.m., and I drove to Hastings to babysit his siblings and came back to Lowell the next day.

For days leading up to the challenge, I stared into the historic map of Saugatuck, hoping that awesome inspiration will strike a chord in my heart and mind. The opposite was quite the truth. Every morning of the challenge, I stood up against the same goal: logging in at least 1,667 words a day to reach the coveted 50,000-word summit by Nov. 30th.

Since I picked for my NaNo project the historical fiction genre, I had to do research as well. Weeks of previous research didn’t help much. On the third day of the challenge, I figured out that breaking the writing marathon into two daily sessions will make it more doable. From then on, I worked in two parts: morning and afternoon.

What I found out was that even between the two sessions, I sometimes didn’t know what was going to come next. Just like watching a movie, I worked from scene to scene, not knowing what’s going to come next.

I was in for a few big surprises; I call them forks in major decision-making in the plot. I took advice from veteran Wrimos like author Jean Davis: do something or kill somebody, she advised in a special podcast panel.

Then, came times, when I thought I couldn’t go on physically; my entire being was hurting. I remember in a podcast, the host asked me: “Does writing hurt physically? Can you feel it?”

Yes, I could feel it, but I also felt accomplishment and movement forward, because I had no time to stagnate in murky waters. At one point, I realized I would have to log in more than the required 1,667-word quota, because of the upcoming holiday, and author’s events like Christmas Through Lowell which ran for three full days.

From my previous NaNos, I knew I would have to be fit also physically. I started walking on Oct. 11. I first walked on the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail, then to the Franciscan Life Process Center, and finally, as the weather got worse, I switched to the treadmill upstairs.

To this day, I believe if I hadn’t been physically fit, I wouldn’t have finished the challenge. I reached the 50k summit on Nov. 19th in the morning. I continued to write inspired by my NaNo buddies authors Andrew Allen Smith, Diana Plopa, and Marianne Wieland.

On the final day of the challenge, which is today, I logged in a total of 62,288 words, which puts me at 80 percent completion of my new book “Shifting Sands: A Lost Town.”

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along this journey including my author buddies, my family, and my fans. I celebrated NaNo today with a haircut, chocolates, music “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and a ride to Murray Lake.

It’s the simple things that count on a writing journey to publishing a new book. To me, it boils down to logging in daily word count, enjoying the journey, sharing insights, and offering support to others.

I was delighted to host podcast episodes of “For the Love of Books Podcast” during NaNoWriMo; it lifted my spirit, and hopefully, it helped others as well.

So take a listen to the following NaNo expert authors wherever you get your podcasts: Jean Davis, Sara DeBord, Kate Meyer, Melanie Hooyenga, Amy Klco.

http://emmapalova123.podbean.com

Happy Thanksgiving to all our listeners

Author Ash Bishop pens Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc. For the Love of Books Podcast

In his first book, author Ash Bishop teleports protagonist Russ Wesley into another galaxy with a sugary cookie in his pocket, in this light-hearted sci-fi novel. Listen in for the keywords for this week for a chance to win a signed personalized copy of Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc. When Wesley finds an unusual artifact in his grandfather’s collection of rare antiquities, the last thing he expects is for it to draw the attention of a ferocious alien from a distant planet. Equally surprising is the adventurous team of intergalactic exterminators dispatched to deal with the threat. The exterminators specialize in “ecosystem preservation”— a thankless job that involves hunting down alien predators of all shapes and sizes. They’re so impressed with Russ’s marksmanship that they insist he join their squad . . . whether he wants to or not. "Russ is an interesting fella," said Bishop. "He doesn't have close family, and his grandma needs money." So Russ goes off and works for a galactic space group. "It's heartfelt," Bishop said. "Fifty percent of the story has to do with the characters." Based on the success of Intergalactic Exterminators, Bishop landed a deal to publish his previous book in 2023. "They're completely different books," he said. But, switching genres comes to Bishop easily. Listen in for some tips on how to switch genres and for the keywords of the week to win Bishop's book. Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger  
  1. Author Ash Bishop pens Intergalactic Exterminators, Inc.
  2. Author Franklin Wilson pens Hearts of Fire, fantasy novel
  3. Author Mark Love pens The Wayward Path
  4. Lowell author Gladys Fletcher pens memoir My Garden of Stones
  5. Author Sharon Kennedy pens The SideRoad Kids

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

NaNoWriMo 2021 completed

I finished the NaNoWriMo 50k word challenge in November this morning at 6:38 am right before the start of Christmas Through Lowell. This was my third time participating. I can’t say that the novel writing challenge gets any easier with more experience or with more books published. However, I better understand my inner workings as a writer and an author. I know what is my most productive time, and how many words I need to log in per day, (2, 675)  and how to push through a writing block.

Each year, I learn something new. This year, it was the buddy system and that it actually works.

When I saw the daily word log ins by buddies and fellow authors Andrew Smith, Diana Plopa, Marianne Wieland, Brenda Hasse and Jean Davis, I just had to keep up with them.

Near the summit, more insights other than metrics came in, and I will be posting quotes.

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

Power your NaNo 2021 authors offer tips to win the 50k word challenge

Today is the first day of the @NaNoWriMo 50k word challenge.
Listen in to expert NaNo authors Jean Davis, Sara Shanning, and Kristine Brickey who

NaNoWriMo 2021
Today is the first day of the NaNoWriMo 50k word challenge.

share their insights from their experiences in conquering the word marathon./ppAccording to all the panel participants whether you hit a writers’ block, crossroads in the plot, or the midway slump, you just keep on rolling./pp’Just keep on writing,’ Davis said./pp /p

Upcoming NaNo authors are Melanie Hooyenga, Amy Klco and Kate Meyer in November. Subcribe to the “For the Love of Books Podcast,” don’t miss out on a single episode.

https://emmapalova123.podbean.com/

Source: Power your NaNo 2021 authors offer tips to win the 50k word challenge

Power Your NaNo 2021

With the National Novel Writing Month better known as NaNoWriMo just around the corner, expert NaNo authors Jean Davis, Sara Shanning and Kristine Brickey offer tips on how to win the 50k word challenge in November.

Whether you hit a writer’s block, crossroads in the plot or the midway slump, just keep on rolling.

“Just keep on writing,” Davis said.

Not only do you keep on writing no matter what, you will also need writing and accountability buddies to keep you on track.

The average word quota per day to win the challenge is 1,667 words a day. However, because unpredictable things happen, you should bank words when they are flowing.

“I try to work ahead,” said Colleen Nye, an author, and co-producer of “For the Love of Books Podcast.”

All authors have multiple years of NaNo experience with books published based on their participation in the challenge.

Listen in also on major podcasting apps, because you too can become a published author.

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

Podcasting in October: Prepping for NaNo

By Emma Palova

Listen in to the following authors on major podcasting apps through the end of October for a chance to win your next favorite read.

These independent authors are as diverse as the plants on the earth and the stars in heavens. They are bold as they navigate the treacherous waters of self-publishing.

They will inspire you and motivate you as we approach the National Novel Writing Month known as NaNoWriMo in November. NaNoWriMo is a 50K word marathon with an average of writing speed of 1,667 words per day.

Start training now by clicking the following link.

https://nanowrimo.org/nano-prep-101

You too can become a published author. A long journey starts with the first step. Take it this November.

Join us this Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST on ZOOM for “Power Your NaNo 2021” discussion with authors Jean Davis, Sara Shanning and Kristine Brickey.

Click on the link below to join.

https://us05web.zoom.us/j/89926480626?pwd=K1BiRldLWGlxUVNqOW9UZUFOY2VVZz09

https://emmapalova123.podbean.com/

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

National novel writing month starts today

This is my third year participating in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWri Mo). I entered with the third book in the Shifting Sands Short Stories series- Steel Jewels.

I only logged in 506 words with a short story “Gates of Heaven” inspired by a visit to the former Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. Taking into consideration that it’s a Sunday and that I have a long week of writing behind me, I think that’s a good start.

A long journey starts with a first step.

https://nanowrimo.org/participants/emmapalova/projects/shifting-sands-steel-jewels-ec29e21c-9e92-403f-a15b-dfc8d7b4791e

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 6: COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan

Stay at home, save lives

By Emma Palova

On the fifth Sunday of Lent, I watched the mass broadcast on TV from the empty St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids due to the Coronavirus quarantine.

Televised mass without an audience from St. Andrew’s Cathedral Cathedral in Grand Rapids.

I do my daily Lenten readings from The Little Black Book 6-minute meditations and in shock I came across this reading for March 28, that I somehow missed.

The bubonic plague in Oberammergau

When an outbreak of the bubonic plague began to spread in the 17th century, the people of Oberammergau prayed to be spared. They vowed that the whole community would, every 10 years, stage a massive production presenting the story of Christ’s death and resurrection to the world. The town was spared from the plague, and the tradition of the Oberammergau Passion Play was born. It’s first performance was in 1634.

The Passion Play is scheduled for this year from May 16 to Oct. 4. It is performed on an open stage with seating for nearly 5,000 spectators. Members of the 1,700 cast must be Oberammergau natives, or have lived there for 10 years. The play lasts a whole day, with a three-hour break for lunch. The play is performed five times a week for several months.

But, on Thursday, the organizers of the play- which has a cast of some 2,500 and can feature 900 people on stage at once- announced they were canceling this years edition, because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The first of the 103 daylong performances had been scheduled for May 16.

Historically, the human kind has been plagued by diseases from the bubonic plague, tuberculosis, Spanish influenza to Coronavirus, to name just a few.

The least we can do is to quarantine ourselves to protect others from the spread of the virus.

Tips:

Learn something new. It’s Sunday, cook up a storm.

Join a video chat room at:

Zoo room

You can also participate in #StayHomeWrimo creative initiative by the National Novel Writing Month organizers.

Copyright (c)2020. EMMA Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 5: Creativity offsets COVID-19 anxiety

Perfection: All the shades of white

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – I have found out that creativity battles the anxiety invoked by the Coronavirus shutdown the best.

Facing the dark stats, how do I wake up inspiration from its gloomy dream? First of all, I had to turn off all the devices I own. Next I am trying to push out of my head all the images of suffering and exhaustion I’ve seen over the last two weeks.

I have to substitute the negative with the positive; easier said than done. I have to transform and focus on the light with its different shades.

I found relief again in the “Hope in Uncertain Times” meditation with Oprah & Deepak Chopra. I can see light instead of darkness.

You can also participate in NaNoWriMo’s initiative to keep your sanity. https://nanowrimo.org/stayhomewrimo

You can sign up for @Camp NaNoWriMo starting in April. It helped me finish my writing projects.

Also watch for my kindle giveaway of Shifting Sands: Short Stories on Amazon.

Featured photo: Perfection: All the shades of white.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

30TH ANNIVERSARY OF vELVET REVOLUTION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – On this 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia, I am including an excerpt from the Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West memoir about our family immigration saga. The epic tale of passion and love takes place on the backdrop of two major historical events: Prague Spring 1969 and Velvet Revolution 1989.

Thirty years ago, I was standing on Wenceslas Square in Prague along with 500,000 other people, ringing my keys and listening to the future president Vaclav Havel. It was cold and I was shivering; not just from the November chill, but from the events of the last 10 days. These 10 days shook the world.

“Havel to the castle,” was the overwhelming response of the crowds chanting for Havel to become the next president of free Czechoslovakia.

Excerpt from Greenwich Meridian memoir

On the day of the General Strike, Monday, Nov. 27, the wave of citizen activity crested after a week of protests and manifestations. Across the country, people stood at major squares, sporting tricolor ribbons, waving flags and ringing their keys to symbolize the end of the Stalinist model of socialism.

I took the train to Prague to join thousands on Wenceslas Square. I still thought I was dreaming and that I was going to wake up after a long dark night. I had to pinch myself to feel the pain to make sure this was happening. But I could hear it happening around me, in me, everywhere. My heart was beating fast, as I had to fight the crowds and overcome the old claustrophobia. That day I saw Havel in person.

The General Strike from noon until 2 p.m. was a political referendum that did not hurt the economy. Approximately half of the population joined in the manifestations around the country. Only minimum percentage were not allowed to participate in the strike; others made up for the lost time at work. The referendum joined all members of the society representing its demographics: students, factory workers, farmers, artists, athletes and scientists determined to change the course of history for this small country in Central Europe.

The people have spoken and the demands of the Citizens’ Forum were being met. The state department of culture released all films and books from the special “safe” for prohibited material.

The rest of the political prisoners would be released, as one of the major demands of the Citizens’ Forum. The university students were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their courage and bravery during the 10 days from the onset of the Velvet Revolution on Friday Nov. 17, 1989.

The article about the leadership role of the Communist Party would be dissolved from the constitution. New laws allowing for freedom of speech, gathering, press were in the works.

A new Democratic Forum of the Communists was formed denouncing the 1968 invasion of armies of five states from the Warsaw Treaty. The reporters, who were against the invasion, were reinstated in the Association of Reporters.

In Brno, the Committee of Religious Activists, showed support for the demands of the Citizens’ Forum.

Vaclav Havel received the German Book Prize at the National Theater.

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.