Category Archives: short stories

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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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

Wild game dinner

8th annul wild game dinner at St. Pat’s featured many suprises

By Emma Palova

Parnell, MI -To close off this year’s hunting season, which runs in Michigan from Nov. 15 through Nov. 30, my husband Ludek and I went to the annual wild game dinner at St. Pat’s on Dec.1.

Neither one of us hunts anything except maybe seashells or Petoskey stones on Lake Michigan, but we’ve heard nothing but great things about this premier event. It is also impossible to get into this camo gala complete with a gun raffle. I still don’t know what got us in this year, since most people buy tickets for next year as soon as one dinner is over.

I got a phone call that we have been added in. The event is a fundraiser for the youth ministry. What followed was a surprise after a surprise. They just never stopped coming in.

First of all I noticed horses and a mule in the gym set up with tables for the dinner. There were live trees behind them and bales. On the basketball posts were stuffed trophies of a cougar, but I couldn’t see the other one.

The place was full to the rafters of its capacity of 385 people. I felt like on Tenterhookssince I didn’t know what to expect, let alone what to wear. So I just wore a dress and boots. My husband was the one who was dressed up to “kill” in his navy dress jacket with a shirt with fish design and a green tie.

There was only one person who beat him in his white velvet vest, bow tie and black shirt. He looked like he lost his way from Hollywood into the northern woods. Later, I found out it was the announcer.

However, I didn’t feel out-of-place or out of my element in spite of all the camouflage outfits. The boots saved me. Since, it was a potluck, there were hundreds of different dishes ranging from pheasant, venison meatballs, venison salami and steel head.

A creative giveaway

Plus I had a task too. I donated my new book “Shifting Sands Short Stories” into one of the baskets. The prizes also were great; everything a hunter could possible dream of, and for his hunter’s widow too. These included crossbows, bows, camo outfits and much more.

But, the best was yet to come. That was the gun raffle and the bidding on a steak and beer dinner with Fr. Mark Peacock. The dinner with the Fr. Mark was auctioned off for $2,500 for six couples.

A 50:50 raffle wrapped it up. There were also games set up in the cafeteria along with the prizes, and the buffet style game dinner. This was the 8th year for the dinner, that has been steadily growing.

It was a night to remember. Thank you for an unforgettable experience.

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.

Genius dad

My dad is my genius with excerpts from “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” in Shifting Sands Short Stories

The Genius in both my heart and my mind is my father professor Vaclav Konecny.  His genius and inspiration was Albert Einstein. Dad genius following another genius.

My father Vaclav has been my inspiration and a role model over the years. It’s not that he has always been physically present in my life. At times, he was as distant as the Atlantic Ocean and the sky over it are vast.

For many years he lived in the USA, while I was living back in former Czechoslovakia.. He taught math at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan well into the mid 2000s.

His influence never ceased. He was my firm constellation in the sky. I love looking at the sky, and thinking of the constellations as people in my life. He was my brave Perseus when he left Czechoslovakia in 1968 to “conquer” other countries that appreciated his talent more. He had to behead many “Medusas,” ugly heads of jealousy before he got to his beloved small town university.

EW Fermat's last theorem
Fermat’s conjecture in Arithmetica.

His genius manifested itself in hundreds of solved math problems in math journals around the world and hundreds of proposed ones. Dad says it is more difficult to propose a problem, than to solve one.

It was thanks to him that I have learned what Fermat’s Last Theorem is. The theme how to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem or conjecture was always on the table when friends came over to my parents house.

My father knows how to entertain even a stranger using his impeccable logic as a steady guide. Once he had to go to a party where he knew no one. He ran into a dentist.

“Dad, what did you talk to him about?” I asked.

“What else? We talked about teeth,” he laughed.

I remembered that forever. Once you know the profession of a stranger at the party, you talk about it, unless there is a better theme.

It wasn’t just the math genius in him, but also the artist. During critical times in my dad’s life, he turned to painting. He painted in oils scenes from the Candadian Rockies, Niagara and my favorite “Cacti at Night” on black velvet from the Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona. He also painted a Dutch windmill.

Dad is also a great handyman who can repair just about anything around the house. He calls the closet full of tools in their Venice condo, his “workshop.”

He served as an inspiration for the short story “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” in my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories.

Excerpts from “The Temptation of Martin Duggan”

“After years of traveling between Europe and the USA, Martin and Rose settled down in a small university town not far from the big lake. And that was Rocky Rapids, a humble town that suited Martin well. Idyllic and charming.

The only violence in this town on the Rocky River was stirred by the students jumping from their dorms or frat houses. If dreams come true, they came true here for both Martin and Rose.

Martin was a well-respected and accomplished professor of math with the post-doctorate title from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Martin considered the trek from the territories of Canada to the US Midwest inevitable.

He took great care not to participate in anything that would jeopardize the projected path of success and content, such as union strikes. As computers emerged on the scene, Martin acquired another degree in computer science and reached a tenure with the university. He got Rose a job at the university as well.

The noise from the students packing up their notebooks and leaving the classroom stirred Martin up from his flashbacks to Africa. He looked at his watch. It was time. He carefully packed his own carefully prepared lectures, and put everything in his light gray briefcase with a shoulder strap.

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. 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 with the creek.

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

 

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

Interesting things

Excerpts from Orange Nights in Shifting Sands Short Stories

The most Interesting things in the store were the changing seasons and the colors reflecting them. The summer colors were still vibrant, and hanging in the air or it could have been the nostalgia after a summer passing by.

And then there were the never-ending returns in the Women’s department always shoved in a heaping basket by the fitting rooms that served as a hangout spot.

Dressing up for "Chaos."
Never-ending stream of returns in Women’s department.

“Why did you stay in the store all these years, Irma?” asked Rachel doubtful and wondering about her own future.

“You come in young like most, because you don’t know what to do with yourself,” said Big Irma. “And after a while you just get used to it, and you’re afraid of change. Just look around you. What do you see?”

However, it was all in what you didn’t see. Those were the underlying currents of being stuck in any situation in life, and not being able to move forward. It had different names, that all came under one label.

That label was fear. And fear had many faces. It was hiding under different coats of comfort and security, assurances or the lack of them.

“Have you ever been afraid in the store?” asked Rachel. “I mean really afraid. I know we have security department and all that, but afraid as in who is going to walk in through that door and what is he going to do?”

People were already streaming in along with normal day people who had nothing to do with the orange balloon clearance in the soft and hard lines, like the grocery people and the food court.

For the moment Rachel envied them the regularity of a normal day job. They came in and they left on regular basis without the madness of wanting to do something else with their lives.

“Why aren’t you in your own department?” a scowling voice breathed down her neck.

Startled she turned around. The tall orange blonde man with a mustache still dressed in civil clothes was right behind Rachel’s back. Wendell pulled out of the cart with the returns shorts tangled in with a bra and panties. The lines manager smelled of beer and cigarettes, after a night of drinking.

“How did the night go?” Wendell asked about the clearance mark-downs with orange stickers. “What’s all this crap?”

Big Irma tired after the long night turned to Wendell.

“You just have to over there and see,” she said. “There’s a lot of clearance this year. I guess people weren’t buying as much or we overbought, or both. You never know from year to year.”

Autumn equinox

Heading into fall book signings. I would like to thank all my fans for support and love.

Thank you Tina Siciliano Cadwallader and Addie Abel for making my book signing a reality.

Emma with fans, Jeanne Vandersloot.

“You make me who I am. ”

I had a great book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories last weekend at Fallasburg.

My book also made it back to the old country of former Czechoslovakia.

In the story “The Temptation of Martin Duggan”, I touch on the realities of immigration from Czechoslovakia that was under Soviet occupation in 1968.

You can get a copy of the book locally @Schuler Books in Grand Rapids on 28th Street and in Lansing.

You can also order the book from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/152130226X.

Reviews are greatly appreciated.

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

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

Action at Fallasburg village

Pioneer village entices with the old and the new

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI – Come out for an action-packed weekend to the Fallasburg pioneer village on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Once you enter the Fallasburg Park via the Fallasburg Park Rd., hang a right at the Covered Bridge road, continue until you see the Covered Bridge.

Cross the romantic Covered Bridge under the speed limit of 5 mph, so you don’t get a ticket, and you will find yourself in the tiny 1850s pioneer village of Fallasburg founded by John W. Fallass.

Decked out in its autumn glory with reds, yellows, oranges and greens, the village greets its visitors with a Flavorful combination of the old and the new. There’s nothing pretense about the atmosphere or the ambiance in the village that nestles on the banks of the Flat River.

Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse.

As often depicted in my short stories, where I combine the old with the new, the result is pure magic. You close your eyes and you can see the settlers hurrying around this once busy settlement with stagecoaches from Ionia crossing the Covered Bridge.

However, the railroad going through Lowell, diverted further development of the village for at least a century. That is until 1965, when the Fallasburg Historical Society, (FHS) came into existence for the purpose of preserving this treasure.

Another push forward came with the Internet at the turn of the millennium. The village is now accessible to all visitors from around the world on the social media, on our website, blog and future app.

If you subscribe to our E-newsletter, you will always be in the loop.

You can join us for our Christmas party with our live video.

There is a unique camaraderie among the villagers, who mostly know each other, and many of them went to the one-room schoolhouse at the bottom of the hill.

This camaraderie has carried onto the friendly vendors of the annual village bazaar, that will open its doors Saturday morning.

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So, come on in for a sampling of what we have to offer. It’s everything from refurbished furniture to clever rock art, and much more.

The folks at the Whites Bridge booth are more than friendly. They have many reasons to be. Recently, they had been approved for a major grant to rebuild the neighboring Whites Bridge Covered Bridge.

We all have great stories to share.

Stop by at the one-room schoolhouse to chat with local author Emma Palova about the magic realism, she creates in her stories on both days from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Try to bring your own book from Schuler Books or from Amazon. There will only be limited copies of Shifting Sands Short Stories on hand.

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

See you on this glorious weekend.

 

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

A Crescendo for Taurus

Interesting horoscope for Taurus today

You revel in the certainty that today’s good intentions will reap tomorrow’s just rewards. Although your practicality may be tested now, your consistent actions add up in your favor. Stay strong and keep the faith, even if the attainment of your goals seems closer to a distant horizon than to your doorstep. Continue moving forward one step at a time.

I liken this time to a  Crescendo in music.

Author Josh Shipp wrote, “Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose.”

My author’s journey continues

Grab a book at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids or Lansing, or on Amazon, and come to my book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17 from 1 pm to 4 p.m.

For book excerpts go to Edition Emma Publishing at http://editionemma.wordpress.com

Visit with unique vendors during the 3rd annual Fallasburg village bazaar.

 

For more info on Fallasburg go to:

http://fallasburgtoday.org or http://www.fallasburg.org

Schuler Books at schulerbooks.com

https://www.tarot.com/daily-horoscope/taurus/2017-09-12?

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

Delivering my new book

All set for book signing during the Fallasburg village bazaar & Fall Festival for Arts  on Sept.16 and Sept.17

By Emma Palova

East Lansing, MI – What a way to spend the Labor Day weekend. We delivered copies of my new book to Schuler Books in East Lansing at the chic Eastwood Towne Center.

My new book Shifting Sands Short Stories will be available after Labor Day at Schuler Books in the Okemos and East Lansing stores.

 

It is now available at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids on 28th Street.

Stop in. Chat with a friend at Chapbook Cafe. Pick up a copy of my book just in time for the upcoming book signing at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse during the 3rd annual Fallasburg village bazaar on Sept.16 and Sept.17 from 1 to 4 pm.

Come and chat with the author of Shifting Sands Short Stories, Emma Palova about the egotistical characters in the book.

For more info go to EW Emma’s Writings on http://emmapalova.com and on Fallasburg Today on http://fallasburgtoday.org

Schuler Books is locally and independently owned with a local author program.

We will be working together on local author’s events.

They accept independently published books on consignment.

For more info go to Schuler Books at http://www.schulerbooks.com

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