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”:
A thousand times good-night!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Big Rapids, MI – Today, my mother Ella Konecny turns 80 in Big Rapids, MI. Together with my father Vaclav, they’ve been living in this small university town, home to Ferris State University, for more than three decades.
Their friends at the Saturday’s birthday party for mom have known both for that long.
“Your parents are great people,” I heard over and over again.
Mom was born Drabkova in former communist Czechoslovakia on Aug. 23, 1937 in Zlin to Anna and Joseph Drabek.
My mother has inspired the memoir Greenwich Meridian, where East meets west about the family immigration saga. She was the one who didn’t want to leave the communist country after the Soviet invasion on the night of August 20-21 in 1968.
Their journey from the Moravian hilly villages of Vizovice and Stipa to Big Rapids in Michigan was tumultuous with many twists and turns.
Some of the milestones included the 1973 return to hardline Czechoslovakia from Texas, and then the escape back into the New World for my dad in 1976. Mom joined him in 1980.
Dad landed the math professor job at the Ferris State University, and that finally anchored them permanently in their new home.
To this day, mom says she loved her bio lab technician job also at the university. The warm friendly welcome atmosphere proved that at the birthday party.
Their true story has also inspired my fiction in the new Shifting Sands Short Stories book. “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” was inspired by some bits and pieces from the early years of immigration.
I wrote that story shortly after my immigration to the USA in 1989. When I compare some of the elements of the short story to the memoir, I consider them Visceral in character, coming from a gut feeling.
The main character in the story is professor Martin Duggan obsessed with his own quest for perfection.
May you both enjoy many more years of love, good health and optimism. Thank you for all your love and support.
Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
A well-written story is a Symphony of words that click well with the reader. If the reader cannot relate to the content, the writer is not at fault. The reader shouldn’t be at that show. Not everybody likes classical music or country music. But everybody likes music, everybody likes books. They are like pizza. There is no such thing as a bad pizza.
“What inspires you?” people ask me the most.
That is probably the most popular question for any author. There is no single answer, but a multitude of answers depending on the day.
Early in the day, I was inspired by someone else’s selfishness. That person feared that I wouldn’t make the birthday party, if I got into an accident on my upcoming vacation.
I was speechless and flabbergasted. Not a care about the fact, if I was going to make it alive out of the accident. The only thing that mattered was the party.
I always say: “Real people inspire me the most with their actions and emotions, or the lack of both.”
“What powers people’s thinking?”
“With our thoughts we make the world,” Buddha said.
I try to think before I say something and definitely before I write anything.
My best advise to any writer is clear thinking that comes out of meditating, out of that space inside us that we explore, free of distractions and turmoil.
And maybe even more important is the detachment from the outcome, as I found out today while meditating.
After a month of my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories hitting the market, I started feeling resentment for not writing books for all those 20 years that I was working as a journalist for different newspapers.
That thinking honestly surprised me, and that’s why I went back into meditating.
“Emma, without the journalism jobs, there would be no Delivery of the book, that’s how you built your name recognition and following.”
“That’s how you gained experience, mom,” my daughter Doc Emma said.
I meditated with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey in their newest Desire & Destiny meditation. I highly recommend it, and not just to writers and authors.
It’s better than any “How to…….” manual.
It starts with the paramount question that we should ask ourselves every day.
“Who am I?”
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
My next book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories will be during the Fallasburg Fall Festival & village bazaar on September 16 & 17 from 1pm to 4 pm at the one-room schoolhouse museum.
Everyone is welcome.
Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.