Category Archives: short stories

Storyteller 2017, the third circle with book excerpts

Storyteller 2017 -part VI

 I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.

Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.

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Storyteller 2017 Emma

This is the sixth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21, the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22, fueling the passion of the Storyteller on June 23, and Storyteller-the passion on June 26.

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 The first circle of stories draws on the early years of immigration and includes: Danillo, Honey Azrael and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

The second circle of stories from retail experience includes: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.

The third circle of stories is from the media business;  papers, newspapers, newsletters and magazines where ink used to be bought by the barrell. Since printing is also becoming a lost art, I decided to collect these short stories and publish them, all the while remembering the words of a city official:

“If it isn’t written, it hasn’t happened.”

As I wrote this I realized this was a great fit for the June 22 Daily Post prompt: paper.

Paper

 
These stories include: In the Shadows, Iron Horse, Foxy, Riddleyville Clowns and Chatamal.

My writing passion is coupled by my love of history.

 I started writing for Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 with my own column, “Commentary Place.” That was also the only time I wrote in Czech language. It was a biweekly column about the issues pertaining to the Czech community living in the USA. I wrote essays as well.

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My first official newspaper job was with the Kaechele Publications in 1997. I commuted 145 miles round trip to Plainwell. The editor Dave Trinka, who interviewed me, loved the fact that I had included the newspaper clips in Czech. Go figure.

I loved the hometown Union Enterprise newspaper based in Plainwell. Due to the distance of the commute, I found closer newspaper jobs, the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, Lowell Ledger, Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Grand Rapids Press.

Here is an excerpt from the “Iron Horse.”

 “Everybody in the room was wearing yellow. The tablecloths on round tables were yellow. I bit my lips hard, so that a streak of blood appeared on them. I was hoping the blood wouldn’t drop on the blouse.

I closed my eyes and I could see the old township hall at the Shimmicon Corners.

“So, is this all you expected,” an angry farmer barked into my face.

His face was swollen and his Adam’s apple was rolling in his throat. He was wearing Carhart overalls smeared with manure. His hands were big with strong fingers.

I backed away. He smelled of hay and manure. A terrifying stench spread in the meeting room of the Shimmicon Township.

I looked around me. The township hall was packed. The latecomers were peaking in from the windows. Two policemen were standing by the door, their hands on their pistols and truncheons. I could hardly breathe because the air was so heavy with sweat. Somebody spat on the floor in front of me. There was straw on the floor.

The farmers were thumping their feet against the plank floor and shaking their fists. I sank into a chair in the first row right across from the supervisor’s seat. Everyone else was seated except for him. As minutes ticked by, the farmers got angrier. Finally, supervisor Ned walked in looking at the mob. His big eyes were protruding from its sockets. Ned was a medium built man with thick hair. He pounded the mallet to bring order to the room.

“Silence,” he yelled. “I said quiet.”

The angry farmers were shaking their heads, gesturing and talking. Pig farmer Frank was standing in the corner. Tall Frank with black mustache and hair was leaning against the wall wearing his rubber boots. He came directly from the pig pens. His hands were stuck in his pockets.

Supervisor Ned pounded the mallet again.

“I will use the police, if you do not shut up.”

This post is also about how to create in writing.

@create

Create

 

 

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Storyteller 2017-the passion

The passion in the Shifting Sands Short Stories continued from June 23

 Book excerpts from Shifting Sands Short Story Therese’s Mind

 I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.

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Storyteller 2017 Emma

Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.

This is the fifth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction last Tuesday on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21, the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22 and fueling the passion of the Storyteller on June 23, and now on June 26-the passion and commitment.

About commitment

The Storyteller 2017 series also fits the Daily Post prompt commit. The biggest part of the Shifting Sands Short Stories project that spans more than two decades of writing has been commitment.

Commit

 

The first circle of stories was inspired by the early years of immigration and includes: Danillo, Honey Azrael and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

The second circle of stories includes: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.

 The second circle of stories draws on the years of working in a Midwest retail chain in the  mid 1990s and beyond. It was a time of assimilation into the American culture after tumultuous years of wanting to return back to the old country, former Czechoslovakia that still existed under that name.

I had packed and unpacked my luggage several times.

At the time, I was working the second shift in the store, writing and taking journalism classes at the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in the morning.

About inspiration

My stories are usually inspired by human struggle, whether physical or emotional, real or perceived.

Here is an excerpt from Therese’s Mind:

 The “Singing in the rain” rose was her favorite one. It was a hardy breed. Copper-like leaves stood defiantly against the onset of another fall. The ground was almost frozen now, yet the rose kept yielding new dark reddish leaves. From the depth of the reddish leaves, new buds unleashed a strange smell. It was the smell of a lost summer and the captured sun for one fleeting second. Therese could only imagine the smell from what she had known many years ago.

The thorns broke off easily, so she didn’t have to be careful anymore. They wouldn’t hurt her. Therese drew in deep breath inhaling all the secrets of a fragrance, and sat down on a bench. The bench was like her; all weather-worn and beaten down a thousand times with repeating rains, leaving and coming back again. She felt the constant drumming of the raindrops in her heart and bones. Coming and leaving, leaving and coming.

She was in her fifties. Therese was a grown-up woman with a child’s heart, longing to be held in someone’s arms. During her fifty-year long journey, she never learned the tricks of womanhood or adulthood for that matter.

Therese was pure as refined sugar that makes up a fine Bacardi. She was fine and fragile like the leaves of the roses in her garden in the first October frost.

“Therese, hurry up,” somebody hollered from the house.

“You have a phone call.”

Therese had trouble recollecting her thoughts due to severe brain damage over the years from non-malignant tumors. The doctors said that the tumors were not immediately deadly, but they spoke kindly of several options, all equally dangerous.

“You can’t have anything in our head,” they said at the nearby Heart of Blessed Hospital.

Storyteller 2017….part VI to be continued book excerpts

You can pre-order the Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon at:

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

Impermanence in Shifting Sands Short Stories with excerpts from book

Storyteller 2017 journey from writer journalist to author

By Emma Palova

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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.

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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.

Reprieve

There is no Reprieve from writing. Call it passion, obsession or both.

The writing demons in my head woke me up early in the morning, somewhere between the night and the day.

The persistent insomnia caused by the flow of ideas perpetuates itself from day into the night and vice versa. It is a dream come true for any writer; that is fluent writing time without blocks.

It is especially important now as I am moving into the publishing finale of my “Shifting Sands Short Stories.”

It is in this quiet time without outside disturbing energies, that I manage to write the most. Plus, I have the rest of the day to reflect on the morning production to improve it and carry it forward.

Just to illustrate how early this morning’s start was is that when I checked the Daily Post prompt for today @reprieve around 6 or 7 a.m. there were no responses yet. As I write this some five hours later, there were 64 interpretations of the “reprieve” prompt.

I find the reprieve theme very fitting before the Memorial Day long weekend. It will be a good quality time spent grilling, gardening and at my favorite spot on Murray Lake.

On Monday, I like to go to the Memorial Day parade in Lowell to honor the veterans at the Oakwood Cemetery.

Sexton Don DeJong makes the cemetery a place to observe history with his historical cemetery walks. DeJong has compiled the cemetery info into several books over the years. Watch for more stories.

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Boating on Murray Lake in Michigan.

I am grateful for this much-needed time off for all of us to restart again.

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

 

 

A Cinema Masterclass by Clint Eastwood – Festival de Cannes

I love the Cannes Film Festival. I’ve been twice to it, and I am ready to go again as my creative work is moving along.

Hello from my daughter Doc Emma in Cannes 2017.

News from Cannes 2017.

http://m.festival-cannes.com/en/festival/actualites/articles/a-cinema-masterclass-by-clint-eastwood

My new book “Shifting Sands ” Short Stories is coming out on June on Amazon.

It is a collection of short stories from Main Street America and beyond.

Shifting sands cover

You’re welcome to pre-order next week on kindle Amazon.

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

Born on Victory Day, May 9th

Born on Czech national holiday Victory Day

A lifestyle of a writer and a history lover

Lifestyle

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – I was born with history in my blood in the wee hours on Victory Day, May 9th to the cracking of the fireworks and the fragrance of the blossoming lilacs.

Before the semantics & politics of the new regime, May 9th was the national holiday in my homeland of Czech Republic.

Every year, on this day, my mother Ella lovingly says this sentence:

“I thought they were bombing, but the country was celebrating your birthday. The entire earth blossoms for you.”

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Emma in Manistee National Forest north of Baldwin, morel hunting on May 6.

Now, my mom Ella is not exactly the most humble person. She loves to show off. She takes that after Grandpa Joseph of Vizovice.

Annually, the country celebrates the anniversary of its freedom from the Nazi occupation in 1945. The holiday has been moved to May 8th based on the age-old dispute, “Who was first, the chicken or the egg?” That is the dispute over which army freed former Czechoslovakia first.

Was it the Soviet or the American army?

The Soviets freed the capital Prague on May 9th, while the Americans freed Plzen in West Bohemia on May 8th. Maybe, the switch was due to the fact that Plzen is home to the famous brewery, Pilsner.

The country boasts its love for beer, and often takes first place in consumption between the top beer consuming trio of Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

However, in our immigration hearts, the holiday will always be on May 9th, even though we love Czech Pilsner.

So, by default, the love for history has been circulating in my blood from the first day of birth.

Our immigration Konecny saga started with the infamous occupation of the country by the Soviets in the Prague Spring of 1968. The era of hardline communism ensued after the invasion for decades to come under President Gustav Husak.

I am also the child of the 1989 Velvet Revolution led by  my hero, late president Vaclav Havel who was part of the Prague Spring 1968 reformation movement.

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I can trace the origins of my writing to that tumultuous time in our lives.

And I write about this in the memoir “Greenwich Meridian, where East meets West.” Copyright © 2017. Emma Palova

My paternal grandpa Antonin was the keeper of the “Chronicles of the Stipa JZD” which was the Stipa Agricultural Cooperative, while my late Aunt Martha secretly worked on the Konecny family genealogy. My grandma Anezka was a first grade teacher at ZDS Stipa and a poet.

“You can’t deny genes,” said Martha’s colleague Mrs. Fickova at the funeral wake on Jan. 11th held at the Stipa Senk.

After Aunt Martha’s death on January 7th, 2017, I started the Facebook page Ancestry Konecny on:

https://www.facebook.com/Ancestry-Konecny-1715844132078471/

The page is also a resource for others who want to conduct genealogy research.

Based on a ZDS reunion in 2015, that we couldn’t attend, I started the Alumni ZDS Stipa page on:

https://www.facebook.com/zdsstipa/

As an author, writer, journalist and photographer, I keep track of happenings on daily basis in my physical and digital diaries. I also do that for other people on the WordPress portfolio.

My May 9th morning  started with Google Doodle wishing a happy birthday.

http://www.onthisday.com/events/may/9

https://g.co/kgs/apAhlt

Now, that’s a first for this year 2017.

Every morning before I start writing, I check social media for inspiration and to get a feeling for the day.

I made me a cup of French Roast coffee and smelled the bouquet of lilacs from our gardens on the ranch. It took 20 years for the fragrant shrubs to come to their full beauty. Not quite like the historical ones on my beloved Mackinac Island, but they’re getting there.

Yesterday, my husband Ludek and I feared for the budding wisteria because of the early morning frost. We had to put out the fan to keep the wisteria, sprawling on the octagon pergola, warm.

Then, as always I gather my thoughts based on analyzing the previous day, and what I have learned from it, that is worth bringing into the future. I always remember the socialist propaganda, “Tomorrow is already yesterday.”

I pinned to the top, “Spring into the Past” museum tour 2017 organized by the Tri-River Historical Museum Network on the new museum page.

I also made sure that the 23rd annual Covered Bridge Bike Tour in Fallasburg is correctly dated for Sunday July 9th.

I looked in the mirror, after finishing most of this post, and I realized I am very fortunate, and that any victory comes at a price. I’ve come to that conclusion not from the image that I see, but by the person I reflect in my writings.

I have a head full of graying hair, a happy smile on my face, a caring husband and family, hundreds of fans and well-wishers from all over the world, and the determination of a Taurus.

My short story collection “Shifting Sands” is ready for June 1st publication on kindle and Amazon.

And speaking about karma or karmic energy.

My friends from the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) Tina Siciliano Cadwallader and Tracy Worthington are planning a book signing event for the “Shifting Sands” fiction short story collection at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum on June 25th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Shifting sands cover

I’ve just found out that mom Ella is going to bake a cake for the book signing. And I have received tulips and irises from Doc Em, based in Fixin, France, and a video from Josephine & Dominik Pala of Hastings.

Life is good. As Doc Em says:

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

Everyone is invited to Fallasburg on June 25. Come and enjoy the beautiful Fallasburg Park, the pioneer village, the history and mom’s cake.

With this post, I would like to thank everyone for all the support over the years, especially my neighbor Catherine. Because only Catherine knows who I really am.

“You make me who I am.”

Love always,

Emma

Lowell, May 9th 2017

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

Breakthrough a denial

An outlier’s breakthrough a denial

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI -I am working on a big project through May. That is transferring my short stories from more than two decades to digital platforms , because I cannot stand unfinished things. I am doing this because I also think I might drop dead, before the short stories see the light of the world.

I’ve been lying to myself that I cannot get my fiction published because I don’t have the time and I have to make money, and more lies. Then, finally my eyes and heart opened, along with other denials about breaking stereotypes and much more.

The good old “what if it is not good enough” question kept resurfacing.

“Good enough for what?” I ask.

“Of course I can get these published,” I realized. “Now, is the best time ever with everything going digital.

“The world is changing and I have to change with it.”

“But, wait a minute,” I say, “I have been changing, only in a different way beyond the known margins.”

“Hey!Isn’t that part of the definition of an “outlier?”

The “outlier” word sounds so ugly. I admit, I had to look it up.

And of course the search rendered among others, on Amazon Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: The Story of Success.”

What the heck, now I got to buy Malcolm’s book. And I finally caught myself in action. Wait a minute, Palova. Stop. That is how you constantly get sidetracked from your goals; searching for more information.

“Get back on track, woman.”

“Thank you, my inner voice.”

I just got trapped in a labyrinth of other people’s thoughts and actions, much like the heroes of my short stories in “Glass Flowers” get entangled in a web of doing other things; like marketing, promoting and enterprising.

By getting the scripts on digital platforms, I will finally break the deadly cycle of denial that I cannot get my fiction published.

Have I lived like an Emu with my head in the sand or an “outlier?”

This was written in response to the Daily Post prompts @Denial and @Outlier, as well as an inspiration to the daily Taurus horoscope.

Outlier

Denial

Source: Taurus Horoscope for Today

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