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Notes from Ocean 2018

Seaside Inspirations

By Emma Palova

Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Sipping coffee at a Turkish café on the corner of Sunrise and N. Ocean boulevards in Ft. Lauderdale with my daughter Emma, I found life easy.
This writer’s break from the northern vortex in West Michigan was different from the previous ones.
First of all, I changed bodies of water;that is the Gulf of Mexico for the Atlantic Ocean. Then I changed company. We all went with our adult children and the grand kids.
We stayed at an Art Deco villa five minutes from the beach. It gave us the opportunity to explore the Atlantic Ocean up close and personal.
And for the writer in me it was also good to compare the two shores; that is the Atlantic and the Gulf coast.
The weather was marvelously warm in the 80s with equally warm waves of the Atlantic splashing the beaches. Surfers were abundant unlike on the Gulf, where the waves are not big enough for surfing.

On the downside of the Atlantic, there were less shells and no shark teeth hunters. However, the lifeguards were on full duty and warned of rip currents. Our fellow traveler Maranda almost got caught in one. The lifeguard warned us with his whistle.“Always swim with the current to get out of it, never against it.”
The sounds of the waves rocked the youngest ones to the best nap in the world: on the beach.
Just listening to the ocean and watching the white combs as the waves crested was the best meditation in the world. Enhancing the motion and the sounds of the ocean were the freighters anchoring off shore. These lit up at night.

South Beach, Art Deco & Miami Yacht Show

A pretty nerve-wrecking drive south on Collins Ave and onto Ocean Blvd. took us to South Beach and the Art Deco district.
On the cusp of the 30th annual Miami Yacht Show running from Feb. 15 through Feb. 19, we drove past hundreds of yachts-in-water for sale on the Indian Creek Waterway. Yacht brokers were just building entrances to the yacht in-water displays on 1.2 million square feet.

Art Deco district

As a civil engineer by trade and a history buff, I was fascinated by the chic historic Art Deco district. Sitting in the South Beach neighborhood within a short walking distance from the beach, the colorful historic buildings span three basic architectural styles: 1920s Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and MiMo or Miami Modernist architecture.
In search of Cuban fare & Daiquiri cocktails, we ate at Mango’s Tropical Café.
The beach scene beyond the Lummus Park featured colorful Art Deco lifeguard stands and the hottest fashion trends such as the thong swimwear.

Seaside Inspirations

Las Olas, Venice of America, Ft. Lauderdale

We took a pirate boat ride on the Intracoastal Waterway lined by million dollar homes and mega yachts of the rich and the famous. Captain Kris took us past Steven Spielberg’s mega yacht equipped with three-quarter of a full length movie screen.
Knowledgeable about the lives of the famous, Chris told us the story of the founder of Phillips 66 petroleum company after whom the famous Grille 66 & Bar on the waterway has been named.
Then came the story of entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga known for Blockbuster Video, Waste Management & AutoNation.

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

We visited this small town of 6,000 north of Ft. Lauderdale twice for its walkable shopping district, the pier and snorkeling opportunities. It is full of small beach motels, unlike its high-rise neighbors.
I marveled at the sign for the local Farmer’s Market open from December through May.
In Michigan, we get first produce in June.

Fond memories

I will treasure timeless moments spent in the coarse sand, on the waves of the Atlantic, on the veranda of Ocean 2000 of the Pelican Resort and Valentine’s dinner on the deck of the Sandbar Grille.

And yes, we did also meet some Rubes, like the clerk at the Beach Shop.

However, we bargained with her for the best price for our Budweiser and Corona swimwear.

“You girls will never have to buy a drink for yourself on the beach,” she noted with a deep hollow laugh. Emma noticed her turquoise colored earrings in the shape of balls from the smallest to the big one.

Or maybe the real rube was the obnoxious bad pirate Barnacle Bill who stole our key to the treasure aboard the Bluefoot Pirate Adventures.

At the Aruba bar, women sported heart-shaped Valentine shades, and Publix was overflowing with heart-shaped balloons and cakes.

During this brief break from the freezing cold, we marked Mardi Gras, Valentine’s and Ash Wednesday, as well as the Greek Festival weekend in southern warmth and hospitality.

Alligator Alley, Everglades

However, I would be remiss, if I didn’t mention our 123 mile long drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Myers through the Everglades area of South Florida.

The freeway I-75 from the east coast of Florida to the west coast is appropriately called Alligator Alley, as it cuts through the Everglades for 80 miles.

I noticed hundreds of white egrets congregating on the palm trees by the river fenced off from the freeway to protect the endangered Florida panther.

According to popular lore and crime movies, dead bodies are being disposed off here at the Alligator Alley. You will find no traces of anything. What the alligators didn’t get, the birds and the panthers will. It’s called balance in nature.

Well, our time on the Atlantic Ocean came and went like the afternoon tide. But, it washed ashore thousands of precious memories.

And I close this “Notes from Ocean 2018” account with the words of the Frontier airline captain.

“Join us. We’re flying like crazy from the tip of North America to the tip of South America.”

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

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Inspiring Women- Betsy Davidson

About the Inspiring Women series

This feature series is dedicated to all women who are making a difference in their communities. They work to improve other people’s lives, as well as their own.  They give  Profusely of themselves. In putting together this feature series, I was inspired by several moments in my life that in particular stand out.

Orchids in full bloom
Enigmatic orchids

No.1  A dedication of a Relax, mind, body & soul book by Barbara Heller from my son Jake: “I dedicate this to my inspiring and motivational mother.” Kuba

No. 2  While on a story prior to Mother’s Day, I dropped in at Ace Bernard Hardware to talk about the prizes with owner Charlie Bernard. We talked also about the Lowell Area Chamber and its director Liz Baker.

“You know what I like about Liz, she keeps re-inventing herself,” Bernard said.

No. 3 Again on a story prior to the International Women’s Day on March 8, I talked to Sow Hope president Mary Dailey Brown.

“If you want to make a difference in this world, seriously consider helping impoverished women. Helping women is the key to unlocking poverty.”

No. 4  At a parents teacher conference at Cherry Creek Elementary in Lowell in the mid 1990s, I spoke with my son’s teacher, Karen Latva:

“Mrs. Pala, we do not give up,” she said.

This series is geared toward the International Women’s Day on March 8. Nominate a woman who has inspired you. Contact Emma at emmapalova@yahoo.com with subject Inspiring Women.

There is a parallel series “Inspiring Communities” where you can nominate both men and women, year round.

Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce names Betsy Davidson  Person of the Year 2018

IW betsy
Addorio owner Betsy Davidson

“Find something that you are passionate about and jump in with both feet.”
Betsy Davidson

Lowell, MI- Betsy Davidson, owner of Addorio Technologies, is the recipient of the 2018 Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year Award.
She will accept the prestigious award at the winter gathering of the chamber membership on Feb. 15.
The award came as a total surprise to Davidson, who found out about the honor at the ambassador breakfast club. “It’s very humbling,” she said. “My customers have been congratulating me. I am very happy.”
Davidson has been the owner of Addorio Technologies since 2000. She started the company when her former employer Creative Handling of Hudsonville went out of business.
Her first job was at Deer Run Golf Course, and her first car was a blue Renault.

How does she gets things done

Davidson described herself as a dedicated and persistent individual. In preparation for a big project as in building a website or a server/network upgrade, Davidson first meets with the customer to make sure expectations are met and details are communicated.
The major challenge in the technology business, according to Davidson, is keeping up with constant changes in IT. That means attending trainings, workshops, webinars and on the job training.
For inspiration, Davidson looks up to fellow business owners. Her role model is chamber executive director Liz Baker.
“She has so much energy,” she said. “I can’t keep up with her.”
There was another reason why Davidson wanted her own business, since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Positive thinking

“Positive thinking has always kept me going,” she said, “my family, my husband Matt and my friends.”
She has never wanted to quit her job.
“I get more excited as I grow my business,” she said. “I keep moving forward.”
A lot of Davidson’s business is in the greater Lowell area.
In response to a question about fear in both professional and personal lives, Davidson said the only fear she has in business is disappointing customers.
However, in personal life Davidson said she’s afraid she could miss out on spending time with the family and friends.

Accomplishments

Her biggest professional accomplishment is receiving the 2018 Person of the Year award.
Also, last year, Davidson was presented with an award for raising $50,000 for the MS Society.
“We were among the top 10 for a “do it yourself fundraiser” for the state of Michigan.
Davidson and her family have been doing this fundraiser for the last 16 years.
On the theme of success, Davidson attributed her achievements to her determination.
“I am kind of stubborn, and I keep going,” she laughed. “I don’t stop.”
Among her goals is to continue to do 5k runs, and a 10k run tentatively in 2018. She does the 5/3 Fifth Third Run, Ionia Parks run and Alpha Women’s Center run.
Her interests include travel. She plans to visit her grandma Annette Addorio, 103, in Maine. She named her business, Addorio Technologies after her grandmother.

Volunteerism

Davidson is an active volunteer with the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and the Lowell Area Trails network. Between the three organizations, Davidson spends approximately five to 10 hours volunteering a week on top of her 50 to 60 hours a week work schedule.
She offered the following tips and advice to other women:
“Number one is balance,” she said. “It’s hard to squeeze time out of the day, but I have a passion for what I am doing.”Also, Davidson advises not to be afraid to ask other people for help.
“Find out who else is passionate about the same thing, and it will strengthen the project,” she said.
In face of negativity, Davidson always focuses on positivity.
“There is a lot of negativity, try to focus on the positive,” she said.
The Person of the Year Award annually honors people who make contributions in the greater Lowell community above their regular work.
“It is a huge honor to receive the award,” Davidson said. “It’s all-encompassing. I wouldn’t have received this award, if it weren’t for the help of the people I work with.”
Davidson hopes to continue to do all this and more into the future.

About Betsy

Name: Betsy Davidson

Residence: Lowell

Occupation: Business owner of Addorio Technologies

Education: Central Michigan University

Family: husband Matt

Hobbies & Interests: walking, running, travel and spending time with family

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

Emma’s book signing @LowellArts, tips on how to write about love

Come for inspiration and author’s insights to my February book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories tomorrow on Feb. 3 at 1 pm at LowellArts.
I will share writing tips on how to write about love, with or without a happy ending.

Edition Emma Publishing

Writings of a love stifled by years of monotony

Stop by at the Lowell Arts gallery in downtown Lowell this Saturday Feb. 3 for my book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories from 1 pm to 4 pm.

I will be sharing author’s insights from the publishing industry, and answering questions such as:

How many hours a week do you think I spend on marketing my new book and my writing business Emma Blogs, LLC?

What are the most effective channels of marketing?

Should you pay and how much for advertising of your book?

How do you stand out? What makes you unique?

How do you reach the right reader?

Feel free to shoot me an email with your questions at emmapalova@yahoo.com.

Bring a copy of my new book for an autograph. You can buy it locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, Lansing Okemos or on Amazon. I will…

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Emma’s February Book Signing @LowellArts

February expands new horizons, get the scoop at Emma’s author events & new Cool Vendors Abound blog

Author’s note: These are my thoughts prior to the Feb. 3 book signing of my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories at the award-winning arts gallery in downtown Lowell from 1 to 4 p.m. The gallery presents the Grand Valley Artists-In View show.

LowellArts has received the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce reward for the best non-profit organization for providing more arts programs and services, while positively impacting the downtown businesses.

“Yes, this is a big deal for Lowell,” said Lorain Smalligan, executive director of LowellArts. “There are not many communities the size of Lowell with an arts center like LowellArts.”

I look forward to February for several reasons: I consider February as the month of love, and the Mardi Gras extravaganza. I also squeeze in my annual writer’s retreat in Florida.

 

1- January, the longest and coldest month will come to an end tomorrow, but we will also get to see the rare Super Blue Blood Moon for the first time in 150 years. The phenomenon consists of a super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse, aka blood moon, all in one. Don’t miss out on Jan. 31.

2- I get to revise if I have stuck to my new year’s resolutions. Let’s look at this one close-up.

Among my many new year’s resolutions was to get in shape; that is physically and mentally. I continue to exercise; 30 minutes of yoga and 30 minutes on the treadmill, plus freestyle weight lifting. I have yet to explore the possibilities of the yoga fitness 75-cm ball.

Mentally: My husband and I have signed up for Spanish classes so we can order lunch in Cuba. We both continue to go on Monday evenings under the tutelage of Mr. Jim Albert. I can now put together an entire sentence in Spanish:

“Yo voy a apprender Espanol.”   I am going to learn Spanish.

I meditate with one of the greatest thinkers of this world: Deepak Chopra in his “Making every Moment Matter” meditations.

3- Straighten out or strengthen relationships. Build new DIY sites.

20180128_150624144214869.jpg
Trainman Vas with Lionel train models in Paris, MI.

Now, this one is tougher than it looks. I have a lot more work to do, even though I managed to visit my brother Vas in Paris, MI last Sunday. A story “The Trainman” (c)  Emma Palova is coming to my new site Cool Vendors Abound.

Visit Cool Vendors at http://farmcountryblog.wordpress.com

I re-purposed the farm country theme blog to a broader base for vendors, hobbyists and DIY crafts.

4- Moderation; I practice moderation on drinking only two cups of coffee a day .

5- The Dominant goal reigns over it all; and that is fiction writing.

I am currently working on Shifting Sands: Secrets, Book 2.

I will be discussing at my upcoming Emma’s author events including the book signings at LowellArts on Feb. 3 and March 10 the following themes:

“How to start and finish your book in 2018.”

“How to write about love.”

Looking forward to seeing you soon. You can also shoot me a note or a question at emmapalova@yahoo.com. Come for inspiration.

Buy a copy of my book locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and in Okemos, Lansing. I will have a few copies on hand.

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

For info on Schuler books go to : http://schulerbooks.com

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

 

 

 

Lorenz, Czech restaurant with Austrian flavors

Restaurant Lorenz, a dream come true for Czech & Slovak couple

After working as a chef at a Viennese restaurant for 30 years, Jan Laurencik opened a restaurant in beautiful Kromeriz with wife Eva on this wintry day at the end of January.

Having a restaurant in Kromeriz has been a lifelong dream for this enterprising couple, Jan & Eva. Jan is from Slovakia, Eva is a lifelong resident of Kromeriz in Czech Republic.

The fusion of the Austrian dishes with Czech is apparent in the entrees such as the featured Old Viennese pork knee on a skewer with red cabbage sauerkraut, hot pepper and bread, served on a plank and accompanied by Bernard beer.

“It is delicious with a well-balanced tangy taste of the sauerkraut,” said Emma Palova. Palova visited Kromeriz and the local restaurants many times. “I love this Moravian specialty. The beer washes down the grease from the knee. It’s finger-licking good.”

The weekly menu features daily specials with soup included and a choice of four  entrees ranging in price from 85 kc to 135 kc. KC stands for Czech currency, Czech crowns.

The restaurant/cafe menu is complete with a piece of Vienna; that is the Sachr Torte. The Sachr chocolate cake has been the most famous cake in the world since 1832, and the original recipe remains a well-kept secret.

The featured coffee is the Vienna melange with Mozart’s kugel confection. The large selection of desserts also features traditional Czech “pohar” cup with fruits, whipped cream and ice cream.

And of course the dessert menu would not be complete without the famous apple strudel, home to both Austria and Czech Republic.

Congratulations to my friends Eva Larencikova and her husband Jan to the opening of the Lorenz Restaurant & Kavarna in beautiful Kromeriz, Czech Republic.

Note: Eva and I met on a “Hops” train to Zatec in 1982. We spent three weeks in the Bohemian hops fields picking hops in order to obtain a university credit from the Technical University of Brno. The hops brigade was mandatory under the socialist educational system. Hops in all forms including liquid as in beer, have cemented our lifetime long distance friendship. The pork knee on a plank with beer was our favorite dish during our student years in Brno, because it was good and cheap. The distance across the Atlantic Ocean has changed nothing in our relationship.

You don’t need a Reservation to  this Czech Viennese cafe. 

http://www.ulorenze.cz/

Featured photo: Courtesy of Lorenz Restaurant & Kavarna

Smoked pork knee on a skewer with red sauerkraut and bread served on a plank.

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

Writer Virginia Wolf

Google honors writer Virginia Wolf

I was quite impressed this morning as I opened the chrome browser to see Google’s doodle of writer Virginia Wolf.

image_538685398978101
Virginia Wolf

The picture is a  courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The English writer is known for her works, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and Orlando.

However, what inspires me the most is her essay, “A Room of One’s Own.”

I find Wolf’s early insight “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,” completely accurate in 2018.

With this essay, Wolf has inspired feminism and social consciousness.

I first encountered her name upon entering my work into the “Room of Her Own” literary contest three years ago.

As we enter 2018 strong with the #MeToo , #TimesUp movements and the trial of the former MSU & USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar who has been sentenced to 175 years in prison, we all need to find our own voice and speak up against any injustice.

As a new author on the literary scene, I consider voicing my own opinion about social consciousness  more important than ever.

How do you feel about voicing your opinion Candidly  on matters of social consciousness, injustice and women’s rights in face of sexual assault?

The silence surrounding the reporting of sexual abuse has to stop now.

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

Amazon.com: Emma Palova: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Hello friends,

Today I am working out of our local coffee shop Sweet Seasons because of yesterday’s storm that knocked out the power and Wi-Fi.

I might make this glitch into a habit.

Don’t miss out on my giveaway of kindle e-book Shifting Sands Short Stories today and tomorrow on Amazon. Currently, I am in the process of scheduling my next giveaway.

All you need is the kindle app from Google play store or Apple app store to download and read the book.

I appreciate your reviews on Amazon.

Also check out my book trailer on https://youtu.be/xA0wH_ACGE4

I am currently working on Shifting Sands Book 2: Secrets

My next book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories will be on Feb.3 at @LowellArts from 1 to 4 pm.

You can buy my book locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and in Lansing. Bring a copy with you for an autograph.

I will be offering tips on how to finish your book in 2018. See you there.

This action plan follows my marketing Strategy to touch the reader four to five times.

First contact via EW Emma’s Writings blog, social media, Authors Central on Amazon, author’s page on Goodreads, personal book signings at local venues and writers’ conferences like the upcoming Calvin College Conference in Grand Rapids.

You will also enjoy the marvelous Grand Valley Artists Show-In View.

For more info on Lowell Arts go to:

https://www.lowellartsmi.org

Watch for my next kindle ebook giveaway of Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon.

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

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

 

Plotting new year’s courses

I have just glanced at my Jan. 19 Taurus Horoscope to see if I am on track. Without the Blink of an eye this is what I found out.

I have enrolled in Spanish classes together with Ludek. I will be teaching ESL English as a Second Language and writing classes in the Grand Rapids area. My new column about Czech heritage is coming up in the Western Fraternal Life Herald, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

My next book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories will take place at the LowellArts downtown gallery on Main Street on Feb. 3 from 1 to 4 pm. I will be offering tips on how to start and finish your book in 2018. Sign up on Facebook @emmapalova to win a free book.

For more info on the Western Fraternal Life Association and the Fraternal Herald monthly magazine go to:

http://www.flains.org

This is my horoscope for today.

You may be intrigued by the prospects of enrolling in a course of study today, but you’re determined to specifically learn something that can contribute to your material success. Although your practical …

Source: Taurus Horoscope for January 19, 2018

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

Novel Writing Festival

I just missed the Jan. 15 deadline. I plan to submit one of my short stories from Shifting Sands to the festival for February.

The festival aims to give exposure to writers whether the submission makes it into a movie or not.

I dub my short stories lovingly “A Moveable Feast.” I borrowed the nickname from Hemingway’s memoir of Paris in the 1920s.

The reason I call them moveable is because they can easily transfer into a movie script due to vivid dialogues and scenes. Thus, they are screen friendly.

”Your book is very visual,” wrote an agent to me in response to the submission of the first chapter of my first book, “Fire on Water.” (c) Emma Palova

I am really excited about exploring this avenue of exposure for my new book.

The submission is $35 for the first chapter of the novel. You get a feedback and a longline listing on the Writing Festival site.

 

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

 

via 1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL. Deadline January 15th