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Excerpts & book reviews

For excerpts from the book Shifting Sands Short Stories  & book reviews  visit  Edition Emma Publishing 

I have named my book marketing campaign Storyteller 2017 because of all the big changes that are taking place this year. Excerpts by Emma Palova from Shifting Sands Short Stories, June 30, 2017 The 13 stories in Shifting Sands Short Stories are divided thematically and chronologically into three circles: early immigration years, retail and news […]

via Excerpts by Emma Palova — Edition Emma Publishing

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

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.

Shifting Sands book signing at Fallasburg

Shifting Sands Short Stories book signing for Emma Palova will be held at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse on July 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

 

Everyone is invited for the reception and book signing in the historic setting of the 1850s Fallasburg pioneeer village.

“History is one of my many passions that also fuels my fiction,” said Emma. “I’ve always been interested in history, as a kid. And then of course, I lived it with the Russian invasion of former Czechoslovakia.”

The village museum is open on Sundays from 2 pm to 4 pm through September. Visit the Fallasburg website at http://www.fallasburg.org for information about the village.

Watch for Emma’s newsletter filled with writing tips and excerpts from the book.

You can order the Shifting Sands Short Stories book coming on June 30 on Amazon at:

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

 

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

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

Storyteller 2017- Fueling the passion with book excerpts

Fueling the passion of the Storyteller 2017 with book excerpts, part IV

 I have named my book campaign Storyteller 2017 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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This is the fourth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21 and the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22.

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 As I have mentioned in the previous installments, I have divided the 13 stories in the Shifting Sands Short Stories collection thematically and chronologically into three circles.

The first circle of stories draws on the early years of immigration experience of learning French in Montreal, and taking creative short story writing at the International Correspondence Schools, ICS.

Those were the transformative years or impermanence for me and the characters like Danillo in Danillo, Vanessa in Honey Azrael and the couple Martin and Ellen in the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

The second circle of stories reflects the time for assimilation into the American culture. These include: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.

The characters in the second circle suffer from the boredom of a daily routine in a store, but they fear change. The setting is rural Midwest America. I created the town of Riddleyville with its secrets and vices. The Riddleyville characters range from robust Big Irma, Shorty, philosophical Ula, pretty Rachel, boxcutter Amy, sick Therese to deceitful Vadim in the Death Song.

Here is an excerpt from Orange Nights:

The store kept its secrets in the backrooms where the employees gathered for breaks and meetings. Things not said on the floor, were exaggerated here freely over nasty coffee and lunches brought from home in plastic containers.

The kid who extended his stay at the store instead of going to college usually cleaned the backrooms and the public restrooms. Sometimes he worked in the smelly bottle room. Customers and  employees called him “Shorty.”

It just caught on.

“Hey, people, do you have to make such a mess or what?” he asked.

If Shorty was in a bad mood, he’d complain, and mop the floor under your feet, and knock down your lunchbox.

He wasn’t a typical loser, he just acted like one.

The second shift already faced the remnants of the day, including the bad attitudes and unfulfilled dreams of yesterday.

The saying around the town of Riddleyville was that at one point in time, everyone has worked at the store for a million different reasons.

My passion for writing continued to grow as I took journalism classes at the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in the mid-1990s. At that time I wrote feature stories for the GRCC paper the “Collegiate.”

I wrote a chunk of the short stories, while taking these classes and working at the store.

The passion continues in the next part V of the Storyteller 2017 series.

The book Shifting Sands Short Stories is now available for pre-order on Amazon at:

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

 

 

 

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

About impermanence in Shifting Sands Short Stories with excerpts from book

I am trekking the publishing journey from writer journalist to author. Follow me on this incredible adventure into the June 30 publishing of the short story collection.

The impermanence of the characters in the short stories collection is embodied in their struggle with immigration. They are living in between their old homelands and the new American culture, which they find hard to accept.

This impermanence becomes the unifying element in the first circle of stories drawing on my immigration experience from former Czechoslovakia to Canada, and then to USA.

Source: Impermanence in Shifting Sands Short Stories with excerpts from book

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.

Summer solstice

The longest days are now as the sun is directly overhead. Enjoy them.

This year, I marked the summer solstice by the 11th week of walks to the Franciscan Life Process Center through the summer woods.

I noticed the arrival of summer in the woods last week, as the wildflowers disappeared and flowering rosemary bushes replaced them, along with the flowering Japanese lilac tree by the center.

Yesterday, I could smell the fresh-cut grass for feeding. On a good year, there are three cuttings of grass for hay.

My favorite spireas also blossomed last week, and wild orange lilies joined them  together with fireflies in the evening.

The seasons in the woods are refreshing, with fall being the most colorful. Follow me on my walks throughout the seasons.

Walking is my favorite activity if I need to take a break from writing or if I am looking for inspiration.

Nature has always inspired me.

 

 

For more info on the summer solstice go to:

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/6/19/15832952/summer-solstice-2017

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