Interview with my parents for Greenwich Meridian-continued

When we finally sat down after the news and dinner on March 5 to talk about our immigration in Venice, I felt nervous. But, I was well equipped with interviewing skills honed by years of talking to people for newspaper stories, who quite often lied to me. The bad part about newspaper interviews is that you don’t have a lot of time to double check and research everything. There’s only so many people you can call around. Eventually you run out of time. You usually have one good shot, and you have to make the best of it.

In the interview with my parents, I finally had one good long awaited shot, so I was determined to make full use of it. I carefully crafted the questions, so no one got offended. A good interview requires a high level of diplomacy and psychology, because usually you don’t know your story subjects, unless you’ve been covering the city or township hall for years. And I have done that in many communities like Plainwell, Ionia, Belding, Greenville, Grattan, Otisco, Vergennes and Lowell.

Vaclav & Ella in Venice.

In this case I did know my story subjects. Well, of course. I spent a lot of time with them. Ella and Vaclav are my parents, the adventurers who have traveled halfway around the world, from East to West, and back to Czechoslovakia in 1973 on presidential amnesty, only to finally return to USA. Mom returned to the states in 1980 on March 19th, which is the Feast of St.Joseph, after turbulent years in the communist homeland.

During the interview, I found out things that I did not know about before. This included a clandestine farewell meeting between my parents and grandparents in Vienna prior to the first immigration to Canada in 1970.
“I was still hoping we could return because our exit visa were extended until the end of the year,” mom said.
But, in all reality, and once in Canada, we were beyond the point of return. At that time, Czechoslovakia was under tight Soviet grip with troops stationed all along the border with Western Europe.

Watch for excerpts from the interview in Venice, Florida as well as for behind the scenes of the “Greenwich Meridian” memoir, timeline and a list of major characters.

to be continued

Copyright (c) 2013 story and photos by Emma Palova

Interview with my parents for Greenwich Meridian

I interviewed my parents Ella and Vaclav during my writing retreat for “Greenwich Meridian.”
I’ve done a lot of interviews in my journalistic career from politicians to embezzling treasurers, and superintendents.
But, the interview with my parents for the book about our immigration saga was difficult for both sides, for them as the initiators and founders, and for me as the successor, follower and the scribe.
However, alea iacta est or the dice are rolling just like many years ago when my parents decided in Africa that they were not going to return into then Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia. Instead they fled to Saskatoon, Canada, while still having a chance to return home.
So, we talked extensively about what happed between 1964 and 1976.
I was glad they were both present because at times they had
Continue reading Interview with my parents for Greenwich Meridian

Writer’s Retreat in Venice, FL

I spent 10 days in Venice, Florida on a personalized writing retreat. My days consisted of journaling in the morning, yoga on the beach, a 2-mile long hike from Venice Beach to Casperson Beach.
I had lunch consisting of couscous, fruits and an avocado on the beach every day. In the afternoon I took a hike through the mini dunes to Sharky’s Pier and watched for dolphins. En route I chatted with a painter professional artist from New Jersey, took photos for other people and watched the


Continue reading Writer’s Retreat in Venice, FL

Glass Flowers

“Tonight on Main” is part of my living collection of short stories “Glass Flowers” (C). The stories are ┬áset mostly in the Midwest. They were inspired sometimes by my friends, my co-workers, complete strangers and my family.

The heroes are usually fragile like my hand blown glass flower that my daughter Emma Palova gave me during our tour of Czech Republic in 2006. The glass flower inspired the name of the short story anthology.Image

On the scene

On the scene

Screenwriter Emma Palova on one of the scenes from “Riddleyville Clowns” (c) set in Midwest.

As I continue to work on the immigration saga “Greenwich Meridian,” (c) I am also extracting elements from the novel into a screenplay.
I came across some interesting files from former Czechoslovakia that definitely inspire my visual side.



I really like the Hawkins Chamber of Commerce site as it helps me in my research for my novel “Greenwich Meridian” about the Konecny family immigration saga. My dad professor Vaclav Konecny taught in Hawkins at Jarvis Christian College in the early 1970s. I have great memories of Hawkins and going to the junior high school there.

EW This site is about Emma's Writings.

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