This is my third year participating in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWri Mo). I entered with the third book in the Shifting Sands Short Stories series- Steel Jewels.
I only logged in 506 words with a short story “Gates of Heaven” inspired by a visit to the former Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. Taking into consideration that it’s a Sunday and that I have a long week of writing behind me, I think that’s a good start.
On Oct. 30, 1970, we headed for Winnipeg into the province of Manitoba to pick up the U.S. visa and continued the road trip to the unknown. On the Canadian border with the U.S., I hesitated and cried that I did not want to go anywhere, because I could still return back to Czechoslovakia until Dec. 31, 1970 before the expiration of the exit visa. However, my husband talked me into it, stating that I should at least try it and that the USA has more people than Canada and that I might like it. The reality was far from it.
We crossed the border at North Dakota on Oct. 31, 1970. I remember that evening driving through towns and villages where we saw kids trick or treating. The kids were also carrying lit lanterns at the time and I felt sorry for my own children because they couldn’t go, that they didn’t have a home and that they didn’t even know what to expect at the next stop.
We drove through the deserted autumn regions of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas. When we entered Oklahoma, it was warmer, and cotton was harvested in the fields. That was already the neighboring state to Texas.
The next day we crossed the border to Texas and watched for Hawkins with the tension and suspense of a cheap action movie. We envisioned a city, but it was a village, so small that we missed it and drove right through it.
At that moment, I knew I was in trouble.
When we turned around, we noticed the sign Hawkins, population 848. At that moment, I realized this was not going to be a place for me. Even back home, I did not like villages and solitary places with only three houses.
In Europe, universities were always located in big cities. We both studied in Brno which is a major city with population of 300,000. Hawkins shocked us.
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The Lowell Ledger article ” New memoir by Emma Palova about family’s escape from communism” hit the stands today in the greater Lowell area in Michigan.
The article captures the essence of our lives on the run from former Czechoslovakia to the U.S. The publication date coincided with the Czech Independence Day. Former Czechoslovakia was born on Oct. 28 1918, 102 years ago. The country founded its existence after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the aftermath of WWI.
The book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” about our family immigration saga is slated for Nov. 12 publication on Amazon.
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Join us on ZOOM for a LIVE Author Interview with Indie Author, Emma Palova. This is your opportunity to interact IN REAL TIME with the author, just like at a book festival… but still following all the social distancing guidelines.
During the Live interview, we’ll talk about Emma’s books, you can ask all sorts of questions, we’ll let you know how you can get autographed copies… and she might have other surprises for us, too!
All of our Live Zoom Gatherings are family-friendly, so feel free to bring the kids, pets, grandparents, anyone… to the screen! And, share this post and the Zoom link with your friends, and invite them to join in the fun!
Zoom is free and you don’t need an account. But, we recommend that you log in a little early, just to be sure you’re in the “waiting room”, and ready to go when the interview begins. Our Zoom room only holds 100 connections. Be sure to log in early, so you don’t miss anything!
Bannister, MI – The following are reviews of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” by Thomas and Diane Bradley of Bannister, MI. Both are Michigan State Polka Music Hall of Fame 2012 inductees. They are one of the founders of the Czechoslovak Harvest Festival known as “Dozinky” held annually in Bannister on the first Sunday in August. The Bradleys are members of the Western Fraternal Life Association, Lodge Michigan #225.
The “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” truly brought back memories of my trip with my grandmother to Czechoslovakia in 1960 when I was 17. We stayed with friends in one of those grey apartment buildings. The deal was you couldn’t talk to people without them looking around to make sure no one was listening. I knew part of what was going on but this book really provided insight as to what was truly taking place.
Also, I knew about the Charter 77 movement and this memoir helped to provide a bigger picture as to what was taking place. This book provided a great amount of insight into how the citizens of Czechoslovakia actually lived and their struggles during that period of communism. It was truly very informative.
I’ve heard many stories from my grandparents and elders in the family who immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia. Arriving between 1900 and 1910; they were from a different time and socioeconomic background.
I so enjoyed reading Emma’s family’s journey to a new and safer life. Their memories were of a new era and different circumstances. “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” truly broadened my perspective of immigrants’ lives and challenges.
About the feature photo: This is the cover of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” designed by graphic artist Jeanne Boss of Rockford.
Autumn Virtual Book Festival
Follow author readings and interviews during the month of October.
The festival features a variety of authors with diverse genres.
Lowell, MI – Welcome “Blue Moon” October with your two full moons, pumpkins, candy, spooky characters, books, Girls Nites Out in ugly sweaters and paranormal investigations in the Fallasburg historic village.
The month started off strong with a full moon, a storm in the morning and a brainstorming session in the afternoon with Anthony Mora Communications for the PR of my upcoming book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA. As part of the project, they will also be marketing my book no. 2 that never fully reached the market because of covid-19. Thank you Anthony and Lindsey for your work on this project.
While most of the events have been cancelled, the nature hasn’t canceled her show in hues of oranges, browns and yellows. Moreover, today was the Feast of the Guardian Angels. We each have a guardian angel, and this year we need more than one. As I drove to the Vergennes Township hall to pick up my absentee ballot, I noticed a sign on Bailey: “Jesus 2020.”
Just 10 minutes before the brainstorming session, I found out from my Romanian poet/publisher friend Valeriu Dg Barbu, that my book has already been translated into Italian. Thank you Valeriu. Valeriu owns a small publishing house Editura Minela at:
Plus my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on Oct. 7. Happy anniversary Ludek.
The socially distant Lowell Harvest Celebration will take place on Main Street on Oct. 10. This year, the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce is taking over the Larkin’s Chili Cook-Off. The chamber will be selling $5 wristbands for chili tastings at different venues.
Featured photo: Hannah Rietzema at the Springrove Variety, that is now closed.
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