a healthy parfait
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The shadow of a blossoming tree
The budding tree casts it’s shadow on Broadway Street in Lowell.
I follow my own shadows
Copyright (c) 2014 story and photo by Emma Palova
Reaching beyond 100 posts
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Reigning in on an idea
Lowell, MI- As I write this I am probably on my 107th post or more between my rolling portfolio of Emma’s Blogs.
I get my ideas from nature, from other people, art and sometimes from press releases.
“Get out of the office, go and talk to people, shoot some bull,” a presenter said at a writing conference in 1998 at Central Michigan University (CMU) in Mount Pleasant. In a million years, I could not have received better advice. I live by it. I swear by it.
A story is not going to walk into your office or into your space whatever or wherever that may be. You have to seek it out. If it does walk in, excellent. But, you still have to explore it in 3D. Otherwise you have a dry piece without juice and atmosphere. In sales, it’s called “drumming up business.”
My second editor Dave Trinka of Allegan County News, awesome photographer, told me that I should just do a drive around and get some photos. Well, with the photos usually comes a story idea, and you get a bonus break from the screen, the keyboard, and the editor. Sorry, Dave, Valerie and Jeanne.
“Ask yourself questions,” the presenter encouraged in that pivotal CMU conference.
Go to your local coffee shop and listen to what people are talking about. What is the talk of the town? Is it you? Or why has that coffee shop changed hands so many times? Why is it doing so well now? Once a co-pastor of a local church owned the coffee shop under the name Kava Klatch.
What happened to the pastor who just wanted to try it out for the sake of trying, used a fancy foreign name, and three month later went out of business?
Well, he’s a successful pastor at a successful growing church. Does that warrant a story about the evolution from church to coffee shop and back to church?
Interesting, isn’t it?
My second favorite stories are enterprising stories. They’re up for grabs, they’re that low-hanging fruit.
“What would Big Rapids or Mount Pleasant be without their sacred cows? Or better, what would Rome be without the Vatican? What would WordPress be without its users?
Can anyone guess what those sacred cows are?
They’re the anchor institutions or businesses in communities. Every community around the world has them.
“Find your sacred cow. What has she been up to lately?”
No. 1 HUMAN INTEREST STORIES
Everybody loves them. They are about people for the people. The subject of these does not necessarily have to be George Clooney or Brad Pitt. That’s been done million times all over the planet. You can get that anywhere. You probably see it on my site http://emmapalova.com
It does not have to be about your local habitual offender. That’s too easy. The news organizations got that from a massive press release from the police department. You don’t even have to change anything. The police chief probably sweated long hours over it.
“The easiest beat you can get is the police,” said former editor of the Ionia Sentinel-Standard Roger Harnack.
It does not have to be about the NBA franchise owner Donald Sterling who got into trouble for his racial comments. The TV and the Internet have us covered for the next 100 years on this one.
Look deeper inside your own community. Again ask yourself questions. Follow through and study your subject of interest.
Who is the woman behind the successful events drawing people into the community? What kind of a difference has she made? What is her impact on the community? Why does she care?
“She keeps reinventing herself,” said owner of Ace Hardware Charlie Bernard about the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce director.
That warrants a story on many different levels in spite of the fact that she is on every press release and in photos sitting on Santa’s lap promoting Christmas picture taking.
Why? Because she is different. She boldly stands apart from the crowd.
What happened to the former editor who got canned from two newspapers? Well, today, as we speak, he is walking the aisle to accept his doctoral diploma in communications.
“I’ll be walking tomorrow,” he posted on LinkedIn. “I still have to make a few corrections to my dissertation.”
What is the active ingredient in the Tazo tea that makes you go to sleep? Among the proprietary blend of 13 ingredients, the Valerian Root stands out. So, you pick it and write about it.
To be continued…..
Copyright 2014 © story and photos by Emma Palova
May Day brings romance
May Day is a big day in Czech Republic. Today all the beer gardens officially open. It is also known as the day for love, as well as the entire month of
It has been the subject of many poems, books & other works of art.
The most famous anthology dedicated to love in May was written by Czech poet Karel Hynek Macha.
Copyright (c) 2014 story and photo from Bannister by Emma Palova
This sign designates the preserved farmland along the eight-mile long Parnell Corridor in northeast Kent County, Michigan. The farmland preservation was led by philanthropist Peter Wege of Grand Rapids.
Having a friend or two for lunch?
Here is a quick solution that I call the healthy carousel salad with detox elixir from beets.
Simple, quick and versatile. In the middle place white meat like tuna or chicken. Surround that with vegetable greens, reds like Swiss chard, olives, tomatoes, purple onions and cheeses.
Be colorful and creative as you wish. Fits any taste. I use balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
The detox elixir is made from beets, greens, carrot juice, green tea and citrus fruit.
Copyright (c) 2014 story and photo by Emma Palova
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My journey to 100 posts
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
On Earth Day April 22nd I reached 100th post on the WordPress publishing platform. I didn’t even know about it until the notification that congratulated me. I kind of felt like “When we put the man on the moon.”
How did I get there?
Based on advice from book agents, I set out to have a definite online presence before the publishing of my memoir “Greenwich Meridian where east meets West.”
At first I wanted to have a website done. A computer dude told me that he does not do websites, but recommended a service that does.
But, in the meantime while doing research for the memoir, I came across a WordPress like box for the Hawkins Chamber of Commerce in Texas.
In order to like and comment, I had to have a blog of my own. At first I was frustrated, but today I am thankful.
I went into blogging with an open mind, with one class of programming, some design experience from InDesign and Quark Express and 20 years of journalistic print experience.
My first blog post published on January 15th of last year was “Emma Palova biography.”
Just like with anything new there was a steep learning curve in the beginning accompanied by comments:
“Why are you doing this? Let somebody else do it,” said my husband Ludek as he watched me struggle with a post on a Friday afternoon. I wanted to make sure that the posts came out fresh for the weekend for the people to read when they have time.
I am a Taurus, a zodiac sign known for its persistence, determination and sometimes stubbornness.
“I don’t give up easily,” I replied. “Otherwise we would not be here.”
I was referring to our immigration to the USA in 1989 from former Czechoslovakia. I anchored the blog main posts on a mix of stories from the Czech immigration saga and big local stories like Lowell Expo 2014.
Two events further encouraged blogging. First, Writer’s Digest suggested blogging for others to make some revenue. Second, my freelance article on Frozen Creek Floral & Farms was rejected by several publications, while the editors suggested writing for their blogs. Well, I already had my blog EW Emma’s Writings, why would I want to waste my time on courting mainly print publications?
So, with Frozen Creek Floral entrepreneurial couple, I branched into the other favorite part of the blog: About local entrepreneurs & artists. This page profiles artists, business people, community members and interesting residents. I received probably the most followers from this section on Entrepreneur Extraordinaire in one day, followed by Of style & substance.
If you want to get profiled go to http://emmapalova.com
The content has never been a problem for me. I have a million ideas a day. So, if I can get at least two a day formulated and formatted on the web, I win.
But, I share the problem of most writers and artists; I cannot immediately sit down and write what I was thinking about a minute ago. I loiter around, make more coffee, tea, or even worse I eat. In the best case scenario I head out into the terrain to get some photos. I love photography because it feeds into writing and gives me ideas.
Like Hemingway, I am a morning writer. Whatever I don’t get down on the screen in the morning or early afternoon, it just does not make it anywhere. At least not that day.
As the day gets old, so do my ideas and they change into something else into different energy.
To prevent this procrastination, I started a daily writing journal on Norcom composition books. They’re wide ruled and look like a book. In the movie and scriptwriting industry, these are called dailies or in French Le Quotidien.
On each new page, I make a plan for the day. A typical entry tracks on the left side what I need to write that day, ideas and design tasks. I also put the temperature and a sun or a cloud weather symbol on the left side, and my blood pressure readings ha ha ha.
On the right side: I first make a note if I did yoga, meditated and sometimes what I had for breakfast. I make a list of who I need to contact that day with their numbers and what I need to do other than write: meetings, webinars, lunches and such.
Next day, I go back to that page and see what I got done. The composition books have become a great reference for me, and they sit well on the bookshelf. I have accumulated several editions of these dailies. If I run out of ideas, I just turn back to these for reinvention.
To be continued
Copyright © 2014 story and photos by Emma Palova