Tag Archives: anniversary

Five years on WordPress

What I have learned while blogging on the WordPress platform

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – It’s hard to believe that yesterday marked five years since my registration on WordPress. My first post “About” followed on Jan. 15, 2013.

Some people asked me at my author’s book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories, why do you need a blog, if you have a Facebook page. There are at least a million reasons to blog; for me the most important one was to support my fiction career.

anniversary-2x
Five years on WordPress.

I had a successful journalistic print career for two decades, and I wanted to build on that following with a virtual audience.  When I embarked on penning our immigration saga from communist Czechoslovakia titled “Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West” agent Barbara Lowenstein of Lowestein Associates Inc. suggested I need a blog/website.

I didn’t have a Facebook page, so I startedmy blog on WordPress with 0 followers that grew to two brave pioneers, Lowell artist Kathleen Mooney and Vergennes Broadband owner Ryan Peel. My Twitter account was  insignificant.

Over the years, I built the blog out just like you would build a fortress, stone by stone, wall by wall; that is post by post, page by page.

I’ve compiled  the following Q&A based on what people asked me in person and on the Internet. These include my insights gained over the last five years, including the publishing of my new book in the summer of 2017 on kdp publishing platform.

Q & A:

Q:How often do you post?

A: Twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays before the weekend.

Q: What do you write about on a weekly basis that grows your following?

A: You have to be able to offer a value to your readers based on the subject matter of your blog. Be relevant.

For example: if you have a food blog (and I do), give out recipes.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Everyday life and writing. As an author and a writer, I write every day. Even if it’s not writing behind the computer screen, I write in my wide ruled spiral notebook.  I jot down notes of everyday observations. I always keep these handy for future reference.

Q: What kind of insights have you gained during your blogging & author careers?

A: This is where I have to distinguish between blogging and being an author of fiction.

Even though one feeds into the other, that is blogging feeds into my fiction writing and vice versa, there is a difference.

Blogging: Numbers matter, that’s why you have to work the social media relentlessly. Connect your social media platforms to your blog. Post on a regular basis. Build a faithful following.

Fiction writing:  Write every day solid blocks of coherent text. Seek feedback, reviews and build a network of contacts. Make public appearances so people know about you.

In both cases, nurture the contacts in your network with a monthly newsletter. Enahnce writing with videos and book trailers.

In the sea of daily published new books in different formats, you cannot expect the reader to find you. You have to find the right reader to match what you have written.

Q: Where and when does it all come together?

A: It all comes together once you’re published on publishing and readers’ platforms.

Publishing platforms:

Kdp publishing on Amazon. Update your author centrale page.

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

 

Readers’ platforms

Goodreads authors

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16875736.Emma_Palova

Summary: In both blogging and as an author encourage engagement with reviews, questions and feedback.

As such, I will be actively answering your questions until my departure for writer’s retreat in Florida on Feb. 8 on all platforms. Use slug: Emma answers.

Tips: You Study  the forums and help materials on WordPress.

You not only study the materials, but you implement everything that you have learned. Don’t forget to visit other blogs.on the Dai ly Post round-up. They are a constant source of inspiration.

To get discovered and for further insights: Participate in the Daily Post prompts

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/

Happy blogging and writing.

Thank you WordPress for providing this free platform to all writers, authors and dreamers around the globe.

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

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25 Years in the USA

25th Anniversary of arrival in USA, part 1

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Home in Lowell, USA
25th anniversary of arrival to USA

Lowell, MI- We arrived at the frozen JFK airport on Dec.22, 1989. I had a 20-hour trip behind me and a lifetime of memories. I was traveling with my two-and-a-half year son Jake and my daughter Emma, 10.

Long before Delta sky team, we took the Czechoslovak Airlines (CSA) from Czech capital Prague to Montreal and on to NYC.

My parents Ella & Vaclav Konecny were waiting for us with a gray station wagon. I still have the jean jacket United Colors of Beneton Tipe de Nimes that I arrived in for memorabilia purposes. And I was freezing in it. The first night we stayed in NYC at my parents’ friends, Mr. & Mrs. Herman from Vizovice.

City hall Zlin.
Our hometown Zlin in Czech Republic.

A long way home to Big Rapids, MI awaited us. I had no idea how huge the USA is. Czech Republic is maybe the size of Connecticut. The car was like an ice cave. You couldn’t see outside unless you scraped the windows from inside and outside.

First Jake wanted to sit on my lap, but he had to be glued to his place by a seat belt.

After a long haul and once we could see through the windows, Jake discovered water towers along the Ohio Turnpike.

“I want to go and sit on it,” he kept repeating. “I want to sit on that ball.”

“Alright I will stop and you can climb on the ball,” my dad said angrily. And slowed down.

We arrived exhausted in Big Rapids, Michigan on Christmas Eve at night. We had to pick up my brother Vas at his mobile home in Rogers Heights. I haven’t seen him since 1976, when he left Czechoslovakia with mom Ella to join dad. Since then, after the Velvet Revolution and breaking away of Slovakia in 1993, the country changed names to Czech Republic.

USA moments
25th anniversary of arrival to the USA

I was surprised at the huge reflector lamp on Vas’ home that almost blinded us given all the snow.

Mom had the Christmas Eve dinner ready in the fridge. In Czech Republic, Christmas Eve is the main holiday. It is also known as the Feast of Adam and Eve. That is when people open their presents, eat fried carp or other fish, mushroom soup and potato salad. On that evening the good ones, who had fasted, may see the golden pig on the wall, according to a legend.

Celebrating 25th anniversary in the USA
Our Christmas tree 25 years later in Lowell.

I still remember the feeling of that night. I was confused and uncertain about what I was getting myself into. Big Rapids is a small university town compared to where we lived in Czechoslovakia in a 30,000- people apartment complex known as the Southern Slopes. These enormous apartment complexes, spread around the country,are one of the few successes and remnants of socialism.

The fear of the unknown and a new reality kicked in suddenly. I was in a foreign country, even though I spoke English and had relatives by my side. What will the future bring?

My husband Ludek was in Canada because that’s how the visa process worked out. My parents sponsored me to the USA, while Ludek got immigration visa to Quebec.

I am an engineer by trade with a bachelor’s degree from Technical University of Brno.

Since my parents were both working at the Ferris State University, I took classes there in Computer Aided Design (CAD).

I hated engineering. It was the only university I could get into considering my American past. We had already lived in the USA in the 1970s in Texas, when we left communist Czechoslovakia illegally. And we were punished for that in many ways.

To be continued…….

For more stories go to http://etravelandfood.wordpress.com

Lowell Area Chamber of commerce at http://www.lowellchamber.org

Copyright © 2014 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Desert ephiphany

Going back to a distant childhood memory

As I approach my one year anniversary with Word Press on Jan. 15th I have to share this inspirational message or a writing prompt that goes so well with my memoir “Greenwich Meridian.”

My Rumanian friend and colleague on Word Press poet Valeriu Dg Barbu liked this timeline photo on my facebook in the same fashion I liked his childhood photo and poem Thief. Now, I understand why.

I was in this high plateau desert with Saguaro forest near Tucson AZ in 1972 with my parents and then in 2011 with my daughter Emma only to find out that nothing has changed.

“Do you remember this?”Emma asked.

Emma Palova 2011 in Saguaro National Park
Emma Palova 2011 in Saguaro National Park

And there were the same cacti as when I was in my beloved Saguaro desert  as a child since they live up to 100 to 200 years. There was even the same old visitor’s building even though it was closed and a new center had opened nearby.

It was a very humbling experience and I had to ask myself a question.

“Have  I changed?”

Sure, physically I have. I am older and I don’t have the romantic long hair so admired by both men and women.

I still get the same old question whenever I come back to Czech Republic for a visit.

“Why did you cut your hair?” neighbor Milena and a friend both asked me at first sight.

But, I am still the same ambitious and hard- driving creature never afraid to tackle new things, look to the sky and reach for the stars. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be in the USA. I would probably still be whining back in Czech, swearing at the regime and complaining about my vice-president job for an engineering firm located at Zarami, Zlin.

I am very happy here in the US  as a successful author, journalist & photographer. I am thankful to my entrepreneurial surroundings and friends including Word Press, facebook & Google+

Saguaro forest immortalized by Vaclav Konecny
Saguaro forest immortalized by Vaclav Konecny

 

Also inspired by the Sonoran desert, my dad former Ferris State University professor Vaclav Konecny immortalized the majestic saguaro in his oil on black velvet painting “Saguaro cacti at night” in the 70s. He did it again as a present for me in the 1990s with the same impeccable quality of a mathematician.

So styles and personalities basically don’t change.

I think everyone should ask themselves that same question: Have I changed since a certain humbling moment in my life?

Watch for my Silver Sunday post coming soon.

Copyright © 2013 story and photo by Emma Palova