I decided to organize myself on this lovely Sunday.
We spent a great day on the beach yesterday in Pentwater. I was delighted to see a gentleman reading on his Kindle just eight feet away from us, while I was making notes in my $1 notepad from the Dollar store.
Pointing at my blue hardcover notebook and in the gentleman’s direction, I said to my husband: “It’s a long road from the writing in this notebook to that kindle on the beach, but it can be done.”
Check your inboxes for my brand new author’s enewsletter hot off the presses with a sample chapter from the upcoming “Greenwich Meridian Memoir. “
Hooked on wild caught fish from the Straits of Mackinac at the local farmer’s markets
By Emma Palova
Ada, MI- It all started with a conversation, a few coolers and a canopy. And a brand-new enterprise was born 10 years ago.
But it took six generations of commercial fishermen, a passion for the great outdoors “Grizzly Adams” style and healthy eating to make the old trade work in new times.
Dan Sodini of DMS is the fishmonger, while his brother-in-law Jamie Massey is the fisherman of the Great Lakes based in St. Ignace.
“An opportunity to begin a small family business of taking wild caught fish from the U.P. to Farmer’s Markets around the state of Michigan came 10 years ago,” said Sodini. “We are celebrating our 10th year anniversary.”
The first market was in Midland, home to the DMS fish crew.
“We could drive to the U.P., stay with the family and get up and go to the market on Saturday morning,” Sodini said.
Rarely, do you see fish peddled at the local Farmer’s Markets. It’s mostly local home-grown produce spruced up sometimes with cheeses, breads and preserves.
“Some people were delighted and bought fish,” said Sodini. “Others took a little time.”
But after Sodini explained where, when and how the fish was caught, it all became easier.
“Once people tried it, they became customers and they’re still buying fish today,” he said.
Speaking about being hooked on genuine wild-caught fish taste.
I discovered the U.P. fish booth three years ago based on a word-of-mouth tip from a friend who lives in Ada.
“You know, there’s this fishmonger at the Ada Market and the fish is excellent,” she said. “Try it.”
Being a fish lover ever since I can remember buying trout at the “Rybena” deli in former Czechoslovakia, I didn’t need to be persuaded.
What first struck me unlike buying fresh fish at the stores, was that there was no fish smell around the booth. Everything was immaculately clean, and then Dan’s impeccable knowledge about the fish, surpassed the fish markets of Marseille.
The first time I bought all three “catch of the day”- fresh walleye, whitefish and trout, smoked whitefish and whitefish dip. It was an unsurpassed feast.
This is my favorite recipe: whitefish or trout baked with pesto and lemon. Bake for 20 minute at 350 F or on the grill.
In the beginning, DMS offered only fresh fillets which included: whitefish, walleye, lake trout, king salmon, yellow perch and smelt.
Over the 10 years, DMS has expanded both the fish selection and the farmer’s market locations.
“Once we realized that we could make a go of it, we expanded into other markets,” Sodini said.
DMS added smoked whitefish, lake trout, salmon and Laker bites, which are skinless, boneless bite size pieces of small lake trout.
“We have added our very popular smoked fish pate made with the fisherman’s recipe,” he said.
The pates include: smoked whitefish, salmon and lake trout. Brand new this year are the Laker patties, a fish burger or fish cake made with fresh lake trout, that can be grilled or sautéed in a skillet.
From August through mid- October, DMS has annual wild king salmon sales of the whole fish which averages 10 to 12 pounds. This yields approximately half to ¾ of the fish.
“With COVID we have experienced both a decrease and an increase in sales,” said Sodini.
The decrease mainly because of people not wanting to come out and take safety precautions while the increase is in direct access to wild caught fish vs. the limited high-priced beef and other meat products.
“From the beginning people chose fish for high quality protein,” Sodini said.
Backed by 150 years of Massey commercial fishing on the Great Lakes, Sodini, a former treatment specialist, found himself in the fish business. During his unemployment, the family had this important conversation about starting a fish distribution business.
“We are honored and proud to be a part of the family legacy,” he said. “We appreciate and are thankful for all of our customers from all over the state of Michigan, who are our friends and have supported us for 10 years.”
“I love what I do! Having the opportunity to offer wild caught fresh and smoked Great Lakes fish at local Farmers Markets is a privilege and a lot of work,” Mega said. But what I enjoy most is meeting each new customer and the friends that we have made over the 10 years we have been going to markets.”
On a Saturday market, DMS sells an average of 150 to 200 pounds of fish.
“The kids grew up on farmer’s markets,” he said. “They get paid and they love it.”
Today, the DMS crew does 12 markets a week:
Ada market on Tuesdays
Brighton on Saturday
East Lansing on Sunday
Flint on Saturdays
Frankenmuth on Wednesday
Holland on Wed.& Sat.
Meridian on Saturdays
Midland on Wed. & Sat.
Mt. Clemens on Sat.
Mt. Pleasant on Thursday
Northville on Thursday
The selling season is from May to October. From November through April, DMS does winter fish drops at the farmer’s markets locations.
“People can order frozen fish products biweekly or monthly,” Sodini said. “We deliver to each of the farmer’s markets location. The fisherman vacuum packs, blast freezes all of our fish fillets.”
You can find individual farmer’s locations at the DMS Facebook page at:
Shifting Sands: Secrets My new book “Secrets” in the Shifting Sands Short Stories series is ready for July 1 release. You can now preorder on Amazon. Just enter Emma Palova historical fiction. Below in the book section are listed links to book 1 and book 2 on Amazon. The core of the book is the long short story “Silk Nora” that takes place at the turn-of-the-century Belding. You will be swept away by the historical setting of the “Silk City Girls” dormitory known as Belrockton. The major characters are Nora, her friend Mathilda and the matron of Belrockton- Doris from Sussex in England. Other characters include newspaper man Harry and band player John. The cover “Face of Gossip” and the main story “Silk Nora” were inspired by my multiple visits to the Belrockton Museum over the last two decades. A story from the hosiery mills was picked up by the Associated Press and major newspapers in Michigan ran it. I will be with the new book at the Muskegon Art Festival on July 5th and July 6th inside the author’s tent on Clay & 2nd Streets. I will be at “Books Alive” in Ludington on July 19th, followed by a series of book signing events at LowellArts with exact date TBA. Fall events will include the Belding Labor Day twilight parade on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 9 pm. My major event will take place at the historic Belrockton in Belding on October 6th in the afternoon. The museum is open from 1 to 4 pm on the first Sunday of each month. For up to date news follow me on EW Emma’s Writings on http://emmapalova.com SecretsThe new book is a collection of 15 short stories. Thematically, the stories range from the action-packed 40 Hunks where driver Jose transports 40 Mexican men to labor in Michigan orchards to the core of the book which is historical fiction “Silk Nora”.
Excerpts from “Silk Nora”Signs of progress were touchable everywhere from the interior six bathrooms at the Bel to a space designated for women in the saloons of the bustling city. At the time, the city of Belding had four hotels. Known as the “Silk City Girls” the young women spent much of their time weaving silk on spools. Silk at the time was on high demand as the major feminine fabric due to the existing shortage of woolens and cottons. Nora and Mathilda worked together long hours at the silk mill earnings 47 cents an hour. The Belding Banner called the girls “Sweethearts in Silk” blasting propaganda about their happiness with headlines such as “The Silks with Happiness Woven into Them.” The girls sat at their stations on the floor of the factory in orderly rows. The downstairs of the Richardson Mill was used for making stockings. Sentiment played a part in the founding of the silk industry in Belding by the Belding brothers. After prospering in silk manufacturing in New England, they built a plant in Belding, where they had made their start as door-to-door textile salesmen. Mathilda traveled home to Alpena twice a year for the holidays, while Nora stayed year- round at the Bel. She had a beautiful view of the Flat River and the boardwalk from her room. Nora was an avid reader and she frequented the dormitory library. Nora easily made friends with other girls, both at work and at the dorms. She cut her hair short, a sign of times. Matron Doris Applebaum managed the Belrockton dormitory and the girls who lived in it. She came from England to take the job at the “Bel” when it opened in 1906. Doris kept her English accent and manners. “Girls, I will make you into ladies,” she said at the dinner table. “You already have the right foundation otherwise you wouldn’t be here in the first place. You’re a diamond in the rough. I will make you shine.” The silk girls respected this English lady from the county of Sussex on the English Channel seaside. Doris was single and constantly happy. She competed for the Belrockton job with other ladies from around the world and won. She took a special liking of well-mannered Nora. “We’re going to be friends,” Doris said resolutely to Nora at their second meeting, since Nora arrived in Belding. “We have a lot in common. You come from New England, I come from the real England. But you have better food here.”You can pre-order the new book at: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Shifting-Sands-Emma-Palova-ebook/dp/B07SH9YGQH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Secrets%3AShifting+Sands&qid=1559745646&s=digital-text&sr=1-1
Book 1 in Shifting Sands Short Stories series, 2017
Upcoming author’s eventsInterview with author Donald Levin on https://donaldlevin.wordpress.com/ on June 20 Muskegon Art Fair …..July 5th and July 6th Ludington ……………..July 19 LowellArts……………….TBA Radio shows TBABelding Twilight Parade…. Sept. 1 Belrockton, Beding………….Oct. 6 Girls Nite Out…………………..Oct. 17 Christmas through Lowell…..Nov. 15, 16, 17
The new book “Shifting Sands: Secrets” is a collection of 15 short stories: “Silk Nora” and “Booksafe Code” are historical fiction stories. 40 Hunks is a fast-paced action story, where bus driver Jose transports 40 Mexican men to labor in Michigan apple orchards.
Stories “Six Palms by the Tiki” and “Devil’s Elixir” explore the themes of aging and disease. “When Layla met Corey” and “Oceans Away” reflect longing for love inspite of distance.
The characters in stories “Chief,” “White Nights” and “Secrets in Ink” sell their souls to the devil.
In “Waiting for Snow”, Colin aka “The Trainman” and store owner Hayden explore dimensions of time, while waiting for snow in Paris.
In “Being Faustina” and “The Writer, the Nun & the Gardener,” the characters deal with different forms of death, including suicide.
In stories “Raspberry Rage” and “Cupcake Wine,” the characters struggle with addiction.
“Secrets” will be ready for the market in May.
Excerpt from 40 Hunks
It was the letter from the US Department of Agriculture giving him permission to cross the border to the US with the 40 men sleeping behind his back. Before they boarded the bus, Jose had to make sure they were the right men. Most of them didn’t have any IDs, so he trusted them and tried to match up the names with the list from the government.
list wasn’t exact, but Jose knew once they entered the US territory, they would
be assigned a permanent work guide. From there on, it was none of his business
what would happen with these men. The guides were correction officers borrowed
from the regional correctional facilities in the US.
border patrol in Nogales searched the smelly bus and studied Jose’s driver’s
license and the piece of paper.
do you know who’s who?” barked a sweating guard with an AK47 across his
shoulder, at Jose.
I know that I have 40 men,” said Jose also sweating.
guard boarded the bus and walked in the aisle examining each face, holding the
piece of governmental paper in his hand.
He stopped and looked closely at one man. The men were wide awake now.
He leaned over the hulky man taking in his odor.
are you?” he asked with his face distorted in an evil grimace.
walked up to the two men in the back of the bus.
amigo,” he said to the guard. “They don’t speak English.”
guard shoved the piece of paper with the list of names in front of the hulky
man ignoring Jose.
This is the timeline for the “Secrets” 2017-2019:
Prior to the November #NaNoWriMo 50K word challenge, I wrote the first two stories: ” Chief” (2017) and “White Nights.” (2018)
I penned the core of the book during the #NaNoWriMo novel writing month in November 2018 with word count of 56,433. That is nine stories.
After the November 50K writing challenge, I wrote four stories: “Devil’s Elixir,” “When Layla met Corey, “”Waiting for Snow” and “Six Palms by the Tiki”. I finalized the manuscript during #Camp NaNo in April.
I would not be able to do any of this without the support of the National Novel Writing Month projects of daily writing. Thank you.
Book signings and appearances
I am planning book signings and author appearances.
I will be at Lowell Arts in June/Aug. during the Livin Easy exhibit.
Muskegon Art Fair on July 5 & 6th
Ludington Books Alive on July 19
Belrockton in the fall -October
Girls Night Out -October
I am also looking for book reviewers. Please email Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org for ARCs.
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
This is one of my most popular posts; back by demand
Happy May Day
May 1st traditions in Czech Republic & around the world
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI – Every year, I observe May 1st as May Day in the renaissance Czech tradition with warm memories of the socialist past. If I close my eyes, I can still see the parades, the tribunes and the socialist propaganda with the slogans and the banners on the backdrop of the blossoming lilacs. The socialist patriotic anthems were blasting from the loudspeakers including the Soviet anthem “Coyuz Nerusimij.”
Today, Czech Republic still celebrates May 1, as an official holiday with a day off to commemorate the union manifestations in Chicago in 1884. Only this time around, without the parades or the slogans.
But most of all, May Day, was a great day off known for its official opening of the beer gardens, and the infamous “march of the thieves.”
The organized labor from the factories marched in the parades, while some individuals used the opportunity to steal from the gated factories because of less supervision. Therein the name “march of the thieves.”
First and foremost, May is the month of love, not just labor.
And I write about all this in the memoir “Greenwich Meridian” with a light heart and a smile on my face with a touch of nostalgia.
I admire the old Czech country for being able to keep both the old socialist holidays, take on new ones, and tamper with the most important holiday of all that is the liberation of the country from the Nazi occupation in 1945.
New politicians with new agendas changed the date of the liberation of former Czechoslovakia from May 9th to May 8th based on the controversy who really liberated the country, whether it was the Soviets or the Americans. The question at hand; who was the first and where?
Having lived in many countries around the world, our family always honored the holidays of that particular country, otherwise we would have time off all the time.
Looking at my calendar last week for a summary, I found amusing that Canada also has Easter Monday off as an official holiday, just like Czech Republic.
However, any holiday can take root in any country as I have witnessed in my hometown of Vizovice.
I remember our neighbor bus driver Mr. Hlavenka in Vizovice, used to celebrate Fourth of July by taking the day off in the old socialist era.
I’ve always wondered, how did he know about Independence Day with all the propaganda against American capitalism.
But, May 1st has deep agricultural connotations as well. People gather wildflowers and crown a May king and queen, weave floral garlands, and set up a maypole.
They also have bonfires to encourage the fertility of the land and animals in the coming year.
It is fascinating how different traditions and believes take roots in different countries, and how they continue to evolve.
Watch for more upcoming May posts.
Copyright (c) 2013-2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
First contact via EW Emma’s Writings blog, social media, Authors Central on Amazon, author’s page on Goodreads, personal book signings at local venues and writers’ conferences like the upcoming Calvin College Conference in Grand Rapids.
You will also enjoy the marvelous Grand Valley Artists Show-In View.
Fallasburg, MI – Come out for an action-packed weekend to the Fallasburg pioneer village on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Once you enter the Fallasburg Park via the Fallasburg Park Rd., hang a right at the Covered Bridge road, continue until you see the Covered Bridge.
Cross the romantic Covered Bridge under the speed limit of 5 mph, so you don’t get a ticket, and you will find yourself in the tiny 1850s pioneer village of Fallasburg founded by John W. Fallass.
Decked out in its autumn glory with reds, yellows, oranges and greens, the village greets its visitors with a Flavorful combination of the old and the new. There’s nothing pretense about the atmosphere or the ambiance in the village that nestles on the banks of the Flat River.
As often depicted in my short stories, where I combine the old with the new, the result is pure magic. You close your eyes and you can see the settlers hurrying around this once busy settlement with stagecoaches from Ionia crossing the Covered Bridge.
However, the railroad going through Lowell, diverted further development of the village for at least a century. That is until 1965, when the Fallasburg Historical Society, (FHS) came into existence for the purpose of preserving this treasure.
Another push forward came with the Internet at the turn of the millennium. The village is now accessible to all visitors from around the world on the social media, on our website, blog and future app.
If you subscribe to our E-newsletter, you will always be in the loop.
You can join us for our Christmas party with our live video.
There is a unique camaraderie among the villagers, who mostly know each other, and many of them went to the one-room schoolhouse at the bottom of the hill.
This camaraderie has carried onto the friendly vendors of the annual village bazaar, that will open its doors Saturday morning.
So, come on in for a sampling of what we have to offer. It’s everything from refurbished furniture to clever rock art, and much more.
The folks at the Whites Bridge booth are more than friendly. They have many reasons to be. Recently, they had been approved for a major grant to rebuild the neighboring Whites Bridge Covered Bridge.
We all have great stories to share.
Stop by at the one-room schoolhouse to chat with local author Emma Palova about the magic realism, she creates in her stories on both days from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Try to bring your own book from Schuler Books or from Amazon. There will only be limited copies of Shifting Sands Short Stories on hand.
It’s no ordinary Friday, as the late July sun shines on my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories. The paperback came out at the beginning of July.
Writing, collecting and publishing the stories that I have gathered for over more that two decades wasn’t a walk through the strawberry fields by any means.
On the contrary, the stories and their characters are not Shallow.
Check out one of the major characters, professor Martin Duggan who struggles with his own perfection.
Excerpt from the Temptation of Martin Duggan short story:
“He walked to his gray Chevrolet, the only brand he trusted over the years. Just like everything else Martin had ever owned, it was perfectly clean. He didn’t forget to grab a bottle of cold diet Coke from the machine.
Driving through Rocky Rapids was a balsam on his nerves. The town was neat and clean too with a few banks, a video store, a car dealership and a long gone Spartan grocery store.
Rose used to shop there, when they still loaded groceries into cars back in the 1980s. As a remnant of the past, there was a Bear furniture store, a drive up restaurant and a Dairy Queen by the city park and creek.
It could have been a perfect day, in a perfect life in a perfect town of one perfect professor and a perfect couple.”
At one of my newspaper jobs, the publisher called me shallow for not following up on a major story about a Belding boy who delivered his sister in the bathroom of the family home. After being syndicated by the Associated Press, the story made it to the Dave Letterman Show.
Dave held up the front page of the Ionia Sentinel-Standard with the story.
However, I did not know about that, another paper reported on that.
“You are shallow and selfish,” said the publisher.
I remembered that. I will always remember that.
Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved