Tag Archives: Emma Palova

Storyteller 2017, the third circle with book excerpts

Storyteller 2017 -part VI

 I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes.

Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon.

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Storyteller 2017 Emma

This is the sixth part of the Storyteller 2017 series following the introduction on June 20, the Beginnings on June 21, the Impermanence of characters in the Shifting Sands Short Stories on June 22, fueling the passion of the Storyteller on June 23, and Storyteller-the passion on June 26.

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 The first circle of stories draws on the early years of immigration and includes: Danillo, Honey Azrael and the Temptation of Martin Duggan.

The second circle of stories from retail experience includes: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.

The third circle of stories is from the media business;  papers, newspapers, newsletters and magazines where ink used to be bought by the barrell. Since printing is also becoming a lost art, I decided to collect these short stories and publish them, all the while remembering the words of a city official:

“If it isn’t written, it hasn’t happened.”

As I wrote this I realized this was a great fit for the June 22 Daily Post prompt: paper.

Paper

 
These stories include: In the Shadows, Iron Horse, Foxy, Riddleyville Clowns and Chatamal.

My writing passion is coupled by my love of history.

 I started writing for Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 with my own column, “Commentary Place.” That was also the only time I wrote in Czech language. It was a biweekly column about the issues pertaining to the Czech community living in the USA. I wrote essays as well.

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My first official newspaper job was with the Kaechele Publications in 1997. I commuted 145 miles round trip to Plainwell. The editor Dave Trinka, who interviewed me, loved the fact that I had included the newspaper clips in Czech. Go figure.

I loved the hometown Union Enterprise newspaper based in Plainwell. Due to the distance of the commute, I found closer newspaper jobs, the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, Lowell Ledger, Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Grand Rapids Press.

Here is an excerpt from the “Iron Horse.”

 “Everybody in the room was wearing yellow. The tablecloths on round tables were yellow. I bit my lips hard, so that a streak of blood appeared on them. I was hoping the blood wouldn’t drop on the blouse.

I closed my eyes and I could see the old township hall at the Shimmicon Corners.

“So, is this all you expected,” an angry farmer barked into my face.

His face was swollen and his Adam’s apple was rolling in his throat. He was wearing Carhart overalls smeared with manure. His hands were big with strong fingers.

I backed away. He smelled of hay and manure. A terrifying stench spread in the meeting room of the Shimmicon Township.

I looked around me. The township hall was packed. The latecomers were peaking in from the windows. Two policemen were standing by the door, their hands on their pistols and truncheons. I could hardly breathe because the air was so heavy with sweat. Somebody spat on the floor in front of me. There was straw on the floor.

The farmers were thumping their feet against the plank floor and shaking their fists. I sank into a chair in the first row right across from the supervisor’s seat. Everyone else was seated except for him. As minutes ticked by, the farmers got angrier. Finally, supervisor Ned walked in looking at the mob. His big eyes were protruding from its sockets. Ned was a medium built man with thick hair. He pounded the mallet to bring order to the room.

“Silence,” he yelled. “I said quiet.”

The angry farmers were shaking their heads, gesturing and talking. Pig farmer Frank was standing in the corner. Tall Frank with black mustache and hair was leaning against the wall wearing his rubber boots. He came directly from the pig pens. His hands were stuck in his pockets.

Supervisor Ned pounded the mallet again.

“I will use the police, if you do not shut up.”

This post is also about how to create in writing.

@create

Create

 

 

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Why writing is so important?

Writing opens a new  window into the world.

Writing as a form of therapy. Writing is  healing. Once you write on a regular basis, it becomes a part of you and who you are.

You discover and rediscover yourself and your surroundings. You see people that you have known for years through different eyes.

You gain new insight, as you better connect with the world.

The advantage of every day writing is that you get to compare your underlying emotions from one day to the next. You get to monitor them, as they change with every minute.

Writing opens a new window into the world. Yours and mine.

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I firmly believe that if there were more writer’s in the world, there would be less violence.

Follow me on my publishing journey of Shifting Sands Short Stories. The ebook will be released on June 30.

http://wp.me/p5sfOf-3cc

Copyright  (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Earth Day 2017

Celebrate Earth Day

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – As the nature awakens, we celebrate Earth Day today. The first widely recognized Earth Day was held in 1970 when an environmental Teach-In group planned an event for April 22.

But every day is an Earth Day celebration to recognize the greatest resource of all, and that is our planet Earth.

To celebrate the Earth Week, I started my annual walk to the Franciscan Life Process Center (FLPC) on Monday. The 1.8 mile hike on a gravel road has been a staple of my mental and physical sanity since 1995 when we moved out into this northeast corner of Kent County in West Michigan.

I marveled at the untouched nature coming to life; plants vigorously emerging from the wet dirt from yesterday’s rains, robins hopping under the pine trees among the new ground cover.

Crisp morning air and dew covered the new grass and stems.

The area consists of preserved farmland thanks to late philanthropist Peter Wege, apple orchards, woods and streams. Wild flowers are now popping out in the woods, and morel mushrooms are around the corner, or should I say around the stumps.

I love the farm markets with the local produce starting soon with local asparagus.

Different trail systems like the Fred Meijer River Valley trails and Lowell Area trials meet here at the confluence of Grand River and Flat River. We’ve been blessed with an abundance of natural resources from the Bradford Dickinson White Nature Preserve in Lowell Township, Wege Wittenbach AgriScience center, Sessions Lake and Fallasburg Park. Hundreds of inland lakes dot the picturesque region.

The Midwest entices with its variety of seasons, landscapes, Great Lakes and diverse communities.

For more info on the trails go to:

www.traillink.com

Land Conservancy of West Michigan

www.naturenearby.org

Wittenbach/Wege Center

http://www.lowellschools.com

Franciscan Life Process Center

http://www.lifeprocesscenter.org

 

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Oscars showdown 2017

And the real winner is the movie ‘ Moonlight’

An EW “moonlight” special

By Emma Palova

In an awesome Hollywood showdown in the style of  Miss Universe, we found out that  the real winner was the picture “Moonlight” not the wrongfully announced  La La Land.

Presenter Warren Beatty said he wasn’t joking.

In a bizarre altogether Oscar Night, the end was more stunning than the styles of the dresses, predictions or the creators.

As the saying goes, life itself is a story.

Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel
Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel

Thank you Hollywood and Jimmy Kimmel for a night to remember.

The fairy tale night had a happy ending for all the previous complainers, and for some strangers on a Hollywood tour just passing through the Oscar night ceremony, and bumping into amused stars. Some of them appeared to be scared for life.

Jennifer Aniston involuntarily gave up her cool shades for a tourist lady.

Wow, how dare you Jimmy, take my shades.

Denzel Washington gave his blessings to a pair to be wed in July.

And of course the wrong announcement of the Best Picture 2017. Well, it all worked out to the immense happiness of the stage called the “world.”

Thank you all for so much fun.

Love always,

Emma

Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rrights reserved.

Happy Valentine’s Day

May all your sweet dreams come true today and every day, because every new day is a celebration in our lives.

Sladkosti k svatemu Valentynovi a ke vsem svatkum. Desserts for your sweetheart for Saint Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Also in response to the Daily Post prompt:

Check out the recipe for the lush Saint Isidore dessert with rum and walnuts at

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lush/”>Lush</a&gt;

Top recepty

https://www.toprecepty.cz/recept/15070-rezy-izidor/

Source: Svatek Svateho Valentyna

Be kind, love like a kid

Be kind in an unkind world

“Change is in the air, as old patterns fall away and new energies are emerging. Consciously release what needs to be released, and welcome with a full embrace the newness you’ve prayed for and so richly deserve.”

Marianne Williamson

 

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- I’ve never seen a more varied reaction to the happenings in Washington D.C. than this week following the presidential inauguration of Mr. Donald Trump on Jan. 20.

Any psychology student would have had a great doctoral thesis if he or she had analyzed and tabulated the responses to president Trump’s inauguration, Women’s March on Jan. 21, the first executive orders, retreat in Philadelphia, the Right to Life March and the mainstream media commentaries. Not to speak of late night shows, Saturday Night Live, and the fashion comparisons of the First Lady to historical figures and her linguistic disabilities.

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Only the death of the incarnate of the modern woman Mary Tyler Moore, and maybe watching “Charlie Bartlett” kept the weights of humanity from tipping over completely.

“So tell me what you think about all of the above and I’ll tell you who you are,” independent analysts and charlatans tested the Internet waters.

Facebook, twitter and other social media were bubbling like a witch’s potion with all the ingredients starting with hate to complete apathy, withdrawal and secure rationalization.

In between reigned ridicule, sarcasm, vulgarity, hopelessness, fear and despair.

Of course, there were observers patiently waiting to render their opinions after all others have gone first, ala “risqué” style.

I’ve tasted my share of firsts with the post “Join 10 Actions in 100 Days”, a story about a local inspiring woman Sharon Ellison, a participant in the Women’s March.

The overwhelming reaction was that the women were vulgar and inappropriate like Madonna in order to get attention.

I didn’t catch what an editor would have caught, that is a vulgar phrase on a sign accompanying the post. It cost me some.

However, one of the best observations in the last 8 days was the use of the “alternate fact” term as the means to justifying anything.

I find that term especially useful in teaching my American born protégé Josephine Marie Palova, 3, the Czech language.

“My dear Josephine, a cow is actually a horse, or vice versa, depending on what you need it to be.”

Not, that this is anything new in politics.

“What you meant to ask me, was….?” A city manager restructured my question to his prepared answer.

“What I really wanted to say was that…”

“But you said something else,” I said.

“Oh, I didn’t mean that.”

The politician’s word play is like a bad game of chess. No matter how good you are, the opposing party will claim they had won…….although in a different game.

Well, at least the Wall Street was happy in this game as the stocks soared past the 20,000 mark, if that is any indication of anything, according to ill-willed analysts.

I found some reprieve in the pacifist stance on the matter of the affairs in the union, in the world and in the universe, thanks to a post from a friend in Iowa, Sheryl Groen.

“Change is in the air, as old patterns fall away and new energies are emerging. Consciously release what needs to be released, and welcome with a full embrace the newness you’ve prayed for and so richly deserve.”

                                                                                      Marianne Williamson

 

There’s means to an end, my friend.

Be kind, everyone else is fighting a hard battle. Love like a kid, because love wins.

Featured photo thanks to Michelle Emaus of Lowell.

 

 

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Happy New Year 2017

I would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year 2017. May all your dreams come true in the upcoming year. May it bring peace and love around the world.

Let it fill us with joy.

On this last day of the year 2016, known in Czech Republic as Silvester, my heart goes out to my readers around the world.

A sincere thank you to all my followers  for a very fruitful 2016 filled with deep appreciation for the passion to write.I am thankful for the ability to transform the human experience into stories.

You motivate and inspire me on my writing journey every day. You make me who I am.

Love always,

Emma

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Czech Christmas

Czech Christmas at the Palas

Note: This account of Czech Christmas contains excerpts from my memoir “Greenwich Meridian” © about the family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA dedicated to my mother Ella.

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – I carefully set my foot on the American soil for the second time on Dec. 22, 1989 at the frozen John F. Kennedy airport in NYC. I had two children by my side: daughter Emma, 10 and son Jake, 2.5.

With a shaking hand, I signed off on the US resident’s green card long before (Transportation Security Agency) TSA came into existence.

The night had already set in on the city with its million lights and bridges.

Before we headed out west like the early settlers, we stayed overnight at my parents friends’ house for some respite from the travel across the Atlantic.

In the meantime, my husband Ludek was waiting for us in Montreal, Quebec. He received immigration visa to Canada, while I received mine to the USA.

After two days on the road in a frosted car on the deserted turnpike, we arrived at our destination: the college town of Big Rapids in Northern Michigan on Christmas Eve.

Mom Ella had already prepared everything ahead of time as we picked up brother Vas in Roger’s Heights for my first Christmas.

Later, in the early years around holiday time, I would drive to the Gerald Ford International Airport in Kentwood and nostalgically dream about hometown Christmas in Czechoslovakia with all its magic under the chestnut trees. That meant treasures bought at the Zlin Christmas market. I brought a piece of that Christmas magic with me to the new country in 1989. This included the hand-crochet yellow doilies for afternoon high tea and tablecloths made by ladies from Slovakia.

Whenever I get homesick, and I still do, I pull these treasures out of their drawers at our Pala homestead in Lowell. I try not to use them so I can preserve them forever. I usually have a story attached to whatever I keep, and my adult children and friends can attest to that.

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I think of that time long ago at the market under the chestnut trees. It must have been that first bronze shopping weekend in Advent when I walked past the booths with silver and golden coated mistletoe all piled up into these pyramids.

I was immediately drawn to a lady dressed in a folk costume called “kroje.” She was always there also on Saturdays throughout the year. I wish I had asked for her name.

“I am looking for a Christmas present for my mother,” I said.

“What does she like?”

That made me think; what does my mother like? Do I know her?

I picked up the yellow hand crochet doilies set and admired the craftsmanship that would become lost art. I looked up at the woman with an old wrinkly face from the sun in the Slovakian highlands.

“How much are they?”

“Your mother is going to love them,” she smiled as she held up the biggest met for the coffee table.

I was a student at the time, and I didn’t have a lot of money.

I remember exactly, they were 220 Czech crowns which was a lot of money for anyone to pay for a fancy fragile cloth.

“I’ll take them,” the lady wrapped them in a brown paper.

At our Southern Slopes apartment, I hid them in a closet. The Sunday after we came home from church, my mom made festive dinner and we sat down for desserts in the living room. We reserved Sunday afternoons for guests. Mom, like most women in the old republic, always baked for the weekends, not just around Christmas.

“You’re such a bake nut,” aunt Anna always laughed at mom because she was jealous.

I noticed the old worn-out coffee table met.

“Mom, I got something for you,” I said.

“Why? What is it?” she asked.

I came back and gave her the Christmas gift wrapped in brown paper three weeks early.

“That’s beautiful, but why?” she pursued. “It’s not Christmas yet.”

“Because I can’t wait for you to have it,” I said smiling. “I would die waiting. Please, please take it.”

That little episode still brings a smile to my face. Mom Ella knew how much I loved that set. When she moved permanently to the USA to join my father Vaclav in 1980, she left the yellow doilies set at home.

“Mom, you forgot your yellow tea crochet set,” I said in a phone call months later.

“I know, I left them for you.”

Merry Christmas 2016 and a sincere thank you to all my followers.

May peace prevail on Earth.

Czech Christmas to be continued……….Excerpts from the “Greenwich Meridian” © 2016-2017

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

White Christmas in Fallasburg pioneer village

Experience an old-fashioned white Christmas at Fallasburg tonight

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Fallasburg, MI- Come and chat with an old friend tonight during the annual vintage Christmas party. The topic will be “Christmases of the Past” at the historical village of Fallasburg.

Create some memories forever. Thank a volunteer from the Fallasburg Historical Society. They make things happen your round at the sleepy hamlet northeast of Lowell.

The FHS mission is to preserve Fallasburg history for future generations.

Visit Fallasburg tonight at 6 p.m. for a memorable white Christmas . Experience a white Christmas of the past inside the old 1867 Fallasburg one-r…

Source: White Christmas in Fallasburg pioneer village

IW Inspiring Women- Artist Linda Kropf Phillips

Dear friends,

I am bringing back the popular IW Inspiring Women series for the winter. The series carries the logo of the enigmatic orchids which come in a thousand of varieties, each bringing joy with her own beauty. Much like the women in this world.

Orchids in full bloom
Enigmatic orchids

In this series I bring to you the stories of women who inspire others with their character, actions and the love for what they do. As daughters, mothers, grandmothers and wives, they all make a difference in their own way.

All of them juggle different responsibilities; to themselves, to the families and to the society at large.

Their value is not listed in dollars they bring to the economy, but in their contribution to bettering the lives of other people.

Meet artist turned hunter Linda Kropf Phillips

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- I first met artist Linda Kropf Phillips, owner of Natures Serenity, at a little known bazaar in the historic village of Fallasburg two years ago.

She was manning the booth with her brother Jerry Kropf. Most people in the area know the name Kropf, as the well- established owners of the Kropf apple orchards.

“Are you related to the Kropfs?” was one of my questions during a recent interview with Linda.

Natures Serenity
Artist Linda Kropf Phillips with first sketches.

“Which ones?” she asked.

“The apple farmers?”

“My father was the carpenter in the family,” Linda said.

It was her father Bob Kropf ,who not only inspired Linda, but who also taught her perfection in glass etching of gun cabinets and everything else in business, like reasonable pricing.

“My dad challenged me,” she said. “I worked in his wood shop for 20 years at Murray Lake. He taught me a lot of woodwork. I taught myself glass etching on china and glass cabinets.”

Yes, there was no challenge too big for Linda to handle, whether it was the etching of a standing bear and a partridge flying over his head, or other intrinsic scenes from nature.

Linda Kropf Phillips
Linda Kropf Phllips hunting Up North.

“I found a picture of a standing bear in a magazine,” Linda said.

One of her first drawings was a sketch of the GI Joe doll. Some four decades later, Linda easily found the pencil drawing at the house.  And it was not just the doll, but also some sketches of the Beatles.

Linda started drawing when she was 11 years old. Growing up as a 4-H girl and doing rodeo, she loved to draw horses.

She went to the Alton country school from 1964 to 1968 prior to going to the Lowell public schools.

“I rode my horse to school,” she laughed.

But, sometimes it was mom Jan Kropf who played the bus driver loading up the kids in a car and hauling them to school.

Archery hunting.
Linda Kropf Phillips prefers to hunt with bow & arrow.

Linda graduated from the Lowell High School in 1976, and she received the perfect graduation gift.

It was tuition for one year at the Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids. She had already taken advanced ceramics and design classes in high school. In sixth grade, Linda also took art classes from local artist Jan Johnson.

Four years ago, Linda started her Natures Serenity line of artwork on slab and drift wood.

“I love being outside, hunting, taking pictures of nature and kayaking,” she said.

While kayaking on the Flat River on the morning the Whites Bridge in Smyrna burnt, Linda found pieces of driftwood and metal from the bridge down the river.

She painted the covered Whites Bridge on a piece of driftwood and hung it on the metal from the bridge. First the driftwood had to dry out and Linda coated it with three to four coats of polyurethane to preserve them.

One of the early trophy deer.
One of the early trophy deer.

The two pieces sold at the Danish Festival in 2014 in Greenville with half of the proceeds going to the “Rebuild Whites Bridge” organization.

Artist Linda is also an avid hunter, who annually heads out into the woods in the Upper Peninsula with her husband Scott. Naturally, she would not reveal their “sacred hunting grounds” somewhere northwest of Marquette.

Scott has been hunting for the last 45 years, while Linda started hunting 11 years ago. Before that Linda rabbit hunted with her brother. She took her first deer with a gun, when she was three months pregnant in 1986.

For Linda, family always comes first.

Artist Linda Kropf Phillips with family.
Artist Linda Kropf Phillips with family.

 

“I started going with Scott with my camera and took my artwork with me,” she said. “We go during the gun season hunting for bear, and I bow hunt for deer.”

Naturally, Linda who took up bow hunting three years ago, is inspired by the great outdoors and what it has to offer. Her booth at the Dec. 3 Rogue River Arts Show was an amazing display of nature’s scenes on wood. Everything from deer, fowl, fish, Queen Anne’s lace to footprints captured on a wooden slab. Some of the artwork boasted 3D imagery in detailed foliage and branches during different seasons.

“I like the fall, so bow and arrow wins,” she said. “I feel safer.”

One of her scariest experiences was while hunting on the ground.

“I had a wolf behind sniffing at me,” she said. “I was nervous. I thought it was just a squirrel crinkling again.”

Well that “crinkling squirrel” turned out to be a 157 pound black bear. But, these adventures do not prevent Linda from going “Up North” to hunt in the “sacred land.”

Deer art by the Kropfs.
Deer art by Jerry Kropf.

“We stay in a camper, 10 days at a time depending on the weather,” she said. “Sometimes it’s two hours to the closest processor.”

And back home in Lowell, the dinner always features some wild game, whether deer, bear, fish or fowl in the form of burger, roast or steaks.

“We have deer all the time,” Linda said.

Most recently, based on popular demand from the less macho side of the population, Linda added to her wildlife art portfolio paintings of chickadees and cardinals.

 

“It runs the gamut from deer, moose, bass and I added flowers, “she said.

Natures Serenity artwork is available at Bodacious in Rockford and at Pinky’s Place Antique & Artisan Market in Grand Rapids.

Her busy art show season starts in July with the Fourth of July Artist Show in the UP, Lake Odessa Arts in the Park on Aug. 5th, Danish Festival on Aug. 19th & Aug. 20th and Rockford on Sept. 10th

The last show of the season is always the Rogue River Arts & Artisan Show on the first Saturday in December at the Lowell High School.

Linda Kropf Phillips Natures Serenity artwork can be viewed at lindakropfphillips@Facebook.com.

Nominate a woman who has in any way inspired you this year or in the past. In the IW women’s series, I have featured artists like Kathleen Mooney, entrepreneur Station Salon’s owner Nancy DeBoer, hiker Gail “Chosen” Lowe who has hiked all five national trails in the USA, Lowell Area Chamber director Liz Baker, former Lowell city clerk Betty Morlock, trail developer Carolyn Kane, founder of SowHope Mary Dailey Brown and many others.

E-mail Emma via the contact page or on Facebook at emmapalova@Facebook.com

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.