Tag Archives: Emma Palova

Year 2017 in review II

Note: This is the second part of a mini-series of posts that look back at 2017 with all its joys and tribulations. It was a year of big changes and adjustments both professional and personal. It rolled in like a monster a truck and flew away like a balloon.

April

Living in the Midwest, April  means spring and gardening. We enjoyed a late Easter after a mild winter. All along I was plugging away at my book “Shifting Sands Short Stories” that I had hoped to finish on my birthday.  Since I wrote the majority of the stories so long ago, I had to rewrite some of them, based on my new experience as a journalist. It was a true labor of love.

Writing got harder once it got nice outside. Like any writer, I would procrastinate finding every excuse not to write. There were days when I’d rather do dishes than write. But as May approached I intensified my writing.

I also started walking right after Easter. I walked 1.8 miles to the Franciscan Life Process Center every day. The walk was a source of inspiration also for my therapy app.

May

I love May when everything blossoms. I am talking mainly about lilacs and cherries in  the Lower Peninsula. I’ve only been once to the Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island in June, and once to the Traverse City Cherry Festival.

I didn’t finish my book by my self-imposed deadline. The formatting was a lot more difficult than I expected. I pushed the deadline back.

June

However, I knew I would have to finish the book in June because our French granddaughter Ella spends summers with us. I had to add a brand new story into the book “Orange Nights.” So, I wrote the oldest story “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” in 1990, and the newest one in 2017 for length so the name could go on the spine of the book. You have to have more than 100 pages for the book’s name to go on the spine.

 

I uploaded the final version on June 27 to  Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon. The print version was more complex than the kindle e-book format.

 

July

In July we took the Badger ship across Lake Michigan and did a circle tour around the lake plus visited Munising on Lake Superior. I never wrote about this because of all the social events. Mom Ella turned 80 on Aug. 23. We returned from the mini-vacation on Aug. 22.

That’s one the many advantages of writing your “Year in Review” because you get to write about something you wouldn’t otherwise get to.

 

In spite of the fact that we’ve been many times to the Upper Peninsula aka UP we’ve never done the glass bottom shipwreck tours to Bermuda and Hettler aboard the Fireball. It was an amazing voyage by the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

About the featured photo

It is an old map of the Great Lakes placed in the Belrockton historical museum in Belding.

The  shortlink to the first post of “Year in Review 2017” is:

https://wp.me/p34jQ1-UhW

Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tour in Munising. Reservations are recommended.

https://shipwrecktours.com

Kindle Direct Publishing

kdp.amazon.com

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Year in Review 2017

Note: This is a mini-series of posts that look back at 2017 with all its joys and tribulations. It was a year of big changes and adjustments both professional and personal. It feels like the year just flew away like a balloon. 

2017  A Year to Remember

By Emma Palova

January

Quick trip to Czech Republic

When January rolled in like a monster truck, we found out early on that we had to fly out of the country for Aunt Martha’s funeral in Stipa. My aunt was the only living sibling of my father Vaclav Konecny former  math professor at Ferris State University in Big Rapids.

The trip to Czech Republic in frigid temperatures on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean was an eye-opening experience. From today’s perspective, I consider it our last good-bye  to the homeland emotionally.

Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague
The airport of Vaclav Havel in Prague.

 

After the funeral, we met up with the cousins and our teachers from ZDS Stipa School at the local restaurant  “Stipsky Senk.” Deceased Aunt Martha was a math and an arts  teacher at ZDS. Those three hours of catching up were worth a million dollars. My husband Ludek and I met at the ZDS School in mid 1970s. We shared some of the teachers. They remembered us just like we were in school: young and beautiful. We remembered them just like they were back in school: semi-old, bossy and strict.

It’s amazing how 40 years changed exactly nothing about the perception you have established at the beginning. We saw each other through the same eyes.

“Do you write?” Mrs. Slaharova asked me.

“I do, how do you know?” I was surprised.

“Your aunt always said you take after grandma and she wrote poetry, right?” she said.

“Yes, she did.”

I thought to myself, “Yes, it’s true you cannot escape your destiny.”

Lowell Showboat

The Lowell Showboat closed as an entertainment venue on Jan. 4. Santa has no home, but he moves to the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.

February

A Valentine’s shock

February was a Valentine’s shock.  I got an invite to a Valentine’s party at the Flat River Gallery from the local iconic artist Jan Johnson. We interviewed prior to the party at Johnson’s house at the end of January. We enjoyed each other’s company and coffee. We talked about animation and Johnson’s love of painting circus animals. She was upset that the Ringling Brothers had to get rid of the elephants.

“What is a circus without elephants,” she said.

https://emmapalova.com/2017/02/03/lowell-artist-inspires-generations/

We were both at the fancy Valentine’s party “Champagne & Chocolates” at the  gallery. on Feb. 13. Eight days later, I found out from Facebook that Johnson passed away. We were more like friends. I’ve written more than a dozen stories about this prolific watercolor artist & illustrator.

NASA

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

Lady Gaga

300 Drones dance behind Lady Gaga during Superbowl half-time show.

Oscar’s Showdown 2017

And the real winner is the movie ‘ Moonlight’ not ‘La La Land.’

March

Spring madness

For me March signals spring, wherever I may live on this earth. I look forward to St. Pat’s Day with all the green traditions. But, the most significant event was the departure of our kids to Bali, Indonesia for our son Jake’s 30th birthday on March 1.

We in turn went to Hastings to watch the grand kids for the stormiest week in Michigan. I am grateful that I could work from the local libraries, both in Hastings and at the KDL Englehart Library due to power outages. I worked on the “Inspiring Women” series for the International Women’s Day on March 8.

 As I drove north to Lowell through the Barry County farmlands on Wednesday, 54-mile wind gusts were throwing the small orange Dart across the country road. Broken limbs and twigs were hitting the dancing car in the wind. 

To be continued………..

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

 

 

 

 

Traditional Christmas

Traditions alive in Fallasburg

By Emma Palova

Fallasubrg, MI – Old-fashion Christmas in the Fallasburg historical village is reminiscent of a bygone era with only horse-drawn carriages.

First you have to cross the Covered Bridge at the speed of no more than 5 miles into the village with the landmark Fallasburg Schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse is decked out for Christmas. The food buffet features everything from several types of meatballs to casseroles, appetizers and desserts.

The music is by Hawks & Owls band. The featured drinks are wine and spiced grog. The community known as the “villagers” annually flocks to the schoolhouse to celebrate Christmas in style.

A large bonfire caps off the event. Come and join us.

 

via Christmas in Fallasburg

Shakespeare by proxy

Shakespeare on a chocolate wrapper

I have Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” by Proxy on the wrapper of my salted almond butter dark chocolate.

The other day, I ate the entire chocolate bar in the morning for breakfast to get some energy. Now, that is exactly 480 calories. But, it did the trick of putting me back on my feet. Prior to eating the chocolate bar, I felt like a snake making his way through the tall grass by my pond.

Breaking into writing space

However, I didn’t realize until today what was going on. I was entering the subconscious working space of my new book “Riddleyville Secrets.” It took all that energy to break the outside barriers of consciousness.

And following are William Shakespeare’s lines from “Romeo and Juliet”:

Juliet:

          A thousand times good-night!

Romeo:

          A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.

          Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from their books;

          But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

Juliet:

          Hist! Romeo, hist! O! for a falconer’s voice,

          To lure this tassel-gentle back again.

          Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud,

          Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,

          And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine,

          With repetition of my Romeo’s name.

Romeo:

          It is my soul that calls upon my name:

  How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,

          Like softest music to attending ears!

 

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

How to finish a book or a screenplay

Don’t leave unfinished projects behind to haunt you. Don’t be afraid to pick them back up with new energy behind them even if they have been collecting dust or taking up space in the computer.

A woman surprised me at one of my recent book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories by the following question:

“I am on chapter six, how do I finish my book,” she asked me.

It was a definitely out-of-the-box question, because not everyone wants to admit they can’t finish something.

Here is what I have gathered over the years about  finishing​ any major writing project like a book or a screenplay:

Set a target finish goal, something that’s important to you like your birthday or any other milestone.

Write every day a quota of pages, such as 5 pages.

Always have an end in mind for the  book or script, but also for each chapter or scene.

Ask yourself: What do I want to carry out in this chapter or scene?

A loose flexible outline always helps.

Establish a reward program for yourself after each chapter. It can be anything from having a coffee with a friend or a token that will remind you that a particular chapter or scene is done.

Create a cover or poster early on even as a draft. It will help you visualize the book, play or film and the entire process.

Have a color theme in mind for the characters and the book overall.

Be cohesive. Don’t let it fall apart into pieces just because you stumble on a block in your way.

Explore, see, discover. I especially like these three verbs that I found on a sign by the Wittenbach nature center. They will continue to feed your inspiration. And in turn, the reader will keep turning pages.

Use character compass to balance out your stories. That means the right amount of thoughts, appearance, action and dialogue.

Don’t forget about the place and tension.

Don’t let unfinished Ghoulish projects haunt you.

The feature photo is from the Lowell Arts show “Between Turbulence and Tranquility” by artist Kim Ensch.

 

 

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

Express life in PR

My life condensed in an Express  PR

Shifting Sands Short Stories book press release

Emma’s book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories come to downtown Lowell

For immediate release

Oct. 19, 2017

Contact

Emma Palova

 

emmapalova@yahoo.com

EW Emma’s Writings blog

http://emmapalova.com

Lowell, MI- Local author Emma Palova of Lowell has published the book Shifting Sands Short Stories, formats kindle and paperback, now available on Amazon for $7.99 and $11.99, and locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and Lansing.

She will have a series of book signing events in historic downtown Lowell.  Following today’s event during Girls Night Out at Sweet Seasons Bakery & Café, her next book signing will be at Lowell Arts on Oct. 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. located at 223 W. Main Street.

“This is an active day for Lowell Arts with Dixie Swim Club dinner theatre and LA house concert,” said Lowell Arts director Lorain Smalligan.

It is also the last day for the current gallery exhibit “Between Turbulence and Tranquility,” before the Holiday Artists Market goes up on Nov. 7.

The book is a collection of 13 short stories that Palova wrote and collected over the span of more than two decades. The fiction’s genre is magic realism, a combination of fantasy with reality.

“In magic realism you combine the fictitious with fantasy and sometimes you use real characters to model the fictitious characters,” Palova said. “It can be a hybrid. I don’t write about Martians. I write about real people.”

Palova started writing for the Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 upon arrival in the USA. She initially wrote a column, “Place for Commentary” in Czech.

Many of the stories are based on experiences Palova has had during her time living and working in the greater Lowell area in Michigan. The stories are thematically divided into three circles: Immigration, journalism and retail.

Palova has been writing for the area publications since 1997 when she launched her professional journalistic career with Kaechele Publications in Allegan. In 1998, she joined the staff of the Ionia-Sentinel Standard where she received awards for community reporting from the Ionia Chamber of Commerce in 2000 and the Ionia County Community Mental Health, 2003. Palova joined the staff of the Lowell Ledger in 2006. In 2011, she received an award from the American Legion for reporting on veterans’ affairs. Palova also had a community blog in the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.

Palova worked as a correspondent for the Grand Rapids Press, the Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Lowell Ledger.

Palova is currently working on the second volume of stories, as well as on the memoir “Greenwich Meridian, where East meets West” about the Konecny family immigration saga from Czechoslovakia to the USA.

She is preparing her first novel “Fire on Water” for publication in 2018.

Palova has a lifetime passion for history and politics. She does social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).

Palova became an American citizen in 1999.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunities this country has given me,” Palova said.

Other author’s events will be held during Christmas through Lowell, and on Jan. 6, 2018 at the Lowell Arts.

Locally the book is available at Schuler’s Books

2660 28th Street

Grand Rapids, MI 49512

1-616-942-2561

Schuler’s Books, Okemos

1982 Grand River Ave

Okemos, MI 48864

1-517-349-8840

Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon

Paperback

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

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Shifting-Sands-Short-Stories/dp/152130226X

The book is also available throughout the libraries of Kent District Library (KDL), Hastings & Big Rapids.

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

Popular places ArtPrize 9

20170930_151825395656458.jpg
ArtPrize Grand Rapids

Thoughts on  Popular  places  in the wake of Las Vegas shooting

By Emma Palova

Grand Rapids, MI -I am beyond shocked over the Sunday night shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people without any connection to terror.

My husband and I just spent a fantastic Saturday in downtown Grand Rapids enjoying the most Popular arts event in the world. That is the 9th annual ArtPrize that featured 1,500 artists from 47 countries.

ArtPrize is the world’s largest competition and the most attended annual art event on the planet.

Thousands of people packed the sidewalks, the arts venues and the cafes on a beautiful sunny Saturday.

Other than seeking inspiration, the main reason why we went to ArtPrize was to cast a Popular vote for local photographer Bruce Doll for his entry, “As Grand As It Gets.”

The photo is a fabulous non-conventional take on the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a fish-eye lens.

“I thought I can never capture this,” said Doll.

In order to vote, you had to physically register in any of the ArtPrize districts  using the app in the first round of voting.

The second reason was to see  “The American Dream” by finalist Tom Kiefer. We strolled from the peaceful Hillside Veteran’s Park area to the much busier DeVos Place Convention Center on Monroe.

Kiefer photographed the personal belongings of migrants seized at the border.

“I felt a visceral connection between his art and our  farm workers,” said Teresa Hendricks, director of Migrant Legal Aid hosting the artist.

DeVos Place had the finalists’ artwork on display. We inched the skywalks between the finalists’ exhibits and the railing; sometimes without seeing the art exhibits. There was a demonstration of tattoo art among others. As I leaned across the railing to get a picture of the interior of the hall, it occurred to me.

No matter how Athletic  you were, you wouldn’t be able to run out of that glass hall with waved glass ceiling, if someone had opened fire.

We were all conveniently gathered there in the sky walks in front of the artwork, packed in the hallways. We were separated from the ground floor by escalators and elevators.

There were no security checks at the entrance.

Inside the Amway hotel, we paused by the art of “Lincoln.”

After we got out of the venue complex through a system of catwalks, and back on the street, it occurred to me again; the vulnerability of crowds. The crowds also packed the Blue Bridge and the Gillett Bridge with artists.

People gathered in front of art everywhere. After several hours, I felt nauseated from the crowds and the autumn heat.

I had to take a deep breath in front of an eagle sculpture by the Rosa Parks Circle.

It was to a certain point comforting. But that was Saturday, before the Sunday shooting in Las Vegas.

Then, everything changed.

 

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

Master of his trade

Mastering the moldmaking for automotive industry

By Emma Palova

Grand Rapids, MI – It is no Coincidence that he gets called into work when others go to bed after a full day shift.

In a plant that runs three shifts, seven days a week, every minute that something doesn’t work like a well-oiled machine, means lost money. And a lot of it. The ABC Group global automotive supplier with vertically integrated plastic processing also has lots of pride being the GM supplier of the year several times.

And this mold maker knows how to fix what’s broken. Ludek must have mastered that elusive something that no one else knows. Call it the magic touch, and years of experience in the plastic injection molding industry. He is his own man in the tool room cage that is like an enclave between the plastic injection molding part of the company and the blow molding section.

Last night, as he walked into the gargantuan plant in his sandals sporting a black t-shirt from the Paranormal Society, he immediately commanded respect.

“Don’t touch anything,” Ludek yelled over the deafening sound of the machines to be heard.

The men standing around a 20-tun slab of steel hanging from a hoist turned around relieved, as if they had seen an angel in black.

Or better yet, the Raptor like the Raptor truck model that they were making the parts for.

Later, I learned that the slab of steel with holes and pins is called the tool. The tool is placed in a plastic injection machine, and it is expected to roll out plastic car parts.

The taller guy in blue shirt wanted to shake my hand, but grabbed a rag first to wipe the oil stains.

“Sorry to take him away from you,” said the manager.

It was 11 p.m., and the third shift had just started to find out that machine XOX was spitting out bad plastic car parts. It had to stop, and every hour the machine doesn’t work, the plant loses $60,000 according to the manager.

The question at hand remained what was wrong with what? Was it in the machine or in that 20-ton slab of carefully designed steel?

What first hit me, was the heat from the machines. Coming inside from a hot autumn night, it was like in a cauldron inside.

I had worked in the Svit factory in former Czechoslovakia several times during the summer breaks, but this was a different cup of coffee.

Ludek changed his sandals for boots. To my huge shock, he stooped underneath the steel slab to check the bottom of the tool. If it had fallen off the hoist, there would only remain an oil human stain.

“People get worried when they see me go under that,” he said.

Workers did come into the cage to see what was going on.

To be continued

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

Autumn equinox

Heading into fall book signings. I would like to thank all my fans for support and love.

Thank you Tina Siciliano Cadwallader and Addie Abel for making my book signing a reality.

Emma with fans, Jeanne Vandersloot.

“You make me who I am. ”

I had a great book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories last weekend at Fallasburg.

My book also made it back to the old country of former Czechoslovakia.

In the story “The Temptation of Martin Duggan”, I touch on the realities of immigration from Czechoslovakia that was under Soviet occupation in 1968.

You can get a copy of the book locally @Schuler Books in Grand Rapids on 28th Street and in Lansing.

You can also order the book from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/152130226X.

Reviews are greatly appreciated.

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

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

Rainbow over pretty town

I had to share this morning picture from our pretty little town of Lowell that nestles on the Flat and the Grand rivers in the northeast part of Kent County in Midwest Michigan.

In the forefront is the famous & inspiring Showboat idling on the Flat. It will be replaced with a replica in the near future.

I consider the Showboat a Penchant that crowns the town’s treasures waiting to be explored.

Come and visit with us this weekend for the Fallasburg village bazaar, Emma’s Book Signing event of Shifting Sands Short Stories and the Fallasburg Arts Festival.

All the action will take place three miles north of town @Fallasburg on Sept.16 and Sept.17 from 10 am to 5 pm. Just cross the romantic Covered Bridge into the 1850s pioneer village of Fallasburg founded by John W. Fallass.

You will be enchanted by the autumn ambiance of the village nestling on the banks of the shallow Flat River.

Emma’s Book Signing event at the one-room Fallasburg schoolhouse is from 1 pm to 4 pm on both days.

Pick up a copy of the book @Schuler Books in Grand Rapids on 28th Street and in Lansing or order on Amazon.

We will have desserts and cider.

Stop by to discover treasures, history, arts and great conversation.

For more info go to:

Fallasburg Today on http://fallasburgtoday.org or http://www.fallasburg.org

Schuler Books at http://www.schulerbooks.com

Fallasburg Arts Festival at http://www.lowellartsmi.org

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