Tag Archives: Greenwich Meridian memoir

Greenwich Meridian memoir update

The featured image is the  Greenwich Meridian memoir on the screen surrounded by various memorabilia like the economy class menu of the Czechoslovakian Airlines. I flew with them in 1989 for my second immigration to the USA.

Blogging anchored, Greenwich Meridian memoir evolves forward

By Emma Palova

EW Emma Writing

Lowell, MI- Now, that I am firmly anchored in the blogging world with Emma Blogs, LLC, a portfolio of blogs, I resumed working on the Greenwich Meridian memoir in mid-May. The blogging part may seem like a detour to many, not to me. I feel like I can take the book to its finale. I didn’t have that feeling before.

It took me a year-and-a-half to set up the blogging portfolio under the umbrella of http://emmapalova.com. Fellow blogger Leigh Ann Dickey said it took her two years to prove herself. So, don’t believe the hype out there like “Get a blog in 60 seconds,” or in five minutes, in an hour or in a day. And definitely, don’t pay any money for that  pitch.

It just doesn’t happen. It’s like saying you’re going to learn calculus in a day. You may get the template like you would get a college-ruled notebook to start your math, and then what? Do you start with fractions, trigonometry or double integer?

Of course you start with the About page in the world of blogging. After all, you know the best what you are all about. Add a picture, it’s worth a thousand words.

Many blogging colleagues out there don’t know what their niche or target audience are. How are they supposed to pick a theme? Should they post every day and what should they post to attract that ever elusive traffic?

Maybe Stephen King asked himself the same question before his big Carrie break, “What should I write about so I make it big?”

I know I ask myself that question every week before posting, “What am I going to post this week or what is the next chapter outline?”

Other than King, I always think about  German Martin Luther posting 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in 1517 according to the student custom. The theses were a catalyst to a change.

Blog posts carry those same signs of a changing world. A shorter, faster world of pixels that has no time for long “expose” articles. Readers want to know everything and immediately.

Without the “how to” knowledge, blogging can feel like sailing on vast seas after you lost your compass. You started out right, what next?

Stay tuned for more.

Copyright © 2015 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.


100 Posts

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.

Emma Palova
Emma Palova

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.”

Daily journal keeps track of ideas, tasks
Daily journal keeps track of ideas, tasks

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?

Branching out

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.

Paul Geer with Ruth Smiley at Frozen Creek Farm.
Paul Geer with Ruth Smiley at Frozen Creek Farm.

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

Czechs & Sports

Czechs embrace sports for fun & medals

By Emma Palova
EW Emmas Writings Journal

Since I am living an international life with most of the family embedded in the USA, while the rest is scattered in France and Czech Republic, the Sochi Olympic Games,  embody a true spirit of cooperation high above their competing foundation.
“Who do you root for?” a cashier once asked me at a local grocery store after he detected a slight accent.
Most of our family members, except for our son Jake, have a recognizable accent, some more than others. Often that becomes the center of all jokes. It can be anywhere from amusing to annoying.
“Well of course I go for the best one,” I laughed. “I don’t care about the nationality.”
The Czechs both in the old country and expatriates around the world have a great passion for sports. That is for medals, trophies, but most of all for fun.
Apart from hockey, Czechs became known for their figure skating legends Ondrej Nepela and Hana Maskova, who won bronze medal behind Peggy Fleming of the United States in the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble. She was the only Czech woman to win an Olympic medal in figure skating.
Slovak Ondrej Nepela won the 1972 gold medal in men’s figure skating at the Olympics in Sapporo. His fellow countryman Jozef Sabovcik won the bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, at a time when the country was still intact as Czechoslovakia.

Ondrej Nepela
Ondrej Nepela

In my memoir “Greenwich Meridian where East meets West,” I write about the family and the country’s involvement in sports, both amateur and professional.
My dad Vaclav Konecny, former Ferris State University professor, won several swimming competitions during his studies at the University of Jana Evangelisty Purkyne in Brno. Dad taught me how to swim at an early age, and ever since swimming has become my favorite sport, if only for fun. Each year, during my March writing retreat in Venice, Florida, I swim with the dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.
But, other than swimming, I haven’t been endowed in sports unlike my husband Ludek Pala and my children Dr. Emma & Jake. I tinkered around a bit with softball and basketball at the Hawkins Junior High School, TX in the seventies. Ludek played soccer on a team in Stipa, Czechoslovakia and coached soccer for the YMCA & Lowell Area Schools, Michigan in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Jake was on his soccer team. Daughter Emma wanted to be a figure skater, but she didn’t have enough drive, practice or coaching. Maybe it was just something on a whim like little girls who want to be ballerinas. Although as always Emma seemed pretty determined.
When Ludek built a skating rink 50 by 60 feet on a tarp one foot deep complete with barriers in our garden around the year 2000, my hopes were high up that Jake would some day be on the élite Czech Olympic hockey team or on NHL along with Alexander Ovechkin.

Jake Pala
Jake Pala

At the time, Jake was a student at the Lowell High School. He skated strategically well under Ludek’s training, but he didn’t take it any further. He was growing into his teens and had other interests.
“I did it for fun,” said Jake, regional distributor for Faygo.”It was phenomenal as a hobby. I used dad’s ice rink to the max.”
For Jake sports have always been a good motivator and a springboard into real life, but he never considered becoming a professional. He practiced hockey with his puck up to three hours a day. Quite often neighbor Bailey Haefner would join him for a friendly match.
“I started being really good at it” Jake said. “It came at a great time. I miss it and I’d like to perfect the skill.”
So, the hockey rink became sort of a neighborhood skating plaza for all. Winters were alsmost as hard as the winter of 2014, so it held up for months.
“I’ve always wanted to have a skating rink in my backyard,” said Ludek.
Ludek, an innovator in every sense, is very project oriented. He took the time to gather the scrap wood boards and
numbered them to create the barriers around the perimeter of the rink. He put tarp on the bottom and maintained the
surface on daily basis to keep it smooth for skating.
I don’t think I’ve ever skated on it. Then one year in February the rink melted and turned into a large puddle. Moreover, the neighborhood kids were growing up just like Jake did, so Ludek stopped building the ice rink. I asked him to build a covered swimming pool instead, but that hasn’t happened yet.

To be continued with “All my skiers.”

Copyright (c) 2014 story and photo by Emma Palova, other photos courtesy of Wikipedia, Internet

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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