Tag Archives: inspiration

Day 46: COVID-19 quarantined birthdays

Happy birthday to all the people who are celebrating their birthdays in the COVID-19 quarantine in 2020.

Alright, I caved in and decided to celebrate my birthday tomorrow on zoom at the Pushkin’s Bar.

All you need is the free zoom app from the app stores to join in. I will send the link and the password tomorrow to join. You don’t need to wear a mask unless you want to. BYOB

The band of choice is Twisted Sisters with their “We’re not gonna take it.”

Thanks to graphic artist Jeanne Boss for creating the perfect me in the featured photo.

Copyright (c)2020. EMMA Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 9: COVID-19 as Catalyst

Coronavirus brings us closer together

“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, what we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go from darkness into darkness.”

Maya Angelou

Lowell, MI- Together we can accomplish anything. We will get through this together. Each one of us has a part to play.

How many times do we get to chat simultaneously with people from Florida, Oklahoma , Minnesota and Michigan?

I did for the first time earlier in the day via video chat Zoo room app. I connected with familiar faces, and I am so grateful for technology with all its whims.

https://zooroom.chat/

Today marks the beginning of Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s a great platform to start or finish your writing projects.

https://nanowrimo.org/what-is-camp-nanowrimo

Coronavirus quarantine survival tips

How many times in the past have you complained, that you don’t have time for anything? Now you do.

Ludek Pala works on isolating and putting up drywall in the laundry room.

Find a home improvement project. Finish what you have started years ago.

Learn something new: cooking, baking, writing poetry, painting.

Go outside and take pictures of spring arriving.

Offer to help others with their struggles; it will ease your own.

Keep a journal.

Live, love and laugh.

Copyright (c)2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Today’s Free Taurus Daily Horoscope from Tarot.com

I love my Taurus horoscope today, as I move ahead with the Greenwich Meridian Memoir revisions. I’ve added some interesting events to the memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA. Watch for excerpts.

Read your free Taurus horoscope for today to get daily advice. Find out what today’s Astrology will mean for Taurus every day from Tarot.com.
— Read on http://www.tarot.com/daily-horoscope/taurus/2020-01-15

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

40th Wedding Anniversary

As Ludek and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary on Oct. 7th, I  think about all those years spent with one man. We were both born in former Czechoslovakia.

us

In 1978,  that seemed unimaginable to an 18-year-old girl still in the Zlin Gymnasium Prep School with university years of studying ahead of me.

“You’re going to spend  the rest of your life with one man?” classmate Zdenek asked me. “I can’t even fathom that.”

Yes, indeed. I spent all those years with one man.

“Boring,” said an acquaintance jokingly some time ago. She herself had been married to one man for a long time.

Just like in everything, there were some great times and some rough times over the four decades. Some of them, I consider historical moments.

Following are some highlights that really stand out:

The birth of our daughter Emma in April of 1979, my graduation from the University of Brno in 1986, the birth of our son Jake in 1987 and  the move to the United States of America in 1989. My book Shifting Sands Short Stories came out in 2017. I became an American citizen in 1999. Ludek will have his naturalization ceremony this year.

In between were big, medium and little things; all those elements that make up marriage.

“For better or for worse,” as we said our wows.

Among the big things were:  Weddings of our kids. Emma got married in Montrachet, Burgundy, France and Jake in Parnell, MI.

Another big shebang , I consider our celebration of the millennium at Stafford’s Perry Hotel, where Hemingway  once stayed. Since, I love history, I love to stay on historical properties.

To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we will be staying in the historical Murray Hotel on Mackinac Island.  I find inspiration in history, because it has  a tendency to repeat itself. You can predict things based on the past.

We were surfing rough waters when the  recession hit in 2007 through 2009, and Ludek lost his job. Ludek had to leave the state of Michigan to work in Prarie-du-Chien, Wisconsin. I stayed in Lowell because we didn’t want to lose the house. Our friends have lost theirs.

He commuted 500 miles to work and  he came home for the weekends. When I wrote about it back at the peak of  the depression in 2008, I got a response from a publication:

“That’s normal, that’s not a story.”

Yes, maybe for them it wasn’t. But for us it was a big story, as well as for millions of other Americans. I compensated the horror of separation and living by myself with a dog in the country by writing a screenplay. I bought Final Draft software and wrote about the assassination on liberal candidates.

We got through it with scars and hurts. Sometimes, it still hurts.

We still adhere to Czech traditions and customs, but we also have taken on new American traditions. It makes life interesting sharing two different cultures.

People ask me what do I miss the most about the old country?

“Definitely friends, since most of the family members have passed,” I answer.

But, always having a positive outlook, writing and  innovation helped us through the  good and the bad. Of course there was more good than the bad. It depends on the perspective and interpretation.

The good prevailed in love, passion and belief in each other.

And like  talk show host Ripa said on TV, “It  always boils down to respect of each other.”

The values we have established have carried us through; first comes  our family, then passion for our work and innovation. This philosophy has always worked well throughout the years.

With well wishes for many more years.

Love always, Emma.

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

Join Motown Literacy Writers’ network

Set yourself apart, be unique and bold

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

I find the Motown Writers  Network full of  great tips and writing advise. What really caught my eye was the  post about author branding.

As I step into the role of  an author, I realize more and more how branding is important.  What kind of author am I? What is my target audience? How will  my title “Shifting Sands Short Stories” stand out among millions of book titles? What does it have in  common with my other work?

As a journalist, I ask this question quite often, “What  sets you apart from others in your industry?”

Yes, writing is a business. So, it has to be branded.

“Just like me going to work every day,” said #WGVU morning show host Shelley Irwin in last week’s interview.

Regardless the trade, many people struggle with the answer to this  question including the campaigning politicians.

As of today, I can say that the following sets me apart from other authors and other titles: I  am a Czech-born author who was naturalized as a US citizen on Aug. 19,  1999 at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.

At the time I was featured on the front page of the Ionia Sentinel-Standard in  the article “U.S. citizenship a ‘natural’ step for  Lowell woman.  I was a reporter for the paper,  and I received hundreds of congratulatory phone calls. The Associated Press syndicated the naturalization story.

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I collected and put together the short stories that I have written over a span of more than two decades. So, I call that also  a “history preservation” project. I wrote the first stories from the immigration  circle of stories on my Smith Corona word processor in Montreal, Canada in the early 1990s.

History is my other love besides writing. Naturally, I plan to include a historical fiction piece in the sequel to Shifting Sands Stories.

I  consider the Greenwich Meridian memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia partly a historical piece., although not fictional.

With my passion for languages, I also teach ESL. I am learning Spanish, so I can visit Hemingway’s Finca Vigia in Cuba.

I’ve already visited the Hemingway House in Key West.  The descendents of his six-toed cats are there. His writing studio was connected by a catwalk to the main house.

Author branding

I see myself as a romantic author with Hemingway’s hardiness. I portray every day characters in their struggles; whether in love, disease, aging, under duress or in pursuit of perfection.

Some of the characters like Vadim in “The Death Song” are macho men, totally immersed into themselves.

The struggle for perfection is best portrayed in the character of math professor Martin in “The Temptation of Martin Duggan.” His own son is his only imperfection. Everything else in his life is perfect, otherwise he wouldn’t survive.

As in real life, the endings are not always happy. See “The Death Song” or “Honey Azrael.”

Following is part of Hemingway’s acceptance speech sent to Stockholm, since he couldn’t travel to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. I find it inspiring.

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is good enough of a writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.”

I’ve also written a screenplay registered with Writers Guild of America, West. Personally, I consider screenwriting easier than writing novels. I write a short story first and based on that I write the screenplay. Writing has to be very visual.

Join our local LowellArts group  #lowellwrites. Contact Debra Dunning Duiven at 897-8545.

To join the Motown network click below.

via Join

#MotownWriters Article: The Basics of Author Branding

Source of quote:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Hemingway

For info on LowellArts go to https://www.lowellartsmi.org

Link to #WGVU interview:

http://www.wgvunews.org/post/shifting-sands

My author’s events:

Aug. 4 th 1-3 p.m. Emma’s book signing at #LowellArts

Aug. 6th  7 to 9 p.m.  LowellArts panel discussion with poet Ian Haight

Sept. 16 & 17 Fallasburg Village Bazaar 1- to 3 p.m. at the one-room schoolhouse.

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

Writer’s steps

A long journey starts with the first step, leaving footprints in Ludington

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – I attended the Ludington Writers’ Rendezvous on the shores of Lake Michigan last Saturday. It was my first encounter with the Ludington Writers group, and my second author’s conference experience after Calvin College in the spring.

It was a great gathering of 28 authors with a total of 80 titles and the tension of 10 million volts.

As the raindrops drummed on the roof of the Arts Center lodged inside the former Methodist Church in beautiful downtown Ludington, I absorbed the energy output of the organizers and fellow authors.

I loved author Carol L. Ochadleus’ poster designed by her son.

“We got the wrong cover on the last one,” Ochadleus laughed. “This time we got it right.”

The rush before the authors’ events is always nerve wrecking. An author, whose name I didn’t catch, stormed in with her pink luggage. Sudanese author Dominic Malual of “Barefoot in the Boot” had a wooden giraffe in front of his table.

In most cases, the conference attendance was the result of teamwork of entire families. The “assistants” were usually the partners of the authors, while the “runners” were book lovers who delivered food from the local restaurants. The extensive menu featured everything from the “Swiss Hammer”, “Ojibway Dip” to “Dirty Russian.”

Ludington Writers' Rendezvous
Authors (left to right) Jeanie Mortensen and Emma Palova of Lowell share a giggle.

Since, I missed my dad Vaclav’s birthday lunch, my assistant Ludek personally delivered my grilled chicken wrap from Jamesport Brewing Co., where the international family crew got together.

That fusion of aspirations, dreams and hopes fueled my own author’s drive that sometimes goes into overdrive.

“I want you to have a good experience,” wrote author/organizer Joan H. Young in her final approach to the conference message. “We want this to be the event to come to.”

For many authors it was their first time at anything and everything. Author Joseph Tilton debuted with his “Apocalypse” book here.

“My next thing is the parade,” he said.

Tilton promotes his book using a parade float. I immediately felt inspired. Of course, I love parades. Parades inspired my screenplay “Riddleyville Clowns”© Emma Palova. I am looking for a producer.

I thoroughly enjoyed the “wannabee” authors circulating around the authors’ tables. I didn’t catch their names. One wanted to write a dystopian novel and was seeking some direction. The other one carrying a stack of papers asked me about my book, “Shifting Sands Short Stories.”

“It’s a collection of short stories, that I have written for over two decades,” I said.

“Oh, I would have had a book like this big,” she said pointing to the huge stack of papers.

I smiled, thinking, “So, why didn’t you put it together?”

Today, on my morning walk to the Franciscans, I realized I should have said that out loud:

 “Whatever you have written, put it together.”

 I sat next to Ludington author Jeanie Mortensen and that was the greatest delight of all. The locals knew her and came to buy her books; both poetry and a novel.

I bought her “Taking in the Seasons” poetry collection, because I can’t handle long chunks of text. Mortensen bought my book; we swapped business cards with other authors.

It was not only an authors’ event, it was also a family deal like I mentioned before.

Mortensen’s daughter Amy stopped by and so did my adult children, Emma & Jake to say hi.

It was an unforgettable rendezvous, both professionally and personally. The survey asked: “Will you come back?”

For me it was a definite, “Yes.”

Thanks to organizers, Joan, Hanne Kelley & Barry Matthews  of the Ludington Center for the Arts and the Writer’s Group.

My next author’s events:

July 26 @ 10 a.m. WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin 88.5/95.3

July 28 & Aug. 4   LowellArts, Lowell 1 to 3 p.m.

Aug. 6 panel discussion and reception with poet Ian Haight at LowellArts.

Check out the Grand Rapids Magazine City Guide at your local newsstand for the “Reading Room” article. My book is available at Schuler Books, Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo and on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats.

To join our local Lowell Writer’s group contact Debra Duiven Dunning at 897-8545 at LowellArts.

https://www.lowellartsmi.org

Copyright © 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Solstice 2018

Welcome summer

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Today is my favorite day of the year. It is also the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, known as summer solstice. I woke up this morning to a striped sky with orange, white and blue and to a cacophony of sounds; the nature sounded to me better than any symphony in this world. Ludek left at 6:05 a.m. for work in nearby Grand Rapids in full daylight.

It is my morning ritual to wish him a good day on the doorstep into the garage. I make a point to do this in the deadbeat of winter, as well as in the beauty of summer. I may have missed maybe two mornings sleeping in.

Then I continue my morning with yoga, treadmill or a walk to the Franciscan Sisters , meditations with coffee and tying myself to a chair in the studio to write. I missed the solstice last year, as I was wrapping up the formatting of my new book “Shifting Sands Short Stories.” I could not believe it, when I found out from the evening news that it was indeed the summer solstice. It stayed with me for the rest of the solar year. I felt cheated.

Most often people ask me, “What inspires your writing?”

I do have to say that it is definitely nature and its seasons.

I had to make up for that this year. The saying goes, that real stories are in “what you have missed” or “what is not there” and “what is not said.”

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On this day, the Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun.

I felt better when I saw at the Franciscans that the grass hasn’t been cut yet.That’s what I missed last year, the first grass cutting.  I drove there instead of walking because of a new assignment that is very close to my heart and to the nation’s heart: immigration.

The meadow was delightful in the sun’s direct rays, as the grasses and wildflowers swayed in the breeze. The Japanese lilac tree was in full bloom as well as the ornamental dogwood by the tower. I discovered a birdhouse made from Michigan license plates inside the lilac tree. Hundreds of spirea shrubs were in full maroon bloom.

Earlier in the morning at my hideout on a nearby lake, I took photos of the local heron resident on the swampy shores and hundreds of lotus blooms.

I would never want to miss this longest day of the year again. I will keep it in my heart forever. I will savor the fragrances of the meadow,  and all the sounds of this first day of summer.

The Sizzlin Summer Concert Series in Lowell is now in full swing on the Riverbank, and the Farmer’s Market is open.

Life is good.

It’s been hot and it’s been cold, so far. But, it’s summer in Michigan on the Great Lakes. And I am ready for it.

 

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

 

 

87th Annual Writing Competition

Writer’s Digest Writing Competition deadline is today

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – My latest news is that I submitted a short story for the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition right on the deadline today, June 1st.

It has many advantages. That’s how I accumulated short stories for my first book “Shifting Sands: Short Stories.” Sure, you have to pay the $35 entry fee, but you have content enough for a book.

There are nine entry categories including: script, stage play or television/movie script.

The poetry fee is $20. I’ve been a subscriber to the Writer’s Digest for at least 20 years. It’s essential for writers.

What I do like about the magazine that it is entertaining and full of advice.

I’ll keep you posted on the results. You still have time to enter.

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