Tag Archives: National Novel Writing Month

In observance of Veterans Day 2019, nano day 11

Thank a veteran today for service to our country.

NaNoWriMo continues with Day 11 with excerpt from Greenwich Meridian

By Emma Palova

As I look outside my writing studio window on this Veteran’s Day, I see a white blanket of snow covering my beautiful garden.

NaNoWriMo 2019

According to the Czech calendar, it’s also St. Martin’s Day or the Feast of St. Martin. Tradition has it that if it snows on Nov. 11, then St. Martin has arrived on a white horse and there will be snow on Christmas Day. However, if it doesn’t snow on this day, then St. Martin came on a dark horse and Christmas will not be white, but muddy.

So, it’s looking like we’re going to have a white Christmas in Michigan.

I’ve been working since 9 a.m. on my NaNoWriMo project- the completion of the Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA, spanning two generations.

I logged in 1,707 words for a total of 25,404 words. I spent a good deal of time on revisions. Revisions are more time encompassing than creating brand new content.

I wrapped up my NaNo writing about 30 minutes ago with chapter “Sad homecoming.” Just like the title hints, it was a sad homecoming in June of 1973 when we returned from USA to former Czechoslovakia.

Here is an excerpt:

When we got off  Boeing 747 in London to change flights to Prague, I cried and cried. Tears were rolling down my cheeks, as I realized that we were back in Europe. But the main shock was yet to come at the Prague Ruzyne Airport. We arrived sometime in June of 1973, so it was hot. At the airport customs, we were immediately rushed to the side into a peculiar enclosure, a cell-like structure.  Other people were waiting in the small room as well. 

“But my parents are waiting for us,” mom argued in vain with the custom officials who took away the passports and other documents. At the time, my parents had three passports, and a female custom official took them away from mom. 

“You’re going to Trebotov,” the official said with a rigid face. 

“Why? What is in Trebotov?” she asked. “I don’t know anything about it. And my parents are waiting for me,” mom said as she struggled to free herself from the official who grabbed her by the arm. 

“Let me go,” she said. “I need to talk to them.” 

“No, you’re going to the quarantine,” the female official said firmly. 

I looked at mom. She was scared, and confused not knowing what was going on. There were more immigrants from different parts of the world waiting to be transported to the so called “quarantine” in Trebotov. We weren’t allowed to talk to each other. 

“What quarantine? We’re not sick,” mom raised her voice. “We just returned from the USA for the presidential amnesty.” 

The female official was uncompromising, and she was like most officials very unpleasant. She was dressed in a uniform with a rigid face. After endless checking of documents and luggage, we were escorted to a black 603 Tatra government car. The driver took us on what seemed to be an endless tour through the countryside of the Central Bohemia region west of Prague. Mom cried the entire way, while we had no idea where we were going. The car was moving fast on narrow country roads, and it all just turned into a blur. We finally stopped in front of an old austere building with a gate and a fence. 

To be continued…

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

NANAOWRIMO DAY 8

The structure of Greenwich Meridian- Save the Cat! Beat Sheet (NaNo- Style)

By Emma Palova

I woke up in the dark to a freezing morning. The temperature was 23 degrees Fahrenheit, we’re 30 degrees below average November temperatures in Michigan; perfect weather for writing.

I logged in a total of 16,336 words on my NaNo 2019 dashboard that tracks daily writing progress in the National Novel Writing Month 50K challenge. My daily count was only sligthly above 1,000 words, but I organized the structure of the memoir according to Save the Cat! beat sheet for graphic novels.

Structure of Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West NaNo- Style

I introduced my dad math professor Vaclav Konecny as a young man on the brink of his first adventure, unhappy with the status quo in the communist Czechoslovakia in mid 1960s.

Here is an excerpt:

Young math professor Vaclav Konecny feared the communist regime that prohibited the society to practice religion and the teachers were the main target of this religious prohibition in Czechoslovakia under the Marxist philosophy.

Ironically, he studied at an austere seminary in Kromeriz where he acquired his iron-clad discipline that lasts to this day.

He grabbed the opportunity to teach Applied Mathematics in Khartoum, Sudan as a way out of the restrictions that he called the “cage” in 1964.

To be continued

Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Nano prep 2 with excerpt

Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Today, during my morning writing session, I ventured into our U.S. naturalization, as well as answering the most important question for a writer.

How has America changed me?

Michigan authors at the Lakeshore Art Festival 2019 in front of the Authors Tent.

I have broadened my horizons from a naïve person with a narrow perspective on the evils of capitalism to a responsible American citizen, who votes and participates in democracy. Rather than complaining about things, I take action to change them, when possible as in the case of my authorpreneurship.

I am proud to be a part of the Michigan Authors movement sweeping the shores from Lake Michigan to Lakes Huron & Superior. See http://michiganauthors.com/

I was naturalized in August of 1999 in a beautiful ceremony at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids along with 96 other people from around the world. I received congratulations from all over Michigan, because the Associated Press syndicated the story about my naturalization written by Kara Henigan for the Ionia Sentinel-Standard. Here is an excerpt from the Ionia Sentinel-Standard Aug. 19, 1999.

Ludek’s naturalization in October of 2018.

Emma Palova of Lowell, was among the new naturalized American citizens. She tells other people’s stories for a living as a writer for the Sentinel-Standard, but on this day, she shared her own tale, a tale of a dream fulfilled.

“The United States has always symbolized freedom for me, coming from an oppressed, communist country,” she said. “And it still does, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”

Citizenship was not a necessity for her livelihood.

“It was my goal and my dream,” she said. “It is kind of a closure.”

My husband Ludek was naturalized last year in October, also at the Gerald R. Ford Museum. Ludek takes his citizenship very seriously, and always asks me about candidates, proposals and follows the debates.

The story about his naturalization appeared in the Lowell Ledger on Oct. 24, 2018.

At his ceremony, magistrate Hon. Ray Kent congratulated the new citizens with these words:

“Write the next great chapter in the history of this country.”

That statement is still ringing in my ears as I write this chapter of the memoir. Ludek has already voted in the last school election. Voting is a privilege. Back in communist Czechoslovakia, we could only vote for one party- the Communist Party. It defeated the purpose of voting at all.

Tomorrow I will dive into the tentacles of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, led by dissident playwright late Vaclav Havel.

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

National Novel Writing Month – winner 2018

Daily insights from #nanowrimo with story excerpts

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings 

Lowell, MI – What does NaNoWriMo mean to me?

I can only answer this question now that I have completed the 50K creative project and claimed the Winner 2018 cetificate.

NaNoWriMo is like a powerful fuel that you need to keep you going. You also have to keep on refueling as often as possible. It’s a gauge that efficiently measures your progress as you go.

Secondly, I have realized that there is no such a thing as a writer’s block; only slumps, slowdowns and funks around the Thanksgiving holiday and on Sundays.

Is creative activity as mysterious as we all think? Yes. You don’t know at the end of the day, what you’re going to come up with.

Is it scary? It can be, if you don’t know what your character is going to do next.

The creative project required a lot of discipline without credits or end of the year bonuses. But, also you were your own boss in determining when and how you were going to accomplish the 50K challenge.

I was amused by some of the questions on social media like: “What is your favorite writing drink?”

Mine is definitely tea, because I get a headache from drinking a lot of coffee.

Will I do it again in 2019? Most likely yes.

Would I recommend it? It depends on your writing goals. Fifty-thousand words is a nice chunk to start with.

Is it doable with kids and a full-time job? It depends on your partner on how many house chores will he or she take on.

Is writing still the most lonesome activity in the world that in the end depends on the the public’s liking or disliking? Yes.

WHAT NOW?

At the end, I committed to revision and editing, as well as writing more short stories to include in the new book “Shifting Sands: Secrets.” (c) 2019 Emma Palova.

The NaNoWriMo certificate defines a winner as:

A literal literary hero. A disciplined wordsmith.

A squirrel-suit flyer who just earned their wings…………

For more info about NaNoWriMo go to:

http://www.nanowrimo.org

My sincere thanks to the staff, organizers and pep talk authors of the NaNoWriMo creative project for support and encouragement.

I will be using  Pacemaker.press on http://www.pacemaker.press to further measure my progress into the publishing of the new anthology of short stories.

Excerpts from “White Nights” (c) 2018 Emma Palova

It was the gossip of the village that Joe beat his wife. He was a fourth-generation farmer on the largest farming plat in the village.

In front of the public eye, he acted as a proper man. Joe did everything that was expected of the largest landowner to do. He sat on the township board, on the school and the church boards. In spite of the gossip, he was a respected man with other great qualities than self-control.

Unlike Father Sam, he had no choice of what he wanted do. He inherited the land, so he had to farm it. When farming got tough with the dumping of the cheap apple juice from China in the late 1990s, his two brothers decided to get out of working with dirt. They went to work forthe largest milling company out by Shimnicon Corners. At that time, Joe too had to seek his soul, after beating one of them near death.

“You will never cross the threshold of my house,” he yelled that winter when they fought over the buyout money. “Where do you think I am going to get two million bucks?

They left anyways, and Joe owed them for the rest of his life. Joe sold off land fordevelopment and paid off some of the money, while making enemies with other farmers.

NaNoWriMo sponsors

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

Days 24 through Nov. 26 of National Novel Writing Month

Insights from #nanowrimo with excerpts

National Novel Writing Month.

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – This morning I finished “Oceans Away” stort story and I started “Fallasburg Code.” I logged in with 47,568 words in the 50K word marathon. I would like to finish by Wednesday or Thursday depending on how the last two stories go.

This was my first time participating in the National Novel Writing Month. Many people have already completed the creative project. My major takeaways are:

Finding my optimum daily writing quota of six pages or 1,500 words. The hardest part is always the start-up of new stories, on day two usually the plot unravels, and the wrap up is on day three.

I will have a total of 14 stories in the new book “Secrets” (c) 2019 Emma Palova. There were a lot of suprises for me in this one as well. In some cases, I changed titles to better fit the story. The second book is definitely not any easier than the first one.

Is it different and how?

I added some historical fiction in stories “Silk Nora” and “Fallasburg Code.”

Do I have a favorite short story? People asked me this question about the first book “Shifting Sands: Short Stories.” In this collection it is definitely “Silk Nora” which is set in my favorite time period of the 1920s.

In this sequel, I don’t dedicate as much to immigration as in the first one. Some stories like “Secrets in Ink” still draw on my newspaper writing experience.

I would like to thank the National Novel Writing Month staff for the opportunity and for the encouragement.

For more info go to:

http://www.nanowrimo.org

Excerpts from “Oceans Away”

Book cover for “Secrets” aka the Face of Gossip.

Even though she was suspicious at first, Norma went for the app and diligently filled out all the fields about herself.

Paul was good looking as she requested, blonde and tall; while she tallied up to his expectations as well, brunette and medium height and weight. Their first rendezvous was in Budapest, Hungary on a boat.

Norma insisted on neutral grounds such as Europe. It was Paul who picked the capital of Hungary for their first meeting. The app set their date on a boat “Princess” floating on the Danube to explore the river towns.

The date was expensive and exotic, that’s what they both wanted for their first time together. They had separate cabins on the boat. The first night, the boat was just anchoring in Budapest and they took a taxi into the city.

Paul proudly started first telling Norma all about himself. He was a doctor of Slavic origin, who wanted to get away from the nationalistic France. Norma wasn’t ashamed of her new job of the Warhol Museum executive director, either. She worked hard to get the job studying online for her master’s degree.

Budapest at night was like a star waiting to shine on the night sky. They sat long into the night on the deck bar on the boat eating shrimp and drinking red Hungarian wine.

“Will you come and see me in Noumea?” Paul asked on the boat looking at Norma.

Nanowrimo sponsors.

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

Happy Thanksgiving

Day 22 of the National Novel Writing Month

Daily insights with excerpts from #nanowrimo

National Novel Writing Month.

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – I would like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and followers around the globe.

As the tension in Europe intensifies with pending strikes in France and Czech Republic, I am deeply humbled by the Thanksgiving feast of hardiness and determination of our predecessors to survive.

I am thankful for this country’s abundance and the free creative spirit. I look forward to spending the holiday with our family from Big Rapids and Hastings. My deepest unfullfilled wish is for our French family to be here with us as well.

In the creative spirit of this free country, I logged in this morning with 42,578 words doing my personal part in the 50K word marathon.

The short story “40 Hunks” is a part of the new collection of short stories “Secrets” (c) 2018 Emma Palova. This is a sequel to “Shifting Sands: Short Stories” (c) 2017 Emma Palova.

It is my clear intention to see “Secrets” to print in 2019 after the revision months of January and February suppported by the National Novel Writing Month.

For more info go to:

http://www.nanowrimo.org

Excerpts from “40 Hunks”

Tracking progress at 42,578 words on Thanksgiving, 2018.

The work guide didn’t respond and turned his head away from Jose. He got immediately on the phone with the central farm.

“We’re heading out,” he said. “I need to count the heads. There’s supposed to be 40 men aboard. I need to count them to make sure I don’t have 50. We already looked in the storage; just fuel containers, no extra men.”

Jose decided to mind his own business and ignored the guide who walked to the back of the bus counting the men.

Antonio got up angrily as the guide approached the back of the bus. His shirt was ripped in the back and he had leather bracelets on his wrists. He grabbed the handle bars below the ceiling of the bus, and swayed in front of the work guide.

“How may I help you, gringo?” said Antonio in broken English. “How many times are you going to count us? There are 40 men on this bus. That doesn’t include you and the driver. I want to keep it that way until we get there.”

Antonio looked at the work guide and ripped off his name tag and threw it on the floor.

“There you go,” he laughed. “You’re nobody. You white piece of shit. Remember that.”

Antonio fell back heavily on the torn seat with white fuzz sticking out. He pulled some of the fuss out of the seat.

“I’ll stick this into your mouth, if you don’t stay quiet,” threatened Antonio.

The guide retreated to the front by Jose, who was now whistling to a tune on his cassette player.

“Man, you got a rough crowd here,” said the guide. “Who is that big dude?”

“Nobody, just like the rest of them,” said Jose. “Leave me alone. I need some rest.”

Sponsors of #nanowrimo

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

Day 21 of National Novel Writing Month

Daily insights not only from #nanowrimo 50 K creative project with excerpts

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – As I plug along toward the 50K #nanowrimo novel writing goal, I observe daily life with new joy; that is the time when I don’t have to write.

National Novel Writing Month.

So, first of all: “Happy birthday Josephine Marie Palova.” The chocolate cake with the five princesses are all  waiting for you.

Second: It’s a nice day out there with unusual November sunshine, so I took a ride to the tart cherry and apple H&W Farm on Belding Road to get some Thanksgiving goodies for the big feast tomorrow.

I got some fresh apple cider, Honeycrisp apples, chocolate covered tart cherries, hot pepper preserves, boysenberry jelly and cherry green tea from Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor.

With the exception of the delicious cider, all the goodies are going into a care package for my parents who are leaving for Venice, Florida the week after Thanksgiving.

With that said, I logged in this morning with 41,264 words in the 50K marathon while a few have reached the end of their sprint. My short story “40 Hunks” (c) 2018 Emma Palova has taken on a surprising spin.

The story will become a part of my new story collection “Secrets” (c) 2018 Emma Palova.

Who knows where this story will lead me?

Book cover for “Secrets” aka the Face of Gossip.

Excerpts from “40 Hunks”

The men arrived the next morning on the frozen central farm shaking with cold, thirst and hunger. They only knew the heat coming from the Sonoran Desert along with the “dust devils.” The producer showed them into the large barn with half-empty storage crates with Evercrisp apples. It was cold in the barn too. The producer known to friends as Frank was saving money on everything from heat to labor cost.

Jose watched the process along with work guide Mike carefully.

“We were expecting 40 men,” said Frank looking at the government list with names. He noticed one name was crossed off. “You know the drill; 40 men in, 40 men out at the end of the season. No tricks or I get in trouble with the government.”

Holding tight onto Mike’s shoulder, Jose immediately responded.

“Antonio couldn’t make it, he stayed at home sick,” said Jose looking directly at Mike.

Mike was shaking with fear as he felt the barrel of a gun press through his pants onto his thigh.  He could hear the lyrics in his head from the bus ride, since the casette player played it over and over again.

Do you mean this horny creep, set upon weary feet, in need of sleep, That doesn’t come?

NaNoWriMo sponsors

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

Day 12 #nanowrimo

Half-way point reached with 25,282 words, daily insights

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – I reached the half-way point of the National Novel Writing Month creative project this morning at 11 a.m. with 25,282 words in the 50K word marathon.

nano-2018-writer-twitter-header

Needless to say that I am excstatic. I average six pages a day or 1,500 words. I am still working on historical fiction story “Silk Nora” (c) 2018 Emma Palova, which becomes a part of the new anthology “Secrets” (c) Emma Palova, a sequel to last year’s Shifting Sands: Short Stories.

I was delighted to find out about the different shoes from the 1920s like T-strap Mary Janes and Oxfords. Who said that research and history are boring? It depends on what you’re looking for.

I have a clear intention of seeing “Secrets” to print. There is a section “Now What?” on the #nanowrimo once you’re done with your 50,000 words. It will be supported in the months of January and February with the #NaNoNowWhat event to move along the revision and publishing process.

I am really looking forward to also chatting with #NaNoCoach Carolina DeRobertis on twitter this week. Not that I can take a breather, but it does feel good to reach the half-way point marked by a 25,000 word badge.

Excerpts

Nora was hesitant to speak.

“You want to talk to me, dear?” Doris encouraged her protégé to speak up.

“I know Doris, you’re single and you probably wouldn’t understand me,” whispered shyly Nora.

Doris straightened up in her chair and looked deeply at Nora’s face.

“I may be single, but that doesn’t mean I never had boyfriend,” she said.

The office was functional but pretty just like the rest of the dorms.

“I can’t attend high tea on Sunday,” Nora breathed heavily as got the dreaded words out of her.

Doris walked to Nora and put her hand on her shoulder.

“Look at me, Nora,” she said. “It isn’t a sin not to attend high tea. You know it’s not mandatory.”

“I know, but I don’t want to disappoint you, Doris,” said Nora teary-eyed, “or make you feel bad.”

“Nora, you’re acting up because of nothing, what is really going on with you?” Doris asked.

Nora had been secluding herself ever since that dance with Harry at the Rose Ballroom. She didn’t talk much with any other girls at the dorms or at work.

“You know my friend Harry?” Nora paused to think about her words.

“Yes, the newspaper writer, you danced with him at the ball,” said Doris. “What about him?”

“He asked me out to the movies this Sunday during your high tea,” said Nora sadly.

Doris sat back in her chair behind the desk.

 

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

Day 6 #nanowrimo

Daily insights from the National Novel Writing Month creative project

nano-2018-writer-twitter-header

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I wrote and I voted, equally diligent, and in that particular order. I am a morning writer. I get up early, do my yoga, walk on the treadmill and meditate to get into the writing zone.

In today’s meditation, I found out that news can be a potential stressor. The Wrimos (Writers and pep speakers) reiterated the same statement; stay away from TV during the 50K word marathon through Nov. 30. Our friend Dave T. suggested the same in the congratulatory letter to Ludek’s U.S. citizenship:

“All I can say is pay little or no attention to the ‘Cat Fights’ that are played out in the glut of political ads found on television! They are an exerci$e in how to wa$te million$ of dollar$ to make TV $tation$ rich!”

I did however like Google’s Go Vote encouragement instead of the usual doodles or caricatures.

“I Voted, Google.”

After four hours of writing “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener”, my inner editor kicked in and started questioning my thought process and my morals. I knew I had enough of writing and I headed out into the misty day to the polls.

I was voter no. 511 voting at Precinct 1 at the Vergennes Township Hall at 1 p.m. The ballot was crowded with state and county proposals. I was perplexed by the last question asking for funding of the early childhood program. How was it funded before?

I walked on the wet boardwalk from the township hall and put the “I Voted” sticker on my winter jacket before I lose it.

After I recorded my thoughts on how to end the story that doesn’t seem like a short story anymore on the banks of Murray Lake, I was relieved to do a little bit of website updating for Fallasburg.

Anyway, I logged in 13,050 words lowering the daily quota to 1,448 words. That’s still a lot of intense writing. I had to skip some of the motivational talks on Instagram in order fullfill the quota.

It is my clear intention to publish the anthology “Secrets” (c) 2018 Emma Palova as a direct product of #nanowrimo. It is a sequel to my first book “Shifting Sands: Short Stories.”

Here are excerpts from “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener.”

Years went by faster than minutes on the clock on the wall, Sister Theophane went through more rigorous discernment. One Saturday afternoon, she decided to take a walk on the trails. She just followed the one that seemed familiar to her. There were the cherry trees on the left and the deer tracks on the right. The trail went a little up the hill and into another curve before the opening on top of the hill.

She stood by the bench under the big tree overlooking the rolling hills. The essence of that afternoon long time ago vaguely came back to her. Theophane could feel Kurt’s touch. She forgot completely what he looked like. They were too young back then to savor their memories.

Saddened by the moment, Theophane headed out on the trail looping back to the convent gardens. The gardening team was working along with other sisters. It was the Saturday work day. And the community was getting ready for another event.

Theophane was so immersed in her discernment and studies for the promotion, that she forgot what the event was.

“Hello, Sisters,” she said. “What’s the rush?”

“Mother, we have another 5K run coming,” said one novice. “Have you forgotten?”

Theophane looked into a distance bringing back that ominous 5K run many years ago.

“When is it?” she forced herself back into reality.

“In four weeks,” said the novice.

Theophane realized that by then, she would become the Mother of the Order. Karla passed away two months ago, and a directive came from the administration that Theophane will be taking over.

“You have only a few weeks to get ready for this important new service,” the note stated. “Don’t let your ambition get to you. Stay humble and pray.”

This time the ceremony was very private unlike the public final vows; no public was allowed. The chapel was full of other nuns and clergy.

Theophane kept her sister name. She learned to love and to respect it. From now on she would be leading the lively campus with many work teams. She would have to get acquainted with the team teams.

On a Monday, Mother Theophane went to introduce herself to the gardening team. As a girl she loved to garden. That all vanished with the increased requirements by the order.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude for your work that glorifies these gardens,” she said to the team. They bring so much joy to all of us.”

She noticed a tall tanned guy in the back.

Copyright (c0 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Day 4 #nanowrimo

Time change favors productivity of Wrimos with excerpts

nano-2018-writer-twitter-header

Lowell, MI -The time change favored the brave Wrimo writers of the National Novel Writing Month falling back an hour.

I started writing probably somewhere around 5:30 a.m. of the new time. The first signs of a new day came around 8:30 a.m. I logged in a total of  8,590 words with the short story “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener” from the new collection “Secrets” (c) copyright Emma Palova.

The way the story unraveled itself surprised even me as I was writing and the characters began to lead me into their lives. Thank you main characters Zita, mom Dona, boyfriend Kurt and Mother Karla.

I have a clear intention of publishing “Secrets” upon the completion of the 50K word goal of the National Novel Writing Month.

After the morning writing marathon, the day became quite a challenge with the regular Sunday routine broken not only by writing, but also by a visit to the Belrockton museum in search of inspiration. That’s where I discovered the poster for the cover of the new book, and a million ideas for a new story.

Another day of #nanowrimo is on the horizon, and I don’t have the luxury to run out of story fuel.

My parents Ella and Vaclav came over with brother Vas for an unusual Sunday afternoon visit. The rut of the Sunday visits from the old country of Czechoslovakia came back. Vas and mom were fighting.

I am grateful that we live close enough to visit, plus we had fun with my husband’s newly acquired fame thanks to his shining U.S. citizenship. Ludek even got a letter from one of his fans, Dave.

Here is an excerpt from “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener

Dona drove through the long alley of beautiful crab apple and oak trees. The crab apple trees were now in their late pink and white blossoms, so the petals were all over the dirt road leading to the Dominican campus. Dona passed the small red barn on the right with the apple orchard also in full blossom. The labyrinth of dirt roads took her to the main building. She knocked on the big heavy door again.

Mother Karla opened the door and welcomed the woman into her quarters. Sitting at a big desk with a cross behind her, Karla folded her hands and looked up at Dona. A rosary was intertwined between her fingers and wrapped around her right wrist.

This time, Dona was more composed. She dressed appropriately for a battle with what should become the new mother of her only child. Dona put on her best suit, a striped navy-blue jacket and skirt, and a white silk blouse. Golden bracelets were dangling from her left wrist, and Dona made sure she put the diamond ring on the correct finger of the left hand even though it was a little big.

An hour before Dona’s arrival, Mother Karla went through a different ritual of preparing for a dangerous guest. She prayed for a successful outcome. Karla too put on her best foot forward in her white garb.

“Speak about what brings you here,” Mother Karla said watching Dona closely.

Without wincing or fidgeting, Dona went straight to the point looking directly into the Mother’s eyes.

“I will not let my only child become a nun,” said Dona firmly. “There is no way, my child will be a nun; not while I am alive. It will happen only over my dead body. I will fight this. You lured her to this. She would have never done this on her own.”

Dona leaned back into the leather armchair crossing her slender legs. Mother Karla leaned forward over her desk toward Dona playing with the beads of the lavender-colored rosary. She inched her fingers toward the cross on the rosary.

“Why would I lure your child to the order?” asked Karla strictly.

Dona stood up and walked closer to the big desk breathing heavily into Karla’s face.

“You coaxed her into this with your lies and deceptions,” she attacked Karla.

Dona slammed her small fist in front of Karla’s face on the big desk. Karla stood up too and walked around the desk to stand face to face with Dona. Karla put her hands against her wide hips:

“First of all, I am a woman of cloth. I do not deceive or lie,” she said. “It is my highest duty to tell the truth to anyone who is seeking it.”

Dona was sobbing out loud now. She was trying to catch her breath before speaking again. Then, she collapsed back into the leather armchair.

“You’re stealing my daughter from me,” she wept. “You’re a thief.”

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