Tag Archives: Shifting Sands: Secrets

“SEcrets” summary & Timeline

By Emma Palova

The new book “Shifting Sands: Secrets” is a collection of 15 short stories: “Silk Nora” and “Booksafe Code” are historical fiction stories. 40 Hunks is a fast-paced action story, where bus driver Jose transports 40 Mexican men to labor in Michigan apple orchards.

Stories “Six Palms by the Tiki” and “Devil’s Elixir” explore the themes of aging and disease. “When Layla met Corey” and “Oceans Away” reflect longing for love inspite of distance.

The characters in stories “Chief,” “White Nights” and “Secrets in Ink” sell their souls to the devil.

In “Waiting for Snow”, Colin aka “The Trainman” and store owner Hayden explore dimensions of time, while waiting for snow in Paris.

In “Being Faustina” and “The Writer, the Nun & the Gardener,” the characters deal with different forms of death, including suicide.

In stories “Raspberry Rage” and “Cupcake Wine,” the characters struggle with addiction.

“Secrets” will be ready for the market in May.

Excerpt from 40 Hunks

It was the letter from the US Department of Agriculture giving him permission to cross the border to the US with the 40 men sleeping behind his back. Before they boarded the bus, Jose had to make sure they were the right men. Most of them didn’t have any IDs, so he trusted them and tried to match up the names with the list from the government.

The list wasn’t exact, but Jose knew once they entered the US territory, they would be assigned a permanent work guide. From there on, it was none of his business what would happen with these men. The guides were correction officers borrowed from the regional correctional facilities in the US.

The border patrol in Nogales searched the smelly bus and studied Jose’s driver’s license and the piece of paper.

“How do you know who’s who?” barked a sweating guard with an AK47 across his shoulder, at Jose.

“Vaguely. I know that I have 40 men,” said Jose also sweating.

The guard boarded the bus and walked in the aisle examining each face, holding the piece of governmental paper in his hand.  He stopped and looked closely at one man. The men were wide awake now. He leaned over the hulky man taking in his odor.

“Who are you?” he asked with his face distorted in an evil grimace.

Jose walked up to the two men in the back of the bus.

“Hey, amigo,” he said to the guard. “They don’t speak English.”

The guard shoved the piece of paper with the list of names in front of the hulky man ignoring Jose.

This is the timeline for the “Secrets” 2017-2019:

Prior to the November #NaNoWriMo 50K word challenge, I wrote the first two stories: ” Chief” (2017) and “White Nights.” (2018)

I penned the core of the book during the #NaNoWriMo novel writing month in November 2018 with word count of 56,433. That is nine stories.

After the November 50K writing challenge, I wrote four stories: “Devil’s Elixir,” “When Layla met Corey, “”Waiting for Snow” and “Six Palms by the Tiki”. I finalized the manuscript during #Camp NaNo in April.

I would not be able to do any of this without the support of the National Novel Writing Month projects of daily writing. Thank you.

Book signings and appearances

I am planning book signings and author appearances.

I will be at Lowell Arts in June/Aug. during the Livin Easy exhibit.

Muskegon Art Fair on July 5 & 6th

Ludington Books Alive on July 19

Belrockton in the fall -October

Girls Night Out -October

I am also looking for book reviewers. Please email Emma at emmapalova@yahoo.com for ARCs.

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

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April Creativity

April delivers not just showers and snow

By Emma Palova

On this last day of Camp NaNo, I sent off the remaining four stories from the manuscript “Secrets” to editor Carol Briggs a few minutes ago. Thank you, Carol.

“Shifting Sands: Secrets” is a collection of 15 short stories: “Silk Nora” and “Booksafe Code” are historical fiction stories. 40 Hunks is a fast-paced action story, where bus driver Jose transports 40 Mexican men to labor in Michigan apple orchards.

Stories “Six Palms by the Tiki” and “Devil’s Elixir” explore the themes of aging and disease. “When Layla met Corey” and “Oceans Away” reflect longing for love inspite of distance.

The characters in stories “Chief,” “White Nights” and “Secrets in Ink” sell their souls to the devil.

In “Waiting for Snow”, Colin aka “The Trainman” and store owner Hayden explore dimensions of time, while waiting for snow in Paris.

In “Being Faustina” and “The Writer, the Nun & the Gardener,” the characters deal with different forms of death, including suicide.

In stories “Raspberry Rage” and “Cupcake Wine,” the characters struggle with addiction.

“Secrets” will be ready for the market in May.

Excerpt from 40 Hunks

It was the letter from the US Department of Agriculture giving him permission to cross the border to the US with the 40 men sleeping behind his back. Before they boarded the bus, Jose had to make sure they were the right men. Most of them didn’t have any IDs, so he trusted them and tried to match up the names with the list from the government.

The list wasn’t exact, but Jose knew once they entered the US territory, they would be assigned a permanent work guide. From there on, it was none of his business what would happen with these men. The guides were correction officers borrowed from the regional correctional facilities in the US.

The border patrol in Nogales searched the smelly bus and studied Jose’s driver’s license and the piece of paper.

“How do you know who’s who?” barked a sweating guard with an AK47 across his shoulder, at Jose.

“Vaguely. I know that I have 40 men,” said Jose also sweating.

The guard boarded the bus and walked in the aisle examining each face, holding the piece of governmental paper in his hand.  He stopped and looked closely at one man. The men were wide awake now. He leaned over the hulky man taking in his odor.

“Who are you?” he asked with his face distorted in an evil grimace.

Jose walked up to the two men in the back of the bus.

“Hey, amigo,” he said to the guard. “They don’t speak English.”

The guard shoved the piece of paper with the list of names in front of the hulky man ignoring Jose.

This is the timeline for the “Secrets” 2017-2019:

Prior to the November #NaNoWriMo 50K word challenge, I wrote the first two stories: ” Chief” (2017) and “White Nights.” (2018)

I penned the core of the book during the #NaNoWriMo novel writing month in November 2018 with word count of 56,433. That is nine stories.

After the November 50K writing challenge, I wrote four stories: “Devil’s Elixir,” “When Layla met Corey, “”Waiting for Snow” and “Six Palms by the Tiki”. I finalized the manuscript during #Camp NaNo in April.

I would not be able to do any of this without the support of the National Novel Writing Month projects of daily writing. Thank you.

Book signings and appearances

I am planning book signings and author appearances.

I will be at Lowell Arts in June/Aug. during the Livin Easy exhibit.

Muskegon Art Fair on July 5 & 6th

Ludington Books Alive on July 19

Belrockton in the fall -October

Girls Night Out -October

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

Day 4 Camp NaNOWRIMO

The Camp NaNoWriMo in April is an extension of the National Novel Writing Month in November. We’ve entered the fourth day of the camp already.

I penned the core of “Secrets,” which is a sequel to Shifting Sands: Short Stories, during the November NaNoWriMo project.

From my camp cabin log:

Since, I have two goals for my camp 2019, I am moving ahead to
finish the last story in the collection “Secrets.” I will be done with that
shortly. Then comes formatting.
No.2 goal is to recast the familly immigration saga “Greenwich Meridian: Where East meets West. Instead of discarding 11 chapters, I will just
shuffle content around. I have to get the memoir going in the right
direction. I don’t want it to be a list of facts.
I hope for all us campers that we can get done what we have set out to
do; the camaraderie and support help. I have
family here from Europe, so it’s hard to get in my actual “butt in chair”
time.

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

Lenten soups

Lent, a time to reflect

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lent is a spiritual time of reflection for 40 days before Easter observed by Christians around the world. It begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday, April 18 this year.

It is marked by the color purple and fasting. On Lenten Fridays, Christians should abstain from meat and excessive drinking.

One of its traditions are Lenten soups served by many local parish communities such as The Franciscan Life Process Center. The following soups, donated by the area restaurants, will be offered on Lenten Wednesdays:

March 20th Cannonsburg Catering Potato Soup Dilly Bread Cannonsburgcatering.com

March 27th Applause Catering Broccoli Cheese Oatmeal Bread Applause-catering.net

April 3rd G RCC Culinary Program Beef Barley Cinnamon Bread http://www.grcc.edu

April 10th Vitale’s Ada Minestrone Extreme Garlic

With its deeply embedded traditions, Lent has inspired many of my stories and writings. My favorite soup, not only for Lent, is Mediterranean lentil soup with lemon and turmeric.

Excerpt from “Shifting Sands: Secrets”

Amora decided to further think about a night walk under the moon in pursuit of a glimpse of the giant silk moth.

In the meantime, she would do some research about the luminous winged wonder, and find a clock that wouldn’t be as noisy.

Worse even yet in the cottage living, you couldn’t release any stink either; like frying a fish on a Lenten Friday or on any Friday. Being a good Catholic, Amora made sure she never ate meat on Fridays. Unlike Margot, who both ate meat and drank on Lenten Fridays, Amora stuck to her acquired routine.

Undisciplined Amora had to build up her routine like a bee flying from a wild flower to an order trapped in her own beehive.

“Are we going out on Friday, Amora?” Margot asked when they were gossiping on the balcony.

“We shouldn’t,” Amora said. “It’s Lent. You should know that, you’re Irish.”

They decided to go anyways to the old Irish Pub with dubious reputation in downtown. They settled at their favorite table in the corner.

“Will it be the usual two Killarneys for the ladies?” asked the waiter.

“Just one,” snapped Amora. “It’s Lent.”

“For you, mam?” the waiter looked surprised at Amora.

“No, for her,” Amora pointed at Margot.

“Slainte,” Margot smiled at the waiter. “That’s cheers in Irish.”

The waiter brought the reddish beer and a glass of water full of ice. for Amora. Margot disciplined herself and ordered fish and chips like Amora.

“At least it’s cheap,” Margot said eating her chips. “Tell me all about him.”

“Who?” Amora was shocked.

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

Happy editing

Make editing fun

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I liken the editing process to Adalimumab’s 130 patents. You never know what you’re going to discover during revision.

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

Beach treasures

Life on the beach beats in a different rhythm

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Venice, FL- The morning tide washed ashore treasures galore: large speckled cockles, coquinas, calico scallops, whelks, sturdy white jewel boxes, twisted conches, translucent jingle shells in shades of orange, olive and bubble shells.

The yellowish cocquina and turkey shells were still attached holding on tight to each other. The mollusks have long jumped out of the shells digging themselves into the sand.

The warm westerly wind combined with the cold Norte whipped a white foam on top of the waves breaking and crashing to the shore.

The perfect morning cup of jewels hiding inside a large cockle shell was still filled with water. A skilled paddle boarder navigated the wild waves falling only once, and climbing back up again. A sailboat rocked in the waves.

A dead seagull found its resting place on the beach. A trio of pelicans delighted in the wind flying ten feet above the water.

A slippery wrack of branches and seaweed washed ashore will serve later as a buffet for the birds. Wrack communities are native to Florida beaches; it is stuff cast ashore by the sea.

The encounters on the two-mile long morning walk on Venice Beach range from brief hellos to “How long are you going to stay?”

People walking on the beach were not only couples or families, but often a parent with an adult child. Life on beach takes on a different rhythm; time constraints disappear.

The beach walk has inspired the last story in Shifting Sands: Secrets, a sequel to Shifting Sands: Short Stories.

Feature photo: The perfect morning cup of jewels

The perfect morning full of jewels washed ashore still filled with sea water.

To be continued

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