Tag Archives: Shifting Sands Short Stories

Genius dad

My dad is my genius with excerpts from “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” in Shifting Sands Short Stories

The Genius in both my heart and my mind is my father professor Vaclav Konecny.  His genius and inspiration was Albert Einstein. Dad genius following another genius.

My father Vaclav has been my inspiration and a role model over the years. It’s not that he has always been physically present in my life. At times, he was as distant as the Atlantic Ocean and the sky over it are vast.

For many years he lived in the USA, while I was living back in former Czechoslovakia.. He taught math at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan well into the mid 2000s.

His influence never ceased. He was my firm constellation in the sky. I love looking at the sky, and thinking of the constellations as people in my life. He was my brave Perseus when he left Czechoslovakia in 1968 to “conquer” other countries that appreciated his talent more. He had to behead many “Medusas,” ugly heads of jealousy before he got to his beloved small town university.

EW Fermat's last theorem
Fermat’s conjecture in Arithmetica.

His genius manifested itself in hundreds of solved math problems in math journals around the world and hundreds of proposed ones. Dad says it is more difficult to propose a problem, than to solve one.

It was thanks to him that I have learned what Fermat’s Last Theorem is. The theme how to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem or conjecture was always on the table when friends came over to my parents house.

My father knows how to entertain even a stranger using his impeccable logic as a steady guide. Once he had to go to a party where he knew no one. He ran into a dentist.

“Dad, what did you talk to him about?” I asked.

“What else? We talked about teeth,” he laughed.

I remembered that forever. Once you know the profession of a stranger at the party, you talk about it, unless there is a better theme.

It wasn’t just the math genius in him, but also the artist. During critical times in my dad’s life, he turned to painting. He painted in oils scenes from the Candadian Rockies, Niagara and my favorite “Cacti at Night” on black velvet from the Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona. He also painted a Dutch windmill.

Dad is also a great handyman who can repair just about anything around the house. He calls the closet full of tools in their Venice condo, his “workshop.”

He served as an inspiration for the short story “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” in my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories.

Excerpts from “The Temptation of Martin Duggan”

“After years of traveling between Europe and the USA, Martin and Rose settled down in a small university town not far from the big lake. And that was Rocky Rapids, a humble town that suited Martin well. Idyllic and charming.

The only violence in this town on the Rocky River was stirred by the students jumping from their dorms or frat houses. If dreams come true, they came true here for both Martin and Rose.

Martin was a well-respected and accomplished professor of math with the post-doctorate title from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Martin considered the trek from the territories of Canada to the US Midwest inevitable.

He took great care not to participate in anything that would jeopardize the projected path of success and content, such as union strikes. As computers emerged on the scene, Martin acquired another degree in computer science and reached a tenure with the university. He got Rose a job at the university as well.

The noise from the students packing up their notebooks and leaving the classroom stirred Martin up from his flashbacks to Africa. He looked at his watch. It was time. He carefully packed his own carefully prepared lectures, and put everything in his light gray briefcase with a shoulder strap.

He walked to his gray Chevrolet, the only brand he trusted over the years. Just like everything else Martin had ever owned, it was perfectly clean. He didn’t forget to grab a bottle of cold diet Coke from the machine.

Driving through Rocky Rapids was a balsam on his nerves. The town was neat and clean too with a few banks, a video store, a car dealership and a long gone Spartan grocery. Rose used to shop there, when they still loaded groceries into cars back in the 1980s. As a remnant of the past, there was a Bear furniture store, a drive up restaurant and a Dairy Queen by the city park with the creek.

It could have been a perfect day, in a perfect life in a perfect town of one perfect professor and a perfect couple.

 

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

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Interesting things

Excerpts from Orange Nights in Shifting Sands Short Stories

The most Interesting things in the store were the changing seasons and the colors reflecting them. The summer colors were still vibrant, and hanging in the air or it could have been the nostalgia after a summer passing by.

And then there were the never-ending returns in the Women’s department always shoved in a heaping basket by the fitting rooms that served as a hangout spot.

Dressing up for "Chaos."
Never-ending stream of returns in Women’s department.

“Why did you stay in the store all these years, Irma?” asked Rachel doubtful and wondering about her own future.

“You come in young like most, because you don’t know what to do with yourself,” said Big Irma. “And after a while you just get used to it, and you’re afraid of change. Just look around you. What do you see?”

However, it was all in what you didn’t see. Those were the underlying currents of being stuck in any situation in life, and not being able to move forward. It had different names, that all came under one label.

That label was fear. And fear had many faces. It was hiding under different coats of comfort and security, assurances or the lack of them.

“Have you ever been afraid in the store?” asked Rachel. “I mean really afraid. I know we have security department and all that, but afraid as in who is going to walk in through that door and what is he going to do?”

People were already streaming in along with normal day people who had nothing to do with the orange balloon clearance in the soft and hard lines, like the grocery people and the food court.

For the moment Rachel envied them the regularity of a normal day job. They came in and they left on regular basis without the madness of wanting to do something else with their lives.

“Why aren’t you in your own department?” a scowling voice breathed down her neck.

Startled she turned around. The tall orange blonde man with a mustache still dressed in civil clothes was right behind Rachel’s back. Wendell pulled out of the cart with the returns shorts tangled in with a bra and panties. The lines manager smelled of beer and cigarettes, after a night of drinking.

“How did the night go?” Wendell asked about the clearance mark-downs with orange stickers. “What’s all this crap?”

Big Irma tired after the long night turned to Wendell.

“You just have to over there and see,” she said. “There’s a lot of clearance this year. I guess people weren’t buying as much or we overbought, or both. You never know from year to year.”

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.

A Crescendo for Taurus

Interesting horoscope for Taurus today

You revel in the certainty that today’s good intentions will reap tomorrow’s just rewards. Although your practicality may be tested now, your consistent actions add up in your favor. Stay strong and keep the faith, even if the attainment of your goals seems closer to a distant horizon than to your doorstep. Continue moving forward one step at a time.

I liken this time to a  Crescendo in music.

Author Josh Shipp wrote, “Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose.”

My author’s journey continues

Grab a book at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids or Lansing, or on Amazon, and come to my book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse on Sept. 16 & Sept. 17 from 1 pm to 4 p.m.

For book excerpts go to Edition Emma Publishing at http://editionemma.wordpress.com

Visit with unique vendors during the 3rd annual Fallasburg village bazaar.

 

For more info on Fallasburg go to:

http://fallasburgtoday.org or http://www.fallasburg.org

Schuler Books at schulerbooks.com

https://www.tarot.com/daily-horoscope/taurus/2017-09-12?

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

Delivering my new book

All set for book signing during the Fallasburg village bazaar & Fall Festival for Arts  on Sept.16 and Sept.17

By Emma Palova

East Lansing, MI – What a way to spend the Labor Day weekend. We delivered copies of my new book to Schuler Books in East Lansing at the chic Eastwood Towne Center.

My new book Shifting Sands Short Stories will be available after Labor Day at Schuler Books in the Okemos and East Lansing stores.

 

It is now available at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids on 28th Street.

Stop in. Chat with a friend at Chapbook Cafe. Pick up a copy of my book just in time for the upcoming book signing at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse during the 3rd annual Fallasburg village bazaar on Sept.16 and Sept.17 from 1 to 4 pm.

Come and chat with the author of Shifting Sands Short Stories, Emma Palova about the egotistical characters in the book.

For more info go to EW Emma’s Writings on http://emmapalova.com and on Fallasburg Today on http://fallasburgtoday.org

Schuler Books is locally and independently owned with a local author program.

We will be working together on local author’s events.

They accept independently published books on consignment.

For more info go to Schuler Books at http://www.schulerbooks.com

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

 

Happy birthday mom

Mom Ella turns 80 in a Visceral celebration

Big Rapids, MI – Today, my mother Ella Konecny turns 80 in Big Rapids, MI. Together with my father Vaclav, they’ve been living in this small university town, home to Ferris State University, for more than three decades.

Their friends at the Saturday’s birthday party for mom have known both for that long.

wp-image-370383369
Mom Ella turns 80 in Big Rapids, MI.

“Your parents are great people,” I heard over and over again.

Mom was born Drabkova in former communist Czechoslovakia on Aug. 23, 1937 in Zlin to Anna and Joseph Drabek.

My mother has inspired the memoir Greenwich Meridian, where East meets west about the family immigration saga. She was the one who didn’t want to leave the communist country after the Soviet invasion on the night of August 20-21 in 1968.

Their journey from the Moravian hilly villages of Vizovice and Stipa to Big Rapids in Michigan was tumultuous with many twists and turns.

Some of the milestones included the 1973 return to hardline Czechoslovakia from Texas, and then the escape back into the New World for my dad in 1976. Mom joined him in 1980.

Dad landed the math professor job at the Ferris State University, and that finally anchored them permanently in their new home.

To this day, mom says she loved her bio lab technician job also at the university. The warm friendly welcome atmosphere proved that at the birthday party.

Their true story has also inspired my fiction in the new Shifting Sands Short Stories book. “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” was inspired by some bits and pieces from the early years of immigration.

I wrote that story shortly after  my immigration to the USA in 1989. When I compare some of the elements of the short story to the memoir, I consider them Visceral in character, coming from a gut feeling.

The main character in the story is professor Martin Duggan obsessed with his own quest for perfection.

May you both enjoy many more years of love, good health and optimism. Thank you for all your love and support.

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

Symphony of words

With our thoughts we make the world.

Buddha

A well-written story is a Symphony of words that click well with the reader. If the reader cannot relate to the content, the writer is not at fault. The reader shouldn’t be at that show. Not everybody likes classical music or country music. But everybody likes music, everybody likes books. They are like pizza. There is no such thing as a bad pizza.

“What inspires you?” people ask me the most.

That is probably the most popular question for any author. There is no single answer, but a multitude of answers depending on the day.

Early in the day, I was inspired by someone else’s selfishness. That person feared that I wouldn’t make the birthday party, if I got into an accident on my upcoming vacation.

I was speechless and flabbergasted. Not a care about the fact, if I was going to make it alive out of the accident. The only thing that mattered was the party.

I always say: “Real people inspire me the most with their actions and emotions, or the lack of both.”

“What powers people’s thinking?”

“With our thoughts we make the world,” Buddha said.

I try to think before I say something and definitely before I write anything.

My best advise to any writer is clear thinking that comes out of meditating, out of that space inside us that we explore, free of distractions and turmoil.

And maybe even more important is the detachment from the outcome, as I found out today while meditating.

After a month of my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories hitting the market, I started feeling resentment for not writing books for all those 20 years that I was working as a journalist for different newspapers.

“Really, Emma?”

That thinking honestly surprised me, and that’s why I went back into meditating.

“Emma, without the journalism jobs, there would be no Delivery of the book, that’s how you built your name recognition and following.”

“That’s how you gained experience, mom,” my daughter Doc Emma said.

I meditated with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey in their newest Desire & Destiny meditation. I highly recommend it, and not just to writers and authors.

It’s better than any “How to…….” manual.

It starts with the paramount question that we should ask ourselves every day.

“Who am I?”

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain

My next book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories will be during the Fallasburg Fall Festival & village bazaar on September 16 & 17 from 1pm to 4 pm at the one-room schoolhouse museum.

Everyone is welcome.

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

Exhausted

I am exhausted and ready for a vacation. Follow me on my author’s journey deeper into the Midwest as the sands shift some more into a new book.

I need some reprieve after all the commotion with the recent book Shifting Sands Short Stories that came out in July, both in kindle and paperback on Amazon.

I still have quite a way to go before the vacation next week, so at least I can write about it. It feels good to finally be able to think about some time off.

Watch for exclusive excerpts from the book, and more author events coming to the area.

What keeps me going are my morning therapeutic walks on the gravel road into the peaceful untrodden meadows, and meditations with Deepak & Oprah.

I especially love the Desire & Destiny meditation about fulfilling your purpose in life. It seems so relevant now with the new book.

Today, I did Day 12: “Inspired Me” with the centering thought, “I am inspired. I am unstoppable.”

I found out that I’ve been pushing too hard. I need to be effortless.

 

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

Shifting Sands Short Stories book press release

Local author pens Shifting Sands book of short stories

A press release is a Traditional  Gate way to media coverage at large, don’t be a
Dormant writer,or author. You’ve finished your book now what?

For immediate release

July 25, 2017

Contact info

Emma Palova

phone

email

website

 

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.

Palova’s book will also be available at the Kent District (KDL) libraries, the Hastings Public Library and in Big Rapids.

She will have a book signing event at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse museum on September 16 & 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the Fallasburg Fall Fest and the Fallasburg village bazaar, with more local author events to be announced. The public is welcome.

The Shifting Sands Short Stories 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, “A 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,  West Michigan.

“I am passionate about the hometowns in Midwest America their characters and personalities,” she said. “They are a hardy bunch.”

Palova has been writing for the area publications since 1997 when she launched her 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. In 2011, she received an award from American Legion for covering veterans’ events. In 2015, 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” based on her communist experience for publication.

Palova has a lifetime passion for history and politics. She does social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS), and she is working with the Tri-River Historical Museum Network.

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

Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon, author’s page

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

For Fallasburg info go to: Fallasburg Today at http://fallasburgtoday.org

 

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

Professor Martin buries his obsessions

Daily Post prompt Bury with book excerpts from Shifting Sands Short Stories

By Emma Palova

Not only am I buried with all the tasks around marketing my new book of short stories, but one of the early stories “The Temptation of Martin Duggan” touches on burying one’s miseries.

We often would like to bury a lot of things, and some of them we actually do in meaningless stockpiles. However, sometimes we need to refer back to them, and dig out some parts of the past.

The main character professor Martin Duggan in the story “Temptation of Martin Duggan” finds himself in this position as he confronts the major conflict in his life: and that is his son Joe.

As soon as the daylight broke, Martin grabbed a spade from the garage. There was still morning dew on Rose’s mauve tulips, as Martin started digging a hole in the middle of the garden. Soil and tulips were flying around as Martin dug deeper into the earth.

Along with the brown soil, Martin was also exhuming his suppressed past longings. He intended to bury in the hole all the role models, present and past, including the model of himself.

He ran back into the den. Rose couldn’t sleep all night long. Courageously, she went after him into what used to be his pride, his office. She looked at the rampage Martin left. Little tears, tiny like the dew drops on the destroyed mauve tulips, rolled down her swollen cheeks, as she watched the man she once had loved.

There were broken pieces of furniture scattered all around along with the broken window pane. There were blood stains on the white carpet and some of the papers.

“Martin, stop. Are you crazy?” Rose cried.

Yes.”

Martin was stuffing his books, notes and computer perforated paper into black garbage backs. He filled six bags with equations and solutions. He tied the bags up neatly and ran back into the garden.

Martin, stop, you don’t what you’re doing,” Rose cried helplessly.

He threw the garbage bags into the hole and threw dirt on top to cover them up. He worked diligently, all sweating. He made a neat mound, and stomped on it to level it.

He grabbed again the axe and wanted to chop up the pretty Danish teak furniture in the living room, he only stopped for a minute in front of the oil painting of the Dutch windmill.

“Stop, I am going to call the police,” Rose said. “Don’t you dare turn on me, you crazy fool.”

Rose walked boldly toward Martin and took away his axe. She pushed him into a chair. Martin was panting, exhausted. He was all flushed and couldn’t breathe.

The book Shifting Sands Short Stories is now available on Amazon at:

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

Emma’s book signing is this Sunday, July 16 at the Fallasburg one-room schoolhouse from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Everyone is invited.

Come and chat with the author in the beautiful historical setting of the 1850s pioneer village of Fallasburg.

Ask the author questions about the egotistical characters in the short stories.

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