Come to my book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories this Saturday @LowellArts from 1 to 4 p.m. Bring a copy of my new book that you can purchase locally at Schuler Books in GR, Lansing or on Amazon. I will have a few copies on hand to autograph.
I will be offering writing tips on the following themes:
1- How to start and finish your book in 2018.
2- How to write about love with or without a happy ending.
You can also e-mail me a question at firstname.lastname@example.org in regards to what are you struggling with in writing?
You will also enjoy the Grand Valley Aritsts-In View show at this award-winning gallery.
The LowellArts completed its move from Hudson Street by King Milling to the new location on Main Street one year ago. LowellArts is now providing more arts programs and services that positively impact downtown businesses.
“Yes, it’s a big deal for Lowell,” said Lorain Smalligan, executive director of Lowell Arts. “There are not many communities the size of Lowell with arts center like Lowell Arts.”
As a new author and a screenwriter, I have been enjoying the LowellArts diversification also to literature and play writing.
Although I missed last year’s deadline for submitting plays for the upcoming Playwright Festival, I will definitely submit this year. I am planning on attending the competition of one-act plays on the theme of “Risky Business” from Feb. 16 through Feb. 25
Come and get your book autographed and let’s chat about your writing interests.
Stop by at the Lowell Arts gallery in downtown Lowell on March 10 for my book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories from 1 pm to 4 pm.
I will be sharing author’s insights from the publishing industry, and answering questions such as:
How many hours a week do you think I spend on marketing my new book and my writing business Emma Blogs, LLC?
What are the most effective channels of marketing?
Should you pay and how much for advertising of your book?
How do you stand out? What makes you unique?
How do you reach the right reader?
Feel free to shoot me an email with your questions at email@example.com.
Bring a copy of my new book for an autograph. You can buy it locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, Lansing Okemos or on Amazon. I will have a few copies on hand.
As we approach Valentine’s Day and beyond, I would like to touch on the subject of love or the lack of it in Shifting Sands Short Stories as well as in my upcoming Book 2: Shifting Sands: Secrets (c) 2018 Emma Palova
Most of my characters struggle with love in different forms: Love solid or fluid between partners, parental love, love between siblings or friends, and the destructive transformation of love into hate. The stories may or may not have a happy ending.
For example in the “Death Song,” the love between Vadim and Maria wanes like the moon disc due to the monotony of years gone by. Neither Maria nor Vadim can refresh this dying flower called old love. Instead of bringing into the existing love new momentum, they both turn to destruction.
“Even now inside the cold cathedral, Vadim could still remember her smell that summer evening inside the little chapel in the fields. Maria had a light summer dress on, and everything was blooming.
Thou shalt not kill, he thought.
But, what if though has to? Vadim questioned himself as he looked at the shuffling pair of feet across the aisle in the cathedral. They belonged to a woman who did not care about his beloved lachrymatory lead tune of Mozart’s Requiem. Following a natural instinct, he looked at his side, below the padded church pew and he saw the mismatch in their pair of feet ;Maria’s right foot and his left foot were almost touching each other.
He was fascinated by the difference; as if one was longing for a different match.
Maria was wearing Paris style white high heels, while his restless feet were confined to the black Bostonian kitties tassel wingtips. Vadim had those shoes for years, refusing to change anything. He also wore a black suit and a black tie, although he hated black. It was the last favor he did for Maria. He hated white too- and he wore a white shirt.
Vadim was reliving the scene before they headed out for the concert in the large walk in closet. They fought over each detail until the very last minute.”
See page 55 or location 1001 in Kindle
The excerpt shows how love is Stifled by years of daily routine and knowing each other’s thoughts. Eventually what once was love turns into hate, and takes on the shape of an ugly monster.
The award-winning LowellArts, now transformed into new location on Main Street, is presenting the show Grand Valley Artists-In View through Feb. 10.
“Yes, it is a big deal for Lowell, “said executive director Lorain Smalligan. “There are not many communities the size of Lowell with an arts center like Lowell Arts.”
The impact of Lowell Arts on the community is apparent in more arts programs and services in downtown Lowell.
Don’t miss the Playwright Festival from Feb. 16 through Feb. 25.
In the final week before Christmas, you can still find great gifts. Books are awesome gifts. After a while they become your friends.
Just last week, I found out at the Metro Hospital, that whether you’re reading or writing a book, you’re in the safe zone from worries and anxiety. Writing or reading lessens anxiety just by shifting the focus from your concern about a patient to another subject.
It works for a while. But, any reprieve helps. Now, if the anxiety is about getting a gift for a friend or a relative in the final week of shopping, turn to books. You can’t go wrong when gifting a book.
Most people still love books. To my big surprise at one of my book signings during Christmas through Lowell, some ladies told me they don’t read. I really had trouble believing that.
I mean seriously? You read nothing?
What kind of world would it be without books? Printed books have been around since Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1439.
And if you don’t read print, you can read kindle e-books or listen to audio books. Just the other day I picked up the classic “The Night before Christmas” by Clement Moore as a gift for my grand kids.
I was delighted to read it while waiting at the hospital. The book so well describes Jolly old Saint Nick. I also started translating the book into Czech for the grand kids who will be fully bilingual. I forgot about my worries and entered a different world; a fantasy world without a care.
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there………….”
“Byla to noc pred Vanocema, a v celem dome,
Se nepohnulo nic, ani myska;
Puncochy visely vedle komina,
V nadeji ze prijde Svaty Nick……………………..”
So, whether you buy a classic, a novel, a travel book or short stories, you can’t go wrong.
Check out my new book “Shifting Sands Short Stories” both in kindle e-book and paperback editions on Amazon.
Shifting Sands Short Stories is a collection of 13 short stories where the heroes and heroines shift their destinies like grains of sand in an hour-glass. Often, they cannot escape what others have arranged for them.
They wither under pressure, die or change. Sometimes the characters like professor Martin Duggan have to pass through the narrow part, only to rediscover themselves as they emerge in a new form; changed forever.
They’re packed in the crowd with others, or loose by themselves, either stranded or pushed to the wall. The shifting shows that everything changes and is like a fluid energy in life.
Come along on the route of the Storyteller 2017. Come and visit Midwest Riddleyville and beyond.
This final week before Christmas, the kindle version is for $5.99. I you buy the paperback, you can get the kindle for $2.99. You can also lend the book to a friend via the kdp publishing lending program.
Today, I enrolled the book in the matching program and in the lending program. You have many options to choose from.
I find that details like clothing matter in any story, just like they matter in our own lives.
I always dress for the occasion, why shouldn’t the character do the same. Dressing also reflects on personality.
In one of the stories in my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories math professor Martin Duggan always wears pinstriped suits, preferably gray.
Because the pin stripes remind him of geometrical lines. After all, Martin is a math professor at the university in Rocky Rapids.
Here is an excerpt from “The Temptation of Martin Duggan.”
To match the white shirt that Rose bought him at JC Penney, Martin wore his favorite gray pants with pin stripes reserved for special occasions.
There was something about lines that had always comforted him. Lines commanded respect. They could be lines vertical, horizontal or curves. And then came symbols, and Martin’s love for them; like pi or the toppled 8 symbolizing infinity. He traced the origins of his love for numbers and symbols to his childhood and later growing up in the strict austere atmosphere of the seminary in Brest.
The details in Martin’s clothing bring out his character and his growing up in the austere atmosphere of the seminary.
The lines create the platform for his character and to move the story in and out of the classroom.
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Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs LLC. All rights reserved.
I was surprised at one of my recent book signings of Shifting Sands Short Stories by the following question:
“I am on chapter six, how do I finish my book,” a woman asked me at Girls Night Out on Oct. 19 in downtown Lowell @Sweet Seasons.
Here is what I have gathered over the years about finishing any big writing project like a book or a script.
How to finish your book or script
1- Set a target finish goal, something that’s important to you like your birthday, a national holiday or Mother’s Day.
2- Write every day a quota of pages, for example 5 pages.
3- Always have an end in mind for the final book or script, but also for each chapter or scene.
4- Ask yourself: What do I want to accomplish in this chapter?
5- A loose flexible outline always helps.
6- Establish a reward program for yourself after each chapter.
7- Create a cover or poster early on even as a draft. It will help you visualize the book, play or film and the entire process.
8- Have a color theme in mind for the characters and the book overall. Some colors are harmonious, others create conflict.
9- Be cohesive.
10- Explore, observe, discover. I especially like these three verbs that I found on a sign by the Wittenbach nature center. They will continue to feed your inspiration and motivation. And in turn, the reader will keep turning the pages.
11- Use character compass to balance out your stories. That means the right amount of thoughts, appearance, action and dialogue.
The Shifting Sands Short Stories book is a collection of 13 stories spanning more than two decades.
As part of the Storyteller 2017, Writer to author series, I’ve been publishing excerpts from the book now available on Amazon in both formats, kindle and paperback.
The story “Orange Nights” in a retail setting is a brand new story that I wrote in June 2017 to complete the book.
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. “You know really afraid, I know we have security department and all that, but afraid as in who is going to walk in and what is he going to do?”
People were already streaming 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 daily job. They came in and left on a regular basis without the madness of wanting to do something else.
“Why aren’t you in your own department?” a scowling voice breathed down Rachel’s neck.
Startled, she turned around. The tall orange blonde man with a mustache still dressed in civil clothes was right behind her back. He had his gray vest thrown over his shoulder.
“Oh, I just came to get the returns,” Rachel said blushing that she got caught in a different department.
“How did the night go?” he asked Big Irma. “Did you get a lot done? What’s all this crap?”
Wendell pulled out shorts tangled in with a bra and panties our of the cart with the never-ending returns. He smelled of cigarettes and coffee, after a night of drinking. Big Irma looked at Wendell and then down on the returned things and pulled out a hanger.
“You have to go 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.”
“Ok, I’ll just get some coffee and see,” Wendell said. “You two are going home right? And coming back late afternoon.”
“Something like that,” said Big Irma, “that is after I have something to eat.”
Rachel started the car to head back home through the arid countryside. The corn was high, and she couldn’t see around the curves in the fields. The hot air swiveled in waves. The corn stalks were swaying in the light breeze in the blaze of the noon.
She had heard from a farmer that corn grows fastest at night, like up to five inches or more.
“You can hear it grow at night,” he said.
Once coming home from a second shift, Rachel pulled by a cornfield and stepped out of the car to listen to the corn grow. Yes, he was right. You can hear corn grow.
Rachel was all wrinkled from the night. She just washed her face in the bathrooms. The night was still sticking onto her. Being the only driver on the road, the drive home was relaxing and soothing on the nerves ruffled by a sleepless night.
All Rachel could think of was going back into the store again. She couldn’t shake the night.
The house in the country was calm and quiet, located far from the busy suburbia with rows and rows of fast food neon signs. Rachel quickly glanced over the land. The row of oak trees framed the land on the east side, while the pine trees bordered the west side.
The sun was right above the head blasting the golden rays.
Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Storyteller 2017 -part VI I have named my book campaign Storyteller2017 because I am so excited about this epic year full of big changes. Follow me on my journey from writer journalist to author of Shifting Sands Short Stories to be released on June 30 on Amazon. This is the sixth part of the Storyteller […]