Radio Spot On! Mark it Down

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Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” ~  Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Everyone wants to find long-lasting, meaningful happiness. Right? But, how do we discover or develop that spot in our lives where we find true contentment?

Although we like to paint rosy pictures in our minds of how life should be and what the perfect world would look like, there’s that thing called reality that creeps into the picture and sometimes switches things up.

On May 21st I will be a guest on blog talk radio – Living a Richer Life. Save the date! The theme of the evening will be Finding Your Path to Personal Fulfillment. We will be discussing the journey and the challenges that come with finding that place in your life where a deep sense of harmony exists. Can we ever find it?

I hope you will join in the conversation because listeners will be able to call in with their comments and questions. Here are the details of the broadcast:

ePost Card_Living a Richer Life_Sue Leonard_May 21, 2015 600 x500 pixels

That’s all for today from All Things Fulfilling. I look forward to your return and mine on Monday.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul and Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Thirsty Thursdays: Literary Spotlight

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“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”Vera Nazarian

Back in March 2012 I posted on All Things Fulfilling a blog about 29 cities around the world who have UNESCO’s Creative Industry designations behind them. It was a highly read piece.

Baltimore, Maryland is a city that is a hub for literary reasons. In part, due to notable authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald,  Anne Tyler, Edgar Allen Poe and Tom Clancy who spent significant time in Baltimore or were born there. Back in the 1980s there was some controversy when the Mayor dubbed Baltimore “the city that reads.” No matter, “the city’s literary heart beats as strongly as ever,” says the Huffington Post.

Reading-and-Writing-293x300The good news today is there are other cities across America who can call their place home to writers, too. In the remote northwest corner of Colorado, in a place called Steamboat, there is a network of writers who are both traditionally and independently published. On Thursday afternoons at the “Eleanor Bliss Art Center” aka “The Art Depot” is where they’ve gathered, read and critiqued writing for more than 30 years.

Today, on All Things Fulfilling, I’d like to put the literary spotlight on Steamboat Springs, which is quite different than literary hubs in big cities.  In a more intimate setting, people come here to write and drink in the beautiful scenery to inspire their writing.

Stay tuned to All Things Fulfilling – we will be posting more details about an upcoming writers workshop a month from today on May 23rd sponsored by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council. Members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association will be providing the educational experience.

Want-to-be writers and publishers, who are within reach of Steamboat,  I’d encourage you to sign up – a real deal at for a morning full of valuable information!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Stimulating-Creative-Energy

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If we look for it, there is good news every day of the week, not just on Thirsty Thursday. So the good news for today is – “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ Maya Angelou

Back on December 29, 2014 I posted an article on All Things Fulfilling about Jonathan Lehrer’s book called Imagination. If you missed the blog, you can go back and read Spinning Yarns.

The blog was about my decision to take a creative writing course because I had read so much evidence including Jonathan Lehrers book, called Imagination on the importance of seeking out opportunities to use our creativity.

Everyone-Has-A-Creative-GiftIf you are a person who has never explored the creative aspect of your brain, it’s never too late to discover your creative gifts. It’s been said that creativity builds more creativity. To use some popular buzz words, our imagination is a renewable resource. I’ve noticed in myself that once the right side of the brain gets triggered, one thing leads to another as the creative energy is stimulated.

Neurologists say certain conditions are conducive to stirring the imagination. If you are interested in learning more about how creativity works, there is a minute and a half video that explains what scientists have discovered about the array of distinct mental processes that happens in the brain when we fan our flame of creativity. It’s fascinating. Listen in!

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Worthiness in Writing

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Friendships begun in this world will be taken up again, never to be broken off.  ~Francis de Sales 1567 – 1622

A few people have asked me how many books I’ve sold and my response is “I don’t know. I’m not paying much attention.” Truthful statement. Believe it or not.

To me sales figures are irrelevant compared to the fulfilling feelings of accomplishment that have come with knowing I completed what I set out to do – tackle writing a memoir and publishing it independently. No one can relate to the process unless they have been through the paces.

Secondly, when I get feedback from readers, it makes publishing the story all worthwhile. People that I hadn’t heard from in decades, that I thought were gone from my life a long time ago, have come climbing out of the woodwork.

education2For instance, a college math professor from my days at Johnson State College in Vermont sent me an e-mail that I will always treasure. His comments after having read my memoir made me feel that I was not just another one of his thousands of students that passed through the halls of that higher institution during his life-long career of teaching.

Here is some of what he had to say after reading Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected:

Sue, I just finished your book and “shared” it via e-mail.  Of course, it brought many tears to my eyes being exposed to your early, early years.  And, it nearly goes without saying that Fanny has made an indelible mark on my mind, having known both you and Jan.  It is a wonderful story filled with the joy of life and living.

I wish you all the best in whatever writing you undertake in the future.  It surely is not a simple task and I thought this effort very well done!

My very best to you and Terry ~ J. Davis

Since rekindling our teacher/student connection, we have had many meaningful back and forth e-mail discussions on various different blogs about life that I have posted on All Things Fulfilling.

The point of this blog is to say “the  value of writing a story is not in book sales. The true worthiness comes in what writing feels like to the author’s heart.” ~ Sue Batton Leonard

 

Book Covers and Fonts

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Like all forms of design, visual design is about problem solving…~ Bob Baxley

So, an author friend of mine is getting ready to have her next release published. Last week, she posted images of several cover designs that she is considering. I let my opinion be known only because she asked for some feedback and I understand the value of feedback with regard to publishing.

It got me to thinking of the cover design of my 2nd publication, Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul. I decided that it was time to make a change to the cover. I love the cover image but the font of the title has been problematic in a digital format. I didn’t foresee the kinds of problems I am having with it. For the title I had chosen a font that is in script. Esthetically it looked good with the cover image but it was not a good decision on my part because it is not very readable digitally.

So there has been a slight revision to the appearance of the e-book cover of Short Stories: Lessons in Heart & Soul. Here is a before and after.

Below – Initial Font Used in Title on Cover Design

Lessons of Heart V4 Cover

Below: Revised for Better Readability of Title in Small-form Digital Formats

V5 Cover revised font 4 15 15

You’ve gotta love e-books, it’s so easy to make changes. Download a new version of a cover or revised text and you are all set. Not much more than a click of a mouse and very little expense.

Chalk up this necessary revision to lessons learned in digital publishing! Since e-books are still undergoing tweeks in development I’m not the first to encounter this problem. Here is a good article about e-books and fonts. 

See you back here tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Meet Me at The Movies

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Healing Art is being born as we speak. The concept is catching fire, is awakening in people’s spirits…Artists, musicians and dancers are realizing their imagery has meaning….that their imagery heals them, others, their neighborhood, or the earth.” ~ Michael Samuels

meet me at the moviesThe Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington is partnering with several organizations to bring back classic movies because of their power to connect seniors with memories. The Alzheimer’s Association’s Western and Central Washington Chapter and the University of Washington School of Nursing along with Artists for Alzheimer’s/I’m Still Here Foundation have sponsored Meet Me at the Movies to celebrate film and it’s ability to stir the human emotions. An interesting partnering isn’t it? It speaks to the power of art to heal.

During the great Depression, people flocked to the movies because the entertainment cinema provided gave them relief from every day stresses. The eldest of the eldest of our country’s population, those in their late “renaissance years” remember the Golden Age of Movies and dancing every Saturday night. Alternatively, family and friends sat huddled together in front of the radio engaged in shows that united people and provided diversions to forget the financially difficult times and as ways to uplift their spirits.

Stories through the decades whether by film, book or through audio listening inspire, influence, entertain and change lives.

Do return on Monday. Next week I’ll have a few announcements! Have a great weekend.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Her publications are available in audio, paperback and e-book format.

Thirsty Thursday: Going Dutch

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Looking at things through the eyes of people who have very different experiences and assumptions than you do can be like food for the brain,” ~ Tom McBride

I happened upon a story that I like a lot. So, on this Thirsty Thursday, a day of the week dedicated to good news, we are going to visit a story from the Netherlands. It is about a creative living arrangement for the elderly and college students.

In short, there is an eldercare facility in the Netherlands who is letting college students live free so long as they agree to one condition – they must do their part in volunteering 30 hours a month to help the elderly. All sorts of unexpected benefits come out of the arrangement for both parties.

The six college students who have entered into the agreement have found the arrangement to be fulfilling. They like being around the seniors cooking for them, doing projects and teaching them about new things to keep the seniors interested and engaged in life.

Dutch retirement humanitas2

“Perhaps,” I think, “this intergenerational partnering will be a testing ground for the college students who are considering whether a career in eldercare is what they’ll want to put their hearts and soul into in the future.”

The senior citizens benefit because they do not feel so isolated, and it keeps them feeling young having the students around.

Other countries in Europe are beginning to look at this example as a viable option to help out both generations – college students and seniors. Read the entire article.

Senior care is changing in many ways to benefit the mind, body and spirit. Thanks to research on aging, many countries are providing a better quality of life for those in the final years. That’s good news!

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.