Motivated by Interest

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Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” ~ Franklin D Roosevelt

About two weeks ago, a newsletter from All Things Fulfilling with the mention of my two book awards and notification of book signings that are upcoming in October was sent out via e-mail. I received an unexpected number of congratulatory e-mails in response. They came from people with whom I have made business connections over the years through the independent publishing industry. I hadn’t heard from some of them in a while. One such e-mail came from Diana who said “You motivate me to work on my own book.”  I’d like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to write because you encourage me!

I have had the privilege to meet such interesting and creative people through my work in the field of independent publishing. As I look back over the past 6 years, I am astounded to think that I have published an award-winning book, written some 1,461 blog posts as of today, had 6 or 7 e-zine articles published and formed We Write Steamboat, a networking group for independent publishers with 58 members and counting! There is a lot that has come with that. I’ve also done volunteer work in the arts, for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and for my church. Needless to say, I’ve been busy. I’ve gotten much personal fulfillment out of all of it or I wouldn’t have continued.

Why am I telling you all this? Because sometimes we do have to pat ourselves on your back and be proud of our own successes. When I moved to Colorado six years ago due to my husband’s new employment opportunity, I had no idea what I was going to do. I decided to take a leap of faith and invest in learning all I could about this thing I became so interested in called “independent publishing.” As it turned out, even though I had already worked in the industry  I had just begun to wade into the waters. The industry kept evolving. At that point I hadn’t even begun to learn about good writing or public speaking either. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I would soon get to all that I’ve accomplished!

Leaps of faith…sometimes we need to take them. What happens when we are driven and livin’ by our heart, soul and creativity can be surprising!

creating beauty

Over the next 10 days or so, I will be taking a much needed break to concentrate solely on preparing for some upcoming book appearances. I invite you to peruse this site. There are hundreds of postings about independent publishing, finding motivation in the arts, writing, ideas that are an extension of my book and all kinds of fulfilling things to read about.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has won two EVVY book awards, please follow this link.http://amzn.to/1mbmVGR

Writing Motivation Tip#1

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Writing & Publishing Tip #1 – Next time you start a new endeavor or  start down the road to a personal journey – post a sign with  the following words on the mirror so you see it first thing every morning. Put it front and center.

 

what if you fly

Make a contract with yourself right now, writers, to pay no mind to the first line of this “what if” thinking.  Only focus only on the second question and  life affirming possibilities.

Every time you are feeling defeated, discouraged or disillusioned ask yourself once again which alternative is the most appealing.  “Oh my darling, what if you fly?”  is what will keep you pressing forward.

You’ll soar to new heights. I found it really works!

success story

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information on the publication, visit this link. http://amzn.to/1mbmVGR.

 

 

 

Glam Outdoor Wear of Yesteryear

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A smile happens in a flash but it’s memory lasts a lifetime” ~ Unknown
vintage ski wear1Oh, how outdoor clothing for the north country has evolved. A lot of time and research is now put into fabrics and construction of outdoor wear that is designed to be the most rugged, weather-proof, comfortable and warm. There is a whole science behind it – even right down to the manufacturing of socks! http://www.smartwool.com .

Back when I was learning to ski in the 1950s and 1960s, clothing manufacturers didn’t have the variation of fabrics that are available today. There was wool and wool. That’s about it. But the new generation of wool is nothing like it used to be.  Remember how  heavy it was when it got wet, and the smell? Peewww…. (Can’t figure out how to describe it – but the smell was icky!) Fashions have changed tremendously over the decades of my lifetime. Here is an article from the Vintage Traveler about the evolution of ski wear.http://bit.ly/1wPn5Zd

fur hat and muffWhat little girl in the 1950s and 1960s didn’t just adore her fur hat and muff when it was frigid out.  We felt as highstylin’ and glam as our mothers when they went out  in their “Persians” with fur collars.

And remember the long “stocking caps?”  The cashier at the local A & P knew  everybody, including my little brother, Scott, by his vintage stocking capsignature long, red tasseled stocking cap. Whenever my mom came into the grocery store without my youngest brother, the lady at the checkout always asked “Where’s the little boy with the red stocking cap?”

It tickles me to look back on old styles. With the long lives that most people live today – sometimes people are around long enough to see things make comebacks!

This blog brought to you by the award winning author Sue Batton Leonard, author of  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information on the award-winning memoir, please follow this link. http://amzn.to/1ti4XVi

 

 

 

Garbage Disposals, Houdini and Bulldozers

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“…goats is just like a bulldozer.” ~ Christine Genevier

goats on picnic tables 2Goats! What is it about their need to be atop sheds, dog houses, tables, cars, and everything else they are not supposed to be on? I don’t quite get it.

And talk about garbage disposals! We never had garbage disposals in any of  the kitchens of our three childhood homes even though my Dad’s company built custom homes with fancy features. We didn’t need them!

Our infamous goat, Hanratty, ate everything and anything in sight. Tin cans, fishing gear, toys, all the other animal’s food in our menagerie, whole turkey carcasses and more, in what seemed like one fell swoop! Everything went through that animal’s intestines including plastics but, the animal never needed a vets attention.

Every time you turned around, he was out of the pen and into something. Didn’t matter that we had just secured the pen, he found his way out.

If you are a baby boomer, you’ll remember the TV star in this minute or two video clip and you’ll know this catchy tune. Come on, sing along!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dny_JDlwGFM

This weeks blogs may be rather varied, without any particular theme. I’ll been using my stream of consciousness literary style once again. Wondering what that is? Here is a link to an article that you might find interesting if you are trying to find your own literary style.http://bit.ly/1nO4Bz2. Although I may be jumping from subject to subject most of this weeks blogs will be coming from childhood memories that keep cropping up. I’ll see what else I can dig up that you’ll enjoy from the days of what many describe as the “golden era.”

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the award-winning book  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, visit this link http://amzn.to/1rNoUTm.  The book is available in audio, paperback and e-book for your reading pleasure!

 

 

Fire is Lit, Ribbon in the Hair

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To My Dear Husband ~~~~

I am sorry that according to this 1955 article, I have failed you miserably. I have not always lived up to the Girl Scout creed of  “I promise to do my duty…..” and to The Good Wife Guide…..

The Good Wife

…I mean, sometimes, I let you cook breakfast. You changed dirty diapers, and too many times I told you about my day first. Then there is the matter of the fire, I didn’t always make it happen….well, I apologize.

And then there is the issue of our son. Ok, I’ll admit it. He often greeted you with a dirty face and hands. And his hair…what can I say…let’s just hope it never happens again now that he is an adult. I’m sure it won’t, after all he is a visual effects artist.  I’ll speak with him later about that matter. At least he is playing  the part well of the treasure that he is. That should make you feel better. It does, doesn’t it?

I’ll  see what I can do to mend my ways and not be such a modern day woman.  We are 34 years into this union. I hope you can forgive me if I start taking your shoes off. I know, I ruined many an evening when I didn’t have you   “lean back and relax in your chair…..” Well, I pledge from now on to remember…I’ll say it. I promise. No… really, I will. Yes, I am serious. Truly… I’m not kidding.

I hope you’ll agree to continue on this journey through life that we started. Happy Anniversary!

Much Love, hon ~ Sue

P.S. And by the way, the last item on the list – don’t worry! I do know my place. I belong beside you with a ribbon in my hair.

This blog brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard and her award-winning publication “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.http://amzn.to/1ulyFYs.

Finding the Lesson

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“Live joyously among your occupations.” ~ St. Francis de Sales

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” Children are often asked. In my generation and particularly in the generations that came before the “baby boomers” it was usually assumed that little girls wanted to be wives and mothers, above all else.

How my sister and I loved our baby dolls.We paid so much attention to them because we were practicing for the real thing. There was Thumbelina to care for and Betsy Wetsy. “Betsy” was the top toy of the century in the 1950s.

Girlfriends, do you remember this ad?

It never occurred to me when I was a child that not all women are blessed with children. When I became an adult, I faced a big realization that having children is a great honor to be taken very seriously.

Wouldn’t it be a more perfect world if every parent grasped this concept prior to conceiving? Good parenting is an awesome responsibility. Even finding the joy and meaning in difficult parenting conditions is what I think the great philosopher St. Francis is also talking about.

Do return tomorrow, on Saturday. I have a special blog planned for my husband for our anniversary! It gives a little insight into our marriage.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her EVVY award winning book, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1ti4XVi

Camp Fire Songs

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I love to go a-wandering

Along the mountain track

And as I go, I love to sing

My knapsack on my back

Chorus:

Val-der-ri, val-der-ra

Val-der-ra, val-der-ha ha ha ha ha ha

Val-der-ri, val-der-ra

(My knapsack on my back)

Who remembers these words and music by Friedrich W. Möller and Antonia Ridge?

This song reminds me of a very happy time in my youth –  singing around the campfire with the Girl Scouts. First I was a Brownie, and then I “flew up” to a Junior Girl Scout. Ceremonially it made me feel as valued as becoming a debutante at a  “coming out” party. Although I had  never experienced what that was like, I imaged as a kid the feelings were similar.  I’m from an average, middle class American family with parents who had strong work ethics. They put their family, work and  community first.

If you were a Girl Scout, watch this less-than-a-minute video. I promise you will fall into repeating the words as if you just said them yesterday, even if it’s been decades.

The Girl Scouts in Steamboat Springs, Colorado are having a recruitment night tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 12). Pass the word to girls who are interested in the organization. It is happening at the United Methodist Church from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. What a great group to be involved with.

In retrospect, I guess my values haven’t changed much and I still love to go a wandering with a knapsack on my back. Val-der-ri, val-der-ra….

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, which just won 2 EVVY book awards, visit this link.http://amzn.to/1ulyFYs

Eggs in the grass

My twin and me, atop Mt Werner in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  What a gift to spend a birthday with Jan after 30+ years of being far from each other on our special day.