Channeling Creative Kids

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“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” ~  Oprah Winfrey

Boy on closeline

When I came across this image, I couldn’t help but ponder “Why didn’t I think of that?” when I needed to rest after chasing my overly active son all over the place when he was little? It would have given me great relief. Holy Cow, those child rearing years nearly did me in.  Of course, to him this would not have been punishment. It would have been great fun and challenge. The little Houdini could get himself out of any situation that took brainpower and physical maneuvering!

creative active kidsActive children are often very creative children.  Here is a book that might be useful for parents of children who are in perpetual motion. http://www.amazon.com/The-Active-Creative-Child-Parenting/dp/189077247X.

Ah…well, once we directed his energy in the right and positive direction, he became a different kid, so absorbed in his interests. As a twenty-something, our son has given me more than enough compensation for what we went through in raising an extremely active child. Now he lends a hand as my tech support person unless he is too busy with his own projects. http://www.marcrleonard.com.  Thank goodness he’s had my back  in coming to my aid and rescue whenever I struggled with certain stages of publishing my memoir due to generational inequities in computer skills.

In spite of myself  I successfully completed my own independent desktop publishing project. Not everyone can put that accomplishment under their belt. Now I have an award-winning paperback, e-book and audio book to my credit!

I think I did OK for an ole gal who is more comfortable with a card catalog in a library than e-book technology. I need to give myself more brownie points than I do!

I am now an award winning author! Yipe!!!  Yikes!!!

 For more information on Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1opTrPS. The audio book won 2nd prize in the EVVY book awards and Merit Award in the anthology category.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard

 

Holding On to Memories

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 “Memory believes before knowing remembers.” ~ William Faulkner, Light in August

“I just knew you two would always be in my life,” stated Mary Grace as my sister and I walked down Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat after having stuffed ourselves with nachos and drinks at The Cantina last Saturday evening. Mary was in the middle and linked arms with both of us. We strolled toward Wild Horse Gallery.

“Why is that?” I asked.

“I don’t know, I just had a feeling,” said Mary.

“Thank God we are both still alive and kicking!”  I thought to myself. (For the back story on that thought, follow this link http://allthingsfulfilling.com/2014/06/04/sisters-of-the-heart/ )

I admitted to Mary that I sort of felt the same way. When I moved to Colorado, I was determined to find her. Last time I had heard she was in Fort Collins and I knew her married name. But, we had only been in touch at Christmas time (by snail mail) maybe twice or three times  since  our college years in 1973 or 1974.

“Mary, you are just the same,” Jan, my twin, stated. “Don’t you just love it when you have friends you can pick up with just like that even if it’s been decades since you’ve seen them?”

That is exactly what happened when we three got together. What a fulfilling weekend I had! Between spending it with my sister and my husband celebrating our three birthdays, reconnecting with Mary – a childhood friend who was included in my memoir and I have written about her on this site, too. Then there was the icing on the cake. I learned that Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected had won two EVVY book awards. It doesn’t get much better than that!

I can’t help but bask in my memories of last weekend for just one more day. Tomorrow,  it’s time to get on with things. I have work to do to plan my East Coast book tour which begins mid-September.

For more information on the EVVY award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1rArrRG.

Pictures from my fulfilling & rewarding Birthday Weekend

Sue & Jan Mt Werner

Twins Sue & Jan atop Mt Werner, Steamboat Springs, CO   Sunset picnic and hike

sue terry jan fishcreek fallsLeft to right – Terry, Jan & Sue  Fish Creek Falls, Steamboat

sue and mary wildhorse gallery

Sue & Mary  – Read the back story using this link  -

http://allthingsfulfilling.com/?s=horse+sense

Seems fitting  the veterinarian and I are sitting outside Wildhorse Gallery

sue jan mary 3Outside Wildhorse Gallery – Sue with Mark Twain & “Huck,” Mary  & Jan

sue & jan wildhorse gallerySue & Jan – First Birthday together for more than 30 years.

sue Jan & mary2

A reunion of 3 childhood friends – Jan, Sue & Mary Grace – a  real life character in my memoir

 Above- We found Eureka: Mediterranean Street Food, to be indeed golden!

We had great salads & meatballs for our next course, and a great place to catch up.

sue & terry at Fish creek falls 2

Bye, Jan. Bye, Mary – come back soon!

Beautiful setting and beautiful birthday weekend in Steamboat

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

Behind the Narrative

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“Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.”  ~ Unknown

I sat on my friend’s couch one day a few years ago, so very discouraged.

“My computer is not cooperating, I’ve got writers block  so I can’t seem to get this chapter right, I can’t get the pictures I need for the book since they are in Vermont……” on and on I went, stating a litany of challenges I faced with my publishing project.

“Why would you do something like that, Sue, leave behind pictures you knew you needed for a book ?” my friend asked.

“Because I didn’t know then what I know now. Who would have ever thunk, I was going to follow my “someday” dreams and write a memoir when I moved to Colorado!” I said in a grumpy tone.

“Why are you bothering  to do it  then if  it’s stressing you? I could never do that -write about my life!” my friend stated with conviction.

“Sure you could, if you felt strongly enough that you wanted to share it.” I said

At this point I was nearly bashing my head on the hard wooden walls that surrounded her living room. She was not telling me what I wanted to hear. I needed someone to assure me that  “Everything will be alright. It will all come together.”

I was beginning to think I ought to give up my pie-in-the-sky idea as I went through the list of obstacles that I was facing that week in writing and publishing my memoir.

If you are wondering why my need to write a memoir was so strong, this song by Nat King Cole explains it. It’s the basis of what’s behind  the narrative.  I’d had the making of the book  inside of me my whole life. It was dying to get it out.

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the EVVY award winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please follow this link. http://amzn.to/1nz4veb.

Fulfilling Results: Indie Publishing

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Thank you

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward, author of Mountains of Faith

Today I’d like to recognize some very key people and organizations who helped me with various parts of publishing my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Although I am well versed in most steps of independent publishing, there are parts of the writing and publishing process that I relied on having other professionals to steer and assist me. Their support services were invaluable in getting the project finished.

 

Thanks to the following:

  • Steamboat Writers Group for valuable critique and feedback.
  • Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) for education and support resources. Also for the friendships and business associates I have made through this outstanding organization.
  • We Write Steamboat members for their encouragement, support, feedback and most of all, friendships!
  • Pre-publication readers – you know who you are, thank you for your book testimonials!
  • Professional services in the Media Lab at Colorado Mountain College
  • Lindsey Royce at Colorado Mountain College for a great writing class to stir my creativity.
  • Jan McDaniel for final editing services. The final editing of dialogue was very tedious!
  • Joe McDaniel for photo restoration work
  • Joe & Jan McDaniel at bookcrafters.net for publishing my book affordably, in a timely manner and for  following  my unique publishing requests. You were delightful to work with.
  • Patti Asbury for helping me to grow professionally through public speaking
  • Karen McLane and Postnet for graphic design and printing services
  • Sound technician Brian Dow for help with audio book production
  • Terry Leonard – photography and assistance with marketing materials and book events.
  • Audio book producer –   http://www.marcrleonard.com  (aka “The Technical Dude”)
  • Technology and website support – Marc R Leonard
  • Terry Leonard and Marc R Leonard for cheering, emotional support and encouragement.
  • JDB Technology – help with computer “issues”
  • Gail Nelson – e-book designer and e-book formatting services
  • United Methodist Church for spiritual guidance and support. The United Methodist Women for hosting my wonderful book launch “party.”
  • To ALL fellow authors who networked, shared their experiences and advice.
  • All book buyers!

If there is anyone I have inadvertently left out, I apologize. Trying to remember everyone is difficult. My path has crossed with so many people throughout this four year  journey of independently publishing Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Thanks to everyone who gave me an encouraging word!

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1t7f6Ec

Book Award Results!

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Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.” ~Alexander Pope

“Sue,” my sister said, peaking out of our guest room door yesterday morning, “what are you doing up at this hour?”

I was sitting on the sofa with the computer on my lap. “It’s 4:30 in the morning. I thought we had agreed that you’d wake me at 5:30 to leave by 6:00 am to go to the Denver airport. Go back to bed!” my sister said, not too pleased that she had been awoken when she heard the teapot whistling.

“I couldn’t wait any longer to check my email,” I said to my sister. “I want to see the results of the EVVY Book awards.” My twin sister was visiting from Maryland and we were spending our first birthday in more than 30 years together. Since family rates first in my book, I decided to give my twin sister the gift of not shortchanging her vacation by trekking into Denver for the EVVY book awards over the weekend. My publisher Joe McDaniel of http://www.bookcrafters.net had promised to email me after the book awards were over with the results.

“Did you win anything?” my sister asked, peaking over my shoulder, rubbing her sleepy eyes as she looked at my computer.

“Yep!” I said, as I read directly from Joe McDaniel’s email. ” Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was awarded 2nd prize in the Audio book category and Merit Award in the Anthology category.”  Of course, hugs followed.

“That’s so, so great, Sue, two prizes!” My sister said.

“I can’t believe it!” I replied, “I am so glad I decided to publish the story.” What started as recording  just a few childhood memories to send to my family somehow became a full-fledged anthology of published stories contending among 274 other entries in the 20th annual Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY book award contest!

Although I wrote the story, I’d like to say “Congratulations to my twin sister Jan, and the rest of my family too” because in part, it’s their life story too! My life and the tale would not be nearly as fulfilling without all of them in it.

And then, there’s the real star – Fanny. What a character. She left an indelible mark on my life and is leaving the same kind of impression on the readers’ hearts. The voice in this award-winning memoir holds the real treasure. But I am more confident than ever that if you prefer to read the paperback or e-book format, you’ll still enjoy the story!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Please return tomorrow. I will be posting some information about people who were very instrumental in helping me to publish a high quality publication, worthy of merit and two awards.  I wish to say thank you.

Eggs in the grass

Finally!  A birthday together after more than 30 years! (Jan on left, Sue on right).

quotes about life storiesThis blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,” please visit this link http://amzn.to/1tIG0PI

What is it, Baby Boomer?

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Today will be a  test of your memory, baby boomer. Who remembers these common household items from their childhood? What was their utilitarian function? If you can identify every single one, you’ve earned an A+ in 1950 and 1960’s artifacts from yours truly.

Sprinkler bottle for ironing and starch

baby boomer quiz 7

baby boomer quiz 8

Baby boomer quiz1

baby boomer quiz 6

baby boomer quiz4

baby boomer quiz5

Hope you enjoyed going back into your mother’s or grandmothers household cupboards and kitchens today on All Things Fulfilling. Our generation has seen many changes in appliances and technology over our lifespan.

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The book is a Finalist in the EVVY book awards and it is available in audio, paperback and e-book through this link.

 

 

 

Laboring At the Same Time

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Leo the LionBefore we close out this month of  celebrations for babies born under Leo the Lion zodiac sign, today it’s my husband’s turn. He was born on this day, August 21st many moons ago.

My twin sister, my husband and I will continue our yesterday’s birthday celebration for one more day. Tonight we look forward to a gondola ride to the top of the mountain, a picnic dinner and an evening hike.Hopefully, it will be a stellar evening with clear skies so we can see the twinkling stars and an impressive sunset.

The fact that my husband’s mother and my mother gave birth to us just one day apart is pretty neat. Statistically speaking, I can’t find any information about the odds of spouses with birthdays just one day apart (and in the same year).

Today, I’ll enjoy another August day with the two who have been at the top of my world for what seems like forever! They both make my life so much more fulfilling!

Dear Terry ~~~~

Terry bday cake

 

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Sue’s memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please follow this link http://amzn.to/1nb9tO0.