Mr. Rockwell’s Narratives

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How will I be remembered? As a technician or artist? As a humorist or a visionary? ~Norman Rockwell

Last week, my television was tuned in more than usual. I was interested in watching the Pope speak at the various different venues. It was such a privilege for the American people to have someone of his stature visit our country.
Did you see the photo op taken at the United Nations in front of the Norman Rockwell image called “Golden Rule?” The U.N. is a very appropriate place to have the image hanging because it could not be more symbolic of America’s melting pot of citizens.  On All Things Fulfilling we featured a blog about Rockwell’s “Golden Rule” back in September 2013. It was a very well read article. Go back and read it if you missed it.

norman-rockwell-golden-rule-do-unto-others-april-1-1961

On Friday, the same day the Pope appeared at the United Nations, I came across an interesting article from the Berkshire Eagle about the Norman Rockwell Museum. Some changes are about to take place in the way that the artist’s work will be exhibited. The images will be thematically organized to better tell the story of America. It’s a terrific idea in my opinion! If ever there was an artist whose work tells a narrative, it is Mr. Rockwell’s!

The last time I visited the Rockwell collection was about 25 years ago when it was housed in an old church in Arlington, Vermont. I enjoyed seeing each of the iconic Americana images, however, the lighting and organization of the paintings did not do it justice. Now there is a beautiful structure in Stockbridge, Massachusetts housing the entire collection with a skilled curator at the helm. If you are ever in the area do not miss it! Check out the information on the museum.

This blog is brought to you by the 2014 EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories, Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Partners and Publishing

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Literacy arouses hopes, not only in society as a whole but also in the individual who is striving for fulfillment, happiness and personal benefit by learning how to read and write. ~ Unesco

HANDOUT IMAGE - Cover of Harper Lee's new book 'Go Set A Watchman'

Wow! “Am I ever fortunate to be here tonight,” I thought as I learned of the agenda for the first in a series of gatherings which revolves around “One Book Steamboat.” Harper Lee’s newly published book Go Set a Watchman was selected for an all community read.

On Wednesday evening, a community member began the presentation by dispelling some rumors about Lee’s second novel. He knows first-hand what has transpired in the publishing of the manuscript. He is part of a team of advisors looking out for the author’s interests. What he said was very different than some of the news stories. Contrary to everyone’s belief, even though Lee is 89 years old and does not hear well, her decision making abilities are rational. All communications were written to make sure Lee fully understood all implications of the publishing process. To read more about the publishing of a long awaited second book from the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, please visit this article from the Steamboat
Today newspaper and the others listed.

Wall Street Journal – How I Found the Harper Lee Manuscript

New York Times – Joe Nocera the Watchman Fraud

What Does Harper Lee Want? 

Not only has a Steamboat Springs, Colorado community member been involved with the publishing of “Watchman,” thanks to Lee’s generosity, she has donated to Partners of Routt County very special editions of her two publications for a fundraising auction to support a wonderful organization. How special is that?

The evening culminated with the screening of  the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck. I had never seen it before, and for me the characters became even more alive and their messages hit even closer to home after having seen the role playing of the characters in the movie version.

“One Book Steamboat” continues with three more events in October which will give us an opportunity to look even closer at the work of Harper Lee (aka Nelle)! I’ll keep you posted.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, Sue Batton Leonard.

Community-Wide Reading

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Communication leads to community that is, to understanding….. mutual valuing.” – Rollo May

If this is your first visit to All Things Fulfilling, Welcome!

The heartbeat of this blog space is about the arts and humanities.   Many blog postings are literary in nature – about books, independent publishing, writing and other culturally fulfilling things that enrich our lives. Take a few minutes to browse the list of categories on the right-hand side of the page.

Fortunately, I am living in a place where literacy is well-supported. The pulse of the arts can be felt though community-wide offerings and events sponsored by the Bud Werner Memorial Library, the Steamboat Arts Council and at Colorado Mountain College. There is always something of interest happening in  town. It is easy to design a fulfilling life when your interests align with the community where you reside.

Last Wednesday night I attended the first in a series of events that revolve around one very special book that was recently published. It is being talked about by many people in many communities. Tomorrow the focus will be on “One Book Steamboat.” Do return!IMG_20150917_071739_991

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her publications.

 

 

 

 

Rewards of the Business

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Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains — God composes, why shouldn’t we? ~Terri Guillemets

Good news came to a group of independent publishers last weekend at the annual EVVY book awards sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. All four of our We Write Steamboat members who were finalists came away with an award. They are as follows:

Major General Louis W Prentiss, Jr. for his book Memories of a Life in the Army (military category)

Lou Prentiss Book

Erik Landvik for Uncluttered Faith (spirituality/religion)

Eric Landvik

Jane Stein, author & Pam Duckworth, illustrator for Dear Class: Traveling Around the World with Mrs. J (juvenile non-fiction) and interior design/layout in the technical awards.

Dear Class

Merit Clark’s Killing Streak in the fiction/mystery & detective category and also 3rd place for cover design.

Steamboat author Merit Clark killing-streak-clark-2500px

That’s the good news on this Thirsty Thursday from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In the coming weeks more EVVY award winners will be featured on All Things Fulfilling. Stay tuned!

This blog is brought to you by 2014 EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

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.

Keeping the Child Inside Me

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 “The soul is healed by being with children.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky 1821 – 1881

If you are a mom with an adult child you will understand what I am talking about. Frequently I see an image, a word, another child’s actions, a book or a song that reminds me of when my son was little. It fills me up! There is no telling what will set off my flashbacks, but I am grateful that the memories keep coming back.

fairy talesThe other day, I saw this image and thought of all the books my son and I read together during his growing up years. He devoured books of any kind as quickly as the food I put on his plate. To him, it was all good, every kind of food and all books. Greek mythology and Indian lore were some of his favorites.

“Read me a VERY tale tonight, Mom, please!” he used to say. That was an instance where I never bothered to correct him. A VERY tale, I thought worked quite well to describe what was inside the book cover of “a children’s story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.”

Just sayin’……..kids, “they be so very dear!”

hold onto whatever keeps you warm inside

If you love kids and books, check out this TED talk about the entertaining world of books brought to you by Greystroke Creative.

http://www.greystrokecreative.com/greystroke-theatre.html.

This blog is brought you by Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, an anthology of stories, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt. Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is available in the award-winning audio book, paperback and e-book.

 

Mr. Twains Angels

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I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it’s never happened yet. ~ Mark Twain’s Autobiography

twain_bedDid you know Mark Twain slept in his bed backwards? According to an article in Yankee Magazine by Amie Seavey, she says it’s so. It is an unexpected and little known fact of the fabled author’s life.http://www.yankeemagazine.com/article/new-england-101/mark-twain-bed

He slept with his pillows at the foot of the bed so he could see the guardian angels that decorated his headboard. The carved angels on the dark walnut bed he and his wife purchased in Venice for $200 ($4600 in todays market), spanned across the headboard and atop each post. He said he liked to sleep in the bed backwards to “see what he had paid for.” The bed was, according to Mr. Twain”the most comfortable bedstead that ever was and enough space in it for a family.”

Clement’s bed, which was left to his daughter Clara was given to the Mark Twain Memorial and Library in 1940. The Hartford, Connecticut museum http://www.marktwainhouse.org has the bed as a showpiece for Twain enthusiasts.

Sweet dreams, Mr. Twain. We will always remember the important contributions you made to this world with your fulfilling words about life.
twain on life

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the award-winning audio book, paperback or e-book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/141aW6S.