Blindly Chosen, Faithfully Read


To build up a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books. –Carlos María Domínguez

March is just around the corner. Before we leave this heart-centered month, I wanted to mention an idea that came to my attention through my favorite hangout – our local library.

blind date with a book


On Valentines Day, the Bud Werner Memorial Library  provided an act of kindness through their Blind Date with a Book program. They set-up their library patrons up for an enjoyable night of entertainment.

The gift was wrapped up in brown paper, tied up with string, including a clue or two to help the reader make  their date selection. The title and author’s name was hidden and the reader had to accept on blind faith that what was “between the covers” was something good.

But as on any blind date, the only way to get acquainted with a character is to learn something about them. With time we get to know whether a character is as a mystery, a hopeless romantic or ready for a wild or steamy adventure. Sweet idea!

I’d like to conclude this writing today by repeating a bumper sticker that is frequently seen here where I live. One is on my car. It says “I came for the skiing and stayed for the library.”

What an asset to have a wonderful library in any community.

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











A February Typeface

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If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. ~ Margaret Fuller

Today on All Things Fulfilling, we will be talking about typeface, otherwise known as fonts.

The last time I wrote about fonts, I told a personal story about the challenges I faced when I chose a script font for the title of my e-book of short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul. To read about the problem the font presented, check out Book Covers and Fonts, a posting from last spring.

Ist cover image – difficult to read title in some digital advertising

Lessons of Heart V4 Cover

Revised font – more clarity in small digital images

V5 Cover revised font 4 15 15

I know what I like when I see different typefaces but not being a font expert, I am not sure which work well for e-books and other digital platforms for books.

I’m putting a shout out to graphic designers to see if a new font, Heart & Soul is suitable for digital formats, such as for a title on an e-book cover. We want to pass the information along to other independent publishers.


Thank you! My heart goes out to you for generosity in sharing your knowledge.

heart ribbon


The Young Artists in Them

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Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~ Pablo Picasso

On Friday, a number of nine and ten year old students, who are Junior Girl Scouts, expressed their love of writing during my presentation “One Day in the Life of a Writer.” When I admitted to my weakness of rising extremely early at 5:30am to 6pm to write and record what I have often been thinking in the middle of the night, a few said they, too, wake in the wee hours of the morning with ideas to put down on paper.
GS13 croppedSo, each junior Girl Scout was given a spiral-bound notebook to embellish with reflections of their own personality, design sense and color preferences. The notebooks are bound to hold up no matter where they travel and no matter how long it takes to fill the pages with words.They’ve been given a strong foundation backed with Duck© Tape! I never realized there are so many colors and patterns of Duck© Tape now available.

With a promise of returning to teach the Girls Scouts how to make paper roses, the group set about doing their own craft project after my presentation. The rest of today’s story will be told in photos – enjoy the colorful personal journal creations made by Girl Scout Troop #12622.



GS11 Cropped

GS6 cropped
GS10 cropped

GS14 cropped

GS15 resized

Isn’t individual creativity a wonderful thing? Come back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, I’m looking for some opinions. And on Thirsty Thursday, you’ll enjoy a post called Spirit Not Withstanding!

Happy Cinco de Mayo from Sue Batton Leonard,  the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Booksellers Dream Wedding

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Dreams are illustrations….from the book your soul is writing about you.”

 ~ Marsha Norman

The best thing about planning any wedding is designing a day that is uniquely designed to reflect the tastes of bride and groom.

Last Saturday, The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont  closed early for a private party. The store hosted the wedding of Sarah, one of their booksellers.

The event was everything fulfilling that a bibliophile could dream of. Even the bride’s bouquet was made from book pages and I’ll bet she tossed the paper posies from the commanding iron staircase that is the outstanding architectural feature in the store.

bridal bouquet with book pages

northshire bookstore stairs

I hope “Miss America of the Independent Publishing Industry,” the Expresso Book Machine, gave up her famed status for the day and let the bride be the star. I don’t want the  EBM to feel downgraded or upstaged, so I’ll give her a repeat feature of the blog I wrote about her early last summer. Click on this link to read more.

Rumor has it that one of the wedding gifts was a handmade quilt with titles and cover images of the bride and grooms very favorite books. Imagine the pressure of having to decide which publication should be included and which will be left out. Avid readers have a long list of favorites, and I am sure there were too many books and too little space on the quilt’s surface.

I wonder if the couple first encountered each other between the shelves of the book store? Do you think they had custom written wedding vows that included a little poetry? Ahhh..the beauty of a relationship where two people come together with the common interests….and the advantages of owning an independent bookstore. “Nothing is set in stone,” as it is etched on the pavement leading into the Northshire Bookstore. That means you can do anything you please including closing early to host a booksellers dream wedding.

To learn more about this event, please visit the Facebook page of the Northshire Bookstore.

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by

Salisbury Book Artist


Success in any endeavor requires single minded attention to detail and total concentration. ~ Willy Sutton

My husband and I recently took in the 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Cambridge, Maryland. I became aware of a collective of book artists from Salisbury, Maryland through the Main Street Gallery.

IMAG0774Artists Lisa Fritts, Martha Graham, Barbara Israel, Bonnie Lavish, Victoria Noonan, Barbara Schultz  charmed me with their handmade books using recycled materials, assorted ribbons, and other found items including memorabilia. These creations provide a visionary art experience allowing the viewer to enter a book, without words, and imagine what the book is all about.

This collective of book artists have displayed their work at SalisburyUniversity and according to the college “the art form is derived from ancient Mesopotamian clay tablets and papyrus.” . Book art has seen a revival in the past decade, and colleges, are offering courses in book art as part of their curriculum.

The artist’s imagination, eye for detail and color and their visions brought together fulfilling IMAG0771pieces of art that I really appreciated seeing. It was one of the best exhibits of book art I have seen all under one roof.

I’ll let you in on a little secret tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling! This blog brought to you by .

Book on Upper Left: by Barbara Schultz

Book on Lower Right: by Bonnie Lavish

Honoring Those Behind the Scenes

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successThe other day I posted several blogs about the 2013 EVVY book awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Service providers are also recognized for their outstanding work on the night of the award presentations They are the individuals and companies  who work behind the scenes to help independent publishers create and sell quality publications for the marketplace.

Today, I would like to acknowledge the  freelance professionals who provide services to the independent publishing industry, such as printing companies, editors, cover designers, layout designers, e-book formatters and designers, marketing , copyright experts and more. Here is a helpful link  for finding assistance with your publishing projects  for the future. .

If you are an author in any state or region looking to hire high quality freelance professionals to help you with your publishing project, a great place to start is to contact a regional or statewide trade association for independent publishers. They may be able to steer you in the right direction by locating companies who support authors in all parts of the publishing process.

When you are in the planning stage of publishing a book, decide what part of the process you can handle yourself and what parts would be best left to the professionals. It will make for a smoother process and a quality end result.

Engagement through Books and Writing

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There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.” ~G.K. Chesterton,What I Saw in America

book clubYesterday, I went to a book club on the East Coast, and had a fulfilling experience with a group full of strangers. It made me reflect on how, in recent years, building relationships with others, through books and writing, has become part of my life story.

Books.  They connect us to other people. Worldwide, it’s gotten easier for people to meet-up through web-based book clubs and writers groups to build relationships of common interests. I’ve have the opportunity to open doors and step inside the lives of all kinds of people that I ordinarily would never have had the chance to meet, if it hadn’t been for books.

The dialogue that an author creates in penning a book helps the reader to know the personalities of the people we meet between the covers. Whether a person is physically attractive or not, walks through life with an attitude or is kind to others is determined through the words a talented author uses to craft the story. How and where a person lives and what kinds of relationships they maintain, is revealed through a good narrative. Characters in a story can even help the reader  learn more about themselves.

When you come right down to it, the way our personal tales go is a reflection of the people who pass through our lives. Whether we allow them stay, can be a determining factor in whether a relationship is fulfilling or not. Like the characters in each book we read, even when we let go of certain people, we are never quite the same for having let them in.

Meeting new people in life and in books is all about coming away from the experience learning something we never knew before.

See you next time on  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click for Info & Ordering