Flaws in Character and Writing

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Two weeks ago Charles Shields, author of 20 histories and biographies for young adults came to the Bud Werner Memorial Library to talk about his knowledge of Harper Lee and her two publications, To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.

Shields publications Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee and I am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee reveal a multitude of little known facts about Lee’s childhood life prior to becoming an author.

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  • She left law school and moved to New York City to become an author. However, her dreams of becoming a full-time writer were delayed because she needed to find a way to pay her expenses, so she became an airline reservationist for a period of about eight or ten years.
  • A neighbor and playmate was Truman Capote, author of In Cold Blood
  • She and Capote hauled a 12 pound Underwood typewriter up to their tree house where they’d sit for hours and write and discuss ideas for stories.
  • Upon her fathers death, Harper Lee inherited her father’s watch, which she in turn gave to Gregory Peck who played her father (Atticus) in the 1962 movie To Kill A Mockingbird.

In his book talk, Shield’s certainly provided the audience with a wealth of information about the author and her two books. To sum it up, Shields says that “Mockingbird” asks the reader for compassion, while “Watchman” asks the reader for forgiveness. I agree with this statement. It helped me to  lay aside my own profound sadness for Scout when she finds out at the end of “Watchman” her father was not the man she thought he was.

During the Q & A session one of the audience members mentioned that she was bothered by the fact that “Watchman” was released in it the same form the original manuscript was written. I personally appreciated that the publication was released “unpolished.” I hope the lady in the audience can forgive and understand perhaps why “Watchman” was released without copy editing. I believe the “raw state” of the publication adds to the historical value to the writing from a Pulitzer-prize American author whose work has certainly held up to the test of time.

Tonight I look forward to the community discussion to wrap up the One Book Steamboat series, which has received attention from the National Library Association newsletter.

Thanks once again to Bud Werner Memorial Library for a fulfilling opportunity to learn all we can about one of America’s most beloved authors.

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

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e-Book Extravaganza

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Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. ~ Kofi Annan

cipa logoOn Saturday I made the very worthwhile three hour trek into Denver from Steamboat Springs, Colorado to attend Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) monthly meeting. The September agenda was an e-Book Extravaganza. Here are just a few things that were discussed throughout the day:

  • The e-book industry now represents 33% of book sales. How about that?
  • People like having a choice of formats, so offering books in print, as well as an e-book version is wise marketing.
  • There is still a viable market for books-in-print but there is a certain part of the reading population who are clamoring for e-books due to their convenience.
  • Surprisingly, people who are 55 years of age and over ARE BUYING e-books, contrary to what was expected. It is not just the young generation that are interested in the digital format.
  • We discussed pricing of e-books and how you can leverage your intellectual property.
  • E-books make it easy to offer samples, providing potential book buyers the  opportunity to see if they like an author they’ve never read before.
  • A big advantage to e-books – there is no printing involved, thus it removes the need for physical space of inventory.

If you are a writer who wants to get on The Fast Track to Independent Publishing, here is a short webinar that will introduce you to the basics. http://bit.ly/10cCp1Y. 

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, we will be discussing the next best step if you are a person who is considering independent publishing and you are in need of knowledge. I will tell you a quick but valuable story from this weekend.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com .

 

Gatsby Groupies

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 “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

gatsbyI feel as if I am becoming a Gatsby groupie! Today I walked into the Bud Werner Library, and saw a display case announcing the next One Book Steamboat (a community read). It is The Great Gatsby.I’m in,” I thought, as I proceeded to the DVDs and took out the 2000 production of The Great Gatsby movie by A & E Television Networks. Then I wandered over the computer and put in a reserve for a copy of the book by the same title.

I guess I haven’t had enough of the Fitzgeralds, the Jazz Age and the Long Island social elite even though last summer on my vacation, I took in the movie The Great Gatsby with my sister and I also hawked my mother’s copy of  Zelda and read it.

Truthfully, I was disappointed in the latest rendition of the movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio. The visual effects, I felt, were so over the top and frantic that it distracted me from being able to absorb the tragic tale of wealth and entitlement. The telling essence of Jay Gatsby’s character weaknesses were lost in the visual chaos of the movie, rather being told by the dialogue of the story.

The book Zelda, for me, provided much better insight into the psyche of an artist who “never wanted to give in or give up” despite failure and rejection. The narrative told an up-close and personal story of the relationship between wife and husband, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and it gave historical perspective into their friendships with other contemporaries (filmmakers, writers and artists) from the era.

As a lead-up to the community discussion of the novel, on October 10th, the latest Leo Dicaprio version of “Gatsby” will be aired at the Bud Werner Library. I’ll probably skip it. But then again, perhaps with a second look I might have a different opinion. But I hope not to miss what will probably be a very fulfilling discussion on Monday, October 21st.  It will be led by the English teachers of SteamboatHigh School. I hope students are required to join in and read this classic novel.  For more information, please follow this link. http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/events/one-book-steamboat

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Clearing the Way

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“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Are you person who has always had an artistic calling, yet you have never pursued your passion in earnest? You are not alone. There are many people, for various reasons, who have had to travel down other career paths feeling they have not fulfilled their God-given talents.

Matt Tommey book1The book Unlocking the Heart of the Artist: Practical Guide to Fulfilling Your Creative Call as an Artist in the Kingdom speaks to this issue for the new generation of people who seek personal fulfillment as a priority in their lives. He invites others to live fully, doing what makes them happy, and to become “unstuck” by expressing themselves creatively.

The author, Matt Tommey, is a successful basket maker and art consultant from Asheville, North Carolina. His sensible messages to other artists, through his publications, helps clear the way of self-doubt by providing hope and insight to individuals who wish to thrive and become fulltime artists. His book Crafting your Brand: Simple Strategies for Cultivating a Successful Creative Career, is also a good resource for anyone who wants to pursue their calling.

A well-rounded artist, Matt Tommey,  makes a living in a combination of ways, also offering workshops on the craft of basketry. To learn more about his workshops,  how to order these publications and to see his website,  http://bit.ly/1bpQhI9 .

Do return tomorrow for Film Friday, we will be featuring a film that is soon to be released that plays well into our recent topics of writing on All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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

Neighborly Inspiration

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inspiredWe have a whole group of individuals, right here in Routt County, Colorado, who are inspiring others through their independent publishing. I’ve gotten notice that we have several book contest finalists from our meet-up group, We Write Steamboat.

On May 18th in Lone Tree, Colorado the EVVY book awards will be presented by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Who will take home the prizes?

Each author has been a motivating force for others because they have pursued their passion for writing. Some share educational or career knowledge and experiences, others share very personal stories, others use their creative powers to craft a fictional piece of literature.

Today, I’d like to honor each one, award-winner or not, for having the perseverance to complete the writing process and publish it. Some have chosen to publish their books digitally (e-book), others, audio format, or a book in hardcover or paperback. Smart authors make their publications available in all formats, whenever possible.

I’d also like to thank our members of We Write Steamboat for supporting me and others in our group. Because independent publishers find community, rather than viewing each other as competitors, the industry is growing and so is our networking group. How fulfilling is that? It’s a beautiful day in our neighborhood of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in living a life inspired by other independent publishers.

rainbows-of-hope-260883Look forward to your return to   All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

 

Stimulating the Palette with Food Art

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Good food is wise medicine. ~Alison Levitt M.D., Doctor in the Kitchen®

flower kidsSpring has arrived in southern parts of the country. Gardens are sprouting new crops of fruits and veggies. Today on All Things Fulfilling, we will share images of food art that have been circulating over the internet. Mouth-watering ideas and all elements of art – color, shape, form, texture and values have been used to create these food compositions, as well as use of line and space. The visual effects are enough to make even the pickiest child want to eat the daily recommended servings of produce.

Some food art is basic, and any Mom or Dad can make it to impress their families, and stimulate palettes. While other compositions are very time consuming and are best left to highly skilled caterers. With practice and the help of proper kitchen utensils, books and DVDs anyone can now become a culinary artist in their own kitchen, and promote better nutrition.

John Gargone, a chef from Pennsylvania, teaches others his craft of food carving and sculpting in his popular book Food Art: Garnishing Made Easy and through his independently published DVD series.

You are invited to take this tour with me, through the fulfilling world of food and art. Perhaps we will both be inspired to include a little more creativity in our food preparation and diets.

apple with fruit

gold fish

goldfish adult

owl adult

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bird advancedface kids

Return on tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.