Dear Santa 2015

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December, 2015

Dear Santa,

635524489837773185-write-santaI hope you haven’t had your fill of yearly letters from me yet. This December I have an even larger request. Over the past few years you’ve marvelously delivered what I’ve asked for so I hope you can
pull things off for me once more.

Three or four years ago I requested that you provide me with memories of my childhood so I could pen a memoir. Things came through very clearly.

The next year I was lagging in the motivation to finish the publication. Miraculously, persistance and determination began to show up more frequently. Thus, I accomplished my goal. Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected came into the marketplace.

Last year, as you may remember, when I read my Dear Santa letter at the Steamboat Writers Group Xmas party I asked you for two gifts – to deliver some creative ideas on fresh ways to market my memoir and ideas for a new publication. Out of a small twinkle I once saw in your eye Santa, my e-book Lessons of Heart & Soul came into being.

I’m a little concerned that I am really overstepping my limits this year. I have a larger request than ever. Regretfully for you, but fortunately for me, my love of writing keeps leading me forward which requires asking for what could be harder to fill requests every year.

Santa, I am in dire need of a new computer. I mean, the one I’ve got I can tell is nearly worn out. I am grateful that it still is hanging in there.  I can always go work in the library, if  you can not fulfill my request. After all, it’s a beautiful environment – bright, cozy warm and the technology is all there. Problem is we are limited in the number of hours we can use their computers.  There are lots of other people who need them. I understand. I’m not kidding, I really do. Sometimes I awake in the middle of the night…and you know what William Faulkner says about that – “if there’s story is in you, it’s got to come out.

This year I’ve been asked to edit a publication and I need to contribute a chapter to the book also. I could work a little more efficiently if I had a new computer.

Lastly, Santa, I need a larger spark of interest in my ancestors because I have become involved in a genealogy writers group. Although I love to write about my memories, and I have a new found love of writing fiction, my most recent foray into a story can not come from just my own opinions. I’ll need some facts to better substantiate what I intend to write about. Can you help me out with that?

I’ve been a good girl. I always work hard at whatever I am doing. I’ve gotten my work ethics from my forebearers! I am not a slacker. I try to be kind and compassionate, like you. I help others to successfully accomplish their independent publishing goals by sharing my knowledge. It’s what I love to do!

Say, I have an idea! How about one year you and Mrs. Claus write love letters to one another about the spirit of Christmas.  They will be in kept in the family archives for generations. All your little elves down the line will love it too. I’ll help you if I have the means to do so. That is… with my new computer… (Hint, hint!)

P.S. Please don’t forget to take some time out for yourself. It keeps you healthy and in the right spirit of Christmas. Love U! Sue

Sketches of Ancestors

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Last week I was up against the clock. I hadn’t a thing to contribute to the genealogy writers group that I attend at our local library. Our meeting was impending and I felt pressure to be an active participating member by reading my writing.

In the wee hours of the morning, I suddenly awoke with a glimmer of a thought. As I lay in bed tossing and turning, mental images of my maternal grandfather were brought together as I recalled what my mom had told me through her storytelling. Finally at 2:30 in the morning I got up and began to put words to the depiction I had created in my mind of my deceased grandfather.

As I wrote I sipped a cup of chamomile tea, hoping that once I had put my thoughts to rest on a piece of paper, the tea would relax me and help me fall back asleep. No such luck.

I was so content with the picture I had painted with words of my maternal grandfather, the rest of the night I lay awake pondering it.

My maternal grandfather and my maternal grandmother both passed away when I was very young. Their presence is not in my childhood memories of thanksgiving tables my family and I have shared together. However through the tales of my mother, I can bring her parents alive through my writing.

heritage

Writing about the legacy and values of a family is never time wasted. It becomes part of our heritage.

family history

 

 

Links to Past, Present and Future

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My first duty is to write a gripping yarn. Second is to convey credible characters who make you feel what they feel. Only third comes the idea. ~ David Brin

Did you read Friday’s post on All Things Fulfilling about stitching yarns together? Today we are going to continue the conversation from a slightly different angle.

In my first publication, the award-winning memoir called Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, I wrote a first hand account of my memories.The facts were all there as best as I could remember from my childhood.

For years I have been told some interesting stories about a character of interest on my mother’s side of the family tree that I did not write about previously.  The tales could be full of baloney because they are a bit sketchy. I need to determine if they are fact or fiction.

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In order to find out the truth of the matter I recently joined in with a genealogy group at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado to see if I can stitch together the vague pieces of information that I have been given my mother. If there is some truth to the matter, this figure from my heritage could prove to be a fascinating fellow.

Great resources are available at my finger tips! The Bud Werner Memorial Library (BWML) is an affiliate of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Some people find great fascination in tracing their family back many generations, I am not sure if I am up for the task. “But how will I know whether I’ll find that kind of research fulfilling or not if I don’t begin somewhere?” I ask myself.

I’ll keep you posted….

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

Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Edibles

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A weed is a plant whose virtue is not yet known.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever wandered the woods wondering which plants have been used for hundreds of years for their medicinal qualities? And which plants are edible?

Herbalists Karen Vail and Mary O’Brien have taken years to research and write their new resource guide Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Southern Rockies. Photos were taken by the authors from the fields, forests and mountains. Much effort has gone into the project. I know because I’ve consulted with them.

Now it’s time to bring their book to fruition by publishing it. These two ladies know their stuff and have conducted hiking tours for many years all for the sake of educating others about the healing qualities of herbs and flowers, some of our greatest natural resources found in nature.

Learn more about this very useful guide and the professional and educational qualifications of the herbalists. They offer their combined knowledge of 50 years in this publication. Take a few minutes to listen to the authors talk about what’s between the covers!

Please join me in supporting their efforts.

P.S. I can guarantee you will also see some beautiful landscapes in the video.

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.

Fostering Joy Through Publishing

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We can not accomplish all we need to without working together.” ~ Bill Richardson

I wish you could really know the joy I am feeling right now. Last week I found out that four authors in our We Write Steamboat networking group are finalists for five awards in the annual EVVY book contest sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

The group was formed in 2011 with a mission of “fostering independent publishing success.” Since then Steamboat authors have been well-represented each year as finalists and award winners. As the founder of the group, I couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished in bringing recognition to this community of writers.

Here is the list of Steamboat’s 2015 EVVY award finalists.

celebrate the author

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

Lou Prentiss Book

Merit Clark’s Killing Streak in the fiction/mystery & detective category and also finalist for cover design

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

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)

Dear Class

What a gift it has been to live and work among a community of independent publishers. I must also give recognition to the Steamboat Writers Group. Their expertise and knowledge with regards to critiquing works in progress is very valuable and that is why for thirty-plus years the group has held together.

It’s a joyful time for all of the independent publishers who are finalists in the EVVY competition. Good luck to everyone! All Things Fulfilling will be posting more information about the 2015 EVVY award-winning authors in coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow I will be featuring an artist whose life calling has gone from farm boy in Virginia to dentist to author/independent publisher and internationally acclaimed scultpure artist. Now there’s a story!

This blog is brought to you by two time  2014 EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Movies Adapted from Memoirs

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Movie-making is telling a story with the best technology at your disposal. ~ Tom Hanks

On this Film Friday, we will be looking at some of the best movies that have been adapted from memoirs.

According to an article written by Emily Temple on Flavorwire.com, it’s a delicate thing turning a memoir into a successful movie. Since film is another form of storytelling, you’d think it’d be easy but something is often lost in the translation when you move away from the first person prose of a narrative to a third person medium.

The following movies are some of the best memoir to movie adaptations. If you feel like watching a movie this weekend, perhaps watching a few of these films will give you a little insight into what a good memoir to movie adaptation looks like:

  • My Week with Marilyn
  • Motorcycle Diaries
  • The Pianist
  • Persepolis
  • The Diving Bell and Butterfly
  • October Sky
  • 127 Hours
  • An Education
  • The Boys Life
  • A Mighty Heart

To see a short summary of each of these movies, follow this link to Flavorwire.com.

outdoors movies

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday. Next week on All Things Fulfilling we will be celebrating life, independence and summer. Join us!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning memoirist, Sue Batton Leonard. Click here for information on her publications.