Coping Skills and Economy

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Entitlement is the opposite of enchantment.” ~ Guy Kawaski

Yesterday after I wrote about my college escapades in my  hand-me-down car, I began thinking of how different life is now for students compared to when I was in college in the early 1970s. My sister and I were very fortunate to even have had a vehicle to share in college because the majority didn’t. We were thrilled to death to have inherited the old “jalopy.”

When the budget was low and we ran low on gas money, we pooled our funds with our girlfriends. Back then, giving credit cards to college students was unheard of – most families operated on a cash only basis. If you had built a good reputation or were good friends with the shopkeeper, sometimes they did extend credit in emergency situations. gas rationing

Back in 1973 it didn’t matter who you were or what kind of car you drove, you were not entitled to having a full tank of gas at anytime of day or night. It was the days of gas rationing. My sister and I had to plan our 500 mile treks home from school vacations very carefully. We could only purchase gas on certain days and at some gas stations there was a 10 gallon limit.

To take things even further – we had to wait in line to use the pay telephone if we wanted to call our parents. And forget calling  on a whim – every telephone call cost dearly.There were no package plans! On Sunday evenings, every two weeks, we called home. And the time allotment had two be split between two talking heads, mine and my sisters.

Do you think young adults in today’s society have the same kind of coping skills as in previous generations? I’d like to hear from you.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected Sue’s memoir

Hand-Me-Down Memories

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Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. ~Hans Christian Andersen

I don’t think there is a person alive who doesn’t attach memories to the cars they’ve owned. The car my twin sister and I had in college was a hand-me-down from our parents. They thought the Plymouth wagon had seen it’s better days, but we proved them wrong, big time.

Our college friends nicknamed the vehicle the “The Batmobile.” My maiden name is Batton, hence, the moniker made sense! It was one of the most recognizable cars on campus because it was as long and wide as a barge, and our friends could see us coming down the pike from far distances. For me, just seeing over the steering wheel was a challenge.

We carted around as many fellow students as we possibly could, with all their gear, to Stowe http://www.stowe.com and Smugglers Notch Ski Areas http://www.smuggs.com and places way beyond. We’d pack  ’em in like sardines, because seat belts were unheard of in those days. Off we’d head for another day on the slopes. The Batmobile could slurp the gas alright, almost as quickly as it was filled up. And when the fuel gauge finally gave up the ghost we had to keep an emergency gas fund just in case. After all we were only poor college students with limited budgets.

One fall weekend, my twin and I and our girlfriends decided to go hiking on the Long Trail http://www.greenmountaintrail.org (an extension of the Appalachian Trail  www.appalachiantrail.org ). Being typical college students we…. ummmm….sometimes got hair brained ideas. We decided we’d be trail blazers and take the lazy louts approach to hiking. We drove as far as we possibly could up the Long Trail and parked it. The next day when we returned to our car after spending the night on the trail in the cabins, here is a photo of what we were faced with. One of our housemates had gotten wind of our plans, and decided to play a prank. BATMOBILE It was all in good fun, and one of my most dear memories from Johnson State College http://www.jsc.edu. 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

Roads toward Building Community

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Tomorrow it’s time to head to Denver for Saturday’s monthly CIPA meeting (aka Colorado Independent Publishers Association). This month’s educational focus will be on social media marketing – attendance should be high. There are so many authors and publishers who want to know more about selling and marketing books effectively over the internet. I will be heading up a roundtable discussion on Taking Facebook to the Next Level, beyond the basics of using Facebook to promote independent publications on the world-wide-web. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge.

I’ve got my work cut out for me on the three hour drive from where I live to Denver. I will be listening to my own audio book recording of “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” The recording has been edited but I’ve not had the chance to listen from beginning to end for any glitches.

helping othersThis is a good time to give a shout out to ColoradoMountainCollege student, Bryan Dow,  who was so helpful to me throughout the recording process. He edited my audio recording quicker than I could have ever expected. It was his first job at editing an audio book, but he has a wealth of experience with the program. Among his already deep curriculum vitae “c.v.” is the title” musician” so uses the software frequently. I enjoyed getting to know this college student a little bit. Someday I hope he tells his own story through an independently published book, film or music or perhaps a multi-media publication. He is working on a fascinating project, while trying to balance a busy schedule of work, study and building a future for himself.

It’s a wonderful thing to have people in this world who are whizzes with technology and can do great things with their hands, creativity and intellectual talents. Thanks again, Bryan, for lending me a hand, and helping me with the production of my audio book (in MP-3 format) “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” You are a person who can help build community in many different ways with your diverse talents. I am glad our paths crossed.

See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday! This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

A Russian Winter

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Art is the right hand of Nature.” ~ Friedrich Schiller

Last Friday evening as I participated in the First Friday Art Walk, I felt as if I was living in the Russian valley of Oymyakon, the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. The twenty below-zero temperatures seemed to have been heaven sent to provide a full-bodied experience for my emersion into the Russian art exhibition that opened that evening at the Steamboat Art Museum. The Russian paintings, on loan from a single private collector, are nothing short of magnificent.

SAM Russian Art

The Russian Experience” is a beautifully curated exhibit. I’d like to compliment artist Rich Galusha who really took great care in the placement of the paintings even painting the museum walls to accentuate the work – a job well done. And the Russian musical compositions that John Sant’Ambrogio played on the cello complimented the evening.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the educational information that was posted in the museum about the history and various styles of Russian Art. It was interesting to note that most of the artists did not reside in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but rather, they came from small, remote villages throughout the country.

As cold as it was on Friday, I wouldn’t have missed getting out. After all, my husband’s photography debut exhibition along with other student’s work from ColoradoMountainCollege’s digital photography class was next door to the Steamboat Art Museum at the Chief Theatre for Cultural and Performing Arts. http://www.chieftheater.org/. The student’s work will be at the Chief Theatre all month long.

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If you are coming to town this winter, don’t miss out on stopping by the Steamboat Art Museum http://www.steamboatartmuseum.org/ and take in “The Russian Experience.” It will be available until April 12. The frigid blast will have passed since we don’t often see temperatures this low for long periods.

Thankfully, as I strolled the streets going from gallery to gallery, I found some hot cider at the Wild Horse Gallery to warm my inners. It was much appreciated!

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Fulfillment of Career Dreams

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Everything worthwhile in life is work.  But if it puts a smile on your face, it doesn’t feel like work. ~ Unknown

world university games 2013 ItalyI am very excited for my husband! He has an opportunity coming up that not many in his profession get to experience. He was just selected to be one of the ski coaches at The World University Games in Trentino, Italy. These are the Olympic Games for college students. Coaches and athletes from all over the world will be attending!

He is deserving of it because over the years he has used his great motivational skills in helping young people to understand that there is value in working hard. His message to his athletes is that even if you don’t come home with top prize, knowing that you did your best there is great reward in that – called personal fulfillment. His universe, outside of his family, has been the world of ski racing. He would say “His career of working with very high-level performance athletes has been very fulfilling.” I can not imagine him doing anything else for a lifetime career.

ski racerPeople think that coaching ski racers is all glamour and fun. Hardly! Have you ever tried standing out on a mountain, at a high elevation where the air is thin, in blinding snowstorms day after day with your hands and feet so frozen that your toe nails fall off at the end of the winter season? Or have you tried driving thousands and thousands miles each winter in a van packed with athletes and gear after a long day on the mountain, on roads so treacherous that if you blink at the wrong time you’ll end up in a ditch or worse? That’s exhausting and a lot of responsibility.

The World University Games officially kick off November 9th, and guess who will be lighting the torch? Pope Francis! To read more about the World University Games, please visit this website. http://www.wugusa.com/pope-francis-will-trentinos-torch/.

Congratulations, Terry! You will represent ColoradoMountainCollege with honor, as well as your colleagues – the other coaches in your profession. Enjoy it. It’s your reward for all the years of your service to a demanding profession.

Return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. The blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Thoughtful Thursday: Opening Up Discussion

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trevor boehm quote

Happy Thoughtful Thursday! Today, I would like to share an interview that I had with Ali Boehm earlier in the week. She owns an award-winning healing business called “Kneading Hands” Massage. She is also the driving force behind a book, authored by her brother, Trevor.  The Boehm family published “Louie’s Saxophone” to help people struggling with mental illness.

Here is our interview:

Sue: Today is the first of many Thoughtful Thursdays to come on All Things Fulfilling. I continue to be inspired by your family’s story. The loss of your brother has been turned into a positive mission.  More than a year ago, I featured your brother Trevor’s award-winning book “Louie’s Saxophone” on All Things Fulfilling and I would like to feature it once more. http://bit.ly/1auIRSD

In a few weeks you will be participating in an event at Bermis Hall at Colorado College sponsored by the National Alliance of Mental Health. You will be sharing “Louie’s Saxophone” which has the potential to help many people. Tell me  more about the event.

Ali: On November 14th (at 6:30 pm) in Colorado Springs, CO I will be a speaking out, sharing our family’s experience at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It will be an evening of story and song called Silence No More. People will also be reading poetry and expressing themselves through the power of dance. Kathy Brandt and Max Maddox will also be sharing their book “Walks on the Margins: A Story of Bipolar Disease.”

Sue: What will you will be specifically speaking about?

Ali: This time when I speak at the NAMI event, and now that more time has passed since the loss of my brother, I will be reflecting on what I think Trevor would be doing if he was still here with us.

Sue: Tell me what purpose you feel Louie’s Saxophone plays in helping people with mental illness?

Ali: That no one is alone. The book, in a gentle way, opens a door to talk about a sensitive subject matter. I believe that my brother’s struggles began at age 8, and a children’s book becomes a family place for education at a very young age.

Sue: What has your family learned about the power of books to change lives by  publishing Louie’s Saxophone?

Ali: People believe in the written word.  A book creates a space for reflection and gives power to legitimize the healing process. Initially we thought we’d do a pamphlet, but a book has more credibility.

 Sue: How does it make you feel to know that you are helping others by sharing the story Trevor left behind?

Ali: Humbled. The book is powerful and it puts me in a position that facilitates discussion. I do not have all the answers, and sometimes that is scary. But I can provide and find resources.

Ali: Where should people who are struggling go to seek help? Can you give me a few resources?

Sue: Ali, It’s been a good day if by publishing this interview on-line if we can help even a single person to know that they are not alone and they can open up about their own depression or sadness. Best to you with the NAMI event, I am so proud that you are part of We Write Steamboat networking group for independent publishers . You are sharing an important story.

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

E-Books: A Vital Option

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The freedom to move forward to new opportunities and to produce results comes from living in the present and not the past.” ~ Brian Koslow

Shopping-CartIf you are ready to publish your manuscript, there are many choices to consider. Offering an electronic version of a book has become a necessity if you are an author who wants to reap the benefits in the digital marketplace. More often than not, potential book buyers want to know if a title “is available as an e-book?”

According to a recent article in Publishers Weekly Magazine, sales in e-books have dipped a little from when the Kindle and the Nook were initially rolled out. However,  e-book sales have remained strong, jumping a total of “4,456% since 2008.” That is a big deal and e-books have become a “billion dollar industry” according to the article. Here is a link so you can see all the e-book selling statistics from 2008 – 2012. http://bit.ly/Hc3JVq. We won’t see the 2013 book sales results for a few more months.

In my opinion, there will be more technological developments coming that will blow away any remaining doubts that e-books are just a passing trend. Especially as digital publishing becomes integrated into more classrooms and library catalogs.

Authors don’t miss out on a stream of income by failing to offer an e-book version of your title. And remember “if you are selling over the internet, you must be marketing over the internet” because that is where your potential book buyers hang out!

Speaking of hang-outs, thanks for frequenting this website. Do return tomorrow to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com tomorrow, the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Important First Steps to Publishing

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It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in happiness of pursuit.” ~ Denis Waitley

The e-Book Extravaganza on Saturday sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) was well-worth attending. During one of the breaks, the President of CIPA, Dr. Patricia Ross came over to me and said “Sue, I’d like you to meet one of our new members.” Of course, the usual niceties followed.

I asked the new member if she was enjoying the morning, and she said “Yes, but I feel so uninformed! There is so little I know about independent publishing.” Dr. Ross told her not to be discouraged, and off the President went doing her job of hob-knobbing about the room.

CIPA 9 13 #1As the new member and I stood talking, I said to her, “You know, each and every person in this room started where you began today, knowing nothing. That is the reason you have joined this group -to get help, to learn, to network and become informed about your options.” There is a lot to learn and you have taken a very important first step. You have joined this group!”

“Yes,” the new member replied. “There seems to be plenty of knowledge to learn from in this group.”

Before the break was over and we went to sit in our respective seats, across the room from one another, I had one more thing I had to say. “In your free time, read anything you can get your hands on about the industry, and keep coming to this group. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.”

To learn more about the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, please visit this link. http://www.cipacatalog.com/join-cipa/. Please note the organization also offers downloadable webinars if you are too far to travel to their meetings.

http://www.cipacatalog.com/categories/CIPA-College-Downloads/

As I drove home, I began to ponder how many first steps I have taken since 1998, when the independent industry was in its infancy. They’ve all been in a quest to learn all I could about the industry and it led to becoming a business.  And the wonders and development of the independent publishing universe never cease to amaze me. I find it fascinating.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

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 .

 

Film Friday: Teaching Emerging Filmmakers

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new day films “One of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.”  – Edward Zwick

Are you an educator who teaches emerging young filmmakers? The other day I came across a film distribution company that may not be known to visitors who frequent All Things Fulfilling for news about independent filmmaking.

New Day Films is a filmmaker-run distribution company providing award-winning films to educators since 1971. This on-line site “delivers over 230 titles that illuminate, challenge and inspire.”  Many of the films can be digitally streamed directly from the website or delivered in DVD or VHS format.

willard van dykeSince the genre of documentary film is particularly interesting to me, I was drawn to a film called Conversations with Willard Van Dyke. http://www.newday.com/films/Conversations_with_WVD.html. In this film, Van Dyke discusses his belief that “films have the power of film to change the world.”  The man behind his films, Willard Van Dyke,became synonymous with social documentary in the U.S.”

During his lifetime (1906 – 1986), Van Dyke painted portraitures of Americans, through the medium of film, who made their living through hard labor everyday such as steelworkers, cottonpickers and machinists. The Depression, he said, made an everlasting impression on him.Click for info & ordering Willard Van Dyke’s film

Van Dyke was director of the Department of Film at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from 1965 to 1974. He also began the film department at the State University of New York in Purchase.  In 1978, he received the prestigious George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film. 

New Day Films distributes films on many social issue topics, among them:

  • Aging & Gerontology
  • Media, Art & Culture
  • Religion & Theology
  • African-American
  • Multi-Cultural
  • Children & Family issues
  • Sociology
  • Native American Studies

Film educators and film historians may find the perfect film they are looking for to use in the classroom on the website http://www.newday.com.  Check it out.

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