Fulfilling Results: Indie Publishing

Leave a comment

Thank you

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward, author of Mountains of Faith

Today I’d like to recognize some very key people and organizations who helped me with various parts of publishing my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Although I am well versed in most steps of independent publishing, there are parts of the writing and publishing process that I relied on having other professionals to steer and assist me. Their support services were invaluable in getting the project finished.

 

Thanks to the following:

  • Steamboat Writers Group for valuable critique and feedback.
  • Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) for education and support resources. Also for the friendships and business associates I have made through this outstanding organization.
  • We Write Steamboat members for their encouragement, support, feedback and most of all, friendships!
  • Pre-publication readers – you know who you are, thank you for your book testimonials!
  • Professional services in the Media Lab at Colorado Mountain College
  • Lindsey Royce at Colorado Mountain College for a great writing class to stir my creativity.
  • Jan McDaniel for final editing services. The final editing of dialogue was very tedious!
  • Joe McDaniel for photo restoration work
  • Joe & Jan McDaniel at bookcrafters.net for publishing my book affordably, in a timely manner and for  following  my unique publishing requests. You were delightful to work with.
  • Patti Asbury for helping me to grow professionally through public speaking
  • Karen McLane and Postnet for graphic design and printing services
  • Sound technician Brian Dow for help with audio book production
  • Terry Leonard – photography and assistance with marketing materials and book events.
  • Audio book producer –   http://www.marcrleonard.com  (aka “The Technical Dude”)
  • Technology and website support – Marc R Leonard
  • Terry Leonard and Marc R Leonard for cheering, emotional support and encouragement.
  • JDB Technology – help with computer “issues”
  • Gail Nelson – e-book designer and e-book formatting services
  • United Methodist Church for spiritual guidance and support. The United Methodist Women for hosting my wonderful book launch “party.”
  • To ALL fellow authors who networked, shared their experiences and advice.
  • All book buyers!

If there is anyone I have inadvertently left out, I apologize. Trying to remember everyone is difficult. My path has crossed with so many people throughout this four year  journey of independently publishing Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Thanks to everyone who gave me an encouraging word!

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1t7f6Ec

No Excuses, Play On

Leave a comment

Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy. ~ Robert A. Heinlein

I remember thinking how lucky one of my girlfriends was because every year Mary Ellen and her sister and parents went to amusement parks  in their motor home for Christmas.

Instead, our family rented chalets and went skiing in the mountains of Vermont. How I wished our family was “normal.” In the 1950s and 1960s few Maryland families traveled great distances. I remember trying to voice my opinion of how much fun it would be to go to amusement parks more often instead of having to work so hard at learning how to ski. Skiing wasn’t easy and I nearly froze my fanny off in the process. Not to even mention toting the all gear – that was very difficult for a young child whose start was so tenuous.

Vintage ski picWhen I whined, my Dad used to tell me carrying the equipment builds muscles and the rope tow WAS an amusement park ride. “Who cares about muscles. ” I thought. For others who watched me fall off  the rope tow, it probably was amusing. Doing face plants every foot up the mountain because I didn’t have the strength to hold onto the rope, and then again as I skied back down the mountain wasn’t exactly my idea of fun!

When I went off to college in the North Country, I was never so grateful for the years my parents spent planting seeds of appreciation in me for the love of the great outdoors and teaching us kids to ski. Those skills came in handy and my enjoyment of the sport grew in gigantic proportions.

There have been other lifelong benefits that came out of my early struggles, too. As an adult I can admit “Dad and Mom knew best.” Here is an article about the health benefits of skiing.http://bit.ly/1unzjDi

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Now available in audio book, paperback and e-book. Psst…..the voice holds the real treasure!http://amzn.to/1orPIRI

A Spirited Community

1 Comment

Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…” ― Wilferd Peterson

Steamboat springs Cultural-Heritage-Banner

So much of what author Wilferd Peterson describes in his quote and in his books about living a fulfilling life can be found in the town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and the surrounding Routt County. His words couldn’t peg this Western community of 10,000 people any better!

What a busy 4th of July weekend! What constitutes a perfect independence weekend in sunny Steamboat? All Things western, creative and American!

  • Thursday evening warm-up: A gondola ride, picnic dinner and hike on the mountain. Enhanced with a stunning sunset, I might add.
  • First Friday Artwalk
  • Deliciously drenched strawberry stained, scented hands after helping to slice 10 flats of fruit first thing in the morning on Saturday.
  • Parade on Main Street. All creatures, great and small, festooned with wearing the red, white and blue.
  • After the parade block party – Annual ice crèam and strawberry sundae fundraiser at www.umcsteamboat.org. Routt beer floats and all American hot dogs across the street at Tred of Pioneers Museum. www.tredofpioneers.org.
  • Celebration of a prestigious institute for the performing arts in Steamboat. Perry-Mansfield celebrates 100 years! www.perry-mansfield.org.
  • The next generation of Olympic hopefuls compete – summertime ski jumping on the 4th at Howelson Hill, the site of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Www.sswsc.org.
  • A beautiful sunset with fireworks to end the 4th with dazzle and spark.
  • Free concert on Saturday evening under the stars.
  •  Art on the Mountain throughout the weekend – arts and crafts to satisfy the most discriminating tastes and interests.

This is only a small sampling of things there were to see and do over the 4th of July weekend in Steamboat. Coming up next weekend is Art in the Park and the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo. For a full list of summer/fall events here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, please visit this website www.steamboat-chamber.com.

It’s another fulfilling summer here in da ‘Boat! Come and join us in the fun!

steamboat summer1

Photo above: Stunning Vistas surround Steamboat!

summer steamboat 7 Perry Mansfield

 Photo Above: Perry-Mansfield celebrates 100 years of mentoring students in the performing arts. http://www.perry-mansfield.org

Steamboat Summer 4Tread-of-Pioneers-Museum

Above: Cultural Heritage Museum – Tred of Pioneers. Includes ski racing and Olympian history from Steamboat

steamboat summer 2

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo – Just one of many signature summer weekends in Steamboat

Colorado-Mountain-College Economic Development Council

Colorado Mountain College – Home of Steamboat Springs  Economic Development Council

steamboat-downtown1

Historic downtown Steamboat in the other season

steamboat first friday art walk

The Arts are important year round. It’s a great community of  creatives -writers, painters, musicians, potters, photographers and multi-media artists.

ToddLodwick_flagbearer

Photo Above: Steamboat has produced 88 Olympians and counting….

steamboat summer pro rodeo

Pro-Rodeo in Steamboat in Summertime

steamboat-FlyFishing_1_t640

Superb Fly Fishing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

What a gift of a lifetime for anyone to be living and working in Steamboat! There is so much to experience.

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard.

Coping Skills and Economy

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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.

IMAG0935

 

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.