Harvest of Life Lessons

Leave a comment

“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” –   Edwin Way Teale

Greetings! It is a fabulous fall morning. I’d like to send out an invitation for you to come to my house! Enter through the doors of my childhood through my publication Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

In my youth I was kept in stitches by a beautiful character named Fanny and my heart was sewn together too. Both were gifts that led me to live a fulfilling life. Through my memoir, I share a harvest of life lessons taught to me by my strong family.

The teapot is filled in anticipation of your coming, there are homemade ginger snaps on the table and I hope you will enjoy the inspiring words of my beloved Fanny during this fine fall season. The real treasure lies in the voice in the EVVY award-winning audio book. But if you prefer the paperback or a digital download of an e-book, those are available too!

unnamed

Happy Harvest Everybody! Do return tomorrow and on Friday I want to tell you about an event that I just received an invitation to that will take me back to my childhood days. I am very excited.

 

Less Words Said the Better

Leave a comment

CD cover templit with EVVY stickerToday I’d like to tell a “Fanny story” in honor of my Dad. If you haven’t read my award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, Fanny is the stellar character in the narrative. Although, you’ll realize my parents are pretty special people too!

Here goeth the story –

Between my mother, who is rarely at a shortage for words, twin daughters who when paired together is enough to make anyone ask for some earplugs and the self-appointed boss (our beloved Fanny), my father often got over-ruled by women. Yes, it happens!

Anyway, my Dad is patriarch of the Batton clan and the family custom home building business, now five generations deep. Until his “renaissance years” he had a home office and often met with his clients at our house.

One day a couple who my father was building a home for arrived at our front door for their meeting at the appointed time. They knocked and were greeted by Fanny wearing her unique hat on her head. (You’ll have to learn more about that by reading Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.) She kindly welcomed them in and called throughout the house “Mr. Battoney, Mr. Battoney (aka Mr. Batton)….dey is a man and lady here ta see ya.”

My father came from the back end of the house. Immediately Fanny began giving my father marching orders that went something like this. “Mr. Battoney, when I gets done moppin’ dis floor I needs ya to move dis furniture back inta place. Ya’ll move along now so I can mop under yo’ feet. Den, Mr. Battoney, I needs ya to go get da ladder and change da light bub here in da foyer,” she said,  pointing up to the cathedral ceiling above her head. “Den when you is done wid dat…….” Fanny continued on as she started down the stairs to the lower level of the house to get something.

My Dad’s clients stood silently and wide-eyed looking at the woman with the strange hat on her head. When Fanny was well out of sight the woman, my father’s client, turned to my father and said “Clearly, we know who is the boss in this house. There is no question!”

“Uh-huh,” said my father in his typical less words said the better fashion. No other words were needed.

On this Father’s Day, I’d just like to tell my father that he takes the cake! He is my hero for putting up with every one of us!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

 

 

Author Narrated Easter Story

Leave a comment

Resurrection is a whole new way of thinking.” ~ Deepak Chopra

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEastertime has always been a memorable time of year ever since my childhood. In my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, in Chapter 14 called Easter Traditions, I recount an Easter story that I have always held near and dear to my heart. Since it’s Easter week, I’d like to share it with you. Listen in!

If you are wondering who narrated the story, it was me, the author. The audio book won an award (2nd place in the EVVY book awards sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.)

I hope you enjoy the retelling of this Easter story and the voice of the central character in it!

Order the full narration of  the award-winning anthology Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is also available in paperback and e-book.

Also available Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Re-Enactment of a Sacred Time

Leave a comment

All of spiritual practice is a matter of relationship: to ourselves, to others, to life’s situations. – Jack Kornfield

As you will come to understand when you read my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, our parents sometimes allowed my brothers, sister and me to do things unconventionally.

Mom recently found this memorabilia in her hope chest. She had forgotten she had tucked away these writings nearly fifty years ago when my sister and brothers and I were little children.

I will leave it up to the readers imaginations as to what my sister Jan, my brother Rick and a dear neighbor named Margy and I were planning. If you wish to fully understand what we were up to, there is a poignant chapter in my memoir that goes with this program. Even though I did not have these writings before I published my memoir they were not needed for my storytelling because I so vividly remember this day and others just like it. It would have been nice however, to have been able to include these writings in my publication.

My youngest brother Scott was not mentioned in this program. But as the years went on, we planned other similar events and Scott became an active participant.

church service we wrote for around the pool page1 - right position

 

church service we wrote for around pool page2 -right position

During this week of holy celebration of Easter, I thought it would be an appropriate time to  share this treasure from my mother’s hope chest. When I read this, it warms me to the depth of my inner being. It’s a reflection of many fulfilling times that I had as a child with my siblings.

So as not to give anything away to those who haven’t read my award-winning anthology of stories yet, try to imagine in your mind where this event may have taken place. Read the book and see if you were right.

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

 

 

 

The Warmth of “Heart Bread”

Leave a comment

“God be thanked for books; they make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages.” ~ William Ellery Channing

On Saturday I had a book signing at Come and See Christian Books and Gifts in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. People drifted in and out throughout the day to shop and to speak with me about my award-winning publication Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

During quiet times, I took the opportunity to browse and become more acquainted with what was in store. In the children’s section I came across a book called “Making Heart-bread.” I thought it was particularly meaningful, and the concept of the tale holds value for both children and adults. It is based on a true story of what helped heal emotional scars of children who were traumatized during the World War II era.

Heart BreadBriefly, a grandmother teaches children the difference between making bread to fill the “tummy” and bread that fills the soul. Making heart-bread she says is very important because it “never runs out.” The recipe has ingredients which nourish us most in times of need. The ingredients are revealed throughout the storyline.

After having read Making Heart-bread I have feelings of warmth inside me knowing I have been given all the fundamentals of heart-bread throughout my lifetime. Heart-bread is that which is made from memories of love and spirituality.

heart-shaped-potholders-1This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her two publications Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul , please visit https://allthingsfulfilling.com/about-the-book/

See you on Monday on All Things Fulfilling.

 

Advent Day #13 Meaning Behind Blossom

Leave a comment

Advent Day #13

A Frequently Asked Question: “What is the significance of the flowers on the book cover?”

The flowers on the cover of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected relates to an Easter Story retold in a simple and unique dialect by Fanny, the stellar character in the award-winning book . Briefly, the twelve year old “Battoney” twins come to understand the deeper meaning behind the beautiful blossom.

To read the backstory about this beautiful flower, the dogwood, check out this article.  https://allthingsfulfilling.com/2011/04/04/a-gift-in-perpetuity-from-japan/.

dogwood-blossom1

The personal story as related by the author is featured in a chapter in Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Xmas image of book cover for Mailchimp newsletter

This blog is brought to you the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, please visit these links.

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

Holiday Gift for the Family

Leave a comment

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. —Jacqueline Kennedy

book cover with two award stickers

What makes for good stories that families can read together?

One or more memorable characters

Writing that paints a picture

A unique voice (audio books hold the best treasures!)

Messages that make us either groan or laugh, reflect or ponder

Cause emotional reaction from the reader (feelings of sadness, love, hope, compassion)

Leaves the reader changed in some way (i.e. attitude or understanding about something)

Themes that are relevant to family life and are age appropriate

Topics that lead to engaging discussion for family members

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected contains all the elements of a good story for family enjoyment. Here are the words of some book reviewers ~

“This is a story of trust, faith, friendship and deep love for one another.” ~ Barbara Gueldner, Ph.D., MSE, Licensed Psychologist.

“Gift of a Lifetime is indeed that…a story of how the simplest words can have the most impact on our lives.” ~ Salley Gibney, You are Never Alone Foundation

“Sue’s ability, through dialogue, to share Fanny’s voice and powerful role in Sue’s developing years is a gift to readers.” ~ Mary B Kurtz, author

Share this warm hearted story with your family this holiday season!   It is available in the following three reading choices. How To Order:

Author Sue Batton Leonard has won three Book Awards for her debut publication.

  • Merit EVVY Award – Anthology
  • 2nd Place EVVY Award – Audio Book
  • Winner of Harvest Book Contest – Young Adult Category