Windows into a Life

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“Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life” ~ William Zinsser

It was a good turnout on Monday when I spoke with the Routt County Council on Aging about memoir writing. We discussed how to begin writing, ways to stir the memory pot and shorter forms of beginning to create a picture of one’s life.

During the Q & A period, at the end of my presentation, there were a number of very thoughtful questions asked.

One woman wanted to know whether you can start your life story in the here and now and work backwards. “Yes”, I told her, “lots of people do that.” In order to handle it well, it helps to have good developmental editing and perhaps a more skilled author. Flashbacks and the use of various scenes are helpful in writing backwards. We also discussed the importance of selecting only those significant life vignettes that have contributed to forming you as the person you are, rather than including an entire lifetime from beginning to end.

Common-Threads-Logo-300x155 (1)The same woman then followed up with another thoughtful question inquiring whether individual stories can be used as a memoir. I suggested she stitch the stories together with a common thread. Then I went on to mention the common themes that run throughout my award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, a collection of short stories(anthology).

After the presentation was wrapped up a number of individuals mentioned they are currently working on or have dreams of writing children’s books or novels. Others wish to write their memoirs or tales about other family members. I hope they all actively pursue their writing interests because the good news is  

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. Have a great day everybody! This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected  or short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

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The Wild West of Publishing

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Wild West of Publishing

 

Have you signed up? In case you hadn’t heard the Wild West of Publishing is coming to Steamboat Springs, Colorado on Saturday, May 23rd from 9am to 1pm.

A whole morning of information aimed at authors needs for knowledge so they don’t get shot in the process of publishing. Thanks to sponsorship of the Steamboat ArtsCouncil www.steamboatarts.org, this educational presentation from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association is very affordable – $15 per registrant.

An overview of the May 23rd program:

Traditional vs Independent publishing – Dr. Patricia Ross, Publisher Hugo House Publisher and Patty Moosebrugger of Blue Ink Review

Editing and Design Production: Nick Zelinger, NZ Graphics and Melanie Mulhall, Dragonheart Writing and Editing

The Publishing Process – Joe and Jan McDaniel of BookCrafters, Mike Daniels, The Publishers Coach and Patricia Ross

Marketing – Sue Leonard, Kathy Mason, Mason Works Press and Mary Walewski, Buy the Book Marketing.

You may register on-line  or sign up the morning of the program or call 970-879-9008.

See you in Steamboat!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, an award-winning author of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

 

Thirsty Thursdays: Literary Spotlight

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“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”Vera Nazarian

Back in March 2012 I posted on All Things Fulfilling a blog about 29 cities around the world who have UNESCO’s Creative Industry designations behind them. It was a highly read piece.

Baltimore, Maryland is a city that is a hub for literary reasons. In part, due to notable authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald,  Anne Tyler, Edgar Allen Poe and Tom Clancy who spent significant time in Baltimore or were born there. Back in the 1980s there was some controversy when the Mayor dubbed Baltimore “the city that reads.” No matter, “the city’s literary heart beats as strongly as ever,” says the Huffington Post.

Reading-and-Writing-293x300The good news today is there are other cities across America who can call their place home to writers, too. In the remote northwest corner of Colorado, in a place called Steamboat, there is a network of writers who are both traditionally and independently published. On Thursday afternoons at the “Eleanor Bliss Art Center” aka “The Art Depot” is where they’ve gathered, read and critiqued writing for more than 30 years.

Today, on All Things Fulfilling, I’d like to put the literary spotlight on Steamboat Springs, which is quite different than literary hubs in big cities.  In a more intimate setting, people come here to write and drink in the beautiful scenery to inspire their writing.

Stay tuned to All Things Fulfilling – we will be posting more details about an upcoming writers workshop a month from today on May 23rd sponsored by the Steamboat Springs Arts Council. Members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association will be providing the educational experience.

Want-to-be writers and publishers, who are within reach of Steamboat,  I’d encourage you to sign up – a real deal at for a morning full of valuable information!

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

Letter to the Editor

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Have you ever written a letter to an editor of a monthly circular or a newspaper? Some people become regular contributors to magazines or “rag sheets” by writing letters to editors. This usually occurs when a publication features articles that an individual feels passionate about.
Colorado Country Life Mag cover March 2015I recently wrote a letter to the Editor of Colorado Country Life Magazine, published by the Yampa Valley Electric Association. The YVEA is “a business owned by the people it serves.” It is a not-for-profit cooperative providing energy and power resources. The YVEA lights up many parts of Colorado.

What prompted my communication to the magazine was my heartfelt thrill at seeing in their November 2014  magazine an article about “The Love of Books.” In this article they shared information about a few Colorado authors.

When an author puts their heart and soul into writing yet their books don’t land on the top seller lists sometimes getting recognition in the media beyond social media and websites can be challenging. I wanted to let the editor know how nice it was to open the magazine and learn about books that are not on NY Times best seller lists, but still very worthy of reading.

Thank you, YVEA for posting my letter to the editor in the Colorado Country Life Magazine. I do appreciate it and I hope you will continue to feature authors and books penned here in Colorado by independent publishers.

I encourage anyone who has positive thoughts about their love of books or reading, to please post your comments on All Things Fulfilling. Hearing from readers is a good thing because “we are what we think. All that we are that arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”

Letter to editor rotated CO country life

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

The Power of Hope

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What would we do in a world without hope? Hope is what keeps us afloat.

But, did you know that hope has a partner? It’s called action. They are a powerful team, and one without the other is not complete.  Hope needs action otherwise you’ve only got pipe dreams. Action needs hope otherwise what’s the point – there is no lasting power to keep us moving forward.

If you have writing and publishing in your future – make sure both hope and action are in it together equally. The sum of the two parts will see you through the project.

Hope

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her publications.

Explore & Grow

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Do you remember singing these words as a kid?

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Now that I am much older and much wiser, I have come to realize that these lyrics go much deeper than just being a simple children’s nursery rhyme.

Did you ever stop to consider that the little star might be you?  If we don’t explore this concept we will never know who we are and what our potential might be. In order find out what we are meant to be we have to step outside our comfort zone and grow.

What are you doing this year to make you begin to twinkle and glow? How about publishing the book you’ve been meaning to write so you can move toward becoming more visible in the world of business.

Stars-in-the-sky-daydreaming-26168110-1024-768

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her publications. 

Commotion in the Heart

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Find what causes a commotion in your heart. Find a way to write about that.” Richard Ford

According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers: The Story of Success, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient at anything. Perhaps by penning 1540+ blogs and by writing and publishing one award-winning memoir and a book of short stories, you could say I’ve been steadily working towards mastery.

However, there are some who would say the 10,000 hour rule is arguable. You can decide that for yourself after reading this article.http://bit.ly/1wCgPNX.

Unless you co-write a book or until you hit the publishing process, writing is a solitary activity. Joining a writers group is a great way step out of your own little world and get unbiased assessment from others about your writing. Critique and feedback is guaranteed to stir up commotion in your mind about your writing because it’s not always easy to subject yourself to the comments of others. But your end product will be better because of it.  It’s also a very valuable part of the “practice, edit and revise process.”

If you have dreams of becoming a published author, start today and begin writing daily. Even if your writing is nothing more than journaling, you will be working towards accomplishment.

Don’t know where to begin? Use a writing prompt to spark your imagination and creativity.  Here’s one for you “If you took a hot air balloon ride where would you find your perfect landing place and what would it look like?

Be creative, let your imagination soar and let whatever you write make your heart flutter!

commotion-heartThis blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.