Honoring Black History Month

Leave a comment

Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.  ― Carl Sagan

February is Black History Month. I recently read a book about the Underground Railroad which helped me to understand more deeply about period of history when the movement to free slaves began. The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier is a departure from the historical art fiction that I’d come to know this author by. Her hugely successful book The Girl with the Pearl Earring was my first foray into Chevalier.

As with all of Chevalier’s other books, the writing is beautifully rendered and The Last Runaway did not disappoint. My journey into this period of history through Chevalier’s publication has made me want to read even more about the Underground Railroad.  As suggested by the docent at the Harriet Tubman Educational Center and Museum, A Song Unsung will be my next push into learning more about the Underground Railroad.

My interest in black history began in earnest last fall when I visited the Harriet Tubman Educational Center last in Cambridge, Maryland. Tubman was one of the most notable figures in history who was a catalyst for change in her people and in our country’s story about slavery.

underground railroad map

Celebrate Black History Month by doing some reading on the subject.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. See you on Monday.

e-Book Extravaganza

Leave a comment

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 .

 

Gatsby Groupies

Leave a comment

 “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

gatsbyI feel as if I am becoming a Gatsby groupie! Today I walked into the Bud Werner Library, and saw a display case announcing the next One Book Steamboat (a community read). It is The Great Gatsby.I’m in,” I thought, as I proceeded to the DVDs and took out the 2000 production of The Great Gatsby movie by A & E Television Networks. Then I wandered over the computer and put in a reserve for a copy of the book by the same title.

I guess I haven’t had enough of the Fitzgeralds, the Jazz Age and the Long Island social elite even though last summer on my vacation, I took in the movie The Great Gatsby with my sister and I also hawked my mother’s copy of  Zelda and read it.

Truthfully, I was disappointed in the latest rendition of the movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio. The visual effects, I felt, were so over the top and frantic that it distracted me from being able to absorb the tragic tale of wealth and entitlement. The telling essence of Jay Gatsby’s character weaknesses were lost in the visual chaos of the movie, rather being told by the dialogue of the story.

The book Zelda, for me, provided much better insight into the psyche of an artist who “never wanted to give in or give up” despite failure and rejection. The narrative told an up-close and personal story of the relationship between wife and husband, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and it gave historical perspective into their friendships with other contemporaries (filmmakers, writers and artists) from the era.

As a lead-up to the community discussion of the novel, on October 10th, the latest Leo Dicaprio version of “Gatsby” will be aired at the Bud Werner Library. I’ll probably skip it. But then again, perhaps with a second look I might have a different opinion. But I hope not to miss what will probably be a very fulfilling discussion on Monday, October 21st.  It will be led by the English teachers of SteamboatHigh School. I hope students are required to join in and read this classic novel.  For more information, please follow this link. http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/events/one-book-steamboat

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

Art at the Heart of the Story

Leave a comment

Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character.” ~Samuel Butler

Yesterday we featured a soon-to-be released book by Pearl S Buck. The unpublished manuscript was found many years after her death, and the story is projected to be one of Buck’s best publications yet. If you missed out on the blog about The Eternal Wonder, scroll down and read it.

Photo Below: Pearl S Buck

Pearl S BuckToday I’d like to highlight one of Pearl S Buck’s lesser known stories, called This Proud Heart. The story is about a sculpture artist who is torn between her second marriage and her craft. Her life becomes a juggling act to try to find balance between her relationship with her husband and her art. I wonder how many artists worldwide have this theme weaving in and out of their own personal life and career.

The struggles of the main character, Susan, were particularly burdensome because in the 1930’s when the story takes place, few women ever made difficult choices between marriage and a profession. Overwhelmingly, women stayed the course and made self-sacrifices in the best interest of the marriage. And gaining credibility during that era as an artist or in any business, for women, was much more difficult.

Artists, put This Proud Heart on your reading list. Click for info & ordering
 It is fulfilling to read something other than contemporary fiction every once in a while.  Reacquaint yourself with a classic from time to time, you’ll most likely rediscover some of the characteristics of why novels like this become classics in the first place.

This Proud Heart can be downloaded on Nook and other digital readers, as an e-book. Click for info & ordering

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. I will be interviewing an artist about all sorts of things. This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click for Info & ordering

Book Marketing Savvy

Leave a comment

“….from the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.” ~ Gordon B Hinckley

On Tuesday I joined a book club of women from Dorchester County Maryland for lunch. It was the second time I have been among the group, and talk naturally flowed to who is reading what, favorite authors, book lists and other common subjects among book lovers.

One member of the group mentioned she was headed to Boonsboro, Maryland to the historic Inn that is the subject of Nora Roberts recently published Boonsboro trilogy. Roberts has capitalized on capturing the hearts of her readers not only through her books, but by giving her fans an opportunity to visit and relax in the setting of some of her stories. In my opinion, it is a great example of using creative book marketing savvy and smart business.

boonsboro innObviously her investment in the old stone property, the Boonsboro Inn, on the corner of North  Main Street and Potomac, and in the town, itself, has been made possible by her success as a very prolific writer. She has approximately 200 titles to her credit, and some of her novels have been adapted for film. www.noraroberts.com.

The Boonsboro Inn aims to provide a fulfilling vacation travel experience with a literature experience. The assistant innkeeper, Patti, worked at Turn the Page Bookstore for four years. Obviously a booklover and well-read person, I am sure she is well-versed in providing the guests with plenty of background about the Montgomery brothers, the clan featured in The Next Always (Book 1), The Last Boyfriend (Book 2) and the final book of the trilogy, The Perfect Hope. To read more about the Boonsboro trilogy,Click here..

To learn more about the Boonsboro bed and breakfast experience, the amenities offered and the renovation of the historic property, please visit the website. http://bit.ly/19GwZhM.

According to hospitality surveys, more and more people are looking for unique vacations. If you have had a satisfying vacation in a literature hotel or inn, please share your experience with booklovers and writers who frequent www.allthingsfulfilling.com. Click on comment below and tell us all about it.

Family, Faith and Travel

2 Comments

Each day I am thankful for; nights turned into morning, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey

I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of fulfilling things since arriving on the East Coast. It all began with attending a social event of a book club group with women who reside in and around the historic area surrounding TaylorsIsland in Dorchester County, Maryland. The Grace Foundation is restoring churches and doing work on the island to preserve the history of the churches and schoolhouses. http://bit.ly/16Ezcex.

The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake, a book I recently read and adored, is on the reading booklist for the book club for this coming summer. Based on a small town sea-side community during World War 2, the post office was a hub of activity, and the spinster postmistress knows secrets which if told, will change the lives of some of the residents. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Then I traveled to the Boston area to attend the beautiful wedding of our niece on my husband’s side of the family. It was so wonderful to see the bride and her sister (our second Leonard niece), who are now both married adults.

We also spent a lovely evening in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and had dinner at Loretta’s. The harbor area in Newburyport has changed greatly since last time I visited many  years ago. Full of wonderful restaurants with varied cuisine, we also went art gallery hopping. As a Mother’s Day present, my husband bought me a New England artisan-crafted necklace from Annie’s of Newburyport. Then we finished the evening with dessert at a fantastic coffee shop complete with musical entertainment featuring a sole independent musician playing the guitar.

Join me tomorrow on my journey back to Vermont, my state of residence for more than thirty years. I was greeted by “Miss America” of the independent publishing industry! She’s quite a package! Well-built, for future developments.

Here are just a few pictures from my fulfilling travels:

IMAG0262

My favorite home away from home, my favorite writing place in the lighthouse

IMAG0273

Hope for a bountiful catch

IMAG0281

Rode my bike to the vineyards on the Island

too early in the season for fruit on the vine

IMAG0280

IMAG0299

John the Baptist Church, Peabody, MA for niece’s wedding

IMAG0308

Beautiful bride (above)

and her maid of honor – her sister

IMAG0303

IMAG0300

Stained Glass Window

loretta

Dinner in Newburyport, MA at Loretta

IMAG0291

Couldn’t resist this photo http://www.imarc.net/  for our son, Marc R Leonard.

He seems to be showing up everywhere!

IMAG0455

My Mother’s Day Present – New England Artisan Crafted

IMAG0275

Left my heart in Taylor’s Island, Maryland

will be back to get it before my trip to the East Coast is over!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business!

Reflections on the Writing Process

1 Comment

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien

This morning as I open this blank Word document, I think of the adage that “every person has a story to tell.” A white page gives us a space to create, a place to give birth to a beginning and an ending. Our imaginations can compose a fictional tale without a bit of truth or we can recount a factual story with unswerving loyalty or create a composite, with a bit of both.  Even with writing a narrative that is one hundred percent true, there is choice in the words we use and the voice we use to tell it. What an opportunity! That’s the beauty of writing.

If you are a person who has a story that needs to be told, I urge you to begin writing. If you need support, look for a local writers group in your area, or take a writing class at a local college or on-line. Networking with other authors and attending writer’s conferences or seminars also is helpful throughout the process. Unbiased feedback, from others can be invaluable because it is difficult to critique your own work.

You will be surprised how a tale will begin to take shape all by itself, if you allow it. You’ll learn all kinds of things you never knew about yourself or your characters in the process. Writing is a beautiful exercise in self-discovery and perhaps discovery about others.

Enjoy creating. It will be reflected in your work.

beginnings and endings

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.