Flaws in Character and Writing

Leave a comment

Two weeks ago Charles Shields, author of 20 histories and biographies for young adults came to the Bud Werner Memorial Library to talk about his knowledge of Harper Lee and her two publications, To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.

Shields publications Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee and I am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee reveal a multitude of little known facts about Lee’s childhood life prior to becoming an author.

41ylFwhNs2L._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_

51djZQmaIIL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

 

  • She left law school and moved to New York City to become an author. However, her dreams of becoming a full-time writer were delayed because she needed to find a way to pay her expenses, so she became an airline reservationist for a period of about eight or ten years.
  • A neighbor and playmate was Truman Capote, author of In Cold Blood
  • She and Capote hauled a 12 pound Underwood typewriter up to their tree house where they’d sit for hours and write and discuss ideas for stories.
  • Upon her fathers death, Harper Lee inherited her father’s watch, which she in turn gave to Gregory Peck who played her father (Atticus) in the 1962 movie To Kill A Mockingbird.

In his book talk, Shield’s certainly provided the audience with a wealth of information about the author and her two books. To sum it up, Shields says that “Mockingbird” asks the reader for compassion, while “Watchman” asks the reader for forgiveness. I agree with this statement. It helped me to  lay aside my own profound sadness for Scout when she finds out at the end of “Watchman” her father was not the man she thought he was.

During the Q & A session one of the audience members mentioned that she was bothered by the fact that “Watchman” was released in it the same form the original manuscript was written. I personally appreciated that the publication was released “unpolished.” I hope the lady in the audience can forgive and understand perhaps why “Watchman” was released without copy editing. I believe the “raw state” of the publication adds to the historical value to the writing from a Pulitzer-prize American author whose work has certainly held up to the test of time.

Tonight I look forward to the community discussion to wrap up the One Book Steamboat series, which has received attention from the National Library Association newsletter.

Thanks once again to Bud Werner Memorial Library for a fulfilling opportunity to learn all we can about one of America’s most beloved authors.

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

Advertisements

Hey Boo: Best Movie Words

2 Comments

Life was always waiting for the right moment to act.” ~ Paul Coelho

No one ever expected Harper Lee to publish another book. The writer’s destiny seemed to be an author of a sole publication that has sold over 5 million copies. She surprised the literary world when it was announced that a second novel was in the pipeline for publication. Fifty years after To Kill a Mockingbird was published Go Set a Watchman was released. If you haven’t read either publications, as far as I am concerned you are missing out on very important American literature. I believe “Watchman” will also become known as an American classic in coming years.

harperlee_flatLast week I attended the second in a series of community events at the Bud Werner Memorial Library geared around Lee’s publication Go Set a Watchman. The screening of the  documentary film Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman (previously titled Harper Lee:Hey Boo) was at the center of the evening. In the film, interviews of famous people in the literary and media world talk about what the classic To Kill a Mockingbird has meant to Americans who love this book.

marymurphy_creditchriscarroll_m8398After the screening, the filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy Skyped in to take questions from the audience at the library. I had the opportunity to ask my question. “As a filmmaker what did you learn from Harper Lee about storytelling through the production of this documentary?” Her answer included remarks that to tell the story well, it was a juggling challenge.  She had to go back and revise and edit the film to include information about the 2015 release of “Watchman” by Harper Collins. She also mentioned that more revisions to her 2015 documentary will be necessary as the full impact of “Watchman” on the literary world is made known in coming years. For more information on Murphy’s film which has also been aired on PBS, visit the filmmaker’s website.

Thursday evening, October 15, 2015 is the third event for One Book Steamboat. Charles Shields, Harper Lee’s biographer will be at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in person. He was one of the first persons to be aware of Lee’s manuscript for “Watchman” that had been locked up in a safe deposit box for decades. I look forward to his presentation.

I have never been so immersed in the full study of an author before and it has been an extremely fulfilling experience. Thanks to Jennie Lay at Bud Werner Memorial Library for programming all the surrounding events of One Book Steamboat for this community.

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

Stitching People and Yarns Together

Leave a comment

Art and life are not separate domains.” ~ Piet Mondrian

“What a good way to end a work week,” I thought, as I sat among a group of about 14 other knitters at Sew Steamboat. The group meets each week after work hours on Fridays. I had made a promise to myself that I was going to sit and stitch with this group once summer was over. Last Friday I joined in. Since I’ve taken a knitting hiatus over the past 27 years, I was looking for support and fellowship among fellow fiber enthusiasts in the community where I live. Others have the same objective when they join in on similar crafting groups.

It was refreshing to see a male  in the group. He is a visitor to the community from California. By the yarns he told this gentleman is a very accomplished craftsman who sheers sheep, spins the wool and then turns it into creative projects. “Kudos to this ambitious fellow,” I thought, as I listened to his stories. His daytime job is a family physician, so I guess it could be said “he stitches people and yarns together.

Here are a few pictures that I took at Sew Steamboat. The room was so light-filled, the photos did not turn out very well, but you’ll get the picture!IMG_20150918_162912_617

IMG_20150918_162938_630

IMG_20150918_162851_313

Since today is Film Friday, I’d like to share information about a book to film adaptation which may be of interest to  other knitting enthusiasts.  Friday Night Knitting Club written Kate Jacobs is in stages of development. Keep your eye on this site for more information.

That’s all from All Things Fulfilling today. Have a good weekend. Enjoy the fall season. We’ve already had some snow on the upper peaks here in northwestern Colorado. Morning temps are already sometimes below freezing! Good time to knit myself a woolen scarf and socks!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of the EVVY award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The publication is available in audio book (the real treasure is in the voice), paperback and e-book.

Partners and Publishing

3 Comments

Literacy arouses hopes, not only in society as a whole but also in the individual who is striving for fulfillment, happiness and personal benefit by learning how to read and write. ~ Unesco

HANDOUT IMAGE - Cover of Harper Lee's new book 'Go Set A Watchman'

Wow! “Am I ever fortunate to be here tonight,” I thought as I learned of the agenda for the first in a series of gatherings which revolves around “One Book Steamboat.” Harper Lee’s newly published book Go Set a Watchman was selected for an all community read.

On Wednesday evening, a community member began the presentation by dispelling some rumors about Lee’s second novel. He knows first-hand what has transpired in the publishing of the manuscript. He is part of a team of advisors looking out for the author’s interests. What he said was very different than some of the news stories. Contrary to everyone’s belief, even though Lee is 89 years old and does not hear well, her decision making abilities are rational. All communications were written to make sure Lee fully understood all implications of the publishing process. To read more about the publishing of a long awaited second book from the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, please visit this article from the Steamboat
Today newspaper and the others listed.

Wall Street Journal – How I Found the Harper Lee Manuscript

New York Times – Joe Nocera the Watchman Fraud

What Does Harper Lee Want? 

Not only has a Steamboat Springs, Colorado community member been involved with the publishing of “Watchman,” thanks to Lee’s generosity, she has donated to Partners of Routt County very special editions of her two publications for a fundraising auction to support a wonderful organization. How special is that?

The evening culminated with the screening of  the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck. I had never seen it before, and for me the characters became even more alive and their messages hit even closer to home after having seen the role playing of the characters in the movie version.

“One Book Steamboat” continues with three more events in October which will give us an opportunity to look even closer at the work of Harper Lee (aka Nelle)! I’ll keep you posted.

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

Movies Adapted from Memoirs

Leave a comment

Movie-making is telling a story with the best technology at your disposal. ~ Tom Hanks

On this Film Friday, we will be looking at some of the best movies that have been adapted from memoirs.

According to an article written by Emily Temple on Flavorwire.com, it’s a delicate thing turning a memoir into a successful movie. Since film is another form of storytelling, you’d think it’d be easy but something is often lost in the translation when you move away from the first person prose of a narrative to a third person medium.

The following movies are some of the best memoir to movie adaptations. If you feel like watching a movie this weekend, perhaps watching a few of these films will give you a little insight into what a good memoir to movie adaptation looks like:

  • My Week with Marilyn
  • Motorcycle Diaries
  • The Pianist
  • Persepolis
  • The Diving Bell and Butterfly
  • October Sky
  • 127 Hours
  • An Education
  • The Boys Life
  • A Mighty Heart

To see a short summary of each of these movies, follow this link to Flavorwire.com.

outdoors movies

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday. Next week on All Things Fulfilling we will be celebrating life, independence and summer. Join us!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning memoirist, Sue Batton Leonard. Click here for information on her publications.

Film Friday: Paper Towns

1 Comment

Coming this Summer! Paper Towns

Paper TownsJohn Green’s novel Paper Towns ended up #5 on the New York Times Best Selling Books List and now this part mystery/part coming of age story will be coming to the big screen.

The story is about a young teenage boy who moves next door to a girl who he finds confusing and perplexing. When she disappears she leaves behind clues to her where-abouts. Quentin, her neighbor, and his friends are sent on chase to find her. Will  finding her end up in some kind of a life altering event?

The story is written by the author of No Fault in the Stars and the cast of the movie includes Nat Wolff (Quentin), Cara Delevingne (Margo), Halston Sage (Lacey). “Paper Towns debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.

To read more about this movie which could be this summer’s blockbuster.

See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

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

Gods, Generals and Irish Ballad

Leave a comment

May the sound of happy music, And the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after. ~ Unknown

Happy St. Patty’s Day. Today’s blog is about an Irish ballad called Kathleen Mavourneen. The composer of the song is someone who I hold near and to my heart, even though I am several generations removed from him. I only know him through my father’s side of our family story.

A rendition of  Kathleen Mavourneen was filmed as part of the movie Gods & Generals but unfortunately it got cut in the editing process. The story take place during the Civil War era and it was filmed in many different places in the region where I grew up. Scenery from throughout the mid-Atlantic States of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and at the site of the battle of  Antietam are in the movie. The film is based on the book by Jeffrey Shaara.

If you wish to learn more about my ancestor’s connection to the ballad Kathleen Mavourneen check out Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. You can read all about it in Chapter 16, My Beloved.

Have a great St. Patricks Day, everyone! And remember to go out and ~

make your own luck!

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