Worthiness in Writing

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Friendships begun in this world will be taken up again, never to be broken off.  ~Francis de Sales 1567 – 1622

A few people have asked me how many books I’ve sold and my response is “I don’t know. I’m not paying much attention.” Truthful statement. Believe it or not.

To me sales figures are irrelevant compared to the fulfilling feelings of accomplishment that have come with knowing I completed what I set out to do – tackle writing a memoir and publishing it independently. No one can relate to the process unless they have been through the paces.

Secondly, when I get feedback from readers, it makes publishing the story all worthwhile. People that I hadn’t heard from in decades, that I thought were gone from my life a long time ago, have come climbing out of the woodwork.

education2For instance, a college math professor from my days at Johnson State College in Vermont sent me an e-mail that I will always treasure. His comments after having read my memoir made me feel that I was not just another one of his thousands of students that passed through the halls of that higher institution during his life-long career of teaching.

Here is some of what he had to say after reading Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected:

Sue, I just finished your book and “shared” it via e-mail.  Of course, it brought many tears to my eyes being exposed to your early, early years.  And, it nearly goes without saying that Fanny has made an indelible mark on my mind, having known both you and Jan.  It is a wonderful story filled with the joy of life and living.

I wish you all the best in whatever writing you undertake in the future.  It surely is not a simple task and I thought this effort very well done!

My very best to you and Terry ~ J. Davis

Since rekindling our teacher/student connection, we have had many meaningful back and forth e-mail discussions on various different blogs about life that I have posted on All Things Fulfilling.

The point of this blog is to say “the  value of writing a story is not in book sales. The true worthiness comes in what writing feels like to the author’s heart.” ~ Sue Batton Leonard

 

Film Friday: Grace Unplugged

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 “In the rhythm of life, sometimes we find ourselves out of tune.” ~ Azgraybebly Josland

grace unpluggedLet’s start the morning with a little movie trivia on this Film Friday. Alabama is the setting for Grace Unplugged, a new movie that will be released in theatres on October 4, 2013. Parts of this movie depended on a lot of extras, however, the producers found that Saturday filming made it difficult to recruit the people needed. Why? People were unusually disinterested – it seemed they didn’t care about getting their “mugs” in the shooting of a movie for cinema. That’s because the movie was filmed during football season in a state where the sport is King.

So, what is Grace Unplugged all about? A young musician who has found her audience yet outside of her community of fans, she is undiscovered. In her desire to become a top recording star Grace rejects everything she has ever known and moves to Hollywood in search for stardom. Are there elements in her previous life that will help keep her grounded?

The name of the Director, Brad Silverman, may be familiar from his other movies “No Greater Love” and It Really Happened: The Flight of Apollo 11 (TV documentary short).

Put this film produced by Lionsgate on your list for fulfilling fall movie viewing.

Click here for info & ordering Grace Unplugged
Have a good weekend, everybody.

Return on Monday to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton LeonardClick for info on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com . The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

Top Indie Films of Summer 2013

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Indie Wire has released its latest list of top money making independent films so far this summer. Keep your eye on http://www.indiewire.com because the list will periodically be updated.

The top five “indie” films this summer are as follows, along with name of the film production companies and their gross earnings as of June 5, 2013.

1. Mud (Roadside Attractions) – $16,849,451
2. The Iceman (Millennium) – $1,716,661
3. Frances Ha (IFC Films) – $1,556,325
4. Stories We Tell (Roadside Attractions) – $900,464
5. Kon-Tiki (The Weinstein Company) – $897,137

stories we tellMy top pick on this list is Stories We Tell. It was an Oscar nominated film and won awards at Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Venice Film Festival and Sundance. To read more about it, follow this link http://www.storieswetellmovie.com/story.html.

To read the full list of top grossing independent films, and a summary of each production, please visit www.indiewire.com.

Please return on Monday to All Things Fulfilling, where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com .

Reflections on the Writing Process

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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.

Crossing Mountains to Get There

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Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain. “ ~Author Unknown

event-sundance-filmThe Sundance Film Festival is on my mind this week. If you have been to Park City, Utah, the venue of this independent film festival, you know  the area is surrounded by the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains and the historic downtown is steep with artistic flair. The screening venues for the event, such as the Egyptian Theatre, entertained locals from the “rough and tumble days of exploration and active mining.”

The festival, founded by actor Robert Redford in 1981 brings together, every winter, scores of people who love independent films, as well as people who work in the industry. What began with 10 emerging filmmakers decades ago has grown and evolved into one of the most respected film-award contests in the country. To read more about the history of the Sundance Film Festival, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/VVfrFe.

A few of the many films that will be screened throughout the week are:

To read about other official slections, films that were juried into this festival, please visit http://www.sundance.org/

This morning, my husband and I would like to send a shout out  to our favorite filmmaker, who will be working very hard at the festival, behind the film camera. Hopefully, he will remember to take a few minutes to enjoy and take it all in! He deserves it, he’s successfully climbed mountains in his career field, since before high school, to get there! http://bit.ly/UJrK73.

Look forward to visiting with you, our readers, tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling – where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business; I hope you’ll join us. This blog brought to you from Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.cornerstonefulfillmentservice.com.

Film Friday: Books for Indie Filmmakers

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“A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.” ~Lemony Snicket 

The holiday buying season will soon be upon us. In order to give you a head start on gift ideas for family or friends who are interested in filmmaking as amateurs or professionals, today’s blog will be focused on books about the industry. 

The Independent lists a selection of thirty books, many independently published, on things such as: 

  • Visual effects in films
  • Directing Films
  • History of Film and Cinematography
  • Finding success and fulfillment as a filmmaker
  • Legal issues of the film industry
  • Acting
  • Techniques for photography and filming
  • Film Editing
  • Film Distribution 

To see the list of recommended books, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/VaeoQQ.

Help your favorite filmmaker or want-to-be filmmaker build his or her library and career by purchasing one or more of these books to give as gifts this holiday! You will be giving a gift that will contain valuable information to reference from year after year. 

See you on Monday, for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

“The Boat” Brings Prized Authors to Community

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“I try to be respectful of how other people think, I try to listen to what they’re saying.” ~Rick Scott

This past weekend was Literary Sojourn weekend here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This event has been held annually since 1993. So popular, people arrive from all over the country to attend it. Each year it sells out very quickly.

As a way of extending the event, the Bud Werner Memorial Library invited two Bellwether Prize winners to speak on Sunday. For those who were not fortunate enough to get tickets to Saturday’s discussions, the second part of the “Sojourn” weekend was open to everyone at no charge. The two featured authors were Naomi Benaron and Hillary Jordan, Bellwether award winners in 2010 and 2006, respectively.

Jennie Lay, adult programs coordinator at the Bud Werner Memorial Library, asked the authors “what winning this book prize has meant to them?” Each expressed it has done wonders for their publishing careers. All contestants for the “Bellwether” must have a previously unpublished novel. Along with winning $25,000, winners are given publishing contracts with Alqonquin Books.

Jordan and Benaron discussed how fiction writing is useful for telling stories that are interwoven with issues of culture, politics and social justice. However, Benaron stressed the importance of writing stories about controversial issues in a “respectful manner.” She also mentioned how research into a culture brings credibility and correctness to the story.

“Literature,” Benaron said “is the only art form that takes you into another person’s brain.” Essentially, she said, as readers, we are better able to feel and live the story along with the characters through fictional dialogue.

To read more about the publications of these impressive authors, visit these two websites,Hillary Jordanand Naomi Benaron.

For more information on the Bellwether Prize, which was established in 2000, solely funded by author Barbara Kingsolver and administered by the PEN American Center, please visit this site http://bit.ly/Rom01E.  For information on Barbara Kingsolvers latest book, click here: Flight Behavior: A Novel.

As I left this most enjoyable event, I thought to myself “living in a community with avid readers and writers, certainly has its benefits.”

Thank you to our local library and our local “Indie Bound” bookstore, Off the Beaten Path” for their participation in this event.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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