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.

 

Book Covers and Fonts

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Like all forms of design, visual design is about problem solving…~ Bob Baxley

So, an author friend of mine is getting ready to have her next release published. Last week, she posted images of several cover designs that she is considering. I let my opinion be known only because she asked for some feedback and I understand the value of feedback with regard to publishing.

It got me to thinking of the cover design of my 2nd publication, Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul. I decided that it was time to make a change to the cover. I love the cover image but the font of the title has been problematic in a digital format. I didn’t foresee the kinds of problems I am having with it. For the title I had chosen a font that is in script. Esthetically it looked good with the cover image but it was not a good decision on my part because it is not very readable digitally.

So there has been a slight revision to the appearance of the e-book cover of Short Stories: Lessons in Heart & Soul. Here is a before and after.

Below – Initial Font Used in Title on Cover Design

Lessons of Heart V4 Cover

Below: Revised for Better Readability of Title in Small-form Digital Formats

V5 Cover revised font 4 15 15

You’ve gotta love e-books, it’s so easy to make changes. Download a new version of a cover or revised text and you are all set. Not much more than a click of a mouse and very little expense.

Chalk up this necessary revision to lessons learned in digital publishing! Since e-books are still undergoing tweeks in development I’m not the first to encounter this problem. Here is a good article about e-books and fonts. 

See you back here tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Thirsty Thursday: Versatile Blogger

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Put your blog out into the world and hope that your talent will speak for itself. – Diablo Cody

Regular readers of All Things Fulfilling know that Thirsty Thursday’s focus is on good news. Usually we share stories of others who inspire us but every once in a while, the good news is our own.

versatile-bloggerToday, the good news is that I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award. The nomination came from a fellow writer who also has the award behind her and she has passed the torch to myself and few other fellow bloggers by nominating us. That’s pretty cool.

To receive the nomination from Linda Collison is very complimentary because I have been following her writing and blogging for a number of years. I am always inspired by her work and by the creative marketing of her publications. She is a multi-award winning author and a person who lives life admirably and literally with few restraints.

Getting recognition from fellow writers and independent publishers is an honor because it means it you are on track with what you are doing!

Thank you Linda for the nomination. Do return next week to All Things Fulfilling. I will share 7 things with our readers that may not know about me.

The good news is my  common interests with Collison go beyond writing. We are both coincidentally, Baltimore natives who had never met until our lives converged at the Steamboat Springs Writers Group!

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

 

A Caring, Comedic Character

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Through humor you can soften some of the worst blows that life can deliver. And once you find the laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it. ~ Bill Cosby

“The treasure is in the voice,” the author says of her EVVY award-winning audio book version of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Some readers argue that “the real gold is in Fanny’s character.”  Either way, the Batton family benefited from the love and friendship of a woman who kept things in the right perspective. Fanny was a real winner!

Last weekend at a book signing in Towson, Maryland, award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard’s home town, something wonderful happened – a group of Fanny fans gathered round! Some knew Fanny in real life and others met her through reading the award-winning memoir.

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Fanny’s Fan Club

If you want to learn more about the “phenom Fanny,” Ukazoo has Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfillling Things in the Unexpected in stock! http://www.ukazoo.com. It is also available through other major on-line book sellers in audio book, paperback and e-book.

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected has become a finalist in another book competition, in two categories – young adult and non-fiction. To read more about the 2014 Harvest Book Competition, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/ZWqMxV and to see the list of other finalists and the titles of their books, please visit this list. http://bit.ly/1vbWwfb.

 

Motivated by Interest

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Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” ~ Franklin D Roosevelt

About two weeks ago, a newsletter from All Things Fulfilling with the mention of my two book awards and notification of book signings that are upcoming in October was sent out via e-mail. I received an unexpected number of congratulatory e-mails in response. They came from people with whom I have made business connections over the years through the independent publishing industry. I hadn’t heard from some of them in a while. One such e-mail came from Diana who said “You motivate me to work on my own book.”  I’d like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to write because you encourage me!

I have had the privilege to meet such interesting and creative people through my work in the field of independent publishing. As I look back over the past 6 years, I am astounded to think that I have published an award-winning book, written some 1,461 blog posts as of today, had 6 or 7 e-zine articles published and formed We Write Steamboat, a networking group for independent publishers with 58 members and counting! There is a lot that has come with that. I’ve also done volunteer work in the arts, for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and for my church. Needless to say, I’ve been busy. I’ve gotten much personal fulfillment out of all of it or I wouldn’t have continued.

Why am I telling you all this? Because sometimes we do have to pat ourselves on your back and be proud of our own successes. When I moved to Colorado six years ago due to my husband’s new employment opportunity, I had no idea what I was going to do. I decided to take a leap of faith and invest in learning all I could about this thing I became so interested in called “independent publishing.” As it turned out, even though I had already worked in the industry  I had just begun to wade into the waters. The industry kept evolving. At that point I hadn’t even begun to learn about good writing or public speaking either. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I would soon get to all that I’ve accomplished!

Leaps of faith…sometimes we need to take them. What happens when we are driven and livin’ by our heart, soul and creativity can be surprising!

creating beauty

Over the next 10 days or so, I will be taking a much needed break to concentrate solely on preparing for some upcoming book appearances. I invite you to peruse this site. There are hundreds of postings about independent publishing, finding motivation in the arts, writing, ideas that are an extension of my book and all kinds of fulfilling things to read about.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has won two EVVY book awards, please follow this link.http://amzn.to/1mbmVGR