Blindly Chosen, Faithfully Read

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To build up a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books. –Carlos María Domínguez

March is just around the corner. Before we leave this heart-centered month, I wanted to mention an idea that came to my attention through my favorite hangout – our local library.

blind date with a book

 

On Valentines Day, the Bud Werner Memorial Library  provided an act of kindness through their Blind Date with a Book program. They set-up their library patrons up for an enjoyable night of entertainment.

The gift was wrapped up in brown paper, tied up with string, including a clue or two to help the reader make  their date selection. The title and author’s name was hidden and the reader had to accept on blind faith that what was “between the covers” was something good.

But as on any blind date, the only way to get acquainted with a character is to learn something about them. With time we get to know whether a character is as a mystery, a hopeless romantic or ready for a wild or steamy adventure. Sweet idea!

I’d like to conclude this writing today by repeating a bumper sticker that is frequently seen here where I live. One is on my car. It says “I came for the skiing and stayed for the library.”

What an asset to have a wonderful library in any community.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornerstones of Community

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“The spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few!” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

It was a fabulous 4th!  Ski Town USA was abuzz with activity that well-demonstrated the great hometown spirit this community is noted for.

Independence Day would not be a day to celebrate if it wasn’t for the cornerstone principles that our forefathers laid before us. They fought hard, literally and figuratively, to build a society which includes more than just the freedom of the press.

Over the weekend I indulged myself with a gala complete with cupcakes to commemorate independent publishing since it’s been at the heart and soul of my interests.

Terrys photo 4th

And of course, helping with the Strawberry Sundae fundraiser at the United Methodist Church has become something I look forward to each year. We ladies sliced and diced a heap of strawberries for the throngs of people looking for their next Independence Day treat after the parade.

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lots of berries

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pray for our leaders

The Tread of Pioneers Museum, right next door to the church, offered hotdogs and Routt Beer floats a plenty. On the 4th of July there is always free admission to the treasure trove that helps tourists and townies alike understand what life was like when the trailblazers arrived in this ranching community.

Now Steamboat Springs is also known for it’s tourism and broad variety of recreational opportunities. It’s home to Olympic athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, philathropists and others who love the Western and very friendly lifestyle.

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow when leaps of Faith will be the topic. I look forward to sharing my independent thoughts with you!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Ski Family

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Stretch pants – the garment that made skiing a spectator sport.  ~ Author Unknown

IMG_20150526_111915_634I was greeted by sweet Sophie, a stunning cocker spaniel, when I walked into Mountain Traditions. With her smatterings of white and black markings, she reminded me of a container of Oreo cookie ice cream. I’m such a softie when it comes to dogs. I heard her say she wanted to come home with me, I swear I did.  But her owner, Kenton Stratton wouldn’t let her. He said she likes greeting customers too much and she would miss it.

So, I stayed awhile and visited with Sophie and enjoyed the nice variety of vintage ski images in the store which took me back to my childhood days of skiing with my family. Seeing the wooden posters was almost as good as a trip through a ski history museum, such as The Tred of Pioneers here in Steamboat or the ski history museum in Vail or the Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe. I love seeing the old ski fashions and ski equipment displayed. It’s fun stuff.

If you are a baby boomer who grew up skiing with your mom and dad and your siblings like I did, you’ll relate to these images. They make great gifts!

I am grateful that I was able to get permission from Kenton Stratton to take these photographs to share with you. Take a trip down memory lane through these vintage ski images or better yet, go visit Sophie at Mountain Traditions in her new location in the Lower Courtyard of Old Town Square, 635 Lincoln Avenue, Steamboat Springs, CO. Take a dog biscuit with you, Kenton says Sophie is always hungry!

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Want some of these vintage placards to decorate the walls of your ski house or chalet but it’s too far to travel? Visit the website. http://www.mountaintraditions.com/

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So, family – when are you coming out to Steamboat? 

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

 

 

Good News, Dear Margaux

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May 27, 2015

Dear Margaux,

What a pleasant surprise when I opened my mailbox last week and found that the U.S. Postal Service had delivered this notecard from you!

Girl Scout Margaux letter without last name

I am so glad you enjoyed my presentation “One Day in the Life of a Writer.” I was happy to learn that I am not the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to jump out of bed to write down ideas. It makes me feel better that you said the same thing happens to you. 

GS scribe badge I was not aware that my visit helped your troop earn your Scribe badges until I read the Girl Scout blog.

Tomorrow I am attending the  Girl Scout Fundraiser for adults at the Catamount Ranch and Club.  I am excited! I have my ticket! What a cool fundraising idea to have some of the best chefs around creating savory appetizers from sweet Girl Scout Cookies.  It will be interesting to see what the chefs will be serving up. I’d better take my camera! If your mom is coming, tell her I have saved a book for her and will bring it along incase she hasn’t yet ordered a copy.

Enjoy your outings, meetings and the friendships you have made through the Girl Scouts. I think I mentioned to your troop that I made life-long friends through scouting.

Keep on Writing! And remember the good news we shared about life “There are always flowers for those who want to see them!”

Sincerely,

Mrs. Sue Leonard (aka author Sue Batton Leonard)

Award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected 

and short stories – Lessons of Heart & Soul.

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.

 

Creative Districts Rock

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Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better.” ~John Updike

Yesterday I blogged about the Yampa Valley Choral Society. It is just one of many art organizations that abound in this town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

boettcher_report_thumbnailDid you know Steamboat Springs, Colorado was recently ranked in the Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research as #14 on the Arts Vibrancy Index?

The town also has the distinction of holding 4th place in the Small Towns to Visit in 2014 in the Smithsonian Magazine. For the small community of 10,000+ people, art and culture is important to part of everyday living yet it does not always get the attention it deserves. There are changes underway which will change all that.

Steamboat Springs has become an incubator as a Colorado Certified “Creative District.” There is an interesting full article in the Steamboat Pilot Newspaper about what it takes to become a creative district and to obtain funding and support for it.

I, like many others, have found the creatively stimulating environment refreshing. Living  life outloud is a term I associate with the people of Steamboat.

How does one “live life out loud?” Here is an interesting article about what that truly means.

earth without art

That is all for now. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling!

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.

Stories in Music

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conducive-to-happiness[5]Every spring and fall the Yampa Valley Choral Society holds a community concert at the United Methodist Church in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This past weekend a group of 41 men and women and 10 young girls presented “I’ve Been Everywhere: It‘s the Journey That Counts.”

This year, the sound of young choral voices added to the concert. Ten young girls sang a few songs taken from film scores and musical theatre productions. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and two memorable selections from Annie – Tomorrow and It’s a Hard Knock Life (from Annie) were  included.

As usual, the arrangement of musical compositions sung by the forty-one adults were thoughtfully chosen and diverse. Spirituals included Set Me as A Seal which was paraphrased from the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament and How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place by Johannes Brahms. Words from Psalm 84 of the King James Bible were incorporated in the verses of this composition.

Karl Jenkins composition Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary was not familiar to me, however it was sweet sounding and harmonious.  Jenkins, is a Welsh composer whose album is unintended for words, rather the voices of the chorus made instrument-like noises.

Two songs had nautical backstories to them. Over the Sea to Skye tells of Charles Stuarts escape from Scotland in 1745 via ship, along with Flora MacDonald, who traveled incognito, posing as his maid. His exile took him to France where he spent the rest of his lifetime.

Dry Your Tears, Afrika,  one of my favorite tunes of the afternoon, was taken from the 1997 movie Armistad. The story is about 53 Africans who were transported by ship from Sierra Leone to be sold as slaves. They changed their destiny when they took hold of the ship and navigated it to Long Island. The events of their journey became the subject of a Supreme Court case. If you have not seen the movie, it’s powerful.

You haven’t been anywhere unless you’ve traveled across America. Songs from past Pop Hit Charts included Homeward Bound, Surfin’ USA, I’ve Been Everywhere, and I’ll Fly Away were incorporated into the concert, as well as America from West Side Story.

I never fail to learn something from the interesting backstories of the compositions that the Yampa Valley Choral Society choses to focus the themes of their concerts around. The program notes as well as the choir Director’s commentary help tell the story of each song’s rich history and their composers.

Thank you Yampa Valley Choral Society for yet another delightful hour of music. Look forward to your fall concert.

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