The Afterglow of Success

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Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -Francis of Assisi

The last of a three part blog about author/playright Jorge Avila will be featured on All Things Fulfilling today. Before Christmas I interviewed Avila about his newfound sucess as a playright. To read the beginning of the interview, please go to from Local Author to Playright and Advancing the Story.

Sue: So what does it feel like now that you have stepped away from all the excitement of seeing your musical played out on stage?

Jorge: There is a little bit of sadness and a let down because it is easy to get carried  away with all that goes with on in the world of L.A.  But we aren’t done yet. My vision for this musical is even more than that.  I have been offered a huge opportunity at the end of September and the first two weeks in October. The production will return to California as part of at the Hispanic Heritage Festival. For four weeks, in four different districts, I am told that 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 people will attend the festival annually. Do you believe that?

Sue: And I understand you received special recognition during the three day run of the musical. What night was that?

Jorge: On the  middle night of the performance, I and the director and musical composer, Caleb Encampos, were each given certificates of award from the City of Los Angeles for work in advancing the arts. It was very exciting.

Avilas certificate from City of LA

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Sue: What can you attribute to the success that you have had with Maricopa Men in Pink?

Jorge: It was a long five years but I never stopped believing that I had a quality product and it was a matter of getting it into the right venue or environment.

Sue: What’s on the docket for the future? 

Jorge: I have two more musicals I am working on and a book but, I would like to do something more with the local high school here in Steamboat. They did a Powerpoint presentation about my book’s storyline with the English as a Second Language (ESL) students. I’d like to put together some sort of workshop. We will see, I’ll have to put more thought into that. And I’d like to take the musical to Chicago. That’s where I’d  really like to see it.

Sue: You have been in a whirlwind for six months or more. Perhaps with a little time off, your visions will become more clear. Now that you have stepped away into a quieter environment, here in Steamboat, you can ponder it.

Before Jorge and I said our goodbyes  I told him how he is a shining example for other independent publishers to press on and not to give up. Although he mentioned feeling a little let down now that things were over, I saw a huge afterglow of success on his face and in his exuberant voice.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow when we begin the countdown till the New Year! We will be fulfilling 2016 with new possibilities and opportunity!

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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.

 

The Writing Life

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How many times have we heard a person say “I am a writer.”

“What are you writing?” is the natural lead up question.

“Nothing, right now.” A valid response. At that present moment that person is not penning anything. They are communicating verbally – with you. True?

If you’re an artist in any medium and have a real passion for something, practice is never ending. The most successful people in this country’s history were not made overnight. Malcolm Gladwell shares his insight on the 10,000 hour principle.

Even if you’ve gone to school to learn a craft, the education is not over! The process of perfecting a craft is lifelong. Ask any artist who has risen to the top of their field – creating is on-going, never ending. I look at master painter Richard Schmid, one of the most celebrated artists in the country. He paints constantly even though he has been painting an entire lifetime and recently blew out the candles on his 80th birthday cake!

As an author, even though I recently published two books,  I feel as if my work has just begun. I literally work at it every day through blogging and then….there are my other writing projects.

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

Fondness for Frederick

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“You have to know the past to understand the present.” Dr. Carl Sagan
I’ve taken the opportunity to blog about the town of Frederick, Maryland on quite a number of occasions. I have great affection for many Fredericks that have been in my life. You will understand why if you read my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.
My affection for the town of Frederick comes for what has been salvaged out of what was once a run-down, ramshackle place during my childhood. Now, it is a place to be proud of! Art, architecture, history, tourism are all the things it has going for it!
To read other articles on All Things Fulfilling about the revitalization of Frederick, Maryland, visit these links.

Today on All Things Fulfilling, enjoy just a few more pictures from the Harvest Fair that I went to last weekend in Frederick.

Hope to see you tomorrow, Saturday October 11th at Ukazoo Books in Towson, Maryland where I will be doing a book signing from 1pm to 4pm. A short author talk will begin at 2pm.

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 Two photos below are from: Smokestack Studio  – great place.  Loved it. http://www.smokestackstudios.com/

 

 

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling on Monday! More sites and scenes from Washington, DC  will be featured!

This blog brought to you by the EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard on an East Coast book tour! For information on her memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1y21igm.

Film Friday: Authors Anonymous

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We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
Ernest Hemingway

What do you get when you take a group of poorly adjusted, unpublished writers and add a new member who snags an agent immediately, and finds unexpected success?

  • Jealousy
  • Anger
  • Head scratching
  • Tension
  • Hurt hearts

And comedic results! Author’s Anonymous is a newly released movie, now showing in select theatres and available on DVD, beginning June 17th.

Although this independently produced PG-13 film does not have top ratings, it is fun entertainment  for aspiring writers, book lovers, art councils, writers groups, MFA writing students to watch and discuss in a group setting.

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Interested in watching the movie? Click here for info & ordering

Have a great weekend, everyone! Sprouting seeds of inspiration for fulfilling new writing projects will be the subject on All Things Fulfilling Monday.

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard.Sue’s memoir

 

 

 

End of Year Reflections

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Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action ~ Peter Drucker

It’s clear that the industry of independent publishing or “non-traditional publishing” has brought compelling stories that ordinarily wouldn’t have had a chance of being published traditionally, into the marketplace.

digital publishing worldLooking back over the past years, I have read and worked with a wide variety of independent publishing clients who have produced e-books as a result of the “digital revolution.” Indeed, over the past decade there have been vast changes that have taken place in how books are published. However, one thing that has not changed is the impetus behind why people publish. Authors write to educate, inform, entertain and inspire others, whether the words are on paper or in digital format.

The Digital Book World Conference is only a few weeks away. Soon, the Book Industry Study Group will be wrapping up their research for 2013 which will reveal statistics about how e-books have fared over the past year in the marketplace. I look forward to reading the reports.

Lavar Burton will serve as host of the Digital Book World Conference. Industry leaders including Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon will be speaking and other notables in the publishing industry will hold roundtable discussions and panel discussions. Best selling e-book authors, such as Darcie Chan, who wrote an e-book called The Mill River Recluse, which was set in Vermont, will also be in attendance.

On January 13 at 5:30 pm (at the opening evening of the New York City Conference) a screening the film of Out of Print, narrated by Meryl Streep will be shown. This eye opening movie takes the viewer into a world where books-in-print are non-existent and books as we have known them are replaced by all digital publications.

To register to attend the conference, and to learn about the line-up of speakers and the schedule, please visit http://bit.ly/1lj8tGd.

As always, I look forward to keeping our readers informed on All Things Fulfilling about e-book industry developments through out the year 2014.

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

E-Books: A Vital Option

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The freedom to move forward to new opportunities and to produce results comes from living in the present and not the past.” ~ Brian Koslow

Shopping-CartIf you are ready to publish your manuscript, there are many choices to consider. Offering an electronic version of a book has become a necessity if you are an author who wants to reap the benefits in the digital marketplace. More often than not, potential book buyers want to know if a title “is available as an e-book?”

According to a recent article in Publishers Weekly Magazine, sales in e-books have dipped a little from when the Kindle and the Nook were initially rolled out. However,  e-book sales have remained strong, jumping a total of “4,456% since 2008.” That is a big deal and e-books have become a “billion dollar industry” according to the article. Here is a link so you can see all the e-book selling statistics from 2008 – 2012. http://bit.ly/Hc3JVq. We won’t see the 2013 book sales results for a few more months.

In my opinion, there will be more technological developments coming that will blow away any remaining doubts that e-books are just a passing trend. Especially as digital publishing becomes integrated into more classrooms and library catalogs.

Authors don’t miss out on a stream of income by failing to offer an e-book version of your title. And remember “if you are selling over the internet, you must be marketing over the internet” because that is where your potential book buyers hang out!

Speaking of hang-outs, thanks for frequenting this website. Do return tomorrow to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com tomorrow, the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.