Labor of Love

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“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”      ~Martin Luther King          

I tried, I really did! I had made a promise to myself that I would lay low and stay off  the computer this Labor Day weekend. It didn’t work very well. 

The weekend before last I was presented with an e-marketing project for a new client. I decided that I would “sit with it” for a while to make sure my heart and soul were ready to take on the task. I didn’t want to jump into the project until I had thought deeply about the book and had zeroed in on what I felt was the right vision and approach. I am honored to be handling this project. It deserves utmost respect. The obligation to handle the e-marketing of this book, with great sensitivity, weighs heavily on my mind. 

In coming weeks, I look forward to sharing this book with you. But in the meantime, I will tell you that my work on this project has been nothing but a labor of love. Through this task I have gained great affection for the author, received transference of the heartache carried by my client and feel appreciation for the inspiring message that this simple and straightforward book will bring to it’s readers. It is a message of help and hope that speaks to not only target communities of people but to each one of us living and working on God’s Earth. 

Yeah, I should scold myself for working on Labor Day weekend. In this case, I could not help myself. After all, isn’t that what fulfilling work is ideally supposed to be? A labor of love? 

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!

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The Inside Story

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“In all things, preserve integrity.” ~ Barbara Paley 

A few days ago, I talked with author Marl Purl regarding the changes that were made to the cover of her book “What the Heart Knows” to better match what was inside. This morning, I gained a whole new perspective to this conversation while I was out taking my early morning walk. 

I walked by three beautiful little girls standing on the street corner waiting for the bus. I stopped just for a moment to chit-chat with the girls. They told me it was the first day of school. I asked the girls how old they were and what grades they were “rising to.” They were ages 8, 9 and lO – stair step sisters. 

Call me old fashioned! But, does anyone think that a 10 year old little girl standing on the street corner waiting for the bus on the first day of school really needs to be made up with lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and rouge?  

As I began to walk toward home, I began to think about the analogy between the publishing process and a 10 year old wearing make-up. In my opinion, she was wearing a cover far too soon. At 10, she doesn’t even know what her own inside story is all about. The tale of her life had hardly begun to unfold, and she already had decided that she needed to cover up her natural beauty with something that may or may not match her final  internal constitution.  And shame on me, I have drawn my own conclusions based on the girl’s surface appearance before her full biography has even evolved. That’s not right – she is only 10 years old! http://bit.ly/22ZvMo.

This correlation does however, support the importance of having a cover that preserves and accurately portrays the integrity of the book. As an independent publisher, you have the final say in making sure the cover reflects the inside works. As a ” non-traditional publisher”,  you will be fulfilling the role of boss of your own book!

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Laying Groundwork

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Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase” ~ Martin Luther King

  • Does faith rank high in your life?
  • Do you like communicating with other Christians about their principles and values?
  • Do you have an interest in telling your own personal story of faith to others?
  • Have you considered independent publishing a book, film or music relating how faith makes your life richer and fuller?
  • Interested in Christian publishing but the time is not quite right? 

You are not alone! There is a way that you can share your Christian experience, your truth, your values and your independent perspective on Christianity in “short snippets” through a community of global Christian bloggers. 

www.Christianblog.com is a respectful and well-monitored Christian blog site that is devoted to people, like you, who have the desire to share stories, inspire and even educate others about living life through faith. The blog site, denominationally friendly, is fulfilling the need around the world for believers to have open discussion with other believers. 

For some writers, blogs become “testing grounds” and in some instances “a proving ground” for writing books. The film “Julie and Julia” is probably the most recognizable blog to book success. However, there are many other writers who have used their blogs as groundwork for writing a full-fledged book. 

All aspiring writers have to start somewhere, so begin telling your tale through www.christianblog.com. Anything is possible if you believe. Your blog may someday become a book! 

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Making a Pledge

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 “In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.” ~ Michael Korda 

I am making a pledge, right here, right now! I will no longer make generalized statements or assumptions about the media, specifically about newspaper publishing. 

A statement that I often hear is “the media is  just out to get a good story, caring not about the individuals in the story or the sensitivity of the subject they are exposing.” In some circumstances I might agree with this statement. However, last week I gained new insight into the collaborative decisions that are made, by the editor and supporting staff of our local newspaper. 

Once a month the editor and the general manager of our town’s newspaper, The Steamboat Pilot www.steamboatpilot.com, open their doors to their readers, so the community can become more informed about their business. Last week, I attended the “coffee hour” with other community members. I was heartened to learn: 

  • The newspaper staff wants feedback from the community about how they are doing, as a local newspaper.
  • The staff was “all ears.” They wanted to know what stories of community interest should be addressed.
  • The e-format and the print version of the Steamboat Pilot are both popular.
  • The Steamboat Pilot is owned by The World Company of Lawrence, Kansas
  • The reputation of others, in exposing stories of sensationalism or controversy, is of great concern.
  • A democratic process is in place for deciding what newspaper articles will run or not. Note: Sometimes the editor gets over-ruled in the process.
  • Decisions take into consideration what is best for each format- the print version and the e-version of the newspaper.  

Thank you to the staff of the Steamboat Pilot for the opportunity to learn more about your world of newspaper publishing.  I appreciate the fact that you want to hear, from readers, whether the goal of responsible newspaper reporting is being fulfilled by the Steamboat Pilot.  

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Properly Honored, at Last

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All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.                       ~ Winston Churchill

On Monday at our weekly Kiwanis meeting, we saw a touching DVD of World War II Veterans taking a flight of a lifetime to Washington, DC. The Honor Flight is a program that transports veterans of the Second World War to see the memorial that was built in their honor. For many of these vets, the trip is not an easy one due their age and failing health, but for many veterans it fulfills a dream of a lifetime to see the capital of the country they so bravely fought for many, many years ago. 

The World War II Memorial was completed in 2004. It was built on the National Mall in Washington, DC and it consists of 56 pillars and a pair of arches which surround a beautiful reflecting pool and fountain. During WWII, the gold star was the symbol of family sacrifice, thus a field of 4,000 gold stars incorporated into the Memorial commemorate the more than 400,000 Americans who gave their lives in their fight for freedom. 

Almost 400 veterans from this area, the Western Slope of Colorado, have made a flight with their compatriots to see the World War II Memorial built to honor their military service. A better way to honor the vets and give them one “last hurrah” would be difficult to find. Family members, veterans of other wars and community volunteers accompany these aging vets to make the help make trip as easy as they possibly can. Many of the WWII vets have ambulatory and other health issues, so charter flights helps make the trip a little less difficult. Their bodies may be failing them, but their strong spirits carry them through and it is truly a trip well worth making, each one of them would tell you, I am sure. 

Almost every State in the Union has honor flights several times a year. If you would like more information on donating to this wonderful cause, please visit www.honorflight.org.  We are hoping as a club, Kiwanis International of Steamboat Springs, Colorado http://on.fb.me/epjzSf  will be able to provide support for this wonderful program. If you wish to accompany a flight as a volunteer or would like to provide financial support to the West Slope Honor Flight, please visit http://www.westernslopehonorflight.com/

Thank you to all World War II veterans ( and all veterans of the military) for  the sacrifices that you have made for your countrymen so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we do today.

Fair Trade

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Of all things,  Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 

Dulcinea, How I Love You!”  Remember that song from “The Man of La Mancha?” For almost 25 years I was fulfilling my love for musical theatre by ushering, voluntarily, at the Weston Playhouse www.westonplayhouse.org in charming Weston, Vermont. Over those years, “The Man of La Mancha” graced the stage once or twice and I was able to hear this memorable song sung live, by actors from the guild. My first introduction to “Dulcinea” was as a teen when I went to the Paper Mill Summer Theatre in Owings Mills, MD www.papermill.org  and saw the play there too.  Oh, how I adored it! 

I know you all are thinking I have lost my marbles.” How in the world did she get on this subject?” our readers must be asking.  I happened to open the Sunday paper and saw a story about the Dulcimer Shop in Mountain View, Arkansas.  For more information on this company and the history of this instrument, which produces exquisite, ethereal sounds, please visit http://www.mcspaddendulcimers.com.

It was the commonality of the root of the words, dulcinea and dulcimer, that triggered my recall of this memorable song. I’ve about worn out my favorite search engines, so I don’t dare inquire through those channels about the meaning of the root dulci. Next time I see, my friend Vesna, from Macedonia, I’ll ask her, she’ll know! She has her PhD, ABD, in linguistics and perhaps she can help me out. 

They say (whoever they is) you should write down what you want out of life, not just think about it. In this present moment, I would love someone to send me the name of an artist with beautiful rendition of “Dulcinea” being played on a dulcimer. It would be such a beautiful pairing of  instrument and song. Perhaps I could listen to a  little bit of heaven right here in my office, as I work.

Since I have been bemoaning the fact that I have neglected the independent recording artists on this website, I’d like to engage in a little fair trade.  For the first person, from anywhere in the world, to contact me through a kind blogsite comment,  with the name of a dulcimer-playing independent artist whose repertoire includes “Dulcinea,” I will write a blog on the  musician.

This could be alot of fun! I’ll let you know how it all turns out! “Dulcinea…….”

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Books Inspiring Transformation

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 “The greatest thing you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to them their own.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

In this economy, many people are searching for meaning and answers.  As suggested in the book “Spend Shift: How the Post-Crisis Values Revolution is Changing the Way we Buy, Sell and Live,” personal transformations have begun from a materialistic to a more fulfilling, values-based way of living. Focus has changed from wants vs. needs, from debt and high overhead to living within means, from excessive use of energy to thinking and living in a more sustainable way. Many are searching for answers through inspirational books, so it is a perfect time to give the gift of a book that will inspire creative, problem-solving thinking. 

The following list of books, Evvy Award winners almost all, provide valuable reading for those on your list who want to see change in themselves, their families and their world, beginning now! Consider these when putting together your holiday buying list. 

For the Children:

  • Ophelia’s Oracle
  • Sarah O’Hara: The Gift of Fairy Wings
  • Heart Light Girls: Beauty’s Secret 

For the Dog-Lover:

  • The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer 

For the Parent:

For the Career Minded:

  • Harvest the Bounty of your Career 

For the Historical Fiction Fan:

  • The Macsen Treasure Series 

For the Environmentalist:

  • Dancing on the Edge of an Endangered Planet 

For the Poetry Lover:

  • Have you Ever Held a Mountain 

For  More Inspiration:

  • Waiting for Jack
  • The Messy Buddha
  • Shiny Shoes on Dusty Paths  www.joannemahar.com
  • Let Your Innate Sing 

The economy has inspired the way we publish, buy and sell books too! For more information on these books, the independent presses that published them, and how to order, please visit http://bit.ly/foZ5nE. These books can also be found on the world wide web using your favorite search engine.

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