Anthology Construction

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Anthology construction is one of the pleasantest hobbies that a person who is not mad about golf and bridge – that is to say a thinking person – can possibly have.” ~Arnold Bennett

Hey, wait a minute! Did I really post that? Before you jump all over me let me clarify that I should have edited the statement (the part about golf and bridge) since I don’t fully agree with it. Please forgive…

Both golf and bridge, in my opinion, take great thought and brilliant tactical moves to play them well.

metacog2

So, now that I’ve done my pondering, I wish to share a writing tip about short stories that I’ve learned from experience in penning an EVVY award-winning memoir, an anthology of stories.

The beauty of anthology construction – with great thought you can tactically plan the order and organization of your individual stories to give the publication a cohesive theme, which it needs to be successful and adds to the lessons for the reader. ~ Sue Batton Leonard

Did you know?  Harper Lee’s book “To Set a Watchman” began as an anthology of stories -until editors got their hands on the manuscript. Then it became the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. The author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It won the Harvest Book Reading Contest in the Young Adult category as well as two EVVY book awards (one in the anthology category and one for the audio book).

 

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Rewards of the Business

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Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains — God composes, why shouldn’t we? ~Terri Guillemets

Good news came to a group of independent publishers last weekend at the annual EVVY book awards sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. All four of our We Write Steamboat members who were finalists came away with an award. They are as follows:

Major General Louis W Prentiss, Jr. for his book Memories of a Life in the Army (military category)

Lou Prentiss Book

Erik Landvik for Uncluttered Faith (spirituality/religion)

Eric Landvik

Jane Stein, author & Pam Duckworth, illustrator for Dear Class: Traveling Around the World with Mrs. J (juvenile non-fiction) and interior design/layout in the technical awards.

Dear Class

Merit Clark’s Killing Streak in the fiction/mystery & detective category and also 3rd place for cover design.

Steamboat author Merit Clark killing-streak-clark-2500px

That’s the good news on this Thirsty Thursday from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In the coming weeks more EVVY award winners will be featured on All Things Fulfilling. Stay tuned!

This blog is brought to you by 2014 EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Author Narrated Easter Story

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Resurrection is a whole new way of thinking.” ~ Deepak Chopra

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEastertime has always been a memorable time of year ever since my childhood. In my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, in Chapter 14 called Easter Traditions, I recount an Easter story that I have always held near and dear to my heart. Since it’s Easter week, I’d like to share it with you. Listen in!

If you are wondering who narrated the story, it was me, the author. The audio book won an award (2nd place in the EVVY book awards sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.)

I hope you enjoy the retelling of this Easter story and the voice of the central character in it!

Order the full narration of  the award-winning anthology Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is also available in paperback and e-book.

Also available Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Naively Speaking

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It is well for the heart to be naive, and the mind not to be.” ~ Anatole France

tonsils removedI remember feeling slighted. It seemed like all the kids in the neighborhood had their tonsils and adenoids removed except me.  As a child, it didn’t matter to me that I had lived through pioneering heart surgery, I still wished I could get my tonsils out like many of my buddies.

Apparently, according to this article, twice as many tonsillectomies were performed in the 1950s and 1960s as today. http://seattletimes.com/html/health/2015264059_med10.html.

To a kid, getting tonsils and adenoids removed  meant eating ice cream! And lots of it! Ice cream was one of the few foods that I really adored when I was growing up. And to go to the soda fountain counter at S.S. Kresges or Reads Drugstore for a scoop in an ice cold silver dish with a doily between the dish and a small saucer was a special treat.

Remember the litttle plastic cups of ice cream with the wooden spoons? They reminded me of tongue depressors the doctors used. And then there were the ice-cream pop-ups.

 

icecream cups

 

icecream orange popups

 

vintage doctors kit

In my memoir I share both a child’s perspective of my “operation” at Johns Hopkins and  my adult insight into why perhaps I fared so well.

This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. Her memoir, “an anthology of short stories,” is a  two-time award winner in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Book Awards. For information and ordering, please follow this link.

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is available in audio book (that holds the real treasure), paperback and e-book.

 

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

Camp Fire Songs

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I love to go a-wandering

Along the mountain track

And as I go, I love to sing

My knapsack on my back

Chorus:

Val-der-ri, val-der-ra

Val-der-ra, val-der-ha ha ha ha ha ha

Val-der-ri, val-der-ra

(My knapsack on my back)

Who remembers these words and music by Friedrich W. Möller and Antonia Ridge?

This song reminds me of a very happy time in my youth –  singing around the campfire with the Girl Scouts. First I was a Brownie, and then I “flew up” to a Junior Girl Scout. Ceremonially it made me feel as valued as becoming a debutante at a  “coming out” party. Although I had  never experienced what that was like, I imaged as a kid the feelings were similar.  I’m from an average, middle class American family with parents who had strong work ethics. They put their family, work and  community first.

If you were a Girl Scout, watch this less-than-a-minute video. I promise you will fall into repeating the words as if you just said them yesterday, even if it’s been decades.

The Girl Scouts in Steamboat Springs, Colorado are having a recruitment night tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 12). Pass the word to girls who are interested in the organization. It is happening at the United Methodist Church from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. What a great group to be involved with.

In retrospect, I guess my values haven’t changed much and I still love to go a wandering with a knapsack on my back. Val-der-ri, val-der-ra….

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, which just won 2 EVVY book awards, visit this link.http://amzn.to/1ulyFYs

Eggs in the grass

My twin and me, atop Mt Werner in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  What a gift to spend a birthday with Jan after 30+ years of being far from each other on our special day.

Holding On to Memories

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 “Memory believes before knowing remembers.” ~ William Faulkner, Light in August

“I just knew you two would always be in my life,” stated Mary Grace as my sister and I walked down Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat after having stuffed ourselves with nachos and drinks at The Cantina last Saturday evening. Mary was in the middle and linked arms with both of us. We strolled toward Wild Horse Gallery.

“Why is that?” I asked.

“I don’t know, I just had a feeling,” said Mary.

“Thank God we are both still alive and kicking!”  I thought to myself. (For the back story on that thought, follow this link https://allthingsfulfilling.com/2014/06/04/sisters-of-the-heart/ )

I admitted to Mary that I sort of felt the same way. When I moved to Colorado, I was determined to find her. Last time I had heard she was in Fort Collins and I knew her married name. But, we had only been in touch at Christmas time (by snail mail) maybe twice or three times  since  our college years in 1973 or 1974.

“Mary, you are just the same,” Jan, my twin, stated. “Don’t you just love it when you have friends you can pick up with just like that even if it’s been decades since you’ve seen them?”

That is exactly what happened when we three got together. What a fulfilling weekend I had! Between spending it with my sister and my husband celebrating our three birthdays, reconnecting with Mary – a childhood friend who was included in my memoir and I have written about her on this site, too. Then there was the icing on the cake. I learned that Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected had won two EVVY book awards. It doesn’t get much better than that!

I can’t help but bask in my memories of last weekend for just one more day. Tomorrow,  it’s time to get on with things. I have work to do to plan my East Coast book tour which begins mid-September.

For more information on the EVVY award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1rArrRG.

Pictures from my fulfilling & rewarding Birthday Weekend

Sue & Jan Mt Werner

Twins Sue & Jan atop Mt Werner, Steamboat Springs, CO   Sunset picnic and hike

sue terry jan fishcreek fallsLeft to right – Terry, Jan & Sue  Fish Creek Falls, Steamboat

sue and mary wildhorse gallery

Sue & Mary  – Read the back story using this link  –

https://allthingsfulfilling.com/?s=horse+sense

Seems fitting  the veterinarian and I are sitting outside Wildhorse Gallery

sue jan mary 3Outside Wildhorse Gallery – Sue with Mark Twain & “Huck,” Mary  & Jan

sue & jan wildhorse gallerySue & Jan – First Birthday together for more than 30 years.

sue Jan & mary2

A reunion of 3 childhood friends – Jan, Sue & Mary Grace – a  real life character in my memoir

 Above- We found Eureka: Mediterranean Street Food, to be indeed golden!

We had great salads & meatballs for our next course, and a great place to catch up.

sue & terry at Fish creek falls 2

Bye, Jan. Bye, Mary – come back soon!

Beautiful setting and beautiful birthday weekend in Steamboat

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fufilling Things in the Unexpected, an EVVY Book Award book, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1tKKiXF