Safe Harbor for She Writes Steamboat

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“Dwell in Possibility” ~ Emily Dickinson 

On last Friday’s blog, mention was made of Chicken and Egg Pictures, a non-profit organization supporting women independent filmmakers. The tag line of this non-profit “Incubating and Hatching All at Once” well represents what I have been feeling about She Writes Steamboat http://on.fb.me/lbnPms  over the past few months. I have been envisioning and growing in my mind, a meet-up group that will provide networking opportunities and support and foster independent publishing success. 

I have decided the time is NOW to hatch the group and support a group of women who have stories to tell, but are still in the incubation period and want to actively hatch and grow their desires. 

For those just starting down the road to independent publishing, beginning can be a scary thing! Women are good at supporting and communicating with each other in their efforts to succeed. What independent publishers have in common is a real and pressing need to inspire and entertain others through storytelling or to educate and inform all through the power of the written word. With independent publishing, there is no competition because everyone has an individual and unique narrative to tell. 

So my thoughts are “why not get together, meet-up and all be there for each other.” Our first She Writes Steamboat meet-up will be Tuesday, June 21 at 4:00 pm at the Bud Werner Library Hall. 

Ladies, feel free to invite others who are in any stage of publishing or those interested in learning more about the independent publishing process. At our first meeting, we will be discussing what time we should schedule our future meetings, how often we chicks should gather. We will be laying the groundwork for a group that I hope will be a safe harbor so independent publishers will not feel as if they are all alone in their publishing efforts. 

Join Us! There is nothing to lose and everything to gain in learning more about the dynamic industry of independent publishing. There are no membership fees. By the way, this group is affiliated with www.SheWrites.com.

 

         See you then!

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Grassroots Spreading Globally

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We are all functioning at a small fraction of our capacity to live life fully in it’s total meaning of loving, caring, creating and adventuring.                            ~ Herbert A. Otto  

It is inspiring when a simple message and concept begins to grow beyond wildest dreams. When Salley Gibney, founder of You Are Never Alone Foundation, a Vermont 501(3)C voluntary, non-profit began her efforts to foster caring, connection and hope through Caring Coins, I doubt she envisioned her efforts would spread so quickly, globally.  

The message of  You Are Never Alone is passed along from person to person through Caring Coins. These simple wooden coins inscribed with the words “You are Never Alone” were first given to troubled teens, to senior citizens, to hospice patients and to troops from Vermont headed to war in Afghanistan. Little by little, “the good news of hope” began to gather momentum. These coins are now available in Spanish, too and have traveled to places far beyond Vermont. They have traveled to children in Uganda, Guatemala and Ecuador!  

A few months ago word spread even further when the You Are Never Alone Foundation was invited to Bangladesh to spread the news and share caring coins with children in India! Please take a few minutes to watch this video and you will see the joy that this simple concept is now bringing to children on the other side of the world!  

This non-profit organization is a wonderful reminder of how one person’s vision and passion for changing the world can bring fulfillment to others. Salley is so fortunate to have the assistance of volunteers. There is much work to be done and funds are needed to continue to share this valuable message with others who are so in need of knowing, that despite life’s hard knocks, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!

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The Light of a Soul

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“From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.”                                   ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Have you ever seen a painting that so exquisitely reflects light, that you feel as if you are seeing a reflection first hand, rather than through a painted medium? I have! Those rare artists that can so exquisitely paint reflections of light, in my opinion, are painting from the depths of their soul. Only a person with great sensitivity and talent can duplicate light that looks so real on a canvas.

How could you fully describe, in words, what the artist of this scene saw with his own eyes when he came across it? Perhaps he felt he could better communicate what he was feeling, experiencing and seeing by painting it rather than describing it through words.

As a human being with a range of emotions, when you stumble upon a splendorous landscape that takes your breathe away, a beautiful relationship between husband and wife, the gift of friendship and love, stop and turn your thoughts to what meaning you can draw from it.  There is meaning in every occurrence and relationship we encounter in life, take the time to discover it.

It was the wish of this artist, Timothy Thies, to share this magnificent  scene with not just the owner of the original painting, but with all who care to purchase a lithograph of this image, which displays the reflection of his soul. To order this image, please visit www.WestWindFineArt.com.

I am grateful for beauty and light that Tim has shared with me through this image and his other beautiful paintings. His paintings have stirred and intensified my love for representational art.

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Ripe Retirees

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“It is not enough to have a good mind, the main thing is to use it well.” –Rene Descartes

I am living in a community filled with extremely active retirees. Not only only are they physically active, but their minds don’t miss a step either. They have all chosen to live in an active mountain community so they will continue to stay involved and engaged in life long after the generation before them would have called it quits!

Recently, the Aging Well program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association independently published a calendar highlighting an amazing group of retirees who lead active lives by continuing to play tennis, ice climb, ski, swim, brand cattle, volunteer and participate in other forms of vigorous sport and hobbies well into their 60s, 70s and 80s. This calendar encourages all older adults to stretch beyond what they feel they are capable of at their ages and to live fully and well at any age. For more information, visist www.agingwelltoday.com.

Within this community, I have met a wealth of highly successful retirees who lead fascinating lives. Their experiences through past careers, parenting, travel and contributions as Board members of non-profit organizations and other associations provide fodder for stories and lessons that should be shared with younger generations. Independent publishing provides an excellent opportunity for all retirees to share knowledge and wisdom with generations that will follow in their footsteps.

Writing and journaling keeps the mind active. Merely through published words, you can become a mentor to others! Think about that! It is never too late to become an aspiring writer!

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Once in a Blue Moon

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“The only thing you live to regret are the risks you didn’t take”~ Unknown

Today, I am feeling very fortunate. Since starting my company, I have had the opportunity to meet many incredible people that I would not have ordinarily met, had I not taken a risk. Among them have been extraordinarily talented artists, filmmakers, and individuals who serve their communities through the non-profit sector – all of them independent publishers. All have had similar goals – to share beauty, kindness and knowledge through their unique and creative talents.  All have been so very committed to changing our world for the better and each person is awe-inspiring in their very own way.

Tonight, as the New Year approaches, I will be taking some time to reflect on these past few years to remember some of the individuals that I have crossed paths with. Many of these individuals I have not met face to face, yet through an e-mail or a telephone conversation, they have left a mark on me. I can recall the discussions we have had about their goals and aspirations for their independent publishing companies. All have inspiring, educational or entertaining stories to tell through their books, films or music or through their commitment to a cause or a mission. All are the kinds of people you meet only once in a blue moon.

We want to hear from more of you! By posting your comments to our blogsite, we can together build a community of like-minded people who have independent thoughts, ideas and dreams to share.

Happy New Year 2010! May this coming year bring publishing success to each and every one of you!

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Comfort in Knowing

“Other things might change us, but we start and end with family.”                  ~ Anthony Brandt

I recently read some staggering statistics about hospice. According to The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization www.nhpco.org  1.45 million hospice patients were served in 2009. Out of approximately 2,500,000 deaths in 2008 – close to 963,000 were cared for by hospice workers. These numbers include patients who found comfort  and care in their final days of life in private residences, nursing homes, residential facilities, acute care hospitals and hospice inpatient facilities.

All of us have known someone who has been cared for by hospice workers in the final days of their life.  My hope is that along with my family, a compassionate and caring hospice worker will be by my side at the end of my life. This thought, I am sure, is shared by many people.

It is astounding to me that, although the need is great, the general population knows so little about hospice services. With our aging population, it would behoove all of us to be come educated and informed.

If you have a family member who is facing end of life issues, check with a  hospice facility, closest to you, to see whether they have a lending library that includes the documentary film “Pioneers of Hospice” www.pioneersofhospice.org. The film will help to educate you about an issue that, as human beings, each of us will face in a lifetime. The documentary sensitively handles a subject that so many are uncomfortable in discussing. It is insightful and educational for any family member who is faced wtih end of life decisions and end of life care.

You will find comfort in knowing you have learned something about hospice and it’s value prior to making those difficult end of life decisions for your loved one.

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Weekend Indie Publisher News

www.shewrites.com.

ATTENTION:  WOMEN WRITERS

A   website has been established, specifically  for women writers.

She Writes, has joined in on the latest social networking trends. It provides a place for women to exchange ideas and support each other in every genre of writing. Approximately four thousand women writers – poets, biographers, memoirists,novelists, fiction and non-fiction writers have joined this community.

Connect with other women writers, read member’s blogs, forums and take advantage of educational opportunities through Webinars, created through She Writes.com.

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