Indie Bookstore Feature: Ukazoo Books

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Sometimes it is hard to fathom that I went from someone who had only written a few college term papers decades ago to writing a memoir that won two EVVY book awards all within four years time. Talk about a gift of a lifetime and finding fulfilling things in the unexpected! Astonishing myself has been reward enough!

There have also been some new developments since last Friday. I found out that my memoir is finalist in two categories (non-fiction and young adult) in the 2014 Harvest Book Competition.http://bit.ly/1vbWwfb.

How about dem apples?

I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this image. Perhaps it explains in all.

all the power

 As writers, believing in ourselves and slaying the dragons is our biggest challenge!

Today, I would like to thank Ukazoo Books and everyone who came to my book signing in Towson, Maryland over the weekend. I couldn’t have been more pleased at the turnout. GIFT OF A LIFETIME:FINDING FULFILLING THINGS IN THE UNEXPECTED IS NOW AVAILABLE AT UKAZOO BOOKS IN TOWSON, MARYLAND. phone#410-832-2665. OR IF YOU ARE IN THE AREA, STOP BY THE STORE @ 730 DULANEY VALLEY ROAD.  Website:   http://www.ukazoo.com. 

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To Edward, the store owner – it was a pleasure to meet you several days before the event. I enjoyed our exchange of conversation about the industry of independent publishing. And your staff is wonderful -Ben, Tim and all the others at Ukazoo were so helpful.

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Meems and Peeps

My Dad & Mom arriving for the book signing. They are my source of inspiration –

88 and 85 yrs old, respectively, and going strong! What a gift to have them around this long.

Thanks, Ukazoo Books, http://www.ukazoo.com for hosting my book talk and book signing! I enjoyed browsing your store. Loved the books of regional history. I can’t wait to delve into the book I bought called Towson: Now and Then by Melissa Schenhlein. There are so many places featured in it that I remember from my childhood that are now only found in the archives.

In a few days from now I will have more pictures from this fun weekend, all brought about because of independently publishing Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Expected.  For more information on award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard, browse this website.

See you tomorrow!

 

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Dialogue Adds Dimension

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Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from…”  ~ Rita Mae Brown

Happy Thoughtful Thursday!

Last Wednesday evening I went to a book event for three local writers at our independent bookstore here in town called Off the Beaten Path. Of course, fellow Steamboat Writers Group authors and supporters were in attendance. One of the members, Larry,  asked me “how my book was coming?” He mentioned now that I am finished reading my book to the group, he misses hearing the voice of one of my characters.  What a lovely and thoughtful compliment! Those words alone, to me, meant that I was successful in incorporating into my writing an authentic voice of my main and stellar character.

two people talkingYou see, when I started writing the manuscript it had no dialogue. The writers group encouraged me to reach deeper and include my memories of conversations with family members. They were so “right on” in suggesting that I go back and insert dialogue because it added another dimension to the story that was not there previously. The extra time it took was well worth the effort. The story is so much richer for it because through dialogue the culture, historical era and a sense of place shines through in my narrative.

Thank you, Larry from  the Steamboat Writers Group. That is why I came and read the entire manuscript aloud. That was the kind of feedback I was looking for! And Larry’s words reminded me how important it is for writers to encourage others who are going through the process.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, the place where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

Booksellers Dream Wedding

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Dreams are illustrations….from the book your soul is writing about you.”

 ~ Marsha Norman

The best thing about planning any wedding is designing a day that is uniquely designed to reflect the tastes of bride and groom.

Last Saturday, The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont http://www.northshire.com/  closed early for a private party. The store hosted the wedding of Sarah, one of their booksellers.

The event was everything fulfilling that a bibliophile could dream of. Even the bride’s bouquet was made from book pages and I’ll bet she tossed the paper posies from the commanding iron staircase that is the outstanding architectural feature in the store.

bridal bouquet with book pages

northshire bookstore stairs

I hope “Miss America of the Independent Publishing Industry,” the Expresso Book Machine, gave up her famed status for the day and let the bride be the star. I don’t want the  EBM to feel downgraded or upstaged, so I’ll give her a repeat feature of the blog I wrote about her early last summer. Click on this link to read more. http://bit.ly/10RIonQ.

Rumor has it that one of the wedding gifts was a handmade quilt with titles and cover images of the bride and grooms very favorite books. Imagine the pressure of having to decide which publication should be included and which will be left out. Avid readers have a long list of favorites, and I am sure there were too many books and too little space on the quilt’s surface.

I wonder if the couple first encountered each other between the shelves of the book store? Do you think they had custom written wedding vows that included a little poetry? Ahhh..the beauty of a relationship where two people come together with the common interests….and the advantages of owning an independent bookstore. “Nothing is set in stone,” as it is etched on the pavement leading into the Northshire Bookstore. That means you can do anything you please including closing early to host a booksellers dream wedding.

To learn more about this event, please visit the Facebook page of the Northshire Bookstore. http://on.fb.me/1cZVDKU

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Good News for an Indie Bookstore

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“Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.” ~ Dali Lama

In a time when brick and mortar bookstores are struggling to stay in business, there is good news in the northeastern part of the country. Northshire Bookstore, in Manchester Center, Vermont, an independent bookstore that has won top honors from Publishers Weekly Magazine, just spread it’s wings and has opened in a second location, in a second state.

Saratoga, New York, the site of the new Northshire Bookstore, is a thriving community, the home of SkidmoreCollege. http://www.skidmore.edu/ The town has a vibrant performing arts center (SPAC), http://www.spac.org/ as well as many shops and galleries throughout town. The SaratogaArtCenter http://www.saratoga-arts.org/ teaches workshops and hosts artists in residence. It is also the summer home to many horse racing enthusiasts.

There are many reasons to visit this region. Saratoga is in the Adirondack Mountains region with sparkling lakes nearby for summer recreation. The town boasts of seventeen healing mineral springs, which were first found by the Mohawk and Iroquois Indians.

Next time you are in the area, stop by 424 Broadway and see the newly opened Northshire Bookstore. http://www.northshire.com/ If it is anything like the retail store in Manchester, Vermont, it will be stocked with all kinds of fulfilling reading and it will be well worth your visit.

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Photo Above: Pre-Opening of the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga, NY

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Tomorrow we will be sharing stories about art in a different part of the country. Do return to All Things Fulfilling.

Celebrating the Publishing Process

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Today, I awake with very mixed feelings. Thrilled that the beginning of May is soon to arrive, it means, for me, escape from still snowy Colorado. In about two weeks I’ll be on my way out of here for some business dealings. The change of scenery and new things to blog about, from another perspective, will be refreshing. I’ll find plenty of inspiration along the way. I look forward to also visiting art galleries, museums, independent bookstores and other things that bring me fulfillment.

Yet, there is regret and sadness that duty calls me away at this time of year. For the first time since I arrived in Colorado four years ago, I will miss the EVVY book award night. Authors from We Write Steamboat who have submitted to the contest are hoping to be award-winners! It has been such a pleasure to connect, network and share information about the industry with We Write Steamboat members and with other people who share connections with me through the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. CIPA is a very resourceful group of professionals  who support, educate and provide services to help authors who have chosen to publish their books in a non-traditional way – on The Fast Track! http://bit.ly/10cCp1Y.

It ‘s hard to describe the pleasure that comes with writing a book. The process is a quite a learning experience.  To become an award-winning author, with an award-winning book, is very satisfying and you can see the JOY on the authors faces as they claim their prizes. Today, I’d like to say “Good Luck to all independent publishers who have submitted to the various book contests this spring.”  Tis the Season and I hope it’s jolly! Even if you don’t come home with an award, look for the rewards that you found in the process.

Wishbone DogReturn tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Speaking Bookselling Opportunities

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Today, we will drift back into dialogue that is current and a hot topic in this century for those who enjoy speaking the language of bookselling through e-commerce, public speaking and independent bookstores.

You are Cordially Invited to:

 A Writers Workshop

Date: August 24, 2012

Time: 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Where: The Book Worm (An Indie Bound Bookstore) at Riverwalk 

City: Edwards, Colorado

Description of the Workshop:  Owner of the Book Worm, Nicole Magistro will be speaking about getting independent publications onto the shelves of bookstores and consignment arrangements, author of Scones and Sensibility Lindsay Eland will presenting tips about selling books through public speaking and Sue Leonard, Owner of Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC, a company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing  will be talking about marketing publications over the internet.

Time will be allotted for Question and Answers and Helpful Resources will be provided at the event. For more information on the Book Worm in Edwards,Colorado or on the Writers Workshop, please go to

Look forward to seeing you there!

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

Northeastern Book Angels

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If one looks closely enough, one can see angels in every piece of art.

 ~ Terri Guillemets 

“Mama, Do you Love Me?” Yes, I do sweet child! “More than a walrus loves his tusks,” I would recite. Barbara M. Joosse’s lyrical story, “Mama, Do You Love Me?” offered the perfect opportunity to teach my son about the unconditional love a mother has for a child along with learning about the Inuit culture and Artic wildlife, too. 

With my child, I read a staggering number of enticing and magnificent children’s books as he went through the years of growing up. Because reading together was not something either of us was willing to let go of, I had the privilege of reading to him daily until almost age 12. It was the most treasured and fulfilling part of our evening routine. 

Children have a natural ability to learn language. The importance of reading to a child and talking with them, even about simple things, can not be overstated. It is how a child builds a solid vocabulary for understanding the world around them and how they learn to communicate effectively with others. For more information on this topic, check out this article http://bit.ly/np1Xzh

The most fulfilling Christmas shopping I did each year was stepping inside the Publishers Weekly award-winning Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont. Picking out the most meaningful books I could find for my child, I knew my buying helped to support a top-notch independent bookstore. I also loved the mission of their Book Angel program which put worthwhile books into the hands of many underserved children in the State of Vermont. http://conta.cc/txlh5s

 As far as I was concerned, the best gifts given to my child at any time of year were new books or DVDs. Besides Legos, books and films were always his most prized holiday presents. They were gifts that kept on giving for many years. The money spent became a real investment in my child’s future, too.  

Come on back tomorrow. Since I am in the reminiscing mode, I will share a list of my favorite children’s books, published in the 1980’s that “Santa” gave my child over the years. It may help out with some last minute shopping ideas.

More independent, thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com tomorrow! Come on back!