Cowboy Ethics

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  • Real courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. ~ John Wayne

I doubt I would have ever become acquainted with the term “cowboy ethics” unless I had moved West. Sure, I believe and practice what it is about but I’d never attached such a term to it.

In fact, when I began this blog All Things Fulfilling, before I even knew what cowboy ethics were, I had decided I’d use all the principles associated with the term as I went about my mission of inspiring, informing and educating people about independent publishing. The fact that I found personal fulfillment in my writing was a bonus and a God-send.

In an interview on Living a Richer Life talk radio some months ago, the host, Earl Cobb,  mentioned that many people say they are going to write a book but never accomplish their mission. “How is it that you were successful?” he asked.  When I set out to prove to myself that I could publish a book independently as an inexperienced writer, I took to heart the inspirational words I’d heard someone say “I wanted it more than I was afraid of it.” I also changed my vocabulary from I was going to try to write a book to AM writing and publishing a book. I eliminated the word try out of my vocabulary completely. What a difference it made in the outcome and I even became an award-winning author, to boot!

If you want to accomplish your goals and if you can’t eliminate the word try completely, this video featuring Jim Owen of Cowboy Ethics points out another way of looking at the word TRY. You will find it interesting!

Last week in the blog post A Shepard’s Tea, I mentioned having a celebration after the New Year. Perhaps a Hoe Down might be more appropriate since I found fulfillment using Cowboy Ethics in Colorado. Want to learn more about the principles behind the term Cowboy Ethics, visit this website. 

cowboy ethics

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information about her publications Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

Cornerstones of Community

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“The spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few!” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

It was a fabulous 4th!  Ski Town USA was abuzz with activity that well-demonstrated the great hometown spirit this community is noted for.

Independence Day would not be a day to celebrate if it wasn’t for the cornerstone principles that our forefathers laid before us. They fought hard, literally and figuratively, to build a society which includes more than just the freedom of the press.

Over the weekend I indulged myself with a gala complete with cupcakes to commemorate independent publishing since it’s been at the heart and soul of my interests.

Terrys photo 4th

And of course, helping with the Strawberry Sundae fundraiser at the United Methodist Church has become something I look forward to each year. We ladies sliced and diced a heap of strawberries for the throngs of people looking for their next Independence Day treat after the parade.

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lots of berries

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pray for our leaders

The Tread of Pioneers Museum, right next door to the church, offered hotdogs and Routt Beer floats a plenty. On the 4th of July there is always free admission to the treasure trove that helps tourists and townies alike understand what life was like when the trailblazers arrived in this ranching community.

Now Steamboat Springs is also known for it’s tourism and broad variety of recreational opportunities. It’s home to Olympic athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, philathropists and others who love the Western and very friendly lifestyle.

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow when leaps of Faith will be the topic. I look forward to sharing my independent thoughts with you!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Roots and Characters

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I believe that the memoir is the novel of the 21st century; it’s an amazing form that we haven’t even begun to tap…we’re just getting started figuring out what the rules are.”  ~ Susan Cheever

Have you ever considered how our lives are made up of stories? Everyone has stories to tell and some people are natural storytellers. However, sometimes getting stories down on paper is not as easy as telling them orally.

Think about family stories for a minute. Unless these rich narratives are written down and published, future generations will never know them. The characters who sprouted from the family tree will be lost.
Not to be overly-dramatic, the truth is that unless we share family stories through the form of memoir writing, in a few generations down the road we risk becoming like be a nation of adoptees who don’t know who their parents or grandparents were.

The good news is, we are living in an age where ordinary people can write and publish their stories independently. You don’t have to have a big family name behind you or sensational story to tell in order to become published. Resources are freely available for ordinary people.

Publishing a story for personal fulfillment is reward enough. But future generations will greatly appreciate knowing something about their family narrative because so many tales just get lost.

family link to the past and bridge to future

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Author of an award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

The Wild West of Publishing

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Wild West of Publishing

 

Have you signed up? In case you hadn’t heard the Wild West of Publishing is coming to Steamboat Springs, Colorado on Saturday, May 23rd from 9am to 1pm.

A whole morning of information aimed at authors needs for knowledge so they don’t get shot in the process of publishing. Thanks to sponsorship of the Steamboat ArtsCouncil www.steamboatarts.org, this educational presentation from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association is very affordable – $15 per registrant.

An overview of the May 23rd program:

Traditional vs Independent publishing – Dr. Patricia Ross, Publisher Hugo House Publisher and Patty Moosebrugger of Blue Ink Review

Editing and Design Production: Nick Zelinger, NZ Graphics and Melanie Mulhall, Dragonheart Writing and Editing

The Publishing Process – Joe and Jan McDaniel of BookCrafters, Mike Daniels, The Publishers Coach and Patricia Ross

Marketing – Sue Leonard, Kathy Mason, Mason Works Press and Mary Walewski, Buy the Book Marketing.

You may register on-line  or sign up the morning of the program or call 970-879-9008.

See you in Steamboat!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, an award-winning author of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

 

Time with the Seniors

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“Language allows us to reach out to people…, it’s the greatest legacy you could ever leave your children or your loved ones: The history of how you felt.”
~ Simon Van Booy

On Monday, June 1st, I look forward to speaking with the Routt County Senior Citizens. Since AARP has determined that at age 50 we are “senior citizens,” we could have a wide range of ages in the group. Many would argue that age 50 is too young to be tagged as “retired.” People go on to live vibrant lives for many more decades beyond that landmark.

There can be gifts in early retirement and even forced retirement, as it provides plenty of opportunity for new beginnings and starting new life chapters. Having the gift of time and thanks to the independent publishing industry an increased number of “seniors or retirees” are taking the opportunity to share their careers, life journeys and life experiences through writing.

senior writing

On June 1st, I look forward to sharing an overview of my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, an anthology of short stories, with the Routt County Seniors. We will also be discussing the value of memoir writing  and how to get started writing.

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This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

Time with the Girl Scouts

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Children are our most valuable resource ~ Herbert Hoover

It’s been said that spending time with children heals the soul. Yes, indeed, it does. Friday was a splendid afternoon spent sharing “One Day in the Life of a Writer” with  Junior Girl Scout Troop #12622, ages nine and ten.

Writing desk in GS meeting room

Photo: My writers desk in the Girl Scout meeting room

I asked each of the girls to bring a question that they’ve always wanted to ask a writer but have never had the opportunity.  I gave them my Girl Scout promise that I would do my best to serve them further by sharing their questions and my answers today on All Things Fulfilling:

Is that you in the photo on the book? ~ Alison

Yes, it is me, thirty-five years ago on the day I got married.

Do you write on weekends? ~Ella

Sometimes I get brainstorms and write a whole bunch in one day so I won’t have to write on weekends. And I try not to write on weekends to take a break. But, sometimes I get ideas and can’t help myself.

Are you writing a new book right now? ~ Margaux

Yes, actually I am working on two. I have the goal of publishing one in time for Valentines Day 2016. It is fiction, an imaginary story. The other is about independent publishing. That will take more time because I want to share the knowledge a little differently, and I am trying to decide how that might be. I have some ideas…

What are the names of the books? ~Molly

I only have working titles for them at this time, but nothing final.

When were you born? ~ Caroline

1953, I am not quite 62. (Another little girl piped up and graciously said – “Oh! Then you’re not old at all!” To which I smiled and replied “Thank you for saying that!”)

What kind of fiction book are you writing? ~ Jade

One of the awards I won for Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was in the Young Adult category – for ages 12 and up. I like writing for young girls, so this is the genre I’ve decided to write this next book for also. My first book was a memoir. A real life story. This new publication I am working on is not based on real characters but it is based on things that girls sometimes face in life.

Do you think we could read your book even though we are not 12? ~ Caroline

That would be up to your parents. The dialect of the character of Fanny is written a little differently than the way some people talk but there is no bad language such as swear words in it or anything else a nine or ten year old should not read. Since I just read you a chapter and you heard how the star character Fanny talked, you probably wouldn’t have trouble reading it.

What inspired you to be a writer? ~ Margaux

Back in 1998 I started working for an artist who has won every major art award in America. He independently published his own books and videos on painting. Back then very few people did that and I very inspired by it. When I started my own business, I started a blog called All Things Fulfilling and started writing daily. I realized how much I loved to write. I had a story I’ve wanted to tell all my life, and decided to write and publish independently. It’s won several awards.

Where can we buy your books? ~ Alison

On Amazon.com and it is available in paperback, e-book and audio book. By selling it over the internet, anyone from all over the world can purchase it. The real treasure is in the audio book because I narrated it and you can hear me speaking in Fanny’s voice. It won a 2nd place award in the audio book category.

Could you teach me  how to make those flowers? ~ Margaux

Absolutely! I would love to. But, I’ll have to come back and spend more time with you Girl Scouts.

Note: I read aloud the chapter from Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected called Paper Roses. I surprised each girl with one of my own paper flower creations that I learned to make when I was a Junior Girl Scout. After my presentation, the girls worked on a project that will give them a firm foundation to write on in coming days. You’ll learn more about Girl Scout Troop #12622’s  art project when you return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need for Mountains of Creativity

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Entrepreneurship, inspiration, and putting faith in one’s own creativity are all the things that excite me about the world of independent publishing. It is a field that has brought vast changes (with an eye on sustainability) by doing things differently than in the past.
brainstorming

Some time ago on All Things Fulfilling, I posted a blog about a TedX talk which I think bears repeating. I believe the speaker, Chuck Scranton, had some wonderful things to say about the future of education, how to engage students in classrooms and what today’s children need so that they are prepared with skills that go beyond what students of the past have been taught. It is all about encouraging creativity and active learning.

Parents and educators, this issue is very important. So please listen in to The Immovable Mountain. https://allthingsfulfilling.com/tag/that-immovable-mountain/.

Is there something more you can do to help support your child’s mind, interests and creativity? Our country’s future depends on new industry, creative thinkers and “pioneers” working in ways that are different than the same old-same old ways of doing things. The new generation will need to work in ways that will lead America forward to new eras of discovery.

Interested in reading about more ways you can foster your child’s creativity? Here is also a good article. http://bit.ly/10dKjtG.

Today and everyday is a great day for brainstorming! Don’t forget to write down your ideas!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1te9k2F

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

Creative Memory

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A memoir takes some particular threads, some incidents, some experience form a person’s life and gives an account of it. ~ Richard Hell

Yesterday’s blog was all about using images, songs, adages, movies to elicit memories of times gone-by to help write life stories.They  all serve as great writing prompts.

saddle shoe polish

When I saw the image of this widely-used household item from my childhood it triggered powerful memories. Below are the words that I associated with this picture. The words became basis for writing the preface to my memoir.

Once I recorded my thoughts it was easy to compose the preface to the book. Then my words became complete sentences and a little organizing to make sure the writing became a well- developed composition that conveyed what I wanted to share with my readers.

Here are the free association words that immediately came to mind when I saw the image:

 

  • First day of school
  • lunchbox
  • socks with wrinkles
  • foreign speaking doctor
  • bus stop
  • saddle shoes
  • odd odor
  • six years old
  • my mother
  • fear and anxiety

If you want to write your life story but are stumped and having a hard time getting started, dig out some old pictures from the past and see what happens. Here is a great article about the power of creative memory. http://huff.to/1pNAOvL

If you are interested in this thing called “independent publishing” there are many, many blog writings on All Things Fulfilling about the subject. Basically, I recorded my journey as I went through my own publishing process. On the right-hand side of this page, you can search by category – enter words such as independent publishing, writing, memoir, marketing independent publications, e-book publishing, writers, creativity.

That is all I’ve got for today! This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For -information on her  book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected which won 2 EVVY book awards, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1rOmKUp.

Fulfilling Results: Indie Publishing

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Thank you

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward, author of Mountains of Faith

Today I’d like to recognize some very key people and organizations who helped me with various parts of publishing my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Although I am well versed in most steps of independent publishing, there are parts of the writing and publishing process that I relied on having other professionals to steer and assist me. Their support services were invaluable in getting the project finished.

 

Thanks to the following:

  • Steamboat Writers Group for valuable critique and feedback.
  • Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) for education and support resources. Also for the friendships and business associates I have made through this outstanding organization.
  • We Write Steamboat members for their encouragement, support, feedback and most of all, friendships!
  • Pre-publication readers – you know who you are, thank you for your book testimonials!
  • Professional services in the Media Lab at Colorado Mountain College
  • Lindsey Royce at Colorado Mountain College for a great writing class to stir my creativity.
  • Jan McDaniel for final editing services. The final editing of dialogue was very tedious!
  • Joe McDaniel for photo restoration work
  • Joe & Jan McDaniel at bookcrafters.net for publishing my book affordably, in a timely manner and for  following  my unique publishing requests. You were delightful to work with.
  • Patti Asbury for helping me to grow professionally through public speaking
  • Karen McLane and Postnet for graphic design and printing services
  • Sound technician Brian Dow for help with audio book production
  • Terry Leonard – photography and assistance with marketing materials and book events.
  • Audio book producer –   http://www.marcrleonard.com  (aka “The Technical Dude”)
  • Technology and website support – Marc R Leonard
  • Terry Leonard and Marc R Leonard for cheering, emotional support and encouragement.
  • JDB Technology – help with computer “issues”
  • Gail Nelson – e-book designer and e-book formatting services
  • United Methodist Church for spiritual guidance and support. The United Methodist Women for hosting my wonderful book launch “party.”
  • To ALL fellow authors who networked, shared their experiences and advice.
  • All book buyers!

If there is anyone I have inadvertently left out, I apologize. Trying to remember everyone is difficult. My path has crossed with so many people throughout this four year  journey of independently publishing Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Thanks to everyone who gave me an encouraging word!

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1t7f6Ec