Exploring Tomes and Tombs

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energy-saving-lamp-shape-heart-8297227So my purpose for today’s blog is to remind to myself that “energy flows where attention goes,” an adage that I used to motivate myself when I was engrossed in writing my memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” Once again, I need reassurance from myself that time spent writing will be worth every minute in personal fulfillment payoff.

There is a person of interest in my family who I have begun researching. The information about my ancestor here-to-fore has been very sketchy and for me, of little interest. Thanks to help from a genealogy librarian, I now have more reason to turn my attentiveness to this person, a blood relative removed by a few generations.

I have been inspired by members of the genealogy club and the genealogy writers group at the Bud Werner Memorial Library to move forward with the knowledge. The tracing of the story will most likely require some intercontinental research. I’ve seen through other people’s genealogy projects how in this  day and age of digital technology, there are fewer obstacles to finding out information originating in other countries than there was decades ago.

If you are interested in genealogy, you might enjoy the PBS Show Finding Your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard scholar. The purpose of the show is  “to unearth the family histories of influential people helping shape our national identity.” See the website to confirm when it is broadcast in your area.

To sum things up,  I am pursuing an interest that begins with my family roots. The historical value in the family member should not be allowed to smolder and die. To me it’s important and hopefully to others it will also be interesting.

Ultimately I’d like to shed more light on the historical story through my writing if I can do it in a way that will not take the rest of my lifetime!

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.

 

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Home Grown Pleasures

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It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” – Lewis Grizzard

“Come, you’ve got to see this,” said my father before I’d even set my baggage down for my annual visit.”

What is it that’s so urgent? I thought. I ‘d expect an impatience in my mother but not my father. He is the more serene in personality of the two.

“You’ve got to see my heirloom tomatoes. Your brother Scott gave me jillions of seeds of all kinds.” My dad gave me a tour of his garden, with plants in all stages of development.


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Heart of the Stories

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“A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.”― Chuck Palahniuk

Do you miss those days when the words commitment, pride and work ethic really meant something? Are you tired of reading news stories that are sensational and shocking because healthy relationships are missing? The good news is stories about valuing oneself and others who are different than us do exist.

V5 Cover revised font 4 15 15

Lessons of Heart & Soul, is a collection of stories that go back to the days when things were much simpler and when kids learned and understood what decent values were all about. These ten short stories which were cut from the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected were previously unpublished. They are bound to put a smile on your face.

If you are looking for something to make you feel good and lift your spirits, both publications will remind you of a time when life was not so complex. You’ll love Fanny the central character in the story and her pearls of wisdom. You’ll want to learn even more about her in the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, if you haven’t already read it.

Where is the best treasure in the story? Check out the memorable voice in the audio book, narrated by the author. Prefer to read it on a different platform? Select the paperback or e-book.

Remembering Leaps of Faith

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If you have ever been successful at anything against all odds, you come to understand that sometimes risk is worth it.  There are valuable lessons to be learned when we let go and take a leap of faith. Without some element of believing in something greater than ourselves, it is hard to move forward. For instance –
I remember….

When I was in my late teens our family vacationed in the Thousand Island region of Canada on a lake called The Opinicon. On many of the islands that dotted the lake there were huge rocky cliffs, perhaps 20-30 feet high. We’d jump off the crags into the water. It was scary and exhilarating all at the same time.

I’d run up the edge of the cliff all filled with vim and vigor and then stop just before going over. Finally after a few failed attempts, I’d surrender and take the big leap. Why? Because in life there are few certainties and I knew my life had been saved by grace and providence before. And, I must be honest. I was not going to let myself be outdone by my siblings! I couldn’t let that happen since I appeared to be weakling among them.

This article outlines why having faith is important to our future.

leaps-of-faith-lead-to-wonderful-adventure

Deciding not to let being an inexperienced writer stop me from writing and publishing my memoir is just one leap of faith I’ve taken in my life. Others you can read about in my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

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.

Tred Carefully

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Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.”Veronica Roth

A few weeks ago  I did a presentation on memoir writing. On Thursday I look forward to a similar presentation when I’ll talking with a geneology group at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Throughout my various book tours and presentations, I’ve had numerous people say to me that if they wrote their life story it would be filled with people who have taken advantage of them or made their lives difficult for one reason or another. Thus,  I am very aware of the need to mention “that sadly not everyone’s life story is happy and some people write for cathartic reasons.”

words have power“Something to think about,” I say, “is to share your experiences in a way that helps other people.”

The typical response is “I hadn’t thought about that approach, I just was thinking of voicing my anger.”

If you have had an unpleasant childhood or difficult life experiences, memoir writing is a great way to rise above it. Your readers will be looking for something they can relate to and learn from. Give them your story of challenge to triumph. Everyone likes to hold onto stories of champions and hope.

Here is a good article about why it is beneficial to read memoirs. http://memorywritersnetwork.com/blog/eight-benefits-of-reading-memoirs/.

Things to keep in mind as you go forward with your memoir writing.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Click on the title for information on these publications:  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected or short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Rise and Meet the Moment

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Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take many small steps. – Helmut Schmidt

I’ve had memoir writing on my mind lately since I gave a presentation on the topic on Monday. When you think about it, our whole life is comprised of stories we tell.

The internet has changed the way we tell our stories. Words and images are now so easily shared through digital platforms, such as by publishing e-books. If you know how to use social media effectively, marketing e-books is made easy.  If properly “indexed,” finding your target market is no longer like taking a shot in the dark.

To further explore my path of thinking, the other day I was looking in our kitchen cabinets for something portable to put in my backpack to stuff my mouth with. I came across a box of Blueberry Crisp Clif ® Bars that I didn’t know we even had.

Hiking ArtistI noticed the verbiage on the packaging “No. 14 Adventure Challenge ‘Embrace the Uphill’ then followed the words “Share Your Adventure #MeettheMoment.”

The point is, we all have dreams, adventures and challenges in life and careers. If you are working on an  independent publishing project and don’t know how to use digital platforms effectively to draw people who are truly qualified leads, social media can be a big time waster.

There are companies who specialize in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. “Embrace the Uphill,” as Clif ® Bar suggests. Don’t shirk away from challenges. Get help if you need it in order to finish your writing and publishing project. There is no shame in that!

I can tell you as a published author that the feelings of accomplishment that come with having a published book far, far exceeds what having unfinished manuscript feels like. Every step, big and small, was well worth the effort in feelings of personal fulfillment.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.