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.

See you back here tomorrow!

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Family of Composites

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Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life! ~Albert Einstein

“She’s just like her father,” or “the apple didn’t fall far from that tree,” is often heard at every family reunion, celebration of birth or funeral.

I challenge you to find a family where all members are exactly alike. The family of man is made up of  individuals with unique characteristics  – physical, emotional and intellectual. A group of composites makes life interesting.

When our family gets together we are loud and possibly overbearing to outsiders. Having a healthy sense of humor is the best defense a newcomer can arrive with if they want to survive the experience.

Crazy woman wearing a metal colander for a helmet

I am grateful that my family and all those who came to it through marriage enjoy being with each other.  We try to avoid talking politics or dietary choices. We have “agreed to disagree” on those issues. Sometimes we successfully respect the unspoken ground rules and other times things get a little vocal. What do you expect from a bunch of fruits and nuts from the harvest of America’s people who all have their own opinions and were raised differently?

As you will learn from my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, we’ve had many crazy times around our family table whether it was a holiday or not. The audio book holds the real treasure and you can get a better picture of what I mean when you listen to the voices.

The recounting of those family stories (from the EVVY award-winning anthology) was before our clan expanded to include my husband and our offspring and my siblings spouses and their families. Since then, there have been more lessons of heart & soul that have been learned from extended family.

 

 

 

Growth of Self

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You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” ~ Alan Alda

Home Sweet Home! Where everything is familiar, safe, and there are few unknowns. I found out seven years ago that you can find fulfilling things when you leave your comfort zone and strike out on new adventures. I left my home state of more than 30 years and ventured into unknown territory, by moving to a place site unseen. It was a culture shock at first for an East Coast gal to move to remote ranching/ski community in northwestern Colorado. But I’ve grown to appreciate all that it’s brought to my life. It ended up being good for the mind, body and spirit and a time of enormous personal growth.

I jumped in wholeheartedly, and did something even more risky. I independently published a book, a memoir, about my remarkable young life.

My life is far from over, and there is more to discover about myself. I suspect it will come next time I step out of my comfort zone and into something else.

Speaking of comfort – did you know there is a place called Comfort, Texas? What I found interesting is there is little information about the place on their website. Perhaps that’s by design so visitors will come see the place for themselves.

What if you flyWhen was the last time you really stepped out of your safe environment? If nothing else you might learn you are stronger than you think!

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

Movies Adapted from Memoirs

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Movie-making is telling a story with the best technology at your disposal. ~ Tom Hanks

On this Film Friday, we will be looking at some of the best movies that have been adapted from memoirs.

According to an article written by Emily Temple on Flavorwire.com, it’s a delicate thing turning a memoir into a successful movie. Since film is another form of storytelling, you’d think it’d be easy but something is often lost in the translation when you move away from the first person prose of a narrative to a third person medium.

The following movies are some of the best memoir to movie adaptations. If you feel like watching a movie this weekend, perhaps watching a few of these films will give you a little insight into what a good memoir to movie adaptation looks like:

  • My Week with Marilyn
  • Motorcycle Diaries
  • The Pianist
  • Persepolis
  • The Diving Bell and Butterfly
  • October Sky
  • 127 Hours
  • An Education
  • The Boys Life
  • A Mighty Heart

To see a short summary of each of these movies, follow this link to Flavorwire.com.

outdoors movies

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday. Next week on All Things Fulfilling we will be celebrating life, independence and summer. Join us!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning memoirist, Sue Batton Leonard. Click here for information on her publications.

Windows into a Life

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“Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life” ~ William Zinsser

It was a good turnout on Monday when I spoke with the Routt County Council on Aging about memoir writing. We discussed how to begin writing, ways to stir the memory pot and shorter forms of beginning to create a picture of one’s life.

During the Q & A period, at the end of my presentation, there were a number of very thoughtful questions asked.

One woman wanted to know whether you can start your life story in the here and now and work backwards. “Yes”, I told her, “lots of people do that.” In order to handle it well, it helps to have good developmental editing and perhaps a more skilled author. Flashbacks and the use of various scenes are helpful in writing backwards. We also discussed the importance of selecting only those significant life vignettes that have contributed to forming you as the person you are, rather than including an entire lifetime from beginning to end.

Common-Threads-Logo-300x155 (1)The same woman then followed up with another thoughtful question inquiring whether individual stories can be used as a memoir. I suggested she stitch the stories together with a common thread. Then I went on to mention the common themes that run throughout my award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, a collection of short stories(anthology).

After the presentation was wrapped up a number of individuals mentioned they are currently working on or have dreams of writing children’s books or novels. Others wish to write their memoirs or tales about other family members. I hope they all actively pursue their writing interests because the good news is  

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. Have a great day everybody! This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected  or short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Where is this Place?

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All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that place.~ Philip Johnson

Identify both of these places and the city where they are located. Leave your answer by way of comment to this blog. First person to identify accurately these two houses of worship will win a free personalized paperback copy of the award-winning book, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Family members are excluded from entering!

Hints:

  • They are located in a state west of the Mississippi
  • Each place is distinctively different yet, they are located in the same community, a few blocks away on the same street, making them nearly neighbors!
  • I can hear your brain buzzing with activity trying to figure this out!
  • I visited both of these places last week and thoroughly learning more about each and enjoyed the photography opportunities.

Edifice #1 – I am so grateful for the kind stranger who directed my husband and me to the 10th floor of  a nearby building to capture this incredible shot!

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Edifice #2 (below) – As I entered into this building I couldn’t help but wonder how many people every hour, every day, every month or year pass by this structure having no clue of the magnificence that lies inside the doors. All it takes is one peek to grab one’s attention.

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Aren’t both visually and architecturally stunning? If you joined in on All Things Fulfilling last week, by reading the posting Finding a Good Fit and if you read my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected you’ll understand the reason why I enjoy seeing church buildings. It has to do with my family history!

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I will post a few more pictures of these two extraordinary places.

 

 

 

Re-Enactment of a Sacred Time

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All of spiritual practice is a matter of relationship: to ourselves, to others, to life’s situations. – Jack Kornfield

As you will come to understand when you read my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, our parents sometimes allowed my brothers, sister and me to do things unconventionally.

Mom recently found this memorabilia in her hope chest. She had forgotten she had tucked away these writings nearly fifty years ago when my sister and brothers and I were little children.

I will leave it up to the readers imaginations as to what my sister Jan, my brother Rick and a dear neighbor named Margy and I were planning. If you wish to fully understand what we were up to, there is a poignant chapter in my memoir that goes with this program. Even though I did not have these writings before I published my memoir they were not needed for my storytelling because I so vividly remember this day and others just like it. It would have been nice however, to have been able to include these writings in my publication.

My youngest brother Scott was not mentioned in this program. But as the years went on, we planned other similar events and Scott became an active participant.

church service we wrote for around the pool page1 - right position

 

church service we wrote for around pool page2 -right position

During this week of holy celebration of Easter, I thought it would be an appropriate time to  share this treasure from my mother’s hope chest. When I read this, it warms me to the depth of my inner being. It’s a reflection of many fulfilling times that I had as a child with my siblings.

So as not to give anything away to those who haven’t read my award-winning anthology of stories yet, try to imagine in your mind where this event may have taken place. Read the book and see if you were right.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, the author of the award-winning book (an anthology) Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.