Stirring Free Thinking

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According to Tom Kelley, “exercise creates a responsive, innovative culture.” I whole heartedly agree. Ideas that came to me while walking helped me to write a memoir. Whole pages of text were composed in my mind as I beat the pavement daily.  Independent publishing was the right avenue to persue if I wanted to share my ponderings about the past  creatively. I had no doubt.

Falkner on storyHere’s an article that recently appeared on MSN.com about Why Walking Helps Us Think. http://a.msn.com/0E/en-us/BB1tnsq.

Top thought leaders advocate for the value of holding business meetings while walking. Listen to this Ted Talk if you are interested in this concept. http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/29/walking-meetings-5-surprising-thinkers-who-swore-by-them/.

Some of the top employers in this country are also allowing their workers to take time out of their daily schedules to exercise. It helps to create a culture of healthy minds, bodies and spirit. Many of these top companies have on-site exercise facilities.

For those who are not able to exercise during business hours, or do not have the resources to join a health club or gym, the best form of exercise is walking – and it is free!

I contend that thirty days of steady walking will have you feeling better all round – in mind, body and spirit. Watch out, there may be some unexpected consequences. The story in you might just come out!

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Author of the EVVY award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For information about the memoir, browse this website and go to

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.
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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. http://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

Portraits of America

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“Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.”  –Thomas Jefferson: 1st Annual Message, 1801.

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In the National Portrait Gallery images of prominent people of widespread importance are featured throughout the museum.The portraits are stunning but,I was particularly drawn to an exhibit called Experience America. The paintings typify the U.S.A.  in earlier times and feature common folk both hard at work and play, building our country into what it is today.

Also portrayed in these images are good old-fashioned American values of family, faith and community. The paintings are representative of our nation’s population of people throughout history who have toiled to make us a country of free enterprise and industry.

 

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In the Experience America collection, a few of Edward Hopper’s paintings are included. He was both an oil painter and watercolorist (circa 1882 – 1967) whose urban and rural scenes are ”spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life.”

 IMG_20141005_133826_381Above: Edward Hopper painting

Below Edward Hopper’s “Cape Cod Morning”

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IMG_20141005_135508_101This plaque hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. To me it is a shining reminder to protect what we so dearly cherish about our country – freedom and independence!

That’s all today from All Things Fulfilling.  See you tomorrow!

This blog brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the independently published book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.

http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt

Home Grown Success

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Since new developments are products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.” ~ George Washington Carver

All the focus today will be on someone that I ran into two weeks ago in the halls of the National Portrait Gallery. I looked across the room at one of the paintings and thought “Who is that fella?” With my gardening interests, of course, I was drawn into this picture.

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It’s George Washington Carver! A person in history that I knew very little about. Over the past few days I’ve learned more about this man of great importance whose picture hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. As it turns out, there are many words of wisdom that this man born into slavery shared through the course of his lifetime – inspiring, indeed!

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untitledGeorge Washington Carver (1864- 1943) was a man of many interests – an American scientist, inventor, botanist and educator. He certainly had much worthwhile to say about creativity, innovation and success from his humble beginnings to his rise as a person of great national recognition, known as the “plant doctor.”

There are many books about the man whose fame grew throughout his lifetime from an orphan son of slaves to a world famous peanut farmer. George Washington Carver: An Innovative Life  by Elizabeth Macleod follows his contributions to our society through his breakthrough in agricultural research. His words of inspiration are many, and should not be forgotten.

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That’s all for today from award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. I’m happily living an innovative life in this new world of e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. For information on my EVVY award-winning memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” please visit this link http://amzn.to/1xTvPwQ. For a special treat, listen to the audio book because the “treasure is in the voice!”

It won a 2nd place award for audio books from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association! And it is a finalist in two categories in the 2014 Harvest Book Competition.http://bit.ly/1vbWwfb.

Art of the Past

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Every thought you produce, anything you say, anything you do, it bears your signature.” ~  Thich Nhat Hnah

There is a wonderful exhibit that I recently encountered when browsing the National Archives Museum website called Making the Mark: Stories through Signatures. The exhibition relates to Friday’s blog on All Things Fulfilling which was about how we come to know certain people through their recognizable handwriting.

It got me to thinking about computers, and digital publishing, and how my generation, the baby boomers, may be the last population of people who will come to know people by their handwriting. Handwritten notes are very nearly a thing of the past, as are letters posted through the Post Office. E-mail (electronic mail) has replaced good old fashioned correspondence written with pen and paper.

As I mentioned in the post called Handwritten Memories getting a  letter, note or card that is not computer generated has become something special!

If you are a visitor to Washington, DC don’t forget to stop in the National Archives Museum and see the exhibit that is all about notables from history who are known by their “John Hancocks.” http://www.archives.gov/museum/visit/gallery.html.

Thank goodness information about some of the most famous people from history and their signatures of all are saved in the National Archives because the art of the handwritten note is quickly disappearing and being replaced by digital signatures, even on legal documents.

DSCN2777Signing a book for Miz Miller’s daughter, Judy, a lifetime friend. We are at Ukazoo Books http://www.ukazoo.com.   Judy’s parent’s made an indeliable mark on my son’s life and his love for storytelling. http://marcrleonard.com. At Christmastime they gave Marc the most special books from the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester VT. http://www.Northshire.com . We have saved everyone of them so that he can read them to his children if he is blessed enough to have them!

Below: Miz Miller (left) and childhood neighbor Marge with my brother Scott

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

 

Handwritten Memories

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Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” ― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

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If you had given me a stack of 10,000 letters without any signatures, I could immediately tell you who this note was from with one blink of an eye. I’d know the handwriting from anywhere – it’s from my friend Chris. We’ve been best friends since 1st grade. We probably passed at least 400 notes back and forth to each other on little scraps of paper, in classrooms, throughout our years in elementary, middle school and high school together. I know her handwriting as intimately as I know my twin sisters’.

Last weekend, Chris, Jan and I had a wonderful reunion. She and her husband came to my book signing in Towson, Maryland. Ever since I left for college we have been geographically separated by 500 miles or more. Our visits have been sporadic and infrequent. My only excuse for not seeing her more is a very poor one. The busyness of life often got in our way. Does that ever happen to you, too?

When Chris saw me at the book event, we hugged each other so tightly! She handed me a card and said “read this later.” It was a three page letter of her memories of our fun times we spent together from age 7 to 18.

Chris’ memories are a gift to me because she remembered some things that I had forgotten. There is also some insight into what happened to my twin and me when we were dealing with separation anxiety issues due to my pioneering heart surgery.

When I read this note from Chris to my mother she immediately began reminiscing. Mom said “whether you know it or not, Sue, your sister was more of a “basket case” then you were and you were the one going through the hard stuff. With Jan, I had I much more to deal with.” My memories of that time in my life are included in my memoir so my mothers comments were not surprising.

DSCN2778Above:  Chris, Sue & Jan – friends since lst grade. Here we are now. In my memoir we are pictured as much younger women.

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Above: Joined with Linda, another childhood  friend. I think Linda was dreaming about our elementary school daze!

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This blog brought to you by the award-winning author of “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,” Sue Batton Leonard.

See you on Monday!

A Caring, Comedic Character

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Through humor you can soften some of the worst blows that life can deliver. And once you find the laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it. ~ Bill Cosby

“The treasure is in the voice,” the author says of her EVVY award-winning audio book version of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Some readers argue that “the real gold is in Fanny’s character.”  Either way, the Batton family benefited from the love and friendship of a woman who kept things in the right perspective. Fanny was a real winner!

Last weekend at a book signing in Towson, Maryland, award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard’s home town, something wonderful happened – a group of Fanny fans gathered round! Some knew Fanny in real life and others met her through reading the award-winning memoir.

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Fanny’s Fan Club

If you want to learn more about the “phenom Fanny,” Ukazoo has Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfillling Things in the Unexpected in stock! http://www.ukazoo.com. It is also available through other major on-line book sellers in audio book, paperback and e-book.

Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected has become a finalist in another book competition, in two categories – young adult and non-fiction. To read more about the 2014 Harvest Book Competition, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/ZWqMxV and to see the list of other finalists and the titles of their books, please visit this list. http://bit.ly/1vbWwfb.