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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George Washington Carver 2

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.

 

Windows into Our Heritage

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Don’t stumble upon your heritage. It’s there, just waiting to be discovered and explored. ~ Robbie Robertson

What a treasure the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC is. In my estimation, the building itself tells a story just as important as the paintings contained within. The Greek revival architecture is gorgeous. Walt Whitman once said “it is the noblest of Washington buildings.”  The gallery took thirty-two years to build and was one of the first public buildings in D.C. to be constructed. Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural ball was held in it in 1865.

Come along with me on a short tour. Picture taking is allowed in many parts of the building, so I captured some images with my camera for my blog readers who live too far from Washington, DC to visit this and other great American landmarks.

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Magnificent isn’t it? The three pictures above are the Kogod Courtyard -a light-filled enclosed public space within the National Portrait Gallery.

In the very near future, Experience America, an exhibit which is part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, will be featured on All Things Fulfilling. A trip to our nation’s Capital is always exciting because there are so many discoveries to be made. Entering into all the museums and playing tourist in Washington, DC is like opening box after box filled with our country’s heritage. Every time I visit I discover more to explore next time.

Tomorrow, more pictures from my book signing in Towson, Maryland. This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link http://bitly.com/1rA6fdV.

Memoirs: Annals of History

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“Memoirs are the backstairs of history.” ~ George Meredith

Last weekend I had lunch with my sister and her husband at the National Gallery of Art Pavilion Café. It was a gorgeous day – sunny and warm. We sat on the patio so we could take in the sculpture garden which surrounded the greenhouse-like structure that held the café.

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From where we sat, the National Archives Museum was also visible. http://www.archives.gov/museum/

Below is a photo of it in the distance.

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Below: One of the bigger-than-life sculptures on the grounds of the Café took me back to my childhood. How long has it been since you have seen one of these? Do you know what it is?

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All sorts of nostalgic thoughts of vintage school supplies were set off by seeing this unexpected sculpture. If you are a baby boomer, you will also remember having to buy these items at the start of the school year:

lepages glue

 

white school paste

pencil box

vintage fountain pen

 

vintage pencil sharpener

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. We will be visiting the National Portrait Gallery tomorrow. That’s all for now from our nation’s  beautiful Capitol City -Washington, D.C.  Note the work they are doing on the Capitol dome to insure that it will be standing for many more generations!

IMG_20141005_120141_861My award-winning memoir is not in the National Archive Gallery but it is registered with the Library of Congress 2014933053.

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her memoir Gift of  a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected please visit this link http://amzn.to/1vQ6Lob.

 

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!