Dedication of a Student

Leave a comment

There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. Theres no such thing in life as in between. ~ Pat Riley 

Tanner Visnick

Several evenings last week my husband and I were occupied with “art events” and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On Tuesday, we attended the senior voice recital of  a student named Tanner Visnick. My husband knew  Tanner only through his athletic abilities, and was astounded by his musical talents.  Tanner is also a telemark skier who is good enough to compete with the Europeans at a high level, and he is only a high school senior.

The musical compositions he chose for the evening included classical (sung in his native language as well as German and Italian) and show tunes. A mix of the serious and entertaining, his diversity of interests in music was showcased. Ave Maria, Bella Notte and An die Musik were a few of the classical tunes that he handled with great finesse. Then onto some musical theatre tunes such as Mr Cellophane (from Chicago), On the Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady), Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (from Les Miserables), Ending with “Thankful,” which has been performed and recorded by Josh Groban on one of his many albums.

Tanner’s commitment and dedication to academics, sport and music has been admirable. Surprisingly, Tanner has his sites set on science as his major field of study next year. Thus, the “The Scientist” was included in the line up of compositions.

I hope when he goes on to college, he’s not finished with his telemark skiing and his music. He’s put too much work into it. But something tells me he will able to continue to handle almost anything that comes his way. He already at a young age, understands the commitment it takes to excel in any field.

Tanner Visnick.pjg

Photo compliments of Jeannie Visnick

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We will digging up more young artistic talent when I tell you about the second senior recital I attended last week that was held at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/1kd4g61, presented by the Houston Music Studiohttp://bit.ly/1tY5Yxo .

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

Ringing and Singing

2 Comments

Sing with passion. Work with laughter. Love with heart. ‘Cause that’s all that matter in the end.” ~ Kris Kristofferson

nostalgic carollersI stepped into a local shop a few days after Thanksgiving and holiday tunes rang out. It stirred up memories of my childhood going from house to house Christmas caroling. People rarely carol anymore. According to an article in Time Magazine, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, Bob Thompson says caroling has seen a decline since the 1960s. http://ti.me/1bEe9IG

Hearing Christmas songs in the stores always puts a bug in my ear that it is clearly time to get out the holiday CDs and enjoy them. I never tire of the same old tunes. I’m endlessly delighted by the melodies. The Yule season passes all too quickly, and then it is time to put the Christmas CDs away until next year.

Today I thought I’d see what’s being sold on the internet marketplace for new holiday releases.

Here are a few CD suggestions. I bet you can’t go wrong with selecting any one of them. Each one would make for a fulfilling holiday listening experience:

  • Wrapped in Red – Kelly Clarkson
  • A Mary Christmas – Mary J Blige
  • Christmas Voices  – Celtic Thunder
  • Sending you a Little Christmas – Johnny Mathis
  • Hope for All the World – Craig & Dean Phillips
  • Angels Sing: Christmas in Ireland      – Libera
  • Christmas in my Heart – Gretchen Wilson
  • Christmas Spirit – David Arkenstone

If you are at a loss for an affordable gift-giving idea, a Christmas music is always greatly appreciated and it will be enjoyed for many years. CD’s are great stocking stuffers, too!

It Came Upon Midnight Clear, that glorious song of old…..”

Film Friday: Grace Unplugged

1 Comment

 “In the rhythm of life, sometimes we find ourselves out of tune.” ~ Azgraybebly Josland

grace unpluggedLet’s start the morning with a little movie trivia on this Film Friday. Alabama is the setting for Grace Unplugged, a new movie that will be released in theatres on October 4, 2013. Parts of this movie depended on a lot of extras, however, the producers found that Saturday filming made it difficult to recruit the people needed. Why? People were unusually disinterested – it seemed they didn’t care about getting their “mugs” in the shooting of a movie for cinema. That’s because the movie was filmed during football season in a state where the sport is King.

So, what is Grace Unplugged all about? A young musician who has found her audience yet outside of her community of fans, she is undiscovered. In her desire to become a top recording star Grace rejects everything she has ever known and moves to Hollywood in search for stardom. Are there elements in her previous life that will help keep her grounded?

The name of the Director, Brad Silverman, may be familiar from his other movies “No Greater Love” and It Really Happened: The Flight of Apollo 11 (TV documentary short).

Put this film produced by Lionsgate on your list for fulfilling fall movie viewing.

Click here for info & ordering Grace Unplugged
Have a good weekend, everybody.

Return on Monday to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by author Sue Batton LeonardClick for info on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com . The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

Artistic Energy Abounds in Steamboat

3 Comments

Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. -Margaret B. Runbeck

The 5th annual All Arts Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado was this past weekend, and I was busy. On Friday afternoon I browsed booths filled with artisan wares of all kinds – jewelry, photography, sculpture, fiber arts, oil paintings, pottery and more. There was something of interest for everyone.

On Friday evening I ushered at Strings Music Festival, and I was so grateful I was able to see Love Letters. This play, by A.R. Gurney, earned finalist status for a Pulitzer Prize for drama. I adored it. It left me amazed at how two people reading a script could make an evening so engaging. Katherine Ross and Wilfred A Brimley showed their talents, as actors, by drawing me into the storyline immediately, from the first line to the last.

On Sunday morning at the UnitedMethodistChurch, an operatic singer was incorporated into the service. Although fabulous local musical talent is often showcased in our church, Elizabeth Gore-Stanley had come to town over the weekend as part of the Emerald City Opera. Her beautiful rendition of  “Blessings” aptly described the way I was feeling as I listened to her exquisite God-given voice, and thought about this place, Steamboat.

I wrapped up my weekend back at Strings Music Festival ushering.  Lyle Lovett and his big band gave a performance which did not disappoint. All talented musicians in their own right, with albums to their credit. A little bit country, a little bit Texas swing, some rhythm and blues made for a fulfilling evening. Arnold McCuller, Lovett’s sidekick (backup vocalist) was one smooth guy and you can listen to voice and song writing from his album Soon As I Get Paid on his website. http://bit.ly/13yUFog.

ArnoldMcCuller.pg

As we move into midweek, this town in the northwest corner of the Rocky Mountains will continue to stay busy with tourists. The nation’s top bikers will pedal their way through Steamboat Springs on August 21 and 22nd as part of the US Pro Biking Challenge “America’s Race.” which begins in Aspen, Colorado and ends in Denver. Breathtaking altitudes (over 12,000 ft), treacherous mountain passes and spectacular scenery will bring over one million visitors to the State to witness this competition.

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Clearing the Way

1 Comment

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Are you person who has always had an artistic calling, yet you have never pursued your passion in earnest? You are not alone. There are many people, for various reasons, who have had to travel down other career paths feeling they have not fulfilled their God-given talents.

Matt Tommey book1The book Unlocking the Heart of the Artist: Practical Guide to Fulfilling Your Creative Call as an Artist in the Kingdom speaks to this issue for the new generation of people who seek personal fulfillment as a priority in their lives. He invites others to live fully, doing what makes them happy, and to become “unstuck” by expressing themselves creatively.

The author, Matt Tommey, is a successful basket maker and art consultant from Asheville, North Carolina. His sensible messages to other artists, through his publications, helps clear the way of self-doubt by providing hope and insight to individuals who wish to thrive and become fulltime artists. His book Crafting your Brand: Simple Strategies for Cultivating a Successful Creative Career, is also a good resource for anyone who wants to pursue their calling.

A well-rounded artist, Matt Tommey,  makes a living in a combination of ways, also offering workshops on the craft of basketry. To learn more about his workshops,  how to order these publications and to see his website,  http://bit.ly/1bpQhI9 .

Do return tomorrow for Film Friday, we will be featuring a film that is soon to be released that plays well into our recent topics of writing on All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Bringing Fulfillment to Life

Leave a comment

The greatest discoveries have come from people who have looked at a standard situation and seen it differently.” ~ Ira Erwin

What does fulfillment mean to you? Which medium of art do you like to explore the most to find a satisfying experience? Do  you like discovering the works of new musicians, a debut author or watching a new film release?

People who love books, LOVE books! Some individuals can not get enough music in their lives, and for others – there is nothing more personally fulfilling than watching an inspiring film, whether it is on the big silver screen or not.

What is your choice of entertainment? Take our quick survey, and we will let you know the result at a later date.

Take time this summer to explore whatever it is that floats your boat in your life!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Bay to Ocean Writers Conference

Leave a comment

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. —Joseph Chilton Pearce

Winter is a good time to hold a Writers Conference. It’s the time of year when people spend more time indoors reading and writing! Mark your calendar! 

bto logo tiny

What: The 17th annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference

When: February 22, 2014

Where:KentHumanitiesBuilding, ChesapeakeCollege, Wye Mills, Maryland 

How do I know if this conference is for me?

The mission of the non-profit organization that sponsors this one day conference is “to inform, encourage and inspire writers of all levels from beginners to published authors.”

More details, please. To see the list of 2013 presenters and their offerings please visit the website for the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference.

Please visit this link. http://bit.ly/1ackcUn.

The line-up is jam-packed with fulfilling subjects for writers in every genre. Workshops range from the Craft of Writing, to Poetry, to Marketing and Using Social Media. You will have an opportunity for one on one manuscript review, there will be agents available. 

If independent publishing and e-book publishing (digital/electronic publishing) strikes your fancy, sign up now. There will be  independent publishing industry experts on hand to educate you on this growing trend of publishing, which now represents more than 50% of all publishing revenue.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to publish. We all have our own preferences and ways of doing things. In this day and age, publishing can be whatever your heart desires!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Family, Faith and Travel

2 Comments

Each day I am thankful for; nights turned into morning, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey

I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of fulfilling things since arriving on the East Coast. It all began with attending a social event of a book club group with women who reside in and around the historic area surrounding TaylorsIsland in Dorchester County, Maryland. The Grace Foundation is restoring churches and doing work on the island to preserve the history of the churches and schoolhouses. http://bit.ly/16Ezcex.

The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake, a book I recently read and adored, is on the reading booklist for the book club for this coming summer. Based on a small town sea-side community during World War 2, the post office was a hub of activity, and the spinster postmistress knows secrets which if told, will change the lives of some of the residents. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Then I traveled to the Boston area to attend the beautiful wedding of our niece on my husband’s side of the family. It was so wonderful to see the bride and her sister (our second Leonard niece), who are now both married adults.

We also spent a lovely evening in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and had dinner at Loretta’s. The harbor area in Newburyport has changed greatly since last time I visited many  years ago. Full of wonderful restaurants with varied cuisine, we also went art gallery hopping. As a Mother’s Day present, my husband bought me a New England artisan-crafted necklace from Annie’s of Newburyport. Then we finished the evening with dessert at a fantastic coffee shop complete with musical entertainment featuring a sole independent musician playing the guitar.

Join me tomorrow on my journey back to Vermont, my state of residence for more than thirty years. I was greeted by “Miss America” of the independent publishing industry! She’s quite a package! Well-built, for future developments.

Here are just a few pictures from my fulfilling travels:

IMAG0262

My favorite home away from home, my favorite writing place in the lighthouse

IMAG0273

Hope for a bountiful catch

IMAG0281

Rode my bike to the vineyards on the Island

too early in the season for fruit on the vine

IMAG0280

IMAG0299

John the Baptist Church, Peabody, MA for niece’s wedding

IMAG0308

Beautiful bride (above)

and her maid of honor – her sister

IMAG0303

IMAG0300

Stained Glass Window

loretta

Dinner in Newburyport, MA at Loretta

IMAG0291

Couldn’t resist this photo http://www.imarc.net/  for our son, Marc R Leonard.

He seems to be showing up everywhere!

IMAG0455

My Mother’s Day Present – New England Artisan Crafted

IMAG0275

Left my heart in Taylor’s Island, Maryland

will be back to get it before my trip to the East Coast is over!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business!

The Song of Hope

1 Comment

twitter-bird-winkingThe other day when I was participating in World Book Night, I read the full list of books that were being distributed as part the event. Most were previous years best sellers. Some I had read, but not too many. My nose is usually between the covers of one my clients independently published books, where there’s plenty of fulfilling reading. There are not enough hours in the day to hit all the NY Times best sellers.

Reading the list led me to wonder how many books do you have to sell to be considered a best selling author? Research tells me 5,000 copies or more.  Clearly, most authors write because they love the process of creating a satisfying story.

But, for every writer out there, there is an element of hope among us. Hope that our books will do much better than we ever anticipated. Some of us allow ourselves to dream beyond our wildest imaginations.

dickinson on hope

Don’t we all dream of better tomorrows? That’s what inspires writers to get up every morning.

I hope you’ll return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. A  LIVELY Friday is planned. We will be sharing independent thoughts, words and views that are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Celebrating the Publishing Process

1 Comment

Today, I awake with very mixed feelings. Thrilled that the beginning of May is soon to arrive, it means, for me, escape from still snowy Colorado. In about two weeks I’ll be on my way out of here for some business dealings. The change of scenery and new things to blog about, from another perspective, will be refreshing. I’ll find plenty of inspiration along the way. I look forward to also visiting art galleries, museums, independent bookstores and other things that bring me fulfillment.

Yet, there is regret and sadness that duty calls me away at this time of year. For the first time since I arrived in Colorado four years ago, I will miss the EVVY book award night. Authors from We Write Steamboat who have submitted to the contest are hoping to be award-winners! It has been such a pleasure to connect, network and share information about the industry with We Write Steamboat members and with other people who share connections with me through the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. CIPA is a very resourceful group of professionals  who support, educate and provide services to help authors who have chosen to publish their books in a non-traditional way – on The Fast Track! http://bit.ly/10cCp1Y.

It ‘s hard to describe the pleasure that comes with writing a book. The process is a quite a learning experience.  To become an award-winning author, with an award-winning book, is very satisfying and you can see the JOY on the authors faces as they claim their prizes. Today, I’d like to say “Good Luck to all independent publishers who have submitted to the various book contests this spring.”  Tis the Season and I hope it’s jolly! Even if you don’t come home with an award, look for the rewards that you found in the process.

Wishbone DogReturn tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.