Family, Faith and Travel

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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:

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

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Hope for a bountiful catch

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Rode my bike to the vineyards on the Island

too early in the season for fruit on the vine

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

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Beautiful bride (above)

and her maid of honor – her sister

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Stained Glass Window

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Dinner in Newburyport, MA at Loretta

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

He seems to be showing up everywhere!

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My Mother’s Day Present – New England Artisan Crafted

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Left my heart in Taylor’s Island, Maryland

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

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Engagement through Books and Writing

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There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.” ~G.K. Chesterton,What I Saw in America

book clubYesterday, I went to a book club on the East Coast, and had a fulfilling experience with a group full of strangers. It made me reflect on how, in recent years, building relationships with others, through books and writing, has become part of my life story.

Books.  They connect us to other people. Worldwide, it’s gotten easier for people to meet-up through web-based book clubs and writers groups to build relationships of common interests. I’ve have the opportunity to open doors and step inside the lives of all kinds of people that I ordinarily would never have had the chance to meet, if it hadn’t been for books.

The dialogue that an author creates in penning a book helps the reader to know the personalities of the people we meet between the covers. Whether a person is physically attractive or not, walks through life with an attitude or is kind to others is determined through the words a talented author uses to craft the story. How and where a person lives and what kinds of relationships they maintain, is revealed through a good narrative. Characters in a story can even help the reader  learn more about themselves.

When you come right down to it, the way our personal tales go is a reflection of the people who pass through our lives. Whether we allow them stay, can be a determining factor in whether a relationship is fulfilling or not. Like the characters in each book we read, even when we let go of certain people, we are never quite the same for having let them in.

Meeting new people in life and in books is all about coming away from the experience learning something we never knew before.

See you next time on  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click for Info & Ordering

Fulfilling an Interest

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Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it. ~ Unknown

As a representative of We Write Steamboat and a volunteer for World Book Night, I stopped by the Colorado State University Extension of Routt County http://bit.ly/16qQLxr  to give out The Language of Flowers: A Novel

to volunteers in the agriculture department.

I took time to explain to the recipients that the mission of the World Book Night is to spread a love of literacy and I also gave them a brief history of the organization.

book_day 003 (2)We purposely waited until May Day to give out a portion of the books from World Book Night to this group because a gathering of CSU Extension volunteers had just completed their Master Gardeners program, and were holding a breakfast burrito fundraiser.

book_day 002When given the book, gratefulness was the overriding sentiment for a publication that so well-suited the volunteers interests. A few people  I gave books to worked in another part of the office building, but were there to support the fundraiser and get breakfast. One person walked out with me as I left, and said “I have to get back to work, but I can’t wait to peak between the covers!” I had explained to her that there was a glossary at the back of the book that lists flowers and  the emotions that are associated with each. During the Victorian period, giving flowers communicated feelings in relationships, the art of choosing an “appropriate flower” was very important.

My hope, as a World Book Volunteer, is that The Language of Flowers will help the volunteers of CSU Agriculture Department learn a fascinating new aspect about plants they had known little about before.

Happy Reading CSU Volunteers! I hope the snow we received on May Day disappears quickly so you can get out in the gardens and enjoy planting your passion!

Return tomorrow to  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Celebrating the Publishing Process

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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.

Stories of Disappearing Acts

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“Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” ~ Unknown

Yesterday, as I walked, I began thinking about how there are things in life that we take for granted – like there will always be spring, puppy dogs, love, water coming from the Earth’s natural hot springs and rain coming from clouds in the sky. 

There are things that have always been part of our American heritage that are disappearing. We have always assumed there will be post offices to receive the mail, and a male and a female constitute a marriage. We can’t assume that anymore, it seems we are entering new horizons in every aspect of living. 

print media is dyingDisappearing traditions, mores, products, and professions need to be documented in books for the sake of future generations. An accounting of our country’s past history, stories about the family of man and how the world has evolved socially, economically, culturally, anthropologically are important  for studies and hypotheses about how human beings have survived throughout the ages and for future problem solving.

Take a look at fulfilling things that you thought would exist throughout your lifetime but have disappeared or are at the risk of becoming extinct in our society. Here is a list of twenty-five things to get you started. http://bit.ly/13GJ1Gx.  Help me add to this list. How has your world has changed since you arrived on this planet? Share them with our readers. 

At the bottom of this blog, click on comment, and digitally submit your observances. Your thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.

Visit us again tomorrow on 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.

The Color of Life

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To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist. ~Schumann

Have you ever noticed how some people like to look at things through rose colored glasses and others through dark shades?

Our perspectives on life are often a reflection of our experiences, or a response to our day to day existence. As we open ourselves up to new ways of being, we add color to our journeys and our attitudes.

I received some interesting feedback from the annual blog report of All Things Fulfilling the other day.  Glassworks Inspired by Nature was the second most popular blog I have ever written in 1,013 posts. If you missed it, here is a link. http://bit.ly/12WopI6.

Why was this blog so significant? I think there could be a number of reasons why people found that blog post fulfilling:

    • They liked reading about Louis Comfort Tiffany’s art
    • The book, Clara and Mr. Tiffany, was interesting to learn about Click here for info & ordering
  • People wanted to know something more about stained glass and it’s history. http://bit.ly/Wj0YlQ
  • The life of an artist who saw life through a full spectrum of colors and through the love of his craft , is inspiring.

You can look through a kaleidoscope of colors in your own life by exposing yourself to an interesting mix of people, food, culture, faith and art. Or you can also enter into places of worship to look at stained glass windows, which will show you a full spectrum of colors in a different, equally fulfilling way.

tiffany-windows_05These are my reflections for today. We all have our own independent thoughts, words and views on life. Thanks for visiting this site; I’m grateful for an audience.

Note: The image is a Tiffany Studios creation of beauty.

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Spreading the Joy in Indie Publishing

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Joy isn’t in things, money or positions. It is IN us. And we need to bring it with us and SHARE it!” ~ Unknown 

Day Two of 2013!  My resolution this year is to do something a little different each month, to promote our growing population of independent publishers here in Routt County, Colorado. 

snowboarding tricksWhy? Because I believe greatly in each one of our We Write Steamboat, independent publishers. They are a creative and well-educated group of people, male and female. Many of them are award-winning authors with award-winning books! Each of them is a healer of mind, body and spirit! They have career knowledge in all sorts of fields. Our members include teachers, physicians, life consultants,a chef, holistic health consultants, experts on our natural environment,  just to name a few. All with valuable experience in life to write about. Our group also includes young people and retirees who like to spin yarns just for the fun of it! (Of course, they don’t object to selling their books, also!) 

In my opinion, all writers are helpers and healers of mind, body and spirit! After all, we publish books to educate, inspire others, entertain,and inform readers. Could there be better reasons? I don’t think so. In fact, writing is as therapeutic for the author as well as the reader. It gives us a way to share our thoughts, emotions, experiences and our imaginations. http://bit.ly/ZSk0Yc.

A networking group of independent publishers, She Writes Steamboat, that I began almost two years ago, has grown, and as of January 1, 2013 we have changed our name to We Write Steamboat. From the very first meeting, we have had male writers attend, and we don’t want them to feel slighted! We’ve welcomed them and have been delighted to have them part of the group from our inception.

We, independent publishers here in Ski Town, USA and Routt County, Colorado, come together and meet monthly. In a nutshell, because producing independent books, films and music is a win-win for the artist creating the work as well as for the audience who so enjoys it! Our mission is to provide networking opportunity and to promote success of independent publishing. Our affiliation with the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipabooks.com , also fosters our growth as award-winning writers and publishers.  

If you wish to learn more about starting up an independent publishing networking group in your area, contact me through this blog.

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Art Rocks! Rock Art Books

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“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it”~Michelangelo 

Yes, Art Rocks! It adds personal fulfillment to my life. Visual arts, literary/language arts, performance arts…it’s all good! Art is part of our American culture and arts and crafts are unique from each country around the world.  

Since I have moved to the western part of the United States, I have visited places where rock art rules. Petro glyphs, geological digs, caves and cliff dwellings indicate human existence that goes way back in time – interesting stuff! Trying to decipher crude symbols for common words is fun and all part of examining our ancient culture. 

Do you have a rock hound, historian, paleontologist, geologist,a fan of Native American culture or artist in your life that really digs looking at and reading about rock art? There are a number of excellent books on the subject.
Click for info & ordering

During my Thanksgiving visit to Bandelier National Monument, I discovered a nice assortment in their gift shop.  If you ever want to see a great  historical site with authentic rock art, visit Bandeliers, a real national treasure in New Mexico. http://1.usa.gov/10XO7LB.

 

 

 

Many of  independently published books about rock art and native American culture can be ordered in time for the holidays through e-commerce (internet shopping).

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and author Sue Batton Leonard, author ofClick here for info & ordering.

Literary Project in Baltimore

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The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.” ~ Descartes 

Last week’s blog about author F. Scott Fitzgerald triggered one of my regular blog readers to e-mail me and ask whether “I was familiar with The Baltimore Literary Heritage Project?” I was not. It did stir my curiosity, however. 

There is a wealth of authors that have come from the Baltimore area, and an interesting project is being organized by the Baltimore Literacy Heritage Project. Imagine going on a self-guided tour to visit the homes and locations where some of the most significant novels in America’s history have been penned? 

The tour, guided by a CD, gives insight into the writer’s life, their genre of writing and their publications. Authors highlighted by this on-going literacy program may include: 

  • Upton Sinclair
  • F.Scott Fitzgerald
  • H.L. Mencken
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Edith Hamilton
  • Emily Post
  • Leon Uris
  • John Waters
  • Billie Holiday 

The University of Baltimore, School of Communications Design, is sponsoring this endeavor. The school, a part of the Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts, offers five unique interdisciplinary majors in writing.

To read more about this ambitious and educational project, and to learn about other writers who called Baltimore their home, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/SgsRid

Although many of these authors are long gone, they will never be forgotten, thanks to this very fulfilling literacy project.

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Headed Between the Covers

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“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ St. Augustine

 I am ready for a little traveling. Where am I headed? To Between the Covers Bookstore. http://bit.ly/NaKzRg. Where is that? In a “box canyon” in a place called Telluride, Colorado; where the mountains soar to altitudes of almost 13,000. According to Wikipedia, “a box canyon is a small ravine or canyon with steep walls on three sides, allowing access and egress only through the mouth of the canyon.” The bookstore co-owner is like me, a Baltimore transplant, who has ended up in the West. 

I suspect at certain times of the year, when large shipments of publications are delivered, Between the Covers Bookstore, feels as if it is a box canyon, until all the books are shelved. There is a certain book that I will be searching for at this bookstore that would come in handy on days when I struggle to put down my digital devices and stop working. This two minute video, shot last February, gives a quick glimpse into the book I am looking for.  http://vimeo.com/37703165.  

The video is courtesy of film editor, visual effects artist, independent filmmaker Marc R. Leonard. http://marcrleonard.com/editing.  Thank you, Marc, for a little insight into Telluride in the other season, winter.

Telluride is, from what I understand, a neat little “artistic town” and very scenic! It is home of the Telluride Film Festival.  http://www.telluridefilmfestival.org/

Our trip to Telluride will be timely. My husband and I will watch our son run in his first half-marathon, which goes over Imogene Pass – seventeen miles of climbing and running, traveling from 8,000 ft in altitude to 13,000. The boy has energy, I tell you! It’s time to play catch up and see what else he has been doing.

Come on back next week. On Film Friday, we will be featuring a new Disney movie that both adults and children, who enjoy Celtic legend, may enjoy seeing. Have a good weekend, everybody.

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