We are very pleased to announce Sue Batton Leonard is a contributing author to this newly-released book. “Coming to a Place within My Heart” is the title of the chapter she contributed to this book which was published by the Historical Society of Harford County (Maryland). The story is about a beautiful, historic landmark in Bel Air, the Liriodendron Mansion, which she chose to write about because the history of the landmark has relevance to her award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.
Category Archives: short stories
Merrily I Roll AlongLeave a comment
Happy Friday! Today on All Things Fulfilling I’m keeping it brief ’cause I’m loosing sleep, ’cause I’m rolling, rolling, rolling on this river. Words just keep on burning and I want to keep on going.
If you are looking for some inspiration, there are at least 1800 other blog postings about all kinds of fulfilling things, including posts about writing and independent publishing you can read on this website! Check out the categories on the right-hand side of the page. We will see you right back here on Monday.
This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.
Valentines To HeavenLeave a comment
Valentines Day, 2016
This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.
Click here for information on her publications. This e-book can be delivered within a few minutes for the cost of less than a Valentine’s Day card. And you can learn more about the character that I sent this Valentines to Heaven to through the memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.
From my heart to yours, Happy Valentines Day from
Communications in a Different EraLeave a comment
The first thing you can do is be right with yourself. For me, that means spiritually and being right with God. ~ Condoleeza Rice
There is a store called A. Schwab Dry Goods Store in Memphis on Beale Street where history seems to have stayed still. It is filled with all kinds of merchandise from previous eras. Upstairs is a museum dedicated to old things such as old fashioned telephones, typewriters, 45 rpm records, roll top desks, vintage posters, evidence of the culture of the spiritual south, music history and more. A trip down the aisles of memory lane in Schawbs is fascinating but a bit sad because a little bit of evidence of racial segregration is upstairs among the artifacts.
I’m not so ancient that my life goes back to this kind of telephone, but I have lived through a variety of rotary dial and princess-style handsets, push button telephones, mobile phones and cell phone designs.
Do you remember picking up the phone and dialing 0 to ask a friendly operator about the weather forecast? And for many, many years to make an out-of-state call you dialed O and asked the operator to place it for you. Sometimes you were even on a first name basis with the operator in your area.
I recently browsed a website called ClickAmericana.com and came across a 1972 poster from AT & T. On the poster it advises parents to teach their children an important skill – how to dial 0 on the telephone because “they’ll always have a friend.”
It seems long gone are those days, but tomorrow’s story on All Things Fulfilling demonstrates there is still goodness in people and perhaps we judge too quickly. If we could listen with open hearts to neighbor and strangers alike, perhaps the divisions that have existed for generations would improve a little bit.
The truth of the matter is, America is not what it used to be, but there are lots of people who have old-fashioned caring values, you’ll see in tomorrow’s story.
This blog is brought to you by
award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.
Here is information on her publications:
Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and
short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.
A Special EveningLeave a comment
A woman …Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”
“How was it?” my husband asked as I walked in the door from being out for the evening.
“Lovely, simply, lovely. From the candlelit church, to the great food, to the stories read and carols we sang. It was well attended. About 50 other community ladies came to the event,” I replied. “I enjoyed all of it.”
The “Women of Christmas” was hosted last week by the United Methodist Women of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It was a very special evening. At the center of the event were readings from a book with the same name, staring characters Elizabeth, Anna and Mary. As stories were read I reflected upon the characteristics these three admirable women carried. I’ve seen many of these like qualities in my friends and acquaintances that I have encountered throughout in my life journey.
Elizabeth, Mary and Anna, all ladies of yore, were written about in the Bible. The author, Liz Curtis Higgs beautifully crafted stories that are relevant for women of today. Although I have heard the Christmas tale so many times over, I will now look at the story and the characters with an enlightened perspective.
As part of the evening I was so pleased to see a woman, Katherine, who is 90 years of age be recognized for her work within our church. She was given the gift of a pin with a little star sapphire, not nearly equal to her value to our community but still a beautiful gesture.
I’d like to thank the United Methodist Women for a wonderful evening. A lot of work went into the event.I am grateful I attended.
This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.
Dear Santa 2015Leave a comment
I hope you haven’t had your fill of yearly letters from me yet. This December I have an even larger request. Over the past few years you’ve marvelously delivered what I’ve asked for so I hope you can
pull things off for me once more.
Three or four years ago I requested that you provide me with memories of my childhood so I could pen a memoir. Things came through very clearly.
The next year I was lagging in the motivation to finish the publication. Miraculously, persistance and determination began to show up more frequently. Thus, I accomplished my goal. Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected came into the marketplace.
Last year, as you may remember, when I read my Dear Santa letter at the Steamboat Writers Group Xmas party I asked you for two gifts – to deliver some creative ideas on fresh ways to market my memoir and ideas for a new publication. Out of a small twinkle I once saw in your eye Santa, my e-book Lessons of Heart & Soul came into being.
I’m a little concerned that I am really overstepping my limits this year. I have a larger request than ever. Regretfully for you, but fortunately for me, my love of writing keeps leading me forward which requires asking for what could be harder to fill requests every year.
Santa, I am in dire need of a new computer. I mean, the one I’ve got I can tell is nearly worn out. I am grateful that it still is hanging in there. I can always go work in the library, if you can not fulfill my request. After all, it’s a beautiful environment – bright, cozy warm and the technology is all there. Problem is we are limited in the number of hours we can use their computers. There are lots of other people who need them. I understand. I’m not kidding, I really do. Sometimes I awake in the middle of the night…and you know what William Faulkner says about that – “if there’s story is in you, it’s got to come out.“
This year I’ve been asked to edit a publication and I need to contribute a chapter to the book also. I could work a little more efficiently if I had a new computer.
Lastly, Santa, I need a larger spark of interest in my ancestors because I have become involved in a genealogy writers group. Although I love to write about my memories, and I have a new found love of writing fiction, my most recent foray into a story can not come from just my own opinions. I’ll need some facts to better substantiate what I intend to write about. Can you help me out with that?
I’ve been a good girl. I always work hard at whatever I am doing. I’ve gotten my work ethics from my forebearers! I am not a slacker. I try to be kind and compassionate, like you. I help others to successfully accomplish their independent publishing goals by sharing my knowledge. It’s what I love to do!
Say, I have an idea! How about one year you and Mrs. Claus write love letters to one another about the spirit of Christmas. They will be in kept in the family archives for generations. All your little elves down the line will love it too. I’ll help you if I have the means to do so. That is… with my new computer… (Hint, hint!)
P.S. Please don’t forget to take some time out for yourself. It keeps you healthy and in the right spirit of Christmas. Love U! Sue
Elemental TruthsLeave a comment
When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story’s voice makes everything its own.” ~ Unknown
In the Oven, a chapter in the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is one family’s Christmas story. The anthology shares an elemental truth about many life lessons which are shared in a unique voice. Adults and children can enjoy the memoir together.
The real treasure lies in the audio book. For your reading pleasure, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is also available in paperback and e-book. Pictures in both of these formats greatly enhance the reading pleasure.
Here is what other readers say about Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.
I enjoyed Gift of a Lifetime so much I read it three times. What a character was Fanny. So much devotion to God and the family. ~ Leonie, from Brisbane, Australia
Such a heartwarming and inspiring story. The author did an amazing job and it was a very easy read! Once I started I did not want to put it down. I will definitely pass this one on to my friends and family. ~ Pam
Fanny and her winsome ways are a must read! Can’t wait to also listen to the audio version of this inspirational book. ~ Grace
I really loved this book because it is so well written. It is personalized story of how the “help” (Fanny) had such a positive influence on the young children in the Batton family. This is a story of love and wisdom sprinkled with humor to get through adversity. ~ Carol
This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. Do return to All Things Fulfilling.
The Gospel Truth About Sainty Claus1 Comment
“Christmas my child is love in action.” ~ Dale Evans
In the Batton household, we didn’t need an elf on the shelf to remind us that “you better watch out, you better not pout. Santa Claus is coming to town.”
I can still hear the kinds of things the prominent character in my life story said some fifty years ago. When my twin and I and our two brothers got unruly around the holidays, here’s the kind of verbal warning we’d get:
Ya’ll better behave yo’selves right now. Sainty and dem reindeers don’t gotta mess with chillins who ain’t behavin’ and not listenin’ to dare mamas! Sainty Claus, why, he’ll pass ya’ll on by and go on over to somebody else’s house and drop off presents. He ain’t gonna wanta interrupt no come to Jesus meetin’ we gonna have in dis house if ya’ll don’t stop dat bickerin’ and a fightin!
I guess I better get Mr. Battoney, yo’ daddy, up on da roof to clean out dat chimbley ‘case ya’ll decide to straighten out and Sainty decide ta make an appearance!
Oh how I loved that lady!! And the richness in the way of life lessons she brought to our family life. If you would like to learn more about the gospel truth, according to Fanny, who was a miracle worker of sorts, it’s all inside the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.
And that’s all I’ve got for you today on All Things Fulfilling. See you tomorrow!
The Season of AnticipationLeave a comment
As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is. ~Eric Sevareid
Did you open the first few doors on your Advent Calendar yet? We are three days into the countdown of when Christians worldwide will celebrate the birth of baby Jesus.
I am very excited because this year my husband and I will be joining our son to experience a different kind of Christmas – unlike any we have celebrated before. Here is a little of what I am anticipating.
As you prepare for the holidays, take time out to experience the magic of the season. It’s hard to do that when we are rushing from one activity to another. Have a fulfilling Christmas by spending less. Here is an excellent article if you are looking for a richer holiday season.
Sometime during the next few weeks before I take off to my Christmas destination, I have planned an evening of peace and calm. I will be bundling up and strolling through our snowy town one evening when all the stores have shut down. I want to take in the window dressing in the darkness of the evening. Perhaps I’ll stop in someplace for a hot toddy.
What do you plan to do this season that is a little different than what you’ve experienced previously?
For me, it’s going to be a long Advent season, waiting and anticipating a reunion with our son whom I have not seen in ten months. We will be sharing this season of joy with others whom I have yet to meet before!
This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.
Family of Composites1 Comment
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.
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.