Youth and Philanthrophy

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Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.Barbara Bush

How do you teach young children to value what is inside of them selves rather than material objects?

colors of cakeSome parents are teaching their children the importance of giving to others by throwing “no gift birthday parties.” There is still cake and ice cream, balloons, games and other makings for a day of celebration, but the guests are asked to bring a donation, rather than a toy.

The birthday boy or girl gets to decide where the donations are sent. It is important that the child is in on the decision-making process so they understand where the money is going. The cause should be something the child is excited about, so they feel fulfillment in the giving.

How do you explain “no gift birthdays” to your children without them being resentful? Sometimes it is not very hard, children sometimes “get it” if they can relate to the cause.  Make a Wish Foundation is just one suggestion to partner with. There are many other worthy foundations also. http://wish.org/ways-to-help.

What are your thoughts? Do you think “no gift birthdays” would help instill values in your children – a sense of what really matters?

This Thoughtful Thursday’s blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you on Friday on All Things Fulfilling.

 

Journey toward Enlightenment

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Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Okay…it’s 4:30 in the morning and any minute we’re off to the airport…Burlington VT to Newark, NJ then 14 hrs to Bejing, from there to Mongolia and the Gobi–the first leg of the journey has begun!” ~writes Clemma Dawsen from Sandgate, Vermont.

I doubt my friend Clemma has taken her feline. She’d be more likely to transport her horse. She’s an equestrian, and finds the same kind of fulfillment in owning an equine as the Dali Lama does in having a cat. If you missed the story about His Holiness and his feline, scroll down to yesterday’s blog.

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Clemma is part of a group that is traveling from Vermont to Tibet to learn more about personal fulfillment. This group is made up of artists of all types. She will be journaling as she travels, she is the poet/writer of the group.

I am so proud of Clemma. She is deserving of this assignment. I met her when I worked as education coordinator at the VermontStateCraftCenter “Frog Hollow.” She is one of those kinds of people you feel as if you have known forever – warm, loving and friendly. We “clicked” immediately. Although we only worked together for a relatively short time, she has never left my heart. When we met, we had a lot in common – both of us had sons, who were only children. They attended the same high school and both boys have artistic spirits. We’d share notes on teen rearing a lot.

I encourage you to follow Clemma and her fellow adventurers on the blog Triptych Journey: The Alchemy of Stories, Art and Travel. http://triptychjourney.org/  .

The group is also comprised of a project advisor (a Buddist who has more than two dozen books on spirituality to his credit), a documentary cinematographer, a photographer, and a choreographer. Their mission “is to tell compelling world stories that speak to all of us. Using multimedia arts and expression, Triptych Journey connects audiences to vulnerable people, cultures and ecology, instilling values of conservation and preservation in a rapidly changing world.”

Happy Travels to All! I can’t wait to be enlightened about what is learned from this experience that will take  these artists to far off reaches of the world.

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Writing for the Young Adult Market

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Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. ~ Elmer G Letterman

Dom testaYesterday I left you hanging. I mentioned radio personality Dom Testa and his work with the Rocky Mountain PBS StoryMakers contest, but I didn’t say much about who he is as a writer.

Dom Testa has found success in reaching the hearts and minds of teenagers through his Galahad Series. Young adults are known to be reluctant readers and it’s no secret teens tend to be fickle, so it takes smarts as a writer to hold the attention of this age group and provide them with fulfilling reading.

Comets CurseTesta won international acclaim as an author when The Comet’s Curse, the first in the Galahad series, won the grand prize from Writer’s Digest Magazine and an EVVY award for the best Young Adult book. His readers wanted more, so books two and three, The Web of Titan and The Cassini Code followed. In a capsule, the story is about a group of teens who must leave home in order to save the planet. As within nearly every crowd, the characters include an athlete, a nosy meddler and the lovesick yearning for attention. To learn more about the characters in the story, please watch this You Tube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzJaL9Hi-HY.

The Mindbender books, also published by Testa help support the organization he founded The Big Brain Club. In an all new series, Cooper James Mysteries, Testa’s talents have been tested as a sleuth writer. You can follow his latest series on Facebook.

This author/public figure visits classrooms to talk about teen issues, education and attitudes and he also is a popular keynote speaker in corporate settings. For more information on all of Dom Testa’s publications or to book him as a speaker, please visit www.domtesta.com.

Please return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

An Age Old Question

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If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. ~Rachel Carson

Before I start today’s blog, I have a special birthday to acknowledge – my husband’s.  My partner in life helped create the artist featured in yesterdays blog. As a role model and teacher to our son, he could not have been a more involved father. But then, he was experienced because he has mentored many stellar students. Happy Birthday, Coach!

Across the ages, and across the lands, children have wondered the same things “Who created the universe – the sky, the planets, the stars, human beings?”

playdough poemThe Playdough Poem, by author Sandra Edwards, published by Wine Press Kids, helps to fulfill children’s need to know the answer to these questions. Using a literary work of art along with modeling clay, children can use their tactile skills to make their unique creations that to lead to the children’s understanding of the Universe. This independently published book is used as an art resource and educational activity in Sunday schools, Vacation Bible Schools and with homeschooled Christian families.

This book is written in three languages (English, French and Spanish) all in one publication, to reach multi-cultural communities. As an adult resource, The Playdough Poem is presented at leadership conferences helping teens and older individuals understand one of life’s revelations about creation. Once we arrive at adulthood, it is up to us to create our own lives into something divinely beautiful.

The Playdough Poem is available through iTunes, in paperback, as an e-book and there is even a YouTube video http://bit.ly/16YueHz  which helps interested parties determine whether this book is suitable for sharing in certain environments. The book can be ordered from all over the world. For more information, please visit this website. http://bit.ly/1aiem5W.

molding lives

Please return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Good Foundations of Health Literacy

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It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~ Frederick Douglass 

nutrition-habitsEncouraging young students to learn more about healthy food choices is important to the Arthur W Perdue Foundation. A forty-thousand dollar grant towards health literacy has been awarded to the AtlanticGeneralHospital in Worcester County, Maryland. The AGH is creating after school programs to educate children about making better choices in their lives. http://bit.ly/18LrPSQ.

AGH will partner with the HerschelSHorowitzCenter for Health Literacy http://www.healthliteracy.umd.edu/   at the University of Maryland College Park to draft a set of health literacy standards for the K-8 public school curriculum. Health literacy is a relatively new term, and it is being integrated into core curriculum in schools in many states, such as Colorado.

Eat, Play, Learn Books, LLC of Steamboat Springs, Colorado http://eatplaylearnbooks.wordpress.com/  is pioneering the way in publishing e-books which incorporates the use of videos of “kids activities that use food as a learning tool.” Great resources for parents and educators.

Kudos to the Perdue Foundation and to Eat, Play, Learn Books, LLC for their commitment to educating children about the cornerstones of good health and the long term benefits of eating right!

Return tomorrow to www.AllThingsFulfilling, where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

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Postcards Facing Extinction?

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He who moves not forward, goes backward.” ~Johann Wolgang von Goethe

I tried, I really did, but there were no postcards to be had within a 20 mile radius. A few weeks ago I searched every convenience store, gas station and even inquired in local restaurants and marinas. Even on a remote island, where progress moves very slowly, postcards are like dinosaurs – they are non-existent. I had hoped to send some to my writer friends but, e-communication seems to have replaced most paper correspondence.

What with the price of gas, I couldn’t see traveling further than twenty miles just for a few postcards. So, for my author friends at the Steamboat Writers Group,http://steamboatwriters.com/ I’ll post my own image of my travels in this space and the message I would have written on a postcard if I’d had one.

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Visiting with writers groups in my travels – listening to works in progress. All things western traded for narratives about all things nautical. Fictional tales about authors bagging the big buck in the Rockies replaced with bragging about the big catch in the Atlantic. I still wait with baited breath for a true story. All things fulfilling and fun! See you soon.

The next greetings go out to my other pals at We Write Steamboat ,http://on.fb.me/1a8jQzO a networking group that I organized a few years ago. And also to the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. www.cipabooks.com.

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Hi Gang –

Wish you were here – great place for a meeting. Writing group conversations on East Coast are very familiar. Like the west, independent publishing, e-books, print-on-demand & how the industry has changed takes priority no matter where I travel. All things fulfilling and fun! Wish you were here.

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Honoring Nature and Roots in Photography

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Good art is art that allows you to enter it from a variety of angles and to emerge with a variety of views. ~ Mary Schmich

dorchester center for the arts_3 The exhibit, Creatures in Motion, is like looking out at the world through the eyes of a true nature lover. The photography of Linda Roy Walls is featured at the DorchesterCenter for the Arts during the month of June 2013. Images of living things (bovine, beast and avian) in their natural environment, is  the focus of the exhibit.

It is evident by the images Walls captures, the artist believes in “living in the moment.”  Scenes of  her environment, wildlife, and all other things that catches her eye, through the lens of the camera,  provides an even more extensive photographic collection on her website.

Walls has honored what is important to her in her life through the three photo books she has published. One book, “Ode to Ed” is dedicated to her father, a war veteran, who succumbed to leukemia due to Agent Orange poisoning after three tours of duty in Vietnam. Her other photo books “Riding Waves and Herding Cats” and “The Content Canines” call attention to more of what she has found fulfilling in living on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Her travels to Ireland will be the focus of an upcoming publication.

Linda Roy Walls is also a writer for the column “Ponderings” in the Dorchester Banner and a contributing writer for other regional newspapers and magazines. Ever the artist, she is also involved in a portrait study of humble Eastern shore waterman and other locals who add flavor to the region in which her roots have been planted.

IMAG0645Stop by the DorchesterCenter for the Arts to see the photography of Linda Roy Walls, it is a limited but delightful sampling of her photographs. To see more of her images,  read her artist bio and to learn more about her art, photography and writing, please visit her website http://www.lindaroywalls.com/.

We look forward to sharing more independent thoughts, words and views with you tomorrow on www.AllThingsFulfilling.com. This blog brought to you by www.cornerstonefulfillmentservice.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Energy of Artists and Athletes

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Paint interacts with humans, with the canvas, with the walls around the paint.~Brenda Johima

Words like perseverance, determination, action and commitment tell the story of the art that Kirk Nowlin creates. The traits depicted in the bold images are many of the same qualities that both an artist and athlete must have to reach success.

Kirk Nowlin1jpgThis month, at the DorchesterCenter for the Arts in Cambridge, Maryland, the work of artist Kirk Nowlin is featured. He works in a multitude of mediums, but his intense use of color and sports related subjects prevail throughout his work. His large scale paintings bring an appropriate energy to the athletes he portrays on canvas. Serena Williams, Lance Armstrong, Darryl Green and Michael Jordan are just a few of the sports figures  Kirk Nowlin has featured in his work.

NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, CEO Tom Giannopolis (CEO of an international IT company) are among his collectors who appreciate the qualities of talent, triumph and character that are shown in the strokes of the artist’s creations.

The exhibit of the artist, Kirk Nowlin, who was trained at the MarylandInstituteCollege, will run until Saturday, June 29th at the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge, Maryland. Stop by the 321 High Street location and be inspired by the energy of motion that Kirk Nowlin shares through his art.

kirk nowlin 2

Do return again tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. We will be highlighting the work of an artist who captures creatures in motion through her photography. This artist has published numerousbooks with her images. This blog brought to you by http://www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Cambridge, MD: Creating an Art Community

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 “Whenever we witness art in a building, we are award of an energy contained in it.” ~Arthur Erickson

Checking out the local art scene is something I find interesting to do when I am traveling. Last Friday, I stopped into the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge, Maryland.

Since my last visit about ten years ago, The Dorchester Center for the Arts http://bit.ly/12APkwy has relocated. Its art programs are growing, and they are fulfilling their mission of “creating community through the Arts.”  After a successful one million dollar capital campaign, the art center moved into a large old furniture store space, and they are renovating it, phase by phase, to accommodate for their plans for the future. Fully committed to providing a “vibrant performing and visual arts center,” the historic building is large enough to house a gift shop, exhibit space, several classrooms and administrative offices and more. There are plans to fill the substantial space on the second and third floors with a 250 person capacity reception area and 400 seat performance hall. The entire structure is dedicated to the arts in this town of 12,000 people.

The day I first stopped in, there was a knitting class and drawing class in progress. Each year visitors of all ages attend gallery shows, classes, workshops and special events at the DorchesterCenter for the Arts.  The staff member who greeted me and took me on a tour could not have been more hospitable.

Here are some pictures from my visit. Please return tomorrow so I can share with you information about this month’ s two featured artists  and their work.IMAG0647

Best of the Eastern Shore, Art Programs

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Drawing Class with Model in progress

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Gift shop with paintings, jewelry, pottery, prints, all kinds of artistic creations

including  books of regional interest  by local authors

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Below: My favorite thing in the gift shop – artistic pins by As Time Goes By. Baubles, creatively styled incorporating time and puzzles.

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Please return tomorrow to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com to learn something about the artists that were featured this month by the Dorchester Center for the Arts. This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected<a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=sue%20batton%20leonard&linkCode=ur2&rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3Asue%20batton%20leonard&sprefix=sue%20batt%2Cstripbooks%2C305&tag=allthinfulf-20&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&linkId=7UVM27KUVJZ3M67Z”>Click for info on the memoir</a><img src=”https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=allthinfulf-20&l=ur2&o=1&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />  and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

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