Mystery of Inspiration

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All Things Fulfilling

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Mystery of Inspiration

©Sue Batton Leonard

Magical mistress, help me finish my book.

My pen is burning, yearning to see it complete. On Nook.

 Writing the spirit befriends, transcends. Like a jigsaw,

filled with turning points, wonder and awe.

I’ve got another idea in mind, a different kind,

equally as fulfilling and revealing.

I must keep writing. Give into this urge, purge.

Magical mistress, keep me creating, articulating,

help me turn my actions into satisfactions.

Forevermore, I’ll be faithful and grateful.

 The photo is from www.deviantart.com. Visit their website and check out their other fantastic images!

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

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Reflections on the Writing Process

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All Things Fulfilling

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien

This morning as I open this blank Word document, I think of the adage that “every person has a story to tell.” A white page gives us a space to create, a place to give birth to a beginning and an ending. Our imaginations can compose a fictional tale without a bit of truth or we can recount a factual story with unswerving loyalty or create a composite, with a bit of both.  Even with writing a narrative that is one hundred percent true, there is choice in the words we use and the voice we use to tell it. What an opportunity! That’s the beauty of writing.

If you are a person who has a story that needs to be told, I…

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Tracing a Story

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Genealogy, n. An account of one’s descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.~ Ambrose Bierce

Isn’t it interesting how others can motivate us? In yesterday’s blog I mentioned being inspired by members of our local genealogy group to begin tracing a story in my family history.

When I see the work of others, I get all fired up even when it comes to putting my energy into something I didn’t think I had much interest in. But I am beginning to get stoked up.

magnifying-glass-over-business-text-10920164One woman in our group has traced family members who came twenty-seven generations before her. She has located information about her Scottish ancestors born in the 800’s, mapping out her family tree with names, birth dates, places of death and towns of residence. A phenomenal amount of research!

Another member has compiled so much material it’s contained in a tome-sized binder. Very well organized! Now she is considering what to do with all the data, images and pedigree charts.

Others have traveled to their ancestors hometowns all over the world and taken gravestone rubbings, spoken with historians, museums and community town fathers who have helped them reveal some important facts and figures to complete their stories.

It’s sad to think how many important stories in history get lost because of people’s disinterest in keeping them alive through writing. No doubt it is easier just to live in the present.

If you have even the slightest interest in your family history, check out this website. You may come across something that could become your own version of a Gift of Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Architecture in “Breck”

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Color in certain places has the great value of  making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic.” ~ Antoni Gaudi

That having been said, I’d like to extend the tour today of BreckCreate, a mountain community in Colorado where the arts is alive. Such is life in many towns in this State where creativity is much appreciated.

In the center of historic downtown, the Blue River Restoration Project is very visible. It is right outside the door of the Breckenridge Welcome Center. This article describes the project. Here are a few pictures.

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At the River Walk Project – right outside the Breckenridge Visitors Center.

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You can get the picture from a few of the historical homes that are now retail establishments or restaurants what “Breck” is like. Fun to stroll the streets and take in the structures. Coming from a family of builders, that is what fulfills me when I visit a new place.

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architect4While I was on my day trip to Breckenridge I came across some surprise things that related to books and publishing. Come back tomorrow and I will tell you all about it.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, Sue Batton Leonard.

Flaws in Character and Writing

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Two weeks ago Charles Shields, author of 20 histories and biographies for young adults came to the Bud Werner Memorial Library to talk about his knowledge of Harper Lee and her two publications, To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman.

Shields publications Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee and I am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee reveal a multitude of little known facts about Lee’s childhood life prior to becoming an author.

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  • She left law school and moved to New York City to become an author. However, her dreams of becoming a full-time writer were delayed because she needed to find a way to pay her expenses, so she became an airline reservationist for a period of about eight or ten years.
  • A neighbor and playmate was Truman Capote, author of In Cold Blood
  • She and Capote hauled a 12 pound Underwood typewriter up to their tree house where they’d sit for hours and write and discuss ideas for stories.
  • Upon her fathers death, Harper Lee inherited her father’s watch, which she in turn gave to Gregory Peck who played her father (Atticus) in the 1962 movie To Kill A Mockingbird.

In his book talk, Shield’s certainly provided the audience with a wealth of information about the author and her two books. To sum it up, Shields says that “Mockingbird” asks the reader for compassion, while “Watchman” asks the reader for forgiveness. I agree with this statement. It helped me to  lay aside my own profound sadness for Scout when she finds out at the end of “Watchman” her father was not the man she thought he was.

During the Q & A session one of the audience members mentioned that she was bothered by the fact that “Watchman” was released in it the same form the original manuscript was written. I personally appreciated that the publication was released “unpolished.” I hope the lady in the audience can forgive and understand perhaps why “Watchman” was released without copy editing. I believe the “raw state” of the publication adds to the historical value to the writing from a Pulitzer-prize American author whose work has certainly held up to the test of time.

Tonight I look forward to the community discussion to wrap up the One Book Steamboat series, which has received attention from the National Library Association newsletter.

Thanks once again to Bud Werner Memorial Library for a fulfilling opportunity to learn all we can about one of America’s most beloved authors.

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Cultivating Interests

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The only real fire to cultivate is the fire inside of you. Nothing external will cultivate it.

Sitting and reading a book of history has never been my cup of tea. But visiting the space where history took place is a different story. It brings an historical era alive.

This summer I revisited a place that I never tire of -Ladew Gardens in “hunt country” of Monkton, Maryland. Home to the first American to create garden rooms, Henry S. Ladew,( 1887 – 1976) his creative garden spirit is still alive. To read more about the life of Henry S Ladew and his stunning gardens, see this publication.

Beautiful topiaries, strategically-placed antique garden hardscape,beautiful ponds and fountains make the place a real sanctuary for gardeners and non-gardeners alike who have a fine appreciation of beautiful spaces in nature. New to the property since my last visit is a butterfly pavilion which is manned by volunteers who explain the process from caterpillar to  chrysalis to hatching of butterflies and their purpose in nature. To read more about this natural phenomenon, visit this article.

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The Garden Cafe, Ladew’s residence, art studio and library are open to the public. The spaces are where educational, scientific and cultural pursuits flourish for the public benefit. On Sept 27th at 10pm CNN will feature a story about these historic gardens on Mike Rowe’s show called “Dirty Jobs.”IMG_20150908_114020_578

As a garden enthusiast, my visit to Ladew was as fulfilling as the first time I walked the 22 acres of grounds.

IMG_20150908_113427_260This blog is brought to you by the EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Sundown for Labor Day

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What a glorious summer it has been.  It is the time of the year when I feel as if I have returned to days of my youth. An outpouring of memories come with that.

Over Labor Day weekend and for a few days next week I’d like to encourage our readers to check out some of the posts in the archives. You can look them up by category or scroll through the site. Something will catch your interest. There are over 1700 writings on All Things Fulfilling that have drawn 100,000+ viewers to this website.

Each of the postings is about something that has inspired me as a writer or as a human being to follow my own kind of bliss.

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See you back here a little later in the week. I promise. Refreshed, rejuvenated and with a wealth of ideas that will come together between now and the New Year.

This blog is brought to you by award winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Her books include EVVY award -winner Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

World-Class Rural Virginia Artist

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The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. ~ Paul Strand

“Gee, I thought the place would be more ostentacious than this given the artists’ reputation,” I thought as we drove up and parked outside the gallery of internationally known sculpture artists William H Turner and his son David H Turner on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake in northern Virginia. However, inside the father and son’s work was exhibited in abundance. The 4,000 square feet of gallery space made for great browsing. I didn’t realize until later that a foundry, metal shops, a wood shop, wax shop, mold room and storage in nine separate buildings were also on site. The Turner’s have the assistance of 20 skilled artisans they supervise throughout the multi-step process.

Their limited edition sculpture includes more than 400 designs. Birds of prey, game birds, deer and other American wildlife and animals seen on safari are among them. Smaller pieces include rodents, frogs, turtles, fish and other marine life. More than 100 public installations of Turner Sculpture are located on some of the finest college campuses, in aquariums, nature conservancies, zoos, museums and botanic gardens throughout the country. The father and son have even presented a piece of their art to President George Bush, Sr. at The White House.

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As I perused the gallery, I got a very real sense of the importance of passing along the craft of sculpture making to younger generations of Turners as well as an appreciation for other mediums of art. One display space was dedicated to cast sculptures that grandchildren had created. A large number of canvases painted by various family members hang throughout the gallery space.

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Writing and independent publishing is just another aspect of William H Turner’s talents. His rural farm-boy voice is prevalent throughout his book Memoirs of a Farm Boy as well as in the Turner Sculpture “Tracks” newsletter. Stories such as Mrs. Chrysler and the Pickle Barrel, which is excerpted in one of the newsletters, is a charming recounting of his artist/client relationship with a wealthy woman and her appreciation of his work. His books also include East of the Chesapeake and Of An Evening.

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For a farm boy from Virginia, born in 1935, many roads have been traveled and explored to reach the notable status that the father and son enjoy together as world class sculpture artists.  William H. Turner’s life after college began as a dentist.

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It was a privilege to speak with  William H. Turner, Sr. in person and he told me that many of their sculptures are permanently exhibited at the Benson Sculpture Gardens in Loveland, Colorado.

And I was taken by great surprise when I saw the work of artist Wick Ahrens in the gallery. I was familiar with his whale sculptures, as he resided in Peru, Vermont for decades. Peru is the town right next to my thirty-year place of residence in Bondville.

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My favorite piece was from their childhood memories collection “A Boy on Stilts.” I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to  Turner Sculpture and was so very impressed with their craftsmanship and skilled artistry.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Check in on us on Monday on All Things Fulfilling!

Artistic Whimsy and Ingenuity

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What’s life without whimsy? ~ Dr Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory

I like the concept of taking old things that some people might consider to be passe´and bringing them back through the process of “upcycling.” The artistic ingenuity that goes into reusing and redesigning found old items into something unique strikes my interest. Not to even mention that fewer items are now being sent to landfills.

In my own home, I like the juxtaposition between old and new. Over the years I’ve incorporated some antiques into my home décor.  It allows for variety and one’s own personality and unique preferences to really shine through. Each person’s interpretation of what makes a home comfortable and attractive is different. And I find it fulfilling to see how people artistically embellish their living environments, rather than using “cookie cutter” interior decorating style.

A few artists at Art in the Park in Steamboat Springs exhibited “upcycled” work that I particularly enjoyed. Chelles Painted Décor by Michelle Welch was one artist whose work struck a chord within me for her book night lights and other home accessories which had colorful glass plates incorporated into their design.  Her booth space was particularly attractive and showcased her crafts well. There was a lot of thought put into her set-up. Here are a few images.Visit her Facebook page!

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Up-Cycled Antiques had a great assortment of wind chimes made with old kitchen utensils. Their whimsical approach to art made me smile. After all, life shouldn’t be taken too serious. It spoils all the fun! Here are a few images  I captured and you can visit their Facebook Page or their etsy.com site to see more of their creations.

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That’s all for today, folks. We will be here again tomorrow and I hope you’ll check in on us!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Film Friday: Katzenberg on Movies

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Some time ago on All Things Fulfilling, I wrote about the power of movies as art to heal. Today we will be focusing on changes in the filmmaking industry which may make movie going easier as our population ages.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Dreamworks Animation Chief gave a talk about a year ago at the Beverly Hills’ Milken Global Conference on the Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Corporate World panel. He spoke of his opinions of how the movie industry is going to change in coming years. With the ability of “the cloud” being able to hold a vast amount of content, the window for seeing movies at the theatre will become three weeks. The period of time when receipts are highest for even the biggest blockbuster.

At-the-Movies_Sanctuary-GraphicWhat does all this mean? If you wish to see movies in the big screen, don’t delay. Their runs in the theatre will be much shorter. After that if you want to see a movie, you can pay to watch it on your computer, i-phone or in your home theatre. Depending on the size platform you are using to view the movie, the prices will vary. The larger your screen the higher the price. Interesting concept, and these changes have already begun to take place. Read the full article, it is interesting.

That is the latest development in the world of film and e-commerce has it’s advantages for seniors. If it is not possible to go to the movies there are now a variety of ways of to watch the latest films in the comfort of a living room. That’s all for this Film Friday.

On Sunday I will be posting a story on All Things Fulfilling as a tribute to my dad in honor of Fathers Day. See you then!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.