America’s Oldest 4th of July Celebration

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He who loves not his country, can love nothing. ~ Lord Byron

Bristol, Rhode Island, the home of Roger Williams University http://rwu.edu/,  is a place that can claim the title of the city with The Oldest 4th of July Celebration. The town celebrates Independence Day in grand style and it is very special. This year, its residents will beat the drum to the 228th annual event. A patriotic parade, music concerts, an interfaith service, and a 4th of July Ball  are only a few things on the docket. The town will be decked out in its red, white and blue regalia – flags, banners, buntings and posters adorn the buildings. All things fulfilling about our country’s freedom and independence will be evident, including an abundance of food and drink that we have in America.

In the most recent issue of Yankee Magazine, an article about Bristol’s 4th of July celebration was featured. Pick up a copy of the magazine at your neighborhood newsstand. You can also read about the scheduled events on the official website, by following this link. http://www.july4thbristolri.com/.

Happy Independence Day, everybody and don’t miss the photographs below of Americana at its finest. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

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Defending a Story

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The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” ― Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

Today, on All Things Fulfilling, I’ll report my findings as a casual observer of a book club group from Dorchester County, Maryland.The New York the postmistressTimes bestselling book “The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake was discussed the day of the meeting.

In my experience, there are common things readers want to discuss about a book after reading it. The types of critique questions and discourse this East Coast book club had was not so different than any other groups I have witnessed. But, it was evident that each reader had a slightly different point of view about the story, which is why books are worth discussing. Here are some of  the ideas the members talked about:

Did the readers relate to the era of this story? Yes. Most in the book group lived through the times this story was set – World War II era.

Were the characters believable? The postmistress character, one reader said “was too ‘rigid’ to be realistic.” Others disagreed saying it was, “part of the  job.”

Did the author do a good job with character development? Some said yes. Others, no.

Was the storyline effective in evoking memories for the reader? In the case of this book, the answer was an overwhelming Yes!”

Did the readers like the ending? One “bookie” said admittedly, “it is the author’s prerogative to end the story however they see fit. But, she did not like it.”

Other points made in the discussion:
• More than one reader in the group said they “enjoyed her familiarity of the setting (small town Cape Cod),” but they were not fond of reading about war, they had already lived it vicariously through the stories of their fathers, brothers, friends and uncles.
• Another reader stated the meaning behind the narrative was much bigger than the immediate story. The book made a strong statement that “Life goes on despite war.” Note: I have found that universal lessons that go beyond the immediate story, are what makes for a very marketable book.
• One reader said “none of the stories within the book were finished.” Others defended the fact that the book left “things for the reader to figure out, in their own minds, and they like that in books.”
• The consensus seemed to be that a post office in a small town is still the center of community.

As I sat listening to the women’s discussion, I formed my own opinions about the ladies in the book group. Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow as I share my general observances of the “bookies.”

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The Viewpoint of a Famed Writer

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The past actually happened. History is what someone took the time to write down.” ~ A. Whitney Brown

The town that fooled the British” is a tagline that St Michaels Maryland http://bit.ly/140ExHA earned during the War of 1812. As I entered through the gates of the Inn at Perry Cabin and came upon the rose gardens with a fabulous garden conservatory, my exact thoughts were “I do, indeed, feel as if I am in England.”

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 Above: Garden Conservatory on Grounds of Inn at Perry Cabin http://bit.ly/17JGjCc

Below: Entrance to Inn at Perry Cabin

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St. Michaels, named after the patron saint of mariners, is filled with seafaring history. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a popular attraction for tourists, and locals alike, who want to learn about the legacy of the town and share its place in history with children.

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Above: Building at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum http://bit.ly/11bNJu2

Below: More sites on the grounds of the Museum

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A trading post for trappers and tobacco farmers back in the mid-sixteenth century, today St. Michaels offers great recreational opportunity on the waters of the Miles River and Broad Creek, just some of the fabled places on the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay that author James Michener wrote about.http://bit.ly/140G54n.

A well-preserved vintage port, my exploration of “St. Mike’s” was fun, educational and inspirational as I took in the museum, shops, art galleries and other sites in heart of Chesapeake Bay country. Join me as I share my journey from St. Michaels to nearby Tilghman’s Island through photographs.

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Above: Entrance to Marina at St Michaels

Below: How to Read the Weather from A Stone

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Below: The very charming “Parsonage Inn” (circa 1883) http://www.parsonage-inn.com/

Love the turret uniquely placed in the center, at the heart of the structure, rather than on the corner as so  many typically  are.

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Gallery Window

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Photo above: Loved the name of this boat “Once Upon a Time.”

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Bridge Restaurant at the Bridge onto Tilghman’s Island

To read more about the history of this region of Maryland, things to see and do, and to see more pictures, follow the links I have provided throughout this article. Thanks for visiting this site. Come back tomorrow!

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Songs, Taylor Made

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“Music is what feelings sound like.” ~ Bo Bennett 

taylor MMA official picI have found a new independent recording artist that I love. He has just released his first “ep” (extended play CD), Big Medicine. His voice and his lyrics are  beautifully matched. 

A little about the artist. Taylor Batton is a self-taught musician who writes his own tunes, plays the guitar and harmonica. He is a senior at MaineMaritimeAcademy in Castine, Maine. http://www.mainemaritime.edu/ Because he is a sailor, one might think he belts out rollicking seafaring tunes (perhaps with salty language) – far from it. His music is tender; musical narratives that seem to come from a deep spot in his soul. The timbre of his voice makes for easy listening. You’ll see what I mean when you hear my personal favorite songs on Taylor’s Big Medicine EP -The King and Queen,and Lies and Darkness, songs two and three. http://bit.ly/Uj5wx5.

Taylor has traveled many nautical miles over his short lifetime on wide open seas, experiencing the worst weather conditions imaginable as well as glorious days of ocean travel. The art of steering tugboats and other vessels, laden with heavy loads, safely to shore he has learned as a maritime student. He also understands how to crew on a team, all working together, to bring success.

When asked what sailing does for his songwriting, this is what Taylor  had to say  “You get a really strong sense of loneliness. At the same time, you feel a really strong and strange power. All of that kind of ties into how I go about writing the music. I just try and capture that feeling. ” Taylor racing

I look forward to hearing more independently produced music from this artist. Taylor Batton, may you always  weather the storms of life through your ability to communicate with music. Keep on riding the high and low tides with your face directed to the light.  Happy Valentines Day.

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.

Vision, Art, Science Leads to New Technologies

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“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” ~ Edwin H Land 

creativity-and-innovation-concept-related-words-in-tag-cloud-on-whiteThe rise of independently published books, film and music has made great strides, thanks to the development of technology. Tools of the trade that were only available to major publishing houses, movie studios and music/sound production companies, now can be mastered by anyone with the right education, artistic talent and a “head” for all things technology. 

Quality, desk top published books for print and electronic formats, visual effects in movies and synthetically produced audio sound, are all now made possible through computer technology. In the 2010 summer issue of Movie Maker Magazine, there is an article about the creation of stunning special effects for a multi-award winning movie, in a college dorm room, on a mediocre computer. http://bit.ly/VY8nbP

Steps to becoming a successful innovator of any kind, takes hard work, all-encompassing focus and drive, entrepreneurial spirit and gumption.  It is not for a person who is not highly self-motivated. 

But then, isn’t that how our forefathers made this country what it is today? Hard work, not handouts, ambition and vision drove pioneers in all kinds of industry – building railroads, the industrial revolution, mining, manufacturing, agriculture and much more.  

Children, through the use of technology, will become  innovators of the future. They’ll be the next generation to revolutionize library content, health care solutions, military capabilities and new creative ways of teaching.

Playaways are just one such example of  new technology that has been developed to distribute media. Does your library have the latest?  http://www.playaway.com/

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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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Begin Everyday with Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving Week to All! It has been a year since I have been with my family, so I ‘ll be taking a break from blogging and return to All Things Fulfilling on the Monday after Thanksgiving. I hope over the holiday you are with people who bring meaning and special times to your life.

Does this image conjure up some warm thoughts and feelings about your own heritage? Perhaps it may bring fulfilling memories of family members who led the way or of our country’s pilgrims and pioneers. Reflect and reminisce about some of the traditions that you still celebrate from Thanksgivings gone by. 

In the aftermath of the election season, also take a few minutes to say a prayer for the  military who have protected our freedoms. Although there are people who are unhappy about the election, we are so very fortunate to live in a nation where we can make a choice through our voting. The American story of freedom is like no other in any other nation. Count your blessings on this day, one by one. 

On  Thursday, remember the words of Walt Disney: “Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children are preserved or diminished by how fully we exchange ideas and feelings.”

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