A Secret Society of Influencers

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If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.” – Albert Einstein

As I strolled through the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History last week I read accounting after accounting of life in Los Alamos, New Mexico during the years when the pioneers researched and tested the origins of atomic theory. Exposure of the scientists to the general population was very limited, and they formed their own “secret society” of sorts.  Their early discoveries have opened the doors to modern day nuclear physics, medicine and quantum mechanics.  The work of Albert Einstein, Madame Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi and others have impacted our world immeasurably.

This point was driven home to me in a way that I could most relate to when I saw the pop-culture exhibit which displayed how many movies, television shows, books, childrens toys and games, and other products (even Atomic skis!) have been influenced. The captivating and educational collection of materials are nostalgic and historic. Seeing displays of science and art in one place made me realize the impact of nuclear science and medicine on our society during the formative years of my childhood. Post World War II men and women as well as  baby boomers especially will appreciate the exhibit. Here are a few images I captured of  my visit. I am sure you will recognize many of the titles and products.

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There was much more of interest to me in this museum than I would have ever fathomed. Here are some of the other exhibits. If you are near Albuquerque, NM do stop in to the National Museum of Atomic Science and History. The Bradbury Scientific Labratory in Los Alamos, NM the site where the first nuclear bomb testing took place is just an hour away also.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

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.

Keeping the Child Inside Me

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 “The soul is healed by being with children.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky 1821 – 1881

If you are a mom with an adult child you will understand what I am talking about. Frequently I see an image, a word, another child’s actions, a book or a song that reminds me of when my son was little. It fills me up! There is no telling what will set off my flashbacks, but I am grateful that the memories keep coming back.

fairy talesThe other day, I saw this image and thought of all the books my son and I read together during his growing up years. He devoured books of any kind as quickly as the food I put on his plate. To him, it was all good, every kind of food and all books. Greek mythology and Indian lore were some of his favorites.

“Read me a VERY tale tonight, Mom, please!” he used to say. That was an instance where I never bothered to correct him. A VERY tale, I thought worked quite well to describe what was inside the book cover of “a children’s story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.”

Just sayin’……..kids, “they be so very dear!”

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If you love kids and books, check out this TED talk about the entertaining world of books brought to you by Greystroke Creative.

http://www.greystrokecreative.com/greystroke-theatre.html.

This blog is brought you by Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, an anthology of stories, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt. Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is available in the award-winning audio book, paperback and e-book.

 

Grandmothers Apron

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Nature was in her beryl apron, mixing fresher air. ~ Emily Dickinson

apron grandma at the sinkAs a follow-up to the blogs posted earlier in the week,  it sure makes a difference when individuals  have the right teachers, mentors and family support in their lives.

Although Fanny, a character in my memoir,” takes the cake,” in my story, I am very grateful for all of my family. Strong relationships are of fundamental importance. Beautiful memories I have of when all three generations gathered around the dinner table at my grandparents house. Their dining room was small and barely held all of us. What mattered was the wonderful feelings that were felt as we held hands and said grace before dinner. The food was always bountiful and lovingly prepared by my grandmother, as it has always been at my mother’s house.

When I think of my grandmother I think of her  in the kitchen, dressed in her apron. Her sweet disposition was as large as the big apron she generously filled out. Back in her day, women wouldn’t have been caught casually dressed at any time of day or night. Even when her day was spent cooking, she was outfitted in a pretty “house dress,” as she called it, with stockings, shoes with heels (never flats – I don’t think she even owned a pair) and a coating of colorful lipstick which was freshly applied several times a day. She always looked so pretty.

Today I would like to share a link to a blog that has a wonderful poem all about aprons and the magnitude of their importance. http://www.withagratefulheart.com/2007/07/grandmas-apron.html. The poem reflects upon the purpose of aprons other than  utilitarian.

Last fall when I began volunteering in our church kitchen nearly every week serving community dinners, I began getting used  to wearing an apron. A borrowed one from the United Methodist Church Women. The other day I read that aprons are making a come back and there are companies who are updating the apron form with art and style! Here is a link to some cute ones from 4 Generations Studio. http://etsy.me/1mx5ryr. A good gift to put on a Christmas wish list.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of  Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Sue’s memoir

 

Happy National Read a Book Day

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“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul.” ~ Carlos Ruin Zafon

bookdayHappy National Read a Book Day! Reading is one of the best resources for personal growth and development. We can enhance our lives greatly by being open and considering ideas presented by others. One concept, one spark of an idea, from a book can change us for a lifetime for the better. Today, on All Things Fulfilling, I am going to leave you with a list of the top 10 spiritual growth books that have been published over the past fifty years. You will notice that the Bible is not on this list. Perhaps that is because in modern times, the definition of religion and spirituality are two different things.http://bit.ly/19oUydj How many of these publications grace your bookshelves?

There is a book that I recently encountered that contains some synchronistic element from each of the books on this list. The writing is so straight-forward that is it easy to grasp each and every concept presented without having to spend precious time trying to discern what the message is all about. The author knows something about the best road to travel to soar with success in one’s life because he has ministered to the spiritual needs of others for sixty-six years.

I will be presenting the book on All Things Fulfilling and will give our readers a “heads up” before I post a blog about it, so you will not miss it. You’ve already fulfilled the mission of the day, by visiting this website and reading an on-line missive. Have a wonderful Friday and come back on Monday to this space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com and Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click for info & ordering

Art at the Heart of the Story

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Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character.” ~Samuel Butler

Yesterday we featured a soon-to-be released book by Pearl S Buck. The unpublished manuscript was found many years after her death, and the story is projected to be one of Buck’s best publications yet. If you missed out on the blog about The Eternal Wonder, scroll down and read it.

Photo Below: Pearl S Buck

Pearl S BuckToday I’d like to highlight one of Pearl S Buck’s lesser known stories, called This Proud Heart. The story is about a sculpture artist who is torn between her second marriage and her craft. Her life becomes a juggling act to try to find balance between her relationship with her husband and her art. I wonder how many artists worldwide have this theme weaving in and out of their own personal life and career.

The struggles of the main character, Susan, were particularly burdensome because in the 1930’s when the story takes place, few women ever made difficult choices between marriage and a profession. Overwhelmingly, women stayed the course and made self-sacrifices in the best interest of the marriage. And gaining credibility during that era as an artist or in any business, for women, was much more difficult.

Artists, put This Proud Heart on your reading list. Click for info & ordering
 It is fulfilling to read something other than contemporary fiction every once in a while.  Reacquaint yourself with a classic from time to time, you’ll most likely rediscover some of the characteristics of why novels like this become classics in the first place.

This Proud Heart can be downloaded on Nook and other digital readers, as an e-book. Click for info & ordering

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. I will be interviewing an artist about all sorts of things. This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Click for Info & ordering

Providential Visit

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All that I know of tomorrow is that Providence will rise before the sun ~  Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

It’s a city rising, moved by philanthropists, architects, artists, bankers, shopkeepers and others who have engaged in The Providence Portrait Project http://providenceportraitproject.com/  to revitalize Providence, R.I. a city full of history, art, architecture. I enjoyed a day in this city last week when I went to visit my niece who is an architect at Union Studio Architects, and is currently involved in the design of a new library in Tiverton, Rhode Island. http://www.unionstudioarch.com/ .

I encountered so many wonderful sites in Providence that had to do with architecture, history, libraries, books, art, design and education that I will share what I saw through images, rather than words. Enjoy the pictures!

My next stop will be in a city of mansions where wealthy bankers, investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs lived in the early days of our country. Many of them invested in the railroad which allowed for westward expansion of commerce and thus, more prosperity for citizens of our country. Many of the castle-like mansions have become museums, open to the public for touring.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow.

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Above two images – my niece Kara explaining about the Providence Portrait Project http://bit.ly/14tLl1w.

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IMAG0356The roof top garden above Union Studio Architects

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 Image above: Symposium Books, Providence, RI  www.symposiumbooks.com

IMAG0360Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

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Image above & below: Athenaeum Library http://www.providenceathenaeum.org/

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Twin Sisters (yeah, I know, it’s hard to believe) together at the List Art Center

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Walter Feldman Book Arts Studio http://brown.edu/academics/visual-art/facilities

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At the Gates of Brown University, Providence, RI  http://www.brown.edu/

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Image above: John Hay Library http://library.brown.edu/about/hay/

Three Images Below: Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

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 Above: Catherine Bryan Dill Center for the Performing Arts http://bit.ly/16MpQN5

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Above Image: The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab in Providence, RI http://naturelab.risd.edu/

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Photo above & below: Strolling the streets of Providence looking at church architecture and steeples.

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A beauty, isn’t it?

Image below: Grace Episcopal Church, Providence, RI

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I found providence,  grace and many more fulfilling things in Rhode Island! Thank you Kara, for being a tour guide and showing the sites.

Please return to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com tomorrow.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, a company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.