The Season of Anticipation

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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.

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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.

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A Window into Breck

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“Art is the window into one’s soul.” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

After yesterday’s blog, you baby boomers are probably thinking Breck refers to the old school shampoo we used when we were our teens in the 1960s. Remember using that? I thought if I used it, I’d look just like the “Breck Girl.”

No, for the next few days I will be blogging about a one day road trip I took to Breckenridge, Colorado, often referred to as “Breck.”  I found all kinds of fulfilling things to write about including a creative arts organization called BreckCreate. There is so much to tell, it can not be covered in just one blog posting.

The Breckenridge Arts District is a series of historic buildings located on an acre of land right up the hill from Main Street. It has become  an epicenter of creativity offering art classes, workshops, performance arts, exhibits and special artist-in-residence visits. I’d like to share some pictures with you of the district:

 

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Below: The Barney Ford Museum is also in the arts district. Barney Ford was a local entrepreneur who escaped slavery and became a man of extreme prosperity. For more information.

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A clan of visiting Aztec’s danced a spirit dance historically significant to their culture and the celebration of life the day I visited the town. Read more about the performance.

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indians 4 Art, culture, history and architecture holds a prominent place in the community of Breckenridge, Colorado. The scenic backdrop to the town, as it is in many Colorado communities, is stunning!

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. I have more to share with you about BreckCreate.

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

Book for Reluctant Teen Readers

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The secret of education is respecting the pupil. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Experienced writer Linda Collison knows something about relating to the hearts and minds of young adults when creating a good story. She made her first big break as an author in 2006 when her first novel Star-Crossed, published by Alfred A Knopf was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the best Books for Teen readers in 2007. Her coming of age story With a Little Luck won the Grand Prize at the Maui Writers Conference in 1996.

Collison’s latest novel, Looking for Read Feather, was published by Fiction House, Ltd. Although written for teenagers, the book is for anyone who has a youthful spirit and can remember what it is like to feel invincible and determined to seek one’s own path toward personal fulfillment.

 looking for redfeatherLooking for Red Feather is about the three teenagers who take to the road for different reasons. Yet the truths they discover in their travels will make you want to pack your bags and take to the highway across country with your friends on a whim. The author’s dialogue is so authentic to the feelings that come with the age she writes about. Collison also accurately relates throughout the story the difference in culture between East and West attitudes because she’s lived in both parts of the United States. Like myself, Collison is a Baltimore native. However, she migrated west when she was 24 years of age.Click for info & ordering

This book is highly recommended for adolescents who are at the age where they are becoming reluctant readers. I’m confident that Collison’s well-crafted tale will grab your teens attention and hold them until the end of the story.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow, I will give you a little more insight into my memoir.Click for info & ordering This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Writing Conflict and Lessons

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Life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next.”
Joseph M. Marshall III, The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History

I read a marvelous article recently in Poets and Writers Magazine about character development in stories and it got me thinking about real life people. Is it not true that some of the most interesting individuals you have ever met have incredibly complex life journeys?

If every thing in life was smooth, easy and breezy, our personal stories would be boring and there would be little reason for memoir writing. Out of strife and struggle comes personal growth, and by reading tales written by others we meet some very interesting characters who inspire us to become better people.

art of perseveranceThere is a book I encountered on Goodreads called Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance.  This book may be a good resource for writers who are frustrated and disappointed in their progress or at a loss for direction. Sage advice on not giving up is incorporated into this book. Rather than the typical new age jargon, wisdom of the ages from the Lakota Indian is shared through the writings. Click for info & ordering

Author Joseph M Marshall III, a Native American writer, inspires others in his workshops on character and leadership and through his other publications. Please visit his website to learn more about Marshall as a writer and motivational speaker. http://www.josephmarshall.com .

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Click for info and ordering See you tomorrow on http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com. The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

Stories of Disappearing Acts

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“Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” ~ Unknown

Yesterday, as I walked, I began thinking about how there are things in life that we take for granted – like there will always be spring, puppy dogs, love, water coming from the Earth’s natural hot springs and rain coming from clouds in the sky. 

There are things that have always been part of our American heritage that are disappearing. We have always assumed there will be post offices to receive the mail, and a male and a female constitute a marriage. We can’t assume that anymore, it seems we are entering new horizons in every aspect of living. 

print media is dyingDisappearing traditions, mores, products, and professions need to be documented in books for the sake of future generations. An accounting of our country’s past history, stories about the family of man and how the world has evolved socially, economically, culturally, anthropologically are important  for studies and hypotheses about how human beings have survived throughout the ages and for future problem solving.

Take a look at fulfilling things that you thought would exist throughout your lifetime but have disappeared or are at the risk of becoming extinct in our society. Here is a list of twenty-five things to get you started. http://bit.ly/13GJ1Gx.  Help me add to this list. How has your world has changed since you arrived on this planet? Share them with our readers. 

At the bottom of this blog, click on comment, and digitally submit your observances. Your thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.

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.

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.

Art Rocks! Rock Art Books

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“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it”~Michelangelo 

Yes, Art Rocks! It adds personal fulfillment to my life. Visual arts, literary/language arts, performance arts…it’s all good! Art is part of our American culture and arts and crafts are unique from each country around the world.  

Since I have moved to the western part of the United States, I have visited places where rock art rules. Petro glyphs, geological digs, caves and cliff dwellings indicate human existence that goes way back in time – interesting stuff! Trying to decipher crude symbols for common words is fun and all part of examining our ancient culture. 

Do you have a rock hound, historian, paleontologist, geologist,a fan of Native American culture or artist in your life that really digs looking at and reading about rock art? There are a number of excellent books on the subject.
Click for info & ordering

During my Thanksgiving visit to Bandelier National Monument, I discovered a nice assortment in their gift shop.  If you ever want to see a great  historical site with authentic rock art, visit Bandeliers, a real national treasure in New Mexico. http://1.usa.gov/10XO7LB.

 

 

 

Many of  independently published books about rock art and native American culture can be ordered in time for the holidays through e-commerce (internet shopping).

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com

and author Sue Batton Leonard, author ofClick here for info & ordering.