A New Musical: Allegiance

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Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved and differences resolved. ~ Bernard Beckett

allegianceHave you heard about the  American story now being played out on Broadway? Allegiance is a real and important tale of the Kimura family who came to America after World War II and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Similar tales of family bonds, duty and defiance, hope, loyalty and the power of the human spirit could be told by 120,000 other Japanese-American families who fled their country in search of a new tomorrow in the United States of America.

George Takei and Tony® winner Lea Salonga star in this live theatre production. To read more about this live musical production, visit the website.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

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

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Gods, Generals and Irish Ballad

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May the sound of happy music, And the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after. ~ Unknown

Happy St. Patty’s Day. Today’s blog is about an Irish ballad called Kathleen Mavourneen. The composer of the song is someone who I hold near and to my heart, even though I am several generations removed from him. I only know him through my father’s side of our family story.

A rendition of  Kathleen Mavourneen was filmed as part of the movie Gods & Generals but unfortunately it got cut in the editing process. The story take place during the Civil War era and it was filmed in many different places in the region where I grew up. Scenery from throughout the mid-Atlantic States of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and at the site of the battle of  Antietam are in the movie. The film is based on the book by Jeffrey Shaara.

If you wish to learn more about my ancestor’s connection to the ballad Kathleen Mavourneen check out Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. You can read all about it in Chapter 16, My Beloved.

Have a great St. Patricks Day, everyone! And remember to go out and ~

make your own luck!

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

 

Leadership Traits for Writers

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“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

rising to victoryIt came as no surprise to me that Major General Louis W Prentiss, Jr., the author who was the subject of yesterday’s blog has written about his life in the Army and had it published independently.  Many of the leadership qualities that served the Major General well in his military career are nearly identical to what it takes to become an independently published author.

If you anticipate publishing, be honest with yourself for a successful outcome.  Do you possess these leadership traits?

  • Dedication
  • Stamina
  • Energy
  • Fierce Determination
  • No Excuses Attitude
  • Self-Motivation
  • Tenacity

“Ok,” you say, with unwaivering confidence, “I’ve got the right stuff. I can do this!”

Move ahead then with confidence and the understanding that at some time or another you may get writers block. You may also face unavoidable challenges that are all part of the time element involved in writing and publishing. If you are realistic in your understanding of what it takes to be successful in your efforts, you will not let the rough times defeat you.

Tip: Speak positively of your progress. No matter how long it takes to tackle the project don’t be too harsh on yourself.  Continually move ahead reminding yourself you have what it takes and you’ll get yourself through the project.

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

Military Memoir Ranks Well

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I tell you in my opinion, the cornerstone of democracy is free press – that’s the cornerstone.”  ~ Milos Forman

Lou Prentiss BookToday on All Things Fulfilling, I will be featuring a unique approach to memoir writing that I encountered in Major General Louis W. Prentiss, Jr.’s newly published book Memories of a LIFE IN THE ARMY.

The publication is not a recounting of military valor, accomplishments, coups, medal awards and decorations. Instead, it’s an anthology of charming and humorous short stories or vignettes. The book is very different than most  autobiographical military narratives, which are often very lengthy and not easily readable for civilians.

Before publishing his memoir, Major General Prentiss sent copies of his manuscript to military people who served in the ranks with him. After reading the unpublished manuscript, many of those people contributed further insight into the vignettes through letters back to Prentiss with their memories of shared experiences.

Communications between author and readers usually occurs after a book is released. But because the letters were included in the memoir, the Major General’s vignettes are further enhanced.

5_stars_clipartFive stars for the Major General! So many places this military “lifer” cites – Virginia, Maryland, The Potomac, Chesapeake, Baltimore, Delaware are so familiar to me that it really added to my reading pleasure.

Stories of life abroad will ring familiar with so many military people and families who read this memoir. Most of all, Major General Prentiss is a wonderful story teller who helped me realize why military life gets in one’s blood when a child grows up in such an environment.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Major General Prentiss for his dedication to our country through his lifelong military service. In my opinion, every vet (man and woman) deserves the best because they have given the citizens of the U.S.A. their best to defend and protect our rights. And that includes the freedom to tell stories orally and through writing!

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

Stone Preservation

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“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them or build with them.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Beautiful stone creations with historical value – things to preserve rather than destroy. Building with stone goes back centuries. Along with our culture’s growing passion for geneology, there has been an increasing interest in the art of preserving stone monuments and markers in America. Even the finest historical markers and structures made of rock, like cathedrals, churches, castles, bridges and roads need attention because their integrity becomes compromised due to land development, weather, neglect, acid rain and vandalism.

Jonathan Appel, is a stone conservator who has been working in graveyards to preserve monuments and markers in Civil War areas, such as in Frederick, Maryland. http://bit.ly/18ApKGI. Finding fulfillment in preserving our country’s history on holy grounds, he trains others to become monument conservators through workshops.

Last weeks blog about the building of rock sculptures for a unique, personal reason left me feeling uplifted, because one man’s efforts became an community building event. stone_sculptor_at_workOut of all the statues, obelisks, monoliths, pillars and plaques that have been created to memorialize the spirit of beings, all over the world,  I hope an overwhelming number of them have been placed to remember positive spirits who have existed on earth.

If you did not read the blog or watch the video about community efforts to support a grieving man and his art, visit this link. It’s an interesting story. Let me know what you think. http://bit.ly/145b3xc

Please return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com . Our blog tomorrow is about a special angel and how that angel has inspired a blog that I believe deserves special mention for it’s beauty.

The American Story in DVDs

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You need to take pride in what God has given you.” ― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

God Bless America.” Those words get to me every time! Over 4th of July I was with my family at a small marina on the Chesapeake enjoying a band that was playing popular songs from the 1970s and 1980s. I was in my glory listening to “oldies but goodies,” including Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in America.” The band ended the evening with singing “God Bless America.” Many of us stood, and placed our hands over our hearts, as we were taught to do during patriotic anthems.

learn our historyIn today’s world many students are not aware of the role God has played in our nation’s history. In my opinion, it is sad, and frankly, un-American not to teach it in schools. Love of country and our creator, go hand in hand. If you ask me, without a personal belief system that includes faith our country, and in our fellow citizens, and  belief in a force much greater than humankind there is less hope in the world for growth, prosperity, ingenuity, and other things that we Americans have always held near and dear to our hearts. These attributes are what has made our country great.

There is a new series of animated films called “Learn our History.”  Writers, animators, historians and educators collaborated on this project to make certain highlights from America’s story of independence available to students and teachers. You can see a sneak preview, free of charge, through this website. http://www.learnourhistory.com/Columbus.html.  The lessons are uniquely told, in a fashion that is interesting and compelling. The American Revolution, Lewis and Clark Expeditions, The Mayflower and the First Thanksgiving, Christopher Columbus’ Great Discovery are just a few topics on this DVD series.

Order these independently produced films to share with your children and keep the American story alive. Teaching history does not have to be rote learning of facts, creative storytelling is incorporated into each of these movies. They are also formatted for on-line streaming on I-Pads and i-phones  and other internet connected devices.

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by http://www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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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GodBlessAmerica