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.

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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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!

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

Launching from an International Shipping Port

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You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Charming Oxford, Maryland, http://www.oxfordmd.net/ a small waterside town of about 1,000 people is one of the oldest towns in America.  Oxford has a very southern feel with huge, old magnolia trees lining many of its streets. Until the American Revolution, Oxford enjoyed prominence as an international shipping center surrounded by wealthy tobacco plantations.

On my way to St Michaels, Maryland, I boarded the Oxford ferry for a scenic fifteen minute ride across the TredAvonRiver to the town of Bellevue, Maryland. The ferry is the longest running privately owned ferry in the country.  Service began in 1683.

People in Oxford live a fulfilling “waterman’s way of life.” Here are a few pictures from my travels to Oxford.

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Above: A Day at Work for Oysterman & Crabbers

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Oxford is enjoying a new resurgence based on tourism and leisure activities. Its quiet environment, fresh air and cooler breezes provide a haven from the hustle and bustle of  the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.  Boaters, weekend visitors, and summer residents find Oxford a welcoming change of pace.

Filmmakers came to Oxford in 2006 when they captured some of their scenes for the movie Failure to Launch, a romantic comedy staring Matthew McConnaughey, Terry Bradshaw and Sarah Jessica Parker. This film can be ordered through the Internet Movie Database http://imdb.to/14ZGByG .

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Photo: The stars of the film Failure to Launch in Oxford, Maryland

Do return tomorrow and I will show you more photos of fulfilling things I found to see and do, when I traveled from Oxford to St Michaels, Maryland.

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

Honoring Nature and Roots in Photography

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Good art is art that allows you to enter it from a variety of angles and to emerge with a variety of views. ~ Mary Schmich

dorchester center for the arts_3 The exhibit, Creatures in Motion, is like looking out at the world through the eyes of a true nature lover. The photography of Linda Roy Walls is featured at the DorchesterCenter for the Arts during the month of June 2013. Images of living things (bovine, beast and avian) in their natural environment, is  the focus of the exhibit.

It is evident by the images Walls captures, the artist believes in “living in the moment.”  Scenes of  her environment, wildlife, and all other things that catches her eye, through the lens of the camera,  provides an even more extensive photographic collection on her website.

Walls has honored what is important to her in her life through the three photo books she has published. One book, “Ode to Ed” is dedicated to her father, a war veteran, who succumbed to leukemia due to Agent Orange poisoning after three tours of duty in Vietnam. Her other photo books “Riding Waves and Herding Cats” and “The Content Canines” call attention to more of what she has found fulfilling in living on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Her travels to Ireland will be the focus of an upcoming publication.

Linda Roy Walls is also a writer for the column “Ponderings” in the Dorchester Banner and a contributing writer for other regional newspapers and magazines. Ever the artist, she is also involved in a portrait study of humble Eastern shore waterman and other locals who add flavor to the region in which her roots have been planted.

IMAG0645Stop by the DorchesterCenter for the Arts to see the photography of Linda Roy Walls, it is a limited but delightful sampling of her photographs. To see more of her images,  read her artist bio and to learn more about her art, photography and writing, please visit her website http://www.lindaroywalls.com/.

We look forward to sharing more independent thoughts, words and views with you tomorrow on www.AllThingsFulfilling.com. This blog brought to you by www.cornerstonefulfillmentservice.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.