Blindly Chosen, Faithfully Read

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To build up a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books. –Carlos María Domínguez

March is just around the corner. Before we leave this heart-centered month, I wanted to mention an idea that came to my attention through my favorite hangout – our local library.

blind date with a book

 

On Valentines Day, the Bud Werner Memorial Library  provided an act of kindness through their Blind Date with a Book program. They set-up their library patrons up for an enjoyable night of entertainment.

The gift was wrapped up in brown paper, tied up with string, including a clue or two to help the reader make  their date selection. The title and author’s name was hidden and the reader had to accept on blind faith that what was “between the covers” was something good.

But as on any blind date, the only way to get acquainted with a character is to learn something about them. With time we get to know whether a character is as a mystery, a hopeless romantic or ready for a wild or steamy adventure. Sweet idea!

I’d like to conclude this writing today by repeating a bumper sticker that is frequently seen here where I live. One is on my car. It says “I came for the skiing and stayed for the library.”

What an asset to have a wonderful library in any community.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gatsby Groupies

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 “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

gatsbyI feel as if I am becoming a Gatsby groupie! Today I walked into the Bud Werner Library, and saw a display case announcing the next One Book Steamboat (a community read). It is The Great Gatsby.I’m in,” I thought, as I proceeded to the DVDs and took out the 2000 production of The Great Gatsby movie by A & E Television Networks. Then I wandered over the computer and put in a reserve for a copy of the book by the same title.

I guess I haven’t had enough of the Fitzgeralds, the Jazz Age and the Long Island social elite even though last summer on my vacation, I took in the movie The Great Gatsby with my sister and I also hawked my mother’s copy of  Zelda and read it.

Truthfully, I was disappointed in the latest rendition of the movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio. The visual effects, I felt, were so over the top and frantic that it distracted me from being able to absorb the tragic tale of wealth and entitlement. The telling essence of Jay Gatsby’s character weaknesses were lost in the visual chaos of the movie, rather being told by the dialogue of the story.

The book Zelda, for me, provided much better insight into the psyche of an artist who “never wanted to give in or give up” despite failure and rejection. The narrative told an up-close and personal story of the relationship between wife and husband, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and it gave historical perspective into their friendships with other contemporaries (filmmakers, writers and artists) from the era.

As a lead-up to the community discussion of the novel, on October 10th, the latest Leo Dicaprio version of “Gatsby” will be aired at the Bud Werner Library. I’ll probably skip it. But then again, perhaps with a second look I might have a different opinion. But I hope not to miss what will probably be a very fulfilling discussion on Monday, October 21st.  It will be led by the English teachers of SteamboatHigh School. I hope students are required to join in and read this classic novel.  For more information, please follow this link. http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/events/one-book-steamboat

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Hiking the PCT with Strayed

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You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
~ Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’’ll Go

This week I’ve hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a place I never thought I’d visit. I hiked it with author Cheryl Strayed
and saw bears, rattlesnakes, a Texas longhorn bull and more.  At times throughout the journey I felt desperation set in, unimaginable fright, gratitude, inspiration, relief and grief.  Strayed’s thoughts of accomplishing what she set out to do, were familiar.

crossroads in the woods

No, Strayed was not alone  in her story, good authors always find the company of readers who appreciate what their characters have gone through and can often relate. I decided to travel along with Strayed by reading her book, so that when she shows up in Steamboat, at the Bud Werner Memorial Library http://bit.ly/16nUuYj  on April 11th, I’ll able to envision exactly what the Pacific Crest Trail looked like.

Wild is exactly the kind of book that reminds us why even when things are scary and uncertain, it is best to push through it, and accomplish the goal. Then we can look back and find the lessons within, and how challenges help us to rebuild our life.

Seuss’ words of advice are well-meaning. We need to do better job of teaching children there are so many fulfilling places to see and things to do in this world, and not to let obstacles stop them.  Books teach children and adults that we  never travel alone, there’s always a path thats been traveled and beaten before us.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

You’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”

~ Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’ll Go

Return tomorrow to 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.

Stirring the Mind

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“All things are possible until they are proved impossible. Even the impossible may only be so, as of now.” – Pearl S. Buck

creative-brainLast week, The Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado brought in a live stream of the TED Conference from Long Beach, California. I had hoped to individually highlight some of the presenters this week on this site. However, a better approach would be to share some of the fulfilling thoughts that I came away with after viewing a good deal of the four day broadcast. 

“We”, meaning as a country and a world, are indeed blessed with:

  •  forward thinking, creative people
  • a population of individuals who like to dream and imagine and ask “What if?”
  • people, who when they believe in their passions, are not afraid to take risks
  • technological advances that will increasingly free people to labor with their brains, rather than brawn.
  • living during a time when turning the hypothetical to reality, is happening more often.
  • learning more about our sixth sense and the amagydala – the emotive part of the brain.
  • “At the precipice of a new era where ideas can be used for global fulfillment in the world, rather than for just personal gain.” As stated by a TED presenter.
  • an era when professions will be more cognitively demanding and specialized. 

The TED conference was designed to stir thought, and for me, it fulfilled its mission. When I asked myself “Who Are We?” after viewing the broadcast, I can’t help but defer to the tag line of TED. We are a population of “The Young, the Wise and the Undiscovered.” Thank God for that! It opens up all kinds of possibilities for future generations. 

A special shout out to Jenny Lay, events coordinator and the library board members who do an outstanding job of bringing thoughtful programs to our community.

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.

New Generation Libraries

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What should young people do with their lives today? Many things….create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut  

When I moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado back in 2008, I felt like I had hit the jackpot when I saw Bud Werner Memorial Library. It had just undergone renovation and had opened only three months prior to my arrival. The improvement in physical structure (addition of approximately 26,000 sq feet) is not all that  impressed me, however. Since then, the library has become a real hub of community activity. Library services have been expanded and updated to accommodate for the digital age. The library’s computer technology is relied on, heavily, for people in the surrounding rural communities where internet access is a problem. 

quote on librariesI enjoy learning about other communities, throughout the country, who have recently built or expanded libraries with an eye on the next generation of readers. There is a library, in Tiverton, Rhode Island, which I am very excited about. It has been in the planning and developmental stages for many years.; construction begins this coming May.

Union Studio Architects: Architecture and Community Design of Providence, Rhode Island was instrumental in bringing the vision for the project together. http://bit.ly/WMDsiX . A young, hip firm, founded in 2001, draws plans for what they see as being fulfilling living in community development for the next generation. I am proud to say one of my nieces, Kara, is a contemporary in the company and helped design the Tiverton Library.

To learn more about the Union Studio Architects and their philosophy on new urbanism, here is a short video. http://bit.ly/YC4yyf .  Check out the movie star, Stanley, in this video – he is as charming as Barney, President Bush’s, dog who  sadly went to doggie heaven this week.

I look forward to seeing this facility when it is completed.

Return tomorrow to 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.

 

Elect to Write this Month

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Holy Cow! The first week of November has already passed us by. Don’t we all know it, with all the political rhetoric we’ve been subjected to on TV, radio and online. I’ll pass on commenting about the outcome of the election and talk about something else. It feels like my bogging has been all over the map in subject matter this week. For those who have been dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in their lives, I am sure you can relate to being spread out in all different places. I hope help arrives real soon for the East Coast people in the way of temporary housing, food, gasoline, heat.

Let’s switch gears, yet again in today’s blogwriting.

 Did you know November is also known for – Na No Wri Mo – National Novel Writing Month? Are you participating? Elect this month to join the challenge and start that book you have always wanted to write but haven’t yet begun. Perhaps being part of a national contest will be just what you need to propel you forward in your efforts. 

Want to learn more about Na No Wri Mo? Here is a link that will provide you with all the details.http://www.nanowrimo.org/. Don’t delay, the contest is only one month long, and we are already a week into it. 

Kids are encouraged to participate, too. Check with your local library. There may be a coordinated program in your area to involve children, making it even more rewarding. 

I’ll bet there will be some amazing horror stories and stories of great inspiration that will be written about Hurricane Sandy, as there were with Hurricane Katrina. Join in on Na No Wri MO –  relieve some stress,  share your stories or just have fun and enjoy the beauty of the writing process.

Write your heart out this month! It may do you some good.

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“The Boat” Brings Prized Authors to Community

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“I try to be respectful of how other people think, I try to listen to what they’re saying.” ~Rick Scott

This past weekend was Literary Sojourn weekend here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This event has been held annually since 1993. So popular, people arrive from all over the country to attend it. Each year it sells out very quickly.

As a way of extending the event, the Bud Werner Memorial Library invited two Bellwether Prize winners to speak on Sunday. For those who were not fortunate enough to get tickets to Saturday’s discussions, the second part of the “Sojourn” weekend was open to everyone at no charge. The two featured authors were Naomi Benaron and Hillary Jordan, Bellwether award winners in 2010 and 2006, respectively.

Jennie Lay, adult programs coordinator at the Bud Werner Memorial Library, asked the authors “what winning this book prize has meant to them?” Each expressed it has done wonders for their publishing careers. All contestants for the “Bellwether” must have a previously unpublished novel. Along with winning $25,000, winners are given publishing contracts with Alqonquin Books.

Jordan and Benaron discussed how fiction writing is useful for telling stories that are interwoven with issues of culture, politics and social justice. However, Benaron stressed the importance of writing stories about controversial issues in a “respectful manner.” She also mentioned how research into a culture brings credibility and correctness to the story.

“Literature,” Benaron said “is the only art form that takes you into another person’s brain.” Essentially, she said, as readers, we are better able to feel and live the story along with the characters through fictional dialogue.

To read more about the publications of these impressive authors, visit these two websites,Hillary Jordanand Naomi Benaron.

For more information on the Bellwether Prize, which was established in 2000, solely funded by author Barbara Kingsolver and administered by the PEN American Center, please visit this site http://bit.ly/Rom01E.  For information on Barbara Kingsolvers latest book, click here: Flight Behavior: A Novel.

As I left this most enjoyable event, I thought to myself “living in a community with avid readers and writers, certainly has its benefits.”

Thank you to our local library and our local “Indie Bound” bookstore, Off the Beaten Path” for their participation in this event.

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

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