Hallowed Halls of Johns Hopkins

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The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. ~ M. Scott Peck, author of Gifts of the Journey, In Search of Stones and The Road Less Traveled

Happy Halloween, everyone. On October 3rd, my cousin Meg Heisse and I witnessed a little hocus-pocus when we attended An Evening of Victorian Magic at Evergreen Mansion and Library, which is a Johns Hopkins University Museum. Since my cousin is a member, we attended a pre-performance reception held in the Asian red room among Chinese and Japanese collectibles. The bartenders stirred up Victorian libations and we saw up close magic tricks by David London. Mind reader indeed, out of a 52 card deck, the magician asked me to select one card and show it to others.  No slight of hand involved, through telepathic transmission he correctly identified the card I had picked. But that was just the start of the delightful evening. The magician had many more magic tricks up his sleeve once the show started and he came to the stage.

There was no need to build a stage for the evening because there is already a Victorian era theatre in the Evergreen Museum. And although there were no upper level seats for celestials to sit as in many Victorian theatres, we were told apparitions are in or about the rooms of the mansion. The theatre, painted by Russian Artist Leon Bakst, was used regularly to entertain the three Garrett boys, who at one time lived there.

The Evergreen Museum and Library was built in 1850 and became home to railroad magnate, John Garrett and his family. He was President of Baltimore and Ohio “B & O” Railroad. A little over one hundred years later, in 1952, the Italianate home from the Guilded Era was donated to Johns Hopkins University and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Also in the mansion is a 30,000  volume library with much of which is English Renaissance literature. Paintings by Picasso, DegasModigliani and stained glass by Tiffany, a 23 karat gold plated bathroom all are housed in the structure. In the Asian red room I spied several pieces of Chinoiserie furniture and as I snooped around in the museum gift shop at Evergreen, I saw several beautiful publications about stained glass.

Today, my Halloween treat to our readers is a recipe for soul cakes which traditionally was the offering to others on All Hallows Eve. And here are a few pictures of our evening at Evergreen Museum and Library, too. Look carefully you might see things that fool the eye!

Some time soon I do look forward to returning to the historic Evergreen Museum to take the full tour. This wonderful landmark is only one of the institutions of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins. Check out the others on their website.

Thank you Meg for inviting me to accompany you for the evening.

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

 

Giving Oneself Permission

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All Things Fulfilling

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be the boss and work twelve hours a day.” ~ Robert Frost

Some people  need a boss behind them cracking the whip, helping them to stay on task and motivated. Having the corporate structure behind them saying “Your workday begins promptly at 9am and ends at 5pm, with a half an hour for lunch,” is what they relate to best.

Guess what, I worked under those conditions for most of my life. Now I’ve gotten a raise! “Twelve hours a day, hmmm, Mr. Frost?” Tell me, how does a writer, who is also essentially an entrepreneur, limit oneself to that?

Sometimes I find it hard to give myself permission to “lay off, let it go and call it a day.” It’s a challenge to remember the person in charge of me is myself!

Believe me, I am not complaining!…

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Cowboy Ethics

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All Things Fulfilling

  • Real courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. ~ John Wayne

I doubt I would have ever become acquainted with the term “cowboy ethics” unless I had moved West. Sure, I believe and practice what it is about but I’d never attached such a term to it.

In fact, when I began this blog All Things Fulfilling, before I even knew what cowboy ethics were, I had decided I’d use all the principles associated with the term as I went about my mission of inspiring, informing and educating people about independent publishing. The fact that I found personal fulfillment in my writing was a bonus and a God-send.

In an interview on Living a Richer Life talk radio some months ago, the host, Earl Cobb,  mentioned that many people say they are going to write a book but never accomplish their mission. “How is it that…

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Clearing the Way

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All Things Fulfilling

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Are you person who has always had an artistic calling, yet you have never pursued your passion in earnest? You are not alone. There are many people, for various reasons, who have had to travel down other career paths feeling they have not fulfilled their God-given talents.

Matt Tommey book1The book Unlocking the Heart of the Artist: Practical Guide to Fulfilling Your Creative Call as an Artist in the Kingdom speaks to this issue for the new generation of people who seek personal fulfillment as a priority in their lives. He invites others to live fully, doing what makes them happy, and to become “unstuck” by expressing themselves creatively.

The author, Matt Tommey, is a successful basket maker and art consultant from Asheville, North Carolina. His sensible messages to other artists, through his publications, helps…

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Writing Conflict and Lessons

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All Things Fulfilling

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…

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Writing Motivation Tip#1

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All Things Fulfilling

Writing & Publishing Tip #1 – Next time you start a new endeavor or  start down the road to a personal journey – post a sign with  the following words on the mirror so you see it first thing every morning. Put it front and center.

what if you fly

Make a contract with yourself right now, writers, to pay no mind to the first line of this “what if” thinking.  Only focus only on the second question and  life affirming possibilities.

Every time you are feeling defeated, discouraged or disillusioned ask yourself once again which alternative is the most appealing.  “Oh my darling, what if you fly?”  is what will keep you pressing forward.

You’ll soar to new heights. I found it really works!

success story

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information on the publication, visit this link. http://amzn.to/1mbmVGR.

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Reflections on the Writing Process

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All Things Fulfilling

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien

This morning as I open this blank Word document, I think of the adage that “every person has a story to tell.” A white page gives us a space to create, a place to give birth to a beginning and an ending. Our imaginations can compose a fictional tale without a bit of truth or we can recount a factual story with unswerving loyalty or create a composite, with a bit of both.  Even with writing a narrative that is one hundred percent true, there is choice in the words we use and the voice we use to tell it. What an opportunity! That’s the beauty of writing.

If you are a person who has a story that needs to be told, I…

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