Clearing the Way

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“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 clear the way of self-doubt by providing hope and insight to individuals who wish to thrive and become fulltime artists. His book Crafting your Brand: Simple Strategies for Cultivating a Successful Creative Career, is also a good resource for anyone who wants to pursue their calling.

A well-rounded artist, Matt Tommey,  makes a living in a combination of ways, also offering workshops on the craft of basketry. To learn more about his workshops,  how to order these publications and to see his website,  http://bit.ly/1bpQhI9 .

Do return tomorrow for Film Friday, we will be featuring a film that is soon to be released that plays well into our recent topics of writing on All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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Two Rules for On-Line Selling

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“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” ~ Anthony Robbins

Let’s face it, many authors love the creative process and would rather write than self-promote. From consulting with independent publishing clients, I’ve concluded that the #l reason independent publishers do not succeed is lack of consistent marketing efforts – it takes real commitment.

  • Rule #1: If you are selling your book over the internet, you must be marketing over the internet consistently.
  • Rule #2:  A strong web presence is necessary so your product is visible to potential buyers.

strategy and implementationThere are writers and there are marketers, and not everyone is both. Be honest with yourself. Determine if you capable of both. If you are not sure, that’s where a company that specializes in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers comes in handy. They can educate you about what it really takes to successfully promote and market your book over the internet and whether your technology skills are up to it.

Remember, writing a book, or producing music or film, is just the beginning of the independent publishing business. Marketing strategy is as equally important to becoming a successful publisher of media content.

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

Bringing Fulfillment to Life

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The greatest discoveries have come from people who have looked at a standard situation and seen it differently.” ~ Ira Erwin

What does fulfillment mean to you? Which medium of art do you like to explore the most to find a satisfying experience? Do  you like discovering the works of new musicians, a debut author or watching a new film release?

People who love books, LOVE books! Some individuals can not get enough music in their lives, and for others – there is nothing more personally fulfilling than watching an inspiring film, whether it is on the big silver screen or not.

What is your choice of entertainment? Take our quick survey, and we will let you know the result at a later date.

Take time this summer to explore whatever it is that floats your boat in your life!

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

Family, Faith and Travel

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Each day I am thankful for; nights turned into morning, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey

I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of fulfilling things since arriving on the East Coast. It all began with attending a social event of a book club group with women who reside in and around the historic area surrounding TaylorsIsland in Dorchester County, Maryland. The Grace Foundation is restoring churches and doing work on the island to preserve the history of the churches and schoolhouses. http://bit.ly/16Ezcex.

The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake, a book I recently read and adored, is on the reading booklist for the book club for this coming summer. Based on a small town sea-side community during World War 2, the post office was a hub of activity, and the spinster postmistress knows secrets which if told, will change the lives of some of the residents. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Then I traveled to the Boston area to attend the beautiful wedding of our niece on my husband’s side of the family. It was so wonderful to see the bride and her sister (our second Leonard niece), who are now both married adults.

We also spent a lovely evening in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and had dinner at Loretta’s. The harbor area in Newburyport has changed greatly since last time I visited many  years ago. Full of wonderful restaurants with varied cuisine, we also went art gallery hopping. As a Mother’s Day present, my husband bought me a New England artisan-crafted necklace from Annie’s of Newburyport. Then we finished the evening with dessert at a fantastic coffee shop complete with musical entertainment featuring a sole independent musician playing the guitar.

Join me tomorrow on my journey back to Vermont, my state of residence for more than thirty years. I was greeted by “Miss America” of the independent publishing industry! She’s quite a package! Well-built, for future developments.

Here are just a few pictures from my fulfilling travels:

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My favorite home away from home, my favorite writing place in the lighthouse

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Hope for a bountiful catch

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Rode my bike to the vineyards on the Island

too early in the season for fruit on the vine

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John the Baptist Church, Peabody, MA for niece’s wedding

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Beautiful bride (above)

and her maid of honor – her sister

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Stained Glass Window

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Dinner in Newburyport, MA at Loretta

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Couldn’t resist this photo http://www.imarc.net/  for our son, Marc R Leonard.

He seems to be showing up everywhere!

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My Mother’s Day Present – New England Artisan Crafted

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Left my heart in Taylor’s Island, Maryland

will be back to get it before my trip to the East Coast is over!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business!

Lift Up Friends

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 “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust 

Friday’s blog on All Things Fulfilling was a tribute to friendship and the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. 

I’ve had have further thoughts about the value of friends  since that blog writing. Coming together in friendship is the result of finding community with like-minded people – individuals who have joint interests, passions and beliefs in life.  In recent years I’ve made friends in service, through Kiwanis, and by volunteering once a week at an interfaith, community-run thrift store called “Lift-Up.” Being involved with arts organizations such as We Write Steamboat(a meet-up group for independent publishers), the Steamboat Writers Group , the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and  Strings Music Festival has brought me pleasure. Community involvement, with the Yampa Valley University Women has also been part of my life here in Routt County, Colorado.

It’s interesting, in a time when the news is reporting  church membership is declining, there seems to be very active participation in churches, in this town. Perhaps the remote location and natural beauty of the region make spiritual exploration important to folks. Yesterday, Reverend Tim at the UnitedMethodistChurch in Steamboat, elevated our spirits through his lenten season storytelling. Our new Director of Youth Ministry and independent musician, Taylor Anderson charmed us with  his musical skills playing the modern remix of  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on his ukulele. Very uplifting for a day of Irish celebration. A song appropriate for so many who are grateful they can be here to retire, run location-neutral businesses or for recreational reasons.

After the service, our appetites were fulfilled with  tasty goodies baked by women with whom I volunteer at the thrift store donation center. Thank you, Jeanette, Shirley and Louise and to all the other generous people who bring in provisions for fellowship moments after the service each week. The special St. Patty’s Day confections were decorated artistically. The women poured heart and soul into their efforts, it was evident.  It is a pleasure to volunteer with these women at the donation center for the thrift store.

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Jeanette, Louise, Shirley and Sue (top image). We are only a few the 100+ volunteers that make Lift-Up so successful in this community.

Bundled Energy

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“Problems are not the problem, coping is the problem.” ~ Virginia Satir

energy in the worldTime to change the channel, there is no reason to stay stuck on it. http://bit.ly/Xkquu0. I’ve had more than my fill of news about the Carnival cruise ship that let down its vacationers. The travelers talk as if it was if they were intentionally “wronged.”  Fact of the matter – it was  an unfortunate incident that no one could have predicted and everyone was in a difficult situation. And, there are no guarantees that life will always be smooth sailing.

I did hear a few of the “victims” say that they had joined in with others to create prayer groups while awaiting rescue. There you go! Bundling positive energy together and using good coping skills. Would it be any surprise if those folks came away from the incident with much healthier perspectives? When  communities of people bring positive energy together and create networking groups, good things happen. Negative energy does nothing to attract positive energy, we all know that.

Let’s face it. The steam that moves us human beings forward in positive directions ultimately comes from our own reserves; as we draw from our wellspring of strengths, inner exertion and convictions and pluck!

Time to go and plan our monthly meeting for We Write Steamboat – a  meet-up group for independent publishers!  It is happening this afternoon. And, soon it will be lunchtime, when I’ll fill up my tank  and nourish my soul by going on my daily walk. I know I’ll find something fulfilling to write about for tomorrow.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.  All Things Fulfilling, is a space where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business.

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.