Fulfillment for the Royals

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Of all the roles I’ve played, none has been as fulfilling as being a mother.” ~

Annette Funicello

It’s a high time for the Royal Family. Will Catherine, the Dutchess of Cambridge give birth to a Royal Princess or Prince?  I’ll bet the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, can hardly wait to see whether his offspring, male or female, will be next in line to the throne to fulfill his duties, if he ever reaches the post. That still remains to be seen.

As a mom, I am not sure I’d wish a royal role on a son or a daughter. It would be a blessing and a burden. But then, ordinary folk have both blessings and burdens in their lives, too! A big perk would be living in a castle with every whim or whimsy tended to. Bounty and agony can come with that  -imagine the upkeep. I think I’ll stick to an ordinary life, and surround myself with beautiful things when I want to. Sounds like a balanced solution.

I am on Royal baby countdown, like every fan of the British monarchy. You can be sure the Brits and the Americans are gearing up for selling commemorative plates, mugs, banners and all kinds of products to demarcate the big event of the  baby’s arrival into the royal family!

Bells will toll and news of the royal birth will ring out loud and clear on media sites, in print and on-line everywhere.   Castles and Coffeehouses wants you to “Be the first on your block” to own a souvenir of the special birth day of the newest royal family member. Read it for yourself.  http://bit.ly/16ADMET.

Happy Royal Baby Watching everyone!

keep calm and be yourself

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Stories of Disappearing Acts

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“Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” ~ Unknown

Yesterday, as I walked, I began thinking about how there are things in life that we take for granted – like there will always be spring, puppy dogs, love, water coming from the Earth’s natural hot springs and rain coming from clouds in the sky. 

There are things that have always been part of our American heritage that are disappearing. We have always assumed there will be post offices to receive the mail, and a male and a female constitute a marriage. We can’t assume that anymore, it seems we are entering new horizons in every aspect of living. 

print media is dyingDisappearing traditions, mores, products, and professions need to be documented in books for the sake of future generations. An accounting of our country’s past history, stories about the family of man and how the world has evolved socially, economically, culturally, anthropologically are important  for studies and hypotheses about how human beings have survived throughout the ages and for future problem solving.

Take a look at fulfilling things that you thought would exist throughout your lifetime but have disappeared or are at the risk of becoming extinct in our society. Here is a list of twenty-five things to get you started. http://bit.ly/13GJ1Gx.  Help me add to this list. How has your world has changed since you arrived on this planet? Share them with our readers. 

At the bottom of this blog, click on comment, and digitally submit your observances. Your thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.

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.

Soups on, In Steamboat!

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“Only the pure of heart can make good soup.” ~Ludwig van Beethoven

I guess that throws me out of the pure of heart category. Making good soup is not my forte. I am posting this blog today, as a little self-help tip and  for others who need remedies for weak soup making skills.

In sickness and in health, hot soups nourish the soul and the spirit. In places that have long winters, like where I live, we rely on soups to warm our inners and get us through the cold season. Soup has long been associated with healing and bolstering immune systems. Here is an article about the properties of soup that make them so nutritious. http://exm.nr/11VJAN0.

Ski town Soups_Author Jennie Iverson has complied a cookbook,Ski Town Soups , a collection of recipes from sixty East to West Coast ski areas in the United States. The recipes are not run of the mill, nor are they light broths made for first course appetizers. The publication contains more than 100 ideas of creative, unique blends of hearty flavors that have won high accolades from customers in premium restaurants in mountain resort areas, including Steamboat.

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 Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime – Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and  www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Images, Words and White Space

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We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.” ~ Carl Sagan

On Monday, our local paper Steamboat Today was printed on pink paper in honor of National Breast Cancer Month. It seems that no one is immune from knowing someone who has been touched by this cancer. The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of early detection. 

The color of the newspaper was more than just a blush of pink, bolder than that, yet not as dark as fuchsia either. That edition made me realize something – the importance of white space. Although, as always,  I read the paper from cover to cover, I found reading from pink paper difficult and in fact, it slowed down my progress because my eyes were straining. As I struggled to read the article on raising money at the local level through events such as The Bust of Steamboat http://thebustofsteamboat.org/, I couldn’t help but think of what white space means to publishing. 

Digital reading devices, such as Kindles, have now gone through a few generations of development, improvements have come with each new model. The Kindle Paperwhite is purported to give the reader the clearest text, the best reading experience, due to its bright white screen. Yet not everyone can afford this top model. Many people do not have the luxury of buying a digital reader at all. 

I thought about how this relates to funding for breast cancer. Over the years, there have been advancements in detection through technology, yet people still slip through the cracks and find out about their case too late. Not every woman is able to afford mammograms and treatments either, which means not every woman has a chance of survival. Thank goodness for non-profit organizations such as the Susan G Komen Foundation http://bit.ly/TqInTF at the national and local level that work hard at trying to provide the means for everyone through their fundraising efforts. 

I don’t mean to trivialize the devastating disease of breast cancer by comparing technology of Kindle readers to a very personal medical issue. Digital reading devices are luxuries, and having medical technology and treatment for cancer is a necessity for survival; two very different issues. 

 These are just a few independent thoughts that came to my mind regarding white space as I read the news of the day on pink paper. That’s all….

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Book Pages to Paper Posies

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“All the flowers of the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” ~ Indian Proverb 

The other day, I saw a wonderful floral creation made with recycled book pages. Depending on your time and skill, one single paper posey or a full bouquet can be crafted.

These handmade flowers are long lasting. Help to keep news print and other printed paper out of landfills by making them. This type of floral decorating needs no watering, saving natural resources from being depleted.

 Here are step by step instructions, along with photos , of how to create these sustainable flowers  http://bit.ly/Qb4myY

Lately, I have seen many ideas for recycling paperback books. It seems to becoming a fulfilling hobby. If you are looking for unique gifts for the someone in your life,  think about re-using paper products creatively.

With the emphasis on recycling, my husband  may decide he has bought me enough live flowers throughout our thirty-two year marriage. Some day he may draw the line and say “I am no longer buying the real deal, you already have the resources needed to make floral arrangements in those books you are discarding. Get to it, get inspired!” 

If I want to keep peace in the family and celebrate a golden anniversary, I’d better side with him.  The thing is, a puny nosegay is not very effective. I’ll want an overflowing bouquet, a real armful of paper posies,  for a bountiful look. For my 50th anniversary maybe  I’ll have my original wedding garb re-designed to reflect a new era – using recycled materials in artistic bridal clothing.

I better make a vow to get started now, producing my own book page bouquet. Eighteen years from now I should have enough blossoms to make a real fashion statement.  

Want to help make some flowers? I’ve provided the instructions, you provide the paper, from all those newspapers, hardcover and paperback books, they say, are going out of style.

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Digital books: Conserving Gas and Trees

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What’s cheaper than a gallon of gas? An e-book. Save a dollar, stay home and read!”
~ Shandy L. Kurth 

At the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, there was a lot of discussion about the e-book industry. Digital books are gaining popularity globally. In fact, according to an article in Publishers Weekly Magazine, people in India top the charts as leaders in e-book buying. Thirty nine percent of the respondents to a survey say they have bought an e-book. Other top countries of digital book buyers are the United States and the United Kingdom.With each passing year, there is healthy growth in the electronic publishing industry, indicating an increased interest in digital reading content. 

If you have ever had any doubt about whether Americans are consumed with buying books, volunteer at a donation center for a thrift shop. Three or four hours every Saturday, I help out in a donation center run by the local churches. The amount of books that come through the doors is astounding. Each week, I gain a greater understanding of the value of buying e-books.

Electronic books take up less space for one thing. For readers who read a book once and then get rid of it, the new generation of books makes more sense. Sure, the reading experience is a little different. There are no paper pages to turn or to dog-ear to mark a spot. But, the story is still the same whether we are reading it digitally, in a hardback version, paperback or listening to an audio book. 

I am grateful the books have not ended up in the landfill and I know they are very much appreciated by the people who buy them. They are resold at a minimal price – usually 50 cents up to a few dollars. Sometimes a little more if the book is a large volume or a special collectible publication. Many of the donated books are in “like new” condition. Read once, then discarded. 

If you would like to know more about this growing trend among publishers, please read this article. It is a good source of information, brought to you by Publisher’s Weekly Magazine, digitally. http://bit.ly/Trf7RF.

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Worldwide Interest in Indie Publishing

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It is not in the pursuit of happiness we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.” ~ Denis Waitley

What do the U.K., India, Australia, Macedonia, Russia and Canada have in common? These countries are only the start of the long list of countries that frequent this site. Over the weekend we reached a new landmark in readership – one that I would never have predicted when this blog was started. It’ s thrilling!

What does this tell us? About the internet’s ability to reach far and wide! It also tells me that independent publishing of books, films and music is, indeed, a hot topic of conversation in this age of digitally produced art content. Countries that endorse independent publishing, have common concerns. 

In July, the 2012 Yale Publishing Course will take place. Many global issues surrounding independent publishing will be addressed. The website Independent Publisher has featured an interview of YPC’s Director Tina C. Weiner. To read her interview which provides an overview of this year’s discussion, please visit http://bit.ly/I48Vd6.  To apply for the Yale Publishing course, designed for mid and upper level publishing professionals, please visit this link http://bit.ly/ln4cFX

Obtaining copyright permissions is just one of many issues that will be discussed at the YPC. A  perplexing and time consuming task, there are experts in this field who can steer you, such as Integrated Writer Services, LLC.  To view the website of Integrated Writers Services, LLC, please follow this link http://bit.ly/JRBnfW

Thank you to all readers who visit this blog site. Our objective is to share interesting, useful, and fun information for anyone who is interested in the topic of  independent publishing and finding fulfillment in the Arts. 

Return tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

A Fulfilling Look Back

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Feeling a part of that community is my greatest reward.” ~ Paul Parker

As I write this final blog post for the year 2011, I am taking stock of many of the exciting things that have transpired over the past year within the independent industry and in my corner of the publishing universe.

 The independent publishing industry is gaining momentum here and everywhere. In June, I formed a networking group for independent publishers in Routt County. Six months later, I am happy to report She Writes Steamboat is an affiliate member of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. We are over 30 “independents” strong, here in Steamboat. A healthy interest group, ranging from want-to-bes to newly-published to experienced publishers who are looking for support. All wish to be successful in their writing efforts and in selling their quality books. Many have new projects in the works and are exploring e-book publishing, too. Just yesterday, at our monthly SHe Writes Steamboat meeting, a bright and ambitious 16 yr old high school girl joined us. She has already published and is selling her first e-book. 

My downloadable webinar, “On the Fast Track: The Independent Publishing Industry” is now available, thanks to the Colorado Independent Publishing Association. This 18 minute presentation is offered at the reasonable price of $10. CIPA’s mission is to provide affordable opportunity for education about the industry. I am onboard with that idea, too! tp://bit.ly/oIkV2g

Over the past year, I have been a contributing writer for the Steamboat Today Newspaper (The Steamboat Pilot). Interviewing and featuring the work of artists in different fields – painters, an actress/producer, independent filmmakers, writers and more on this blog site, has been fun. I am thrilled and grateful for all the opportunities I have had this year. It has been so rewarding to build relationships with blog readers, too. Thank you for visiting this site!  

Over 750 blogs have been published on All Things Fulfilling. The blogs are searchable by category and I invite you to peruse the many topics that have been covered. I will return to this post right after the New Year. In the meantime, I will be planning for the upcoming year and working on something that is very near and dear to my heart – my own book!  Merry Christmas to all. I hope you had a fulfilling year, too!

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Interweavings of Faith

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I am sensitive to the value of faith and religion and spirituality in people’s lives because I’m a journalist.”  ~ Peter Jennings

Last weekend, I attended my third annual United Methodist Women’s (UMW) Retreat. http://bit.ly/9W2ac2. It was a great deal of fun! As in the past years, what made the experience so rich and rewarding was the broad mix of women in many stages of life. There were mothers with younger children, women with college-aged children, empty nesters, grandmothers and retirees. Everyone contributed valuably to the conversations regarding their own spirituality and the paths in life they have traveled to arrive at their thoughts. 

We took several topics throughout the day and broke into random small groups to discuss our feelings and opinions of how the subject matter related to our own lives. Lo and behold, several of those gathered in my group are interested in independently publishing their beautiful and fulfilling stories of their walk with faith.  

Of course, a discussion ensued about how in this day and age anyone can publish and sell their independent stories through e-commerce and e-marketing (selling and marketing publications on the world-wide-web).  

By the end of the day-long retreat, we had all found friendship and fellowship with many women we had never known before. The common threads of places we have traveled, experiences we have had and the spiritual beliefs we share, are often the ties that bind. 

Thank you to all who made the day a great success. The location in Steamboat had an awe inspiring landscape. I enjoyed the art and music, ate a lot of good food and gained a better understanding of what this thing called “yoga” is all about too!

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Speaking the Language of Heart and Art

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As we broke away from our interview on Thursday with author Mara Purl, we began to talk about the hardcover release of “What the Heart Knows” and the new cover design painted by watercolorist Mary Helsaple. Today, we will engage in conversation about the creative artistic marketing of the book as well as Mara’s life as a multi-dimensional artist. 

The Interview Continues – 

Sue:  What other creative things are you doing with marketing and merchandising as part of your new arrangement with Bellekeep Books? 

Mara: I have written a short story “When Hummers Dream” which is a prequel to “What the Heart Knows” available through Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-readers. It is free until Labor Day. “When Hummers Dream” is a Best Seller on the Kindle free e-book list. After I wrote the short story, I realized there are many bird enthusiasts that follow all kinds of hummingbirds. I got invited to speak at a Hummingbird Garden in Phoenix. I look forward to that! 

We are having an internet launch on September 27 and there will be some bonus items included in the purchase of the hardcover “What the Heart Knows.” We also incorporated a heart cockleshell dingbat on the pages and each subsequent book in the series will have a different kind of shell dingbat aside the chapter numbers. Also, as part of the merchandising, there will be shell charms that people can purchase to match the dingbats in the books. They can begin to build their charm bracelets. It is our way of incorporating books and art. I created my protagonist Miranda Jones, a painter out of my love for art. 

Also, at the back of the book “What the Heart Knows” there will be questions to the reader to ask them whether they are listening……are they listening to their own hearts? 

Sue: Mara, you have worn many artistic hats over the course of your life time, as performing artist, award-winning author, screenwriter, songwriter and journalist. Were your parents always supportive of your career in the Arts? 

Mara: Yes! Tremendously supportive…always.  

Sue:  A little while after we met, I found out that you graduated from Bennington College with a degree in the Arts. As you know now, my place of residence of almost 30 years was in Bennington County,Vermont. Has your career matched your vision when you decided upon this field of study many years ago? 

Mara: Yes.Vermont is a magical place with independent spirit. Winter was long but the solitude became a cauldron for internal development. The mentors at Bennington College were wonderful and had extraordinary influence on me. I met two Bennington grads as a teen and both said it would be a good fit. The decision ended up a heart decision for me. There were small classes and I learned how to talk in front of people. You had to contribute because there was little other structure and few others in the class. I learned to be a self starter there. 

Sue: I was going to ask you to what do you attribute your success in working in so many dimensions of the Arts, but you may have just answered my question, in part. 

Mara:  Yes, I did. I found that in the quiet came self growth. And you ask yourself what are you here to do? I learned in my college years that the rest doesn’t happen unless you become a self-starter. I have concern about kids today and all the external they are exposed to – the TV, the iPods,  the cell phones, all the digital devices. They can’t be quiet and be with themselves in quiet spaces. They are plugged into something constantly. 

Sue:  What has it meant to you personally to be able to follow your dreams and pursue your passions in the Arts? 

Mara:  It’s funny, years into my career, I came across a guy that I had known way back, he said to me “you didn’t sell out.” At first I didn’t know what he meant, but what he meant is I stuck with what I wanted to do. But, I didn’t know what else to do. I was just being me.  For some people painful choices have to be made but I say it is never too late to come back to your core mission. 

Sue:  To wrap things up, what words of advice can you give to the younger generations who are interested in pursuing careers in the Arts? 

Mara: Listen to your heart and soul. Look for mentors that have walked the path in what you want to do. There will be well meaning people and ask their advice but there has to be internal and external balance. Finally consult with yourself only you really know. 

Sue:  This has been a busy month for you. You have been on virtual blog tours for weeks and you have a few more to go. Mara, I appreciate so much your taking the time to stop by All Things Fulfilling and giving us insight into your books and also into your career as a person who has so successfully made their living in the Arts. 

Sue: One last question – where can we look for “What the Heart Knows?” 

Mara:  In bookstores, through links on my own website www.marapurl.com, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, on i-Readers. Just Google and you will find it.

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