Helping Children Map a Future

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Here is the treasure chest of the world – the public library, or a bookstore.” ― Ben Carson, Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence

Baltimore, Maryland. The home of Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, Towson University, and many other colleges and outstanding schools in the greater Baltimore area.

A few weeks ago, I returned to Towson, in the suburbs of Baltimore, to do a book signing at Ukazoo Books for my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. I found out something related to literacy and education that I didn’t know existed.

Towson, the town of my native roots,  is the home of The Carson Scholars Fund. This non-profit organization awards top performing students (both academic and humanitarian) through their scholarship program (Carson Scholarships). It also provides funding to schools to build libraries where children can learn to appreciate reading and books outside of a classroom in a comforting and warm environment provided for their enjoyment.

To date, The Carson Scholars Fund, which was started in 1996 by Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, Ben Carson and his wife Candy has awarded 6200 scholarships and provided funding to 100 libraries. The scholarships have been given to deserving students in 50 U.S. States.
Ben Carson.We are so very fortunate to have in this country, outstanding citizens who are helping children map a future for themselves. Their generosity in giving scholarship money and building resources such as libraries and institutions of higher learning is what sets our country apart and makes it “America the Beautiful.” I read this book and I  put in on my recommended reading list.

To discover more about The Carson Scholars Fund, please visit and explore this website.http://www.carsonscholars.org/dr-ben-carson/general-information.

This blog is brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her EVVY award-winning memoir, an anthology of stories called Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt

Need for Mountains of Creativity

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Entrepreneurship, inspiration, and putting faith in one’s own creativity are all the things that excite me about the world of independent publishing. It is a field that has brought vast changes (with an eye on sustainability) by doing things differently than in the past.
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Some time ago on All Things Fulfilling, I posted a blog about a TedX talk which I think bears repeating. I believe the speaker, Chuck Scranton, had some wonderful things to say about the future of education, how to engage students in classrooms and what today’s children need so that they are prepared with skills that go beyond what students of the past have been taught. It is all about encouraging creativity and active learning.

Parents and educators, this issue is very important. So please listen in to The Immovable Mountain. https://allthingsfulfilling.com/tag/that-immovable-mountain/.

Is there something more you can do to help support your child’s mind, interests and creativity? Our country’s future depends on new industry, creative thinkers and “pioneers” working in ways that are different than the same old-same old ways of doing things. The new generation will need to work in ways that will lead America forward to new eras of discovery.

Interested in reading about more ways you can foster your child’s creativity? Here is also a good article. http://bit.ly/10dKjtG.

Today and everyday is a great day for brainstorming! Don’t forget to write down your ideas!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1te9k2F

Fondness for Frederick

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“You have to know the past to understand the present.” Dr. Carl Sagan
I’ve taken the opportunity to blog about the town of Frederick, Maryland on quite a number of occasions. I have great affection for many Fredericks that have been in my life. You will understand why if you read my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.
My affection for the town of Frederick comes for what has been salvaged out of what was once a run-down, ramshackle place during my childhood. Now, it is a place to be proud of! Art, architecture, history, tourism are all the things it has going for it!
To read other articles on All Things Fulfilling about the revitalization of Frederick, Maryland, visit these links.

Today on All Things Fulfilling, enjoy just a few more pictures from the Harvest Fair that I went to last weekend in Frederick.

Hope to see you tomorrow, Saturday October 11th at Ukazoo Books in Towson, Maryland where I will be doing a book signing from 1pm to 4pm. A short author talk will begin at 2pm.

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 Two photos below are from: Smokestack Studio  – great place.  Loved it. http://www.smokestackstudios.com/

 

 

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling on Monday! More sites and scenes from Washington, DC  will be featured!

This blog brought to you by the EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard on an East Coast book tour! For information on her memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1y21igm.

Glam Outdoor Wear of Yesteryear

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A smile happens in a flash but it’s memory lasts a lifetime” ~ Unknown
vintage ski wear1Oh, how outdoor clothing for the north country has evolved. A lot of time and research is now put into fabrics and construction of outdoor wear that is designed to be the most rugged, weather-proof, comfortable and warm. There is a whole science behind it – even right down to the manufacturing of socks! http://www.smartwool.com .

Back when I was learning to ski in the 1950s and 1960s, clothing manufacturers didn’t have the variation of fabrics that are available today. There was wool and wool. That’s about it. But the new generation of wool is nothing like it used to be.  Remember how  heavy it was when it got wet, and the smell? Peewww…. (Can’t figure out how to describe it – but the smell was icky!) Fashions have changed tremendously over the decades of my lifetime. Here is an article from the Vintage Traveler about the evolution of ski wear.http://bit.ly/1wPn5Zd

fur hat and muffWhat little girl in the 1950s and 1960s didn’t just adore her fur hat and muff when it was frigid out.  We felt as highstylin’ and glam as our mothers when they went out  in their “Persians” with fur collars.

And remember the long “stocking caps?”  The cashier at the local A & P knew  everybody, including my little brother, Scott, by his vintage stocking capsignature long, red tasseled stocking cap. Whenever my mom came into the grocery store without my youngest brother, the lady at the checkout always asked “Where’s the little boy with the red stocking cap?”

It tickles me to look back on old styles. With the long lives that most people live today – sometimes people are around long enough to see things make comebacks!

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 award-winning memoir, please follow this link. http://amzn.to/1ti4XVi

 

 

 

World Class in the Making

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It’s my belief that God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve Him and humanity. ~ Ben Carson

unlocking the heart of an artist“Wow!” Claire  is one skilled young lady,” I thought as I sat in a pew with my husband at the United Methodist Church, http://bit.ly/1kd4g61 on Thursday evening, listening to the second senior recital of the week. She revealed her vocal talent with her ability to sing a huge range of compositions from Mozart’s De Holle Rahe to How Great Thou Art to more contemporary songs, such as Let it Go from Disney’s 2014 animated film Frozen.

But that was not all. This young lady did not hold back. Claire has much more under her belt of musical accomplishments. She demonstrated her ability to play two different types of  flutes, the piano and her latest interest – jazz on the saxophone. Through the song Whirlwinds Dancing, she exhibited what a Native American Indian taught her – how to play the Native American cedar flute.

One of Claire’s many teachers has been with her since she began playing the penny whistle at five years of age. As her teacher Mary Beth Norris said last evening “it has been a pleasure to work with Claire. She is like a sponge and to have watched her grow into a beautiful young lady with outstanding musical talent has been so special.” Claire’s  other music educators Christel Houston, Derek Hurshman, Hannah Bowers and James Knapp had to have felt the same kind of pride for their contributions to the talent they nurtured.

It is a beautiful thing to see a student who understood at a young age what she was gifted with and has had all the resources she needed to develop her special musical endowments. Claire will go on to study music at the college level.

Another delightful evening in the community of  Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Where athletes and artists work hard to become world-class.

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

 

 

 

Paper Flowers Redux

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My dear girl, you must cultivate a taste for the finer things. Civilized pleasures give meaning to life.” 

― Barbara Taylor Bradford,  Being Elizabeth

Did you read yesterday’s blog about my childhood fiasco of trying to take my little brother on a road trip? If not, check it out.

Speaking of road trips – A few weeks ago, a friend and I took a journey from Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We gallery hopped, window shopped and had a tasty lunch. It was a wonderful and a much needed day away for both of us just before Easter.

Not only did my friend get to return to something familiar from her past, so did I. My book, Sue’s memoirGift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected had only been published shortly before and as I entered into a fanciful women’s  clothing shop, called Confetti Design http://www.confettidesign.net. I was nearly blown away when I saw their window dressing!

glenwood springs paper flowers dressThere she stood a shapely women, a manikin, dressed in a fitting Easter outfit all made from tissue paper flowers. I couldn’t believe my eyes! My memoir has a chapter entitled Paper Roses. which recounts my fulfilling experience of learning to make and sell paper flowers as a project in  junior Girl Scouts.

I had never seen an entire frock made out of tissue paper flowers. As you can see from this image, it was gorgeous and so was the women’s clothing shop. The store had a real vibrancy to it, every color in the spectrum was represented in their high quality and creatively decorated shop. The sales clerks in it could not have been more hospitable either.

I could have shopped til I dropped, but instead I behaved myself. I’m trying to be fiscally conservative so I can properly get the word out about my publication through a diverse marketing plan and that takes some bucks.

Some day soon, I will take Barbara Taylor Bradford’s advice and will return to Confetti Designs with cash in my pocket to splurge on something deserved and special just for ME – perhaps an accoutrement to an outfit for a book talk! From all appearances, the ladies in Confetti have an outstanding eye for style and design.  Maybe they will help me find just the right thing. I will be back!

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I want to remind everyone to shop around by visiting different blogs – it’s a great way to discover fascinating sites and topics through the world-wide-web. You never know what you might run into that may peak your interest. Looking for a fun fashion blog? Visit http://invisiblecrowne.blogspot.com/. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. 

 

Roads toward Building Community

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Tomorrow it’s time to head to Denver for Saturday’s monthly CIPA meeting (aka Colorado Independent Publishers Association). This month’s educational focus will be on social media marketing – attendance should be high. There are so many authors and publishers who want to know more about selling and marketing books effectively over the internet. I will be heading up a roundtable discussion on Taking Facebook to the Next Level, beyond the basics of using Facebook to promote independent publications on the world-wide-web. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge.

I’ve got my work cut out for me on the three hour drive from where I live to Denver. I will be listening to my own audio book recording of “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” The recording has been edited but I’ve not had the chance to listen from beginning to end for any glitches.

helping othersThis is a good time to give a shout out to ColoradoMountainCollege student, Bryan Dow,  who was so helpful to me throughout the recording process. He edited my audio recording quicker than I could have ever expected. It was his first job at editing an audio book, but he has a wealth of experience with the program. Among his already deep curriculum vitae “c.v.” is the title” musician” so uses the software frequently. I enjoyed getting to know this college student a little bit. Someday I hope he tells his own story through an independently published book, film or music or perhaps a multi-media publication. He is working on a fascinating project, while trying to balance a busy schedule of work, study and building a future for himself.

It’s a wonderful thing to have people in this world who are whizzes with technology and can do great things with their hands, creativity and intellectual talents. Thanks again, Bryan, for lending me a hand, and helping me with the production of my audio book (in MP-3 format) “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” You are a person who can help build community in many different ways with your diverse talents. I am glad our paths crossed.

See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday! This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

What will Tomorrow’s Picture Bring?

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Progress is impossible without change, and those who can not change their minds can not change anything.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

On Saturday evening I went to the movies and saw Philomena. Judy Dench was outstanding in her role, and I hope she is awarded an Oscar for her performance. The movie had a lot of important and controversial issues to reflect upon. As I watched the movie I thought about how integral dialogue has become to telling a story brought to cinema. “Talkies” gave way to a whole new generation of movies for the theatre. Now we are in the digital age of filmmaking which brings more changes to the industry.

I used to think that those behind the scenes of making a movie were inconsequential, that the only thing that really mattered was the actors’ performance. I’ve gained a new respect for the entire process of filmmaking since my son is in the business. In deference to all, I now feel  it’s necessary to pay attention to the long list of credits at the end of the film. The cast and crew is no longer a half dozen people like during the days of silent movies. With each passing decade the list of technicians who make movies come to life seems to get longer and more impressive as skills of the filmmaking artists become more specialized.

view master If you are a baby boomer you will remember the excitement of looking at film images through the Viewmaster. How far we have come from looking at film from one of these devices!

In retrospect, the idea of getting a thrill by looking at images through one of these devices is now laughable. Techniques of creating visual images sure have changed since the days of the Viewmaster. Now we can even stream film videos from our computers and from mobile telephones! Who would have thunk it fifty or sixty years ago?

Throughout this week on All Things Fulfilling, I will be posting other images that will arouse memories for baby boomers. Stay tuned!

This blog is brought to you from the space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. wwww.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Book for Reluctant Teen Readers

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The secret of education is respecting the pupil. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Experienced writer Linda Collison knows something about relating to the hearts and minds of young adults when creating a good story. She made her first big break as an author in 2006 when her first novel Star-Crossed, published by Alfred A Knopf was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the best Books for Teen readers in 2007. Her coming of age story With a Little Luck won the Grand Prize at the Maui Writers Conference in 1996.

Collison’s latest novel, Looking for Read Feather, was published by Fiction House, Ltd. Although written for teenagers, the book is for anyone who has a youthful spirit and can remember what it is like to feel invincible and determined to seek one’s own path toward personal fulfillment.

 looking for redfeatherLooking for Red Feather is about the three teenagers who take to the road for different reasons. Yet the truths they discover in their travels will make you want to pack your bags and take to the highway across country with your friends on a whim. The author’s dialogue is so authentic to the feelings that come with the age she writes about. Collison also accurately relates throughout the story the difference in culture between East and West attitudes because she’s lived in both parts of the United States. Like myself, Collison is a Baltimore native. However, she migrated west when she was 24 years of age.Click for info & ordering

This book is highly recommended for adolescents who are at the age where they are becoming reluctant readers. I’m confident that Collison’s well-crafted tale will grab your teens attention and hold them until the end of the story.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow, I will give you a little more insight into my memoir.Click for info & ordering This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

New Found Treasures

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“Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.” ~ Anthony J D’Angelo

Peeps writing to Meems in armyFamily photos are some of the greatest treasures we could ever own. Last summer, my parents gave an unexpected gift to our family by revealing some never before seen photos they had gotten out of storage. The image that really stole my heart more than any other is this image of my father writing a letter to my mother (as he did almost daily) when he was in the army. On the crude wooden desk, made with 2” X 4”s was a framed picture of the love of his life, my mother, looking right at him as he wrote the letter.

My parents were childhood friends beginning at 10 or 11 years of age. They grew up one street apart from one another. That childhood friendship developed into a love relationship that has lasted, in a marriage, for 65 years. But what transpired throughout the course of their lives and some of the things they coped with as very young adults and newly-married is part of the treasure in my own personal narrative that will be published in spring 2014.

As I look at this image of my parents, it fulfills me to know that from the union of my father (who was an only child) and my mother (who had one brother), our family has become very large. Each person added by birth or marriage is like newly found treasure – each contributing to the whole with individual interests and passions that make for beautiful gatherings. The conversations when we are all together range from custom home building and architecture, to fitness, food and fashion design, to homeopathics and neonatal nursing, to boats, marine logistics and shipping, to writing, publishing and filmmaking. (How is that for a run on sentence?) And lest I forget – we now have a student of equine medicine in training! Diverse and widespread interests all in one family. But what binds us all together, besides the caring, is the love of books and reading, first nurtured by my parents.

If you are wondering how to instill a love of reading in your children, here is an article with 11 great tips.http://bit.ly/19RMGTO

And all these years later, despite every life challenge and obstacle, my parents are still each other’s best friends. Isn’t that an ultimate love story?

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling.