Treasuring Art

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 “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”   ~ Chinese proverb 

At a thrift store recently I came across an art print of Thomas Moran – imagine my delight! It seemed like a God thing – the image was just sitting there waiting for someone who’d appreciate it to pick it up . I gave in to my desires and purchased it – a real deal. I am very grateful to have the Moran art print hanging on my wall. He was one of the greatest illustrator and colorists of all times.

Every evening the week before last, I had been watching Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  http://bit.ly/182xh1NMoran’s name was mentioned as one of the top landscape painters of the 19th century who ventured west. I learned he traveled to YellowstoneNational Park from the Hudson RiverSchool in New York, in the summer of 1871, to document on canvas what others described as a place where “hell bubbled up.”

Many artists traveled westward in the early days of the founding of the U.S. National Parks and they continue to be favorite places for artists who are seeking inspiration. Artists still go to paint, photograph and write about the dramatic landscapes in these protected government lands which are far more unique than many other places across the United States. Ralph Waldo Emerson described the National Parks as places where “God is more easily found in nature than in the works of man.” 

Lots of people find personal fulfillment in poking around in thrift shops. You never know what treasures you might find. I scored!

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

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!

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Journey toward Enlightenment

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Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Okay…it’s 4:30 in the morning and any minute we’re off to the airport…Burlington VT to Newark, NJ then 14 hrs to Bejing, from there to Mongolia and the Gobi–the first leg of the journey has begun!” ~writes Clemma Dawsen from Sandgate, Vermont.

I doubt my friend Clemma has taken her feline. She’d be more likely to transport her horse. She’s an equestrian, and finds the same kind of fulfillment in owning an equine as the Dali Lama does in having a cat. If you missed the story about His Holiness and his feline, scroll down to yesterday’s blog.

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Clemma is part of a group that is traveling from Vermont to Tibet to learn more about personal fulfillment. This group is made up of artists of all types. She will be journaling as she travels, she is the poet/writer of the group.

I am so proud of Clemma. She is deserving of this assignment. I met her when I worked as education coordinator at the VermontStateCraftCenter “Frog Hollow.” She is one of those kinds of people you feel as if you have known forever – warm, loving and friendly. We “clicked” immediately. Although we only worked together for a relatively short time, she has never left my heart. When we met, we had a lot in common – both of us had sons, who were only children. They attended the same high school and both boys have artistic spirits. We’d share notes on teen rearing a lot.

I encourage you to follow Clemma and her fellow adventurers on the blog Triptych Journey: The Alchemy of Stories, Art and Travel. http://triptychjourney.org/  .

The group is also comprised of a project advisor (a Buddist who has more than two dozen books on spirituality to his credit), a documentary cinematographer, a photographer, and a choreographer. Their mission “is to tell compelling world stories that speak to all of us. Using multimedia arts and expression, Triptych Journey connects audiences to vulnerable people, cultures and ecology, instilling values of conservation and preservation in a rapidly changing world.”

Happy Travels to All! I can’t wait to be enlightened about what is learned from this experience that will take  these artists to far off reaches of the world.

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

Revisiting Charm City

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It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ~ Barbara Kingsolver

Things have really changed in Baltimore from the days of my childhood in the 1950s and 1960s.

This past weekend I spent time visiting tourist sites in and around the Harbor Place and in other sections of Baltimore where monuments and museums I remember from my childhood, still stand. Now dubbed “CharmCity,” Baltimore has made the most of attracting tourists from all over the world to their port.

As my sister and I walked the city this weekend, so many fulfilling memories came flooding back. I was reminded of the fact that writers Edgar Allen Poe, H.L. Mencken, musician James “Eubie Blake,” and singer Billy Holiday called Baltimore their home. And of course, Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled in this city filled with art, culture and one of the  top medical institutions in the country, Johns Hopkins.

Today, join me on my tour of the BaltimoreHarbor. It is always fun to return to this city and see the various phases of development that have come to sections of the city since my growing up in the suburbs of Towson, Maryland.

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 Pyramid Structure in Distance is the Aquarium http://www.aqua.org/

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Maryland Science Center http://www.mdsci.org/

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 Spirit of Baltimorehttp://www.spiritcruisesbaltimore.com/

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Frozen Custard, piled high, on the cone always brings fulfillment!

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Historic Ship – USS Constitution moored in the Baltimore Harbor http://bit.ly/13WUHQA

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Above Image:Barnes & Noble in the Power Plant – awesome store, multi-storied

Below: Interior of Barnes & Noble – books and more

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Performing Arts Center on the Harbor

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 Portable Beer cart – Taps are musical instruments

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Street Performer on a Unicycle

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Beach Volleyball in the Center of the City, Amid the High rise office buildings

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Of course- a trip to “Bawlmer”  isn’t complete without mention of the Marylander’s beloved “Oreos” (Orioles baseball team)

or “goin’  downy o-shun” (going down the ocean), Ocean City, of course. Marylanders favorite vacation spot.

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Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow, as I bike over to a place of personal fulfillment that I loved to go as a teen on rainy afternoons – The Walter’s Art Gallery. The architecture of the building is as spectacular as the permanent collections of art. The light filled spaces illuminate the art exquisitely. We will also see the Peabody Institute, Maryland Humanities Council, Mt. Vernon Place and other iconic historic landmarks.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, the space were sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business.

Engagement through Books and Writing

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There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.” ~G.K. Chesterton,What I Saw in America

book clubYesterday, I went to a book club on the East Coast, and had a fulfilling experience with a group full of strangers. It made me reflect on how, in recent years, building relationships with others, through books and writing, has become part of my life story.

Books.  They connect us to other people. Worldwide, it’s gotten easier for people to meet-up through web-based book clubs and writers groups to build relationships of common interests. I’ve have the opportunity to open doors and step inside the lives of all kinds of people that I ordinarily would never have had the chance to meet, if it hadn’t been for books.

The dialogue that an author creates in penning a book helps the reader to know the personalities of the people we meet between the covers. Whether a person is physically attractive or not, walks through life with an attitude or is kind to others is determined through the words a talented author uses to craft the story. How and where a person lives and what kinds of relationships they maintain, is revealed through a good narrative. Characters in a story can even help the reader  learn more about themselves.

When you come right down to it, the way our personal tales go is a reflection of the people who pass through our lives. Whether we allow them stay, can be a determining factor in whether a relationship is fulfilling or not. Like the characters in each book we read, even when we let go of certain people, we are never quite the same for having let them in.

Meeting new people in life and in books is all about coming away from the experience learning something we never knew before.

See you next time on  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are 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. Click for Info & Ordering

Stimulating Writing Ideas

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writer-caffeineIs this all it takes to write books? Smokin’ hot jamoke?

The hours I have spent pondering a good storyline, laboring over the computer, staying up late, getting up early, it’s all been for naught? Muggy thoughts have come because I prefer a cuppa tea over coffee?

Henry Fielding once said “love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.” I’ve taken his word as sacred and read heaps of romance novels, all in hopes of providing readers with a delightfully saccharine love story of my own. Creative non-fiction, in the form of a memoir, does that substitution work?

Had I known the key to prolific writing requires being a java jiving connoisseur, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and hard work. A tall carafe of coffee and I could have been turning out “happily ever afters” faster than breeding rabbits? Really? No joke? Today,  I’ll take a large order of smokin’ hot jamoke.

See you next time on  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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Neighborly Inspiration

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inspiredWe have a whole group of individuals, right here in Routt County, Colorado, who are inspiring others through their independent publishing. I’ve gotten notice that we have several book contest finalists from our meet-up group, We Write Steamboat.

On May 18th in Lone Tree, Colorado the EVVY book awards will be presented by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Who will take home the prizes?

Each author has been a motivating force for others because they have pursued their passion for writing. Some share educational or career knowledge and experiences, others share very personal stories, others use their creative powers to craft a fictional piece of literature.

Today, I’d like to honor each one, award-winner or not, for having the perseverance to complete the writing process and publish it. Some have chosen to publish their books digitally (e-book), others, audio format, or a book in hardcover or paperback. Smart authors make their publications available in all formats, whenever possible.

I’d also like to thank our members of We Write Steamboat for supporting me and others in our group. Because independent publishers find community, rather than viewing each other as competitors, the industry is growing and so is our networking group. How fulfilling is that? It’s a beautiful day in our neighborhood of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in living a life inspired by other independent publishers.

rainbows-of-hope-260883Look forward to your return to   All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

 

The Song of Hope

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twitter-bird-winkingThe other day when I was participating in World Book Night, I read the full list of books that were being distributed as part the event. Most were previous years best sellers. Some I had read, but not too many. My nose is usually between the covers of one my clients independently published books, where there’s plenty of fulfilling reading. There are not enough hours in the day to hit all the NY Times best sellers.

Reading the list led me to wonder how many books do you have to sell to be considered a best selling author? Research tells me 5,000 copies or more.  Clearly, most authors write because they love the process of creating a satisfying story.

But, for every writer out there, there is an element of hope among us. Hope that our books will do much better than we ever anticipated. Some of us allow ourselves to dream beyond our wildest imaginations.

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Don’t we all dream of better tomorrows? That’s what inspires writers to get up every morning.

I hope you’ll return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. A  LIVELY Friday is planned. We will be sharing independent thoughts, words and views that are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.