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

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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.

A Russian Winter

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Art is the right hand of Nature.” ~ Friedrich Schiller

Last Friday evening as I participated in the First Friday Art Walk, I felt as if I was living in the Russian valley of Oymyakon, the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world. The twenty below-zero temperatures seemed to have been heaven sent to provide a full-bodied experience for my emersion into the Russian art exhibition that opened that evening at the Steamboat Art Museum. The Russian paintings, on loan from a single private collector, are nothing short of magnificent.

SAM Russian Art

The Russian Experience” is a beautifully curated exhibit. I’d like to compliment artist Rich Galusha who really took great care in the placement of the paintings even painting the museum walls to accentuate the work – a job well done. And the Russian musical compositions that John Sant’Ambrogio played on the cello complimented the evening.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the educational information that was posted in the museum about the history and various styles of Russian Art. It was interesting to note that most of the artists did not reside in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but rather, they came from small, remote villages throughout the country.

As cold as it was on Friday, I wouldn’t have missed getting out. After all, my husband’s photography debut exhibition along with other student’s work from ColoradoMountainCollege’s digital photography class was next door to the Steamboat Art Museum at the Chief Theatre for Cultural and Performing Arts. http://www.chieftheater.org/. The student’s work will be at the Chief Theatre all month long.

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If you are coming to town this winter, don’t miss out on stopping by the Steamboat Art Museum http://www.steamboatartmuseum.org/ and take in “The Russian Experience.” It will be available until April 12. The frigid blast will have passed since we don’t often see temperatures this low for long periods.

Thankfully, as I strolled the streets going from gallery to gallery, I found some hot cider at the Wild Horse Gallery to warm my inners. It was much appreciated!

Come on back tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Important First Steps to Publishing

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

The e-Book Extravaganza on Saturday sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) was well-worth attending. During one of the breaks, the President of CIPA, Dr. Patricia Ross came over to me and said “Sue, I’d like you to meet one of our new members.” Of course, the usual niceties followed.

I asked the new member if she was enjoying the morning, and she said “Yes, but I feel so uninformed! There is so little I know about independent publishing.” Dr. Ross told her not to be discouraged, and off the President went doing her job of hob-knobbing about the room.

CIPA 9 13 #1As the new member and I stood talking, I said to her, “You know, each and every person in this room started where you began today, knowing nothing. That is the reason you have joined this group -to get help, to learn, to network and become informed about your options.” There is a lot to learn and you have taken a very important first step. You have joined this group!”

“Yes,” the new member replied. “There seems to be plenty of knowledge to learn from in this group.”

Before the break was over and we went to sit in our respective seats, across the room from one another, I had one more thing I had to say. “In your free time, read anything you can get your hands on about the industry, and keep coming to this group. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.”

To learn more about the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, please visit this link. http://www.cipacatalog.com/join-cipa/. Please note the organization also offers downloadable webinars if you are too far to travel to their meetings.

http://www.cipacatalog.com/categories/CIPA-College-Downloads/

As I drove home, I began to ponder how many first steps I have taken since 1998, when the independent industry was in its infancy. They’ve all been in a quest to learn all I could about the industry and it led to becoming a business.  And the wonders and development of the independent publishing universe never cease to amaze me. I find it fascinating.

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

e-Book Extravaganza

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Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. ~ Kofi Annan

cipa logoOn Saturday I made the very worthwhile three hour trek into Denver from Steamboat Springs, Colorado to attend Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) monthly meeting. The September agenda was an e-Book Extravaganza. Here are just a few things that were discussed throughout the day:

  • The e-book industry now represents 33% of book sales. How about that?
  • People like having a choice of formats, so offering books in print, as well as an e-book version is wise marketing.
  • There is still a viable market for books-in-print but there is a certain part of the reading population who are clamoring for e-books due to their convenience.
  • Surprisingly, people who are 55 years of age and over ARE BUYING e-books, contrary to what was expected. It is not just the young generation that are interested in the digital format.
  • We discussed pricing of e-books and how you can leverage your intellectual property.
  • E-books make it easy to offer samples, providing potential book buyers the  opportunity to see if they like an author they’ve never read before.
  • A big advantage to e-books – there is no printing involved, thus it removes the need for physical space of inventory.

If you are a writer who wants to get on The Fast Track to Independent Publishing, here is a short webinar that will introduce you to the basics. http://bit.ly/10cCp1Y. 

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, we will be discussing the next best step if you are a person who is considering independent publishing and you are in need of knowledge. I will tell you a quick but valuable story from this weekend.

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

 

Film Friday: Teaching Emerging Filmmakers

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new day films “One of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.”  – Edward Zwick

Are you an educator who teaches emerging young filmmakers? The other day I came across a film distribution company that may not be known to visitors who frequent All Things Fulfilling for news about independent filmmaking.

New Day Films is a filmmaker-run distribution company providing award-winning films to educators since 1971. This on-line site “delivers over 230 titles that illuminate, challenge and inspire.”  Many of the films can be digitally streamed directly from the website or delivered in DVD or VHS format.

willard van dykeSince the genre of documentary film is particularly interesting to me, I was drawn to a film called Conversations with Willard Van Dyke. http://www.newday.com/films/Conversations_with_WVD.html. In this film, Van Dyke discusses his belief that “films have the power of film to change the world.”  The man behind his films, Willard Van Dyke,became synonymous with social documentary in the U.S.”

During his lifetime (1906 – 1986), Van Dyke painted portraitures of Americans, through the medium of film, who made their living through hard labor everyday such as steelworkers, cottonpickers and machinists. The Depression, he said, made an everlasting impression on him.Click for info & ordering Willard Van Dyke’s film

Van Dyke was director of the Department of Film at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from 1965 to 1974. He also began the film department at the State University of New York in Purchase.  In 1978, he received the prestigious George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film. 

New Day Films distributes films on many social issue topics, among them:

  • Aging & Gerontology
  • Media, Art & Culture
  • Religion & Theology
  • African-American
  • Multi-Cultural
  • Children & Family issues
  • Sociology
  • Native American Studies

Film educators and film historians may find the perfect film they are looking for to use in the classroom on the website http://www.newday.com.  Check it out.

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

Good News for an Indie Bookstore

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“Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.” ~ Dali Lama

In a time when brick and mortar bookstores are struggling to stay in business, there is good news in the northeastern part of the country. Northshire Bookstore, in Manchester Center, Vermont, an independent bookstore that has won top honors from Publishers Weekly Magazine, just spread it’s wings and has opened in a second location, in a second state.

Saratoga, New York, the site of the new Northshire Bookstore, is a thriving community, the home of SkidmoreCollege. http://www.skidmore.edu/ The town has a vibrant performing arts center (SPAC), http://www.spac.org/ as well as many shops and galleries throughout town. The SaratogaArtCenter http://www.saratoga-arts.org/ teaches workshops and hosts artists in residence. It is also the summer home to many horse racing enthusiasts.

There are many reasons to visit this region. Saratoga is in the Adirondack Mountains region with sparkling lakes nearby for summer recreation. The town boasts of seventeen healing mineral springs, which were first found by the Mohawk and Iroquois Indians.

Next time you are in the area, stop by 424 Broadway and see the newly opened Northshire Bookstore. http://www.northshire.com/ If it is anything like the retail store in Manchester, Vermont, it will be stocked with all kinds of fulfilling reading and it will be well worth your visit.

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Photo Above: Pre-Opening of the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga, NY

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Tomorrow we will be sharing stories about art in a different part of the country. Do return to All Things Fulfilling.