Squeezing In Reading Time

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Eyes see only light, ears hear only sound, but a listening heart perceives meaning.”  David Steindl-Rast, A Listening Heart

We live in a busy world. I often hear people say “I never get to read anymore.” Enter audio books! They are geared for multi-tasking.  A term our society has gotten all too familiar with.

Audio books are the perfect solution for people who like to use their time to their best advantage. And they bring a whole new dimension to reading. After all, says author Sue Batton Leonard about her award-winning audio book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, “the treasure is in the voice.”

According to this article there are health benefits to reading books, and that is a good thing! http://huff.to/1gbsyAD. Although, listening to audio books is a different kind of reading experience,according to  an article in Forbes,  37% of the population listens to audio books.http://onforb.es/1rGVLH8.

Audible.com has provided a way to publish audio books on many different digital platforms – computers, cellphones, i-pads. Pick your preference and pick the time that is best for you to listen in. Audio books are a gift to people who say  “I can’t find time to read.”

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earphones while travelingThis blog brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. Her book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is available in audio, paperback and e-book and can be ordered through this link. http://amzn.to/1xTvPwQ

 

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Weekend of Exploration

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“Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also.” ~ Saint Ambrose

It’s going to be a fun weekend! A chance to do some exploring of things that hold my interest in Washington, DC. I’ll be with my sister and her husband.

national botanicgarden-washingtondc9On our list for Sunday is the National Botanic Gardens and the National Portrait Museum. Two of the few museums in the District of Columbia I have never visited throughout my lifetime. The botanic gardens is a museum quite different than many others in our nation’s Capital. The treasures within the walls are living plants – many of which are not indigenous species to the United States. It gives our citizens an opportunity to see plant life from places all over the world that we may not ever get a chance to travel to. Specimens from the jungle, desert, mountains and plains, both rare and endangered have been assembled and are growing in eco-systems that mirror their natural environments.

Being an art enthusiast , it is surprising that the National Portrait Gallery is also one of the few federal buildings of importance I have never been to in Washington, DC.  After reading the blog www.castlesandcoffeehouses.com called Edith Warton “The Age of Innocence” http://bit.ly/1vzQ927 about a painting in the collection at the National Portrait Museum, I vowed that on my next trip to the East Coast I would visit it. It is a Washington, DC museum I didn’t get to as a child and haven’t yet in my adult years. Well, here I am, ready to enjoy it tomorrow.

national portrait gallery

I’m sure I will be taking photos throughout the day to share on a future blog for those  don’t get a chance to travel to the East Coast.

See you on All Things Fulfilling on Monday. Have a great weekend!

This blog brought to you by www.allthingsfulfilling.com and award-winning author of  the anthology Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  http://amzn.to/1vCTf7k. Don’t miss out on the audio version, it holds the treasure and also won 2nd prize in the EVVY book awards!

Life Can be a Wild Ride

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Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.” ~ Author Unknown

 

gwynnoakparksignIf you are a baby boomer you probably remember end of the school year field trips. Those trips were designed to learn how to have fun!

In Baltimore,  Gywnn Oak Park was a fun place to be except when it became very controversial and a place for riots and protests against racial segregation due to its whites-only admissions policy.   The sixty-four acre park closed up due to terrible flooding in 1973 from Hurricane Agnes. To read more historical information about the desegregation of  Gwynn Oak Park, follow these links. http://bit.ly/1jFbyWs  and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwynn_Oak_Park

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Gwynn oak park ticket

But, Hershey Park, Pennsylvania (aka Chocolate Town) was the most desired field trip spot in my world during my days of growing up. My classmates and I got to travel to it on a Greyhound bus rather than on a school bus. That was a big deal. The seats  were plush and you could tip them back. There were headrests and ashtrays on the armrests. We thought that was pretty cool. We saw chocolate being made and Hershey’s amusement park was much larger. It was a blast. Only the real dorks didn’t like it.

I was game to go on on any of the thrilling rides except the roller coaster, aka The Comet. Once was enough. I thought I was going to have a heart attack it was so scary. The fun house with all the distorted mirrors was one of my favorites. I liked the mirror that turned my body image from skin and bones to an inflated balloon in the blink of an eye. My friends finally had a chance to see what I looked like over-sized instead of under-sized. We all thought it was hysterical. We laughed ourselves silly and had to keep going tinkle!

hersey park PA ride

 

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Ahh…. the good ole days. Sometimes I wish I could bring those fulfilling times back.

This blog is brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Sue’s audio book version of her memoir gives a real sense of the era in which it was written. The treasure is in the voice. Click this link for more information.

 

Don’t Step on the Crack!

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Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Don’t step on the crack, you’ll break your mothers back. Don’t step on the crack, you’ll break your mothers back, don’t step……” Remember repeating that over and over again as you paced all up and down the  sidewalks?  For our family, it was a novelty to walk on city sidewalks because we lived in a wooded suburb. When we went to the city being able to sketch on pavement with chalk or to draw out a hopscotch course, we thought was pretty “nifty.”

When we visited our grandparents in Baltimore City, we got to do all kinds of things that we couldn’t do at our house. At home, our playground was the forest and stream. At least an acre or more of land separated the neighbors. At our grandparents, we thought it was pretty neat that we could sit in rocking chairs on a  porch and politely greet passers by.

The ragman  I can still remember the voice and the words of the Ragman’s banter as he navigated the horse and cart down the city streets of Baltimore. “Rags! Rags for sale! Come get your rags.”  Hearing the clip-clop of the horses feet coming down the street, was so exciting. The rag man called out, “New rags for old. Give me yours, and I’ll give you another.” Recycling, I assure you is not a new concept.

All in good jest, my parents used to threaten to sell or trade us to the Ragman if my sister, my brothers and I didn’t behave ourselves. That was enough to make us sit up and pay attention!

If you are a baby boomer, you might have recollections of having the Ragman arrive in your neighborhood and seeing people run out in the street to greet him and check out his wares.

Do you know the origins of the Ragman story? Here’s a link, you can read it for yourself. I found it quite interesting because as a child, the only thing I was interested in was seeing the big horse (usually an old gray mare) pulling the cart down the street. Little did I know there was an inspirational story behind The Ragman.  Check  it out! http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/573/ragman/.

In 2010, Walter Wagernan’s short story The Ragman was produced into a movie. Click on the link if for more information and ordering the DVD Ragman.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author and narrator of the memoir Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Now available in audio book.  Click here to listen to the audio book sample, narrated by the author

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Storytelling for the Sake of Others

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Stories are how we learn. The progenitors of the world’s religions understood this, handing down our great myths and legends from generation to generation. —Bill Mooney and David Holt,Storyteller’s Guide (American Storytelling)

I’m looking forward to this evening. I’ve been invited as a guest to attend an event called Stories! It Takes Roots to Bloom! A year or two ago I was invited to attend this annual event organized by the Steamboat Christian Church . The first time I attended it I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so I am thrilled to be welcomed back.  The night revolves around telling stories orally.

When I gave an author talk at my own church, The United Methodist Church of Steamboat http://www.umcsteamboat.org on May 5th, I mentioned my strong belief in the importance of telling stories to help other people and to preserve culture. It makes no difference what religion you practice because those that relate to what an author has to say will appreciate it.

In my opinion, we all come to our faith (or not) through our own experiences, which is just one point of my memoir “Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” Some people are exposed to very traditional teachings and some come from unique and varied viewpoints, which makes for an interesting American culture.Click here for Info & Ordering on Sue’s memoir

gift of a lifetime image from Amazon_

Several of our We Write Steamboat members are members of this congregation. They have published their stories in testimony to how their faith has made a difference in their careers. Courtney Diehl, an equine veterinarian shares stories about her dealings with horses and their owners. It is  filled with humor that anyone will enjoy. She also gives an accounting of trying to build a successful practice. At the root of her business is her faith that she will make it as a mobile veterinarian.Click here for info & ordering Horse Vet

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“Doc Dawn” Dawn V Obrecht, M.D. is a physician specializing in addiction. Her first book is about her medical missionary trips to far off places around the world helping  people who have been devastated by natural environmental disasters. She also has other publications that she has written designed to help those struggling with addiction. These are wonderful examples of personal stories told for the sake of others.Click her for info on all of Dawn V Obrechts books

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I’d like to extend a thank you to the Director of Women’s Ministry at the Steamboat Christian Church for inviting me. I am sure it will be an inspirational evening.

Do return on Monday! This blog brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com and author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Sue’s publication, click on this text.Gift of a Lifetime – Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Sojourns in Reaching a Dream

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After my book presentation on April 4 to the Yampa Valley University Women, Beverly, who is a group member and someone who was in the audience, came up to me and said “Sue, I get the feeling you have been on a real journey with this book.” “Have I ever,  Beverly, ” I replied smiling. I was thrilled that she understood the amount of work that went into it and how I was feeling, “There is no denying it,” I said.

Between writing about the publishing project throughout the process on this blog All Things Fulfilling and bringing the story alive on paper, it has been a real sojourn of sorts. It is as if I have been up in a hot air balloon looking down, and describing the publishing landscape has it has changed. I have soared as I have gone along for a ride with it.

The-Journey-Is-What-Brings-Us-Happiness-Not-The-DestinationI, like many others, was not aware when I started my memoir writing project how this would lead to enormous personal growth in so many ways that I had not anticipated. A lot of the development has come as a result of doing whatever it took to do it right, independently.

I’ve faced and recorded into words the  most poignant moments in my life, tackled my shyness about reading the manuscript out loud while having it critiqued by a whole bunch of professional writers. Then I faced the fact that I need to become someone who is comfortable with public speaking, if I really want to continue to achieve my dreams of traveling around and vocally sharing my retrospective thoughts.

I have had the great fortune of being in an environment that is very supportive of writers who helped me to achieve my mission. I would like to state my gratitude to anyone who has helped me along the way. You know who you are, and so do I. I consider each one of you as one of many “personal angels.”

My advice to anyone who is embarking on an independent publishing process – do whatever it takes to make it happen.  Don’t hold back, don’t limit yourself to what you are willing to do or not. In other words, remove all stops! And most of all seek out the help of others who can help you along the way.

What is the greatest lesson I have learned throughout the process? By maintaining faith, and being willing to open myself up to all possibilities, my dream has become a reality!

If you didn’t visit this site on Monday, it was very special day on All Things Fulfilling!  I revealed a chapter of the audio book version of  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is posted permanently on About the Book Page for your listening enjoyment. Listen to it as many times as you wish so you can get a sense of the voice in the story.