“A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.”― Chuck Palahniuk
Do you miss those days when the words commitment, pride and work ethic really meant something? Are you tired of reading news stories that are sensational and shocking because healthy relationships are missing? The good news is stories about valuing oneself and others who are different than us do exist.
Lessons of Heart & Soul, is a collection of stories that go back to the days when things were much simpler and when kids learned and understood what decent values were all about. These ten short stories which were cut from the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected were previously unpublished. They are bound to put a smile on your face.
If you are looking for something to make you feel good and lift your spirits, both publications will remind you of a time when life was not so complex. You’ll love Fanny the central character in the story and her pearls of wisdom. You’ll want to learn even more about her in the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, if you haven’t already read it.
Where is the best treasure in the story? Check out the memorable voice in the audio book, narrated by the author. Prefer to read it on a different platform? Select the paperback or e-book.
Isn’t it funny how all it takes is a picture to stir memories up?
I am posting this blog especially for my mother this morning on All Things Fulfilling, I hope she sees it.
Do you remember the hours you and I sat in doctor’s waiting rooms looking at Highlight’s for Children Magazine passing the time away waiting for my cardiology appointments. When I came across this image, I thought of you. Now that I am a mother, I can relate just a little to what you went through with a critically sick child. I am sure as you waited with me, your anxiety was by far much greater than mine, even though I was the patient.
Anyway, Mom, those days of Johns Hopkins, Sinai and all the other doctors we visited are long past us. Thankfully I came out on the all better side. I know you don’t need any reminders of those days because they are etched in your mind forever. But this image reminded me of how we found something fulfilling in even the tough stuff. We enjoyed being together and solved these kinds of puzzles. It was our alone time. You probably thought it didn’t mean much to me but it did. So much so that seeing this image stirred all the memories up some six decades later. Thanks for being by my side and I look forward to a visit with you and Dad soon! Can’t believe it has been a year since I’ve seen you! Love, Sue
This blog is brought to you by the author of the award winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.
Children are our most valuable resource ~ Herbert Hoover
It’s been said that spending time with children heals the soul. Yes, indeed, it does. Friday was a splendid afternoon spent sharing “One Day in the Life of a Writer” with Junior Girl Scout Troop #12622, ages nine and ten.
Photo: My writers desk in the Girl Scout meeting room
I asked each of the girls to bring a question that they’ve always wanted to ask a writer but have never had the opportunity. I gave them my Girl Scout promise that I would do my best to serve them further by sharing their questions and my answers today on All Things Fulfilling:
Is that you in the photo on the book? ~ Alison
Yes, it is me, thirty-five years ago on the day I got married.
Do you write on weekends? ~Ella
Sometimes I get brainstorms and write a whole bunch in one day so I won’t have to write on weekends. And I try not to write on weekends to take a break. But, sometimes I get ideas and can’t help myself.
Are you writing a new book right now? ~ Margaux
Yes, actually I am working on two. I have the goal of publishing one in time for Valentines Day 2016. It is fiction, an imaginary story. The other is about independent publishing. That will take more time because I want to share the knowledge a little differently, and I am trying to decide how that might be. I have some ideas…
What are the names of the books? ~Molly
I only have working titles for them at this time, but nothing final.
When were you born? ~ Caroline
1953, I am not quite 62. (Another little girl piped up and graciously said – “Oh! Then you’re not old at all!” To which I smiled and replied “Thank you for saying that!”)
What kind of fiction book are you writing? ~ Jade
One of the awards I won for Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was in the Young Adult category – for ages 12 and up. I like writing for young girls, so this is the genre I’ve decided to write this next book for also. My first book was a memoir. A real life story. This new publication I am working on is not based on real characters but it is based on things that girls sometimes face in life.
Do you think we could read your book even though we are not 12? ~ Caroline
That would be up to your parents. The dialect of the character of Fanny is written a little differently than the way some people talk but there is no bad language such as swear words in it or anything else a nine or ten year old should not read. Since I just read you a chapter and you heard how the star character Fanny talked, you probably wouldn’t have trouble reading it.
What inspired you to be a writer? ~ Margaux
Back in 1998 I started working for an artist who has won every major art award in America. He independently published his own books and videos on painting. Back then very few people did that and I very inspired by it. When I started my own business, I started a blog called All Things Fulfilling and started writing daily. I realized how much I loved to write. I had a story I’ve wanted to tell all my life, and decided to write and publish independently. It’s won several awards.
Where can we buy your books? ~ Alison
On Amazon.com and it is available in paperback, e-book and audio book. By selling it over the internet, anyone from all over the world can purchase it. The real treasure is in the audio book because I narrated it and you can hear me speaking in Fanny’s voice. It won a 2nd place award in the audio book category.
Could you teach me how to make those flowers? ~ Margaux
Absolutely! I would love to. But, I’ll have to come back and spend more time with you Girl Scouts.
Note: I read aloud the chapter from Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected called Paper Roses. I surprised each girl with one of my own paper flower creations that I learned to make when I was a Junior Girl Scout. After my presentation, the girls worked on a project that will give them a firm foundation to write on in coming days. You’ll learn more about Girl Scout Troop #12622’s art project when you return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling.
This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard author of Gift of a Lifetime Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.
God’s plan for us is always that of grace. ~ Unknown
On this 23rd day of Advent, I have a question for our readers.
Have you seen the painting Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling? He is an outstanding artist who paints historical stories from a different time and era. Many of his paintings are of settlers to the West.
Kissing the Face of God is an exquisite painting that is so appropriate to share on this 23rd Day of Advent as we await the celebration of the birth of Jesus. When you see the image and read the artist’s statement about the painting, you will better appreciate the sentiment behind it.
My own personal story of the miracles in my life are recounted in Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. The award-winning book makes a great present to share with loved ones in your life for Christmas, at the start of a New Year, in celebration of a birthday or for “just because.”
Please return tomorrow and celebrate the 24th Day of Advent with us on All Things Fulfilling.
Ever feel like some days you are looking through cloudy windows and other days, the window pane looks crystal clear?
Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected gives a different perspective on the art of living. Each chapter is a little vignette about life and how we react to it. Much is about how we are wired, our upbringing, our beliefs and our experiences.
Forewarning! While reading Sue Batton Leonard’s award-winning memoir you might catch another symptom of the Advent Virus – A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
Just another look at what’s inside Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. I look forward to having you return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!
For information on the book by Sue Batton Leonard, please follow these links:
The only gift is a portion of thyself. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yes, I know how you are feeling and what you are thinking. “I really need do more than just go window shopping.” The days are quickly passing and it will be Christmas before you know it. But you don’t know what to give your loved ones that will be different. Did I get it?
An inspiring story of love and humor that anyone can appreciate might be just the thing. A book that has a unique voice not hum-drum. Is that what you are looking for?
The award-winning anthology of stories, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is all that and more! It is a book of heart and soul that will leave a lasting impact. Yet it’s an easy, pleasurable read -it’s light-hearted. You don’t have to study over it and it will make you chuckle. Who ever said Christian people have no sense of humor? Gift of a Lifetime has won three awards, one in the young adults’ category.
Above Photo: There it sits on the shelf, at Come & See Christian Books & Gifts hoping some little elf will come by and pick up a few copies just in time for Christmas giving.
If you want to buy locally and support writers, it’s available in Steamboat Springs, Colorado at Come and See Christian Books and Gifts at 675 S. Lincoln Avenue. It’s also available in Towson, Maryland at Ukazoo Books. If you can, save yourself some shipping fees and pick it up in the stores because you might find other gift items for someone else in your community, house or family.
Save the Date! January 3rd, 2015 from 11:00 am to 1pm meet the award-winning author! Stop in at Come and See Christian Books and Gifts in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Have some refreshments and be one of the first to find out what’s in store for 2015.
For those who live too far away from Steamboat, CO or Towson, MD the book is also available on-line through all the major on-line booksellers. It is available in paperback, award-winning audio and e-book.
On this 9th day of Advent if you were to ask author Sue Batton Leonard “What is her favorite chapter in her award-winning book? Here’s the answer: Chapter 19 Personal Coaching.
The story starts with an inspirational quote that goes like this “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” by http://www.tonyrobbins.com.
‘Nuf said on this ninth day of Advent on All Things Fulfilling. The whole narrative that relates to this quote by Tony Robbins lies between the covers of the award-winning memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.” To Order :
“Feed your faith and starve your doubts.” ~ Kenneth E. Hagin Sr.
A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Grace, and I visited the Prigel Family Creamery http://www.prigelfamilycreamery.com/ in Glen Arm, Maryland to pick up some of their award-winning “Best of Baltimore” ice cream. The farm is located in horse country, near My Lady’s Manor, Maryland in Baltimore County, north of the city. It’s in the area of the state where the notable “steeple chases” take place every April. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, think fox and hound hunts. http://www.marylandsteeplechasing.com/main/mlm/datetime.htm
As we drove up to the farm, I was surprised by what I saw. A business that unabashedly shares their belief on a sign etched in stone right on the foundation of the building. You can’t miss it.
“How refreshing is that?” I thought. So many businesses and individuals in this day and age would rather not display signs of the American values and principles that our country was founded upon – a sad state of affairs, I think, if I can be honest.
As everyone knows farming is one of the most difficult occupations there is. Hard work, unforeseeable challenges and the unrelenting task of finding ways to be a sustainable business is all part of the job. It also takes faith to be a farmer because they are constantly at the mercy of unpredictable weather!
Today during this week of gratefulness, I’d like to dedicate this blog on All Things Fulfilling to farmers and ranchers everywhere who keep us fed with fresh produce and other “fruits” of their labor and production – meat, eggs, grains, cheese, poultry, maple syrup and so much more. When we sit down to the Thanksgiving table on Thursday, let us remember where the food we eat comes from and those who produce it.
Here are a few more photos from my quick stop at Prigel’s, along the trail of my East Coast book tour, which I am so very grateful for.
This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has won three awards, please visit this site.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.
According to Tom Kelley, “exercise creates a responsive, innovative culture.” I whole heartedly agree. Ideas that came to me while walking helped me to write a memoir. Whole pages of text were composed in my mind as I beat the pavement daily. Independent publishing was the right avenue to persue if I wanted to share my ponderings about the past creatively. I had no doubt.
Here’s an article that recently appeared on MSN.com about Why Walking Helps Us Think. http://a.msn.com/0E/en-us/BB1tnsq.
Top thought leaders advocate for the value of holding business meetings while walking. Listen to this Ted Talk if you are interested in this concept. http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/29/walking-meetings-5-surprising-thinkers-who-swore-by-them/.
Some of the top employers in this country are also allowing their workers to take time out of their daily schedules to exercise. It helps to create a culture of healthy minds, bodies and spirit. Many of these top companies have on-site exercise facilities.
For those who are not able to exercise during business hours, or do not have the resources to join a health club or gym, the best form of exercise is walking – and it is free!
I contend that thirty days of steady walking will have you feeling better all round – in mind, body and spirit. Watch out, there may be some unexpected consequences. The story in you might just come out!
This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Author of the EVVY award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For information about the memoir, browse this website and go to