She’s Got the Whole World in Her Hands

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Independent publishing has turned the whole publishing world nearly upside down because if you have the will, now there is a way! There is no longer the need to get the “green light” from a mainstream publisher to move forward with getting a book into the market place. Every tool is now available to anyone of any age to write, publish and sell through e-commerce or through any portal an author is willing to pursue. What is needed is a mature level of stick-to-it-ive-ness to accomplish such a goal.

Today, I’d like to share a story about a young girl from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. At thirteen years of age, she recently independently published her first book. I can well remember the fulfilling feelings when I birthed my debut publication which became an award-winning memoir. But, I was decades older than the girl featured in today’s story. Read more about this story of outstanding accomplishment here because it may inspire you to step up and write the story you’ve had inside of you.

God Blessed you, Mackenzie Ostrowski, with a creative spirit filled with powerful motivation and dogged perseverance to inspire others. At your youthful age, you’ve got the whole world in your hands and you’re going for it already in your young life! Good for you! Make the most of all your interests.

I can’t wait to read Mackenzie Ostrowski’s debut novel and it sounds like her success has encouraged her to write more.

Thank you to Laurie at the Heart of Steamboat United Methodist Church for sending me this story!

“Be open to God’s novelty.”

Forever Grateful for Art Education

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“To live a life fulfilled, reflect on the things you have with gratitude.” ~ Jaren Davis

Last weekend I sat in on a plein air painting workshop held at Ladew Topiary Gardens. It is truly an extraordinary,  top-notch venue for artists who enjoy getting out of the studio to paint a garden landscape scene right in front of them in natural light.

Instructors and husband and wife team, Mike Bare and Joanne Bare are completing their one year Artists-in-Residence at Ladew Topiary Gardens. As I listened to the artists talk, I couldn’t help but feel gratitude for a few chapters of my life that I would not have wanted to skip for anything – the opportunity to work at two different art galleries. More recently, Wild Horse Gallery in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and some years ago at West Wind Fine Art, LLC in Manchester, Vermont. That is when I handled the order fulfillment of art books and videos published by representational painter Richard Schmid‘s publishing house, Stove Prairie Press, LLC.  What an opportunity it was to learn so much about painting. My appreciation of art grew exponentially with those life experiences.

So, when artist Mike Bare spoke about differences in painting styles between loose vs. tight , and terminology such as warm vs cool colors, opposites on a color wheel, soft and hard edges, painting shadows (dark) vs light and negative spaces, I understood what he was talking about. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about other technical aspects of painting before the artists went out into the gardens to sketch and practice what their instructor so capably preached.

( Above photo: Mike Bare at Barn Gallery at Ladew Topiary Gardens)

Some of what Bare spoke about can be applied to writing. Do come back to my next post on October 10, 2019. I’ll explain what the artist said that also relates to a fulfilling writers life.

(Above Photo: Mike Bare’s sketchbook and paintings at Ladew Topiary Gardens)

Sundown for Labor Day

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What a glorious summer it has been.  It is the time of the year when I feel as if I have returned to days of my youth. An outpouring of memories come with that.

Over Labor Day weekend and for a few days next week I’d like to encourage our readers to check out some of the posts in the archives. You can look them up by category or scroll through the site. Something will catch your interest. There are over 1700 writings on All Things Fulfilling that have drawn 100,000+ viewers to this website.

Each of the postings is about something that has inspired me as a writer or as a human being to follow my own kind of bliss.

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See you back here a little later in the week. I promise. Refreshed, rejuvenated and with a wealth of ideas that will come together between now and the New Year.

This blog is brought to you by award winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Her books include EVVY award -winner Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Nature’s Healing Qualities

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“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.” ~George Washington Carver

The image below looks like me as a little girl. Even as a little child who lived life on the edge with some serious health issues, I was not pampered and made to feel any different than my twin sister and brothers. Our home was surrounded by the forest with a leafy canopy of tall straight tulip poplar trees. A beautiful natural environment where fresh air and sunshine was plentiful. I played outdoors constantly digging for worms, making mud pies and throwing rocks in the streams that bordered both sides of our property. My parents insisted that I spend the days outdoors playing in the muck so I had little time to think about my miseries. For that, I am grateful to my parents.

It concerns me that too many children today are nature deprived and become ill as a result of it. It’s important for children to get outdoors and explore the natural world. Here is an article from the New York Times that every parent should be aware of. http://nyti.ms/Nx7lVj.

Spring has sprung, and the warm-up has begun. Parents get your children outdoors as much as possible in the coming months. Take them to parks, gardens, nearby woods and forests. If that’s not possible, be one another’s walking partners. Hold each other accountable and trade off TV and video time for outdoors time. Enjoy the natural world that was given to us for a reason. Its good for the mind, body and spirit.

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

Sharing Sisters

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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou

“Set still, chile,” said the stellar character that you will learn a lot about in my upcoming book as she fed our little brother his lunch. Our mother had run to the store to get a gallon of milk and the woman, the star of my story, had been given the task of watching over us kids as we ate our lunch.

“What did yo’ sisters give ya?” she asked my brother, “a bunch of dem squiggly wigglies in your pants? Dem girlies is always carryin’ around dem squiggly wigglies deh dig up out da Earf. Must be God give us dem creatures for a reason, but I ain’t knowd what it is. My preacher man ain’t read me dat part yet from da Greatest Story Ever Tole.”

What a character! She was talking about the worms my sister and I always dug up out of the garden and shared with each other.

When my twin sister and I were little we always thought everything should come in pairs like we did and like the animals in the story of Noah in the Bible. When we only had one of something, my sister and I always shared it. We’d pull a worm apart until we had two equal pieces. Yes, I know – how cruel! But give me a break – we were only two little children. All we could think was that it wasn’t fair if one of us had something and not the other.

My twin and I shared everything and had utmost trust in each other until we became teenagers and when it came to clothes. We never trusted that we’d get things back from each other in the same condition as when they were lent out. But, have there ever been teenage sisters who have been good at sharing clothes?

Trust, attachment and caring are all inside the pages of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. But, the real treasure in the story will come from the enlightenment you will find through the unique perspectives and colorful dialogue of the stellar character.

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Don’t miss out on the MP-3 audio book version of “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected” when it comes out! This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

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.

Sour to Sunny Moods

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Julie AndrewsI am posting this image on the Vernal Equinox  for the benefit of my mother. Our family traveled many, many miles together on road trips. Most of them were pleasurable except when we four kids started fighting. Every time the mood in the car began to turn sour, my mother engaged us in singing songs from our favorite movie – The Sound of Music. Then the atmosphere began to lighten , better moods sprung up and we’d forget about our troubles with our brothers and sisters.

Ah, yes, as with every family there are instigators and peacemakers among us, but I am not going to point any fingers. Besides, “I can’t remember if I am the good sister or the evil sister.” Each of my siblings would probably tell you a different story! They all have their own  independent opinions, which was the reason the fights began in the first place. There isn’t one among us who doesn’t have a  strong view on everything in life.

Which do you think I might be? A peacemaker or instigator? Hey now, keep your opinion to yourself . Today is the International Day of Happiness and the vernal equinox is supposed to be about balance and harmony in the cosmos. Let’s not open a can of worms until Monday!

Do come back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow – I’ll tell you about the road trip I am taking this weekend.

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