Character Analysis

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Everyone tries to define this thing called Character. It’s not hard. Character is doing whats right, when nobody is looking” ~Unknown

Yesterday’s blog Gardens Heaven Scent made me think back to a time some years ago when I would hold annual perennial plant swaps in my gardens in Vermont. I’d get out my best china and linen, make fancy finger foods and entertain with a beautiful garden party. I’d invite the gals over to nosh. Some would come dressed in their durable gardening clothes, and others would arrive in their floppy garden hats and finery, appropriate for a high-noon English tea.

What fun we used to have!  Ironically, many of the attendees were book enthusiasts, too. Sharing opinions and thoughts of “characters in the garden” came easily and it was all part of the fulfilling day. We’d discuss:

  • What the reaction of others was to the overall scene.
  • Which personalities had conflicts with their neighbors
  • How figures underwent change through seasons.
  • Which characters ran around spreading their seeds
  • Star performers vs. minor role players.
  • Which cast of characters maintained their uprightness no matter what
  • Weaknesses and strengths in bit players.
  • What elements contributed to the fate of individual players
  • Villains vs. heroes

Gardeners never run out of things to talk about. Swapping talk of the trade is as fulfilling as the act of gardening itself.

As I write this blog, I am about to head off to discuss another of my passions –  growing the garden of independent publishing. Our meet-up group She Writes Steamboat is helping others who want to grow books . We are having a garden party of sorts. Before I go, I’ll leave you with some food for thought.

Safe Harbor for She Writes Steamboat


“Dwell in Possibility” ~ Emily Dickinson 

On last Friday’s blog, mention was made of Chicken and Egg Pictures, a non-profit organization supporting women independent filmmakers. The tag line of this non-profit “Incubating and Hatching All at Once” well represents what I have been feeling about She Writes Steamboat  over the past few months. I have been envisioning and growing in my mind, a meet-up group that will provide networking opportunities and support and foster independent publishing success. 

I have decided the time is NOW to hatch the group and support a group of women who have stories to tell, but are still in the incubation period and want to actively hatch and grow their desires. 

For those just starting down the road to independent publishing, beginning can be a scary thing! Women are good at supporting and communicating with each other in their efforts to succeed. What independent publishers have in common is a real and pressing need to inspire and entertain others through storytelling or to educate and inform all through the power of the written word. With independent publishing, there is no competition because everyone has an individual and unique narrative to tell. 

So my thoughts are “why not get together, meet-up and all be there for each other.” Our first She Writes Steamboat meet-up will be Tuesday, June 21 at 4:00 pm at the Bud Werner Library Hall. 

Ladies, feel free to invite others who are in any stage of publishing or those interested in learning more about the independent publishing process. At our first meeting, we will be discussing what time we should schedule our future meetings, how often we chicks should gather. We will be laying the groundwork for a group that I hope will be a safe harbor so independent publishers will not feel as if they are all alone in their publishing efforts. 

Join Us! There is nothing to lose and everything to gain in learning more about the dynamic industry of independent publishing. There are no membership fees. By the way, this group is affiliated with


         See you then!

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Yippee! More IPPY!


If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer 

Supporting independent publishers is what  Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC is all about!  Never too much focus can be paid on folks working in an industry that is dynamic, growing and full of promise. Independent minded-folks know that by browsing, a great number independently published books, films and music can be found. These publications  are unique and different than what many of the traditional publishing companies have to offer.  

Our emphasis on the 2011 IPPY awards continues, this week. What a fulfilling feeling it must be for an independent publisher to earn  IPPY award stickers to grace the front covers of their books! There are so many wonderful award-winning books this year. It would take more than “a month of Sundays” for me to mention each and every one. Here are a few more award-winning independent book picks: 

  • Religious Fiction: The Community of Promise – The Untold Story of Moses (Entos Press)
  • Visionary Fiction: The Angel and the Brown-Eyed Boy (Vilasa Press) 
  • Children’s Picture Books: Skywriting: Poems to Fly (The Creative Company)
  • Juvenile/Teen/ Young Adult: Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey through Cancer and Recovery (Happy Quail Publishing)
  • Biography: The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)

 To learn more about the IPPY awards and the 2011 award-winning publications, please visit

 We will take one last look tomorrow at a few more prize-winning independently published books. Then we will turn our attention to other fulfilling events that are on the horizon in the independent publishing world. Stay tuned!

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Hip, Hip Hooray! An IPPY!

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“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.” ~ Colin Powell 

It’s shout out loud day! We are sending our congratulations to our client, Mike Campbell of Iffenwen Publishing for winning an IPPY Award in the Aging/Death and Dying category for his book When Mom and Dad Need Help. For more information on this book, please visit or Mike’s publication was also finalist in the Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards in the Family and Relationship Category. Great job, Mike! 

A few months ago, we also featured on this blog site another 2011 IPPY award-winning author, Paul Wainwright and his photographic book A Space for Faith. If you did not get a chance to read about Paul’s book, please visit two blogs entitled All For the People and the blog entitled All for Tourism  

What is an IPPY Award? The IPPY Awards are open to independent authors and publishers worldwide. The awards are given to independently owned and operated presses that sell to the North American market. University Presses or publishing  presses operated by foundations, publishing less than 50 titles per year are also included.

Books in many, many genres and categories are awarded “the IPPY” for excellence in independent publishing. Tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, we will be featuring more 2011 award-winning IPPY book titles that, I think, viewers of this website will find of particular interest. Come on back!

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Feeding Minds through Film


In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties.” ~ Henri Frederic Amiel

As predicted, the LunaFest,® on Friday night at the Bud Werner Library, had a fulfilling line-up of short films that were screened. Once I arrived at the film festival, I became aware that the LunaFest® is sponsored by LunaBars® –snack bars that are power-packed with vitamins and minerals that meet the needs of all women, and especially women on the go. “What woman is not on the go,” may I ask? 

Out of the 10 “shorts” that were shown, it is difficult to say which was my favorite. Each film had it’s own merits and an important issue that was brought to the fore. The producers and directors of the films were women from a diversity of countries and cultures. Americans, Brits, Israelis and Canadians were among the mix. The following is a list of films that were screened, and my interpretation of the issue that was highlighted in each film: 

  • The Translator – Communication between men & women.
  • Getting A Grip – Women competing in what is thought to be a man’s world.
  • Touch –  Guardian angels that appear in women’s lives.
  • Tightly Knit – Building community around common interests.
  • Top Spin – Women finding balance in their lives.
  • Thembi’s Diary – Global health issues (this film was artistically creative in how it incorporated textures and patterns with animation).
  • Mother of Many – Women’s health and parenting.
  • Irene – Adult children caring for aging parents.
  • Miracle Lady – Hope, life’s journey, enduring love
  • Love on the Line – Relationships and attraction. 

Each screenwriter, producer and director deserves to be recognized for having created a high-quality film that was chosen to be included in this festival. LunaBars®, a division of Clif Bar and Company is to be congratulated for their healthy alternative snack products and for the company’s vision of  raising money for breast cancer, through the power of film. This union between the corporate world and artistic expression, through filmmaking,  is an excellent example of bringing creative, effective marketing to the public and adding value to lives.

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Near and Dear to My Heart


“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” ~ Kevin Arnold 

On this Valentine’s Day, I thought I would write about a cause that is near and dear to the hearts of many. There are millions and millions of families affected by cancer each and every year. The number of books written by cancer survivors and by family members of the deceased helps us to realize that cancer directly or indirectly touches everyone’s hearts at some time in their lives. Books on this subject are helpful to others, because it brings to the forefront the enormity of the disease. Writing about cancer serves great purpose in fulfilling a need for survivors and family members to share their hurt, their physical and emotional trauma and sometimes, very happily, their triumph over the disease. By reading stories of others who have experienced the effects of this disease, it helps survivors and families realize that they are not alone.

Events such as The Race for Life raises awareness of the need to raise money for cancer research. Teams that participate in the annual Race for Life Relay, Nordic Style are dedicated to keeping the spirit of their loved one alive and to raising money for research. Amy’s Angels will be competing for a second year at the Trapp Family Lodge (of Sound of Music fame)  in Stowe, Vermont, and defending their title as the top fundraising team. The Race for Life Relay, Nordic Style kicks off on March 19 and 20th, 2011. 

If you are unable to put together a team to compete in one of the Race for Life fundraising events, held across the country annually, but still wish to support cancer research or honor the spirit of a loved one that you have lost to cancer, please visit this link, and make your pledge to the American Cancer Society this Valentine’s Day. www.relayforlife/

I will be routing for the women on Amy’s Angels team come March from Steamboat Springs, CO. My friend, Amy whom I lost to breast cancer almost two years ago, is near and dear to me in spirit every day. Her legacy lies within the minds of hundreds of children that she educated, mentored and loved in her 30 years of teaching in Vermont.

 Go Amy’s Angels, go!

Keeping Us Safe


“Sometimes it takes risking that friendship to find a love that will endure all things.” ~  Unknown

The events of 9-11 are all so fresh in my mind. Early Saturday morning, I reached page 197 in former First Lady Laura Bush’s memoir “Speaking from the Heart.” Here begins Mrs. Bush’s recounting of all the tragic events of that horrific, fateful day.

On this 9th anniversary of  the senseless loss of thousands of Americans, I helped my fellow Kiwanians as they rescued, with nets and buckets, the majority of 2500 rubber ducks that were released and floated down the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs, CO. The Rubber Duckie Race is an annual fundraising event for the Yampa Valley Medical Center, which Kiwanis has been involved with for over twenty years now. This year’s proceeds will go toward purchasing a medical instrument which will detect infections, such as staph, of new patients prior to being admitted to the hospital. An important, pro-active medical device.

As I helped with this fundraiser from the sidelines, I began to think how taking pro-active steps saves lives. Had our country known just how vulnerable, we were to attack, it would have done all that it could to be pro-active on that fateful day. If  all the safety nets had been in place, perhaps several thousand lives could have been spared.

I opted to stay safely out of the waters , as I helped with this fundraising event on Saturday. I did not want to risk the chances of petite, little ole me, being carried down the rapidly rushing waters of the Yampa River. I wanted to stay safe to enjoy today. It is a day of celebration of two people who have survived the challenges  and risks of marriage for 30 years! My husband has been my safety through each and every day of it.  I am truly grateful for all that I have and feel sad for those that no longer can share anniversaries, holidays and daily living with their mates that were lost in the Twin Towers.

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Do a Nice Thing!

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“It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.” ~ Ursula K LeGuin

How would you like to fulfill a dream of a child who is sick and in the hospital? Well, you can, in a very easy way! If you are a parent whose kids have grown, and you have no longer used children’s DVDs sitting in boxes, or in your basement or garage, you can donate your kid’s flicks to children’s hospitals and pediatric medical units, all over the United States.

This idea came about when four sisters visited a young friend being treated for leukemia in the hospital. Children are distracted and pain is eased when they can watch colorful, fun DVDs from the comfort of their hospital beds.

Rather than selling your children’s  idle DVDs in garage sales and the like, give them away to children who will value them the most. Send them to –

Kid flicks/Barta, 11755 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1450, Los Angeles, CA  90025

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Handing it Over

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“It’s not the things you get but the hearts you touch that will determine your success in life.” ~ Unknown

Many people wait until their days are limited to consider the question “Am I living a fulfilling life?” Last summer as I was about to loose a lifetime friend to cancer, I stumbled upon a poem that poignantly helped me to consider this very question.

“The Dash” by Linda Ellis ( perfectly demonstrates how despite the brevity of a poem, its depth in meaning can rival a 500 page book. In less than 250 words, this poem helped me to consider the question “Am I living a fulfilling life?” Moreover, it brought clarity to me that my friend’s life had indeed been filled with what matters most and it was time for me to “let go and let God” take my friend as he saw fit.

At the risk of copyright infringement, I will not post the poem “The Dash.” This poem serves another purpose, too. It aptly demonstrates how poetry can involve the reader by communicating thought provoking ideas. Quality of content is more important than length, just like our lives. Although, everyone likes a good long story, too! One they can settle into and enjoy.

If you are struggling with whether there are things in your life you would like to change, “The Dash” says it all. check it out.

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Seniors on the Rise


Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” ~ Albert Schweitzer 

Eldercare has become big business! Marketers have not contrived a need for eldercare services, there is a real need!  Our senior citizen population is growing at a fast pace! Adult children are looking to fulfill their parent’s senior care needs, in the best way they know how, by researching information and making good decisions about Alzheimer’s facilities, cancer care facilities, long term care facilities and other housing arrangements. Many are looking for advice on fitness for seniors, hospital concerns, privacy issues, in-home care options, integrative health issues and more. 

We are fortunate that in this country, experts are available to guide and advise senior citizens and their adult caregivers on a multitude of issues. On-line support is also available at sites such as: On the team of experts of this site is eldercare consultant Mike Campbell. Mike has written a new book called “When Mom and Dad Need Help.” Mike shares advice and information for seniors facing difficult decisions about housing choices and long term care options. Through his consulting business, Campbell Consulting, Inc. Mike has visited hundreds of senior care facilities across the country and has seen, first hand, what is positive and what needs improvement. For more information on this very valuable resource book, please visit

Seniors deserve good, quality care. If you have an obligation or desire to help your parents when the time is right, make your job a little easier by knowing the facts.


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