Friendship and Courage

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Friends give us the courage to lift the blinds on our hearts. To open up and show what we generally keep hidden from the rest of the world.” ~ Unknown

One day, several months after Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was published, my phone rang. It was a surprise call from one of my childhood friends.

“How did you do that?” asked the caller.

“Do what?” I asked.

“Write all that stuff about yourself.”

“I don’t know, ” I said to my friend. “I felt the need to tell the story and share it with children who are going through tough stuff in life. Besides, I felt safe. I knew that my true friends who didn’t know about my childhood medical history, wouldn’t abandon me when they knew the facts. (And believe me – to many my story came as a surprise!) True friends don’t do that.”

GS2When I spoke with the Girl Scouts this spring we talked about the importance of  including a diversity of people in our circle of friends. “People who may be different can teach us to look at things differently,” I said.

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As the eve of the Girl Scout Campfire and Reunion approaches, can’t help but think about the song we used to most frequently sing in Girl Scouts. “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”

I look forward to making new acquaintances with others who also benefitted from the days of being a member of the Girl Scouts.

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Gathering to Spark Memories

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Girl-Scout-Camp-Smores-Pops

 

Guess where I am going? To a Girl Scout Alumni Bonfire! Campfire Songs, skits, s’mores and an evening of remembering days of a being a member of a 100+ year old youth organization is planned in Routt County, Colorado. I immediately sent my RSVP to the affirmative. Yes! I don’t want to miss it! The event will surely spark memories of my youth.

I live in a resort community of people who have moved here from places all over America and from different countries, so the evening will be interesting. We can compare what it was like to be a Girl Scout (there are six levels: a Daisy, a Brownie, a Junior, a Cadette or Senior  or Ambassador Girl Scout) in different hometowns across the globe. The experiences each girl had throughout her years as a member, I am sure, were varied.

The Girl Scouts was started in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low and it’s mission was universal. Here is what the founder said about her vision of the organization “My purpose……to go on with my heart and soul, devoting all my energies to Girl Scouts, and heart and hand with them, we will make our lives and the lives of the future girls happy, healthy and holy.” 

I reminisce about those wonderful days of being a Girl Scout in my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. Chapter 28 – Paper Roses is one of my favorites.

After the event is over, I’ll let you know how it went.

I am looking for suggestions of campfire songs. If you were a Girl Scout and remember the names of the songs you used to sing around the bonfire or at Girl Scout camp, please post them as a comment on All Things Fulfilling. I look forward to your input!

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

Talking Personal Fulfillment

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finding-joyLast week when I presented “One Day in the Life of a Writer” to the Junior Girl Scouts, I mentioned that although I write books, my small business geared around publishing provides me with many other tasks that I handle in the course of a normal work day. Tasks such as maintaining a website/blog, e-marketing for independent publishers, responding to reader’s correspondence, scheduling and doing book talks and other promotion are also on my daily to do list. Not to even mention keeping up with ever-changing news about the publishing industry.

Over the next couple of days I am going have a change of work space. You’ll learn more the following week. A change of scenery will provide me with new sources of inspiration as I  sit with many ideas that will be discussed during my upcoming appearance on “Life Changing Talk Radio.”

From www.blogtalkradio/livingaricherlife.com , the program overview for the May 21st broadcast is as follows:

“Most of us have learned we can not find happiness, making it our goal. Happiness is the unintended benefit of pursuing personal dreams and living true to yourself.

When you proactively connect the person you are with the things you choose to do, a deep sense of fulfillment will emerge. Fulfillment is a form of happiness or satisfaction that is the direct result of fully developing your abilities or character.

Personal fulfillment is best described as the achievement of life goals which are important to you, in contrast to the goals of society or even your family. Personal fulfillment is an ongoing journey for most of us. The journey commences when we start becoming conscious of ourselves, our surroundings and our past. But for many of us, finding your path to fulfillment can be buried in the unexpected. How can you find your path to personal fulfillment?”

What I do in my business, personal and professional life is extremely joyful and satisfying.  I am so very grateful that I have been able to create the kind of life that feels good and right.

Join us in the discussion on May 21rd by going to www.blogtalkradio/livingaricherlife.com . If you are in the East coast listening area, tune in at 9pm, 8pm Central time, 7pm Mountain time and 6pm Pacific. You can call in with your comments and your questions #855-345-4714.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

Time with the Girl Scouts

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fulfilling a Promise to Girl Scouts

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Good Morning! Happy May Day!

On March 24th I sent out a handwritten invitation to a very special group of youth –Girl Scout troop #12622. Here’s what the note card said:

You are cordially invited to “One Day in the Life of a Writer.” Join me at my writer’s desk in the Girl Scout meeting room on May 1, 2015  from 3:30 – 4:30 pm.

Well, the big day is here! I couldn’t be more excited to share my experiences of “One Day in the Life of a Writer.”  Here is what our program today looks like: 

  • A Peek into a Writers Day
  • A Tour of a Writers Desk
  • A Reading from an Authors Award-Winning Book

Girl Scout promise

Did you know the World Association of Girl Scouts is 10,000,000 “girl guides” strong and there are troops in 146 countries?I’ve asked each girl from troop #12622 to bring a question that they’ve always wanted to ask a writer but have never had the chance. On Monday, the questions and my answers will be published so Girl Scouts in other countries can learn more about what it’s like to be a writer.

I was a Brownie and a Junior Girl Scout in the 1960s where I grew up – in the heart of where north, meets south, on the Mason-Dixon Line in the State of Maryland. I can hardly wait to meet Colorado Junior Girl Scout troop #12622  – ages 9 and 10.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling on Monday because I promise to do my best to publish the girl’s questions to the author along with my responses.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart and Soul.

Girl Scouts  where girls grow strong

 

 

 

 

Those Were The Days

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You know you are a baby boomer, born in the 1950s and 1960s if you remember when:

  • The milk man cometh

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  • the World Book Encyclopedia salesman showed up at your family’s  front door

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  • going to the drive-in movies with your parents was exciting (I remember seeing Goldfinger at Timonium Drive-In….shhh…don’t tell my parents. I was supposed to be asleep in the back seat!)

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  • mail arrived accurately without a zip code

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  • phone numbers were only two letters and five digits

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  • pretzels and potato chips were delivered by truck in large tin cans 

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  • the Girl  Scout “flying up ceremony” was prestigious

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  • you had to walk to the TV to change the channel

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  • seat belts were not even in the vocabulary

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  • Miss Nancy ruled Romper Room

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  • Thumbelina was the most wanted gift on your Xmas List

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  •   fun meant “hanging with the crowd,” at S.S. Kresgres or Reads Drugstore drinking ice cold soda,  jiving to the juke box, and swirling around on swivel stools.

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Those were the days, weren’t they?

As Robert Frost once said In three words I can sum up what I have learned about life. It goes on.”

This blog is brought to you by author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on the publication Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has been selected as a FINALIST in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY BOOK AWARDS,  please visit this link:  http://amzn.to/1kzGw2t