Street Walking with Joy

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“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”~ Napoleon Hill 

Yesterday I gave myself a break; took time to do something fulfilling for myself. I strolled the streets and retail spaces, preparing for my personal celebration today. This is a landmark – my 1,000th blog on All Things Fulfilling. I can hardly believe it, myself. 

Today, I  share all things Christmas with you through photographic images. Enjoy this day, and I am going to do the same myself. I may even make a little yummy, sweet, holiday treat and put my feet up, just for a little bit, then I’ve got more work to do. 

Thanks in advance to all shop-owners who let me photograph their retail spaces – there will be more pictures of my walking tour of Ski Town, U.S.A next week, too!. Come on back.

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Entry of the United Methodist Church “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

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Off the Beaten Path, a fine Indie Bound Bookstore is loaded up with The Lost Christmas Gift. A winter adventure set in Steamboat Springs, on the Colorado’s Best Seller list, it hit LA Times Holiday Book Gift list and is sold out in most outlets. OTBP has plenty and the author will have a book signing tomorrow – 12/8/12 at 2:30pm!

 

 

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Always a Beautiful Retail Space to visit in town, Steamboat Art Company all decked out!

 

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Window Shopping, a scene outside the Bucking Rainbow Outfitters – what is inside is even better! Attention, fly fishing enthusiasts!

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Fuzziwigs Candy Shop – Stocking Stuffer Sweets Galore!!

 

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Christmas Tree bedecking Colorado Mountain College’s brand new facility – meets all LEED standards and has a great business enterprise center, too! This new building raises the college to all new levels!

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F.M Light Store’s horse ready for Xmas. A real landmark in town. This business has been selling  cowboy boots and hats for more than 100 years! Best selection for miles around!

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Homesteader Kitchen Shop – The aromas coming from this shop were enough to draw me in! Daniella was cooking up her chocolate treats and toffee (more pictures of Homesteader next week). The cinnamon,vanilla coated almonds are outstanding!

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Aptly Named, “Om” this shop is a great place to calm the spirit after walking the streets. Love the lit decorative hangings that you can buy year round to add to a sacred spot in your abode, or for a thoughtful gift for a loved one.

 

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Lyons Drug, yes indeed, great thoughtful gifts in this store, and even an old fashioned soda fountain!

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Branches, Home Decor. Come back next week and there will more images of places to shop locally. Support local business, it’s what makes communities tick!

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

Treasures from the Heart

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He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. “ ~Roy L. Smith 

Ok, so, I hadn’t thought that much about Christmas until Sunday. I was too busy planning Thanksgiving and enjoying the memories of our family reunion. Singing “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel” in church on Sunday, and the lighting of the first candle of the Advent Season made me feel even jollier already. Ever since I was a child, I have loved everything about the magic of the Christmas season. 

shop locallyIf you have any doubts about whether winter is here in Colorado, just take a stroll down Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat and step inside the doors of the retail establishments. On Sunday, I allowed myself a few minutes to peek inside a few stores. I was not disappointed. The stores are beautifully “dressed” for holiday shoppers. I spied stylish women’s clothing artfully displayed and coordinated, outstanding assortments of coffee table books, sparkly western jeans and dazzling ornaments to accentuate trees or as an accessory to a  beautifully wrapped package. Rugged, yet, very classy men’s clothing is neatly folded and just waiting to be picked up. In many of the stores I saw a number of items that would make thoughtful gifts for under $20. There are treasures to be found with smaller bucks, too!

I look forward to stepping inside many more shops, visiting our local independent bookstore, Off the Beaten Path, http://bit.ly/VgvEE3 and in galleries located throughout town to take in the Christmas spirit over the next few weeks. 

Since I came to the Yampa Valley four years ago, despite challenging times, many of the stores in town have overhauled their retail spaces, updated their stock and generally spiffed up. Lookin’ good, Steamboat! Inspires me to shop!

Happy Treasure Hunting for big and small! And remember, shop Local, whenever possible.

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

“The Boat” Brings Prized Authors to Community

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“I try to be respectful of how other people think, I try to listen to what they’re saying.” ~Rick Scott

This past weekend was Literary Sojourn weekend here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This event has been held annually since 1993. So popular, people arrive from all over the country to attend it. Each year it sells out very quickly.

As a way of extending the event, the Bud Werner Memorial Library invited two Bellwether Prize winners to speak on Sunday. For those who were not fortunate enough to get tickets to Saturday’s discussions, the second part of the “Sojourn” weekend was open to everyone at no charge. The two featured authors were Naomi Benaron and Hillary Jordan, Bellwether award winners in 2010 and 2006, respectively.

Jennie Lay, adult programs coordinator at the Bud Werner Memorial Library, asked the authors “what winning this book prize has meant to them?” Each expressed it has done wonders for their publishing careers. All contestants for the “Bellwether” must have a previously unpublished novel. Along with winning $25,000, winners are given publishing contracts with Alqonquin Books.

Jordan and Benaron discussed how fiction writing is useful for telling stories that are interwoven with issues of culture, politics and social justice. However, Benaron stressed the importance of writing stories about controversial issues in a “respectful manner.” She also mentioned how research into a culture brings credibility and correctness to the story.

“Literature,” Benaron said “is the only art form that takes you into another person’s brain.” Essentially, she said, as readers, we are better able to feel and live the story along with the characters through fictional dialogue.

To read more about the publications of these impressive authors, visit these two websites,Hillary Jordanand Naomi Benaron.

For more information on the Bellwether Prize, which was established in 2000, solely funded by author Barbara Kingsolver and administered by the PEN American Center, please visit this site http://bit.ly/Rom01E.  For information on Barbara Kingsolvers latest book, click here: Flight Behavior: A Novel.

As I left this most enjoyable event, I thought to myself “living in a community with avid readers and writers, certainly has its benefits.”

Thank you to our local library and our local “Indie Bound” bookstore, Off the Beaten Path” for their participation in this event.

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

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Local Authors in the Limelight

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If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” ~ Edward Hopper

Saturday was a day of great fun for me as a person who works in the independent publishing industry. The literary community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado came  out from behind their computers and into the limelight at the Written Arts Festival. I am aware of the fact that we do, indeed, have a growing population of independent publishers in this community. Nearly thirty were gathered; some having just published their debut novels, while others have more than one book published.

Panel discussions added interest to the event. “How should history be portrayed in writing?” was a subject that drew differing opinions from the authors. In the opinions of some, there is an obligation to write stories true to history; while others contend that history can be written from different perspectives.

Other authors specialize in fiction writing. The panelists in this genre seemed to agree that authors draw, to a certain extent, from personal experience and background which often gives them the basis of the story. Then the storyline “is pushed in different directions,” sometimes ending in a total surprise, even for the author. One panelist mentioned how her deeply felt spiritual beliefs influences her writing and a prolific romance writer admitted that individuals she encounters inspires her characters.

Sites, smells and visual landscapes also influence writing. A third group of panelists discussed how stories are crafted from experience in travel as well as from their rootedness in community. Place plays great significance in our identity as people and as writers. Local issues are often brought into books of regional interest.

The event culminated with an interview of a very talented poet and the Home Ranch owner, Ann Anderson Stranahan. Words, when used with the right cadence and meter makes music, she said. When Stranahan was asked  if “her poetic images come to her in black and white or in color?”

“Vividly and suddenly, perhaps as in a photographic image, rather than an oil or watercolor,” was her answer.

The Bud Werner Memorial Library http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/ and the efforts of their staff made this inspiring event possible. Also, the support of the Steamboat Arts Council http://steamboatspringsarts.com/and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore’s  http://www.steamboatbooks.com/ handling of the bookselling allowed the authors to visit with potential book buyers and answer questions.

I would have liked to have mentioned each of the authors individually, in this blog writing, but there were too many. I did get around the room to talk to each of them briefly. Thanks to all who participated and coordinated the Written Arts Festival. It was encouraging for anyone who is contemplating writing and publishing a story.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.