Advent Day #21 Xmas Around the World

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Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. – Hamilton Wright Mabie

Last Sunday, the Steamboat United Methodist Church had an impressive holiday extravaganza – enough to put any “Scrooge” in the spirit.  Through the generosity of so many artistically talented people helping to bring it all together, an unforgettable production of Christmas around the World was brought to the second service of the day.

It was a huge accomplishment requiring too many people to name individually. The bell choir, the vocalists of the Chancel Choir and the Childrens Choir, Soprano Keri Rusthoi http://www.kerirusthoi.com and the children who were dressed as characters from the Bible, helped to tell the beautiful Christmas story from different perspectives recounting holiday traditions from around the world.

“Tweens” (ages 10 – 12) played the part of news anchors and reporters. It was as if the children from the United Methodist Church were standing in town squares broadcasting from England, the Caribbean, France, Italy, the Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany, thanks to the creativity of the video production teacher at Steamboat Springs High School.

But that’s not all! As the community gathered in Fellowship Hall after the service for wonderful refreshments, creches from places in the U.S. and around the World were on display for all to see and appreciate. In today’s photos I have captured images of a few of them.

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Please come back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. The topic will continue on better understanding our world through multi-cultural learning about holiday traditions.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard,  award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information about her memoir, an anthology of stories about multi-cultural love and understanding, please visit these websites.

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

 

 

 

Fulfilling Results: Indie Publishing

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Thank you

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward, author of Mountains of Faith

Today I’d like to recognize some very key people and organizations who helped me with various parts of publishing my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Although I am well versed in most steps of independent publishing, there are parts of the writing and publishing process that I relied on having other professionals to steer and assist me. Their support services were invaluable in getting the project finished.

 

Thanks to the following:

  • Steamboat Writers Group for valuable critique and feedback.
  • Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) for education and support resources. Also for the friendships and business associates I have made through this outstanding organization.
  • We Write Steamboat members for their encouragement, support, feedback and most of all, friendships!
  • Pre-publication readers – you know who you are, thank you for your book testimonials!
  • Professional services in the Media Lab at Colorado Mountain College
  • Lindsey Royce at Colorado Mountain College for a great writing class to stir my creativity.
  • Jan McDaniel for final editing services. The final editing of dialogue was very tedious!
  • Joe McDaniel for photo restoration work
  • Joe & Jan McDaniel at bookcrafters.net for publishing my book affordably, in a timely manner and for  following  my unique publishing requests. You were delightful to work with.
  • Patti Asbury for helping me to grow professionally through public speaking
  • Karen McLane and Postnet for graphic design and printing services
  • Sound technician Brian Dow for help with audio book production
  • Terry Leonard – photography and assistance with marketing materials and book events.
  • Audio book producer –   http://www.marcrleonard.com  (aka “The Technical Dude”)
  • Technology and website support – Marc R Leonard
  • Terry Leonard and Marc R Leonard for cheering, emotional support and encouragement.
  • JDB Technology – help with computer “issues”
  • Gail Nelson – e-book designer and e-book formatting services
  • United Methodist Church for spiritual guidance and support. The United Methodist Women for hosting my wonderful book launch “party.”
  • To ALL fellow authors who networked, shared their experiences and advice.
  • All book buyers!

If there is anyone I have inadvertently left out, I apologize. Trying to remember everyone is difficult. My path has crossed with so many people throughout this four year  journey of independently publishing Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Thanks to everyone who gave me an encouraging word!

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1t7f6Ec

World Class in the Making

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It’s my belief that God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve Him and humanity. ~ Ben Carson

unlocking the heart of an artist“Wow!” Claire  is one skilled young lady,” I thought as I sat in a pew with my husband at the United Methodist Church, http://bit.ly/1kd4g61 on Thursday evening, listening to the second senior recital of the week. She revealed her vocal talent with her ability to sing a huge range of compositions from Mozart’s De Holle Rahe to How Great Thou Art to more contemporary songs, such as Let it Go from Disney’s 2014 animated film Frozen.

But that was not all. This young lady did not hold back. Claire has much more under her belt of musical accomplishments. She demonstrated her ability to play two different types of  flutes, the piano and her latest interest – jazz on the saxophone. Through the song Whirlwinds Dancing, she exhibited what a Native American Indian taught her – how to play the Native American cedar flute.

One of Claire’s many teachers has been with her since she began playing the penny whistle at five years of age. As her teacher Mary Beth Norris said last evening “it has been a pleasure to work with Claire. She is like a sponge and to have watched her grow into a beautiful young lady with outstanding musical talent has been so special.” Claire’s  other music educators Christel Houston, Derek Hurshman, Hannah Bowers and James Knapp had to have felt the same kind of pride for their contributions to the talent they nurtured.

It is a beautiful thing to see a student who understood at a young age what she was gifted with and has had all the resources she needed to develop her special musical endowments. Claire will go on to study music at the college level.

Another delightful evening in the community of  Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Where athletes and artists work hard to become world-class.

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

 

 

 

Dedication of a Student

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There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. Theres no such thing in life as in between. ~ Pat Riley 

Tanner Visnick

Several evenings last week my husband and I were occupied with “art events” and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On Tuesday, we attended the senior voice recital of  a student named Tanner Visnick. My husband knew  Tanner only through his athletic abilities, and was astounded by his musical talents.  Tanner is also a telemark skier who is good enough to compete with the Europeans at a high level, and he is only a high school senior.

The musical compositions he chose for the evening included classical (sung in his native language as well as German and Italian) and show tunes. A mix of the serious and entertaining, his diversity of interests in music was showcased. Ave Maria, Bella Notte and An die Musik were a few of the classical tunes that he handled with great finesse. Then onto some musical theatre tunes such as Mr Cellophane (from Chicago), On the Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady), Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (from Les Miserables), Ending with “Thankful,” which has been performed and recorded by Josh Groban on one of his many albums.

Tanner’s commitment and dedication to academics, sport and music has been admirable. Surprisingly, Tanner has his sites set on science as his major field of study next year. Thus, the “The Scientist” was included in the line up of compositions.

I hope when he goes on to college, he’s not finished with his telemark skiing and his music. He’s put too much work into it. But something tells me he will able to continue to handle almost anything that comes his way. He already at a young age, understands the commitment it takes to excel in any field.

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Photo compliments of Jeannie Visnick

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. We will digging up more young artistic talent when I tell you about the second senior recital I attended last week that was held at the United Methodist Church http://bit.ly/1kd4g61, presented by the Houston Music Studiohttp://bit.ly/1tY5Yxo .

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

Books and Films with Inspirational Messages

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“No heart has ever suffered when it has gone in search of its dream.” ~ Paul Coelho

heart pillows stuffedFebruary is Happy Heart Month! Over the course of the past month, messages from inspirational books and films have been at the core of our minister’s sermons at the UnitedMethodistChurch in Steamboat. Many people without religious backgrounds have read and appreciated these books also. They have been New York Times bestsellers. Here are the titles:

  • The Alchemist by Paul Coelho  (the movie is coming in 2014)

Click for info & ordering

  • Tuesdays with Morrie  by Mitch Ablom   (film adaptation also available)

Click for info & ordering

  • The River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean  (film by Robert Redford)

Click for info & ordering The authors of each of these books have created stories that take the reader on a journey into their own hearts, in search of the meaning of life and the Universe. Thought provoking, illuminating and inspiring, they raise awareness of some of the best parts of human nature, as well as stir up more difficult issues we are faced with as people who were created with faults, weaknesses and a full range of emotions that run from admirable to undesirable. The truth of the matter is that good books and films give us reason  to stop and ponder.

If you are searching for good reads with heart and soul content, you may want to consider Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Visit us tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.