Building Skills for Great Futures

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The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. ~ Diogenes

Last Friday I attended our monthly meeting of the Yampa Valley University Women. We had a wonderful speaker, Lynna Broyles, from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado. Her program was so informative and designed to educate people about the programs of this non-profit youth development organization.

Here are the five core programs that are available for boys and girls to get involved with. They make their own choices based on their interests:

  • Character & Leadership
  • Education & Career Development
  • Health & Life Skills
  • The Arts
  • Sports, Fitness & Recreation

Some figures were cited with regards to how many children in the NW Colorado Boys and Girls Club get their only hot meals for the day at school and at the Boys and Girls Club. For me those numbers were astounding and troubling. Thankfully, all youth, regardless of their parents’ socio-economic status can be involved in the program. Scholarships are available for youth who struggle with the annual membership fee ($25/annually).

The clubs are staffed by trained youth development professionals. Many very successful business people, athletes, and prestigious people in our country got a strong foundation through Boys & Girls Clubs. Youth programs as well as literacy programs are so important to the future of children in our country. Often these programs open doors and futures to much greater things. What a gift the Boys and Girls Clubs are to so many children! http://www.bgca.org/newsevents/Pages/GFSH_PSA.aspx

leadership

Moment with childThis blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of the EVVY award-winning book Gift of A Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information on the book which has also won an award in the young adult category, please follow this link.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

 

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Wrap Up: Writing Process

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First Step: “Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.” ~Melinda Haynes

Last Friday I gave a presentation about independent publishing and my newly released memoir to the Yampa Valley University Women. As a way of concluding my presentation, I mentioned how much I loved every part of the writing and publishing process –

  • the creative

  • the daily discipline of writing

  • bringing the voice of my stellar character alive for the reader

  • the end result of the feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction for having done it

Having a regular writing routine is easier for some than others, but for me I am a very disciplined person, so regular writing was not difficult. Authors have their own ways of motivating themselves to start, stay on task and seeing a project through until the end.

Inspiration-to-writeHere is an interesting article that I came across that speaks to tactics that some very well-known authors have used to tackle the problem of how to be successful in finding time to write. http://bit.ly/1fPjdd0 .

Some people go to all lengths to motivate themselves. I consider myself fortunate. All I have to do is sit down to the computer put my fingers on the keyboard, and pour my heart out. I don’t second guess myself until it is all out on the paper – it’s that easy! Then comes the editing part. Well, if I must be honest ….that’s a different story.

Do return tomorrow. We are going to switch gears.  I have “twin issues” on my mind that I will share with you. This blog brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com,

 

Save the Stories

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I’ve got an industrious week ahead! Here’s what it looks like:

Monday, March 31, 2014   Get my audio book posted on the audio book site, so it is ready for selling. Details of how to order the audio book will be forthcoming soon right here on All Things Fulfilling.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014   “Sue Leonard will be speaking with the Young Professionals Network of Steamboat Springs, Colorado about the independent publishing industry, her group We Write Steamboat and the upcoming World Book Night (4/23/14).”

Friday, April 4, 2014 – Yampa Valley University Women, 11:30 am – 1 pm. Selbe Apts, Rollingstone Road, Steamboat Springs. Colorado. Open to the public. Soup, salad and bread luncheon is available for $3. “Sue Leonard will be presenting her book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.”

Your never too youngIt will be interesting to speak to these two groups of people this week because the age demographics are very different. The young professionals are just beginning to embark on careers and trying to figure out what they want to do in life. I want to encourage them to save stories from their life journeys because at some point they may be interested in inspiring, entertaining, informing or educating others through independent publishing.  This group of young people, who spend a lot of time volunteering out in our community, will be part of World Book Night on April 23rd, which I will also be discussing.

The Yampa Valley University Women , a group that I am a member of, has been following my endeavors in the publishing industry and the progress of the memoir. I look forward to finally bringing a perfect bound book to show them and having the opportunity to relate my experiences with with them. This event will be open to the public. The women who belong to the group are well-educated, well-traveled and most are retired. They have a wealth of life experiences, and I wish to convey to them the value of writing to preserve history and culture. Many of them have interesting stories to tell and with the ability to independently publish e-books and print-on-demand, many people are investing their time in writing in their retirement.

Have a great week ahead, everyone.  See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. We will be talking about the origination of a game show that had many women waiting by the telephone, in hopes of having their dreams fulfilled, in the 1940s- 1970s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lift Up Friends

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 “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust 

Friday’s blog on All Things Fulfilling was a tribute to friendship and the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. 

I’ve had have further thoughts about the value of friends  since that blog writing. Coming together in friendship is the result of finding community with like-minded people – individuals who have joint interests, passions and beliefs in life.  In recent years I’ve made friends in service, through Kiwanis, and by volunteering once a week at an interfaith, community-run thrift store called “Lift-Up.” Being involved with arts organizations such as We Write Steamboat(a meet-up group for independent publishers), the Steamboat Writers Group , the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and  Strings Music Festival has brought me pleasure. Community involvement, with the Yampa Valley University Women has also been part of my life here in Routt County, Colorado.

It’s interesting, in a time when the news is reporting  church membership is declining, there seems to be very active participation in churches, in this town. Perhaps the remote location and natural beauty of the region make spiritual exploration important to folks. Yesterday, Reverend Tim at the UnitedMethodistChurch in Steamboat, elevated our spirits through his lenten season storytelling. Our new Director of Youth Ministry and independent musician, Taylor Anderson charmed us with  his musical skills playing the modern remix of  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on his ukulele. Very uplifting for a day of Irish celebration. A song appropriate for so many who are grateful they can be here to retire, run location-neutral businesses or for recreational reasons.

After the service, our appetites were fulfilled with  tasty goodies baked by women with whom I volunteer at the thrift store donation center. Thank you, Jeanette, Shirley and Louise and to all the other generous people who bring in provisions for fellowship moments after the service each week. The special St. Patty’s Day confections were decorated artistically. The women poured heart and soul into their efforts, it was evident.  It is a pleasure to volunteer with these women at the donation center for the thrift store.

St Pattys Day UMCSt Pattys Day UMC3

Jeanette, Louise, Shirley and Sue (top image). We are only a few the 100+ volunteers that make Lift-Up so successful in this community.

Film Friday: Adaptation

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It has been a busy week on All Things Fulfilling. I feel as if I have been knocked over by a self induced hurricane this week. Between daily blogging, my creative writing course and other business meetings and commitments, I am glad it is Friday. It was a delight to be part of author Mara Purl’s blog tour this week also. If you missed out, scroll down to read my interview with Mara about her second book “Where the Heart Lives.”

At lunchtime today, local writers from the independent publishing networking group that I started a year and a half ago here in Steamboat, will be presenting their books and will talk about the independent publishing process with the Yampa Valley University Women. Another group I belong to. 

This morning as I start my blog writing, I feel exactly like Charlie Kaufman in the film Adaptation. Here are his words and also my thinking.  

“To begin… To begin… How to start? I’m hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That’s a good muffin.” 

Too bad I am not a coffee drinker, hot tea will have to do as a substitute. I will take that banana-nut muffin, though, sounds good!

Speaking of the film  Adaptation, my creative writing teacher says that it is a good movie suggestion to pass along to others. The movie is  directed by Spike Jonze.  She says, it is well worth watching.  “Interesting,” she said “how the screenwriter creates a story out of a person who has a passion for orchid collecting.” For information on this movie, Click here.

This is not a newly released movie. It hit the movie screens back in 2003. It is an adaptation of the book “Orchid Thief.” It won an Oscar and many other film awards.  Actors include Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, just to name a few of the cast. 

Sorry for the quick blog, today. Have a fulfilling fall weekend, everyone! Please return on Monday for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Screening Half the Sky

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“No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself.”        ~Rabbi Sofer

Economic empowerment, education and good healthcare for women are solutions that make a difference between opportunity and oppression. The film , Half the Sky: Turning Opression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, is an adaptation of the book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It  focuses on six celebrity activists and their work to rebuild lives after a women’s integrity and self-esteem has been taken away by violence and brutality. Click for info & ordering Half the Sky

On Wednesday, September 12th at 6:30 pm Half the Sky will be screened at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The film is  part of the Women & Girls Lead program for Independent Lens through PBS. It will be followed by a discussion of the issues that are highlighted in this movie. Anyone is invited to join in the screening and the dialogue afterward.

 

This film is being sponsored by the Bud Werner Memorial Library, the Yampa Valley University Women and Tasaru Girls School Fund, a non-profit that works to help educate Masai girls and women.

If you do not live in the vicinity of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, you will still have a chance to see it. It will be broadcast on October 1st and 2nd, 2012 on PBS channels. Look for the air times in your local TV program schedule.

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Conspiring Through Smell A Vision

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A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” ~ Bernard Meltzer 

I have found myself caught up in the middle of a conspiracy, and it is me who is being conspired against. I know just who the little schemer is and how she is plotting to draw me in. The little manipulator is Darien Gee, and she is using word tactics of smell a vision to get me involved! 

You see, I never have been one who really likes to cook but, I did have many fulfilling moments of baking back in my days of raising a child. In fact, my son’s friends knew where to get the booty when their sweet tooth cried out for a fix. I was the rare Mom who made home baked goods. When I knew I’d have a houseful of kids, I’d jump into action and make something tasty. When the teen years rolled around, it was a good way to keep tabs on the adolescents, they’d frequently check in to see what was to eat. 

Ever since I became an empty nester and moved to a high altitude environment, where baking is more challenging, my cache of homemade creations has suffered. Author Darien Gee, the little conniver, is trying to lay a guilt trip on me through her book Friendship Bread. Have you read it? 

The magical powers of Amish Friendship Bread is the basis of the book. The wicked descriptions of warm yeast, cinnamon and sweet has made me want to try my hand at a batch. There are real consequences to jumping in because there is no way you can make just one loaf. The bread grows prolifically until before you know it, you are: 

  • Talking to your neighbors
  • Building community through food
  • Giving strangers more than just a passing glance
  • Strategically positioning yourself with groups
  • Building friendships based on commonalities and love 

I’ve peeked ahead in the book, and the recipe is there for the moment when Darien Gee is finished with brainwashing me into baking a pan. http://bit.ly/n50wn.  She is half-way done and I’m already beginning to execute my plan…. For starters there’s the Yampa Valley University Women, my fellow Kiwanians, the guys and gals at SHe Writes Steamboat, the Steamboat Writers Group and Lift Up Routt County (they can always use donations of food). 

I could put Strings in the Mountains on my list. Perhaps they would welcome a starter of something other than Steamboat fare for their own cookbooks. Then, lest I forget, there are always the kind and welcoming women of the United Methodist Church, although they can already abundantly cook! Then there is that other new meet-up group in town. What is it called? Ignite Steamboat? 

We will see, Darien Gee….with the way the recipe works, just getting people started might be the key. Perhaps then I can get out of the kitchen and just spend time creating other fulfilling things. 

Come on back tomorrow…. I promise the blog will not be so long!

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