Silver’s Book Reviews – “Szen Zone, BY AUTHOR @GARYSZENDERSKI

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  • Title:  Szen Zone – Reaching a State of Positive Change
  • Author: Gary Szenderski
  • File Size: 644 KB
  • Print Length: 203 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: Finger Touch Books
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN:  B019H83NUE
  • ISBN-10: 1500514977
  • ISBN-13: 9781500514976
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Motivational, Teen & Young Adult, Self Help

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

In the author’s words:

“From the author of Book of Szen, Stories and Inspiration for a Changing World. Whereas ZEN is of the moment and what is, SZEN celebrates what could be. The SZEN ZONE – Reaching a State of Positive Change contains lighthearted and positive narrative on life and its possibilities, with stories that cover the gamut from interesting to profound. The general overarching theme is on change and all of the aspects of it – Creating, surviving and managing change with the goal to recognize the power we have to become what we choose, both when we’re feeling in control and how to manage when we’re not in control.

The SZEN ZONE focuses on identifying the lift-off point for creating positive change. Although everyone is different and it’s a very individual and sometimes internalized process, the principles in this book can help you establish the context and right frame of mind to embrace and manage change. After many years of professionally helping individuals and companies navigate change, I’ve observed how some changes seem to take forever while unforeseen change can come right at you and in an instant move your world.”

Recommendation:

The Szen Zone is a collection of life lessons interwoven into short stories which lead the reader into the possibilities of change, and how making changes can open the doors to further growth. A self-help book in nature, it is written in a down to earth style that everyone can relate to.

The book is split into topics which then flow into each short story. At the end of each story, the author follows with his points to ponder. He then ends with a “Szenippit,” a clever play on words with his last name. Each Szenippit is a quote that really hits home with the subject discussed.

For example, Chapter Four is called, “Living in the Present.” One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:

“There is no perfect time, there is only this time, your best first chance. You know that you’re as ready as you will ever become.”

Each chapter and topic are geared at empowering us as individuals to create positive change in our lives. A detailed description of the five essential elements necessary to create positive changes is shared. They are, self-exploration; perspective; imagination; now and energy. The words create the acronym, S.P.I.N.E. which is a handy way to remember that it takes character to change and succeed in life.

It took me a couple of weeks to read the book because the subject matter really made me think about my own goals and ability to change. I weighed the possibilities and not only lived in the now, I also thought about what some of these positive changes could bring to me at this stage in my life.

It would be easy to read the book in its entirety, or split it into a topic at a time. I found myself highlighting and bookmarking many passages that spoke to me. This is the kind of book that I will refer to often. I liked the author’s message of setting goals and allowing myself the freedom to make changes that will facilitate me reaching the completion of my goals.

Are you looking to make some positive changes in your life? Don’t do it alone. Let the Szen Zone guide you down the path of self-discovery. Remember:

“Achievement is not only about reaching the goal; it’s about setting the right goal to reach. We’ll know we’ve set the right one when we can’t wait to get there.”

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About Gary Szenderski:

Gary Szenderski is an author, speaker, teacher, and branding specialist internationally acclaimed as an expert on the subject. He specializes in helping people and organizations to navigate change and frequently speaks and writes on the topic of emerging brands, personal branding and companies in transition. Gary is an award-winning writer, author of the Book of Szen and SZEN ZONE. He’s an often quoted marketing expert and recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award from the University of California at Irvine where he teaches branding. He resides in Southern California and welcomes your comments. Email him at gary@bookofszen.com.

To watch an interview with Gary Szenderski, please click the link below.

https://youtu.be/r6_kKSmq_SI

Make certain to connect with Gary through Twitter @GarySzenderski

Facebook: Books of Szen

Author blog: Szenzone.com

Thanks for stopping by! Now is the time to set some goals and make positive changes! ❤

#Am Writing & New Writing Goals

Happy Monday everyone!
I am at another goal setting crossroads in my life! That’s right, it is time to reassess where I am and where I want to go.

First, I must say that I had no idea what I was getting into when I started writing my novel, The Swamp Fairy. Sound familiar? I have been teaching myself as I go and that takes time. Precious time!

As a detail person, I am finding that as the fairies whisper their tales to me I have to go back and fix things, add things, change things… You get where I am going with this. Writing takes time. Anyone who tells you differently is either extremely gifted or delusional. I might be getting closer to the delusional side of writing! LOL!

My goal is clear, I want to finish writing the first draft of my novel by June 1st or sooner. This includes self-editing time. Once that is completed, I can send the manuscript off to my beta readers. I want to self-publish this book by the Fourth of July if at all possible. This is a fluid goal that will change as need be.

I also need to take a day off each week in order to recharge my batteries. Bravo to all you prolific writers out there. I just can’t keep up with you all. 😀 ❤

So, to make my life easier, I am changing Mindful Monday Healthy Living to a MONTHLY post held at the end of each month, say the last Friday of the month to be exact. I was putting a day’s work of research into each weekly post and just do not feel that I can do it justice at this time. Besides, I think a monthly accounting of my boring life is enough for anyone! LOL! 😀

In order to carve out more time for my novel writing, I would like to change my blog schedule to look like this:

ANNOUNCING – SILVER’S NEW BLOG SCHEDULE

Monday: Writing or Poetry Challenges

Tuesday: Silver’s Word of the Week

Wednesday: Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge hosted by Ronovan Writes and Silver Threading

Thursday: Haiku/Poetry Thursday

Friday: Photo Challenges

Saturday: Silver’s Book Reviews

Sunday: Free day

Middle of the Month: Silver’s Tea Party

End of the Month: Mindful Monday Healthy Living

The idea is to keep interesting content flowing through Silver Threading so you will continue to visit. I need inspiration from all of you as much as I love to give it to others, so I hope you will stop by and let me know how you are.

I do need to ask everyone a favor. If you have a book that is being published in the near future, please let me know so that I can feature you on my monthly tea party. I want to help you promote your work, but if you don’t tell me, I can’t help. Don’t be shy!

Many thanks to all of you who inspire me and leave me such great comments. You all fill my heart with joy! May the words be with you all this week!

Determined to Meet Your Writing Goals? Set Up a Production Schedule

This sounds like something I should be doing. How about you? If you comment in the main post, you have a chance to win the book to help you accomplish this goal. Check it out! ❤

A little math can go a long way to help you finish your writing project — soon.

Source: Determined to Meet Your Writing Goals? Set Up a Production Schedule

Mindful Monday – Healthy Living: Setting Realistic #Goals for 2016

Welcome to Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming healthier. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

…to all of you who have left comments and cheered me on and are interested in accompanying me on this journey to healthy living! Together, we can offer support and ideas to make this road to “healthy,” a fun journey!

Happy New Year everyone! Now, that we have the holiday’s behind us it time to make a few decisions on planning our healthy living journey for this year. Have you done that yet?

Image credit: visual.ly

No… Well, the first question I asked myself, was what do I hope to achieve? Do I want to lose weight? If so, how much? Do I want to eat better? Do I want to exercise more? Do I want it all?

Yes, actually I do want it all. I want to immerse myself into the whole idea of becoming more healthy. However, I want to do it in such a way that the change is not too overpowering. It is human nature to resist change, so I have to play a mind game with myself…

Start small!


You know how most New Year’s you start out making a bunch of rash and outlandish resolutions that you never keep anyway? Don’t do that!

Instead, get a notebook and write down what you really want. I called mine: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living for 2016. I started with ideas that I knew I could achieve. This will help to build confidence in yourself and you will finish what you started.

I try to start with a list of five things. This is my list for this year to begin my healthy living journey:

  1. Lose 5 pounds.
  2. Create a daily walking program with the dogs.
  3. Eat more vegetables and fruits.
  4. Prioritize your time better to find more time for writing.
  5. Stop writing each day at 4 pm. Spend time with Ron.

When I start small, these items I wish to accomplish do not intimidate me. I feel in control and know that with some due diligence on my part, I can do these simple goals.

Lose 5 Pounds

Notice how I did not say that I wanted to lose 20 pounds? That sounds so daunting! If I say I want to lose 5 pounds, I know I can do that.

Once I have achieved the goal of losing 5 pounds, I will cross it off and change the goal to read another 5 pounds! In this way, I trick myself into following through on small goals. These all add up in the end, so I get what I was after in the long run.

Daily Walking


A daily walking plan is just what I need. I know I am sitting too much and that is never a good thing. I have begun scheduling a walk daily. I have added it to my “TO DO” list on my date planner. I like to see my list crossed off with all the things I have completed. This is another mind game I play with myself to achieve my goals. At the end of the day, I am happy if my list is completed.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

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Ron and I gave each other a NutriBullet RX this year for Christmas. This is more than a blender. It even makes soup – hot soup! I am excited to begin making smoothies again. I do well with one meal each day replaced with a smoothie or a bowl of soup.

Make Time for Writing a Priority


Part of pursuing a healthy lifestyle is taking the time to do the things you love. I love to write and create, as most of you also do. Why don’t we spend more time with our craft then? I have vowed this year to spend less time on social media and more time writing and perfecting my love for the written word. Make it a priority and it will happen!

Find an End to Your Day



Find time to spend with those you love the most. Step away from the computer. Get off social media. Put your phone down. Let your brain decompress. Relax and get ready for a bedtime ritual. This will ensure that you have a fabulous night’s sleep to begin your new day tomorrow!

Image credit: TFLguide.com

Like most of you, Ron and I celebrated the holidays in style. We decided that we would eat some of the dishes that we don’t normally have throughout the year. We made beef stew, homemade bread, chocolate cake, cookies, lasagna, and even had some yummy cocktails.

What was really interesting was after a couple of days of eating all the richer foods I found myself craving my salad and soups again.

Yes, I gained weight, but that 4 pounds was some of the most enjoyable weight I have ever gained! I think part of being healthy is indulging once in a while. That does not mean that you do this type of eating daily or even weekly.

Try to pace yourself and enjoy holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. Healthy and happy go hand in hand. If you don’t enjoy the good times in life, how do you determine when those times exist? If each day is exactly the same you have nothing to look forward to.

If you would like to join me in your own healthy living journey, please do. Use whatever program works for you. You do not even have to follow a program if you don’t want to. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can become healthier and fit. This includes going gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, starting an exercise program, or even a new way of eating such as becoming a vegetarian. If it has to do with becoming healthy, write about it!

Link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of healthy living supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. Together we can become healthier!

Image credit: JingaJuice.ph

Remember, this is not a challenge.  Each of us has different goals that we wish to attain. This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to participate in attaining a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday – Healthy Living goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of my journey to healthy living.

Thanks for being part of my fabulous journey to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to share your goals for 2016 and share your journey. ❤ Together we can do it!


Defining Your GOALS for 2016 – What Do You Really Want Out of Your Writing?

Hi, everybody! I have had a highly successful week of writing in between the Christmas holiday and New Year’s Eve. I have hit the half way mark in my novel, The Swamp Fairy, and am excited about how it is all coming together. I actually started from the first transcript I wrote and reworked the entire story. It is going to be an amazing adventure! I am just at the 20,000+ word mark and well on my way!

By the way, if anyone ever told you that writing a book is easy, make sure to tell them they do not have a clue about writing a novel! I am loving this journey and learning a ton in the process. I find myself dreaming of what I am going to write next! I have had to work hard at shutting my mind down so that I can get some much-needed sleep.

That brings me to defining my goals for 2016 as it pertains to my writing and my blog. I had to think hard and long about what I could realistically accomplish. I made a list that seemed to go on forever and ever! I knew that would not work so I started really looking at what I knew in my heart I could accomplish.

Here are the top 5 items I came up with that I think are doable in real life for me to advance my writing career:

  1. Publish my book by my birthday, April 18th. This is my protagonist’s birthday in the novel also, so I believe that will be a way for my readers to associate with my character and her story. Stay tuned because I have other exciting things to share about my character and the book coming up in the near future!
  2. Continue my journey with Mindful Monday – Healthy Living. This gives me a way to explore more about myself and actually helps me with my writing and daily life. I hope my readers will continue to be as inspired as I am from all the great comments and the journey’s that we all share together.
  3. Write MORE poetry! I want to explore other forms of poetry. The Poetry Foundation has an excellent list of all the poetic forms with definitions. Click here to take a look!
  4. Participate in more creative writing challenges and explore different genres.
  5. Continue hosting Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Who else has a WordPress event where the participants post quotes whether I do or not? How cool is that? I have the best bunch of quote finders in the world! ❤ Inspiration is at an all time high! However, I would like to ask for someone to take over the Quote Wrap-Up for me on a regular basis. It is time-consuming, however, it does bring some great traffic to your blog. Please let me know if you would be interested in the comments of this post. After a year and a half, I would love to see a fresh take on sharing the quotes!

I want to spend more time perfecting my workflow this year too. I need to spend less time on social media and more time concentrating on my writing. I have worked so hard to build a readership for my blog that I find my time for writing has suffered. That means that I will be doing more re-blogging of excellent blog articles that I find in the blogosphere instead of playing on Facebook. 😉 That will give me the extra time to write book reviews!

That’s it! A simple straight forward list of goals that I WILL accomplish this year. How about you? Do you have a list of goals that you hope to attain this year? I would love to hear how you are planning to meet your goals!

I want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I feel like 2016 is going to be the best year yet! Thank you for following Silver Threading. I wish you all great happiness and success in the upcoming year! GO FOR IT!

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Silver Thoughts & Goals


I woke up this morning to grey skies and heavy humidity. With the air conditioner on inside the house, the windows outside dripped with moisture. At 6:30 am it was 72 degrees F. here in Pensacola, Florida. Although, I do love the heat and humidity that is part of my little piece of paradise. While drinking a cup of coffee, I felt like I had reached a crossroads of some sort. My vacation last week with my granddaughters and daughter helped me to see that I need to stop procrastinating about writing my book about the swamp fairies. My family loves the plot, as do many of my friends. Why the hold up? Fear.

Then, I read my horoscope for the day. It said: “Luck and prosperity lie within your grasp now, Aries. The only problem is that you might not notice because you’re so caught up in some emotional drama that occupies your entire being. Don’t concern yourself with issues that don’t directly pertain to you. Your time and energy are too precious. Keep your mind focused on your biggest goals.”

Those words told me that I need to get with it! Today, I am going to conquer my fear! I have known this in my heart all along. My stars are aligned, and they are telling me to go for it! So, with that precious message in mind, I have decided that on Friday and Saturday my writing will be dedicated to my swamp fairy book. I may be absent from Silver Threading on those days. I will try to keep up with comments, sharing, and reading. Sunday through Thursday will be dedicated to my blog, Lit World Interviews, book reviews, beta reading, and offering support to other authors.


Thank you friends for your encouragement. You all have enriched my life with your words. Thank you for being part of my world!

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Goals For 11/30/14-12/6/14

What a week I had! I am still behind from wrenching my back.  That is the way it is with goals.  Some you are able to fulfill with no problem and then life gets in the way.  What do you do?  Below is an easy way to follow through on your goals:

Goal Insp

(Image credit: Pinterest – Adventures in Guided Journaling)

My goals for last week were:

1. Decide if it is necessary to add any more categories to your menu.  If not, move on and delete this goal.

I decided that I did not want to pursue the categories on the menu.  It seemed to take more time than it was worth and I did not like the look of the menu.  DELETED GOAL.

2.  Submit a poem to a literary journal this week.

I did not reach this goal either.  However, I have written a template letter of submission now that I can use and adapt to my needs.  I will pursue that goal this week.  UNCOMPLETED.

3.  Walk each day and commune with nature.

This goal was shelved for the week. UNCOMPLETED.

4.  Step away from the keyboard this week. With the holiday coming you need some time off.

Sometimes your body tells you this before your mind.  Usually when my back acts up that means I have done too much and need some down time.  Even with the last week of NaBloPoMo which I did complete; I found time to relax and heal. DONE.

5.  Keep working on the 2 hour a day limit on reading and commenting on blog posts.

To some extent I was able to keep to the 2 hours a limit.  Since I was down most of the time, I did go over my time limit.  I will work on meeting this goal.  UNCOMPLETED.

SUMMARY OF THE WEEK:  If you look at the overall completion rate of my goals for this past week you might think that I failed.  I do not see it as a fail, instead I like to think of it as a WIP (work in progress).  Last week is gone.  I just need to forgive myself and move forward.

HERE ARE MY GOALS FOR THIS WEEK:

Goals thru 12.6.14

Thanks for visiting me and seeing what I have been up to.  I did manage to walk the dogs around the block this morning so I am well on the mend.

Silver Threading

Weekly Goals for 11/23/14-11/29/14

In concert with Dorne, and her blog, Write Dorne, Putting Life Into Words, we have decided that we are going to define our writing goals and ambitions in a weekly blog post.  Both of us are interested in getting some of our work published.  Between us, we thought  that if we make our desires public, we would better support each other in achieving our goals.  If you are inclined to join us feel free and ping back to our posts for additional support.

Here were my goals for last week:

111714 Goals

1.  I did organize some of my recipe posts into my menu.  I need to reassess the need for this.  Done and  UNCOMPLETED.

2.  Submit a poem to a literary journal this week.  Done.  I actually submitted my short story called, “The Spider’s Lair,” to Bodega Magazine.  I also had a poem called, “Suspicion,”  featured on PoetrySoup.com’s home page this week.

3.  I did not walk each day and commune with nature. I will continue that goal into this week.  UNCOMPLETED.  Between the weather and my cold I fell short of my goal.

4.  Write for two hours each day – then stop.  Done.

5.  Allow 2 hours a day for emails and reading blog posts – no more!  UNCOMPLETED. 

This weeks goals:

1. Decide if it is necessary to add any more categories to your menu.  If not, move on and delete this goal.

2.  Submit a poem to a literary journal this week.

3.  Walk each day and commune with nature.

4.  Step away from the keyboard this week. With the holiday coming you need some time off. 

5.  Keep working on the 2 hour a day limit on reading and commenting on blog posts.

Goal Setting

Thanks for letting me share my goals with you!  I will see you all again!

Silver Threading

Goal Setting in a Blog World

NanoPoblano

I started my blog journey on March 26, 2014 with not a clue as to where I was headed with my blog.  I knew I wanted to write and share my journey into my retirement years, even though I was not sure how I wanted to do it.  I did not want to be boring for sure!

Nevertheless, I forged ahead learning as I grew in the WordPress Community.  I took blogging classes, writing classes, and photography classes. I read the work of other bloggers.  I participated in challenges and stretched my creativity to new levels.  I began to gain confidence in myself as a writer.  I now had a path I knew I wanted to follow.  I wanted to write.

NaBloPoMo_November

I love writing.  It seems to free something inside of me.  It brings me great joy.  I was meant to write and gifts should always be used.  If I reach one person with something I have written and it invokes great feeling within them, then I have done my job.

In concert with Dorne, and her blog, Write Dorne, Putting Life Into Words, we have decided that we are going to define our writing goals and ambitions in a weekly blog post.  Both of us are interested in getting some of our work published.  Between us, we thought  that if we make our desires public, we would better support each other in achieving our goals.  If you are inclined to join us feel free and ping back to our posts for additional support.

Here are my goals for this week:

111714 Goals

I am sure you are gasping for air at this point.  What I am trying to do is carve out more time for writing and being creative.  I do not think that 4 hours a day writing and blogging is unreasonable.  I view it like a part-time job.  Just like any job, I find that if I work too hard, my creativity suffers.

This is a start, a jumping off point if you will.  Thanks for letting me share my goals for Silver Threading.  I hope you will come back and visit again Smile

Silver Threading

be yourself

The Next Chapter Begins

Our first assignment in Blogging 201 asks that we detail our blog’s goals to help us refine where we are going with our blogs. I started Silver Threading in April of 2014.  In my humble beginnings, I knew I wanted to write, but I had not found my “true voice” yet.

I have been narrowing down what my focus should be in Silver Threading. I wanted my journey through my retirement years to always be the focus through my writings. The most pleasant surprise is that I have found an audience to read my poetry and short stories that even enjoys my photography. I never imagined that would be possible.

I did not want my blog to be about getting older – instead I wanted it to be about another chapter in my life and how I could finally do the creative things I only dreamed of doing when I was younger. Silver Threading is that journey. It does not have a set plan – it unfolds as I live it and write it.

Eventually through trial and error, I guess I finally decided to blog to self-publish my poetry and writing. Along the way, I also wanted to preserve stories from my family and my husband’s family for our children and grandchildren.

At the back of my mind I always thought that if I had a following to begin with I would do much better when it came time to publish my writings professionally. My blogging was never really about the followers to begin with. However, now I realize that there is something to the numbers after all.

I have set some goals to achieve within the next six months (10/20/14 – 4/19/15):

1. Get some of my poetry and/or short stories published.

2. Include articles from three guest writers on my blog.

3. Increase my Writer’s Quote Wednesday followers by 50%.

4. Create a monthly writer’s award to highlight other blogs and share them within our community.

Of course, I still have the normal goals of posting at least one post per day, and to find time to read and respond to my followers own blogs, which is quite important to me.

I also want to continue to encourage young writers on WordPress. Awards are a way of transferring some of our own confidence we have gained to others. Our young writers are important to the survival of writing in a technology driven society.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I appreciate you all!

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Silver Threading