Oak Communications
May 2013
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I am pleased to announce the publication of my book, The Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust. I invite you to open the cover and join me on this adventure of discovery.

It was after completing an eight-day silent retreat, four years ago, that I began to write this book. Like the retreat itself, I have experienced highs, lows and transformations. Through the writing process I have learned more about Zen from both an intellectual standpoint and from showing up - to write, to sit in meditation, and to be with my thoughts and emotions.

I have also learned more about the creative process: knowing when to let ideas gestate, when to dig in deeper, and when to say it is time to put this baby out. I believe my writing has gotten better in the process.

And, it has given me the opportunity to better understand and integrate my experiences of caring for my mom during her journey with Alzheimer's disease, which became part of my journey as well.

I believe this book will appeal to several different audiences. Those who:
  • are curious about Zen or meditation
  • love travel
  • enjoy reading memoir
  • have been on a Backroads active travel vacation
  • have taken care of an aging loved one
The book is available for purchase in print at Amazon and in
digital versions at Smashwords.
To learn about future book events, please "Like" my Key to the Castle Facebook page.

Feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends, family, colleagues or anyone whom you think might enjoy the book. And, please consider writing a review of the book online if you purchase it.

Thank you to Megan Barra for the beautiful cover design. 

And thank you for reading this newsletter over the years.

With gratitude,


Sue Schleifer


Book Release Party and Reception 
Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust
You are invited to my Lafayette, LA Book Release Party and Reception at Camelia House on Sunday, June 2, 3 - 5 pm.

Camelia House is located at 708 Jefferson Blvd. I am especially pleased to hold the event at Camelia House as I have enjoyed taking classes at Wise Body Pilates for more than a year. Not only do I appreciate the classes, teachers, and how strong and agile I have become, I also love the sense of community I have experienced there.

I hope to see you at the party!

And, if you can't make this book event, there will be others. Please "Like" The Key to the Castle Facebook page to learn about future events in Lafayette and in other locations. Let me know if you would like to host an event!


Buzz on the Book 
Here is what a few advance readers have to say about the book:

"The Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trustis not a book about miracles, or about the cathartic purgings that come with tragic engagement; not about hopeless romance or romance finally found. But it is a book about the quiet miraculous found in paying attention to our lives, about what travel does to the nerve endings. This book brings us to the vast landscape of the journey and how the well-traveled soul is the soul that trusts the intelligence of spirit, or psyche, or mind, or heart---whatever you choose as the dominant guide in your own life."  


Darrell Bourque, author of Megan's Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie, and other books, Louisiana Poet Laureate, 2007-09 and 2009-11 




"Zen at its essence is about finding freedom and spontaneity in our lives. Travel is one way many of us get a taste of this experience. In her new book, Sue Schleifer brings together her experiences of Zen and travel to reveal the wonders of a life lived freshly in the moment."  


Zen Master Bon Soeng, Empty Gate Zen Center



"With some trepidation, I read Sue's chapters that describe the early days of Backroads and was immediately transported back in time by her thoughtful prose. It also gave me a chance to reflect on how much Backroads has changed, for the better. Her insider's look at active travel will give both armchair travelers and adventure seekers an appreciation for how experiencing new places encourages us to ask life's big questions."  


Tom Hale, Founder and President, Backroads, the active travel company


Coaching Services  

Photo of Sue Schleifer
Photo by Robin May



Have you been thinking about working with a life/career coach? Want to connect? 


Give me a call to schedule a complimentary coaching consultation.   


Check out what a few of my clients have said about the coaching experience. 


"Sue truly cares about her clients' goals and brings that passion to her work as a life coach. With her fresh perspective and eye for possibility, she helps me find creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
Plenty of professional and creative people would benefit from working with Sue, and I particularly recommend her to anyone who needs to get 'unstuck'."
Medical Editor and Fabric Artist


"A year ago I met Sue for our first session. Through her probing and listening we pinpointed areas that, with specific attention to my thinking and choices, help me:  

  • be personally more effective
  • move towards a more balanced life

My spouse and employees have noticed a positive change, as have I."

Sales Manager-Fortune 500 Company


"Since I first hired a coach I have been a happier person and a more successful businessman. My company has become much more successful, our employees have had the opportunity to grow to the fullest of their capabilities and everyone seems to enjoy each day of life much more than in the past."


"Doesn't everyone need a coach? From working with Sue, I'm convinced of it. I am spending more time on the activities that are most important to me and have set aside some old patterns (like worrying too much!) that got in my way. Sue is helping me achieve my interpersonal as well as career goals."
President, High Tech Management Consulting Firm

I would love to be a resource for you too! Let's talk.


Sue Schleifer, M.A.


510.316.3319 - cell
Oak Communications

Lafayette, LA and throughout the country

510.316.3319 - cell

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