Oak Communications
September 2013
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After visiting or calling two other likely places, I was finally referred to A-1 Luggage Repair. I have my mom's old suitcase that needed new wheels. When I dropped off the suitcase, Mr. Frank mentioned to me that he was looking to sell the business that he and his wife run out of their home. 

You may be wondering what this has to do with you. I often tell my coaching clients who are interested in a new career, looking for a job or wanting more clients to get out and about more. Meet people, learn about them, and you may make a connection that could lead to another interesting person or information about a line of work you have never thought about.

When I returned to pick up the bag, Mr. Frank asked me again if I knew anyone who might want to buy the business. I decided not to rush off and to learn more about him. Mr. Frank was a K-12 school music teacher for 37 years. He and his wife, Maywood, bought A-1 Luggage Repair twelve years ago.  Now they would like to really retire and have time to travel more.


He says that all you need to run the business is common sense. They repair anything with a handle or a hinge. A-1 is the repair center for five luggage companies. They mail A-1 bags that are under warranty and in need of repair. He said that A-1 is the only luggage repair business in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. But, you don't need to be based in this area. You could do the business from anywhere. In fact, they have received calls from California to Massachusetts.


While I might argue that one would need more than common sense, it does seem like this would be a great opportunity for the right person.


If you are intrigued, contact Frank Racz, 337-406-0250, and let him know that I sent you. He told me that if I find him a buyer, he will donate his Cajun accordion to the Traditional Music Program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Now that sounds like a win-win proposition.  


So, the moral of this story is to go out and meet people. Engage. Be curious. You never know what you might learn or what opportunities may come your way.   


Until next time, 



I recommend the TEDx talk that teaches you how to dissolve meaning from events in order to stop suffering: How to Stop Suffering: Morty Lefkoe at TEDxHoboken

Inspired thinking

The Key to the Castle Book News
Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust




Lafayette, LA - Book Selling and Visiting with Folks along with other local authors
Saturday, September 14, 8 am - 4 pm
2913 Johnston Street
Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm and Plant Fest

Gambier, OH - Book Reading and Signing

September 30, 4:15 - 5:30 pm
Kenyon College Bookstore

Columbus, OH - Book Reading and Signing
Tuesday, October 1, 6 - 8pm
19 Gay Street

Baton Rouge, LA - Louisiana Book Festival
Saturday, November 2, check website for time, currently tba
Downtown Baton Rouge - State Library, State Capitol and more


I was interviewed by Cheryl Castille on "The Exchange," on KRVS on Tuesday, August 13th. Listen here.

Please "Like" The Key to the Castle Facebook page to learn about future events.

Have you read the book? If so, please consider writing a review on Amazon or Smashwords.

Thank you!


Buzz on The Key to the Castle 

"With The Key to the Castle, Sue Schleifer takes us on parallel journeys - to the outer world of exotic adventures around the globe, juxtaposed with the inner world of meditation and reflection. In the process she shows us the rewards of deep engagement and openness to the moment in both realms. She is honest about the bumps in the road, and full of questions and doubts (and good humor), all of which make her story very accessible. Her prose is spare, elegant and lucid, and the balance of adventure and reflection make for a sustaining and engaging read." 
Patty Warren

"I just finished reading your terrific book. I bought it a few weeks ago and just knew it would be a great reflective read for my family trip to Spain. The way you have shared and blended both internal and external travels and your personal growth in your life was very moving. The crazy thing for me to understand is how well you listened in our coaching sessions when you have so much to share. Thanks for helping me with my own internal travels and growth."
Lee Smith

 "The Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust is 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

Writing Down Dementia Tele-Workshop 


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Writing Down Dementia is a writing workshop

for people who have or have had a loved one with dementia. It is also designed for caregivers and professionals working in the field of aging services. The workshop offers participants a rich experience of creative expression and emotional support.


Kim Fowler and I will be starting a new four-week tele-workshop in early 2014. If you are interested in learning more about this writing workshop, please contact me.

Coaching Services  

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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."



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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