Children's Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

An Interview With Eric Maisel!!

Coming a week from Thursday, May 2nd I have the privilege of interviewing Eric Maisel on this blog. Eric is a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, a licensed family therapist, and a creativity coach. He is on a world-wide blog tour to promote his latest book Ten Zen Seconds.
Join me on the 2nd as I'll be asking Eric how writers, particularly for children and young adults can sustain the long effort of writing (and illustrating) a book when so many odds are against the effort, especially the internal doubts and fears.
Children are so important. It is always my heartfelt interest to help children, and so I will also be asking Eric if the Ten Zen Seconds techniques are appropriate for children, and if so how can it enhance their creativity, play, and learning.
I'm not a practicing Buddhist, so if I'd seen the book on a shelf at the bookstore I may not have picked it up. However, since I've worked with Eric in an on
-line painter's group, I eagerly volunteered to offer my blog for his a stop on his tour. What fun I thought to go round the world in one's armchair. One of my mottoes is I'll try most anything once, so as I read the book I practiced the breaths and incantations, timing them with a second hand. Hey, it really works!
The big test came this last Sunday when I drove from Taos to Los Alamos to a group show I was in with other New Mexico illustrators. I was excited and nervous and noticed I wasn't concentrating on the road like I should, and there are many twisting, narrow mountain roads between Taos and Los Alamos. So, I decided to try, "I am present." I not only began to focus on the road, but could take in the beauty of the landscape! I made it to the show and had fun with my illustrator friends. Below is my own review of Eric's great, helpful book.

Ten Zen Seconds
Author: Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
Sourcebooks, Inc., Naperville, IL, 2007
Paperback, 247 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4022-0853-9

High kudos for Ten Zen Seconds! It is a succinct, handy little reference book written to help you stay calm and centered in all circumstances. While the target audience is aimed for people in creative endeavors, it can also be applied to business, sports, the classroom, and parenting, to name a few.

Eric Maisel uses simple, practical language to explain how to take a ten second breath while doing an incantation to fit a specific circumstance. For example if it’s a gloomy day either externally, or inside yourself, you can breathe in and say “I am open”, then breathe out and say “to joy.” Each chapter also has people talking specifically how the breathing and incantations helped them. That has added inspiration to Eric’s expertise, which shines throughout.

The book is also beautifully designed. It is the size of a small journal, so it can be kept in a briefcase, purse, or desk or bedside drawer for convenient reference. The fonts are pleasing and vary according to voice and emphasis. To try the book out, go to the web site,, and see which incantations appeal to you.


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