Mary Ann Radmacher conducts workshops on living a full, creative, and balanced life; teaches internet writing seminar; works with individual clients, and has written several books. In this peppy and soul-stirring book, the author ponders the lift-off power of intention and the many ways it can enrich our daily lives. After losing a dear friend, Radmacher wrote these words as a challenge to herself:

Live with intention.
walk to the edge.
listen hard.
practice wellness.
play with abandon.
choose with no regret.
continue to learn.
appreciate your friends.
do what you love.
live as if this is
all there is.

Radmacher creatively explores these 10 qualities of intentional living through a series of exercises, word games, quotations, and inspirations. We were especially impressed with chapters on play with abandon, continue to learn, and do what you love. But certainly the juiciest sections of each chapter are "Word Birds, Winged Thoughts," a series of thought-provoking aphorisms by the author. Here are a few of those featured in "Listen Hard":

• "Meeting the unexpected with love is the ultimate perspective."

• "The world itself plays a symphony for me if I will only listen.

• "Participate in unpolished directness, observation, and truthfulness.

• "I am willing to listen more and speak less.

• "Everyone's flame (light) feeds the fire of life."