Seasons Greetings! Update On Me!🎄🎅

Dear friends,

As you may know, I opted to have an elective surgery on October 2 that left me in the hospital for a full week. When I was finally discharged, I had to go back for almost an additional week due to an infection that could’ve been prevented if the problem were detected early enough. I am happy to say I am at home now and doing much better!

I’m extremely grateful for everyday of health and healing I am able to experience. I hadn’t spent that much time in the hospital since my accident that happened when I was sixteen years old. Since the surgery, my condition has improved and I no longer have an ailment I suffered from for way too long.

I am reminded of the quote shared by the great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, an American Slave that dates back to his book published back in 1845. The popular passage still resonates. He writes: “I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always hold me within its foul embrace, and in the darkest hours of my career this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom.”

He continues, “This good spirit was from God and to Him I offer thanksgiving and praise!” How does this timeless verse relate to me?  Well, it doesn’t–directly. As a survivor, I can choose to take the victim mentality though and not try to accomplish all I know I can. But Douglass stood up for his rights and even taught himself how to read and write, and I have rights, too. I am not limited in my abilities because no one knows what God can do.

What Douglass wrote speaks to my soul and it can speak to yours, also. His knowledge of God and the fact that He would set him free is parallel with my knowledge that God will set me free of any bondage in my predicament, thoughts, or attitude. Your challenge may be different from my own, but how can you apply this passage by Frederick Douglass to your own life?

What are you confident about and know you will overcome? Have you ever felt caught up in a situation you didn’t know you could get out of? Did you just know you’d be freed from it? Sometimes we just know that God will deliver us! Was there at time when you knew that only He could help you? Feel free to openly share with me in the comments. I’d love to read your thoughts and get back to you.

May you have a very Merry Christmas and may the Lord Jesus be with you this holiday season and all the days of your lives,

~Zina Hermez

P.S. I was wondering if you were able to catch my Facebook Live interview this past August with Patricia Durgin, the Christian Message coach, from Marketers on A Mission? I recount details of my book Not Without God : A Story of Survival and talk about the accident I was in as a teenager, how I overcame through my faith in the Lord, hard work, and determination.

I also get in depth about my upcoming one, Hope After the Storm. It will be the second in my II part, Not Without God series. In the video, I explain the structure and how it is designed. It’s a narrative like my first, but it gives readers an opportunity to also reflect and write in journal sections at the end of chapters. I also give tips on how to market or pre-launch your own book material or message.

It will help even if you have a desire to write but don’t know how to get started! Click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DHHYE3QDJE

Three Ways to Begin Your (DREAM) Writing!

Did you know that 80 percent of Americans think they should write a book? Most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try or give up because it seems too difficult, or they don’t know how to get started. These days, writers can self-publish with tools on-line, and there are ways to get your book printed by on-demand or you can go the route of Indie publishing if you’re feeling especially productive. Whether you publish independently, with a hybrid company, or with a traditional publisher–you are still responsible for marketing. Be aware. Authors are not only writers, they are marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats!

Keep a Diary or Journal

I would not suggest for you to publish simply because you want to. Millions of people write books each year, but the majority of them are not necessary or good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you have to practice! You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. You can then reread what you wrote as a way to reflect and recognize any thought patterns. You can add more or rewrite to help change any negative attitudes. You can’t heal from what you don’t acknowledge. Writing can be therapeutic. I’ve practiced this technique since I was a teenager. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you can’t find the time to write every day, write for one to two hours a week. Three hours or more of writing per week would be an ideal schedule to begin.

Find a Writer’s Community

What do you want to write about? Who will be in your audience? Will you create a blog? You can start a free blog at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You can start a blog at WordPress.org, but you would have to purchase hosting. I’ve bought a domain at Godaddy.com (I am not an affiliate of any of these companies). Connect with other writers: join a writers’ group, attend a writers’ conference, share your writing with your friends or family and ask for honest feedback but ask them not to be too harsh. Compliments with constructive criticism are healthy. You have to be willing to learn from others. Find an accountability partner (That was a new piece of advice I heard at a conference!). I liked it. Reading others writing can help also, and it is a great way to write better. The best writers are the best readers, and writing can help you be a better speaker–I have told many people.

Relax, and enjoy it!

I’ve taken the fun out of writing by focusing on trying to make it “perfect.” Trying to type the right words, word-for-word can be stressful. These high expectations can take the enjoyment out of it! Writing has to be fulfilling. I was listening to a live webinar in my Writers Guild, and I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched; he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire you first. But this develops over time. Finding your “voice” can take a while, but once you find it, writing can become easier and more comfortable. You won’t regret all the work you’ve put into it!

(This article will appear in the Southern Writers Magazine – Suite T blog).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival” and her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be the second in a II part series. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and almost 200 of her very own blog posts. As an educator for nearly twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to – help others. Socializing with friends, taking road-trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

The Writers that Changed My Life

I’m excited to be an author now. But I began writing a long time ago. I won my first story contest in the second grade! I’ll never forget it. I won many. My teacher was so happy for me. She comprised a nice booklet with all my stories made of colorful construction paper. It was such an accomplishment!

At sixteen in the hospital I wrote after a bad vehicular accident. Hooked up to machines with a breathing tube down my throat, the first few weeks I had to write. It was the only way to communicate; I couldn’t talk. I still have all my notes of black marker scribbles on white and yellow cutouts.

I kept thick bible-sized journals while I was in college (they’ve since been shredded), and wrote just about every night. Some nights I wrote more than others depending upon what was going on in my life. Several years ago, I sent an email to a writer in west Michigan and asked him for advice.

He directed me to a few conferences, and one of them was the Breathe Conference (https://breatheconference.com/home/)! He also told me I should get involved with an on-line group called Fellowship of Christian Writers. I went through their application process and received a letter of acceptance!

I wrote a heartfelt email to all (800) members, and was promptly responded to by a famous editor! I closely followed his emails and promotional material and learned how to write a book proposal. If you’re interested, there are different formats. I used “Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript” by Chuck Sambuchino and the Editors of Writer’s Digest Books.

I also took a creative writing course by another one of the on-line group members. Last year, I was a part of a Writer’s Guild and it really helped. I watched live webinars with people like Donald Miller and DiAnn Mills. I had a chance to really study the craft with a wonderful writing coach and other speakers.

The authors who’ve mentored me have really blessed my life! You have to go after your dreams! Life is not meant for you to be complacent. Reach for the unattainable. Achieve what you never thought was possible! I’ve had the honor of sharing my stories with thousands, and I hope to reach millions!

(This article will be featured on the Breathe Writers Conference blog).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be a teaching book with a study guide–the second in her II part series. Zina’s stories have been featured in various magazines, guest articles, medical journals, newsletters, and almost 200 of her very own blog posts. As an educator for nearly twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Zina’s goal is to overcome adversity while helping others. Socializing with friends, taking road-trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies. You can follow her on her website at http://www.zinahermez.com for updated posts, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Happy Holidays!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with contacts today. I want to share it with you, too. I hope you find some inspiration from reading it!  I look forward to offering more tips on topics such as health and grief for those who are going through it.

Click on the link to read my note! https://tinyurl.com/ybdoh77o

May you have a very blessed and happy new year, and enjoy the remainder of 2017!

Stay warm,

~Zina

About Zina
Zina Hermez authored the book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com

How to Become a Writer (if you’re interested)

Did you know that 80 percent of people want to write a book? It’s true, but most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try, or give up because it seems “too hard.” Anyone can self-publish with tools on-line, and there are ways to get your books printed by paying for it. Whether you self-publish or publish with a traditional publisher (where they pay you an advance), you are still responsible for marketing. Don’t be fooled. Authors are not only writers, they are marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats!

I would not suggest for you to write a book simply because you want to. You have to practice writing. Millions of people write books, but the majority of them are not any good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you do have to practice! You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. Keep a diary, journal, or notebook. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you don’t want to write every day, write for one to two hours a week. Three hours of writing per week or more would be an ideal schedule.

You also have to determine your topic. What do you want to write about? Who will be in your audience? Will you write in a blog? You can start a free blog at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You could also start a blog at WordPress.org but you would have to buy hosting. I purchased a domain at GoDaddy.com for my website. I’m not an affiliate. I’m just giving you ideas for how to get started.

Your writing is not for “everyone.” People who think their blog or book is for everyone are mistaken. I’m sure the topic you choose to write about has been written before. Someone, somewhere may have wanted to encourage others through their personal struggle, or someone may have had a similar idea for a novel.

Don’t let that discourage you. You have to write about something fulfilling. In my Writer’s Guild, I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. I was listening to a live webinar. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched, he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire you first. My writing is therapeutic for me. I realize things because I write about my own personal life.

Image found on Pinterest

You have to meet with other writers. Book events, conferences, and Writers’ groups are all good places to go to. If you cannot find one nearby, you can have a friend or family member help you. Ask for honest feedback, but also ask they that are not too harsh. Complements with constructive criticism are healthy for you. You have to be willing to learn from others, but you don’t have to get hurt. I’ve had that experience before!

Sometimes we don’t follow our dreams out of fear. You may have a fear of failure, or a fear of not “fitting in” anymore. You may have a fear of going too far! I believe there are endless possibilities for all of us to distribute good in the world, be prominent in business, or successful in some endeavor.

It’s hard work, I’ve stayed up many nights trying to type the right words and the right messages. The high expectations I put on myself are not from the Lord, though. What I mean is, He may have put the idea to write in my heart. But He does not expect perfectionism. In all my articles, I strive to do what I long to–help someone else!

About Zina
Zina Hermez authored the book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com

How to Celebrate HIS Story

I was sent these questions as a writing prompt from a Writer’s blog: As Christians who write, one aim is to give honor and glory to God. How has God used your story? How has the Holy Spirit inspired and encouraged you? Have you seen the fruit of God’s glory as a result?

When I began my writing journey about five years ago, I had no idea the amount of people it would help. I’ve written since I was a child, and as a teen my audience was myself. I wrote behind closed doors, but with the surge in technology and media we are capable of reaching A LOT more people! I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “platform” if you are a writer. According to Google.com, a platform is a raised level surface on which people can stand. If you are on a raised surface and speaking from a podium more people can see you than if you are at eye level with everyone else.

As a writer, artist, musician, CEO, or salesman you need a platform. Many writers fear they won’t get noticed if they don’t have one. But your platform does not have to be huge. Publishers are still looking for REALLY good writers, that’s why I’m involved in a Writer’s guild and Writer’s group. I work on my writing skills. So…back to my prompt, how has God used my story and encouraged me?! Many of us want to write for God, speak his name, speak of his glories, and the ways he has blessed us.

But God is not concerned with my popularity as much as he is concerned with my friendship. God is not concerned with how many followers I have on Facebook or Twitter. Before I got into this business, I prayed to remain humble no matter what, and to never seek fame in a way that’s destructive. I simply write to help others and share my experiences. I write to motivate, and in turn I am motivated when my writing touches someone’s heart. I celebrate HIS story daily by carrying my cross. And sometimes, it happens to be evident in my stories…

(This post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe Writer’s Conference blog.)

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English as a Second Language Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, medical journals and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com

 

The Breathe conference posted my article!

One of the many benefits of writing is meeting others and making friends. I have met some wonderful people! Today my friends at the Breathe Writer’s conference published another one of my articles. They have been so kind since I began this journey a few years ago. Writing can be a lonely experience, but it’s a bonus when your writing is shared on different platforms. I have learned so much from them. I’ve attended two of their annual conferences in October. The knowledge gained from authors, marketing advice and overall help is invaluable!

Thank you Breathe conference!

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-a-way-of-life-by-zina-hermez.html

 

 

 

Writing Is a Way of Life

I write to process pain. It’s a channel to express my feelings—a way to self-evaluate. I examine my thoughts. The pen is my friend. Writing in journals and diaries helps me, and provides healing. Through ups and downs, I write.

I write for joy and for release. It truly is a spiritual practice when I share what’s inside my heart. I’m led by faith. Words will stick. Words will resonate, if they are meant to. Words will remain…in books, magazines, e-books, and the Amazon-book-seller page. But it’s about more than a platform – it’s a way to peace.

We live in a competitive world. Exposure holds a lot of weight. But number one, it’s about words. Don’t focus on the fame. Don’t focus on the pay. If you write a book or other publication, be encouraged; you are spreading your message. Your words will not only change the reader, but they will also change you!

For me it has to be about reaching people through my faith.

(This post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference blog.)

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English as a Second Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world. She writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, medical journals and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

 

My Speaking event last Sunday!

This is a small piece on prayer from the talk I shared at church.

As I began to recover after my accident, I knew I had a long road ahead. I contemplated my future with God. I would ask, “What are we going to do, Lord?” and “How will my life be?” I didn’t know for sure but I knew one thing, I had Him – and I knew He would never leave. I didn’t like what happened to me, but I liked being in the silence and experiencing the peace.

Talking with God, asking for his help, his guidance, and presenting my problems before him has always helped me! And in the hospital, He spoke to me each day – through the love of others, the nurses, my mom, and the doctors. He explained every step of the way, what we would do, and how we would get through. I knew everything would be okay — in my feelings and in my heart.

Spending time with God has saved me all my life. Prayer is one way I do this, and I like to speak to Him when it is quiet because that is when I can hear from Him most — in feelings and in thoughts. When I am away from the noise. I listen to Bible verses throughout the day or before I go to bed, usually.

I’ve been doing this almost every day for the last few months. If I can commit to at least fifteen minutes a day, it helps me! I feel more peace since I have started. Things that would bother me before seem petty. I have noticed improvements in different areas. So I would recommend for anyone going through a challenge, or hardship to start doing it.

I have downloaded the Bible Gateway app on my cell phone, and I sometimes listen on a laptop. I click on the audio selection, and listening is convenient. I have listened while cleaning, or even writing. Technology is great! You can study while completing tasks. We don’t have to only read anymore! Two Psalms that really speak to my heart now are Psalm 69 and Psalm 71.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

I’m Speaking to a Congregation!

Dear friends,

I’m happy to share a letter and invitation I sent to close contacts earlier: http://eepurl.com/bRAlR5. I want to share it with you too, because you have supported me also. Let me know if you are interested in attending my upcoming event.

Thank YOU!

~Zina

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

New Year’s Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution was to always have peace with everyone including myself. I strive to get better, and better how I relate with others each day. I believe part of the peace I am seeking comes from self-reflection. The only way to realize my mistakes is to boldly look at myself “in the mirror,” so to speak. It’s not easy to do. It takes courage, but it is SO worth it once you become aware of patterns of behavior. When you are friends with everyone including YOU. You realize that even those that seem to be in opposition may be helping you. Getting back up only makes you stronger! But you have to like YOU first.

One of the ways I perform self-reflection is through writing my thoughts down. I began the practice of journaling years ago as a teen when I had no audience. Writing for myself comes easy. If you are not much of a writer, remember that no one else has to see your writing. You don’t have to share your inner-most-thoughts. Writing helps me, and I believe it can help you too. Complete happiness requires self-reflection, many people are afraid of it. It’s a lot of work. Writing is more than a need for me it’s a necessity!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts today: http://eepurl.com/bKWiPj. I want to share it with you because you’ve supported me too. Thank YOU!

You can read about my recent adventure!

May you have a very blessed and Merry Christmas with your families!

Sincerely,

-Zina Hermez

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

My trip to HARVARD last weekend!

I attended the Business Expert Forum at the Harvard Faculty Club for a speaking event with people who are so successful. I was one of 60 speakers on December 5. Surreal. At times I couldn’t believe it. Sitting there looking at lights, cameras, and action! It was exciting, we gave TV-like-appearances that provided live streaming. I’ve never experienced anything like it!

One presenter was an engineer from Germany who’s worked closely with BMW, Audi, and Porsche. He was the youngest speaker there, I was the second. 😉 I watched the president of the Entrepreneurship Students Club at Harvard Business School give his talk. Another presenter was a coach originally from Australia (He said my speech inspired him : ). There was a doctor developing solutions for the blind, oh, and a billionaire!harvardblogpost

There was a famous actor, Jonathan Goldsmith, best-selling-authors, people who have been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. There was a guy who’s worked with the president! I met a motivational speaker to Mel Gibson! She was so humble. The speakers were professional. I watched them all in awe and amusement. I was surrounded by talent.

Everyone was sharing their message, promoting their brand, or just socializing with others. At night there were hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. I love meeting people and networking. I really enjoyed it! Clint Arthur hosted it. He’s the founder and organizer of the Business Expert Forum. He made it possible for all of us!

My older brother, Joe, got me to the airport on time at 6am on Friday. In preparation for the big day on Saturday, I arrived early and stayed in Cambridge for a total of two nights. I took pictures of Harvard Square and MIT—a famous engineering college. My sister and her husband picked me up from the airport on Sunday. I really appreciated my family’s help!

I work very hard so this was a bonus! I felt exhausted when I returned home, but it was worth every moment! I had to find four substitutes to cover my classes, but now I can say I’ve been to Harvard. I’ve even SPOKEN there. I’ll never forget it!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

My next Speaking engagement is on Dec. 5!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier:  http://eepurl.com/bImqHT. I want to share it with you, my readers, because you have supported me too. Thank YOU!

You can read about my upcoming adventure! And you can also watch me on livestreaming if you’d like! Click here: http://signupforthelivestream.gr8.com.

I hope you’ll join me!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Your Writing Has to Do Something!

It’s been over a week since I attended the Breathe Christian Writers Conference, but I won’t forget the quote that spoke to my heart the most. It came from Mike Wittmer, a professor during his Breakout Session titled, “The Hard Work of Writing Simply.”

Don’t get me wrong, there were many beautiful sayings there. Short tid-bits of inspiration. Thoughts on how to keep your writing fresh, and how to keep it eloquent. But Mike was urging us to “tell a story” in our writing because it can have more of an impact than facts!

He compared writing our story to the greatest one ever told – Jesus Christ’s. It is a story. Without the cross there would be no action, thus, there would be no story. Your writing has to do something! “Love came down and DID something!” he said. That is what we are drawn to. The action. The story.

Love came down and made the ultimate sacrifice!

(this post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe conference blog)

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

Google – the most popular search engine in the world!

Have you ever heard how Google got started? The story is similar to Facebook’s. Two Stanford PhD grads, Sergey Brin and Larry Page created it in 1998 while they were going to the university. Facebook began because of Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates in 2004 while they were attending Harvard.

But unlike Facebook, Google serves as more than a social network. Google’s mission statement from the beginning was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” That sounds about right! What began as a private company is now the world’s most popular search engine!

Google has morphed into a massive technology company even selling on line advertising through a service that places YOU near the list of search results! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Especially if you want your personal message, brand, or business to be found!

Rapid growth has triggered a chain of items. Google offers email (Gmail), a cloud storage service (Google Drive), an office suite (Google Docs), web browsing (Google Chrome), and their social networking service (Google+) just to name some of their products.

A Google Plus account is just as important to have as a Facebook profile. I’ll tell you why! Google is the world’s #1 search engine. Next in line is Bing. Third is Yahoo search. Can you imagine Google’s influence over the internet?! It’s HUGE. Google even bought YouTube!

The more YouTube interaction, the more Google interaction! Simply upload songs. I started adding videos and playlists to my account in December of 2009. These are mostly Contemporary Christian songs that have helped with my recovery from spinal cord injury in the last few years. I would like to share them: http://tinyurl.com/qx46t7y

I’m a little excited because since I started my account, I’ve reached over 12,000 views just by uploading songs and copying my posts from WordPress! Google Plus has a wide influence. If you don’t already have a profile, why not start one?

“Google Plus helps with our S.E.O. strategy because our posts on Google Plus actually show up in our search engine results,” said Chandra Magee, senior director of audience development at Starbucks. If you want your business, brand, or personal message to be found, Google + is the way to do it!

(This article is inspired by a guest post I’m working on called “Why Google Plus?” for a friend’s business. Take a look at their website: http://getlocalclout.com.)

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

Breathe Writers Conference

The Breathe Christian Writers Conference is coming up in a few weeks and I’m SO excited to be going! It’s in Grand Rapids, and close enough for me to drive. I enjoy road trips and it’s such a great event. I attended for the first time last year, and I learned so much there! It helped me grow as a writer, and Breathe has shared some of my guest posts since then. Here are the links if you haven’t read any of them:

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-remedy.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2322.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2330.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/words.html

I hope you enjoy reading my articles! I look forward to attending, making friends, and enriching my career. My happiest moments are when I’m able to speak to others about what motivated me to write, and about how God saved my life! When I read passages from my book in front of a crowd, or teach from it I have the greatest feeling by far. Nothing compares. I hope to do more of this!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Conference blog, newsletters, and medical journals among other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Letter To My Friends

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier. I want to share it with you, my readers because you have really supported me in my writing too. Thank YOU so much! Click on this link: http://eepurl.com/byiwwP

If you would like to receive updates, or news about future book events please subscribe to my newsletters: http://eepurl.com/1spwH

Have a Happy Labor Day weekend with family and friends!

Sincerely,

 

~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, and the Breathe Christian Writers Conference blog. She has written newsletters, and appeared in medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

Dare to Dream

Do not be afraid to fail. Be afraid to never try. Fear of failure is the most tragic. ~Zina Hermez

There are moments in life we will never forget. Having book signings- meeting strangers who are touched by my story, and traveling to distance cities are some things I have encountered. These moments are precious to me. The friendships I’ve made, and the help I’ve gotten with writing my story is priceless! I can never forget it.

Without writing, and without self-expression I feel empty.

At times I want to spend hours on my love of writing, and not do anything else like attend to daily chores, and complete other tasks. I’ve thought about going on a writer’s retreat before. I’ve found pictures on line of places you can go to next to lakes or even oceans where you can stay in beautiful cabins. Where you go to write, and do nothing else for days.

I want to express myself through writing more than anything else.

When your book is published, it is only the beginning. And you have to begin writing long before that. Starting a blog, joining a writer’s group, or attending a writer’s conference are only a few steps you can take. Writing is an art. Like any other career, it takes time to develop. It’s a craft that you have to work at.

I want to write another book one day. I like to write quotes, and I think a book of inspirational messages would be nice. Please pray for me as I try to figure out how to undertake this new journey. We don’t always understand our direction and why we are being led. There are reasons we cannot understand until we have fulfilled our mission. ~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among many other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

For Writers (or anyone thinking of becoming one)!

“Thoughts” ~by Zina Hermez

Write for the joy of it, and for the release. Give your writing away for free!

It truly is a spiritual practice when you share your feelings, and when you share what’s inside your heart. Be led by faith.

Your words will stick. Your words will resonate, if they are meant to. Your words will not only change the reader, but they will also change you!

We live in a competitive world. Exposure holds a lot of weight. But number one, it’s about your words. Don’t focus on the fame.

Don’t focus on the pay. If you want to write a book, or for magazines or other publications, be encouraged you are spreading your message!

Your words will remain…in books, magazines, e-books, the Amazon book seller page, and many other places.

Writing is about your message.

For me it has to be about reaching people through my words, and through my faith.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among many other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

How Writing Can Help (YOU)

Do you dream of becoming a writer? Do you want to write better for work? School? Or for yourself? I dreamt of becoming an author, and my dream came true! For any dream job to occur, you must put in endless hours of dedication and effort. I can’t tell you the exact amount of hours I’ve spent at my computer writing and reading others articles and books. I’ve learned about many different techniques and styles. My craft still needs work!

Can we ever perfect our writing? I don’t think it is possible. Writing is one of those careers where there is ALWAYS room for improvement. It’s like an art piece that can never be complete! There’s more to learn. Today, I would like to encourage you to write more. I don’t think everyone has to become an author but if that’s your goal, it is attainable.

You can simply write for the health benefits. It’s been medically proven that writing improves the neural pathways of the brain. Keeping a journal can greatly help. It’s a form of therapy. Through writing your thoughts down, or by putting them on a screen by clicking on a keyboard–you can learn about yourself, and even break harmful patterns.

Writing can change your behavior once you realize your actions you can change them for the better. No one has to even see what you wrote! You don’t have to publish your innermost feelings. “Write without fear, edit without mercy” is a quote I came across on Pinterest. I like that one!

Here is the link to a recent guest post of mine on the Breathe Writers conference blog to further give you tips on writing:  http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2330.html Check it out! Feel free to share your thoughts on writing with me…

“When we write we heal.” ~Zina

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Happy Easter!

Dear friends,

Happy Easter to you! I want to share my most recent news, and also let you know about an Easter promotion we are running on “Not Without God.” The e-version of my book is practically FREE right now. There are only a few hours left! I would love for you to read it! Please take advantage of this special opportunity.

Click on this link to read my update: http://eepurl.com/bi1CAL.

May the joy, hope, and promise of Easter fill our hearts today and every day!

Sincerely,

~Zina Hermez

My Unique Experiences!

There are many things I love about being an author! One of my favorites is the opportunity to meet people from various places in the country, and even various places in the world! They write to me on my blog sometimes. It’s like teaching English in a way, and I like that. But it’s different because I have met so many people online! Good thing that meeting people is one of my hobbies!

I’ve been to about four, maybe five Writer’s conferences. I will make it a point to attend at least one, hopefully more than that each year. It’s nice to be surrounded by others that have the same interests, and it never hurts to see so many smiling faces! I don’t plan to stop writing so conferences can be a nice place for me to be.

The last one I went to was the Breathe Christian Writers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I met some really nice people. I like that Breathe is within driving distance from my home. I don’t have to fly out anywhere, and I can still get all the same benefits. By the way, I love road trips!

My friends at Breathe have been so kind! They published a few of my articles on their blog. This is the latest: http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2322.html Oh, and here are a few sights from previous conferences. And please read my article on Breathe!

Award-winning-mosaic! The "Crucifixion." Breathe Christian Writer's Conference  in Michigan (There's no place like home!), October 2014.
Award-winning-mosaic! The “Crucifixion.” Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference, Oct. 2014.
Rodeo Drive--California Writer's Conference, Mar. 2014.
Sunset Blvd.–California Writer’s Conference, March 2014.
Hollywood!--California Writers Conference, March 2014.
Hollywood–California Writer’s Conference, March 2014.
The view from my hotel room.:) Las Vegas Writer's Conference, October 2013.
The view from my hotel room.:) Las Vegas Writer’s Conference, October 2013.

Words.

I search for them. They’re not always easy to find. It’s easier to find them when I’m writing to myself. Sometimes they come pouring out. When I write to others, I edit many times. Why? I have so much to say, but I fear that others won’t like my…words. I fear that others won’t be able to relate.

So. I go over words. Again, and again. Until I’m tired, and until it’s late. Until my bed is shouting out my name! Finally, I execute in hopes that my words are good. Positive feedback means the world! When you write–words. When you write–thoughts. Especially when they come from that innermost place.

I sometimes try to imagine I’m having a cup of coffee with a friend while I write. It helps. It reminds me that the world is more compassionate than I think. I don’t have to be afraid of anything. Words are more powerful than you know. Don’t underestimate them.

It’s worth it to write! It’s worth taking the time! Not only to practice the art, but to explore who you are. Who you are meant to touch and who you are meant to meet. In turn, you are also touched! All because someone read your…words. All because someone read your…heart. It’s a beautiful thing.

Not Without God Book Signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers!

Tonight I would like to share some photos. These are just a few pictures from my Book Signing at Barnes & Noble last Sunday! Many friends showed up, and some brought their families too! I’m grateful to have such kind and caring friends. Some people that I had never met came just to hear me speak. After my speaking engagement, I gave a short Q and A at the end. Some stayed around and chatted and socialized. People got copies of my latest (my first!) book, Not Without God signed! I’ll never forget it! I had so much fun!

I remember going to Borders and Barnes & Noble book stores through college. Remember, Borders? Yeah. They went out of business. Thankfully, Barnes & Noble book stores have not! I’d meet friends and study there, or go alone to browse at the books in the aisles. I’d grab a cup of coffee or favorite drink at the time, and plant myself in the café reading and writing for hours. I still enjoy doing this. It’s great to have everything you want at the stroke of your fingertips: Amazon, eBay, and the wealth of knowledge we have on the Internet.

But there is something special about going to the book store–holding a book, flipping through the pages, sipping on hot chocolate, learning new things, and meeting friends! I had a feeling I would be here. What do I mean? I knew my words would be mixed in with all the others, pages, chapters, and books. Here I am. It’s what I knew I would do! It’s fascinating! I look forward to more speaking engagements, more signings, and more friends!

Happy New Year!

Today I would like to share some photos with you. The pictures are from book signings, writer’s conferences, and speaking events. I thought this would be a nice way to recap, and prepare for the New Year! These pics may give you a glimpse into my life, and what it is like to be a writer. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the moments they were taken.

The gorgeous view from the balcony of my hotel room at a writer’s conference in Las Vegas! When I got to the hotel, it felt surreal.
In CALIFORNIA after another writer’s conference last year in March, enjoying the beautiful scenery!

 

What an exhilarating time! I shared with my friend Millie’s non-profit group at a speaking engagement in April.

 

Reading an excerpt from my book, Not Without God at a book-signing sponsored by Beztak Homes last September! So fun!

 

A special moment with Linda and her daughter, Sara!
The “Not Without God” cake at my book party in November. My sister-in-law shocked me when she walked into the room with this! So awesome!

Happy 2015! Thank you to everyone, I had a great year! I wont forget it. I look forward to our friendship for many years to come.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Writing is an Art

“Thoughts” ~ by Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

A Writer’s Soul

From theexaminer.com

I first learned of Virginia Woolf in a class I took in college years ago. I loved my English classes; I got to read literature, often times historical literature, and a lot of it was about different writers or people who have made an impact. I learned about American classic writers such as Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglas, Sylvia Plath, and others.

It’s striking to me that both Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf committed suicide. I tried to make the connection, and found it interesting that they were both writers. I mean I’ve heard before that artists can be more inclined to things such as depression and mental illness. I find it so sad that these talented women died by taking their own lives.

I came across this quote and it spoke to my heart so I wanted to share it. Whenever I’m done writing I feel a sense of relief. But many thoughts I have remain. There is so much more I want to say. Sometimes I hold back. Writers can be good at doing that. I would love for my works to reflect ALL the secrets of my soul, experiences of my life, and qualities of my mind!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

My Christmas Note

Dear friends,

This is a Christmas letter I shared with close contacts earlier today. I wanted to share it with you, my readers because you have really supported me in my writing too. Thank YOU! Please click on this link: http://eepurl.com/baae45.

If you would like to receive news such as book-signings, speaking events, or periodical updates please click on this link here: http://eepurl.com/19Hl1. to subscribe to occasional newsletters.

Merry Christmas to you and your families!

May the joy, peace, and light of Christmas be with you now and through the new year!

Sincerely,

 

~Zina Hermez

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Writing is Remedy

My article was shared on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference blog earlier today, and I wanted to share it! Here is the link http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-remedy.html it describes how writing helped me in the most difficult time in my life, after my accident. It also explains how writing is a hobby of mine, and how I’ve been drawn to it all my life.

Writing is a remedy. Writing helps me heal. Writing helps me grow.

I went to the conference for the first time in October of this year. I made new friends, and it was nice to connect with other writers in my home state of Michigan. I plan on going to Breathe again. I was honored to write this article, and have it shared on their website. I look forward to learning more about the art of writing there!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.