A New Book Full of Aha! Moments

by Starla J. King on August 6, 2015

Wide Awake. Every Week. 52 Voices ~ 365 Aha! MomentsA new book has been born!  

Mothers and baby are recuperating and doing well, as Amazon has already decided the book is a HOT NEW RELEASE.

Roslyn A. Nelson and I are the proud co-editors on this second book in the Wide Awake series: WIDE AWAKE. EVERY WEEK. 52 Voices ~ 365 Aha! Moments.

What’s it about?  Why 52 people?  Why “aha moments”?

The actual introduction to the book explains all of that, so I’m copying it here for you:

This book was an experiment — to see what might happen when 52 people from various walks of life are given wide creative freedom in which to write about what we call the “Aha! Moments” in life.

The idea germinated with the success of our first book in the Wide Awake series: WIDE AWAKE. EVERY DAY. Daily Inspiration for Conscious Living, written by Starla and designed and published by Ros.

Wide Awake. Every Day. was the first time we had worked together. We were a natural team and found ourselves itching to continue our collaboration. Given the positive feedback and rewards of creating “book one,” written by just one person, what might be possible if we expanded the contributor pool to 52? What would aha moments mean to each contributor? How would they each choose to express them? Could 52 points of view make a cohesive book?

Fueled by our relentless curiosity, we (Ros and Starla) began by each inviting 25 people to join the collaboration and write one week’s worth of aha experiences. Then we invited ourselves. Wide Awake. Every Week. was officially in motion; there was no turning back now.

We gave broad guidelines, asking for “engaging descriptions of real-life moments that caught your attention through a sudden understanding, new way of thinking, or flash of clarity — particularly experiences that seemed ordinary just a blink or two before.”

Armed with a private Facebook group for sharing deadline angst and inspiration; encouragement to write in any format that would express their voices “brazenly, cunningly, with humor, or as a mere whisper;” and the constraint of a 280-word limit, contributors began to craft their seven pages.

Contributor Darlene Frank shares, “Excited by the invitation to contribute, I dubbed the assignment ‘seven easy pieces.’ Reality soon set in. Chiseling each piece to a tight word count is a challenge I love, though it delivered more than seven moments of frustration. Writing about aha moments made me notice my current perspective on those that had happened some time ago. The aha moments I describe were life’s gifts to me.”

We eagerly gathered the stories together over the next many months, hauling in an incredible variety of topics: student life, nature, self-worth, fishing, relationships, environmental degradation, parenting, poverty, gratitude, hunting, childhood, cancer, geology, climbing mountains, and, of course, the territory of every human heart: death, love, and loss. Told with every nuance from gentle to biting, our authors shared moments that had given them pause, and insight.

Author Maggie Kazel shared this, “I try to honor the moment, the people involved, the sacred transfer of energy, or more simply, the love. Honor the love amid all the violence that is our modern culture. So many violations, it is exquisite and vital to honor the love. It keeps us going, wakes us up to our humanity, saves us. So I shared a few of my own personal saving moments.” And, “Thank you to sacred life itself, for the inspiration, all the ahas that give us pause and take our breath away. Here’s to hoping we don’t miss a single one!”

A delightful showcase of wisdom and entertainment culled from everyday life was emerging. Wildy divergent perceptions came from equally divergent sources, including: doctors, naturalists, managers, parents, activists, writers, entrepreneurs, professors, and coaches. Wide Awake contributors are gay, straight, white, black, Native American, atheist, Christian, Buddhist, and in-between. Our emails sprang to life with the contributors’ passionate words.

Many authors experienced worry around getting the right ideas, writing, and editing but for everyone, as the process moved forward, anxiety lessened.

Miriam Showalter wrote in an email during her editing process, “Gutting it out in the midst of significant life stress was a great lesson and reminder in and of itself. Writing is oxygen, in all times and under all circumstances.”

We read, laughed, learned, wondered, and watched the work evolve. Authors and editors logged long hours of discussion and edits, and a year of “aha” took shape. Coincidentally, the book creation process also took a year to conclude. And now we offer it to you: 365 pages of “aha” generously created by 52 wide awake humans to whom we are forever grateful.

— Starla J. King and Roslyn A. Nelson

P.S. Opinions written in the book are not necessarily shared by all the contributors, or the editors. We placed a patchwork of writing together in one book in order to offer a range of viewpoints and beliefs, not to suggest that any path taken is right or wrong.

It is our hope, as Ros so eloquently explains, that “this book may encourage others to recognize their (your!) aha moments — perhaps adding more gratitude and peacefulness into the world.”

Can we wake up the world? With your help, I think so.

  • For more about the Wide Awake. Every Week. book and contributor-authors, see WideAwakeEveryWeek.com.
  • To purchase Wide Awake. Every Week. on Amazon, click –> here <–
  • To bring attention to Wide Awake moments, use hashtag #WideAwake on social media
  • To join the Wide Awake community on Facebook, click –> here <–
  • For info. on book 1: Wide Awake. Every Day., click –> here <–
  • To purchase book 1: Wide Awake. Every Day. on Amazon, click –> here <–

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