Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rave on about Waking Spirit!

Waking Spirit: Prose & Poems the Spirit Sings

Written and published by Shirley Cheng,

ISBN: 9780615136806 paperback; 9780615138930 hardback

Rave On!

Below is the review I received from Kirkus Discoveries, a review service offered by Kirkus Reviews. I've heard that Kirkus Reviews are very tough reviewers, so I was thrilled to receive such a positive review...

"An inspirational miscellany from one of the braver souls on the planet. The author of a number of works in genres ranging from memoir to short fiction to poetry, this motivational speaker is seldom at a loss for words to celebrate life and promote her indefatigable character. Here, Cheng collects a menagerie of lyrics, haiku, short personal essays and even briefer aphoristic words to live by--all on the theme of leaping over seemingly insurmountable hurdles, a subject with which this author is well-acquainted. Though plagued from infancy with near-fatal juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and then blindness as a teenager, Cheng continues to tackle on the page all life has to offer, enlisting but her two index fingers, the aid of a screen-reader program that reads back what she's composed and her indomitable will.

Cheng's prose statements detail a few of her tribulations, offering philosophical insights on suffering, though never with a hint of self-pity; her poems, particularly the vivid haiku, turn more to objects of the natural world that delight her.

For those ready to be eased of their burdens, Cheng provides a lift."

Here's one excerpted from the review from ForeWord Magazine CLARION Reviews:

"This book is an amazing read by an amazing person. While shops and shelves are piled with inspirational and self-help books written by people with disabilities, only luck can lead the reader to an author capable of transporting them to a world outside the normal and understood. Shirley Cheng is one of these lucky finds, driven as she is to help others understand the lives of the disabled.

Cheng is one person who has never allowed her differences to dictate her attitude towards life. She not only appreciates life as a gift, but expresses gratitude to her mother for her positive outlook on life, and to the existence with which her Heavenly Father has blessed her. No matter what, Cheng views her life as an opportunity to make the most of, and views her differences as giving her a unique outlook on life.

Waking Spirit is a collection of poetry of different types including haiku, quotations and essays that embody Cheng's positive attitude towards life and strategies for dealing with adversity. Her writing is very accessible and enjoyable as she "shows without telling," without arrogance or preachiness.

This book is an expression of joy, of wonder, and of passion for life. It teaches simple truths and lifelong lessons that are often overlooked in the current complex world."

More excerpts:

Constantly our Great Creator blesses us with a gift to remind us why life is so special and worth hanging around for. Hellen Keller was one of those gifts, and now the world is lucky enough to have blind and disabled Shirley Cheng take up Helen's gauntlet, and remind us of how special life can be and what a courageous survivor is all about. Shirley Cheng's new book Waking Spirit is a masterpiece and you would be making a wise decision to take time to read its poignant contents. Shirley proves the motto of the world Positive Thinkers club holds water through the centuries of time. "The Positive Thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible." That is what Shirley is all about!

--Ken Bossone, President of World Positive Thinkers Club

Her wisdom and captivating writing style reveals a rare beauty of the heart. Humorous haiku blends effortlessly with devotional selections as quotes sing a wisdom we want to hear and live.
The positive energy in Shirley Cheng's books is refreshing, real and inspiring. I hope you will invite her writing into your heart to experience the beauty of love's transforming energy.

--The Rebecca Review, Top Ten Reviewer

Shirley is an excellent thought provoking writer and poet with a charm and intelligence that would make anyone envious. Shirley's ability to see life in such a positive way has left a lasting impression on many of her readers, myself included. Her inspiration and never ending strive to see all good in life is rare and commendable and should be used as a definite positive thought when one feels that things are just not fair in their lives. Her age and illness has never stood in her way of succeeding and embracing everything that life has to offer.

--Dorothy Lafrinere from

Shirley's poetry, which spans a variety of meters, tones, and topics, is always eloquent and heartfelt. For me, the highlights were the short and simple poems that described daily scenes, endowing them with a new sense of importance. The way Shirley cherished the small pleasures in life encouraged me to slow down and enjoy a trail of ants, or the birds flying overhead. I feel that she has helped me open my eyes to a different world, one that is intricately laced with simple joys. Additionally, I particularly liked inserts of "A Moment With Shirley," which are gems of comfort, advice, and inspiration. It felt like I had a best friend, providing me with encouragement.

--Jennifer Tao, 17, Be the Star You Are!

Available for pre-ordering at

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