Local Author “Presses Pause”

David Sepulveda PhotoAuthor and editor Anne Witkavitch, a former Westville resident who still has family ties to the area and currently lives in Bethany, will be reading selections from her recently published anthology, “Press Pause Moments: Essays about Life Transitions by Women Writers"Pya and other holiday-themed works at Deja Brew Café, 763 Edgewood Ave., on Sunday, Dec. 19, from 12 to 3 p.m.

Press Pause Moments is a collection of wonderfully crafted true-stories about life transitions, written by 36 women writers and published by Kiwi Publishing of Woodbridge. The female essayists look at their life transitions and reflect upon those moments when they fully realized the need to make change happen in their lives.

“The moments of clarity came often as life-changing epiphanies” said Witkavitch, “but were sometimes the result of slower, incremental revelations.” 

The transitions include marriage, divorce, widowhood, parenthood, infertility, sexuality, surviving abuse, facing a medical crisis, changing careers and pursuing educational goals.

After taking time to press the “pause button” in her own life and earning her M.F.A. in Professional Writing, Witkavitch decided to take a break from corporate life to pursue her lifelong ambition to write and publish. It was a decision fraught with uncertainty, characterized by friends and acquaintances as “brave” and “courageous,” but a decision that could no longer be deferred. After establishing a communications business, she founded Press Pause Now, a retreat that helps women figure out their vision and goals and how to achieve them.

“It was during these retreats that I realized the women participating gained the most by sharing their stories about life transitions; goals and dreams; challenges and obstacles; successes and achievements” she said. “By listening to each other they learned from each other and it was from this powerful program, that the idea for the Press Pause Moments anthology was born.”

Witkavitch said she continues to draw inspiration from each of the essays she edited and carries with her an image from each of the stories, “like one carries a photo in a wallet.”

The book’s cover bears an image of Witkavitch’s late sister, Marybeth, photographed by California photographer Elizabeth Opalenik at a Maine retreat for people coping with cancer. “I believe it was here that she worked through her own life transitions and came to terms with goals and dreams reshaped by her cancer” writes Witkavitch in the introduction to her book. “I am convinced her spirit helped transform this book into a celebration of life with all its challenges and opportunities for growth.”

Though the Press Pause Moments was written by women, for women, Witkavitch said that men can gain great insight about women by reading the inspirational stories.

The author-editor will be signing copies of the book, for sale during the event, and refreshments will be provided by Deja Brew. Cafe owner Carol Frawley said she is providing the space gratis for personal reasons, and is open to the idea of doing similar events in the future. For more information about the book and the writers, visit the website www.presspausemoments.com. The book is also available at Amazon.com.

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posted by: Swatty on December 16, 2010  4:04pm

I commend the NHI and David S. for giving us a great article PRE event. So often I am reading a great review of something that I would have loved to attend, and now here is something I can enjoy as it happens!

Don’t worry: when they ask how I heard about it I’ll be sure to say I read it in the NHI first!

posted by: lori on December 16, 2010  6:19pm

I was thinking the same thing, it’s nice to hear about an event before it happens.  There seems to be no end to the cultural activity going on in Westville. I applaud the independent’s coverage of these events.

posted by: che on December 17, 2010  12:38am

Another event you can hear about happening in the neighborhood before it happens is the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Mitchell Library this Saturday, December 18th at 1:30pm. So nice to hear of great things happening right in your neighborhood. Thank you Deja Brew for hosting.

posted by: Dana on December 17, 2010  11:18am

Dave, Thanks so much for telling us about not only the event, but simply reminding us of our own courage and power of change. Anne the author, really has replenished a connection among us that is dying out.  We think we can just find what were looking for online or texting a friend…no way! We find what we are looking for when we can look deep within ourselves. The best means to open that window is when others precipitate their courage to problem solve and rise to new occasions and challenges. The concept of the story sharing is the way cultures have survived in the past.  We as indiviuals will not only survive in the future, but will survive stronger and in the direction and destination where we are supposed to be.

posted by: Adrienne on December 19, 2010  9:56pm

Though life transitions are often a result of life experiences, simple reflection and introspection also have the potential to motivate women to pursue alternate life paths. Many women, however, don’t take the time to reflect or have the courage to change course midway. Books like ‘Press Pause Moments’ are important because they inspire women to question, then fulfill other life pursuits.

posted by: Theresa Froehlich on December 20, 2010  5:49pm

I resonate with how life transitions profoundly change us - goals, dreams, direction, identity, and much more. I have chosen to pursue a path similar to Anne’s - writing, coaching, and mentorying other women navigating life transitions.

Theresa Froehlich
Certified Life Coach