Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“The way to do is to be.” Loots

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dr. Wayne Dyer

I am filled with sadness at the passing from this world of Dr. Wayne Dyer. He was one of the most influential teachers in my journey towards healing, which I began in 1978. His own story, the power of his words, his wisdom, and the way he shares his teachings, all had a profound impact on me and my life. His family says he was looking forward to this next adventure in the world of Spirit, but his spirit will surely be missed in our world.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It's official

Yup, it's official. I am going to self-publish my debut novel, The Wishing Steps. I really do feel this is the right path for this story. I have someone designing the interior pages and formatting the book. Someone else is working on the cover. I am looking for folks who are willing to write back cover blurbs. September is the six-year anniversary of the voice asking me to tell its story. I can't tell you how excited I am that I will finally be able to share it.

With that, of course, comes all sorts of feelings. The story deals with subject matter that could be considered controversial. Hopefully, what that means is that it will trigger dialogue. I usually tend to avoid conflict of any kind. When you're a writer, that's impossible.

I've listened to the voice and written down the words. Once I put those out in the world, however folks respond is not up to me, is it? It's all about trusting myself and trusting my path.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group - August

It's that time of month again. Thanks to Alex at http:/www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com, we have this amazing community of writers supporting one another once a month through the IWSG.

I have sent out query letters to about a dozen small presses and received several responses so far. I'm not sure why I felt the need to query publishers rather than just self-publishing. Oftentimes there is a reason when I feel compelled to do something, and it's not always the obvious reason such as wanting to be traditionally published. It would be lovely if that happens, but truly, at my age, I think I just want the fruits of my six-years of labor on my novel to be out in the world. Self-publishing today is so different from when I published my memoir in 2009.

So, I'm contemplating cover art, back-cover copy, blurbs, endorsements, etc. and will probably make a decision some time in the next few weeks. This week I am spending time with my story. I haven't read it since I completed it a month or so ago. I'm hoping it will let me know what next steps to take with it.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How do you define old?

Yesterday I was at a dance practice held at a multi-generational senior center, which means folks of all ages participate in activities. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I let the red color of my hair grow out and I am now quite naturally white-haired. I'm also 66, which in all the health care advisories, is considered elderly.

There I was, dancing my little heart out when another white-haired lady walked by using a walker. My immediate thought was, "good for her, she's old, but here she is, doing whatever." But then I realized that others are probably labeling me old simply because my hair is white. Yet I still walk vigorously, dance, have all my mental faculties (most of the time, LOL), can still preform all the activities of daily living with no problem.

So I began to think, what is it really, that makes someone old? It can't be the number of your age, because there is an 85-year-old women in my Sophisticated Ladies Dance troupe that is still dancing beautifully, and seems to have no other problems mentally or physically.

I think maybe I'll feel old when I can no longer do the things I love to do. But knowing me I'll find other things I can do instead. Like when I broke my ankle and couldn't dance for over a year -- that's when I started taking singing lessons. So maybe I'll just eliminate the word "old" from my vocabulary. When wine ages, it gets better, right? Why can't our society feel the same way about people who have lived longer than others?

How do you define old?


Thursday, July 23, 2015

The grizzly bear story

I promised, so here goes. We're in Glacier National Park, Montana. Everywhere we go, there are signs, "Bear Country" with a logo of a can of bear spray. I turn to hubby, "Do we need to get some?" Hubs says, "No, not necessary."

The next morning we set out for a hike around a lake. It is early and we are pretty much alone on the trail, which, of course, they tell you not to do. But they also tell you to make noise so you don't startle the bears, so, of course, I was walking along singing and clapping my hands. I truly didn't care what anyone else thought.

The first folks we meet tell us their friends saw three bears on this same trail the day before. My heart rate ramps up - not good. The good news is I'm terrified, but I'm still enjoying the beauty around me and being with my husband in this gorgeous place. Somehow we make a wrong turn and get off the trail. We backtrack and get back on.

Soon we come to a bridge over a lovely stream. At the far end are a few people with cameras aimed at the woods. We cross over and ask what's up.

"Oh, you just missed a grizzly bear - it just walked across this bridge." She has a picture on her phone to show us what we missed.

My heart feels like it's about to leap out of my chest. All of a sudden I'm furious at hubby about the bear spray. He says, "hmm, if we hadn't gone off the trail and backtracked we would have been here at the same time as the bear." I wisely stay silent.

I sing louder the rest of the way back to the hotel, clapping continuously.

That night, we attend a ranger talk. I raise my hand. "Do you think it's wise to carry bear spray when hiking in the park?"

"Absolutely. Even if you follow the guidelines and back away slowly, make noise, etc., these are wild animals and bear spray is a proven deterrent."

I literally want to turn to my hubby and stick my tongue out, na na, see, I'm right. But instead, this wise voice inside me says, "Important lesson here, Karen. If you need something to make you feel safer or more comfortable like purchasing bear spray when hiking in bear country, you don't need anyone else's validation or approval - just do it."   Duh!!!!!!!


P.S. Here are some more photos of Glacier Park

the view from our balcony

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Home again - ahhhhh!!

Feels like I've been gone so long, but it's only been two weeks. I haven't had a chance to sort through photos from Glacier and Portland, OR, but here are a few. All I can say about the trip right now is that I can't remember a time when I was more relaxed. Being in exquisite natural surroundings - just can't beat it. Except for the grizzly bear encounter we missed by about two minutes - ha, is that a teaser or what?