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

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group - July

I'm leaving today for a trip I've been looking forward to for months. Going to visit dear friends in Portland, Oregon, then on to Glacier National Park (never been and can't wait). Which is why I'm posting today for IWSG. I will try to respond to comments and visit the rest of you, but I can't promise that will happen. I need this break from normal, everyday life, including writing and blogging. I really pushed myself to get my editing done and query packages out prior to leaving for this trip and I met that goal.

Am I feeling insecure? It's a complicated answer. I think because of who I am intrinsically, my "normal" is insecure. But when I connect with Spirit, I remember I am a child of God and I remember all the work I've done to heal emotional wounds and I remember who I really am, not who I learned to believe I was. So in some moments, when I forget these things, I'm very insecure about the book. In the moments when I remember the Truth, I am secure in the knowledge that I wrote a book that came to me through Spirit, or God, or Goddess, that I did the best I could with it with a lot of help from good editors, and now I have let it fly into the universe to find a home. Whatever happens is out of my control.

Be well and take good care while I am gone. See you mid-July.

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, June 22, 2015

Letting go with the right attitude

There's a slogan in Al-Anon - Let go and Let God. I love that slogan. I have come to realize that I am a control freak. It began in early childhood because my parents fought all the time and it scared me, so I learned to try to control everything around me to feel safe. I won't go into the myriad ways I did that. But suffice it to say that doesn't work. The only things I can control are my own thoughts. I can't even control feelings, although I always try. That doesn't work either. Feelings are real and valid. It's how I express them that I can work on.

What I'm trying to say about letting go and letting God, for me, is about my attitude. Letting go of something that took so long and was so hard is not easy. Pregnancy is a nine month gestation period, than forever years to raise your child. It's not letting go. School takes years and years, but when you're done, it's over. Letting go and letting God is about setting something free without attachment. Say someone you love is very ill. You can help care for them. You can try to find a remedy or cure. But you can't fix it yourself. There's where letting go and letting God comes in.

So with my novel, The Wishing Steps, I've written the book. It's been professionally edited. I have a great query letter and synopsis. I've researched potential publishers. And I've let it fly to reach them. Now I have to let go of any attachment to the result. Not easy after I've worked so hard on it. But if I worry and fret and agonize over it, it's not going to change the outcome one iota. So, dear friends, I am doing a lot of deep breathing and, with my newfound freedom of extra time, I am having so much fun. Movies with friends, swim parties, tap dancing class, broadway dance class, folk dancing, and my Sugartime gigs.

Let go and let God. Such freedom....

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Almost there....

Hi all,
  Well, I'm not sure about not posting on a regular basis. I miss it already. We'll just have to see. I'll be traveling a lot this month anyway, this is fine for now.
Just wanted everyone to know my query letter is done. My synopsis is done. I have a list of potential publishers to query. Now I just need to format my manuscript correctly. Had to download Microsoft Office for Mac and now I have to figure it out. But then, next week, I will send it out into the world. Wish me luck!

How are all of you?
Please fill me in a bit in the comments.
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Blog Focus

I'm thinking about this blog and what it needs to be and become. It's always been about sharing this journey we call life. When I began blogging in 2009, it was to promote my memoir, Following the Whispers. But I soon realized it was so much more than that. It's about sharing the lessons I've learned and continue to learn.

Now that I have a novel that will be published at some point (God willing), I've been thinking more about the blog and what to do with it. I know there have been many posts and discussions about blogging etiquette and how to get and keep followers. There are so many blog hops, all designed to find and meet new blogs. But I've never been comfortable trolling to find blogs and following someone just cause they followed me or vice versa.

I realize the internet is not like a newspaper, but I've always thought having a blog is kind of like being a columnist, the kind of columnist who writes about whatever strikes their fancy. Readers of the newspaper either enjoy the column and keep reading it, or they don't. The columnist doesn't do anything to find readers other than write what he wants to write.

Joining a blog hop, responding to comments, going to the commenter's blog and following back, whether or not I like what the blogger blogs about or not, just to be polite, well, it just doesn't feel authentic to me, and if nothing else, since I blog about my spiritual journey, I want to be authentic. I follow the blogs of several people who do not visit other blogs at all and still have many loyal followers who read and comment consistently on the blog.

So, I'm going to shift the paradigm of how I see my blog. I am going to continue to visit blogs of those whom I follow and whose blogs interest me and whom I've grown to care about. I will always respond to comments. I am so happy when someone takes the time to respond to a post. But I am not going to do anything to seek and find followers. I am going to be as real as I can be here with my posts and hope that those who enjoy this kind of thing will find me and stick around awhile.

One other thing. I think I'm going to lose the schedule of Monday Musings and Telling the Truth Tuesday. If I'm going to be as authentic as I can be, I need to post when I truly have something I think is worthwhile saying, not do it according to a schedule. I'm still pondering this one, so stay tuned....

Blessings
Karen


Blessings,
Karen

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Musings: a near perfect day!

I had a near-perfect day on Saturday. Most of you know I struggled with a heart condition for the last few years. In November I had a procedure and the condition seems to be mostly gone. At least I don't feel bad anymore, physically. But I've been afraid to exercise because when I did before and my heart rate accelerated, it stayed accelerated for hours and I felt awful (I'm talking 200 beats per minute).
I've been trying to figure out how to get back to moving my body in a way that will make me stronger and more fit and keep me healthy. Did I mention I hate exercising? Wont go to a gym. Won't use weights. Do NOT want to do squats. My legs are particularly weak. I have a major goal: to be able to squat or kneel and stand up again without holding onto to something.

Last week I checked out two new dance classes. One does choreographed routines to Broadway tunes. Might I say I was in heaven? The other was a tap class (I haven't done tap since I was seven). It was a lot of fun, but more importantly, it worked every part of my leg (ankle, calf, thigh). In fact my thighs are still sore. I decided that doing these dance classes was a way for me to get fit by doing something fun that I enjoy.

My near-perfect day came Saturday at the annual Albuquerque Folk Festival, an event where musicians, dancers, singers, folk artists, etc. gather in one place and hold workshops, concerts, and performances. That morning, I attended my first tap class and in the afternoon participated in two different singing events. One was singing old folk and rock songs from the 50s and 60s (my era) and the other was singing spirituals and world music in three part harmony or three parts. I don't know how this choir director got 30 people who'd never sung together before to do it, but it was beautiful, and spiritual and very moving.

Must remember my near-perfect day when my spirits need lifting. I've decided that retirement should include more of these kinds of things. I'm thinking about joining this chorus, in addition to Sugartime (my singing duo) as well as the two dance classes.

What fills your heart with joy?
Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group - June

Well, two months short of the 7-year mark, I'm calling my book done. I've lost count of the drafts and revisions. It's the best I can do at this moment in time and I hope and pray it's good enough for a publisher to be interested. Now I am turning my attention to the query and synopsis. I hope to begin sending packages out by mid-June or third week in June for sure.

I'm feeling kind of numb on the day I am writing this post. I think I want to be in neutral gear emotionally as I shift into this next phase. I need to develop a thick skin and be prepared for anything. A yes. A no. A maybe. And at the end of six months or a year (I haven't decided yet) I will assess and go from there.

Am I feeling insecure? You bet I am. But I'm also feeling confident that I've done the best I can. Am I scared? Mostly I'm concerned about the query process and wondering if I should skip it altogether and just self-publish. And mostly, I'm bone weary. Writing this book is one of the hardest things I've ever done. There is always a let down when one has accomplished something, but I can't remember anything (other than college) that took so long to accomplish. And this was way way harder than college courses.

So, dear blogging buddies, I want to thank you, especially Alex J. Cavanaugh http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating this group so we have a place to share these thoughts and feelings. If you are a writer, be sure to check out Alex's blog for details about ISWG and other cool, interesting stuff.

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Telling the Truth Tuesday: I got nothing

Still recovering from my vacation. I hope to have a post written for ISWG tomorrow. Till then...
Blessings,
Karen