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

“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, January 4, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group - January

Here we are. Our first IWSG for 2017. Thank you Alex: http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating this group and keeping it going. For those who don't know, here is a place where we can share our process and get support wherever we are on our writerly journey. Please visit Alex's blog for all the info on how to join.






I'm not feeling insecure. Yeah!!! My one and only intention for 2017 is to get physically strong. I realized that if my body isn't healthy and strong, than nothing else I want to accomplish will be possible, so I joined a gym, hired a trainer whom I will work with for a year, and hopefully, that will get my body as strong as it can possibly be. I don't want bodybuilding kind of muscles. Just strength and flexibility so that as I age I can take care of myself in the best way possible.

How this ties in with writing? Energy! I need to feel vital. I choose vitality, not sitting on the couch watching movies all the time when I'm not writing or singing or dancing. I need energy for everything I want to do. And if my body's not feeling strong and healthy, I don't have energy to do everything I want to do.

I'll leave you with my first experience at the gym. I did a water aerobics class. I didn't wear my glasses in the pool. I left them in the locker. When the class was over, I walked into the locker room. Three men stood there and covered their private parts. I stood in shock for a few seconds asking myself, "What's wrong with this picture." Then I realized what I'd done and turned around and walked back into the pool area. The women in the pool all applauded me. I laughed and walked into the women's locker room, thinking if that's the worst that happens to me at the gym, I'll be all right. What's kept me from joining a gym in the past is fear of hurting myself.

What about you?
Blessings
Karen

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

I truly can't believe it's the holiday seasons. I know we've had Thanksgiving, but I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that it's almost Christmas, which means it's almost New Year's, which means it's almost the end of the year. Yikes. Where did the time go?

During this crazily busy time of year, I want to take a moment and pause. I want to take a deep breath. I want to remember to connect with Spirit as often as I can. I want to feel peace in my heart instead of fear. I want to remember that THIS TOO SHALL PASS, no matter what it is we are struggling with. I want to remember that most peoples' intentions are good, even if they don't know how to communicate well and hurt our feelings. I want to remember to pray for peace in the hearts and minds of each and every one of us on the planet. I want to pray that our country comes together as a community and not a land so divided by state borders and North and South and black and white and Christian and Jewish and Muslim and whatever.

I wish you peace. I wish you love. I wish you joy. I wish you success, however you define it.

Many many blessings to you and yours
Karen

Monday, December 12, 2016

new computer

Sorry for the garbled post yesterday. Half the keyboard on my computer stopped working. Now I have a spiffy new, much lighter, much faster computer. There are a few glitches to work out, but I'm hopeful by end of today things will be back to normal.
Blessings,
karen

Sunday, December 11, 2016

omputr problm

kyboar problm
no posting till problem gone

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group - December

I'm feeling more insecure than I have in a long time. I've written for more than 30 years, but I've never put together an anthology before. Never had to decide what goes in, what doesn't. Never had to tell someone their writing needs work.

I made all these decisions, then sent the chosen pieces to the editor I've worked with for years. I respect his opinions and advice and suggestions. He sent me his notes and I missed the part that said they were for my eyes only and proceeded to send the notes to the authors. Bad bad bad on my part. I'm pretty sure I told the authors I would be hiring an editor, so I thought they'd be prepared for critiques after I told them their piece was accepted. I wasn't prepared for the editor's response to some of them and I totally mishandled how to maneuver through this part of the process.

Lessons Learned:
1. Never try to do work like this when you are in pain - I threw my back out last week and can hardly move, so I don't think I'm thinking too clearly. Because clearly, if I was, I would not have made such a stupid mistake.
2. Before doing anything, pause. Take a breath. Make sure what you're about to do is for the highest good of all concerned. Then find loving, gentle ways of expressing what you need to express.
3. Understand that when you tackle a project that you've never done before, there is a learning curve and you need to be gentle with yourself.
4. Trust that everything happens for a reason. As hard as things have been in my life, I've always come through and learned something important.

SIGH!

Blessings,
Karen

Friday, November 18, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm going to spend Thanksgiving with one of my dearest friends, a sister of the heart. I crave the company of people with love and kindness in their hearts. I crave a respite from the hate and fear and turmoil of this election cycle and the impact of the result. I feel body-slammed and am needing to disengage from actively listening to and reading about what's going to happen.

Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and may there be peace in your hearts.
Blessings
Karen

Thursday, November 3, 2016

STILL ME AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

After yesterday's ISWG, several people suggested I re-post my invitation to submit to my anthology, "Still Me After All These Years." I thought it was a good idea, so hear it is again. I've completely let go of any deadline at this point, so if you are interested in the topic and want to give it a go, please do so. And if anyone is inclined to repost this in their blog, I would be immensely grateful. Thank you!

SUBJECT: An anthology about aging—want to help?

I’m writing today to talk about a project close to my heart and to see if you feel called to participate.

For those who don’t know me, I retired from a 30+ year career in marketing and public relations in 1999 to write full time. Since then, I have published a variety of non-fiction articles, a memoir, and most recently, a novel.

I’ve thought about writing something on aging for the past 10 years. I’m a sixty-something baby boomer who cared for both my Dad and my mother-in-law. I also helped two older friends who’ve since passed away. My friends and I have had many discussions about growing older and dying and about how we want to move through this process with grace and dignity. But other projects took precedence and I never got clarity on what this aging project should be. Until now.

Some time ago, my friend Ellie, 88 years young, said to me, “I don’t see ‘me’ anymore when I look in the mirror.”

“Who do you see?” I asked.

“An old lady who walks with a walker or a cane.”

“But, you’re still you. The walker doesn’t define you.”

“Yes, but it’s the first thing others see,” she said.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that conversation. Then, while on a writing retreat with my friend, Wendy, inspiration came: Why not make this an anthology? How much wiser and richer it could be if others shared their experiences of this journey called aging. Several days later I heard Paul Simon’s song “Still Crazy After All These Years” on the radio. Boom—there was the title: Still Me After All These Years.

That conversation with Ellie gave me the theme. I think an anthology such as this could speak about aging in a unique and fascinating way—through the eyes of those going through it. It will be about the challenges and opportunities that come when you reach that point in life where mortality is a more imminent reality. About how aging changes you, or doesn’t. How it impacts your life, both positively and negatively. Does your way of thinking change? What about your behavior? Have priorities shifted? Do you think about dying? Do you hate the way you look? These are just some of the topics I’d like to see included. 

I am seeking essays from adults 50 and above. If you’d like to participate but can’t write for some reason, I would be happy to interview you. Whatever the age of our readers, hopefully they’ll find a kernel of wisdom that touches their hearts.

At this point I’m not sure whether I will seek traditional publishing or self-publish. The traditional route could take years and well, I’m not sure I want to wait that long. At any rate, this is probably a good time to mention that there will be no fee paid for submissions. I will review entries myself, choosing and editing selections for inclusion. If you decide to submit, I can’t promise that your work will be included, but I can assure you that your name will be listed in the acknowledgements for helping to make this project possible.

If you are intrigued and think you might like to participate, please drop me a line and I will provide submission guidelines and more information on this process and how it will work.

So, if you have something to share regarding your experience of aging, please let me know as soon as possible. Of course I’d be happy to answer your questions in the meantime.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Karen