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, July 6, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group - July

It's that time of month again - the IWSG, which is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. To find out more about this fabulous support group, please visit Alex's blog for details.








This month, I'm feeling a bit insecure because my post is all about my new project. Pretend this is an email. Here's the subject line:  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.

Several weeks ago, my friend Ellie, 87 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.

I’d like to receive your submission by September 30, 2016. 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


P.S.
If any of you would be willing to post this on your blogs, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much for your help and support.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Why I Write


I've written two books. Neither one of them has made much money. I've always said that if my words touch one person than I can consider myself successful. But that's harder to live by than you might think. Our society is set up for us to measure success by financial rewards or fame. 

I made a connection with the woman who owns the house where I had my retreat last week and during the course of our conversation, we discovered we were both writers. She asked if she could read my books and I agreed to send her two print copies. This morning when I woke up and checked emails, I found this:

"I just finished reading your book--Following the Whispers.  You were so courageous to write your story and share it with the world. I read it in two days--kind of unheard of for me--but I couldn't stop reading it, and I'm trying to think what the difference was between reading your book and other memoirs/novels/or even non-fiction, which I always put down, and sometimes even carelessly lose track of.  I think the difference is that I met you briefly, and everything you said about yourself in the book, made me look at you differently--in a deeper more meaningful way.  It's so interesting to get to know you this way--through your writing.

Your story is very moving.  So very deeply expressed.  Artfully expressed, and so healing to read. We have all lived such richly conflicted lives--rich in story, but the conflicted part is not so easy to live through--especially having your son taken away from you!  I think we're here on earth to find the grace and wisdom in the messy entanglements of life, and when I put your book down, I felt your grace and your wisdom wash over me.  All your complex difficulties were mine, too.

I feel like I have made a new friend!

Thank you so much for sending me your books.  I just started reading The Wishing Steps...I love that the main character listens to Source!"

I don't have words to express how this makes me feel. Maybe I should put this up in big letters where I can see it every time I doubt whether I should keep writing. Yet I don't want to write because of some external validation I might receive. I guess the bottom line is, I write because I can't NOT write. Writing helps me make sense of my world. And I guess as I share that struggle with others through my words, one or two others might make sense out of theirs as well.

Blessings
Karen

Thursday, June 9, 2016

the beauty of a retreat

Retreating from every day life -- it is such a gift to give ourselves. Time slows down because we slow down. I'm always in such a hurry to get this done over here so I can get to that thing over there. On retreat, there's nothing to get done and nothing to get to. Just being.

I got clear about several things on this retreat:

  • I am no longer going to weight myself every day. I don't want the the number on the scale to determine my mood for the day (and believe me, it has).
  • Writing is crucial to my daily well-being.
  • I no longer want to waste time during the day watching television or playing computer games. At night, that's fine. But during the day, that is my time for actually being and living, not escaping.
  • My body really enjoys taking a walk in the morning and then again in the evening after dinner.
  • I want to get back to writing in my journal on a daily basis after spending time in prayer and meditation in the morning.
  • I received clarity about the direction my writing project wants to be. I'll be writing more about that here as it becomes clearer to me.
  • I began writing on a project that has appeared on my priority list every year but I'd never started.
  • I plan to go on retreat on a quarterly basis from now on.
  • It's possible to create a "retreat" experience at home by being in silence and turning inward, but it's much harder to sustain because of all the distractions.
Do you ever go on retreat? Do you unplug from phones, computers, and other electronic devices?
How does that impact your life?

Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group - June

Oops, I almost forgot to post this month. Once again, thank you, Alex, for starting this amazing group. To find Alex and info about us, please go to http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com

After an initial flurry of enthusiasm and energy around a new writing project, I am once again stuck. But I've learned that stuck doesn't necessarily mean something bad. It might mean I'm mulching something unconsciously. Or it might mean perhaps I'm off on a slightly wrong track.

In order to find out exactly why I'm stuck, I'm going on retreat next week - someplace with no phone or TV, just my laptop, notebook, and me. There is another project lurking in my consciousness that might need to take precedence over the one I thought I would write. The only way for me to know, s to get quiet and allow the images and words to come.

How about you?
Blessings
Karen

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Please welcome Chrys Frey


Please welcome Chrys Frey, a wonderful blogging buddy and prolific author with her new release, Seismic Crimes. Chrys is stopping here as part of her blog tour. She's also offering a giveaway. Here's the link for that info: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/76132e023/?

Profile of a Hero


Name: Donovan Goldwyn
Occupation: Monster Truck Driver
Favorite Color: Red
Vehicles: a totaled car, a Chevy truck and a monster truck named Venom
Idea of a Romantic Date: taking his woman to an elegant dinner then enjoying her for dessert.
Hobbies: Truck racing, surfing, camping and playing poker

Dislikes: the men who murdered his brother, spiders

EXCERPT:
Chardonnay filled their wine goblets, and the pale yellow liquid danced with the flickers of candle flames. Beth twirled linguine noodles coated in a creamy pesto sauce with her fork. Jumbo shrimp and flakes of parmesan topped the green heap of pasta, and Donovan ate bites of tilapia swimming in a lemon and orange caper sauce.
They lingered over their wine, talking in hushed tones. “We came to find Buck and yet we’re having an elegant dinner.” Beth’s fingers trailed along the stem of her wine goblet. “What am I missing?”
“Nothing. Buck wasn’t home, so I took the opportunity to spend some time with my girlfriend.”
“I don’t get it,” she said while studying him.
“During Christmas, you were wound up and about to blow. Now you’re so calm. What’s changed?”
“I know where Buck is. That’s what changed.” His voice was hard, purposeful.
Beth nodded. “Well, I’m glad you’re relaxed right now. Even if it’s just temporary. I had a wonderful day.”

Donovan reached across the white tablecloth and took her hand. “It’s not over yet.”


BLURB:

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?
Title: Seismic Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey
Series: Disaster Crimes Series (Book Two)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Digital and Print
Page Count: 282

DIGITAL LINKS:

PRINT LINKS:






HURRICANE CRIMES 99¢ SALE!






BIO:
Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes, Book One in the Disaster Crimes series, as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer's Support Group and has participated in the Blogging from April A to Z Challenge.
When Fey was six years old, she realized she wanted to be a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen.
Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers!

AUTHOR LINKS:


Chrys Fey


My Books: