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

Friday, September 23, 2011

On Blogcation

Hello everyone,
Thanks for stopping by. I am not  blogging for the next three weeks and will return somewhere around 10/19. Please come back then to visit. I'd love to chat. In the meantime, I will leave you with these thoughts.

  • Life is short, so live each day to its fullest
  • Find your passions and pursue them - it brings inexplicable joy
  • It's never too late to live your dreams - I learned guitar at 50, graduated college at 54, and am performing in my 60s. Just go for it....
  • Be kind to one another
  • Get enough sleep - it really really really makes a difference
  • Take a deep breathe. Take another one. And another. Ah, yeah.......

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Telling the Truth Tuesday - I'm nervous!!

So, we leave on Saturday for a three-week trip and I'm nervous. One of the disadvantages of getting older is you get a bit more set in your routines and it is discombobulating when the routine is interrupted. I manage my food very carefully at home in order to maintain my 53 pound weight loss and manage my acid reflux. Traveling makes it much harder to do that - I can't be in control because it's based on what's available, language barriers as to how things are prepared, etc.

What am I doing about this? I am going to try my best to Let Go and Let God, trust I will be taken care of, and simply do the best I can each and every day to enjoy my food and my experiences. And pray with all my heart that I don't gain too much weight.

Do you get nervous when you travel?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Musings - Sugartime whirlwind

Whew! 5 gigs in 4 days, including the State Fair. I'm exhausted, but ecstatic. There is nothing like seeing older folks who sort of begin to "disappear" a little with age, ignite and come alive for a moment while listening to music. This week hubby and I are preparing for our trip to Greece and Turkey. When I did a bucket list last New Year's, these two places appeared - so I feel I am meant to go there. I am not going to connect to the internet while traveling this time. Huge challenge for me. But I truly want to be present in each place I visit in each and every moment. The internet connects me to home and I am leaving home.
Any thoughts on this...what are you musing about today?

Blessings,
Karen

Friday, September 16, 2011

Catching my breath

I'm in a Sugartime whirl, as I mentioned on Tuesday. Just dropping a quick note to say hi to everyone. Hope to be back for Monday musings. Miss you all.
Blessings,
Karen

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sugartime at the NM State Fair

Hi everyone,
Hubby took just snippets of our songs at the State Fair - for anyone interested, here we are:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2007860355673

Have a great day.
Blessings,
karen

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Talli Roland launch: Who would I want to be?

I've wanted to be anyone but myself most of my life, so this is a tough question. When I was growing up, it was Elizabeth Taylor. When I was a teenager, it was Stevie Nicks. Actually, I'd kill to have her voice. Since I'm singing now, let's go with singers: either Stevie Nicks, Barbra Streisand, or if I really want to be outrageous, Cher.

This is in support of Tali's new book,   Watching Willow Watts, launching today. Go check her out: http://talliroland.blogspot.com/ She's an awesome woman and a fabulous writer.


For Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine: days behind the counter at her father's antique shop and nights watching TV, as the pension-aged residents of Britain's Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when a YouTube video of Willow's epically embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation gets millions of hits after a viewer spots Marilyn's ghostly image in a frame.

Instantly, Willow's town is overrun with fans flocking to see the 'new Marilyn'. Egged on by the villagers -- whose shops and businesses are cashing in -- Willow embraces her new identity, dying her hair platinum and ramming herself full of cakes to achieve Marilyn's legendary curves.

But when a former flame returns seeking the old Willow, Willow must decide: can she risk her stardom and her village's newfound fortune on love, or is being Marilyn her ticket to happiness?
Buy a copy of Willow on  on Amazon.com for $2.99. Paperback coming in November!


Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Overwhelm

Tomorrow my group, Sugartime, sings at the State Fair. On a big stage, probably not for that many people, though, since it's mid-week and Senior Day. But it's a big deal for us. Then we sing at a retirement community on Thursday, another one on Friday, and two on Saturday. You can imagine how many rehearsals we are doing.  A lot of energy has gone into making Sugartime what it is and doing what we do. I'm exhausted. That's my truth. I love it and I'm tired. I will have from 9/17 to 9/24 to recover -- no rehearsals, no gigs. Just time to re-group and get ready for our three-week vacation to Greece and Turkey.

What do you do when you get overwhelmed? Power through. Stop and take a break? Ignore it?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Musings: I Can't Keep Up

I think in order to be really successful at blogging, and by that I mean having tons of followers, having lots of people comment on your blog posts, you have to be willing to give it time every day. Lots of time. The more that follow you, the more you should be following in return. But it is not possible, once you follow people, to continue to go to each and every one of the blogs you follow. You begin to find ones that resonate with you, and those folks, you visit whenever you can.

I now understand why some folks whom I followed early on and who followed and commented on my blog, have stopped. They have 800+ followers. Unless you spend every minute of every waking day responding to each comment left on your blog, and then visiting other people's blogs, it is impossible to keep up.

I once did an energy pie chart and discovered that most of my energy was going to things that weren't the most important things to me. I love blogging because blogging is writing and it gives me the opportunity to share what I'm thinking and feeling. I am going to continue to do it. But I have to put down the whips when it comes to my expectations about followers, following, and what it all means.

So, if I don't visit your blog as often as you'd like, please forgive me. It's not about you. It's about me.
And if I don't respond to a comment you leave on my blog, please forgive me. It's not about you. It's about me.
And if I don't follow you, even if you've followed me, please forgive me - BUT ALSO LET ME KNOW. It was an oversight and I'll be happy to follow you.

In the meantime, happy blogging, everyone.
Blessings,
Karen

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Writer's Chat Room

I've been invited to do something very very cool. This Sunday evening, 7 pm EST, 5 pm Mountain time, I will be the guest at The Writer's Chatroom - an online question and answer discussion featuring different authors each week. This week is tis moi. Here is the link:

http://www.writerschatroom.com/Enter.htm

I just had my first lesson in participating in a chat room. It looks like fun. Please join Lisa Haselton and me and others from around the world, I understand, to talk about writing, publishing, etc.

Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group - Post #1

I can't believe I didn't think of starting this support group, since insecurity is my middle name. My mantra, until I knew better, was "Who do I think I am to....fill in the blank - most recently it's writing and singing.
It's odd, because I'd written for 30+ years as a public relations professional, but writing personal essays and memoir is quite different from writing editorials and press releases and brochures, and feature articles.
It's, well....it's personal.

I was constantly afraid I wouldn't succeed. And I did feel like I'd failed for quite a long time when I couldn't find an agent and chose to self-publish.Now I know better. Now I know that the publishing industry is a tough one and very few make it to the top as successful, and by successful, I mean making money at, writing. If you're lucky enough to find an agent, then you have to be lucky enough for that agent to sell your manuscript to a publisher. And then you have to do the same things we all have to do, and that is market your book.

I feel more secure now. Perhaps it's an age thing. I've let go of writing as a career and whatever happens now, it's okay. I love writing. That is the pure and simple bottom line. I will probably be grabbing for my paper and pen on my deathbed, trying to jot down one last thought.

Alex, you are wonderful for all you do for the writing community. Thank you.

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Planning for a trip

Traveling is getting harder and harder the older I get. I am becoming set in my ways. I like to eat my own food when I want to eat it. I like my daily routine. When I'm tired, I can rest or pick up a good book. Yet there is still a gypsy in me that wants to see and hear and do so much. This past New Year's, when I did my yearly exercise of writing out my lifetime goals, then my three year goals, and then what I'd want to do if I knew I only had six months to live, going to Greece and Turkey appeared on that list. It surprised me. But I chose to listen and hubs and I are taking a three-week holiday to those wonderful countries.

As I make all the necessary arrangements, house sitter, newspaper, mail, making sure we have all our medications, making sure our family has our itinerary, yada yada, I realize that I am so very privileged to be able to do this. I'm trying not to feel guilty, because I know other people are struggling so financially. Like so many other things in life, planning for a trip is both exciting and scary. Don't those two emotions almost always go hand in hand. It's learning to balance them both that is challenging.

When we go, I am not going to commit to finding computers wherever we go, so I will be on a lengthy blogcation. That is scary, because I've worked hard to build a following here. But life must go on and I must live my life as best I can as it works for me. And when I go to Greece and Turkey, I really want to BE in Greece and Turkey, and not in bloggydom.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Musings: Thoughts on the 1960's - Part III

Thoughts on the 1960’s - Part III
One of the things I love most about writing personal essays is that one has no idea where one is going with the essay when you start. Both the writer and the reader take a journey together, exploring ideas. This began with me seeing snippets of a documentary, Gloria--In Her Own Words, about Gloria Steinem and her life’s work helping women. The clips triggered memories of becoming a young woman during the 1960s - I went from 11 in 1960 to 19 in 1969, at which point I got married, but that’s a whole other story. Oh wait a minute, I wrote that one already.
My whole adult life has been about trying to heal from wounds such as early childhood sexual abuse, growing up in a dysfunctional family, making poor relationship choices, losing custody of my only child. I’ve dissected all of these events, therapied myself to pieces, and it’s worked to some extent. I’ve become someone who has fairly decent self-esteem. I like who I am. But there are things about me I still don’t understand.  Like why it is I can’t handle violence, whether it’s in the movies, on TV, or in books. Forget about real life - that goes without saying. Or why I have distanced myself emotionally from the things that are going on in the world. Or why I feel so strongly about certain issues that I could get violent over them, but of course, I wouldn’t because I can’t handle violence.
Having grown up literally watching the Vietnam War, race riots, and demonstrations on television, kind of made me shut down somewhat. Seems I was shaped by turbulence - internal, familial, and external. I was already shut down because of the personal things which happened (mentioned above). But the sixties were a tough decade to live through.The messages I received were: You are a woman and have the right to be equal. You can do and be anything you want. Translation: you can be superwoman - work, take care of a child and a husband and a household. You should want peace but you should seek it nonviolently. Gandhi is probably the person I most admire for this reason.  Sex, drugs and rock’n roll. I escaped the drug culture, thank goodness, but rock’n roll is in my DNA and the words and music impacted me greatly.
What is my take away from exploring this. I’m still not sure. The only thing I am sure of is that everything we see, hear, feel, and experience affects us. We can choose to be conscious of how it does, or, like I did when I was younger, we can shut down, go on auto-pilot and keep putting one foot in front of the other living life half alive.
Good changes came from the turmoil of the 1960s: Civil Rights, Womens’ Rights, environmental awareness, the Peace Corps, etc. We face many challenges in our country right now. I wish there was some way the powers that be could look at what worked in the past and what didn’t, and find new ways of solving problems that don’t include violence. And in my own little world, I continue to seek ways to find inner peace and contentment in the midst of upheaval and challenges.
What about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, September 2, 2011

 I need to thank L.G. Smith, http://bardsandprophets.blogspot.com/ for passing on the 7 x 7 Link Award to me. It's a new one for me and as L.G. said, it is a great way of reflecting on some older posts by highlighting them in the following categories. I have to be truthful and say I didn't have the time or the energy to go back and search through all my previous posts to come up with these answers. It would have taken way too much time. 

Most Beautiful: I think the one that includes the essay I wrote called "My Father's Keeper," which illustrates how powerful healing can be. It is the first essay under the tab "Essays and Articles" found above.

Most Helpful: My guess would be the A-Z challenge posts, which focused on slogans and sayings that have helped me heal. There is a new tab above that includes all of these blog entries.

Most Popular: the one that is getting favorable comments now is my thoughts on the 1960s.

Most Controversial: I haven't written a post that caused controversy---yet!

Most Surprisingly Successful: that would have the be the ones during the A-Z challenge.

Most Underrated: I've given up trying to figure out what is going to resonate with readers and what doesn't. I am almost always wrong. And sometimes what I consider to be a throw away post idea stimulates the most interesting conversations, so go figure.

Most Prideworthy: I rarely feel proud, so I can't answer this one.


Now, to pass the Link Award on to 7 deserving friends.

Liz Fichera: http://lizficherablog.blogspot.com/
Siv Maria: http://sivmaria.blogspot.com/
Yvonne Lewis: http://welcometomyworldofpoetry.blogspot.com/
Alex Cavanaugh: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

I'm going to break the rules now, because this is very time-consuming and only pass this along to 4 of you. Enjoy, everyone.
Karen