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

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Letting Go

Everyone has issues. We all have "stuff" going on in our lives. If we're good friends and family members, we listen and help those we love when they are dealing with stuff. And hopefully, we have people in our lives who do the same for us.

I must, however, learn to let go. I carry my own and everyone else's "stuff" in my body. In particular, in my neck and shoulders. They are so tense. I find myself with shoulders hunched up most of the time. Then I catch myself and let them go, but the pain remains.

I know I have to let go. I can listen, but I can't take it in me. When it's someone extremely close, however, that is much more difficult. But I can no longer continue doing things the way I have been. The stress is really impacting my health. This a-fib problem with my heart is definitely stress induced. And so, I imagine, is the asthma. I need to stop trying so hard in everything I do and simply let.......go.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Musings: health

Thursday was a good day. I had an acupuncture treatment - was feeling very relaxed - not a normal state for me. Met friends for dinner and to hear my girlfriend (the one who left Sugartime) sing at her new venue. Had a few sips of wine and ate my dinner. Twenty minutes later, my heart started to race, my pulse fluttered inconsistently and I felt "weird." Sat thru the music, went home and got into bed, heart still pounding, pulse still erratic. I did not want to go to the ER. Something similar had happened to me a few years ago while hiking and I got myself all checked out and I was fine, and so was my heart. But hubby said, "I don't want to wake up to a dead wife,"so we went.

By the time we got there, it had been four hours since the symptoms began. Of course, as soon as they hooked me up to the EKG, the symptoms disappeared and the test results were normal. However, the doc, who has been an ER doc for 40 years, said I probably have a-fib, irregular heart beat that comes on sporadically. If I had other symptoms, I would need to get to the doctor, but as of right now, I'm okay. I'm going to my primary care doc anyway, just in case.

But the other thing he said, when he listened to my heart, is that I was wheezing, which I knew, but was ignoring. I've been dealing with mucus in my throat and a dry cough forever. He just looked at me and said, "You have asthma." Now that was not a diagnosis I had heard before.

I will talk to the primary care doc about that as well, along with my alternative guy. I do not want to take steroids.

So, my message to you, dear friends, is to be grateful for your good health and whatever blessings you have going on. This isn't life threatening, but it's scary to be turning 64 and to know I might have a heart issue I have to watch.

Blessings,
Karen

Friday, February 22, 2013

A cover reveal


Our fearless Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh, has a third book coming out and here is the cover for CassaStorm:



CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh


A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Release date: September 17, 2013
Science Fiction - Space Opera/Adventure
Print ISBN 9781939844002
E-book ISBN 9781939844019

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday - a problem

I'm a little worried, I have to admit. A few years ago I started having numbness and tingling in my hands. I went thru all the neurological tests and didn't have carpal tunnel or any other neurological issue. They gave me guards to wear on my wrists and it helped. The problem went away.

It's back. Only worse. I've been seeing a chiropractor and last week I went for an acupuncture treatment. When I researched online the possible causes of this, MS was one of them. I really don't think that's what it is. I think it's nerve related from a pain in my neck between my neck and shoulder blade. But I'm worried because it's not getting better.

And one other dilemma. I have severe mucus in my throat. No traditional doc or alternative healer has been able to help me resolve this issue. It affects my singing. Big time. I am so so frustrated.

I researched this as well and found something online I've ordered. We'll see.In the meantime, I'm doing sinus rinses, saline nasal sprays, gargling with warm salt water and watching what I eat, because certain foods definitely make it worse.

Oy. I promise, I'm not letting these things get me down. I just wanted to vent a little.

Anyone else feel like venting?d It's tell the truth Tuesday, after all.
Blessings,
Karen

P.S. - an update - Last night I had my first night without numbness and tingling. Seems the acupuncture treatment really made a difference. Yippee!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Musings: now what?

This is an interesting time in my life. I'm turning 64 in April. Remember the Beatle song, "When I'm 64?" It went, "When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now. Will you still be sending me a Valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?"

Well, it's many years from when that song came out and I was singing it and now I'm older and losing my hair. Who would've thought? When we're young, we feel pretty invincible and it's hard to imagine being old.

Did I tell you about the last time I went to a concert? I was standing in the lobby with my girlfriends and looking at the people coming to the performance and said, "look at all these old people still coming to concerts," and then I realized I was one of them. Oy!

Having taken care of my elderly parents, my mother-in-law, my girlfriend's mom, and my now 91-year old dear friend, I know what I am facing. Right now I feel healthier than I've ever felt. Really, I mean ever, because I became overweight at 20 years old and stayed that way till about four years ago.

So, now what? Well, first I'm going to get working on the second draft of my novel. I'm going to keep singing with Sugartime as long as I have a decent voice. I'm going to folk dance with my hubby every once in awhile (my knee prevents me from doing it every week like I used to). I'm going to keep eating healthily and exercising whenever possible. I'm going to hang out with friends, because that makes me happy. And I'm going to focus on one day at a time instead of worrying about what will happen as I continue this aging process.

Now what's in store for you?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, February 15, 2013

First draft - finished - I think!

Thank God for Annie Lamott. In her fabulous book about writing, she gives us all permission to write shitty first drafts. Now, I'm not sure I'd call mine "shitty." But it certainly needs plenty of work. I'm not even sure at this point if I can call it a novel. I spent an hour yesterday researching the difference between a novel and a novella. Currently, I'm at about 32,000 words, but I know I have to flush out a lot of stuff, add more plot, scenes, descriptions. But I'm not sure I'll get to 80,000, which seems to be the minimum for a book to be considered a novel. I'm not going to worry about it for now. At this moment, I am just grateful I got the basics down and can now go back and make it come alive.

I am celebrating several things this week. Getting the first draft done is one. My son had something wonderful happen in his life. And my singing group, Sugartime, is beginning a new leaf. We are now a dynamic duo, rather than a trio. And I finished helping my 91-year-old friend get moved into assisted living and her old house packed up and emptied so it can be sold. Whew! That's a lot.
Oh, and it was hubby's birthday and Valentine's Day.

What are you celebrating in your life?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Being skinny

Most of you know I have lost a great deal of weight. But if you haven't read my memoir, you probably don't know I used to be skinny when I was a teenager. I could eat whatever I wanted and never gain an ounce. Then I went on birth control pills and within three months, I'd gained 30 pounds. No doctor since then, and that was 44 years ago, has ever been able to either explain or do anything about that. My metabolism apparently changed and from then on, I was up and down 30 - 50 pounds.

About six months ago, I went to an alternative healer - a chiropractor/kinesthesiologist (muscle testing). I went because I have a chronic hoarseness and it affected my singing.The traditional western docs tested me up the ying yang and nothing was revealed that helped.

During that first visit I mentioned being hypoglycemic and that I became extremely irritable and anxious if I didn't eat every few hours. He put me on a supplement to balance my blood sugar and my life has changed dramatically for the better. In addition to that, he said my adrenal system wasn't functioning properly (which would affect metabolism). Over the next few months, I lost an additional 15 pounds and now, I can pretty much eat what I want and not gain weight. It's pretty miraculous.

I spent about 60 seconds feeling sorry for myself that I spent so many years being overweight and thinking I was flawed because I couldn't maintain a weight loss. I have learned to eat healthier and exercise, which is a huge part of being a healthy weight. But if something is wrong with your metabolism, that's a whole other story.

Now I am just grateful I found someone who helped with this huge issue. We're still working on the chronic hoarseness - it's better but not totally resolved. I'll keep you posted...(lol).

Have you struggled with a long-time problem and found alternative solutions when nothing traditional worked?

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Musings: Letting Go

Change is inevitable. Accepting that is one of the most challenging things we have to do as humans. I am kind of adventurous in spirit, so I kind of like change. When it's my choice. When it isn't, ah, that is much more difficult to deal with. I have learned, though, that having a philosophical attitude about it helps. A lot. Like don't resist the change. Accept it. It makes it easier, even if it's a hard change. Then I like to open myself up to whatever new possibilities there might be as a result of the change. For example, when the one singer decided to leave Sugartime, I felt bereft. But now, I notice I am feeling much lighter in spirit because I am not as worried about singing a wrong note. And that has made me actually sing better!

How about you? How do you handle change?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone

You know, when you retire, the days change meaning. When working, Friday comes, and woo hoo, you're excited that it's the weekend and you don't have to work. Once you retire, however, it doesn't really matter whether it's weekday or weekend, except that my hubby still works, so that does change things a bit. But for me, every day can be Friday if I choose. I don't, but I could. And that's the difference.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group - February

Once again it is time for Captain Alex's Insecure Writer's Support Group. In case you came from another planet, you know Alex Cavanaugh and his blog - he has to be the most supportive blogger on the internet. You can find him here: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com

I'm not insecure this month - I just haven't had time to write. I am not a happy camper when I'm not writing, so I've made it a priority once again. Writing time is going on my calendar at least three times a week. Sacred. Not to be interfered with. It's not that I'm complaining. Life happens. Two back to back bouts of bronchitis and other responsibilities that needed to be dealt with - that stuff just happens.  But the longer it goes on that writing isn't a priority, the less likelihood there is of me returning to it with the commitment and energy it needs and deserves.

How about you? Does anything interfere with your writing time?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A great new book for both beginning and established writers

My good blogging buddy, Diane Wolfe, has written a fabulous book for both beginning and established writers. I had the pleasure of being a beta reader during the last stage of editing, and let me tell you, this one is filled with gems.


HOW TO PUBLISH AND PROMOTE YOUR BOOK NOW!

By L. Diane Wolfe



Publishing and promoting made simple!


Have you always dreamed of publishing a book but didn’t know where to begin? This book walks you through the steps of identifying markets, budgeting, building an online presence, and generating publicity. Get the whole story on:


·         Traditional publishing
·         Self-publishing
·         Print and e-book setup, formatting, and distribution
·         Finding your target audience
·         Generating reviews and media interest
·         Networking and developing an online presence
·         Promotional materials and appearances
Uncover your ideal publishing path and numerous marketing options before you begin. Writing is your dream. Give it the best chance for success!
Available February 5, 2012
Publishing/Marketing, 214 pages, Dancing Lemur Press LLC
$14.95 Trade paperback ISBN 978-0-9827139-5-2
$4.99 Ebook ISBN 978-0-9827139-9-0
“She gives an unbiased take on the advantages and disadvantages of traditional publishing and self-publishing and publishing paths that combine the two… It's the perfect book for those who want an overview to begin the decision-making process.”
- Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning series of how-to books for writers http://howtodoitfrugally.com/
“A must-read for writers planning on self-publishing or any writer who wants the ultimate how-to on promoting. Tons of links, advice, and how-to, whether you're going for print or e-publication.”
- Helen Ginger, author of Angel Sometimes http://helenginger.com/
My sites-
Blog - Spunk On A Stick’s Tips - http://circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com/
Website - Spunk On A Stick - http://www.spunkonastick.net/




Short Bio-

Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association and a motivational speaker. She’s conducted seminars on book publishing and promoting for five years and assisted writers through several author services. Her other titles include “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK!” which ties her goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together, and a YA series, “The Circle of Friends.” Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains a dozen websites & blogs, and contributes to several other sites and newsletters.


L. Diane Wolfe "Spunk On A Stick"
Professional Speaker & Author
www.spunkonastick.net
www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Musings: oops

Oops - I thought I'd written a post for today, but sigh! Not. So here's my Monday musings. Life has gotten way too busy for me. I don't do well when I don't have down time. And I don't have time to exercise. And I don't have time to write. And I don't have time to think. This week, things should calm down a little and I can sort of get back to my normal routine. Today I don't have to be anywhere till 6:30 this evening. The plan is to exercise, then write, then practice, then just see what's what.

How about you? Do you need down time?
Blessings,
Karen

Friday, February 1, 2013

Home safe and sound

Thanks for all the good wishes. You guys rock! I really don't have much to say today other than I hope to get back to my life next week with regular posts and visiting you guys. Till then....
Blessings,
Karen