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, May 27, 2014
Skip always had a huge smile on his face and joy emanated from his very being. He had frequent business in Africa and was on the plane returning from his latest trip when he apparently got a blood clot and it went to his lungs and he died. In flight.
I have been unable to come to grips with this. I don't think it will be real for me until camp this year, when Skip will not be there. I have posted about other friends with life-threatening health issues and, combined with this, it has forced me to face some tough realities. Anything can happen to anyone at any time.
Does this mean we should live our lives in fear? Absolutely not. Does this mean we should be super-cautious and perhaps not fly? We might as well not drive or walk or do anything at all, right?
What it means for me is that I am working my new motto even harder in my mind each day. When facing death, it is time to celebrate life. And since we're all facing death at some point, it's time to celebrate. Now. Hard to do sometimes when so many around us are facing challenges. But maybe that is precisely the time to celebrate. To show them the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
This spiritual journey is not easy. But it is so much easier than if I wasn't on it at all.
How about you?
How do you handle unexpected events?
Are you celebrating life?
P.S. And talk about unexpected events. A really positive one happened just yesterday. I was awarded a You Rock badge from our Ninja Captain Alex http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. His kind words made me cry because they touched my heart. Here is the award. Isn't it cool? How I wish I could really rock out with a guitar....Thanks, Alex. You're a gem.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Thank you Gene for these great shots.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Monday, May 19, 2014
"No. Because now I know and you know you can."
That is how the review of my latest revision began last week. For those of you who don't know, I have written nonfiction for 35+ years and am now writing my first novel. When I was writing my memoir, I had to learn some fiction craft techniques like descriptions, specific, significant details, crisp dialogue, etc. But it didn't come easily and I wasn't convinced I did it very well.
I'm still not convinced how well I'm doing it, but I'm doing it. What I am coming to understand is that telling a story well has so much that must be considered that to have expected myself to be able to just push this story out, wham, bam, and have it be good was like expecting to pick up a guitar for the first time and expect to play like Eric Clapton.
Here is some of what I am learning, ever so slowly, and through my very gifted editor, who, by the way, has written many books on writing (you can find him here: http://markdavidmuse.blogspot.com):
- Dialogue must be character driven. I can't just have a character say something to impart information to the reader if that particular character wouldn't say that.
- Details must be significant - don't just say it's so and so's favorite soup if there isn't a good reason it is their favorite soup.
- It isn't only necessary to describe exteriors - settings and what people look like. Readers want to know what is going on inside the characters as well.
- My big bugaboo is tenses - when I'm writing I don't pay attention at all, so now I have to go back and fix them all. It's not my strong suit. I may just hire a line editor for this.
- Pay attention to your timeline. It pulls the reader out of the story if something contradicts something you've said earlier.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
The other thing I'm learning about expectations is that they are tied in with strong emotions. And because of my childhood, my emotions are highly charged. If I don't catch myself, which I'm learning to do more and more, I can react to every event as if it is a matter of life and death. Changing these lifelong patterns isn't easy, but it is so worthwhile. Yes, even if I spent tons of money to travel somewhere and don't get to see an important site, it is not life and death. Disappointing, yes. But not tragic.
Guess I'm becoming a grown-up.
How about you?
Monday, May 12, 2014
Friday night I had an opportunity to take my new motto out for a test run. My heart was racing very very fast and I didn't feel well but we had dinner plans with two other couples that was a celebration thank you for some work our friend did for us. There was no way I was going to cancel. I just decided to act as everything was fine. And you know what? Everything was. The fabulous food and good conversation and warm feelings we all had for one another made it impossible for me to focus on my heart.
I used to take my good health for granted. So many struggle with health issues - some very close to me. If you have good health, be grateful every moment of every day. And if you struggle with a health issue or too, be grateful for the health you have. I am working so hard on switching my negative feelings about my body and what is wrong with it to loving it and being grateful for all it does for me.
How about you?
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
This month I am only feeling a teensy weensy bit insecure. I am making wonderful progress on my novel. Two-thirds of it is almost done. I need to re-work the last part and that's where my insecurity comes in. The feedback I've received is that there isn't a strong emotional connection with the main character or story and of course, since I'm the writer, the emotional disconnect is with me. So I've had to spend some time trying to figure out why I am as emotionally involved with this character in this part of the story. I think I've got a handle on it it and now I just need to allow the process to work itself out by revealing to me how to fix it. I'm not worried. I know it will come.
Till next time...
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
I said to my friend, "You may get mad at me for saying this, but I can't not say it. I think you should think about the consequences of not using a cane or a walker. If you fall because of your lack of balance, you could break something again and the recovery will be long and difficult once again. Versus overcoming the negative image of being an older person who must use a device to keep balance. Which is worse?"
Denial is a powerful emotion. It keeps us from having to deal with feelings we don't want to feel. Until we can no longer deny them and must face the truth. I hope my friend is able to do that and keep herself safe. I hope I am able to keep myself from denying the realities as my body ages. My goal in this next phase of my life is to accept what is with grace and dignity and continue to do the things I love for as long as I can.
How about you?
Monday, May 5, 2014
I'm lucky I don't have a paying job I have to get up for the next day. But I have had to cancel so many appointments cause I am zombie girl after a night of little sleep. Thoughts, suggestions, advice anyone? I'm getting desperate....