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, July 29, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: My kindle seems to have died

Oh dear, my Kindle Fire just fizzled out. It won't take a charge. Can't turn it on. The Tech support lady said she's ship a new charger chord to see if that's the problem, but methinks it's the battery in the Kindle itself that went wonky.  Do any of you techie people out there know if I buy an I Pad (mini), can I get all the stuff from my Kindle transferred onto the iPad?

So appreciate some advice here. I'd really prefer an iPad if I have to purchase a new device, but not if I'll lose everything on my Kindle.

Oy!
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Musings: Getting ready for camp

It's time for our annual folk dance camp, held at New Mexico Tech University in Socorro, New Mexico. This year we are going to learn Bulgarian dances as well as Cajun/Zydeco. Last year I didn't dance much. I was wearing a heart monitor and having A-fib episodes. This year, I hope it will be very different. My new medication seems to be controlling the arrhythmia pretty well. Episodes are fewer and far between and less intense.

I'm also still in the throes of revisions for my novel. A part of me just wants to the rest of my life to take a back seat so I can focus on this and get it done. I'm so close...

What's happening in your world?
Do tell...
Blessings,
Karen


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: I hate this

I hate this next step. Why can't I just magically have my book out in the world, on bookshelves in bookstores everywhere? Is it laziness? I don't think so. Is it fear? Oh yeah. Is it lack of knowledge?Partly, but I'm filling in those gaps. So why do I hate this so much. It's simple really. I DON'T WANT TO DO THE THINGS I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN. Last time I went through this, I tortured myself emotionally. This time, it is helping to acknowledge the truth. I hate having to do this. But am I going to do it anyway? Yes. Am I willing to do whatever I have to do to get this book out in the world? Yes. Am I going to torture myself emotionally? No. There! That was easy. Admitting the truth is the first step - awareness. Then comes acceptance. After acceptance comes action. I'm ready. I'm willing. I'm able. Here we go.....

Blessings
Karen

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Musings: Next Step

September will be five years since I visited Ireland and Scotland and the voice came, "Tell my story."
First of all, I had never heard voices before, so it took some very powerful coaching sessions with Mark David Gerson, http://www.mdgmedia.com, to understand how to allow this story to emerge. Then it took several years for that to happen because there was some major spiritual healing occurring as I was writing.

When I finished the first draft, about 8 months ago, I thought I was close to being done. But I really only had a skeleton, which was hard to hear after four years of hard work. Now the skeleton is fully developed. I just received a new set of revisions from my editor, but I am closing in on being done.

All this time, I have avoided even thinking about publishing and marketing. But I want this story out in the world. Those who have read it want it out in the world. So I am starting to craft query letters. And a synopsis. And I've purchased "A Guide to Literary Agents" and "Novel and Short Story Writers Market" and am beginning to identify potential agents and publishers to contact.

If anybody has any suggestions on this next phase of my journey, I am all ears. In the meantime, how are you all? Anyone else about to embark on their "next step" in life?

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Divine Self versus human self

For most of my life I have been an emotionally reactive person. By that I mean that I get triggered easily into negative thoughts and feelings, mostly about myself. My healing journey has been a long and hard one, but at last, I have reached a new plateau. Now, when I get emotionally triggered, what I call my Divine Self is right there with me. It is as if I am split in two: the little girl who feels unloved and unwanted and the Divine Self that knows the truth and is connected to the Light of Spirit. It is quite amazing. What is happening is that the emotional triggers are less intense and don't last very long. I guess the intent is to be more and more connected to Divine Self more and more of the time. Not easy, since we are human after all.

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Musings: don't take anything for granted

I'm being told I'm old. I don't feel old--until I look in the mirror, that is. But here's the thing. We're all going to get here some day. As I deal with all the health issues that come along with aging, I realize how much I took for granted when I was young. I think we should instill in our children that they shouldn't take anything for granted, but rather be grateful for each and every blessed good thing -- like youth, good health, having friends, doing well in school, you get the idea. It's much harder to be grateful when you're older and have issues. But if we have practiced gratitude all of our loves, it would simply be habit.
What do you think?
Blessings,
karen

Friday, July 11, 2014

Home again

Hello wonderful blogging buddies,
  Thank you all so much for the well wishes and prayers. I find it impossible to do anything with my blog on my iPhone, so I couldn't respond.
  I am home, so obviously the meds didn't kill me, LOL. Now it remains to be seen if they work to keep me out of a-fib. I was in normal sinus rhythm the whole time I was in the hospital, but had an a-fib episode not 1/2 hour after I got home. I know this med doesn't cure a-fib, but I'm hoping the episodes will be fewer and far between and less intense than they have been. I was pretty upset, but I'm working my way towards accepting what is and dealing with it.
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: I'm in the hospital

No blogging for me today. I am in the hospital. I am not sick. Nor am I having a procedure. My new cardiologist recommended a medication for my a-fib and PAC's, one that doesn't affect blood pressure. The only down side is they have to administer it in a hospital because there is a 4% chance of sudden death. Oy! I've opted to try it because there is a 70% chance of the symptoms going away and since my life has been so negatively impacted by the arrythmias, I am doing this.

I'll be back next week to visit all of you. Be well.
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Musings: what happens when an exciting thing is over?

You plan for months for your trip. Where to stay? What to see? What to pack? How long to be in each destination? Then it's time to leave. You weather the inevitable travel glitches. Perhaps a hotel isn't what you imagined it to be. Perhaps the crowds prevent you from seeing a particular sight--not enough time. You revel in what you do see, however, and maybe, if you're lucky, the trip exceeds your expectations. Then it's over and you are back at home, mired in your routine. Doing laundry. Going through snail mail. Sifting through email. Paying bills. Grocery Shopping.

I've done enough travel over the last 18 years to know that I will have the inevitable letdown after a trip, especially a magical one like this trip to Italy and Romania. I used to get slightly depressed. But now, I just start thinking about where I want to go next. And what else in my life am I passionate about that feeds my soul. Hubby is enamored with Harry Potter, so our next trip might be one not too far away--Universal Studios and the new Harry Potter experience. Who knows?

In the meantime, to keep from allowing the letdown to get me down, I am focusing on airbrushing the language in my novel. Next step - find a line editor to nail down the grammatical issues and all the places I misused or forgot commas.

One of the readers I gave the manuscript to before I went to Europe said to me at dinner the other night, "You have to publish this book." I looked at her. She said, "No, really, you have to exhaust every possible option to get this book published."

Okay. That will keep me from feeling a letdown.

Blessing,
Karen

Thursday, July 3, 2014

One author's unique way of marketing her new book

Do you like to read psychological thrillers? Well, Jessica Bell's giving away her latest release, WHITE LADY, for FREE, to every single person who signs up to the "Two Lies & a Truth" Blog Tour (taking place October 1 - 31). It's hassle-free. All you have to do is post what she sends you to your blog (or Facebook page) and Bob's your uncle. She will also be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader of your blog. More details and sign up form here: http://goo.gl/0EsZLo

Here is the book trailer (music written and produced by the author herself): http://goo.gl/BeYPXV

If you don't know Jessica, you should. She is a gifted writer and storyteller and I can't wait to get my hands on this latest release of hers.

Blessings
Karen

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group - July

I missed you guys in June. Well, that's not really true. I didn't think about blogging once while I was in Europe.

I do miss ISWG, though, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. I'll have to go back and see what y'all had to say while I was gone.

Before I left, I gave my manuscript to four beta readers. It is so hard to give your baby into someone else's hands. I've been working and paying an editor for the past few months, but that's different. One of these readers is a writer/editor herself and one whom I trust implicitly. She did not find any major issues with the manuscript and, this is hard for me to say, but she totally loved the book. I will be posting more here about feedback and how I handle it, but out of the four readers, three are loving it. I haven't talked the the fourth to see if she's read it yet.

Truth is, I am proud of this book. It carries my blood and soul and sweat and tears. Everyone is telling me I should publish. I will. I just don't know whether to even try to publish traditionally or simply self-publish. I will ponder this over the next few weeks as I "airbrush" my story, as my friend so eloquently put it.

How about you? Are you feeling insecure this month?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Romania

Twenty folk dancers from New Mexico and twenty folk dancers from elsewhere in the country gathered in Cluj, Romania for an ethnographic dance tour of Transylvania. First of all, being in Europe with so many close friends was exceptional. We all kept pinching each other, was it really happening? Were we really there? Together? We were, indeed. Below is a church built in the 1200's in Cluj.


 This is my singing partner, Rosie, and I in the Botannical gardens. We didn't plan to wear the same outfit. It just happened. Cute, huh?

Each night at dinner, we were entertained by these guys. 


So, our routine was to have breakfast from 7 or 7:30 to 9:30, dance class from 10 am to 12 noon, lunch from 1 - 2:30, then sightseeing in this beautiful city. On days when we didn't have dance class, we took day trips. One trip was over night to a village named Rupea.


Out of 40 participants, probably 30 of us purchased custom-made dance shoes. Here we are looking at the choices.

Strolling the village square.

an ethnographic museum of life long ago



Many of the villages we visited were just as they were 500 or 600 years ago. Except for the cell phones, of course.




Much of Transylvania looks like this, beautiful green, rolling hills dotted with picturesque villages.


Bran Castle, which really has nothing to do with Dracula



This is how we were greeted in Rupea---with Suerca ( very potent brandy) and bread with salt. We were so warmly welcomed wherever we went. We were fed, and then we danced with their musicians and dancers.




If I am asked what I did in Romania, I say "I waited till the cows came home." We did just that. Being a kid from NYC, this was absolutely hilarious to me. The cows come strolling back from the pasture and turn left or right to get to their home.


Part of the buffet we were welcomed with in Rupea

Dancing at the outdoor ethnographic museum

a medieval fortress in Cluj

one of the narrow staircases

We were lucky enough to visit the stables of the Lippinzaner horses. I didn't know they came from Romania.

One of our stops was this farm. I had never eaten a carrot straight out of the ground before. Yum!

At yet another village - the children sang and danced for us and then we got to join in.

This is goulash and the Romanian form of polenta cooking.

At right is our beautiful photographer, Irina, in her traditional costume. She dances in a performing group. That's me on the left in a traditional Hungarian blouse. This was on our last night in Cluj.

I will write more thoughts and feelings and impressions as the days go by and I recover more. Till then
Blessings
Karen