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, August 27, 2014

A normal heart - part II

So much for thinking my heart was normal again. I got a call from the cardiologist's office that the monitoring company let them know I had gone into a-fib with a heart rate of 169--not once, but several times in the 1 1/2 weeks I had the monitor on. They wanted to see me. About treatment options. I went. There are no more meds I can take because I have low blood pressure. I was told it is dangerous for me to have this high a heart rate so frequently. It is damaging my heart. I need to have what is called an ablation procedure. I am not a happy camper. To be continued....
Thank you for all the kind words of support. It means more than you know.
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: a normal heart

So last week I told the story of how difficult it was to get the heart monitor. Saturday was a week on the darned thing. I haven't had one heart episode. My heart feels perfectly normal and healthy. I mean it. Have I had a spontaneous, miraculous healing? I sure hope so. Actually, it's been two weeks, because I didn't have any episodes the week before I got the monitor either. I'm keeping my fingers crossed here....

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Musings: Low key

I feel like I am undergoing a major transformation and it's taking a lot of psychic, emotional, and spiritual energy. So I am feeling very low key. Don't feel much like doing many things other than reading, playing around on the computer, and watching movies. My book is with my editor, so there's nothing to do there. I'm still mulling how to publish. Low key is an odd mood. It's not fatigue. It's not depression. It's not low energy. I guess subdued is a good adjective. I'm not used to subdued. I'm used to being quite busy and active. Change is good, right?

How about you? Are you high key or low key?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: sorting thru activities

What feeds my soul? What drains my energy? What makes me happy? What causes angst? What do I look forward to doing? What do I dread? What can I let go of? What do I need to add in? Is it all right to make a decision that affects other people if it's the best decision for me? How do I balance work, play, family, chores and those extra life blips that happen so frequently?

These are some of the questions that keep me up at night. And have me thinking during the day. I am at a point in my life where, if it doesn't feed my soul, I want to let it go. And if it is draining, I definitely want to let it go. So I'm sorting through my activities, people, places, and things, and will hopefully be making some positive changes over the next few months.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Musings: Who is going to be my advocate when I can't advocate for myself?

My cardiologist ordered a heart monitor for me two weeks ago. It didn't come. I called the office and they said to come in and pick it up. I did that on Thursday. They said to call the monitor company Friday morning to activate. I did. They had no orders from the cardiologist office. I called the doc back. The person who handles it wasn't in. I called back an hour later. I was told he was out for the day. I asked the receptionist if anyone else could let the monitoring company know this was needed.
Nothing. I called the monitoring company back and asked if there was a phone # to call to get this resolved. There was. I called the doc back and gave them the #. One of the receptionists took it upon herself to call and the monitoring company walked her thru the process to get me on the books, so to speak. Voila, I was hooked up. I asked to speak to her supervisor to let them know she had gone above and beyond the call of duty. Then I tried the monitor. Didn't work. They are fed-exing me one tomorrow.

Now I ask you, who is going to do this for me when I can no longer do it for myself. My husband, wonderful, loving man that he is, would just have accepted what he was told at first, that the guy was not in yet and would be told about this. I don't know many people as tenacious as I am when something just isn't acceptable or just doesn't make sense.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: staying focused

I am in the final stages of revisions on my novel and I need to stay focused. It is so easy for me to get distracted. In one moment it might be the pain in my right wrist that didn't go away with a cortisone shot in the trigger finger. On another day, it might be my heart going into a-fib. Or it might be a family member who needs my attention. Or...well you get the idea. What I've learned is to not let the distractions keep me from writing on a given day. As I have grown older, I've also grown the ability to let the distractions go and focus on the task at hand. Before, I'd get so caught up in my emotions, it was impossible to focus. It helps for me to process the emotions first, either by writing or talking with someone.

As I go line by line thru the book, looking for repetitive words, better metaphors, improve dialogue, remove superfluous words, etc., my brain gets tired. I don't push through that feeling. I take a break.
This is why setting word count goals don't work for me, because I need to pay attention to my rhythms and my body and listen when it tells me to stop.

How about you? How do you stay focused?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Musings: on writing

When I lose myself, lose my sense of center, my ability to stay present in my body, it is writing that most often brings me back to myself. It helps me make sense of my world, my feelings, the situations I find myself in. So, in a sense, writing has been with me since I could walk and talk and write. I was in elementary school when I got one of those little diaries that had a key. I loved that I could put my most private thoughts in that little book and, I admit this is a bit delusional, believe that no one would ever read my words.

In my profession, I wrote articles, news releases, brochures and other collateral material. And when I quit my job to write full-time, I stayed with what I knew--non-fiction articles. Then I spent 10 years writing and eventually publishing a memoir that just wouldn't leave me alone until I did it.

Five years ago, a voice came to me while I was vacationing in Ireland and Scotland, saying, "Tell my story." I have spent those years first trying to discern who/what the voice was and allowing it to emerge from the depths of my being, then crafting it into a novel. Now I have to admit, I had fantasized as a child about being like Jo in Little Women, but it was never meant to be reality.

Now it is my reality. I have written a novel. And as Tom Clancy says, "“Success is a finished book, a stack of pages each of which is filled with words. If you reach that point, you have won a victory over yourself no less impressive than sailing single-handed around the world."

So I have succeeded. Yippee. I have been in deep thought about how to publish this book once final revisions are completed. The truth is, my health isn't what I would like it to be and therefore my energy is not as high as I would like. When I think about all the things I will have to do to make this book successful from a sales perspective, I cringe. But never has my writing been about making money. If it was, I would be a complete failure. But I'm not. You see, I know my words touch people. And that is what I must remember as I think about publishing. What is the gentlest way for me to do this process and get my book into the hands of those who need these words.

That brings me inner peace. Just reminding myself of the intention. The decision will flow from there.

Blessings
Karen 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure Writers Support Group - August

Alex,www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com, I am particularly grateful this month that you created The Insecure Writers Support Group.


I'm getting ready to get my book published. How, you ask? I want  to try traditional publishing, but after reading several posts over the last few weeks, I'm not so sure. First of all, I'm not sure I want to embark on a 1-2 year journey. Secondly, if a book only has a shelf life of 3 months with a traditional publisher, I don't think that's enough time for a book to take hold and sell. I'm still pondering while I complete final revisions.

Am I insecure? You betcha. Am I afraid? Terrified is more like it. What am I afraid of, you ask?
That I won't get any positive responses from agents or small publishers. That I will get positive responses from agents or small publishers. That readers won't like the book. That readers will like the book. That the book won't get any praise. That the book will receive praise.  That no one will buy it. That lots of folks will purchase it.

You get the idea. I'm just a plain, simple, neurotic writer.
How about you?
blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday - fun fun fun!


They say a picture says a thousand words, so here's are some from folk dance camp:



A bedouin dance called Weili Weili - that's me, third from left

Weili Weili


Our dance space during one of the parties

Me and my singing partner, Rosie, playing with our beautiful dresses


Me, Holly and  Rosie. This party theme was The Search for the Holy Grail. Rosie and I were Ladies Maiden

Hubby and I on Grail night



Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Musings: Home from dance camp

Too tired to post - will share pics and stories when I catch up to myself.
Till then...
Karen