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, September 30, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: making peace with food

For those of you who don't know, for most of my adult life I was very heavy. I yo-yo dieted for years, but could never remain at a healthy weight. Then, about six years ago, I hired a nutritionist who taught me how to eat. I lost 50 pounds and have maintained it since then.

A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroid and now it isn't so easy to maintain my weight. I seem to gain for no reason at all. What it made me realize is that it's not about the food I eat. Sure, if I ate the way I used to eat, I'd gain weight, thyroid or no thyroid issue. But I'm not doing that. It's something I have absolutely no control over, other than to tweak my thyroid meds.

I will tell the truth here. I am afraid of food and what it will do to me--either give me a few pounds I don't want or give me acid reflux, or cause phlegm to make my throat hoarse and my vocal chords to get coated so I can't sing. But I need to make peace with it. I no longer want to fear what I eat. I need to make food my friend. I need to relax and trust that I will make healthy choices and when I don't, that it's okay.

Life is too darned short to live in fear of food, or anything else, for that matter.
What do you think?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Musings: Aftermath

What happens when a major project, one you have been working on for five years, is done? At least this phase of it is done. In the past, I have experienced major letdown. This time, I am feeling peaceful. Acknowledging what I have accomplished, no matter what happens going forward.
I would love to be published by a small press. I think that is the best avenue for this particular book.
I'll keep you posted, LOL...

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: done done done done done

It is almost five years to the day that I came home from Ireland and Scotland after hearing a voice say, "tell my story, tell my story" and began writing my first ever novel. It is done. I can't believe it, truly, I can't. I...WROTE...A...NOVEL. That is a monumental accomplishment in and of itself. I am going to take a few weeks to allow this to soak. There are some things happening personally I need to focus on anyway. Then the torture...er...fun begins--publishing. I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about that process as I move through it. In the meantime, be well and thanks for all the support and encouragement as I birthed this book. You are an awesome community.

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Musings: "I might as well be in India"

I love the reality show "The Voice." The talent is usually phenomenal and the judges are fun to watch.    I think it was two years ago that a young 16-year-old girl named Danielle Bradbury won. She had one of the best voices I'd heard on the show.

Well, two weeks ago my hubby informed me she was going to sing at our State Fair and asked if I wanted to go. I did. He came home the next day with tickets. What I didn't know is that her concert was after the rodeo. I am a city girl. Grew up in NY. I've never been to a rodeo.

Friday night we went to the Fair early so we could walk around before the rodeo began at 7 pm. The highlight for me was getting to pet a 2-week-old duck and a big ole steer. There was a great band playing near the food court, covering songs like "Play That Funky Music White Boy." It got me out of my funk.

We arrive at the rodeo arena. Everyone is dressed in western clothes, except us. Well, we both wore jeans and blue shirts, but I don't think jeans are considered western. I've never seen so many cowboy hats in one place. And the cowgirls wore sparkly shirts and tons of make up. There was hee-hawing and words and language I did not know.

I didn't mind the events - although I think riding a bucking bronco or a bucking bull is insane and I don't know how the cowboy's backs don't get broken. The one event I couldn't watch was the rope tie. It seems like when the rope went around the cow's neck and it is jerked down to the ground, well, that's gotta hurt. I was rooting for the cows.

I turned to hubby at one point and said, "I might as well be in India, this is so culturally different from anything I've experienced." Hubby laughed.

The saddest part was not being able to stay for Danielle's concert. The music was so loud - and listen people, I'm a child of the 60s. I grew up with loud rock 'n roll and love it. This was so loud it hurt my ears. I couldn't enjoy the music. After two songs, we left. Am I just getting too old?

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Light at the end of the tunnel

Oh, I am almost there. I am so close I can taste it. I think by the end of this week I will be able to call my novel done. Man, that sounds so weird to my ears because I never intended to write a novel. I was and am a non-fiction writer. But I did it. I listened to the voice that came to me in Scotland and Ireland and I "told her her story." I feel so good about it. Someone said they were having "fun" writing fiction again after a long break. Maybe if I attempt another novel some day, I might have fun, but this was definitely not fun. It bordered on torture at times. But now that I'm almost done, I have to say it is very very cool that I wrote a novel. Even if it never sees the light of day. But it will. I am determined to publish this baby. So stay tuned...

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Musings: a gal pal weekend and a new release

I don't mean to offend my men friends, but there is nothing like what happens when good women friends get together. It's magical. You don't have to explain what you mean about anything. They just get it. You don't have to ask what's going on with them, they share perfectly well on their own. And shopping together is so much fun. I spent a night in Taos, NM with two wonderful friends. I had just finished the latest revision on my novel and it was a perfect time to let go of everything. So here's to gal pal weekends. I have one more revision pass through on the novel and I am going to call it a done deal. Will hit the deck running today.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

And our blogging buddy, Carole Kilgore has a new release. Here's the scoop:


SECRETS OF HONOR

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

PURCHASE LINKS:

BIO
Carol sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

You can connect with Carol and her books here:
Under the Tiki Hut blog:  http://www.underthetikihut.blogspot.com
Website with Monthly Contest: http://www.carolkilgore.net

TWEETABLE SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTS
It's here! SECRETS OF HONOR, the novel. Kat Marengo will finally spill her story. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Honor-Carol-Kilgore-ebook/dp/B00NH0QTO6/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1410561862
Once upon a time, there was a jewel thief...for the government. SECRETS OF HONOR, the novel. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Honor-Carol-Kilgore-ebook/dp/B00NH0QTO6/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1410561862
24 hours to find a kidnapped girl. Failure is unthinkable. SECRETS OF HONOR, the novel. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Honor-Carol-Kilgore-ebook/dp/B00NH0QTO6/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1410561862

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: one day at a time

When I'm stressed I get anxious. And when I get anxious I can't focus on anything without thinking about what was or what will be. I need to be focused on what is. There are a lot of irons in the fire right now. Finishing revisions on my novel, getting ready for my son's wedding, trying to decide what to do about my heart problem, and mysteriously gaining weight again (probably that wonky ole thyroid).

What is helping me is reminding myself that I can only do one thing at a time, one day at a time. Yesterday is gone, no use torturing myself over what I did that was wrong or what I didn't do I should have done. Tomorrow isn't here yet, so why torture myself over what may not even happen? Instead, just do the best I can right now, in this moment.

How about you? Do you live in the past or the future and forget the now?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Musings: what can happen at a gig

Most of you know I sing in a duo called Sugartime at retirement communities, nursing homes, special luncheons, etc. Our audience is made up of seniors, ages 60-90. Friday, we performed at a retirement community with a small somewhat older population. Every time the music would start on a song, this one resident would start moving in her chair to the music, then get up, come right up to our microphones, stand with her back to the audience (right in front of us) and dance and sing. It was quite a bit disconcerting, but then I found myself thinking: That could be me. If I were much older and not fully "with it" mentally and I heard music, I wouldn't be able to sit still either. And I'd probably want to be right up there with whoever was performing. Still, I couldn't engage with her, as my partner, Rosie, did. Rosie just included her in whatever we were doing.

We both had the same thought independently. This isn't about us going to these places and "performing". This is about us going to these places and bringing joy. And if this woman got joy from getting up in our faces and singing and dancing, so be it. I have some spiritual work to do to get to the place Rosie got to by engaging with her. Not that I don't engage with our audiences. I do. But with this woman, I couldn't And that's okay for today. We can only do the best we can do in any given moment. I'm not judging myself, which is a small miracle.

How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

P.S. Today is the day everyone who knew Tina Downey is honoring her memory with sunflowers. I did not know Tina, but whenever we lose someone from the community, it affects us all. I am sorry for the loss of Tina to all who knew and loved her.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group - September

Gosh, the months seem to fly by so fast these days. Once again, thank you Alex alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating the ISWG.  Check out Alex's blog for info on how to join and for lots of other great news.







This week I am hoping to receive what I pray is the last set of revision suggestions from my editor. I am ready to move this baby out of the womb and into the world. I am actually excited, rather than scared. A teensy weensy bit insecure. Wait a minute, is that the truth? No, I am way more than a teensy bit insecure. But I'm not scared. I just need to get quiet and search deep inside for the answers to my questions: Small press or self-publish? Agent? Illustration or photo for cover (if I self-pub)?
Can I hire someone to help with marketing?

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. Maybe if I say it enough times, I'll start believing it.
How about you?
Blessings
Karen

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: doing everything I want to do

Being 65 and having some health issues that are a bit scary has caused me to reflect even deeper than usual about how I want to spend my remaining time on Earth. Each year around New Year's, I do an exercise which helps me get clear on my priorities. I have accomplished many of the things that have emerged from that exercise. But there are still important things I feel I want to do: publish my novel, travel a bit more, write the two nonfiction books that have been simmering on the back burner for years, to name a few.

I worry sometimes that I won't have time to do everything. Truth is, I probably won't, which is why getting clear about priorities is so important. I don't want to have any regrets when I get to the end of my life. I want to live each day as fully as possible. So why is it that I waste so much time doing stupid things like online jigsaw puzzles or spider solitaire? Wasting time is like throwing money in the garbage can and the trash people come and take it away. You can never get it back.

I am hereby resolving to make an effort to not waste as much time. How about you?
Blessings,
Karen

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Musings: Acceptance

Which movie had the line, "resistance is futile?" Was it Star Trek (Alex, help me here). Whatever, they were right. Resistance just makes things worse. Acceptance brings a peace. That doesn't mean there might not be strong emotions attached to whatever you're dealing with, but deep inside, there is a peace. That is where I am right now with my heart issue. And my novel. I am exploring alternative options that might make ablation not necessary. But if I must have ablation procedure, I will.

With my novel, as I near completion of revisions and final edits, I am leaning towards small press or self-publishing. At my age, I don't think I have the time or patience to play the waiting game with sending out a query, waiting for response, perhaps being asked for a partial, waiting more months, perhaps being asked for a full manuscript, waiting a few more months, then either getting rejected or being asked to re-write. At some point way down the line, an agent might accept me and then comes another waiting game as they approach publishers. I would love to be traditionally published. But is it the way for me to go? I'm still not 100% sure but I am leaning strongly towards "I don't think so."

Blessings
Karen