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

Monday, August 8, 2016

Still Me After All These Years

Still seeking submissions for an anthology: Still Crazy After All These Years

For those who don’t know me, I retired from a 30+ year career in marketing and public relations in 1999 to write full time. Since then, I have published a variety of non-fiction articles, a memoir, and most recently, a novel.

I’ve thought about writing something on aging for the past 10 years. I’m a sixty-something baby boomer who cared for both my Dad and my mother-in-law. I also helped two older friends who’ve since passed away. My friends and I have had many discussions about growing older and dying and about how we want to move through this process with grace and dignity. But other projects took precedence and I never got clarity on what this aging project should be. Until now.

Several weeks ago, my friend Ellie, 87 years young, said to me, “I don’t see ‘me’ anymore when I look in the mirror.”

“Who do you see?” I asked.

“An old lady who walks with a walker or a cane.”

“But, you’re still you. The walker doesn’t define you.”

“Yes, but it’s the first thing others see,” she said.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that conversation. Then, while on a writing retreat with my friend, Wendy, inspiration came: Why not make this an anthology? How much wiser and richer it could be if others shared their experiences of this journey called aging. Several days later I heard Paul Simon’s song “Still Crazy After All These Years” on the radio. Boom—there was the title: Still Me After All These Years.

That conversation with Ellie gave me the theme. I think an anthology such as this could speak about aging in a unique and fascinating way—through the eyes of those going through it. It will be about the challenges and opportunities that come when you reach that point in life where mortality is a more imminent reality. About how aging changes you, or doesn’t. How it impacts your life, both positively and negatively. Does your way of thinking change? What about your behavior? Have priorities shifted? Do you think about dying? Do you hate the way you look? These are just some of the topics I’d like to see included. 

I am seeking essays from adults 50 and above. If you’d like to participate but can’t write for some reason, I would be happy to interview you. Whatever the age of our readers, hopefully they’ll find a kernel of wisdom that touches their hearts.

At this point I’m not sure whether I will seek traditional publishing or self-publish. The traditional route could take years and well, I’m not sure I want to wait that long. At any rate, this is probably a good time to mention that there will be no fee paid for submissions. I will review entries myself, choosing and editing selections for inclusion. If you decide to submit, I can’t promise that your work will be included, but I can assure you that your name will be listed in the acknowledgements for helping to make this project possible.

If you are intrigued and think you might like to participate, please drop me a line and I will provide submission guidelines and more information on this process and how it will work.

I’d like to receive your submission by September 30, 2016. So, if you have something to share regarding your experience of aging, please let me know as soon as possible. Of course I’d be happy to answer your questions in the meantime.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Karen

12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I hope you get a lot of entries. Sad your friend sees only the walker.

Bish Denham said...

I wish I knew what to write about. The most I can come up with is that some days I *feel* the way I remember my mother looking, the way she would stand, the way she would move her hands, the set her mouth. I feel her in my own body.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm looking forward to reading this anthology, Karen! Great theme and something that applies to everyone either now or in the future.

Karen Walker said...

Yeah, Alex, me, too. That's why the comment haunted me.
Bish, just what you wrote here would make an interesting essay - think about it, okay?
Elizabeth, thank you. That means a lot.

Jemi Fraser said...

Hoping to have something ready for you Karen! :)
Bish - that sounds like such a great place to start!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If I wasn't just insanely busy with DLP stuff and trying to work on my own book, plus formatting for others, I would contribute something.

Karen Walker said...

Jemi, that's wonderful. And yes, I love Bish's thoughts, too.
Diane, if the deadline is the problem, let me know.

LD Masterson said...

I've sent you an email.

Suzanne Furness said...

What a lovely idea for an anthology, I hope it is a great success.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - I'll be sending you something ... cheers Hilary

I thought about it yesterday - so this post was good timing ...

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Great idea for an anthology!

Valerie Capps said...

I've thought about writing something for our age group but wondered if anyone would be interested. I write short stories so this is something I am interested in doing. I'm not sure about a topic, so give me a few days to mull it over. I can certainly relate to what your friend, Ellie, said. Do you have a lot of entries with that theme? Great post!