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, November 2, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group - November

Hi. Back from vacation and happy to participate in this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex (aka the Ninja Captain). Please visit Alex for all the details about joining our wonderful group.www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com

I'm not insecure. I'm disappointed. Many of you know I'm working on an anthology about aging. Perhaps the subject matter is too difficult to handle in terms of personal essays. I don't know the reasons, but 46 people enthusiastically said they wanted to contribute to the anthology and I've only received 10 essays I can use. One person wrote a wonderful essay, but it needed some work and they weren't able to fit that into their schedule. One essay I just couldn't use. But still, that's 30 something folks that said yes and I never heard from them. As the deadline passed, I wrote to those I had contact info from, and some said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I just can't do it now." I'm fine with that. I once wrote an Op Ed piece that appeared in The Oregonian about the importance of saying "No." Whether folks are afraid of confrontation, don't want to hurt peoples' feelings, aren't organized enough to follow through on what they say they're going to do, whatever the reason, I wish we could learn to close the loop with each other. Honestly, I won't be upset if you tell me "No." But tell me something. If I'm left hanging, I have to decide, well, do I try to follow up with these people, do I just let it go...did I do something wrong?

The essays I've received tell me I've chosen an important subject to tackle. Yes it's hard to think about what's happening to our bodies and our minds as we age. But denying or pretending it won't happen to us isn't particularly good for us. I don't want to force people to think about this. I guess I thought if someone agreed to write about it, they were already thinking about it and interested in sharing those thoughts with others.

Okay, I'm done with my rant. Sorry about that. Just had to get it off my chest. So, if you are one of those who told me you wanted to write an essay and already asked for submission guidelines, please let me know if you still want to participate. I've let go of the deadline. It was manufactured by me anyway. I really want this anthology to happen because there's so much wisdom in the few essays I've  received. I know there's so much more out there.

If you''re new to this blog and are interested, please email me at kandgwalker@comcast.net and I'll give you all the scoop you need about the project.

Until next time,


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm glad you had a good vacation, but sorry that things are moving slowly with your anthology project! I'm glad that the essays you're getting in are such good quality, though. Hoping that many more come your way!

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Just a couple of thoughts:

I am compiling stories for an anthology again this year. I follow-up with the participants, asking for their title or how the story is coming, no pressure just keeping them thinking about the project. (I know everyone personally, so I'm not sure this would work for you.)

If too many people decide not to participate, I will look for new participants. Can you send out a second invitation?

Best of Success!

C.D. Gallant-King said...

How many submissions are you looking to get? Gail's suggestion above sounds like a good one, ask for a second round.

I would be no help. While I'm certainly aging, I'm still smack dab in the middle of it and can't see the forest for the trees.

IWSG November

Mason Canyon said...

Karen, glad you're home safe and sound from your vacation and had a good time. Sorry the submissions aren't going well. It is bad when someone tells you that want to participate but then you never hear from them again. One thought - maybe if you post a small sample of the type of submission you're looking for others might participate. Some may not understand the age range you're looking at or what type of thoughts on age you're talking about. Good luck.

Thoughts in Progress
and MC Book Tours

Patsy said...

It's so frustrating when people seem keen and then don't follow that up with action. It would be fairer and less stressful all round to say no to start with.

Karen Walker said...

Elizabeth, thanks for the support. I appreciate it.
Gail, thanks, but you're right, I don't really know folks personally from the internet, so that's difficult. I have contacted the ones I have contact info from.
C.D., I don't have a number in mind, but 11 is certainly not enough. Thanks for your comment.
Mason, hmm, I'll think about that - it's just that my blog doesn't get all that much traffic to attract folks that don't already know about it.
Patsy, what you've said here is really what my post is about.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm glad you at least got ten good ones. (Hopefully I said I probably couldn't right up front.)
People do need to learn to say no. It's all right to say no sometimes.

Nick Wilford said...

I understand it's frustrating to get a lack of response. I guess it might slip people's minds. I've done that on occasion but if I say yes to an anthology, then my mind starts turning over what to write, so it's hard to forget about it. Glad the submissions you've got have been quality and I hope you succeed in getting this book together!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Glad you mentioned this. It's happening to me a lot lately. Makes me wonder if there are two types of people, those who follow through on their promises, and those who don't. Another reason why I'm very careful when I say I'm available. If there's a hint of hesitation, I say sorry. Which doesn't come easy. In the olden days, I would say sure, then kick myself later while I was struggle to meet to execute the promise. Great post, Karen.

cleemckenzie said...

Anthologies are a lot of work for the one putting it together. Hope you find all the essays you need.

Bish Denham said...

It is a difficult subject. I wish I knew how to approach the subject, or knew what to write about. I would contribute if I could.

Nicola said...

Sorry things aren't working out the way you'd like, Karen. It is annoying when people let you down. I hope it resolves itself soon. Take good care.

Jacqui Murray said...

Now I know why I never reached out to participate (or mastermind) an anthology. Like Joylene said, once I say yes, I'm in. I don't get the people who say yes and do 'no'. Good luck! It's a worthy topic.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm sorry you didn't get more quality pieces. It's something that can make a difference to people, so don't give up on it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - it's something I learnt early on by a boss ... who just said make a decision and stick with it ... I know add my own adjunct - if I can't do it I will most definitely be in touch, so no-one is let down ... they might not fulfil the quota - but that's the luck of the draw.

It's being fair to one and all ... I thought it was a great topic and I was looking forward to reading everyone's entries - something flipped here and I simply couldn't do it ...

Cheers and give everyone a chance before the A-Z comes up again .. take care - Hilary

Jemi Fraser said...

I know I was a Maybe, and I still am! :) I'll email you if I can polish off what I've started with! :)

Diane Burton said...

That is too bad about the non-participants. People don't always do what they say they'll do. Fact of life. And very disappointing. Why not issue the invitation again? Maybe you'll get more takers. I hope your project takes off.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

That really stinks. I'm so sorry. But don't give up; your project is worth the extra work and heartache. I'll send you an email later with contact info for someone I think would be a terrific candidate... and if she says she'll do it... she'll DO it. :)

Karen Walker said...

You guys rock. Thanks so much for the kind words and especially for understanding. I really didn't mean to rant and whine. I do understand things happen. That's why I'm letting go of the deadline, so people can take their time with it.
Alex, you did say up front you couldn't do it.
Jemi, you're fine. DOn't worry about time. If you want to write it, just do it when you can.
thanks, Susan, for the info.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Karen,

I was just about to email you on the update of the Anthology... Sorry to hear you are having difficulties... I did email a few friends about the project, and I know one for sure did send it to you.

I hope the new post will help generate more submissions. It is a worthy anthology. I know it was a difficult subject for me to write about, so others may feel the same. It's tough to take a good look at ourselves at his time of life...