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

Thursday, November 3, 2016


After yesterday's ISWG, several people suggested I re-post my invitation to submit to my anthology, "Still Me After All These Years." I thought it was a good idea, so hear it is again. I've completely let go of any deadline at this point, so if you are interested in the topic and want to give it a go, please do so. And if anyone is inclined to repost this in their blog, I would be immensely grateful. Thank you!

SUBJECT: An anthology about aging—want to help?

I’m writing today to talk about a project close to my heart and to see if you feel called to participate.

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.

Some time ago, my friend Ellie, 88 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.

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.



Stephanie Faris said...

Good luck to everyone entering! Have you thought about putting out a wider call for writers, outside of the blogging community? I'm not sure what forums there are, but it seems like I'm always seeing calls for writers in various places.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I just Tweeted about it.

Karen Walker said...

Oh, Steph, that's a great idea - I'll look at that.
Alex, thanks so much - I'm not a Tweeter!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm sorry I missed the deadline. But I'm still interested in reading what the others say. One thing I've learned is I can always and continually learn from others. Thanks for visiting my blog, Karen. Best of luck with your anthology.

Karen Walker said...

Joylene, I've let go of the deadline. If you want to participate, let me know

Patsy said...

Interesting project. I'm (very slightly) too young to submit, but I'll help spread the word.

Karen Walker said...

Thank you, Patsy

Patsy said...

I've blogged!

Julie Flanders said...

This is such a wonderful idea for an anthology. I was touched to read of your conversation with Ellie. Broke my heart in a way. I will look forward to reading this book when you have it out in the world. Good luck and much success!!

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Julie. It was a hard conversation, to be sure.

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LD Masterson said...

I hope you get enough worthwhile submissions to go forward with this. It's an important topic.