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, February 29, 2016

our anniversary celebration

Here are a few pics from our anniversary celebration.




Here's a link to a few more:





Wednesday, February 24, 2016

a miraculous anniversary

It was 20 years ago today that hubby and I got married. For those of you who know me or have read my memoir, you know what a difficult journey I had in life until I arrived in New Mexico in 1994 and met hubby six months later. When I first landed here, I was suicidally depressed, broken in so many places, almost broke financially and absolutely convinced it wasn't possible to be happy...especially in a relationship.

It is mind-boggling to now be 20 years later and to have been proven wrong.  It may have been a rough road getting here, but the travel was necessary and the wait worth while. I am so grateful to you, dear husband, for the love we have created together. But most especially, for the unconditional love I feel from you which has helped me heal so many wounds. This marriage. This life with you. They are truly miraculous to me.

Blessings,
Karen

Monday, February 22, 2016

Please welcome Stephanie Faris today

Dogs in Children’s Books
by Stephanie Faris

When you’re writing for children, you start to notice a few trends in their books. Among other things, young readers love candy, cupcakes, and puppies. Incorporate one or more of those elements in your book and your cover will get their attention.

For decades, dogs have been a popular theme in children’s books and movies. Sometimes the dog is a main character in the story, especially in coming-of-age stories like Marley and Me. Sometimes the dog is just added in for comic relief or to make the reader smile from time to time. I added a dog to Piper’s story in book two, while she and her mom were staying at her nanna’s house. Together, the dog and Nanna help give Piper stability while her mom moves from one exciting job to another.

Why do kids love dogs so much? Maybe it’s the fact that dogs are always there for you, even when everyone at school is being mean to you and your parents are mad that you didn’t eat your lima beans at dinner. Maybe it’s the fact that dogs are lower on the chain of command in a family than children. At a time in their lives when they are constantly being told what to do, it’s nice to be able to tell someone else what to do, even if that “someone” is just an animal.


Mostly, though, I think it’s just that dogs, especially puppies, are so adorable. How could anyone resist them? In fact, I think grown-up movies and books should have more dogs in them.

And here's what you need to know about Stephanie's release, due out August, 2016.

Piper Morgan Joins the Circus
By Stephanie Faris




Piper helps some four-legged friends find the perfect home in the third book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series.

Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter in town. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs all day? And when Piper sees Taffy, the cutest dog she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home. But it won’t be easy—especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family, too!

About Stephanie:

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 

Links:


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Uh oh, I've been bitten by THE bug

No, not that awful mosquito that carries viruses. Not that kind of bug. It's the bug that keeps me chained to my computer when I'm so enjoying my freedom. I knew it wouldn't last (my freedom, I mean) but it was so nice while it did. I mean the writing bug, of course. It's in my DNA, so it was inevitable it would bite me. Again.

It's way too early to talk about what it's going to be because I don't even know what it's going to be. All I know is I committed the opening paragraphs (at least for now) to paper. The ironic thing about this is that it's humorous. And anyone who knows me knows I never crack jokes and most of the time I don't get jokes, although I love to laugh. So if this is to be written somewhat tongue in cheek, the proverbial joke is on me. Ha.

Blessings,
Karen

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

state of grace

Somehow, somewhere in the last week or so, I slipped into a state of grace. I don't think you can will yourself into this place. Believe me, I've tried. I've found moments of grace during prayer and meditation--where the mind quiets, the heart beats quietly and steadily, the inner voices are still, and only the voice of Spirit whispers. But it's never been sustainable, and I'm sure it isn't now. But it is a place I've never been before. A place where I move through my day and then something triggers an emotional feeling that pulls me off my center and it feels as if my energy flies out the window. In the past, I would stay feeling energy-drained and emotionally upset for hours, days, even weeks. Now, it is as if a wise witness is observing this behavior. Once noticed, I stop, tune in to what occurred that triggered the response, and once I accept whatever feelings got triggered (usually it's fear of something), I slip right back into the state of grace.

My two biggest insights during this spiritual retreat I began before the holidays is, one, the triggered feelings are almost never about the other person and two, that I've been living my life backwards. I used to try to fit spirituality into it, perhaps a church service on Sunday. Read a spiritual book here and there. Now, I'm trying to fit my life into my spirituality, living from the spiritual place and doing an activity here and there. Trying to live my spirituality during activities.

How do you balance spirituality and living your life? What does grace mean to you?
Blessings,
Karen

Saturday, February 6, 2016

some thoughts...

I was watching a news program and it mentioned that companies will pay 1/2 a million dollars to have an ad during the Super Bowl. Does anyone else find that disturbing? So many folks in our country are poverty-stricken, or can barely make ends meet. And corporations have that kind of money to spend so that more people will buy their products?

I was in Public Relations for years. I understand the need for publicity and I don't have a problem with it. But it got me thinking. What if all the companies that are purchasing advertising space during the Super Bowl took that money and did something charitable with it? And then the news folks talked about all the good the company was doing with the money and how many people were being fed or clothed or housed.

Wouldn't that make you purchase that company's product much more than an ad would? I know the advertising industry will hate me for this, but, oh well. I'm retired...

Just a thought.

Blessings,
Karen

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group - February

It feels like yesterday that I did January's post. Yikes, time is just flying by. Thanks to Alex for starting this group and for making it such a huge success. To find out the scoop about how to join, please visit Alex at www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com.








LOOK AT THE COOL NEW BADGE ALEX CREATED.

I really don't have anything to say this month about writing because I'm not...writing that is. At least not on a novel or any of my other nonfiction project that were started before I spent the last six years getting my novel done. I am still working on the issues that surfaced during my spiritual retreat over the holidays and a lot of growth is occurring in my personal life. I'm also working on getting physically stronger. Those two things are taking up all my time, energy and attention. And that's fine with me. It's just odd to not be writing. But I know that when the time is right, I will write again.

Blessings,
Karen