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, May 3, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group - May

Yes. Here we are for a gathering of our monthly opportunity to share our angst, our joy, our difficulties in our writing journeys, thanks to Alex at http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com, who created this amazing group. Please visit Alex for all the scoop on how to participate.

How am I doing this month? It's a mixed bag. My anthology, "Still Me...After All These Years" was launched with great fanfare. I made a humongous decision to donate all the proceeds from the book to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. If you're interested, here's more info: https://fundraise.michaeljfox.org/karenhelenewalker

I'm happy about completing what I feel was an important project. I'm happy to feel as if I'm doing something to help find a cure for a disease that has impacted my family in a big way. I'm happy all the authors who contributed to the anthology seem satisfied with the end result. I'm still in the midst of promoting the book at senior centers and retirement communities. I have two more events this month and several more scattered over the summer.

What makes my feelings mixed is that I'm not writing anything new. There's a memoir that seems to want to come out, but I can't seem to make myself do it. I'm not sure if I just need more time to recover from the anthology or that I'm pretty much done writing, other than my blog and for my own purposes. Writing has always helped me make sense out of my life, but my life is going pretty well right now. Maybe I don't "need" to write in the same way I used to. I'm just not sure.

Anyway, that's where I'm at right at this particular moment.
How about you?


Em-Musing said...

Congrats on your anthology and also your generosity. Also, love the Wes Nisker quote. And me? I'm working hard getting ready to self-pub. A BIG learning curve. Question: Did you publish through Amazon? And if so, what format did you use? And are you satisfied?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - you sound all well and happy and wonderful the proceeds of your book are going towards Parkinsons ... cheers Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You're having to do it all, which is draining. Get through the promotions, rest up, and then decide what or if anything you want to write next.

nashvillecats2 said...

Hope your book goes well Karen, such a wonderful cause that the proceeds is going to. Good luck.


Susanne Matthews said...

Congratulations on your book and best of luck with it. It's hard to get into something new when you just finished something big like you have. Rest, do something completely different to recharge your batteries and then the words will come.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on the anthology and that's awesome that you are donating the proceeds. Life is a growing process and maybe your writing is changing with it. Or you are just going through a phase where you don't need to write as much. My own writing has changed to completely writing for my contract writer job where I get paid every month to write. I don't have time for my own writing with my blog.

Nancy Gideon said...

What an awesome cause and selfless endeavor! My critique partners hubby has Parkinson's so it's very personal to me. As for writing, you can't "force" a new project when you're still coming down from the high of a new release. Relax and let it happen. Maybe start researching something for a new book and let the imagination spark anew.

Arlee Bird said...

Seems like a read a similar post from you after your previous book came out. Then you came up with a good idea and got that done. I'm sure you're just in a transitional resting period and you'll come up with another fine idea to pursue. Yeah, I know you'll do it.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Jennifer Hawes said...

It's hard when your family is impacted by illness or disease. Best of luck to you! The words will come.

Nicola said...

What a super cause and a splendid way to spend money. Many congratulations on the anthology, Karen. You are a wonderful writer and such a lovely person too. Have a good week. Take care.

Bish Denham said...

I'm so glad whatever money you get from the book is going to the foundation. Having had an uncle who died from Parkinson's your gift and those of the contributors means a lot.

As for your writing... Sometimes we just need to take a break. The desire to write again will probably return, but don't sweat it. Enjoy the time to do other things.

Karen Walker said...

Em-Musing - yes, I used createspace through Amazon, as well as others like iTunes connect, Kobo and Nook. I hired someone to do the formatting for me because the formats are different for each of these things. L. Diane Wolfe (Spunk on a Stick) is fabulous at book formatting (I used her to format my memoir recently). I was very satisfied with my experience with createspace. The support team is fantastic.

Hilary, thanks. It feels wonderful to feel like I'm helping such an important thing like finding a cure.

Diane, I think you're right - thanks.

Yvonne - so nice to see you again - thank you!

Susanne, thanks - and I'm sorry but I could find your IWSG post on your blog to comment

Natalie, that makes sense - thanks so much

Nancy - thanks for the good advice - and I also couldn't find your IWSG post on your blog to comment.

Lee, hmm, I think you may be right. This is probably normal for me.

Jennifer, thanks for your kind words

Nicola, ahh, what sweet words - thank you, dear lady

Wish, Yes, I know - I'm learning not to sweat stuff like this and just allow whatever is to just be.

emaginette said...

Do what feels right for you. The rest will fall into place when it's supposed to. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

LD Masterson said...

It's funny, I'm hit that lull in my writing, as well.

By the way, I did a reading and discussion on Still Me at a local senior center last week. The group really got into the discussion. It was great.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have next to no urge to write anything new. Some people need to write their whole lives. Some of us just need to get a few things out and we're good to go.

Jacqui Murray said...

What a difficult decision--whether you've written what you need to. There will come a time in the next few years, when all of my already-written books are published, that I ask the same question. I'm subscribing to your blog so I can see if you come up with an answer.

Pat Garcia said...


You need time to come down from the high that you experienced and still are experiencing with Still Me...After All These Years.

The next book will come. Don't try to push it. Let yourself take a break before you start on something new.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

If you've always used writing as a way to make sense of your life, maybe you've simply reached the pinnacle of wisdom where your life now DOES make sense, and there's no need to dissect it any more.

Or maybe you just need a break. I'm guessing it's this one...

Nick Wilford said...

So glad the release went well and what a great cause to donate to. I guess something is telling you you need a break, so don't feel bad about having one! The urge to write always comes along sooner or later, I find.

Karen Walker said...

Emaginette , luckily I can only do what feels right to me at this point in my life - anything else and I'm in deep do do
LD, that's awesome. I've tried it at retirement communities and it didn't go so well re discussion- but I have a senior center event later this month - I'm hopeful
Alex, I really can't imagine not writing - for me or for you - but we'll see
Jacqui, thanks for subscribing - I'll be posting about this for sure
Pat, I know that's true - it will come if it's meant to
Susan, I do think it's the latter, but we'l see.
Nick, thank you - yes, I've definitely needed the break - we'll see what happens over next few months

Suzanne Furness said...

Your anthology is going to help such a good cause. If you are happy with life right now maybe a break from writing is the way. I'm sure your inner muse will let you know when they are ready to reappear. Best wishes.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm halfway through the anthology. Really a great selection of personal journeys.

Jemi Fraser said...

When I get overwhelmed with Real Life I find it difficult to find the necessary zest and energy for writing. Give yourself some time and follow your heart :)

Deb R.H. said...

It's a hard feeling when you're doing something productive that's not necessarily writing. Hang in there!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Karen -- the aging anthology helped kick off my new writing life which has now become possible because of a lot of reclaimed time. Thank you for that!

I think we all take a break from writing from time to time and for various reasons, but the writing life tends to lure us back inside eventually. I'll bet you will take your break...and then write something new.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I think it's pretty normal to need some space and time once one book comes out before jumping into another. I know I do, although I always take longer on my "breaks" than I think I should.

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations on your anthology and your generosity! (as Em said).
Sometimes I feel guilty or badly when I'm not writing, but we shouldn't! We just need time to refill the well, maybe read some inspiring books, get out in nature -- or try something different, like writing poetry.
Good luck with your book promotion!

Michelle Wallace said...

I was so happy when I won a copy of "Still Me...After All These Years" and I've started reading it.
Some great stuff...thought provoking.

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm where you are right now--people want me to participate in all these promotional things and I just need to WRITE to get some more books in the pipeline. It's tough to balance it all!

Romance Book Haven said...

Congratulations on your anthology!

Leena said...

That is a very kind thing to do - helping Parkinson's patients. I also know people with Parkinson's... Just saw a few weeks back this interesting video where a young woman had invented a brace of sorts a Parkinson's patient could wear on their arm and it counter-reacted to the shakes in the hand, stabilizing it so that the patient could write and draw as if there was no disease at all. It was amazing.

How about you try to begin writing your memoir in third person? Perhaps that might trigger your mind to writing mode?

Leena :)

Karen Walker said...

Thank yo so much, Leena, for these kind words

koi seo said...

if so, what format did you use? And are you satisfied?