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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Home again

Hi everybody,
Hope all is well in bloggydom. We had a magical time in Guatemala. I will be posting pictures very soon. Just wanted to bop in to say we're home safe and sound.

Please leave me a comment and let me know what is going on in your world - did I miss anything spectacular while I was gone?


Friday, November 16, 2012

Central America Here I Come

I'm going to have to leave you guys for a little while. Hubby and I are going to Guatemala for a family wedding.  I want to leave you with a quote from Christina Aguilera. She was speaking to one of her team members from The Voice who got eliminated. She said, "Don't ever let anyone else's opinion define who you are." Enough said!

Be well, everyone, and I'll catch up when we return, sometime after Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Learn how to show versus tell from a great writer

Click to add me to Goodreads!
Have you been told there's a little too much telling in your novel? Want to remedy it? Then this is the book for you!

In Show & Tell in a Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Telling to Showing you will find sixteen real scenes depicting a variety of situations, emotions, and characteristics which clearly demonstrate how to turn telling into showing. Dispersed throughout, and at the back of the book, are blank pages to take notes as you read. A few short writing prompts are also provided.

Not only is this pocket guide an excellent learning tool for aspiring writers, but it is a light, convenient, and easy solution to honing your craft no matter how broad your writing experience. Keep it in the side pocket of your school bag, throw it in your purse, or even carry it around in the pocket of your jeans or jacket, to enhance your skills, keep notes, and jot down story ideas, anywhere, anytime.

If you purchase the e-book, you will be armed with the convenient hyper-linked Contents Page, where you can toggle backward and forward from different scenes with ease. Use your e-reader's highlighting and note-taking tools to keep notes instead.

The author, Jessica Bell, also welcomes questions via email, concerning the content of this book, or about showing vs. telling in general, at showandtellinanutshell@gmail.com

“Jessica Bell addresses one of the most common yet elusive pieces of writing advice—show, don't tell—in a uniquely user-friendly and effective way: by example. By studying the sixteen scenes she converts from “telling” into “showing,” not only will you clearly understand the difference; you will be inspired by her vivid imagery and dialogue to pour through your drafts and do the same.” ~Jenny Baranick, College English Teacher, Author of Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares
“A practical, no-nonsense resource that will help new and experienced writers alike deal with that dreaded piece of advice: show, don’t tell. I wish Bell’s book had been around when I started writing!” ~Talli Roland, bestselling author

Purchase the paperback:
$4.40 on Amazon US
£3.99 on Amazon UK

Purchase the e-book:
$1.99 on Amazon US
£1.99 on Amazon UK
$1.99 on Kobo

About the Author:
The Australian-native contemporary fiction author and poet, Jessica Bell, also makes a living as an editor and writer for global ELT publishers (English Language Teaching), such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

She is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and co-hosts the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek Isle of Ithaca, with Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest.

For more information about Jessica Bell, please visit: 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Musings: Getting Clear

There is nothing like good friends. Friends who listen with their hearts and not their heads. Friends who know you inside and out and can help you see your way clear when things get muddled. I have several such friends and, without them, I don't know where I'd be.

I've been struggling with friends whom I love dearly telling me I look skinny, or like a waif, or some other comment that hurts me. Perhaps they are just not used to seeing me this way. I don't really know. But at this point, I don't really care.

I've struggled with how to respond. First, I sent an email asking people not to comment on my weight. That didn't work. It's still happening. A friend suggested something, but I couldn't remember what she said, so that didn't feel right either.

Then, after a long talk with a friend who has no issues with how I look, I got clear. What I realized is that for the first time in my entire life (and that's 63 years, folks), I like what I see in the mirror. I am truly and deeply soul happy with my body - how it looks - but especially how it feels. This is where my body was meant to be. It is home.

So, the next time someone tells me I'm too skinny, what I am going to say is, "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I am happier than I've ever been and feel great as well. Period. Nothing else needs to be said.

How about you? How do you respond when good friends say hurtful things, even if it's not intended to hurt?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lightening Up - finally!

Most of you know I sing in a trio - Sugartime - at retirement communities, senior centers, and special events. Most of you also know I don't feel particularly confident in my singing ability. But I have come a long way from being paralyzed from stage fright to getting out there and having fun. Until Tuesday, if I made a mistake while singing, I gave myself a very hard time and it affected the whole rest of our performance. But Tuesday, first I sang the wrong verse on a song. I just kept going, didn't give it a second thought. Then my partner on my right didn't follow my lead on where we should stand. I was supposed to step back a step and the other two remain slightly in front of me. But every time I stepped back, she stepped back, too. Then I got a hairball in my throat. I just cracked up. Right in front of everyone. And you know what. They laughed with me. Later, when one of us forgot the lyrics, I said, "oops, we're having a senior moment here."

If we can laugh at ourselves, that is the key to all our perfectionistic tendencies. Because the truth is, no one is perfect. It isn't achievable. One of the vocal coaches on The Voice said it so succinctly when he asked the contestant, "Did you leave your heart on the stage? If the answer is yes, nothing else matters."

Well, the same is true in our lives. If we leave our hearts wherever we are and with whomever we are with, nothing else matters.

How about you?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - November

This post is for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a creation of Ninja Captain Alex.http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. Thanks, Alex, for this forum to share our feelings about writing.

Sometimes I wish I wasn't a writer. I would have much less angst. I could just enjoy retirement and not worry about whether I wrote today or yesterday or beat myself up for allowing two weeks to go by without writing a new word on my novel. But then I remember that is part of the process. There are times when the words don't come because my unconscious is working and is not ready to spill forth its wisdom. And if I wasn't a writer, whatever else I'd choose would have its own issues which would, undoubtedly, cause angst as well. So I might as well accept angst as part of my DNA and get on with it.
How about you?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - VOTE



Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Musings: Pondering

Sometimes we get sick because it is the only way we stop. Sometime in this lifetime I am going to learn to stop without hurting myself in anyway. Because when I stop, that is when wisdom comes.

While down with my sinus infection, I re-read some of my journal entries over the past six months. over and over again, the message is clear. My spiritual work right now is to write the book I am working on. So I am pondering why it is often the last priority on my list. I am pondering why doing something that fulfills me is so difficult.

I know the answers will come. They always do. If I simply stop. And listen. To. My. Heart.

How about you?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Back in the saddle again

Whew! Home from the Pacific Northwest. Lovely trip, but the weather was, well, typical Oregon weather. Rain, gloomy clouds, and more rain. But oh, the lush green forests and the ocean energy. Of course, it was raining so hard, I could barely see the ocean, but who cares. I had a lovely time with my friends and came home with a suitcase full of new clothes. Yippee! And a sinus infection. Yuck!

How are you all doing? Tell me what's up with you?