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, April 30, 2014

Progress Report - Latest revision - done!!

I did it. I did it. I didn't think I could do it. But I did it. I think that's lyrics from some song but I can't think of what song or what show it was from because I'm jumping up and down and patting myself on the back. The third part of my novel didn't work. There was an emotional disconnect and I wasn't sure I could fix it. But a chance remark by my wonderful, fabulous, incredibly supportive husband gave me the key. I have submitted all the changes and rewrites to my editor and now I wait. Again. Tomorrow I am going to have rehearsal with Sugartime and go to dinner with friends in the evening. It will be next week before I hear back from my editor. That is fine. I can use the break.

Congratulations to all of those who participated in the A-Z challenge.  In the past, I have had great fun making new friends and trying to be creative with posts. I hope you all are satisfied with your outcomes.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Still changing after all these years

Paul Simon's song, Still Crazy After All These Years - has been on my mind. But I've changed crazy to changing. I was given an exercise to do last week - make a list of characteristics, personality traits, etc. that belong to me, my mother, and my father. It has been interesting to see what traits I learned from them and what are mine alone. I think the biggest one that is mine is that I have made it my life's work to overcome bad things that happened to me and to live my life being the best karen I can be. My parents were stuck in their stuff. Did nothing to improve their attitudes or behavior. And they were miserable. Makes me sad. I used to feel it was my job to make them happy. Now I know we can't make anyone else happy. We can only work on ourselves. I'm so glad I'm someone who wants to keep challenging myself to do and be better. So yes, still changing after all these years. With much gratitude, I might add. How about you?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Musings: plugging along

I am plugging along on my revisions. I think Part I is pretty close to being done. Part II is almost there. Part III needs a complete rework. Oy! I should have a good deal of time this week to work on it. I really want to get this round done and back to my editor before I leave for Europe in June. Did I tell you guys I'm going to Transylvania with a bunch of friends for a folk dance ethnographic tour. I can't imagine toddling around on a tour bus with 20 or so close friends--in Romania. Seeing Dracula's castle. Hubs and I will be going to the Amalfi Coast of Italy for 3 days prior to the dance tour. I'm pretty darned excited. So, I want to hand my manuscript to my editor before I go so I can completely let go of it while I'm gone. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Yikes I'm turning 65 in 2 days

I was very disturbed the past few months about turning 65 and going on Medicare. Old people are on Medicare -- not me. But then two things happened. One, I realized what a difficult life I have had and how I've worked so hard to overcome those hardships and now have a wonderful, blessed life. So I decided that I would be grateful that I made it 65 years, rather than being upset about the number.
Secondly, I saw a video on, I think it was the Ellen DeGeneres show, of an ob/gyn doc who got breast cancer. When it was time for her surgery, she gathered the surgical team together and asked them all to dance in the operating room before doing the procedure. When Ellen asked why she did that, she said, "Because when you are facing death, it is time to celebrate life."
My new mantra, folks. Because we are all facing death. We just don't know exactly when that is going to happen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Musings: revisions

Well, I got the feedback I have been waiting for from my editor. The good news is that the book is way better than it was. I did what he had hoped I would do. Only now it needs more. The "bad" news is the third section is weak and I either have to figure out how to make it as strong as the first two parts or I have to go back to square one with what the story is for that part. I'm doing the easier stuff first -the technical things like fixing tenses, adding description, making sure dialogue is believable. That last part--I have to do some deep meditating on what is needed. Right now I wish everything else in my life would recede so I could just focus on this. It's all I want to do is write write write.
How about you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Blessings for things I never thought would be

Today I am filled with gratitude for all the blessings in my life that I never thought would happen.

  • To be in a loving, healthy, wonderful marriage for 18 years.
  • To have a loving, healthy relationship with my son.
  • To be at a very healthy, good weight and to feel good about how I look (at almost 65, no less)
  • To be financially secure
  • To be able to travel
  • To have written and published a memoir and now to have written a novel.
  • To be singing and dancing for older folks in retirement communities.
  • To have a wonderful community of loving friends
  • To feel strong and comfortable inside my own skin
  • To feel good about who I am
  • To be on a spiritual journey that has given me more inner peace than I could ever have imagined
How about you? Are there blessings in your life you never thought you'd have?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Musings: Waiting for feedback

So I gave my novel to my editor and two beta readers last Thursday and now I wait. I'm not really nervous, though. Not sure why. My anxiety level around several major things in my life has dropped considerably and it is such a blessing. Usually waiting is the hardest thing. I am very impatient. Instead, I am beginning to think about the next step. Once the book is written, what next. I spent the last few days researching how to write a synopsis. I will do that. I will draft a query letter. I will research publishing houses. I will try to fit my novel into a particular genre, although I'm not sure it fits nicely into any one particular genre. Okay, I'm beginning to get overwhelmed, so I will stop musing for now...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Another revision finished - yippee!!

Just put the finishing touches on my latest revision. 50,650 words. Yup, it's a real novel. Just sent this version to my editor and two beta readers. Yup, moving right along. If nothing else ever happens with this book, I can still say to myself, "You did it.You wrote a novel. Something you'd never ever thought you'd do." Yup. I'm struttin' and patting self on back. And dancing for joy.
Thanks to all of you for the support and encouragement.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Telling the Truth Tuesday: Jigsaw puzzles

I have become addicted to jigsaw puzzles. For the last few years I have been addicted to Spider Solitaire. It is my gift to myself when I finish a writing session. There is something about working the game that clears my mind like nothing else. For some, exercise might do it, but it doesn't for me. My mind still chatters while exercising. But Spider and jigsaw puzzles take and keep my focus and attention and I become very relaxed. The feeling of satisfaction when the last piece of the 2000 word puzzle fits in is bliss. I have come to realize that life is like a jigsaw puzzle. We are moving towards the whole, filling in the pieces as we go. I used to feel like I was full of holes that I had to fill in. Now I see the whole picture with just a few missing pieces. That, too, feels blissful.
How about you?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Musings: being understood

There is nothing in the world like feeling some emotion that maybe you're struggling to figure out yourself and you begin to talk to a dear dear friend about it and through the course of the discussion, you understand what it is you are feeling and trying to say and lo and behold the dear dear friend you are talking to understands as well.  That is a feeling that is worth a million dollars.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group - April

Once again, it is time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. It is when writers in this incredibly supportive blogging community come together to share their writing war stories.

My post from yesterday could have served as my entry today. I am terrified about tackling publishing after I finish writing my novel. This from someone with 30+ years marketing experience. It is what I did before I retired. Not book publishing. But marketing and public relations, so I know my way around promotion. But it is so different when you must do it for yourself. I am so uncomfortable acknowledging any kinds of accomplishments that when I think about saying  - here I am, I wrote this book, please buy it, it makes me cringe.

I know I will get to a place where I can make myself do whatever is I need to do to get this book out in the world because I've worked too hard for too long not to. But oh how I dread it.

How about you?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Telling the truth Tuesday: I'm terrified

I can see light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the writing of my novel. Not sure how much more time it will take, but I know it's months, not years. That means thinking about publishing. And that terrifies me.  When I finished my memoir, I spent 2 1/2 years trying to find an agent. I wasn't successful. I didn't know about small publishing houses back then and that you could approach them directly. I thought you had to have an agent. When I couldn't find one, I decided to self-publish. I hired my own editors, then paid for services through the company I chose. I have no regrets. My book  is beautifully done, very professional, it received distribution in bookstores, etc. All print copies are sold. That was 2009.

Since then I have been writing this novel - my first foray into fiction. Since then I have aged 5 years. Since then I have developed some challenging health issues. Frankly, I read all of your posts about the things you are doing to promote your books and want to run away screaming.

I still haven't decided whether to try the agent route again, solicit small publishing houses, or cut to the chase and self-publish once again. Can I just find someone to do this part for me?