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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

a thought about aging...

Most of you know I'm putting together an anthology about aging. It is a complex, complicated, difficult subject. People don't want to think about it. People don't want to talk about it let alone write about it. But the subject is rich and I find myself thinking about it more and more in my day to day life.

One thing keeps happening over and over again that reminds me in a most bizarre way that I'm old.
Notice I said old--not older. Last night hubby and I went to a concert at Popejoy Hall, the theater on our university campus. We have season tickets to the Broadway ovation series, so I'm used to seeing "older" adults at those performances. But last night we went to see The Australian Bee Gees -- a group out of Las Vegas doing a tribute to the Bee Gees. When we arrived at our seats, I turned to watch the throngs enter. "What the heck are these folks on walkers and in wheelchairs and with canes doing at a Bee Gees concert?" I said to hubs. "Will they even know these songs?"

That's the kicker right there. Of course they came to hear those songs because those are their songs, just as they are mine. They're my age, or close to it. Those of us who came of age in the sixties and seventies when rock n' roll was the soundtrack of the Viet Nam war, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's movement.

What is it about aging that allows us to forget how old we are until we are jolted into a reminder like I had last night. But once the music started, did I care? Did it stop me from getting out into the aisle and dancing as if I were twenty again? It did not.

So somebody please explain how this happens? How what we feel on the inside can be so different from what everyone sees on the outside. It's weird to see old people with white hair rocking out to the music, but I wouldn't trade weird for anything. I'll take it, "Stayin' Alive."

Blessings,
Karen


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group - February

Oops, I almost missed this - I didn't even realize it was February until I started looking at other people's blogs. Sigh! Oh well, I am working on an anthology on aging, after all. Ha!

Today is the day writers in the blogosphere share their thoughts about their writing lives, thanks to the Ninja Captain Alex: www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com. Please visit Alex's blog for all the details of how to participate.

I am happy to say I am not insecure this month. I am jazzed. The anthology is nearly done. I am awaiting one last submission--all others have been vetted and edited, bios collected and edited and approved. The book has moved into the design phase. The cover is being revised based on very valuable feedback from knowledgeable friends who said the original book cover would NOT entice them to buy the book. Duh!! I was targeting 80 something people and forgetting those in their sixties and seventies. Lesson learned - really think hard about your target audience and make sure your cover will appeal to anyone who might be interested - don't limit yourself with your cover image.

This project is an absolute labor of love. It is filled with wise, heart-warming, poignant, sometimes hilarious stories and poems -- all about a very difficult subject -- being older. Notice I didn't say old. I hate that word.

Anyway, I'm hoping the book will be out perhaps early March. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime,

Blessings
Karen

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group - January

Here we are. Our first IWSG for 2017. Thank you Alex: http://www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating this group and keeping it going. For those who don't know, here is a place where we can share our process and get support wherever we are on our writerly journey. Please visit Alex's blog for all the info on how to join.






I'm not feeling insecure. Yeah!!! My one and only intention for 2017 is to get physically strong. I realized that if my body isn't healthy and strong, than nothing else I want to accomplish will be possible, so I joined a gym, hired a trainer whom I will work with for a year, and hopefully, that will get my body as strong as it can possibly be. I don't want bodybuilding kind of muscles. Just strength and flexibility so that as I age I can take care of myself in the best way possible.

How this ties in with writing? Energy! I need to feel vital. I choose vitality, not sitting on the couch watching movies all the time when I'm not writing or singing or dancing. I need energy for everything I want to do. And if my body's not feeling strong and healthy, I don't have energy to do everything I want to do.

I'll leave you with my first experience at the gym. I did a water aerobics class. I didn't wear my glasses in the pool. I left them in the locker. When the class was over, I walked into the locker room. Three men stood there and covered their private parts. I stood in shock for a few seconds asking myself, "What's wrong with this picture." Then I realized what I'd done and turned around and walked back into the pool area. The women in the pool all applauded me. I laughed and walked into the women's locker room, thinking if that's the worst that happens to me at the gym, I'll be all right. What's kept me from joining a gym in the past is fear of hurting myself.

What about you?
Blessings
Karen

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

I truly can't believe it's the holiday seasons. I know we've had Thanksgiving, but I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that it's almost Christmas, which means it's almost New Year's, which means it's almost the end of the year. Yikes. Where did the time go?

During this crazily busy time of year, I want to take a moment and pause. I want to take a deep breath. I want to remember to connect with Spirit as often as I can. I want to feel peace in my heart instead of fear. I want to remember that THIS TOO SHALL PASS, no matter what it is we are struggling with. I want to remember that most peoples' intentions are good, even if they don't know how to communicate well and hurt our feelings. I want to remember to pray for peace in the hearts and minds of each and every one of us on the planet. I want to pray that our country comes together as a community and not a land so divided by state borders and North and South and black and white and Christian and Jewish and Muslim and whatever.

I wish you peace. I wish you love. I wish you joy. I wish you success, however you define it.

Many many blessings to you and yours
Karen

Monday, December 12, 2016

new computer

Sorry for the garbled post yesterday. Half the keyboard on my computer stopped working. Now I have a spiffy new, much lighter, much faster computer. There are a few glitches to work out, but I'm hopeful by end of today things will be back to normal.
Blessings,
karen

Sunday, December 11, 2016

omputr problm

kyboar problm
no posting till problem gone

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group - December

I'm feeling more insecure than I have in a long time. I've written for more than 30 years, but I've never put together an anthology before. Never had to decide what goes in, what doesn't. Never had to tell someone their writing needs work.

I made all these decisions, then sent the chosen pieces to the editor I've worked with for years. I respect his opinions and advice and suggestions. He sent me his notes and I missed the part that said they were for my eyes only and proceeded to send the notes to the authors. Bad bad bad on my part. I'm pretty sure I told the authors I would be hiring an editor, so I thought they'd be prepared for critiques after I told them their piece was accepted. I wasn't prepared for the editor's response to some of them and I totally mishandled how to maneuver through this part of the process.

Lessons Learned:
1. Never try to do work like this when you are in pain - I threw my back out last week and can hardly move, so I don't think I'm thinking too clearly. Because clearly, if I was, I would not have made such a stupid mistake.
2. Before doing anything, pause. Take a breath. Make sure what you're about to do is for the highest good of all concerned. Then find loving, gentle ways of expressing what you need to express.
3. Understand that when you tackle a project that you've never done before, there is a learning curve and you need to be gentle with yourself.
4. Trust that everything happens for a reason. As hard as things have been in my life, I've always come through and learned something important.

SIGH!

Blessings,
Karen