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, July 5, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group - July

Congratulations to all those who administer the website for this awesome group and to Alex alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating the group in the first place. It has been voted one of the top websites for writers. It is a safe, wonderful place to share our angst, our fears, as well as our joys and successes. Awesome!







I have one more book event for my anthology,"Still Me...After All These Years." It's at a senior center and it's in August. After that, I'm not sure what else I'll do to promote the book. The return in terms of book sales for the energy and effort that is put out to do an event...well, let's say I'm not sure it's worth it. I'm really beginning to question whether I'll be writing any more books. My life is going to change dramatically this winter - I'm going to become a first-time grandma - to twins. They live on the other side of the country and I have a feeling I'll be traveling quite a bit back and forth. My singing duo, Sugartime, takes up quite a bit of my time and energy - we practice three times a week, two hours a time, plus do 2-3 gigs per month.

I haven't felt compelled to write anything for the memoir idea that came to me a while back. It's not writers' block. It's not anything negative. I just haven't felt that inner urge to get things down on paper. It's so odd, because writing has always been my "go to" when thoughts are churning and I need to make some sense out of them.

But the truth is, I feel calm inside. It doesn't mean things don't come up that churn my insides, but I have new tools and new ways of responding to those things, so I don't remain agitated for long. Calm is a completely new paradigm for me. Hmm, as I'm writing this post, I'm realizing that my idea for that memoir, to write the story of how I shifted from PTSD to calm perhaps is something worthwhile. I will ponder some more. In the meantime...

where are you in this wonderful journey of life?
Blessings,
Karen

Sunday, June 18, 2017

happy book lovers



Rosie, Holly, Jill, Me, and Maureen
Five of the 24 authors in "Still Me...After All These Years" presenting at Bookworks, our fabulous independent bookstore in Albuquerque.

 I told the story of how the anthology came to be.


Maureen talking about "Aging Into Orphanhood"



our very attentive audience

Holly telling how she's "Marking Time"

Jill discusses the "X" factor

Rosie hates gray - loves color!


We had a lively and inspiring discussion after the presentation with these lovely folks.


me showing the pic of me on the cover tap dancing at six years old 




Most of the folks attending bought the book, but for me, the most gratifying thing was women coming up to us to thank us for writing the book. They feel alone with their thoughts and concerns about aging and the essays in the book let them know they are not alone.


Makes me know that following my heart and writing what my heart and soul seem to want simply feels wonderful when you hear that you've touched someone else's heart with your words.

Blessings,
Karen




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Insecure Writers Support Group - June

The months are flying by too fast. It was May's turn yesterday, right? Oy! Thanks once again to Alex www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for creating this awesome group and for making it so fabulous. Check out his blog for all the details on how to participate.







I am a teensy weensy bit insecure this month. I've been promoting my anthology, "Still Me...After All These Years" at retirement communities and it's not being received very well. There just seems to be no interest. The only thing I can think of is that most of the folks who live there are already in their eighties and nineties. They are at the end of this journey of life and just don't seem to care about what others have to say about that journey. When I speak to folks in their 60s and 70s, though, there is interest, so I really misjudged who my target audience is.

I've done one event at a senior center. It went very well, except that it was a very small audience. The people who attended were attentive and some actually purchased the book. We even had a good discussion about aging, so this probably is the target audience.

There is an event scheduled at a bookstore later this month - they've sold all but one of the books that have been on display and we haven't had the event yet, so I'm hopeful.

In all of this, my biggest lesson is to let go. All I have control over is presenting the information, not the results. Thank you Al-Anon for that wonderful slogan: Take the action, let go of the results. And Let go and let God.

I have created a fundraising event as part of the "Still Me...After All These Years" project - ALL PROCEEDS FROM SALES of the anthology are being donated toThe Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. You don't have to purchase the book to donate, however. Here's the link to help.
https://fundraise.michaeljfox.org/karenhelenewalker

Blessings to you all
Karen


Sunday, May 21, 2017

never thought I'd be a video character

Ha. Me and my fellow "Mario" dancers from Marshall Performing Arts dance recital Saturday night


Can you spot me?
Blessings,
Karen

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?
Blessings
Karen

Friday, April 21, 2017

Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research - how to help

Yippee - it's official. I have created a Team Fox fundraising page as part of the "Still Me...After All These Years" project - ALL PROCEEDS FROM SALES of the anthology will be donated to MJFF. You don't have to purchase the book to donate, however. Here's the link to help.
https://fundraise.michaeljfox.org/karenhelenewalker
Blessings to you all
Karen

Saturday, April 8, 2017

launch celebration Friday night

That morning I'd made a decision to donate all proceeds from the sale of "Still Me...After All These Years" to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

celebration cake at launch party

From left to right: Karen N., Rosie H., me, Maureen P. Jill P, Maryfrank S, Kathleen M., Mark David G, and Wendy B. 9 of the 12 local authors in the anthology

The 50 people who attended were very generous. I sold all the books I'd brought. People didn't even want change, because the money was going to such a good cause. Best decision I ever made.

Blessings
Karen