Tag Archives: Julie Andrews


Yep, it’s me.

We are at the brink of winter with cooler temperatures.

14942170017_4acdcb505e_z (Photo Curtesy of Kevin Schaer)
Time to get out the sweaters, hot cocoa, scarfs, parkas and boots people. (Yay!). It’s exciting. Especially here in the Sonoran Desert since this means we’ve made it through another hot, scorching summer.

Let’s hear another big “Yay” for that one!

I. Am. Thrilled.

Meanwhile, what have I been up to?

Well, that’s a good question.

It seems this girl finally got her act together and polished up the manuscript enough to send it out to beta readers. Now, considering I’m a beta virgin, I took every precaution necessary so the reader would not be thrown out of the story.

That doesn’t mean it’s perfect! I do realize things could get a bit ugly around here. I don’t expect it to come back to me without being tattered and bruised.

Yet, I did hear from my first beta reader earlier this week. (Yay!) It made my day. My whole day actually since the message came on my 40th wedding anniversary. It was a cause for celebration all on its own.

I thought I’d share the highlights from my first response. What do you think? Would you like to know what was said?

I thought so.

Okay, here it goes…

“I really wanted to read your story, because I always enjoy your voice on your blog, etc.”

That’s cool!

As a writer, you always hope that your words come across in the manner in which they are intended. Of course, there is this small matter known as “subjective.” Everyone has their own likes and dislikes where entertainment is concerned. So to find someone who actually likes my voice is remarkable. (Yay!)

Here’s the rest of what was said…

“You have a lovely story here. I have to agree with Marcy (the editor), the tone does remind me of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ And I also got the Debbie Macomber vibe as well. Your writing really evokes your setting and the time period, I especially got a beach vibe. I can “see” the entire story. I read in three nights, probably would have finished sooner had my Kindle cooperated!! Congrats, Karen! I know this has been a labor of love, I really like what you’ve done here.”

I. Am. Thrilled.

Let’s hear another big Yay for that one!

Who knew?

So the very next night, hubby and I watched the Adele concert on TV. We happened to like Adele. Maybe not everything Adele. But for the most part, we like her voice and style of music.

Here’s the kicker: It had been four years since Adele had been in concert here in the U.S. Lots of things have happened since her last performance. She had a baby and has a new boyfriend. But she also had surgery on her vocal cords.

I think we all remember how well that turned out for Julie Andrews, right?

So this made Adele beyond terrified. She mentioned the surgery had influenced her range of pitch. She could now sing higher highs and lower lows. Which in her case worked to her advantage. So (yay), things came out better than anticipated. Still, she expressed relief that she had made it through her concert without breaking down.

Oh, there were a few tears, mind you. I cannot conceive the pressure that woman must have felt while she grappled for any measure of composure during each song. Yet, at the end, when she walked off stage, she threw herself into her boyfriend’s arms as she entered the elevator and cried.

I just know I’ll react the same way.

At this point, I am not expecting the rest of my betas to come back with the same result. No, that would be just a little too perfect. IYKWIM. *wink*

And that makes me nervous. Though I’m determined to keep pressing forward no matter the outcome, tears and all that goes with it.

Like Adele.


Yep, it’s me.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start singing. But you may enjoy watching this.

So what do you think? Are you ready for Old Man Winter? How do you feel about Adele and her music? What is your writing process? Do you participate in a critique group? How does the Beta process work for you and what’s been the response from your feedback?

You have my sympathies my friends! This is all quite stressful. I’m taking lots of deep breaths.

Cheers everyone! I hope that life is treating you well. And, as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!


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Hush, Hush…Voices Carry

After just writing a post about kicking and screaming, you can imagine how dumbfounded I was when I learned of a woman who had lost her voice for almost thirty years. Okay, I guess it’s true—you could communicate by written word or sign language, yet have you ever thought of what it would be like to not have a voice?

Most times when we think of someone with a sensory disability we immediately assume it has to do with loss of hearing or perhaps blindness. But think how frustrating it would be to lose the ability to use one’s own voice.

Now I know to some, like my Husband or my two sons, they probably would’ve loved for me at some point in my life to have lost my voice. LOL!!! Ah, the thought of no one to argue with, no one to tell my two son’s to get up in the morning, to get ready for school, to brush their teeth, to clean their rooms, to do their homework, to feed the dog. Well you get my point.

But can you imagine that one day after a year of marriage you suddenly lose your voice? You lose the ability to hear yourself speak, to hear yourself sing, to hear your own laughter.

However that is what happened to a woman named Betty Lou Trufant, a resident of Westbrook, Maine in 1982 after contracting a strange virus. It was the virus that had caused her vocal cords to become paralyzed, thus her inability to speak, laugh or sing.

This brings to mind the tragic story of Julie Andrews and how her beautiful ability to sing was affected or more recently country music singer Shania Twain or British soulful songstress Adele.

Think about it. A voice is one instrument you cannot purchase at a music store!

Betty Lou was resigned to live this way for the rest of her life until she watched a segment of the news about a woman in a similar situation who had regained her voice after four months by getting throat massages at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Encouraged by this news, Betty Lou travelled to the clinic to see if doctors could also find a remedy for her. Once there, she was told that a massage wouldn’t be enough to cure her, but there was an operation that would enable her to speak again and that she could even sing!

The decision was made, and after an hour and twenty minute procedure, she was back to full health able to talk, laugh and sing at full volume for the first time in over 29 years and now has a new lease on life with her voice restored to its former glory!

How might we relate to this? Well as writers we might liken it to being stricken with writer’s block. Like a virus, our writer’s voice suddenly disappears. Some may scoff at this idea saying there is no such thing. But like a virus, our minds can become infected by negative thoughts that can leave us paralyzed if unattended. Yet we can be thankful this is only a temporary condition, for our voices carry.

So what do you think? Many of us may have had at one time or another a form of laryngitis, but could you ever imagine living without a voice or as a writer being paralyzed, not able to put down all your thoughts onto the page? What would you do? Would you allow a disability to inhibit your enjoyment out of life and just give up or would you be able to have the mindset to push forward?

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Thank you for your many thoughts and kind comments everyone!


A big thanks to all my new WANA friends and all others that may grace my presence by visiting this post. Take care and make it a great day!

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