Karen Whiting is an author, speaker, and media personality. A former contributor to Focus on the Family’s parenting magazine (Focus on Your Child), she is now a contributor to Suite101.com, writing articles about parenting and crafts.
Karen’s articles and books draw on her personal experience as a mother of five—and grandmother of eight. She shares humorous anecdotes, inspiration, and creative insight, encourages women to invest time in their families, and also writes inspirational craft books for ’tween girls.
You were a math major in college. What sparked your writing journey?
Motherhood! Actually I loved being creative as a child and had two special grandmothers that nurtured the creativity. So when I had my children I naturally used the creative talents and many people kept urging me to share my ideas through writing. As my children started growing up I went to a retreat to pray about writing and God gave me a vision and told me He wanted me to become a writer (not just one book). The next day, out of the blue, someone gave me a painting of the vision. When my oldest started college and the youngest began preschool I started to write (finally had time).
Besides your writing, has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in life that turned out to be positive?
My life is always full of detours. For someone who expected to live in her hometown—a small farming community—for life it’s been amazing to move around the country as a military wife.
How does your faith play into your work?
It’s a vital part as I always pray for inspiration and God always supplies the ideas. Of course I write about faith and the scriptures are woven into the fabric of my life and writing.
My Mini Dream Room lets girls get creative and make tiny furnishings and decorations for a dollhouse. This book goes beyond making crafts to relating the crafts to scriptures with sections called pebbles of wisdom and little thoughts (journaling prompts) that give them mini inspirational thoughts to ponder. Just as the crafts and book itself are small, so too the devotions are short and sweet—just enough to spark their faith.
What inspired the project?
My other inspirational craft books did very well so my editor wanted another. I thought back to my childhood. I recalled the fun of miniature crafts that sprang from being snowbound at the home of one of my grandmothers in mid-February. I lamented that her box of chocolates was empty, but she responded that it was quite full. She picked up the candy wrappers and said, “A doll skirt, a lampshade or maybe a table cloth.” We started brainstorming lots of ideas and then she gathered some supplies and we spent that day and the next creating pipe cleaner dolls and dollhouse furnishings. I kept creating dollhouse furnishings after that time with Grandma. Some things I invented then are in the book!
You also speak and teach on a number of topics, including time management. What’s your best quick piece of advice on this subject?
Keep a time diary for a few weeks to discover where you really spend your time and how long activities actually take. Then you can start to make time changes and wiser choices.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Hot cocoa. I love chocolate but this takes me more time and helps me unwind!
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
No musical talent—my husband had that. But I love a good fife and drum corps. My dad played in an ancient fife and drum corps for seventy-five years—they even took first place in the NY world’s fair in 1938-39.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A fast one—maybe a swing dance because I tend to move and do things fast.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’m a mix of a female Peter Pan who never wanted to grow up (my grandkids love me because I get down and play with them) and perhaps the mysterious woman in that I am always reflecting and looking deep into things.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I have my son’s cocker spaniel (son is in college) who is getting very old. She misses the men in her life—son at college and my husband who recently passed away—but she still likes to play with her toys.
Thanks, Karen. It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Karen, visit her website at http://www.karenwhiting.com.
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