Author Karen Fisher-Alaniz

Starting Over at Mid-life

Karen Fisher-Alaniz

Karen Fisher-Alaniz


When I applied to 8 Women Dream, I never really seriously thought I’d be accepted. When I was invited to join the 7 amazing women, I was ecstatic. But then the excitement subsided and reality set in. Being one of the eight meant sharing my story, my life, in a very public way. Was I really ready to expose myself that way? What would be the purpose?

After lots of prayer, contemplation, long walks, and soul searching, I decided that not only was this the right thing to do, it was also the right time to do it. My life has changed so profoundly in the past few years. I’ve done a lot of healing and a lot of looking deep inside at who I’d become and who I aspired to be. But it’s still early in the process for me. If my life were compared to a cocoon/butterfly, I was still in the cocoon, in that sloppy-in-between stage. I’m not quite a butterfly but not fully encapsulated in a hard cocoon either.

And it’s in that state that I come to you now.

Over the next year, I will be sharing my life with you. That life includes; a writing life, a 100-year old house, an overgrown garden, three grown children, one beautiful (of course) grandbaby, a mid-life divorce, and a social life that could use some work. By sharing what’s going on in my life, my hope is that it will resonate with you, my readers and that you’ll trust me enough to share some of your stories too.

I can’t speak for all women, but I can speak for myself. I’ve kept quiet for far too long and I’ve a feeling I’m not the only one. Somewhere along the way I lost something important; my voice. I know it’s there somewhere. It might be hidden. It might be buried under layers of crap. It might have become very small. But I know it’s there and this is the year that I will uncover it.  This is the year that I will find my real and authentic voice. This applies to both my personal life and to my writing life. I will be heard.

Starting my life over at 50 isn’t easy.

But it is an adventure that I’m embracing with all I am. One of the first choices I had to make was where to live. A few months ago, I moved into my 100-year old craftsman style home. At times I’m so proud of myself and other times, I’m scared to death. If I make payments as scheduled, I’ll pay it off when I’m 81-years old! So, as I rebuild my life and find my voice, I’m also making this old house, a home.

This house isn’t just any old house; this is my old house. And it isn’t just any old life waiting to be lived; it’s my life.

Author Karen Fisher-Alaniz: Starting Over at midlife house


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My memoir, Breaking the Code: a Father’s Secret, a Daughter’s Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything (Sourcebooks, 2011) can be found on Amazon, and at all major retailers. It is available in all formats. Breaking the Code A Father's Secret a Daughter's Journey and the Question That Changed Everything book

My latest stories on 8 Women Dream:

  • Dealing with the Unexpected – the Chapter Synopsis’ and the Flaming Mouse Expect the Unexpected Crazy things happen. Difficulties multiply. Life has a way of pouring everything on at once. When I imagined having the life of a writer, I pictured a pretty little antique desk in front of a window that overlooked the lovely change of seasons. I saw a cup of tea on the desk, stacks ...
  • Dealing with the Unexpected – The Curious Incident of the Floating Mouse I miss my ex-husband. I’m sure that expressing that breaks every Independent-Woman-After-Divorce-Law there is. But before you send me hate mail or advise me to get back together with him, let me explain. The division of labor during our 31-year marriage was fairly typical. He mowed the lawn once a week during the summer and I did ...
  • Preparing for Winter: This Old House and Me What a difference a year makes! I love the change of seasons. Here in Eastern Washington, we’re blessed with a beautiful autumn season that leads into relatively mild winters – cold but not too much snow. Seasons come and go and without a plan on how you’ll go about preparing for them, that’s all they’ll do ...
  • Rules for Online Dating Profiles Dating, courtship, love, lust and how to navigate dating sites So, here’s the deal – the last time I was in the market for a man, I was 17 years old. I was a junior in high school, and I met a cute guy at a party. Skip to THE END – we got married two ...
  • Dating After Midlife Divorce My First Date in 35-Years I did it. I went on a date. I didn’t even want to date; didn’t even plan to. So, what happened? Well, it’s complicated. First of all, the guy from the dating site was persistent and he didn’t really ask me like this, “Do you want to go on a date?” It ...
  • Career Planning and the Slow Writer Career Planning and the Slow Writer My first book, Breaking the Code, took almost ten years to write. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it. But let’s break it down to find out the truth. First a little background: The subject of my memoir is my father, a WWII veteran. When I was growing up, he told only select stories ...
  • Kill the Perfectionist: An Open Letter to my Writer Friends It started with an email. My friend, a writer, wrote to ask me if I wanted to join her in going to a writer’s conference. My answer surprised even me. That was the foundation for this blog post. If you’re a writer who is struggling to finish that book you know you were meant to ...
  • Inspired by the Words of Women I like words. As a writer, I spend my days with words. It never ceases to amaze me that by taking a few words, putting them in a particular order, you can inspire someone to action, or move them to tears. Our words are our most precious commodity. I’m often inspired by what women have ...
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Karen Fisher-Alaniz is a freelance writer and published author. She holds a master's degree in education and taught special education for 14-years. She is a frequent speaker on veteran's issues, and teaches workshops on memoir writing. She teaches a life story writing course at her local community college. At midlife, she found herself dealing with health issues, divorce, and the loss of a job she loved. She shares her journey of starting over at midlife on 8 Women Dream every Sunday morning. Her dream is to build a writing life, and find her writing voice, while restoring her 100-year old home. She dreams of writing best-selling books in her own voice. Karen lives in the pacific northwest with her family.
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