Meet Karen DeBonis
I'm so glad you're here! In addition to being a writer and author, I'm a gardener, old house DIY-er, empty-nest mother, wife, introvert, and napper, in no particular order. And that's just the tip of the Karen iceberg. Let me know how you and I "click." I'd love to hear from you!
I thought I was ready for motherhood. I had years of experience as a big sister and babysitter. I had unconditionally loving parents as role models and a devoted husband I called my “rock.” I had a degree in psychology, with numerous child development courses under my belt. Love and limits and stability at home, I had believed, would ensure my children were happy and healthy. I would be that powerful a mom.
But my resume of experience had not prepared me for Matthew.
Love does not conquer all, I quickly discovered. My overflowing heart didn’t cure Matthew’s colic or hyperactivity or his year of oppositional behavior. I also discovered that being exclusively nice (a euphemism for people-pleasing) did not make the world return the favor.
At eight, Matthew developed an eye-rolling tic. I would later describe his “ocular Ferris Wheel” as the “beginning of the end of the old Matthew.” He’d never be the same. Nor would I. Parenting a sick child pushed me to the limits of what I was capable of as a mother, but I survived. I grew stronger.
Motherhood is one of life’s greatest teachers.
I was slow to learn its lessons, but now I have a memoir to tell the whole story.
In spring 2023, my story will be a book you can savor from cover to cover, but for now, you can read my essays and posts about personal growth, motherhood in hindsight, and people-pleasing--my Achilles Heel. To see them, click on “blog” in the menu bar.
Better yet, subscribe by entering your email and I'll send you the first chapter! (You’ll receive a confirmation email, so please check your junk mail folder if you don’t see it.)
Feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear how you and I “clicked.”
In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!
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Karen DeBonis has a thirty-year career in health promotion, involving public speaking, media appearances, group facilitation, teaching, and program development. Twenty years ago, after her eleven-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she added writing to her resume. Those early pages are now an inspirational memoir about persevering through motherhood adversity.
Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived is forthcoming in spring 2023 by Apprentice House Press.
As Karen’s writing emerged, so did her mission to become emboldened and to create space to embolden others. To that end, she teaches and facilitates programs, found here on her website.
Karen expands her reach through her blog, website, social media presence, and published essays. Her bylines include the NY Times, HuffPost, and numerous literary journals. In addition, she writes a quarterly essay for Writers in the Storm, an award-winning blog, and has been featured on podcasts and interviews.
A happy empty-nester with her husband of forty years, Karen lives, writes, gardens, and naps in upstate New York. You can find out more about her at www.KarenDeBonis.com.
- Meals are Bland, Life is Good. The New York Times, a Tiny Love Story. (This essay also appeared in the print edition on 11/15/21.)
- My Son, the Homeowner. The New York Times, a Tiny Love Story. (In 2020, this essay also appeared in the anthology Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less.)
- A Tale of Two Tumors. Awarded an honorable mention in the Hudson Valley Writers Guild 2021 Non-fiction Contest.
- I Do Random Acts Of Kindness To Brighten Strangers' Lives — But There's A Twist. HuffPost.
- I Almost Passed Out Getting My Mammogram. Here's what Saved Me the Following Year. Insider.
- Locked Inside. Nasiona.
- The Guts to Tell My Story. Brevity's Nonfiction Blog.
- Mom’s Parting Gift. AARP Disrupt Aging.
- When the Weak Show Strength. Herstry.
- Generational People-Pleasing. Noteworthy, on Medium.
- April Sixth. Past Ten.
- A Hard Lesson in Humility. Pulse.
- Story Worth Telling. Literary Mama.
- When a Horrifying Diagnosis is a Relief. Mothers Always Write.
- Why I Hide my Truth. The Sunlight Press.
- Kissing my Knee Goodbye. NextTribe.
- Assertive Mantras. One More Exclamation.
Podcasts, Interviews, Guest Blogs, and the kitchen sink:
- Even the Weak Can Weather the Storm. Writing Class Radio.
- Writing a Memoir About the Risk of People-Pleasing. Helene T. Stelian Coaching.
- Overcoming Obstacles. Midlife-A-Go-Go podcast.
Writers in the Storm Blog:
- Finding Your Writing Rhythm
- The Value of Becoming.
- Purge and Welcome.
- Ego vs Humility.
- Becoming Our Own Best Advocates.
- Creative Ways to Handle Query Rejections.
- Harnessing the Power of Writer Karma.
- In Medias Res: A Very Good Place to Start.
- From Non-Writer to Published Author in Twenty Short Years.
- Toxic Productivity for Writers: Do You Have It?