August 2019 Newsletter

Quick facts in case you’re new here (or your memory is as bad as mine): The working title of my memoir is Growth: A mom, a son, and the brain tumor they survived. The tagline: I couldn’t stand up for my son since I never learned to stand up for myself. I’m not proud of that truth, but I’m proud of telling the story. The main characters are me, my husband Michael, and my sons, Matt and Steve. Matt is the son with the brain tumor, diagnosed when he was 11. He’s 32 now. Not to be a spoiler, but as tough as the story is, the ending is uplifting like you wouldn’t believe. You won’t want to miss it!
Memoir update
My memoir manuscript is now in the hands of my beta readers. Think of beta readers as junior reviewers; my freelance editor is the senior reviewer, or alpha reader (although those terms aren’t used.) My husband and sons will also read and comment on the manuscript. That’s nerve-wracking because it’s their story, too. But it’s been an opportunity to talk about things we glossed over when we were in the midst of our family crisis. 
     While my readers are hard at work, I’ll be looking for an agent, a whole new skillset. Maybe by my next Newsy Letter, I’ll have found one! 

A totally useless and possibly embarrassing fact about me:
When I was around three or four, as in this picture, I liked to play house. I always wanted to be the kitten, earning me the nickname “Karen Kitten” from my Dad. “Let the humans negotiate family life, while I purr and meow around their legs,” was probably my thinking. Early introvert leanings, perhaps?      (And, yes, I was a little angel. Right, Mom? Mom?)
As of this writing, I have no essays coming out. However, I had an essay published in December 2018, which I failed to post on my website, because, well, life, and Christmas, and you know. It’s the most thorough preview of my memoir to date. Check it out here.
Since I’m writing a memoir, I read mostly memoir–it’s how I study my craft. I focus on stories about brain trauma, and motherhood. One of my best new finds is Motherhood Exaggerated by Judith Hannan, about a mother’s challenge to parent her child through a life-threatening illness. It has some of the most raw and honest writing I’ve found. I highly recommend it.
The truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.– Nadine Gordimer

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