July 2021 Newsletter

Hello Friend! 

July has been soggy in upstate New York (how I wish I could blow these rain clouds west!), a good month to continue my recovery from knee replacement surgery. I naively thought I’d bounce back more quickly, although as I write this, I’m finally feeling I’ve popped my bubble of isolation and dependency. 

In a wet, boring month, we had a blip of excitement–celebrating my son Steve’s 30th birthday in Boston. From left to right below: Michael, Steve, Matt, me, and my trusty cane, which I leaned on heavily. 


The weekend was an opportunity to be immersed in Steve’s milieu of city life, amazing friends, and a loving girlfriend and her family. So often I was humbled to think I had a part in raising this child to be such a caring, confident, and competent man. I’ll ride that wave of awe for quite a while. 

Steve (Stephen in my memoir) plays a minor role in my story, having been only six when his big brother Matthew was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age eleven. He says he remembers little of what happened, and I consider that a blessing. Somehow, we managed to insulate him from the trauma.

And, somehow, we all survived the trauma. One day, you can read the story in its entirety.

When we got home from Boston, we thought our blip of excitement had ended, but Covid-19 reared its dangerous head. In spite of being fully vaccinated, and celebrating with a fully vaccinated crowd, Steve developed symptoms a few days later and tested positive. Michael, Matt, and I (all vaccinated) got tested, too, and we are negative. 

Fortunately, Steve’s symptoms are mild, and we’ll all be fine. If you haven’t been vaccinated, I urge you to do so immediately. The Delta variant is making us sick if we’re lucky, and killing us if we’re not. 

Writing was still a challenge in the first half of the month, as my knee pain interrupted my sleep and concentration. But I wasn’t a total sloth. 

I recorded and posted my webinar about people-pleasing on Youtube. You may know it as Wipe Your Feet Before You Walk All Over MeIn it, I share what I’ve learned about this destructive personality trait through my own journey, I read excerpts from my memoir, and give viewers ten steps to break their people-pleasing habit. 


Now, I have a BIG ask: Will you click the image above and give me a Youtube thumbs up? A share would be even better! More thumbs up + shares = more agent interest in representing my memoir. I would truly appreciate it. A BIG thank you in advance.

Speaking of my memoir, I met with my beta readers (selected readers who read and provide feedback on a manuscript), who, in addition to providing eye-opening insights, unanimously challenged “people-pleasing” as the main theme of my book. I was dumbfounded. But I realize I’d heard and rejected the same observation from some editors and critique partners. This time, I listened. And I think they may be correct. 

Holy Moly. And that’s an understatement.

Don’t worry–it doesn’t change the story, just the lens from which it is told. But I have a lot of literary soul-searching to do before I’m ready to query agents again.

Thus, my memoir-writing saga resolutely continues. I hope you’ll stick around. I need all the support I can get.

In gardening news, it’s a jungle out there. But on a rare dry day, Michael volunteered to weed, motivating me to get out my “rolly cart” and put my recovering knee to the test. As you can see below, I tamed at least one weedy beast.  (BTW- for the orthopedists and physical therapists on my list–yes, I see that my leg isn’t straight and yes, I’m doing my stretches.)


That’s all the news for now.  See you next month.

Best,

Karen

Author

  • Karen DeBonis writes about motherhood, people-pleasing, and personal growth, the entangled mix told in her memoir "Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived" forthcoming in spring 2023. Subscribe today to receive Chapter 1: A Reckoning.

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