July 2022 Newsletter

July 2022 NewsletterDear Friend,

After every mass shooting, after each political bombshell, after horrific acts of nature or war, I practice gratitude. Some people have formal practices involving journaling or meditating. Mine is more of a gut reaction that I tune into at night. I get in bed and thank God (my higher power, not to assume that it’s yours) for that moment–when my husband and I have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and each other. For that moment, our sons and their significant others, and our family and friends are safe, as far as we know. For that moment, I am at peace, and for that I am grateful.

All we have is one moment in time. We don’t know what the next moment will bring. Is one moment enough to maintain hope or to create change? No. But when a moment is all that is assured, I want to cherish it with my full heart. 

In this volatile world, I wish you many moments of peace, my friend.
 Keep scrolling for backstory-of-the-book photos, links to articles on people-pleasing*, and a book recommendation that includes the quote about my memoir that I hope has you curious. And let me know what’s new with you!

*Curious about people-pleasing? On this page of my website, you’ll find info and resources.
All the best,


Please follow me on Twitter,  Facebook, and Instagram. 

A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived.

When her eight-year-old son begins to exhibit increasingly bizarre behaviors, a happily married mother of two must meet the overwhelming demands of motherhood and wrestle with her fear of conflict if she and her son are to survive. 

Forthcoming from Apprentice House Press, May 2023.

Karen is a happily married, slightly frazzled working mother of two when her eight-year-old son, Matthew, develops a strange eye-rolling tic. Over the next three years, Matthew’s tics multiply. He becomes clumsy and lethargic, a gifted program dropout. Karen repeatedly tries to get her husband and the pediatrician to open their eyes, but she is too full of self-doubt to tear off their blinders.

Exhausted and full of despair, Karen crumples to the bathroom floor one night, wondering if she has the will to carry on. But she must persevere. Who else will fight for her son?

Matthew finally receives a horrifying diagnosis but is expected to “bounce back,” and Karen is convinced the battle is over. But the pain drags on, revealing just how weak—and then exactly how strong—she is.

In book news: I’m putting together my launch team–a group of friends and followers who will help me spread the word about my memoir. The commitment is minimal and the tasks can be done from the comfort of your home. In fact, there won’t be much to do until early 2023. Will you help? Reply to this email and I’ll give you details so you can decide whether to say yes or no.

If you know someone who might be interested in my story or my writing, please forward this email to them so they can sign up for my mailing list using the button below. 

Book Backstory

For Matthew’s second birthday, we took him on a big trip. We rode the bus! To downtown Troy! And bought him a snowcone! As you can see, it was a hit. Especially for kids, sometimes simple pleasures truly are the best.

Published Essays

Have you heard of toxic productivity? I hadn’t either until I did some research for this essay:

Toxic Productivity for Writers – Do You Have It?

Even if you’re not a writer, you may find it interesting anyway. The hallmark of toxic productivity is “producing for the sake of producing.” If that doesn’t entice you, you may still want to click on the link to see which photo I used for my author headshot.

 Books That Inform My Writing

Child is a memoir about a white girl of privilege and principles, and the beloved black woman who raised her in the 1940s and 50s. In gentle prose, it explores race, boundaries, devotion, and so much more. Why did this book inform my writing? Because I learned more about the author, JUDY GOLDMAN, who wrote another book I featured in this newsletter a couple of years ago: Together: Marriage and a Medical Mishap. It is one of the few memoirs I’ve read that identified a character as a people-pleaser. (Although Goldman doesn’t use that word.) Also, Goldman blurbed my book, meaning that she read and commented on it.
This is, in part, what she said about my book: “Heartbreakingly painful and movingly inspiring, this memoir goes straight for your heart.” 

The link brings you to Amazon, but please consider purchasing this book from your favorite indie bookstore. 

People-Pleasing on the Web

Are you a People-Pleaser?

This is one of the best articles I’ve seen on people-pleasing that truly captures what it feels like. “Accommodating others is so ingrained in us that stopping is not only difficult, it’s terrifying.”

“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world”

― Helen Keller


  • Karen DeBonis

    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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