As the month comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on my October to-do list: what I accomplished and what there is left to do. While I finished a bunch of things, I still have items on my July to-do list that aren’t crossed off. But I also tackled stuff I hadn’t planned on! Overall, I felt pretty productive during October and, outside of a refrigerator full of stale food, felt healthy and well organized. Here’s the month’s journey in brief.
The Health of a Gardener Who Writes
I’ve been battling knee issues for years. A long time ago, I was digging out the lawn on my parking strip and my right knee ligament tore slightly. Since then, I’ve experienced pain on and off for years. In 2019, I was in severe pain. In spring, I could barely walk. After I went to the doctor, I learned a new word: bursitis. As in I had it. Probably because I’d sat cross-legged for hours at a time editing The Forgetting Flower.
Regardless, she prescribed anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. But despite that combination, it dogged me all summer and into fall. I felt desperate and depressed. Then, this month, I went back to my physical therapist who encouraged me to join a gym and gave me particular exercises to do for my knee. She also encouraged me to buy new shoes. I did both and voila! A month later, my knees (and me) are feeling 80% better.
Fun Time Interviews
This last month, I did four interviews! All were interesting endeavors. First off, I answered questions about my critique partner relationship with the sci-fi writer Natasha Oliver for the book Finders Keepers: A Practical Approach to Find and Keep Your Writing Critique Partner! It’s due out in early December. More details to come in a future post.
Next, I spoke with Michigan radio master, Tom Sumner for his show on October 3rd. We talked about The Forgetting Flower, the ideas behind it, my work with plants, life in Paris, writing thrillers, and more. To listen, click here.
I did another print interview with my fellow Goddard grad and friend, Roxana Arama for her site Rewriting History. We really clicked about The Forgetting Flower, touching on ideas of memory and forgetting, plants and scent, immigration and the working class. It was a wonderfully profound interview.
Finally, I did a television interview for New Day Northwest! This morning show is a Seattle institution. Hosted by longtime television journalist, Margaret Larson, the show covers local celebrities and events while spotlighting fun home and garden projects and charitable causes. I was terribly nervous and felt anxious for days beforehand. I’d never been on TV before!! But I managed to get my mouth to work and talked about spooky houseplants to decorate a Halloween home. Plus, we touched on The Forgetting Flower. It ended up being super fun! I’ll write more about the anxiety part in a week or so. Click here to watch.
Writing in Brief
I also wrote a couple of short pieces for other outlets. For instance, I’ve been disturbed for a while that my name, Karen, has ended up as a generic label for a nasty woman, so I ended up putting my thoughts in an essay called When Your Name Becomes a Meme, which Thrive Global published.
As Halloween approached, I published a short article on spooky houseplants for Garden Center Magazine. It was a fun piece about creepy plants.
Lastly, I wrote about my journey of putting plants into my fiction. This post is slated to appear in early November on a crime fiction website. When it does, I’ll update this post.
Face-to-Face With Writer Friends
October is my birthday month but unfortunately my husband was out of town during my birthday week. So I decided to get in touch with writer friends. In early October, I got to know the lovely Angie McCullagh, who’s written a coming-of-age novel about a young woman in Seattle in the 1990s. I visited with my fellow Goddard graduate, Roxana Arama, who’s written a fascinating alternative ancient history/fantasy novel called All But One. And I ate lunch with my sweet friend, Kimberly Christensen, a middle grade and young adult author.
In November, I’ll be talking on more podcasts and writing on this blog more regularly. I’ll be working out at the gym almost every day. I’d like to form a writers group. And read at least two books in my stack. Maybe even get to those unfinished tasks from July. My biggest goal though is to finish the edits on my new novel. Now that I list all of these to-dos, I realize it’s a lot of work. I’m not sure I can do it. But I’ve got some strong momentum going so, with my new strong knees, I’ll ride out this wave of energy for as long as it lasts.