Karen Brichoux

Current and Upcoming Books

Available Now
"Draws the reader into the story and never lets go." --RT Bookclub
"Brichoux reminds the reader how powerfully the landscape of 'home' can define a person." -- High Country News
Previously Released
"An exceptional novel." --Melissa Senate, author of The Solomon Sisters Wise Up
"A coup. Warm, smart, and original." --Kirkus Reviews

Newsletter

Gardening

May 2, 2005

May 2005 Newsletter from the desk of Karen Brichoux

Contents:

*News
*Article: ďGardeningĒ
*What Iím Reading

News:

*Congratulations to Janet, who won the April drawing for a signed ARC of THE GIRL SHE LEFT BEHIND. I will be drawing another winner from among my list of newsletter subscribers in May, then again in June. Good luck!

*Iíve completed the changes to my website. If you have time, drop by http://www.karenbrichoux.com and tell me what you think.

Article: ďGardeningĒ:

Itís early May and rather than the usual warm weather, weíre having a cold snap. I donít mind, because it gives me a chance to do all those things Iíve neglected doing while finishing up the manuscript for my next book. Iíve been up to my elbows in composted manure and I still ache all over from revamping my front garden so I can plant a few new varieties of hosta (Iím a hosta addict), ferns, and heuchera.

Why is this of interest to writing? Because I call it ďdowntime.Ē After six months of intense writing and rewriting, my creative brain is exhausted from playing with words. Iím sick of my office, sick of thinking about promotion ideas, sick of role-playing as my characters...just plain sick. This is where gardening comes in.

I have a lot of outdoor activities I love--hiking at the nearby lakes, climbing the banks along the river, walking in the cityís garden cemetery, learning more about the areaís birds, insects, mushrooms, trees, and wildflowers--but my favorite brain relief is my garden. I spend hours looking through catalogues, subscribe to a few garden magazines, and love putting my hands and brain to work playing with real, tangible things like dirt, compost, and plants. I love watching the tulips and daffodils I planted last fall poke through the cold ground before putting on a show. I love it when wild things appear in my garden and surprise me--from a Virginia creeper vine to a garter snake. But most of all, I love having a creation that isnít 100 per cent a product of my own mind.

Itís a relief.

If you want to be a writer, donít abandon the other things you love doing. There are fancy names for resting your brain from the creative trauma of writing a book. Filling the well. Restoring your creativity. Things like that. I call it resting. Giving up control for a little while and letting the sunshine, rain, dirt, earthworms, hail, and even the aphids play a part in the creative process. Itís a humbling and deeply satisfying experience.

*What Iím Reading:

THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD by Patrick OíBrian
REVERSE OF THE MEDAL also by OíBrian
WAR FOR THE OAKS by Emma Bull
FOLLOW ME HOME by Jerri Corgiat