About Kara

Hi there, I'm Kara. In 2021 I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. Three months after I was diagnosed, I had a nineteen-hour brain surgery to remove the benign tumor. (How do you properly thank your miracle worker? A box of chocolates??) One of the effects of receiving the mind-blowing diagnosis was a shattering of illusions I didn't hold dear anyway. I've always felt best in the smokey void between worlds. My diagnosis helped me come back to that space.

I now write a daily newsletter called Under a Spell exploring the joys and vagaries of being a parent and female artist in the U.S.A. It sometimes sounds like a log of going to the gym, but I promise there are gems of wisdom and humor inside. Click here to join me there!

And now, for a time-honored explanation of Sut Nam Bonsai:

The Sut Nam
part of this blog comes from the phrase Sat Nam in Sanskrit that points to the true self, the part of a person that is forever untouched and whole. The Bonsai part of the name comes from a little box my husband gave me that contained the kit for a ready-made bonsai tree. Someone had given him the kit, and it had been sitting in a junk crate in his office for as long as I had known him. Then he gave it to me and it sat on a junk shelf in my office for a number of years. I finally admitted to myself that I did not want to grow a bonsai tree. Here is my bonsai, the very real project I do want to tend. 

Most of the photos on this blog are taken by my partner, Tim, who is awesome and hilarious and a great photographer. The photos in my newsletter are taken by me, but his influence is all over that place.

I have a Facebook page I neglect here, a Twitter account I kind of blast here, and I am currently bobbing lazily in the waters of Instagram (body of a manatee, zip of a turtle).

The best way to hear from me is to subscribe to me on Substack, which you can do here and
https://karanorman.substack.com/about. (Click 'None' when prompted, if you want the free version. Click a monthly/yearly amount if you've got on your halo and want a burst of kindness/humor every day.)

You can also find some of my fiction and nonfiction here. For a more complete list, check out my Word files!

Thanks so much for visiting.
I don't update this space much right now, but you can always come over to Substack and find me oversharing, rolling in the glorious weeds there.