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Saturday, April 07, 2007
Mama Gena, New Book, Sweet 16
Did I mention that I spent last weekend at Mama Gena's School of the Womanly Arts? Well I did. It's the second time I'm taking the course. It's an incredibly empowering program that teaches you to recognize and tap into the power you have just because you're a woman. I don't have the words to do justice to the specifics of the program, but it has been transformative for me. It is like nothing I have ever experienced before (and I've done lots of training through the years). After taking it the first time, I realized I had much further to go, so I signed up again. If you're interested in learning more, she has books available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Just type in Mama Gena and her books will come up.
I have two months before my third book is due and I must get cracking. So far I have a terribly rough first draft, and now I'm going back to flesh out the characters, improve my descriptions, add more humor - all the polishing that one does. My first task is to really get the main character's voice right, and I don't think I've done that yet. For the next two months I'm going deep underground - no extra-curricular stuff - until I get this book to a good place. By the way, I just read a book I enjoyed - The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. It was very funny.
Later today, Mark and I are going over to negotiate with the restaurant where we'll be holding Schuyler's Sweet 16. It's not going to be excessive like the TV show. We're trying to do this as cheaply as possible (not easy in NYC). Last week, Schuyler and I shopped for her party dress. We found a beautiful yellow satin number that she looked wonderful wearing. Since when do kids have Sweet 16's? In my day they didn't. But Schuyler didn't get a Bat Mitzvah (because she dropped out of Hebrew School) so she says her life won't be complete if she doesn't have this party. Mark and I fell for her logic. That's because we are guilt ridden parents by birth. Since the day she was born, we never felt we have done enough. That can get a parent in trouble, I know.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Book tour is officially over, whew!!! The two Ohio women who came to my reading last week were absolutely delightful - Beth and Suzen. I felt so honored that they would come from so far just to meet me. That must be how movie stars feel. We had a lovely dinner together after the reading.
I spent today with the two new screenwriters for The Ivy Chronicles, Stan and Jim - two very great guys. I love what they have in mind for the script and I feel very certain the movie will get made. My agent says you can't count your movies until they start filming, but I'm optimistic. Besides, my psychic says it's getting made and she has been right on all her big predictions so far.
Wife in the Fast Lane made the local Bestseller's List in Denver! Yipee!!
Tomorrow, it's back to work on book 3, Schuyler gets her stitches out, and I have a radio interview. It's all in a day's work.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Back to Normal
It is Thursday, March 22 and I am breathing a sigh of relief. Tonight is my last reading for Wife in the Fast Lane. The appearances are both exhausting and exhilerating. Tonight, two women are coming all the way from Ohio to see me (at least I think that's where they're from - I know it's from far away and in that general area). That blows my mind. I'm taking them out to dinner to thank them for traveling from so far away. Schuyler had her surgery on Tuesday and she's doing really well. It's good to have that behind us. Mark and I had been planning to go to Scottsdale next week but I cancelled. Something came up with the Ivy movie and I have to stay in town an extra day. Something has come up with Mark's work and he has to return early, so we were only going to be able to overlap for one day in Arizona - ergo trip cancelled. Ergo - I really don't know how to use that word properly. Anyway, I don't mind that the trip was cancelled. Sleeping at home in my own bed sounds heavenly. I'm looking forward to life returning to normal. Ahhh, normal...
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I Get Tired Just Writing It
It has been a very busy time, pre-book launch. It is so hard to know how much time to devote to promoting the new book versus working on the next one. But I think the next few weeks will be about getting out there to spread the word about Wife in the Fast Lane, and then I'll be able to settle back into my new novel. I went to Houston last week and spoke to a fabu group of 350 women who bought tons of copies of Wife (yay! I loved them!). The night before I spoke, they held a party at the Shoe Department of Neiman's - so much fun, then took me out for a delish dinner. Next week, I'll be reading at The Corner Bookstore, then flying off to Denver to read at the Tattered Cover, do some TV, and attend some lovely events sponsored by my good friends in that city. Then back to New York for a reading at Barnes and Noble, then up to Scarsdale to teach at the Young Writer's Conference, then a weekend at Mama Gena's School of the Womanly Arts, and finally a trip to Arizona with Mark. What a whirlwind. I don't see myself doing much writing during that time. Well, there's always April.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Our Annual Holiday Letter
Happy New Year! Can you believe how late I am? You can? Oh that's cold. Meanwhile, here is my family's holiday letter that I am posting for your reading pleasure. I didn't get it out until well into January, so don't think you're being singled out by getting it late. Cheers!
Dear friends, family, and assorted others who found their way into my address book,
Happy holidays! I know. I'm beyond late [see, I was late for everyone!]. It's just that, as many of you know, I always send out a holiday letter. Only this year, I decided not to because it felt like nothing interesting happened. Then last week, my friend Ken IM'ed me and said he missed my letter. That got me thinking, how can I disappoint my devoted annual Christmas/Chanukah, Kwanza letter followers? I can't and I won't. So here it is. The Quinn family letter, belated, but emailed with love from my computer to yours.
When I said nothing happened this year, I wasn't exactly kidding. Sam, who is 14, retreated to his bedroom last January and hasn't come out except for school, food, allowance, and periodic showers. I wonder what he's doing in there. No doubt studying theromdynamics or the Talmud. The photo of him is from last year because there have been so few sightings much less photographs taken of late. I adore what I remember about the boy, but I look forward to the day when this hormonal siege ends and my little man returns to my waiting arms. On the purely physical side, I saw a figure darting from his room to the shower the other day and noted that he's now about a foot taller than me which is good because I'm practically a midget.
Schuyler, who is 15, has moved past the raging hormones and emerged a lovely, social butterfly who flits in and out of our house with her posse in tow at all hours of the day or night. She has become an accomplished aerial ballet dancer, so if the whole education thing doesn't work out, Cirque Du Soleil is Plan B. Schuyler is starring as Margot in her school's production of Anne Frank, which I cannot wait to see (and secretly videotape for anyone who would like to come over and watch). She's planning a Super Sweet 16 party, but was thoughtful enough to say that she wasn't expecting us to present her with a car or a diamond tiara at the soiree's climax. This was good because (and please don't spoil the surprise) we were just planning to present her with a bouquet of carnations from the Korean deli on Chambers Street.
Mark is still general counsel of his company, which means that he works late hours and wears boss-like suits. But he continues to travel to important track and field meets around the world, and sometimes I tag along and pretend to be interested. His love of jazz has not waned. We've had some great parties this year where phenomenal musicians and singers have performed in our living room. That always makes me feel like I'm living in one of those old New York movies where Mark is Cary Grant, drinking martinis, and I'm Ingrid Bergman, smoking a cigarette, while a cool jazz trio plays in the corner for all our urbane friends. Actually, Mark doesn't drink martinis and I don't smoke, but otherwise we're exactly like Cary and Ingrid.
We celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary this year with a wonderful cruise to Greece, Turkey, and Italy. Mark and I both adore life at sea - dancing under the stars, midnight buffets, land tours with busloads of kvetching octogenarians. I do have to give props to the two of us for staying married so long. People say you have to work at marriage, but we just play at it. The smartest decision I ever made was to stalk Mark in law school until he asked me out. The poor sucker didn't have a chance. It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him (and me). It's kind of weird to think that your best life decision was to stalk someone, but in my case, it's true.
A few momentus things happened to me this year. I lost weight and got into shape, which was a huge accomplishment for a lazy porker like me. The picture above was taken before I lost 20 pounds. Now I look like a model, only shorter. And older. This year, I got to be on the View, which was scary and mad-cool at the same time. All the ladies were really nice to me except for Star who wouldn't shake my hand when I offered it. But the universe abhors a bitch, and, well, we all know how that story ended. Last fall, I enrolled in Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts, which has been enormously fun, shocking even to a cosmo girl like me, and not discussable in a G-rated family letter. Check it out if you're interested: http://www.mamagena.com/. UPDATE: I graduated from Mama's school last Sunday and instead of wearing those boring black caps, we wore diamond tiaras!
Here's exciting news. I have a new book coming out in the U.S. this March, Wife in the Fast Lane. It's already released and doing marvelously (she said modestly) in the UK and Australia. My enormously complicated life, and that of every other woman I know, inspired this one. It takes place in the ultra-privileged world of Fifth Avenue where I got to poke fun at rich people behaving badly (tee hee). If you are reading this letter, then I consider you to be one of my closest confidants, and I think (in a mad act of friendship), you should drop everything and pre-order your copy this very moment. Here, this link will make it easier for you: http://www.amazon.com/Wife-Fast-Lane-Karen-Quinn/. Go ahead. I'll wait. La-de-da, la-de-da.
Back already? Don't you just love the internet? Speaking of which, we're doing an on-line contest for the book that I know you'll want to get in on. All you have to do is express your own truth about life in the fast lane via a video, essay, or just a quick one-liner (I knew I was living in the fast lane when...For me, it was when I surprised Sam by picking him up at school one day and he asked if our nanny had died). For legal reasons too boring to explain, you have to be a U.S. or Canadian resident to enter (but anyone from anywhere can volunteer to judge, submit work just to have it seen, vote for their favorites, and enjoy the submissions).
Anyway, all these great merchants have given us the BEST prizes, including a $2,000 gift certificate to Canyon Ranch, a gorgeous gold charm bracelet from my family's jewelry store, Christian Tse gold and platinum earrings, chocolate bon bons, beautiful purses, and lots more. I could go on and on, but take a look at the site. I really hope you'll participate and tell all your friends about it because (in all sincerity) this is my first contest and I'm depending on the kindness of friends and strangers to help me get the word out. Here's the link: http://karenquinn.net/wife-in-the-fast-lane-contest/.
Okay, no more shameless plugs. They have no place in the sacred space of holiday letters, which are and should remain pure unadulterated spin-doctored ruminations about our perfect lives. Your life is perfect right? I know, mine is too. Only yesterday, four dreams came true. On another note, have you made any New Year's resolutions you probably won't keep? here are mine...
* Stay on the fitness path.
* Do one fun thing every day even if it kills me.
* Stop saying "yes" to things I don't want to do.
* Lure Sam out of his room.
* Have more playtime with Mark.
* Stop whining.
* Laugh more.
* Spend more time with my amazing friends.
* Give Smokey (our Russian Blue) a bath. She really stinks.
* Write daily.
* Pass my womanly wisdom on to Schuyler.
Well, that's all for this year's holiday letter. Maybe next year will be more eventful. Mark, Schuyler, Sam and I wish you a joyful, healthy, and successful New Year. I love you all and think of you every day, even those of you who don't remember giving me your email address.
P.S. Smokey and Cookie wish you Happy New Year, too!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007