Karen Quinn's Blog
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Wife in the Fast Lane:

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Do you and Daddy have sex? 

So Sam asks me tonight, "do you and Daddy have sex?" I said, "yeah, sure, of course we do. That's what happens when you get married." So Sam says, "OH MY GOD! With young, impressionable children just 100 feet away?" "Of course," I told him. He says he is traumatized by the mere thought of it. Am I really that gross to my son or would does every child think that about their parents no matter what?

Yesterday, Schuyler faked sick and stayed home from school. I knew she was going to from the minute she woke up and complained of a headache. She used the scratchy-fake-sick voice. Then I insisted she take a shower and get ready for school. Next thing I knew, she stuck her head out of the bathroom and said (in scratchy fake-sick voice), "Mom, I just threw up in the shower." So I said, "Well, did you finish your shower?" "No," she said. "Get back in there and finish it," I said. "You mean step in the vomit?" she asked. "Yes, but don't slip." I didn't make her go to school because I knew I'd just get a call by second period that she felt sick and needed to come home. I insisted she stay in bed and wouldn't let her order Chinese food for lunch. That was the meanest I could be. Later, she kept talking in the scratchy-fake-sick voice and I told her she could stop because I knew she was faking.

The night before, she went out to dinner with me and my old friend, Kathleen (from Denver). Somehow we got to talking about old times and Kathleen said something about magic mushrooms. So I said to her, "Were you at my shroom party in the eighties?" I totally forgot that Schuyler was sitting at the table. Schuyler was flabbergasted and confronted me on my earlier drug experimentation. I admitted to taking mushrooms once at my party and having a terrible experience with them (true). And I also admitted to trying marijuana once or twice and hating it (also true). I sort of fell headfirst into that moment that parents dread - when their kids ask them if they did drugs and they have to decide whether to lie of be honest. I was pretty honest. Mark thinks a parent should never admit drug use to their children, even if they did very little or had a bad experience with it. Well, it's too late for me. I reacted in the moment and can't take it back. For any of you parents out there who haven't been confronted with this issue yet, I suggest you decide ahead of time what you'll say. Unfortunately, I didn't plan and did what I did, which probably isn't what I would have done had I thought about it.

Today I talked with a reporter from New York Magazine who is doing an article on private school admissions in December. He was fun to talk to and I sent him a book.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Two Editing Breaks 

While book #2 is printing (so that I can read it for the 50th time), I thought I'd say hello. I've been working day and night on this thing, except for two breaks I took. First, went to Sam's potluck dinner for his class on Tuesday night. This was held at a gorgeous penthouse overlooking Grammercy Park where one of his classmates lives. These things are fun to go to not only for the company, but for the glorious apartments you get to see. One year, I got to go to Susan Saranden and Tim Robbins loft for potluck. That was cool. I brought salmon which was a hit. Another family who often hosts has an entire building on the Bowery as their home. On the outside, it's covered with graffiti (so the riff raff will think there's nothing inside), but inside it's quite snazzy. I wouldn't mind hosting, but I'm afraid my apartment wouldn't meet the chi-chi standards that have already been set.

Then last night was Sam's back to school night (where you get to meet the teachers). On my way out the door, I said to Schuyler, "when does your school do a back to school night?" She said, "Tonight." TONIGHT! She forgot to give me the flyer as usual. So, I quickly rejiggered my plans and decided to go to Schuyler's school first, leave early, and catch the end of Sam's. Mothers are not only expected to multi-task, we're expected to be in two places at once. I'm wearing my jeans, tennis shoes, tee-shirt - my writing uniform which is, admittedly, scruffy. But it doesn't matter at Sam's school where everyone's casual. Schuyler goes to an uptown school that just moved downtown, so the parents tend to dress up for functions, but I didn't have the time or inclination to change. I flew like the wind to her school (okay, I took the subway), ran in the door, and immediately saw that the place was all decorated and people were in black tie. The man at the door handed me a glass of champagne as I walked inside. Wow! This is the kind of back to school night I can get into. The spread was amazing, caviar, shrimp, fancy petit fours just to give you a sense of the quality. I helped myself, but stayed in the shadow of a potted plant because of how scuzzily I was dressed. Finally, I asked a woman who seemed to be official when the back to school night program would actually begin. She looked at me like I was drooling and explained that this was their 25th Gala Celebration". Oops. I did know about it but I had forgotten because it conflicted with Sam's back to school night. It was one of those scary Alzheimer's moments. I apologized to the official woman, said I had the wrong school, finished my champagne, slinked out the door and dashed to Friend's Seminary where I visited all Sam's classes until about 9:30 when I could stand it no longer (too many stairs at his school).

Anyway, my manuscript has finished printed so I suppose it's back to work. Ta ta for now folks.

Friday, October 21, 2005

My beautiful duvet cover 

Okay, I know I'm supposed to be editing novel number two, but I'm on a break. Plus it's Sunday and any work I get done is gravy anyway. Mark and I are about to go shopping for one of those humungous feng shui mirrors to go in our living room and a new couch to replace the one the kids have ruined. I don't have many really expensive things in this house. All the artwork is my own - nothing fancy. But we did recently buy a very extravagent duvet cover from ABC Carpet, the coolest and most expensive home-furnishing store in the city. We splurged and bought this cream colored, soft as a baby's bottom, cotton embroidered cover for $800 - $900, alot of do-re-mi for us. I justified it by saying that we spend so much time in bed that we should really love our boudoir and look forward to spending time there. With such a fancy duvet cover, how could we not quiver with anticipation over the hours spent lounging in bed. Anyway, I'm pulling the covers down the other day, and under one of my throw pillows I find a huge, blue ink stain. It was as if one of the kids just put an open fountain pen on the duvet cover and let it bleed until it made a four inch round stain. But to make it worse, said kid tried to cover up his or her crime by painting white-out over the stain - not cream colored white-out that IS available at Staples and would have at least matched the duvet cover, but the brightest white money can buy. So now, we have a thick, hard, white-out stain mixed with blue ink on my very expensive, prized duvet cover. I'm sick about it. Sick, I tell you. But then I think about how much everyone lost in Hurricane Katrina and I realize how spoiled and materialistic I must be to care about a stupid duvet cover. I'm lucky to have my home. Once you have kids, a parent should know better than to buy anything they care about getting ruined or broken because chances are, if you care about it, it WILL be destroyed. I don't know who committed the crime but I issued a restraining order and now all children are restricted from coming within ten feet of my bed.

Meanwhile, Schuyler is going to teen night at a nightclub tonight. Apparently this is very big with the teens ages 13 - 18 these days. Tickets are $30, no alcohol is served, kids go through metal detectors and are supposedly supervised. I hated the idea of saying "yes" to this, but I figured it was better to have her tell me where she's going and for us to work out reasonable ground rules than to have her lie and sneak into one of these things because I'm being overly protective. We'll see how it goes. I told her she has to keep a cell phone on her person at every minute so I can reach her. Of course, I also gave her the lecture about not putting your drink down or a boy will spike it and then take advantage. These are hard times in the parenting department at the Quinn house. When I was a kid, I would have hated a dance at a nightclub. Of course, I wore glasses, braces and a headgear, none of which makes you the belle of any ball. Schuyler is beautiful and social and this is her element, unfortunately for me.

Well, time to go. Furniture stores await us.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I know I said I wouldn't be writing because I have to edit my book, but I'm procrastinating getting back to the book. The editing part is the hardest for me.

Anyway, I talked to an old high school friend today who I haven't spoken to in maybe 30 years. It was nice to talk to a person who knew me as Karen Nedler. I know very few people anymore who knew me then. He told me that this girl who shall remain nameless, but who was very mean to me growing up, is now really fat. And I was secretly delighted to hear it. This made me realize just how far away from enlightenment I truly am. And it was a sad realization. My soul has such a long way to go. Pray for me.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Return from Canyon Ranch 

I'm sad to report that I'm back from Canyon Ranch and living my real life again. Nothing against my real life, but the fantasy of healthy living is tough to say "goodbye" to. Oh well. I had a hugely embarassing experience on the last day. Remember how I mentioned how everyone farts so incessantly at the Ranch due to all the ruffage in the food? Well, I'm laying on the massage table after getting naked, awaiting the massuese, when I let out a big stink bomb. It did not blend well with the smell of lavender that my massage therapist had just spritzed around the room. So I was whipping the covers up and down trying to dissipate the fart molecules when the therapist walked in and caught me in the act. She asked if I was okay and I said I was fine. But I added (because I think fast on my feet and in this case my back) that I was hot and that's why I was doing the billowing covers thing. But I know she smelled the fart because she non chalantly (and suspiciously) spritzed more lavender in the air like that's what she would have done anyway when she walked in. Right! Luckily, I will never see this woman again.

Schuyler has been home from school for three days. These private schools totally take advantage of the Jewish holidays. It's a two day holiday at best. And next week she has three days off for Yom Kippur! Can you explain that one? Apparently there are a few other obscure Jewish holidays around that time which is why she is off. I'm Jewish so I feel qualified to complain about this abuse of our holidays.

You may not hear from me for a while. I'm going underground to meet a tight deadline to turn in the revisions for Book #2 - Wife in the Fast Lane. The UK wants to publish next summer so all changes must be made by November 15 at the very latest. We'll need to go through two rounds between now and then. And I have A LOT of editing to do. The US won't publish until Spring or Summer '07. But all the changes have to be made NOW for England. At least I'll be through by mid-November. I met with my new editor at Simon and Schuster, Trish Todd. She seems really great. Very smart - made some excellent editorial suggestions - and lovely to talk to. Plus, she took me out to lunch at a fancy midtown restaurant. It was delish.

I gave India Fudge and the Time Travel Tunnel to my agent, so keep your fingers crossed for that one. I really adore that book because it involves time travel to New York in 1879. That period fascinates me. I'm thinking it's possible I was reincarnated from the 1800's. Anyway, the excitement mounts as we wait to see if anyone is interested in publishing it. I'll keep you posted.

Oh I'm going to be speaking at Brick Church Nursery School in November with Mike Wallace and Jamee Gregory. That's cool, eh? I'll borrow Schuyler's camera and get my picture taken with Mike and Jamee (yes, we're on a first name basis, at least I'm sure we will be as soon as they meet me).

So goodbye everyone, at least until I turn in my Wife in the Fast Lane edits.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

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