questions and answers

In ALL, BOOK PUBLISHING by Stephanie Klein50 Comments

websizedstephaniereadingoct2006

I’m heading off to Houston today, where I’ll be speaking at the JCC with ice cream in hand tonight. The woman who runs the program asked if I was open to taking questions from the audience. Could that, she asked, be the format for the evening? Absolutely. I love questions. So in the spirit of them, today I’m open to yours. Got questions? I’ll try to answer all of them. Post away.

OOOOPS! I JUST REALIZED TONIGHT THEY WANT ME TO SPEAK FOR 45-50 MINUTES. THE QUESTIONS FORMAT IS FOR TOMORROW NIGHT IN SAN ANTONIO! I totally love winging it anyway. I can talk about myself forever anyway.

ALSO, I will answer all your questions, so if you see one I’ve skipped over, it just means I haven’t had time to respond yet, but I WILL respond. It might just take time.

Update on Phil’s Health: He feels fine. He has always felt fine. Symptom-free. He went to the doctor yesterday and returned with a huge arrangement of flowers for me. For no reason. It made me happy and a little wary. What’s he not telling me? And in his way, he couldn’t answer my questions straight up. He drip-fed me little bits of the appointment throughout the day and night, little pockets of information. What I know: his genetic testing came back negative, except we know that of people who 100%; have this specific genetic defect, only 50% test positive for having it. So it gets us nowhere. His pacemaker is working, hard. All the time. His ejection fraction is low, 45 I think. It’s concerning. But we’ll see if it’s trending down, since his ejection fraction used to be at 65 (though I remember it being at 70, he disagrees). So we’re seeing if it trends. He’ll need an ablation at some point, but he refuses to talk about it. He’s still in atrial fibrillation and at a high risk of stroke, even being on blood thinners. The longer he stays in a-fib, the harder it will be to repair it. His quality of life, they tell him, will take a turn (moreso than usual), if he stays in a-fib, though they don’t know when. I asked the doctor what he would do if it was him, or if Phil were his son, what would he tell him to do, and he said, "I’d do whatever I had to, to get out of a-fib." Phil is going to see Natale (a very well known electro guy) next week. We’ll see what he says.

What Scent Do You Wear: You can see the perfume I wear by clicking here

Comments

  1. Hmm, questions? I already feel like I know everything about you since you're so open :D

    Ok then, since I'm big on travel myself: Any vacation plans? Would you take the little ones abroad? Your favourite dream destination?

    FROM SK: Oh, how I wish. First off, I need a new passport photo. Mine passport just expired! How sad. I would LOVE to get away on a real vacation, but I don't think that will happen until next year, once I'm done with the pilot. I think I'd want to take the kids abroad when they're just a touch older, so they can at least remember it. I'd rather have alone time with Phil if we were to go on vacation next. The hard thing is, I don't want to leave the kids for more than 3-4 days. So, we'll see. I really want to go to Vietnam, and given my heritage, I also want to go to Greece (neither Phil nor I have ever been). Great, now I want olive oil, fish, lemon, and wine.

  2. What perfume do you wear?

    FROM SK: It's in my collage. It's by Creed. Posted link for you in this post. It's hard to find. They sell it at Bergdorf Goodman… and on amazon. It's quite large and lasts forever. I LOVE it.

  3. Hi Stephanie,

    Everytime I read your blog(daily) I always have a million questions,(seriously how did you get back out there and make yourself open to love again?) and now here is my big chance and I have writers block!! I saw you speak in Chicago, I'm the girl that practically accosted you with a hug in the street before your talk at Depaul, and I do have to ask; what is the history behind your engagement ring? It is absolutely magnificent.

    FROM STEPHANIE: You actually ask a big question here… about being open to love again. I have to say, I was a desperate breed. That is, some people cut themselves off to risk, fearing rejection. Others feel so rejected that all that seek is validation and are willing to risk just for the validation.

    Here's a perfect example: My sister Lea and I handle "rejection" as opposites. She'd rather avoid risk all together. Doesn't care if she dates. In the past anyway, she tried to avoid it. Not so these days, but you get what I'm saying. She didn't want to open herself up to love because what if someone got to know her, really know her, and then didn't want her? How painful. Even more painful than opening yourself up only to be disappointed with the other person. Having to start over with someone else. Yuck.

    Whereas I hated the idea of alone and didn't realize it was a choice. I saw it as a default. As in, no one likes me, I'm a failure, that's why I'm alone. That's why I can't find anyone. Cause I suck. But I was very eager and open to love because finding love, for me, meant liking myself again. It meant validation. It meant I'd get to hear someone tell me how beautiful and talented I am.

    Truth is, I went back and forth between wanting to find someone and wanting to be alone, hating the idea of compromise. I loved having things my own way all time, but I also was so afraid of dying alone. Until I realized, we all die alone. No one is perfect. I kept an open mind and realized what mattered to me most was finding a good man. A man who wasn't a people pleaser, who didn't care what his mother thought, a man, not a boy. I wanted someone strong. And boy did I get him.

    As for the engagement ring, the story with it is written on this blog in an earlier post. I'm not sure where. I'm sure you can search this site with the ligit search and find it. It was my grandmother's stone, and I kept the original setting as long as I could, but then I kept losing the side stones, so I chose a new setting that I absolutely love.

  4. Happy to hear about Phil.Ok so any trips/readings back in NYC anytime soon? I remember a post where you said you wanted to move back home? Any plans? I am re-reading SUAD and trying so hard to learn the lessons and now I am dying to meet you. Oh and the advice you gave about cutting all communication? I wish. and I know so bad, so wrong but I am getting better a little bit day by day so thanks again.

    FROM STEPHANIE: The quicker you end communication, the quicker you'll heal. I would love to move back to NY. Not sure where we'd live, though. I think if we move anywhere, though, it's going to be LA. We don't see ourselves staying in Austin for good. It's just a matter of time. We'll see what happens. You never know. As for NYC, no book tours planned yet. Possibly when the paperback of Moose comes out. I don't know right now.

  5. What hair products do you use when you wear your hair curly?

    FROM STEPHANIE: I am constantly trying new products. Here's what I'm really liking at the moment: Infusium leave in (like water). The melting gel I mentioned earlier in my "preening" section of the blog doesn't have enough hold for me. Here's what I'm using now:
    MoroccanOil Intense curl cream
    Garnier Fructis Conditioning Glaze
    TRESemme bouncy curls extra hold defining gel
    and one other Tresemme product that's thin and lovely, but I don't remember the name. When in doubt, go back to OUIDAD tres/fx

  6. Just wondering, while you write your pilot..do you have a specific actress in mind while writing?

    FROM SK: She's in my collage. I see her as a cross between a young Leslie Mann and Drew Barrymore. The actress needs to be REAL, not stick thin. She has to be able to be neurotic about her body, without the audience rolling their eyes.

  7. Hi! What are your favorite books? What books do you think are overrated? And don't you think Grey's Anatomy is getting kinda dull?

    FROM SK: I promise to post about this in the coming days, as it's so hard for me to answer this. I promise I will.

  8. at what point did you know that getting an abortion was the right choice…or was there never any question?

    i fear i may have stumbled upon my own real life version of straight up and dirty…

    FROM STEPHANIE: First I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through such a rough time. I remember all too well the anxiety, the inability to eat or sleep. I was so miserable I could hardly function. It was a very hard decision. I even called the Dr. Joyce Brother's radio show one morning (the first caller), totally stressed out. Along with my mother, she told me to keep the baby, stay married, and told me he was acting out as his way of dealing with responsibility. He freaked about our wedding day, and now he was freaking about the baby. That's what my mother and Dr. Joyce told me. That was their advice. I tried to keep it together, to see how that might fit. After a few days, though, thinking I might do just that, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I somehow saw deep down inside myself, to who I used to be. To who I was as a kid. And she didn't like what she saw. I knew it would be hard, but I also just KNEW that I had to face the fear. I knew I didn't want a connection to that man or his family forever. I knew it was the right decision, even though I hated it. I've never, ever, regretted that decision. I hope you get to a place, either way, where you feel you're making a decision out of KNOWING it's what you should do, despite what anyone else tells you.

  9. What's new on the makeup/product front? Also, how is your weight, are you happy where you are or do you stil feel like you want to be a certain size/number on the scale?

    FROM SK: Oooh, products! I will post on this soon. I have to run to the airport now. Will respond to more questions, keep them coming. As for my weight… I've been comfort and reward eating and have gotten out of control. I am not happy with my weight, but I'm also not willing to turn psycho about it. I will get back on track this week. Overall, though, being outside of NY, totally helps where my weight anxiety is concerned.

  10. What are your favorite books?

    FROM SK: I will have to do a post on this. I know as a writer people expect me to have some really good answers, but the truth is, I don't get time to read books lately. I read pilot scripts. I read articles. I read how-to books ON writing. I think you can learn and improve your own writing when you do read well-written books. I just haven't found a way to work it all in, and I've never been a fast reader. It takes me forever to finish anything. I'm the WORST person to have in a book club. Well, I'm the most fun, but I certainly never finish the book in time.

  11. Do you find it easier to be friends with men or women? Do you think men and women can ever be friends, especially when they find each other objectively attractive?

    FROM SK: When I was younger, I'd definitely say men. Without question. Now, I love my male friends, but I don't have any here in Austin. All my male friends are still in NY. I think it's very hard for men and women to just be friends, ever. I'm with Harry on that one. Now, I love my girlfriends and think who we are as a success in life has a lot to do with the quality of our female relationships. I've written about this on the blog before and am sure you can use the search bar on this blog to find it.

  12. What is your favorite comfort food?

    FROM SK: I put it in my collage: grilled cheese all buttery, with tomato soup, and chocolate milk with a crazy straw. Oh, how I also love french onion soup, new england clam chowder–basically anything where the main ingredient is cellulite.

  13. What are you going to do about your books and all your postings when your kids learn to read? I would be so embarrassed to have my kids read a lot of what you've written about your personal life. I can't help but think about this when I'm reading your blog and when reading SUAD.

    FROM STEPHANIE: I don't worry about that at all actually. This is who I am, and one day they'll respect that. Of course they'll be mortified and embarrassed, appalled. What kids aren't? It will be fine.

  14. Glad for the update on Phil. I was wondering how Lucas has been doing with his medical issues? He looks healthy and strong in your latest pictures.

    FROM SK: Lucas is doing great! Though I worry a little that he still can't say LUKE. He just says CK. Maybe he has problems with Ls?

  15. I live near where you used to live on the UWS. What were some of your go-to delivery places? I've found my favorite Thai (Land) and Sushi (Sushi Hana) places, but everything else (esp Chinese) has been a big fat bust.

    FROM SK: Sorry to say that when I lived upper west there was no SushiHana (it was only on the upper east), so I think I did Haru. I don't recall. I am not a big Chinese food eater, so you cannot count on me for that. I also don't know that I ordered in a lot. I definitely ate dinner at Compass a lot, specifically in the bar area. It was my go-to stop, since it was literally around the corner. Sorry I can't be of more help. I think I ate out mostly and always tried to mix it up with something new.

  16. Are you going to have more kiddies?

    From SK: I am certainly not against more babies, but we are not trying or even discussing. I think we need to work on our marriage, not on more taters.

  17. Hi, Stephanie. I'm a huge fan of your blog and I have two quick questions. How much do you currently weigh, and give us a sample of what you eat in a day. Thanks! ox

    From SK: I don't know what I weigh. I refuse to get on the scale. There is no "typical" when it comes to my days, especially not with regard to food. I am trying to eat 3 meals a day without snacking, which ALways works for me. But I have not been trying. My pants fit, but they feel tight. For me, it is very much a mental willing to lose weight. When I want to, nothing stops me. Right now, eh, I don't care so much. I am happy.

  18. Hi Stephanie! I recently finished "Straight Up and Dirty", and I just loved it! Looking forward to reading "Moose"! I've told my book club friends all about the books, and they will soon be fans too :o) Also, your kiddos are precious! I have twins too!!

    Well, on to my question…I was wondering if you would be able to post a pic of your engagement ring and wedding band – I saw it in the pics from your visit to the festival (I think you and Luke were on the carousel), and just loved it! I hope that doesn't sound like an odd question to ask!

    Are you planning any book signings in Cincinnati, Ohio, by chance? My book club friends and I would love to meet you!

    Take care!
    Michelle

    FROM SK: No immediate plans for Ohio, but I'm happy to do a conference call with your book club! As for my ring, you can find some pics on this site (though they were taken with my iPhone) and on my flickr page:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/greektragedy/tags/engagement/

  19. I remember reading about your holiday cookie swap that I think was part of a tv program. What is the best (your favorite) cookie recipe that you used?

    FROM SK: I will have to consult my recipe book at home. But I will no doubt be posting some fun holiday recipes again. My GOD I love food!

  20. Who is the Wasband and do you ever worry that he will write his own tell all?

    From SK: If you really wanted to know, I am sure you could google it, but I am not about to name him here as it was never my intention to out him, which is why I haven't used his real name in interviews. As for fear of his ever writing a tell all…. Hahahahaha! The beauty in what I write and wrote in straight up and dirty is that it's all true, and while he might choose to possibly rationalize any of his or his god-awful mother's behavior there is NOTHING he could ever say that would make me nervous. I left nothing out, including what I did wrong. The awesome thing about being so honest and airing all your faults or shame is that you are never afraid of what might get out about you. You are never afraid of being found out. I am sure he'd never try anyway since it would mean admitting to being such a snake under his real name, which I am sure he would never want people to know about him.

  21. Hi Stephanie – huge fan of your books, and so glad I found your blog. Wanted to let you know that I am also a mama of twins and I've managed to keep them alive for five years, so I must be doing something right. Twins are a totally different animal (at times, literally), than having two (single) children is. For an outsider that just sees what you share, YOU are doing a fantastic job with your family, so good for you. If it works for you – it's awesome. Some of the comments you get on here are boderline nasty, so, wanted to make sure you knew that this momma thinks you're serving your children very well by remembering to take care of YOU – it makes you a better wife and momma in the long run.

    My question for you is: when's your next book, and what's the subject?

    FROM SK: Thank you mama. I am just beginning to work on my next book, and haven't decided if it will be fiction or not. I think it will be. Right now I'm really focused on the TV show of Straight Up and Dirty. Once the script is in (end of Dec., beginning of Jan), I'll have much more time to work on the next book. It's all really exciting. There are also other TV opportunities in line, so we'll see.

  22. Who are some of your favorite bloggers? How often do you read them? And what inspired you to become a writer?

    FROM SK: Favorite bloggers is a loaded term. I have favorite people, who happen to keep blogs, and then there are random blogs I read now and then, for ideas or just to kill time, even though I have no time to kill. Like interior design blogs, where I like to look but will never "do" anything with anything I see there. Love scrapbook blogs, some food blogs. I can post links to some of these if you'd like. Yes? I used to read blogs a lot more when I had an office job because it made the day go by. I don't need the day to go by now. I need it to slow down.

    What inspired me to be a writer? Something inside. I always knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. Since 4th grade, I came home and told my parents I wanted to be a writer. I've always wanted this. I was sometimes so stirred in a writing class, that I could almost hardly sit still. I was caught in a moment and was overwhelmed with this feeling of "I'm going to do this for the rest of my life!" I just KNEW.

  23. I was wondering what was going on with Phil and his heart – thank you for updating us. You have dealt with so much … both of you! When my husband had cardiac issues (in his 40's) We went for 2nd opinions – he went to MAYO Clinic in MN and also we were followed up by Univ.of PENN (phila) …. It's a consolation to seek 2nd-3rd opinions to see if they all concur etc…

    best of luck with everything, keeping you in my prayers!

    FROM SK: Yes, we've had more than 3 opinions.

  24. Whats so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?

    FROM SK: I don't like Elvis Costello. There. I said it. Phil, on the other hand, loves him. I like his lyrics, and the songs other people do of his, but I could never hear him again and be fine.

  25. We were in Austin a couple of weeks ago. My question is – where are your fav places to go in town to see live music?

    We saw a fantastic Jack Ingram performance at Hill's Cafe (SoCo) on Wednesday that week. Antone's sounded like a terrific spot, too, except that they didn't have any blues shows when we were there. Where else should we have gone?

    And what genre do you absolutely love? And Phil? For me, blues, country, and rock are tops!

    Looking forward to your answers!!

    FROM SK: I'm about to really disappoint you. I live in the live music capital of the world, and I am so stirred by music and lyrics and acoustic guitar, but I don't get out much. I have to watch a lot of tv lately, and when we do go out, I go to the country club, where babysitting is included. I work out, then drink with Phil. And we don't get out enough in the actual city. Since being here, I've seen Bob Schneider a few times, and I love Rhett Miller. I love anyone with a soulful voice with lyrics that move me. That's all I've got for you.

  26. Hi. What bag are you currently carrying? What are the contents? Not a diaper bag question…your bag. And have you ever heard either through the grapevine or directly, what your "former piece of work mother in law "thinks of your writing and success?

    FROM STEPHANIE: I don't really carry a bag other than my laptop bag these days (which is a gucci camel colored bag that I bought myself when I first signed my book deal). But if I wanted a new bag for hannukah/christmas it would probably be … nah, I'll post a whole post dedicated to bags, because really, what's not to love?

  27. what's a typical day like for you?

    has the wasband or ex-mil every tried to contact you after writing SUAD? do you know of their reactions? have they ever read your blog?

    are you friends with any other big bloggers — like dooce?

    thanks for sharing all that you do. i feel like we're friends even though we've never met. your posts are so friendly and real to read.

    FROM SK: Thank you! I don't have a typical day, really. Some days I'm in my pajamas all day and don't leave the house. Most days, actually. I get up, have coffee, say hi to kids, read them a story, go check email, figure out what I'm going to work on that day. If I have errands to run, I do. If I want to see a movie or go write at bookstore, I will. I eat breakfast of some kind, even if it's a few cookies. I write something, work on something for most of the day. It depends what it is, based on what's due. Then I spend time with kids, cook dinner or watch Phil cook dinner. Then after the kids are asleep, I write/blog/watch tv. Again, it depends what's going on in my life.

    Am I friends with Dooce? Friends? No, but we were the two closing keynote speakers at BlogHer together, and she was lovely. I do read her blog on days when I'm reading blogs.

  28. It's possible this has already been done, but you might want to check if Lucas is "tongue-tied". I know you mentioned that you had trouble nursing when the kids were babies, which could also be related to this. This was the case with a friend's daughter and, for whatever reason, nobody figured it out until she was old enough to start talking and we just couldn't understand what she was saying. It's a really simple fix, too.

  29. I, too, always have questions for you, but when faced with the chance, have awful writer's block! I guess mine come from a personal place. I'm 23 and living in NYC with no responsibilities to anyone but myself. Some days I love it, other days I worry that it will never change. A bunch of my friends are already getting married, but I can't even think about dating right now, about putting myself out there. I guess my question to you is, how did you handle the future when you were facing it in your young 20s? I find myself worrying constantly about "figuring things out" about "finding my place" and being happy. I'm sure these fears are not unique to myself, but how do you ever get past them?

    And a more fun question – if you could be in your 20s again, with no responsibilities to anyone but yourself and a day with nothing to do, how would you spend that day in the big city?

    Oh oh! One more! (sorry!) Do you have any advice for someone interested in writing for a magazine/website? Particularly about food and wine. I'm finding it impossible to break into.

    FROM SK: Ooh, fun. I want to answer this one as a separate post. I will next week. I promise. As for the magazine/website front, I think it's best to consult the will write for food type books at the bookstore, submitting query letters, knowing the magazines intimately and why a certain article would be perfect for that magazine. I will answer your other questions next week in a post… good stuff. Can't wait actually.

  30. 1. any more kids in the plans?

    2. what is your advice to young women who would like to leave their traditional full-time job and transition to freelance writing (in print or blogging) as well as novel writing?

    FROM SK: I answered number 1 already. As for advice… I say, don't fear rejection. If you don't risk, you don't get anywhere. With that said, though, I also would NOT quit my full-time job. Most authors actually also have full-time jobs, so you should never think that's keeping you from something. If you want it badly enough, you'll use whatever free time you do have to write. Even when I worked full-time in advertising, I found time to take photography classes at night. I shot the red carpet. I ALWAYS took writing classes/workshops. You don't need to sit in a cafe for hours to write. Do it on index cards in meetings if you have to. I used to write between meetings. At home, in a bar, instead of watching TV. Submit things. Take classes. Work on a manuscript or a non-fiction proposal. KEY: Don't talk about how you one day want to be a writer. BE A WRITER NOW. Don't talk about doing it. DO it.

  31. I understand you probably don't want to give them any ink, but I'm also curious about the Wasband, ex-MIL and their reactions to your book and how things turned out for you.

    FROM SK: I never heard anything from them… but I heard plenty from people who know them, who are "friends" with them even. It's something I would never write on this site, but man, come to one of my readings, and I'm happy to answer in person (off the record). Juicy.

  32. Hey Stephanie!!

    One of my boyfriends in college gave me Creed perfume.. He got me the Spring Flower scent and I wasn't a huge fan of it. (Shh, don't tell!) I should check out your scent though as I love anything with rose in it.

    I have so many questions… Here are two for now though:

    Where are your favorite places to shop (online) for bath and body products??

    What sites do you recommend for baby clothing/gifts?

    Hope you have fun in Houston!

    FROM SK: This is a FUN one! I will dedicate a full post to this, since it's so much fun to answer! I'll post it next week! As for spring flowers, I never liked it either. So give this one a try. It's gorgeous.

  33. I think you can find your perfume for less . . . I used to wear Creed too, so I understand the attraction. Honk Kong is a pretty amazing place to visit SK. I looked for your book there, but no such luck. Here's my question: Have you seen the Starter Wife and what did you think?

    FROM SK: They don't sell this particular type of Creed any smaller. It's hard to find. As for Starter Wife, yes I've seen it, and I like it. I get annoyed that the ex is still in the picture. Why with all divorced shows do they always have the ex so instrumental in the hero's life? It annoys me. I know tv is driven off conflict, external conflict, that THAT is the story, but it still annoys me. It's so not true to real life. Most of us, unless we share custody, never have to see an ex (boyfriend, husband, etc.) I do love Debra Messing and think it's clever and fun the way they work movie satire scenes in each time in her dream state.

  34. just thought of another 2 questions i have for you:

    3. my mother has been married and divorced 3 times. my father is on his second marriage. both grand parents on both sides were divorced and re-married. basically. i have never seen a lasting, happy marriage. so… what is your advice to me about how to maintain a healthy marriage- what is worth fighting over, what is worth divorcing over, what is normal, etc.

    FROM STEPHANIE: I'd see a therapist, for one. Just to see if you're on the right track, that is, only if you feel you aren't. You can also learn "normal" by reading books. I like the "7 principles of a happy marriage."

    4. in straight up & dirty you read the wasband's email. would you do that again, and do you other recommend women do it too? is "checking up" on men via their phones, texts, myspace, email, etc a way of keeping tabs and watching your own back, or really just lack of trust in disguise? if you didn't have other issues in your marriage, do you think you could have ever trusted the wasband again?

    FROM SK: I didn't trust him. Plain and simple, and that SUCKS. It sucks to be in that situation. It's actually NOT always a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don't believe that your psycho ways can/or should drive someone to cheat. I'm glad I read his email. It was no way to live, and after all the lies I caught him in, I could NEVER have trusted him again. Ever. I would have continued to question and suspect forever. It's one of the reasons I love Phil. I NEVER question him and trust him 99%. I'd say 100%, but you never know, not really. Mostly, and this may sound shitty, I think people do what they want to do. People will cheat if they want to. I would tell a friend to break into his email, etc. if she suspected. I'm not against it. I think if he has nothing to hide, he should prove it. Even if it's unfair. Even if you seem psycho. If he loves you, he'll give you access to everything so you feel more secure. Eventually, you'll hopefully stop caring and start trusting. I used to scour Phil's computer looking, detectiving the crap out of our relationship. And then I realized there was nothing to detect, and I stopped. There was no reason NOT to trust him.

  35. As a young woman trying to find her way in life, I'm at a bit of a cross roads. I'm wondering what you think is more important: trying to stay true to what you believe in or trying to do what's best for your career?

    FROM SK: Principles are great, but they don't pay the bills. I think it's possible to do both… in fact if we're talking about a career and not a "job" here, if it's something you WANT to do with your life, I think it's pretty essential that you stay true to what you believe. There is always room for some compromise, though. For example, I had a certain way I wanted things to go sometimes at work, a vision. And my superiors would kill an idea that the client never even got to see. I shrugged and knew I was being true to myself, that I stood up and told them what I believed, but they disagreed. Okay, so the client never saw it. That's fine. It's not the end of the world. I've also turned many opportunities down in my career (working and writing for Playboy, for example. Being the sex/relationship expert on Tyra Banks show, another example). I turned things down because you have to see what you do as a brand. What do you want to stand for. I don't want to be pigeonholed as a sex writer. It's why I wrote Moose, why I'll write other things, too. It's hard to turn down options that you know will temporarily bring you success. I try to look long term when making my decisions, but that is a luxury. Some people don't have that option and have to do what they must to support themselves or their family, which I think IS being true to yourself, even if it means going against what you believe in.

  36. In the early days of your blog, I remember that you had a (more or less) regular office job. What finally made you decide to leave this 9 to 5 gig and start working full-time on your creative endeavors? Any general advice to others who are looking to do the same? I'm about to be laid off and I'm trying to reframe the situation as an opportunity to do what I've always wanted, rather than slapping the "dangerous unknown" label on it and running towards the first employer who will have me.

    FROM SK: It is all about mindset. It was scary leaving. Phil pointed out that I wasn't quitting my job. I was taking a new one. My new job was to work for myself. To wear slippers or go to some cafe and be okay with it. It WAS scary, leaving medical insurance, etc. I had to quit though. I was taking on too much with work, book, then NBC optioned book and paid me to write the pilot. I couldn't do everything without fearing that something would suffer for it. I didn't want that something to be my writing, so I took a full time position working for a sassy redhead named Stephanie. It was the start of something so powerful for me. I wish you all the best on your new job!!!

  37. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what percentage of the time are you pleased with what you see?

    FROM SK: It depends what I'm looking at.

    Overall, if my clothes fit, not much else matters. In general, I'm happy. Would I like to be slimmer, sure. Am I willing to sacrifice for it, nah. Do I believe in moderation? Of course. Do I take care of my health? Yes. Am I in a healthy weight range? Yes. Could I be thinner? Hells yeah. If I had to go to a beach party, I'd RSVP: Only if it rains.

  38. First and foremost, I am thinking positive for Phil. Remind him that he has your two absolutely beautiful babies to think about, and all the fun shit to come (and there's tons of it), not just himself. No offense, Phil :D

    Anyway, here are my questions:

    1- Has a commenter ever truly pissed you off to the extreme of tears? If so, who? and why? Do you read any of the unflattering blogs about you?

    FROM SK: I remember, quite a long time ago, when there was a person who left comments on my blog who did make me panic. I don't remember if I cried. I did have to go to the police. He was psycho, called me at home when my number was unlisted. Threatened me. Lived in a different state, but he was completely psycho. I've had other crazed readers, I mean, completely obsessed–people who have made hating me a sport. People who if you met them in person, you'd realize how completely socially inept they are, but online they can construct things just so and seem a certain way. Once you meet them though, you nod your head, "I get it now." There are a lot of clever people out there who are actually sad little trolls in real life. It helped me take it waaaaay less personally when I actually got a glimpse of these people in real life. That said, there were a few "stephanie bashing" sites once upon a time, and the creators actually (after time had passed) contacted me to apologize (saying that they still read my site and admired me), and that never had to be said, so I was impressed. First of all, they had no reason to say so, and secondly, it's never an easy thing to do: to admit you were a fucking asshole. As for the sites that talk shit about me now, sure I've seen them. But I have NEVER once ever commented on such a site (despite the comments I've read directed at me and how I'm clearly leaving comments–which I never have… so those actually make me smile). I have a google alert set with my name, so I see everything written about me. Do I care? Honestly? I may have used to, years ago, but I certainly don't now. People don't have to like me. There are 31 flavors for a reason. I'm okay with that. So whether people hate me or love me or don't know how they feel, one thing is for sure, no one accuses me of being fake. I'm always honest and real, and I've never bashed another writer or blogger, ever. I think it's easy to hate and a lot harder to have compassion and realize people are human.

    2- Has a commenter ever pleased you and made you laugh to the point you could see yourself friends with them outside of your blog and the bullshit?

    FROM SK: Absolutely. All the time. I've met a lot of people through this site, and many of those people have become authentic friends (including my own husband).

    3- Do you think without your blog your book would have ever been published?

    FROM SK: Yes, of course I think so. It might not have happened the exact way that it did, but I know it would have happened, even if I was self-published. People don't realize (or want to realize) that I turned down a three-book deal from a UK publisher (after I was featured on the cover of the Independent) to work on a book proposal. I didn't get my book deal based on my blog. I got it based on a seriously amazing book proposal. AND it's not about "getting" the job you want. It's about "keeping" it.

    4- Do you ever doubt yourself to the extreme of wishing you had never started the blog to begin with?

    FROM STEPHANIE: Never.

    5- Are you still in contact with Judith Reagan, and do you think Eric Schaeffer and her really *ewww* *gag* *cough* get it on?

    FROM SK: We're facebook friends, and my editor from SU&D is still close with Judith. I have no idea about her personal life, but I do know, from knowing her as my ex-publisher, that she's a woman who takes what she wants.

    Please dont take offense to any of these, I have a feeling you wont answer them all. You know "I love you more than my luggage" (love you more if you get the movie) and you're the first true blogger I ever read, and enjoyed and thought had actual talent. Remember I read you as an author first not blogger. And I think she would be perfect to play you. I loved her in Big Daddy, and thought back then 'this chick has talent'. You guys even look alike sans the red hair. Enough ass kissin'. Anyway, I love that you have opened yourself up like this, and you're even making jokes at your own expense regarding vanity (re update). You're the best.

    FROM SK: Thanks Julie. And as for Leslie Mann… she's amazing. I love her. I doubt she'd do TV. She also skews a bit more "wise" than what's probably needed for SU&D the TV show–someone who can play 22-30yrs. But she is the prototype we're looking for.

  39. Hi Stephanie I was just going through your pictures and saw your beautiful ring!! How many carats is the BIG diamond & total for both rings…..LOVE it!!! And is that a round diamond? I'll see you next week here in Atlanta.

    FROM SK: How about you ask me that in Atlanta. People FREAK when I speak of such things on my blog.

  40. You moved to Texas and made a whole bunch of new friends. I live in a new city, and I'm having a hard time meeting new people. I go to a lot of programs with my baby, and other moms talk to me there, but it never progresses from there. I'd love to have some advice from you…..

    FROM SK: Next time you meet someone where you seem to like them, you need to be ready with a plan. That is, say to yourself, "okay, if I meet someone I like, I'm going to ask them if they want to have a playdate next week." You need to initiate plans. Someone always has to. Then you must follow up and actually keep the plans. I've met women here through my blog (most of them), so it's easier that way. The hardest thing for me is making time for friends given my ridiculous schedule and ridiculous laziness when it comes to my unscheduled hours. I need to be better because I'm always SOOOOO happy after I've had plans with a friend.

  41. I started reading your blog years ago when this fish wrote the modern love article in the new york times. Are you two still friends? And do you keep in contact with the musician? What are your thoughts on him?

    FROM SK: Yes, this fish and I are still very good friends. I love her. My heart and home are always open to her. She's a wonderful friend. As for the musician, I'm not nearly as close with him as I am with her, though I only wish good things for him. He'll send me a new CD each time he comes out with one, and if I were in town, I'd go out and support him. I think he's talented and also self-absorbed. But it takes one to know one.

  42. I don't have a specific question, I just wanted to say I am a huge fan of you and have been for years. Thank you for so thoughtfully articulating the thoughts and feelings of many of your readers.

    FROM STEPHANIE: Thank you for taking the time to say so. You just made me smile.

  43. Hi.
    Do you miss your dog at all :O)
    I always wonder how he's doing.

    FROM SK: No. I don't. Ever.
    Come on! Of course I do. In fact, the other night, I was in my hotel room in San Antonio trying to fall asleep. I was tossing and turning, unable to find a good spot. To soothe myself, I began talking aloud… not to my kids, not to my dead grandmother, not to Phil, not even to myself. I talked aloud, as if I were speaking to Linus. I used my Linus voice, the one reserved ONLY for him. I can't help it. I love that little guy. It makes me tear up just thinking about his little cornchip paws and the pink bald spot on his belly. I love the way he yawns, and does a little circle dance before he poops. I love how he circles a spot on the floor before plopping down and curling himself into a bean. I will always love that dog. Lea gives me regular updates, to the point where she holds the phone up to his ear, and I talk to him.

  44. Goody gumdrops! I have been wanting to know: Why were you raised Jewish, when neither one of your parents are? Who made that decision and why? I think I have the info about your parents right, but forgive (and correct) me if I'm wrong.

    FROM SK: My father is 100% Jewish: Russian and Austrian. My mother is Greek and Puerto Rican. I was raised Jewish because it was much more important that I be raised Jewish to my father and his side of the family than it was to my mother and her side. I had a bat mitzvah, and I STILL know a good part of my torah portion and STILL know my haftorah. Crazy. Our kids will also go to Hebrew school. I find Judaism very comforting, and my only frustration is that I find myself wanting to be part of the Jewish community much more than Phil does. I know that religion separates people much more than it brings them together. I believe in rituals, and I love that when it comes to religion (as least as far as I'm concerned) you can practice it as you see fit, taking as much or as little as you deem appropriate for your own life. I find it very soothing.

  45. My question is where is my redhead friend. Here I sit, people watching at the JCC and I feel like I'm listening to a couple of yentas gossip while they're making dinner. This is an experience for this Italian/Scottish, Christian girl who only comes to the south side of Houston during Rodeo. And, I will come to the little ice cream room, but I have had rhea all day so I can't eat any. Bummer, something with the milk. This is one happening place.

    Okay-I have to pee now. I have some lady a paper towel to be nice because I was standing there and she looked at me like I had 3 nipples, like Chandler Bings "nubbin".

    FROM SK: I am so glad you made the trip and was only sorry we couldn't speak longer. I know it took you a while to get there, but it was great to see a New Yorker. Thanks again for making the trip, especially in light of the Rhea.

  46. One more question for you: What was the light-reflecting powder you were wearing in a semi-recent photo? I believe it was posted that a few months ago. One of the commenters said you looked like Leighton Meester in the picture. Anyway, you looked lovely, and you promised to tell us about that powder, but I think you must have forgotten. Please tell, lady! Thank you.

  47. Which male character on LOST would you want to be stuck on the island with the most?

    FROM SK: I LOVE this question! And I LOVE Lost! Sawyer. I know it's cliche, but it's true. I like that he can dish. I like his nicknames. I like the look of him, and I kinda want to lick him.

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