I was delighted to meet up recently on Twitter with Quinn Cummings--partly because I remember her as the precociously adorable child actress in The Goodbye Girl (and also in the TV series, Family). Then I discovered her blog The QC Report and realized that she’s also an interesting, witty and compelling writer. Best of all, she now has a book NOTES FROM THE UNDERWIRE: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life (Hyperion/July 7, 2009).
And best, best of all, she’s joining us here, as a stop on her Blog Book Tour, to talk about her new book! Check out her answers here, and then go to visit her blog, and then run to the book store to buy her book! When you’re relaxing at home or sitting on the beach, laughing, sniffling, and nodding your head in recognition as you turn the pages, you’ll be glad you did.
Me: Congratulations on your book release! If I was holding a Book Group discussion about Notes From The Underwire, what is one good question I should bring up to discuss?
Quinn: Nice question! I think everyone imagines themselves to be a good person. My entire book and, arguably, my life is predicated on my being a good person, a responsible person, all the while knowing I'm really just a big screw-up most of the time. Maybe the question is, what makes a good person to you, the reader? Are you being that person? Has your definition of goodness changed in your life? Are you still being a good person if, like me (Quinn), you hardly ever reach it?
Me: The subtitle for your book is “Adventures from my Awkward and Lovely Life.” What is an example of something awkward that’s happened to you? Okay, and now--something lovely?
Quinn: Well, in the book I ran into a plate-glass window. If that's not awkward, how about the time I fell up a flight of stairs and landed on my own fencing foil, taking out a chunk of shinbone? I think the "Awkward and lovely" subtitle comes from the fact that I know it looks cobbled-together from random objects one would find in her purse, but my life gives me great pleasure. Any night I can go in and watch my sleeping child, being guarded by her watchcat, is a lovely night, even if I have been to the ER that day.
Me: My dog Kelly notices that you have a picture of a cat on your Twitter page. Do you prefer cats to dogs, and if so, what can I tell Kelly to make her feel better?
Quinn: Tell Kelly that I'm all about the dogs. Just spent a half-hour introducing a friend and her family to a lovely dog I hope they adopt. It's just that I love the picture of Clementine my former foster cat so much that I'm loathe to change it. Truly, though, and never tell Kelly this, I fractionally prefer cats to dogs because I'm a maschocist and I love an animal which usually ignores me and makes me use my inhaler.
Me: You’ve been blogging for a while. Do you ever feel stumped about what to write in a blog entry?
Quinn: Luckily, I'm not under contract to write the blog. If I'm truly flummoxed and out of material, I either put up a rerun or I miss a week. Yes, I feel guilty but I'm Quinn; guilt is my default emotion. Usually, though, I manage to say or do something stupid by Sunday which becomes a blog by Tuesday.
Me: I also discovered recently that you invented the Hip Hugger baby sling, obviously intended to comfortably carry a baby. Has anyone ever mentioned a creative alternate use for your sling?
Quinn: I heard tell of some women using it to carry their small dogs. For liability reasons, I cannot encourage that usage but am pleased that a Peke owner or two has been able to make their lives easier.
Me: Do you really prefer underwire? Because I find it bites into my ribs.
Quinn: It was actually a meaningless phrase which pleased my ear. But, without getting too far into the details here, I've been pregnant and nursed a child. My feelings about an underwire bra are something along the lines of "Thank you. No, really."
Me: I always end my blog post with What I Learned from My Dog. What is one lesson you’ve learned from your dog?
Quinn: He's the most congenial being I've ever owned. If I were to learn anything from him, it would be "Choose to be happy. When the bad stuff comes, hide under the bed, then forget it, and then choose to be happy again."