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How Karina Yan Glaser, Young-Adult Novelist, Spends Her Sundays

Karina Yan Glaser writes about the Vanderbeekers, a family with some similarities to her own.

Like the Vanderbeekers, the Glasers live in Harlem, in a two-bedroom co-op where most families know one another. Also like the Vanderbeekers, the Glasers have a lot of pets, five to be exact: Addie, Annabelle and Nala are rescue cats. Ginger Pye is a rescue dog, and Lalo is a 7-month-old Corgi.

The cats and dogs round out the home Ms. Glaser, 41, shares with her husband, Dan Glaser, 49, a sales cloud architect at Salesforce, and their daughters, Kaela, 13, and Lina, 11. Ms. Glaser’s fifth book in the popular young-adult series, “The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish,” was published this fall.

UP WITH THE FUR BABIES I get up around 6:30. If I had the choice, I would sleep later, but since we have pets that need to be fed and walked, I get up. Some need medicine, too. Like Ginger Pye is 13, and she gets frequent urinary tract infections, so she needs an antibiotic. And Nala needs eye drops. It’s one of the reasons she spent years in the system and wasn’t adopted for so long. But I’m glad no one got her. When people meet her, they think she looks very old, I guess because she’s sort of scraggly and unkempt. Maybe other cats are better at grooming themselves, I don’t know. But she’s just lovely and she acts very young.

HEAD LIBRARIAN If it’s nice out, Dan and I will walk the dogs. We’re right near the Harlem River, and there’s this little path there. Then after I try to wake up my children, I go through the apartment doing things I didn’t get a chance to do during the week, like sifting through boxes of books sent to me by publishers. As part of my job, I review children’s books. If there are books I’ve already read or don’t need, I’ll take them down to the free library in front of our building. I started it seven years ago, and it’s been great. A lot of people are putting in their own books now. Sometimes there’s trash in there. I’ll go down and clean it out.

LEAFY GREENS My husband doesn’t do a lot of cooking, but he does make really great pancakes. While he’s cooking, I’ll water the plants. During Covid I acquired quite a few houseplants, like double the amount we had. We have about 60 now. Our super drilled a bunch of hooks into the ceiling, so a lot of them are hanging.

DIGITAL WORSHIP We go to church on a little laptop because we don’t have a TV and during the pandemic our church, All Angels’ Church on the Upper West Side, went online. The girls might drift in and out or read during the service, but I don’t blame them. It can be hard to focus on a digital platform.

DUMPLINGS On Sundays I like to cook something that’s a little harder to do during the week, that takes a little more time. I could bake bread, or the kids could help me make dumplings. We buy packs of 150 won ton wrappers in Chinatown, usually four or five at a time, and then I’ll make the filling of ground pork and tofu and garlic and different spices and they’ll wrap them.

HOVERING My older daughter plays violin as part of the New York Youth Symphony. They rehearse on Sunday afternoons a little east of Penn Station. We take the subway down there. I’ll walk and think while she’s rehearsing. She’s funny because she doesn’t like to be seen being dropped off or picked up by me, so I’ll hover by the entrance surreptitiously at pickup time.

CLOTHES TO QUILTS We have dinner together at home. If we made dumplings that day we’ll have dumplings. And we’ll have to walk and feed the pets again. After that, I’m getting ready for the week ahead and doing my favorite wind-down activity, which is hand quilting. Right now I’m working on a quilt that’s a flying geese pattern. It’s made of scrap material I’ve been collecting for years. Until the girls were 3 or 4, I made all their clothes. This quilt takes all these pieces of things they used to wear or recognize, so it makes it fun. I’ll do that while sitting on the couch and talking to Dan.

TANGIBLES I’m not a super digital person. I feel like I’m a person who likes things that are tangible, like physical books and cooking and gardening and quilting. With my daughters, I’m really glad they’re both big readers who have also grown up with lots of books around them. They love physical books, too. They go to bed around the same time as me, 10:30, but I think both of them are night owls. They like to stay up reading.

Sunday Routine readers can follow Ms. Glaser at @Karinaisreadingandwriting on Instagram and @KarinaYanGlaser on Twitter.

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