The Five!!!

1. I’m back from Asheville, where I had a GREAT reading at Malaprops on Wednesday night. A fabulous crowd, some of whom stood the entire time and it was HOT at some points. You guys are the best. It was sort of bittersweet, as it’s my last bookstore event for awhile, but man, what a great run. The book came out May 10th, and as of this week, it’s still on the NYT Bestseller list. Thank you, thank you, for all the support. You made this an awesome summer for me. Once I was done with my reading, I got to do my favorite thing in Asheville, which is eat. The restaurants are SO good. This trip I hit Zambra and Modesto for the first time, and visited my favorite breakfast place, The Early Girl, where the grits are AMAZING. I basically ate nonstop the whole time, but oh, well. It was the end of the tour (sort of). I had to do it (kind of). Really!

2. I say it was SORT of the end of the tour because I still have a few trips left. Including……..CANADA!!! Yes! Finally I will have a chance to meet some Canadian readers on their home turf. Now, details are still being worked out, but I do know ONE is set: I’ll be at Indigo Eaton Centre in Toronto on Wednesday, September 21st at 7pm. I’m so excited! I have only been to Toronto once, when How to Deal was being filmed there, and I loved the city. That same week I will also be at the National Book Festival in DC. I’ll pass along specifics when I know them, which should be REALLY soon. Or, as soon as I get caught up on my email. Either way, soon.

3. On my way back this morning, I was listening to a bunch of This American Life podcasts. (The BEST radio show, free podcast, you totally should download some if you haven’t already.) One of them had a story about soliders returning from Iraq for leave, based on excerpts from a nonfiction book called The Good Soldiers. They had actors reading the different voices of the soldiers and their families, and one of the women was just so, so good. I kept listening to her, hanging on her words, and thinking, “Wow, this woman is amazing. She’s making it just come ALIVE.” Then, when the story was over, they listed the name of the actors who’d read. The woman I loved? Connie Britton, aka Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights. OF COURSE I thought she was amazing because SHE IS. I got chills. And then I got depressed, as I do whenever I realize that the show is over. SNIFF! There HAS been talk lately, though, that a version of FNL might make it to the big screen. I refuse to get my hopes up, but….can you imagine???? Okay, just got chills again.

4. Regular readers know that I am somewhat obsessed with Good Morning America. Okay, very obsessed. I don’t know why, to be honest. I always liked the show, but I think when I was home with my daughter when she was an infant, and sleep deprived and sort of lonely, watching Robin and Diane and Chris and Sam from 7-9 gave me a sense of, like, something. They were good company when I really needed it. Anyway, life has gotten busier, and I don’t get to watch as much as I’d like. So I am always SUPER excited when I have 1) time alone in the morning and 2) a TV within earshot. At the hotel in Asheville, I had both…or so I thought, until I realized that the TV didn’t get ABC for some reason. What? And this is when I realized the depth of my obsession. Did I sigh and flip over to Today, or The Early Show instead? No, I did not. I cursed, tried the remote a few more times, and then turned on NPR instead. Really. Maybe there’s a 12-step group for folks like me? And THEN, because of all this, I missed Nikki Minaj’s nipple slip on GMA this morning during the Summer Concert Series. Are you kidding me? How much would I have LOVED to see Sam Champion react to THAT? I am sure he was laughing out loud. Man. Oh, well.

5. Finally, I wrote here earlier this week about how this trip was not just for the reading, but to hang with my good girlfriends from high school. Most of us are in our forties now, and we don’t see each other much, especially without husbands and kids in tow. So just the four of us, for two days, was pretty amazing. You know you are good friends when it’s been six months since you’ve seen each other and within ten minutes you are RIGHT back to where you were when you left off. Now, I am an early to bed, early to rise type (which is why I can watch GMA so regularly) but these girls had me OUT until late on Wednesday. And at a bar, no less! Good gracious. We’re just sitting there, catching up, and we were joined by three guys in their early twenties who plopped down to chat with their pitcher of beer. I was TOLD that one of my friends heard the word “cougar” thrown around. Oh, dear God in heaven. It was just so silly and hilarious. I can remember when we WANTED boys to come join us. That was the whole reason we went out! But now, twenty years later, it was like, “Oh, go away, we want to talk about the best way to do time out with a four year old and have it be effective.” They were nice boys, don’t get me wrong. But they could never be as much fun as the company I was already with. Nobody knows you like the people you weathered high school beside. I was so lucky, then and now, to have such good company.

(Note: the deer head was NOT one of our high school crew. Just so you know. But can you imagine if it WAS?)

Have a great weekend, everyone!