The Friday Five!

1.

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Okay, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

2. So, yes: I was on GMA this week,on Tuesday morning. I KNOW. You guys have NO IDEA how hard it was for me to keep this a secret (and I didn’t entirely succeed, to be honest). I’ll back up. So a couple of weeks ago, I get this email from my publicist at Penguin. She’s all cool and collected: “So Josh Elliott picked you for this breakfast segment, would you be interested?” I had to call her: “Would I be interested? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? OH MY GOD!” I may have blown out her phone. (Sorry, Penguin!) Then there was a bunch of back and forth, making plans. Josh’s producer, this great guy named Rich, wanted to come down here and film us for a taped piece that would run before I came on. Cue my husband: “But the house is such a mess!” (Note: it is NOT, he’s a total neat freak.) We were told not to tell anyone, so we had to keep it quiet, which is hard when THE COOLEST THING EVER IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO YOU. Somehow, though, we managed. And last Thursday, Rich showed up with two totally nice camera guys at 5:30am and set up, basically embedding themselves in our chaotic kitchen for all the morning rush. They got me getting my kid ready, the dogs racing around (one peed on the floor, I was so proud) and, of course, watching GMA, as well as me talking about why I love the show.

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It was kind of surreal having cameras here, but by the time they left it felt like they were friends.

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3. Then I had to really keep quiet about the actual appearance. Which is not easy to do when you usually tell everyone, well, EVERYTHING. It was my turn to try to be cool and collected. “Oh, yeah, I’m just going up to New York for the night, last minute.” Friend/family member: “Why?” Me: “Um, well, it’s work stuff.”  Friend/family member: “But I thought you were done with all your work stuff until Texas, isn’t that what you just told me?” Me: “Just leave me alone! I’m going to New York for NO REAL REASON! STOP BOTHERING ME!” And…scene. I was told I could hint a BIT on Twitter, but otherwise I was supposed to keep it under my hat. Plus there was always the chance that breaking news would pre-empt the whole thing, so I was scared to get my hopes up. I flew to NYC on Monday morning, then set out to look for a dress, as I didn’t like any of the ones I’d brought with me. I hit Saks, with no luck, then BCBG with my agent, also no luck. Finally, in the distance, I saw it: the Kate Spade store. SCORE! I went in and immediately found a pink dress I loved. It even matched my nails, which I’d had done days earlier. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.

4. Monday night, I went to bed at 10pm and tried to get some sleep. I was staying in a hotel right down from the GMA studio, with Times Square in the distance. The view was really different from what I usually see, nothing but stars. I got up at 5:15, tried to stay calm, and got ready. At 7:15, my publicist Elyse and I headed over to the studio. We were trying to be all cool, but once they put us in a dressing room the reality hit:

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Yeah, we were a little excited. A bit later, they came and took me to hair and makeup. Now, I had been told it was a “touch-up” but instead I got the FULL treatment. I have never had so much makeup on in my LIFE. So fun, though. Here’s me before:

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And after, getting my microphone on:

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5. Then it was time to go downstairs. First, though, my friend Rich the producer took me to see the control room. It was like NASA, that complicated. There’s a LOT that goes into a show like this you don’t see:

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Then it was downstairs and almost time. Right before the segment, Josh Elliott, the one who made ALL THIS HAPPEN FOR ME (did I mention I LOVE him?) came out to say hello. He gave me a huge hug (he’s a hugger, one more thing to love about him) during which I left makeup ALL over his shoulder. When you watch the segment and the on on GMA Live, you can see it. Oh, dear. But the hug was totally worth it.

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And then it was time. The last thing he said to me before running back into the studio was, “Don’t you choke on me, Dessen!” That was when I got nervous. But then the doors were sliding open and it was happening. I barely saw the piece they shot here, as I was too busy trying to process that I was sitting at a table between Josh and Robin Roberts, with Lara Spencer and George Stephanopoulos further down. I mean, the day before I was watching from my kitchen table, coffee in hand. And now I was there, drinking coffee. WHOA.

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The coffee was GOOD, in case you are interested. As was the food: eggs, bacon (!) potatoes and toast. I was too nervous to eat anything but the bacon, though. (I am never too nervous for bacon.) Honestly, for all the nerves, though, it really was like hanging out at a table with some friends, that casual. And it went by in a BLINK.  Before I knew it, it was over. I’m glad I have the show on my DVR and the video online, because honestly, it’s kind of a blur. A great, happy blur. After the show was over, I got to stick around for GMA Live, the web show they do after the broadcast. It was SO fun, and we talked about all my favorite things: my chickens, UNC, Judy Blume. I will be FOREVER grateful to Josh and Rich and everyone at GMA for making this happen. Regular readers of this blog know how much I was freaking out. How often do dreams really come true?

If you want to watch the segment, it’s online here. And if you want to see the GMA Live, it’s here (I come out at about the 2:00 mark). Now that I CAN share it, you know I will be, about a million more times. Maybe a million and one.

Final note: this time, next week, I’ll be heading to the Austin Teen Book Festival, where I get to see ANOTHER dream come true when I meet Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars and YA author. Details are here. It’s going to be SO FUN!

Have a great weekend, everyone!