I'm back in Philadelphia, after my morning with Martha, which was lots of fun. For those of you who watched, thanks.

For those of you who found your programming pre-empted due to Presidential press conference (that would include viewers in Philadelphia -- my husband & daughter; Hartford -- my Mom's entire book club, and Fort Lauderdale -- my Nanna), I will attempt to reconstruct the day's events with words and pictures.

6:45 a.m. -- Hair and makeup guy Algene arrives in my hotel room with bags of makeup, blowdryer, curling iron, trowel.

8 a.m. -- Friends and assistant depart from hotel in taxicab heading to studio.

8:15: Limousine, loaded with me, agent and mother makes way along treacherously icy New York City streets to the Martha Stewart Show.

8:45: We arrive! Join publicists Marcy and Dana in Martha Stewart green room, which is fabulous. Walls painted beautiful soft shade of apple (Martha Stewart paint?). Buffet piled with fresh-baked blueberry muffins.



Cheerful assistant sticks head in room: "Cappuccino, anyone? Latte?" Hands down, best green room ever.

9 a.m.: One hour until showtime. Introduce self to Jane Green (v. lovely, accent just like Posh Spice!). Coo over Westminster-winning Frenchies and Chows. Hair and makeup guy, meanwhile, eyes my mother with interest of cannibal at fat camp.

9:10: I return to room to find mother in makeup chair and Algene fussing over her with a curling iron. Enjoy latte. Take pictures with publicist Marcy, whose hand and/or back of head usually appears in magazines beside pictures of movie stars.



9:30: Mother rendered unrecognizable (hair curled, eyelashes mascara'd), whisked off to studio audience.



9:40: "Hello!"

I lurch to my feet. "Oh my God! You're Martha Stewart!"



Martha Stewart smiles, acknowledging fundamental truth of her Martha Stewart-ness. Then frowns. "It's kind of dark in here." Martha Stewart flips light switch that none of us have noticed before, and room is flooded with light. "You see that?" I ask everyone. "Martha Stewart can do anything!"

10 a.m.: Show starts. We watch on green-room TV set. Frenchies. Chows. Butt-sniffing. Martha is not amused.

10:15: "Do you ever have lots of herbs left over at the end of the summer?" Martha asks chef. Chef says Yes. I say Yes, too. Am totally lying.

10:18: Chef shows Martha how to infuse vodka with basil or mint; makes tasty-looking martini. I worry that she'll hand them out to audience and mother will get tipsy.

10:30: Makeup lady fusses over me with powder puff and lipgloss. During commercial break, while production assistants scoot around re-configuring the set, I take seat at small turquoise stool next to Jane Green, who is next to Martha.

10:40 -- 10:44: Blur. I may have said something about the folly of critics judging books by their pink covers, surreal experience of seeing fellow gym-goers reading books. Martha, I am pretty sure, said something about being propositioned by Sean Connery.

10:44 -- Commercial break.

10:40-10:50: Blur. I'm pretty sure, when asked if I adapted IN HER SHOES for the screen, said, "A friend of mine once told me that a writer trying to adapt her own novel is like a mother trying to circumcise her own son." But really, do not want to hear self talk: want to hear end-up of Sean Connery story.

10:50: Back to green room, where my mother -- no joke -- manages to jam door and lock herself in Martha Stewart's bathroom.



10:55: We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this Presidential press conference. Producer sticks head into green room, shrugs. "Huh. Well. Sucks for 'The View.'"

11:15 a.m.: Belatedly realize that Presidential press conference means it also sucks for everyone who didn't get to watch the show live.

Ah well. They'll rerun it in the summertime.

Jen