Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode · 1 year ago

Friends & Fiction with Paula Faris & Daryn Kagan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode, we welcome TWO journalist-turned-author guests as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Meet Daryn Kagan who spent more than 12 years as an anchor on CNN, reporting live from several major events around the world, including the war in Iraq, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and numerous presidential elections. Today, Daryn is a syndicated newspaper columnist, and the author of HOPE POSSIBLE. We will also welcome Paula Faris who is a journalist (formerly co-anchor of Good Morning America Weekend and co-host on The View), podcaster, and author of the book CALLED OUT. Hear about their journeys from high pressure jobs in national television, to carving out more time for family and for themselves, and to becoming published authors.

Welcome to Friends and Fiction. Five best selling authors and the stories. Novelists, mary Kay andrews, Christine Harmel, Christie Woodson, Harvey Patty Callahan, Henry and mary Alice Munro are five longtime friends with more than 80 published books to their credit In 2020 they created friends and fiction to provide author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing and to highlight independent bookstores. These friends discuss the books, they have written the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Hi everyone welcome to our weekly Wednesday evening show where we explore the world behind your favorite books. We are so glad you're here. I'm Christine Harmel, I'm Christie What's on Harvey, I'm patty Callahan Henry and I'm Mario's oh that's for the blooper tape, I'm mary Kay Andrews Oh and this is friends and fiction and the new york times. Bestselling others with identity crises process endless stories all to support independent booksellers tonight you'll meet Daryn Kagan and Paula Faris and possibly mary Alice Munro Andrews, I don't know but Darren and Paula to women you may feel like you already know because chances are they've been on your television more times than you can count, Darren used to be the main anchor on CNN where she worked for 12 years and Paula was on the View and Good Morning America Weekend and continues to be a correspondent for abc News. Both have books out now and both have found new and perhaps surprising roads to joy where they least expected to. We'll talk to both women about their careers and about their books, Darren's hope possible. And paul is called out and we'll also speak to them about finding joy in the journey. But first we want to share something with you that we are starting to do a bit differently. If you've tuned in before, you might know that we have a featured book store of the week every week since our very first episode in April of 2020. Well from now on, we'll be asking our guests to tell you about their favorite stores. And from time to time we'll highlight our own favorite Indies. But each week, instead of offering you 10% off at the store of the week, we will be updating our own bookshop dot org. Shop Well, you'll get a built in discount on most books and where a portion of your purchase will go to help independent bookstores nationwide. And of course we encourage you to support your own local stores to. It is so important to shop local wherever you are because bookstores are such a vital part of our communities across the nation and across the world. So if you have a bookstore in your area, make sure to support them so that their doors can stay open. Absolutely. And you know, let's be honest, all of us shop at big stores to we love it when Target and walmart and Costco stock our books and we're thrilled that you can grab a novel at the same time you're picking up your milk and eggs at ordering online is easy. We do it. We just ask that when you're thinking about how to spend your money in a way that does some good. You keep your local bookstores in mind too, because when you shop there, when you shop local, even if it costs a few dollars more, your money is going straight back into your community. Well speaking of buying books at all these fabulous bookstores, we have a special treat for you this evening. It is time to tell you about our guests, Daryn Kagan and Paula Faris. Uh huh. I'm still spaced out. Okay, well Darrin was an anchor on CNN for 12 years during her time at CNN she reported on presidential elections, traveled to Africa with musician bono is the bono or bono, I never know bono bono. This is how you know, I'm old to report on AIDS and famine. And she reported live from the red carpet of several academy awards ceremonies. She is one of only a few national news anchors who were live on the air during the morning of September 11, 2001. That's incredible. After leaving the network in 2006, she launched Daryn Kagan.com, which we haven't been to, you must which focuses on uplifting and positive news and extended her content to documentaries, radio and books. She has given a ted talk about how to watch...

...the news and get inspired and she has also contributed to cbs sunday morning Darren's PBS film Breaking the Curse when the 2000 and eight Gracie Award for Outstanding Documentary. She also recently released a book Hope possible and network news anchors, thoughts and losing her job, finding love a new career and my dog, always my dog, which we'll be talking to her about tonight. Karen lives in Georgia with her husband and she has two young adult daughters. Now, Paula Faris spent over two decades in broadcast journalism, including nine years at abc news where she co anchored Good Morning America Weekend co hosted the View and launched journeys of faith with Paula Faris. The Emmy Award winning journalist has reported on everything from politics to entertainment to sports and she's interviewed high profile people such as joe biden, I eat the president, you're on it tonight girl on it Tom Hanks, I eat Forrest gump and Hillary Clinton Paula recently released her first book called out Why I traded to dream jobs for a life of True Calling, which explores the events that led her to make a change in her career and allowed her to discover who she was outside of her work. She also hosts the Paula Faris Faith and calling podcast. Paula is a graduate of Cedarville University in Cedarville Ohio and currently lives in south Carolina with her husband john and their three kids. Both women reached the height of their careers and then took a left turn into what I like to think of as the beginning of happily ever after. In other words, you know, I think the lesson we're so often taught is that we have to work work, work for years and years and years always striving for the next big thing. But both Darren and Paula said enough, they stepped off the merry go round, they took control of their destinies and they found incredible ways to bring good into both their own lives and into the world at large. So Sean, can you bring Darren and Paula on please. Hi. Hi. Hey lady, welcome. It's so wonderful to help the two of you here. Good to be with you. It's great to be with you and Darrin. Apparently we're not that far apart from one another. You're in the, in Georgia and I'm in south Carolina. So we probably should have done this together tonight, but we're just not realizing that it's just that's asking for a future girl date. I think. I love that. Yes. Ray check. Wait. Hello, Are they having a party without us? Uh north Carolina. Yeah. One big southern party. I think when you got that was a given ladies, that was again, you're really thank you. Yeah. You know how they were running off to get a good uh, So ladies, we're going to talk about your amazing books in just a moment. But first we want to start off and start talking about the 20th anniversary of September 11 which is only three days from now. I just 20 years wow because the two of you were both working as journalists on that fateful day in 2000 and one Darren Kristen's essay this week for Parade magazine was actually about your journey. Did you read it? I did. So moving. It's a beautiful piece. I read things like that. I go, oh I want to be her, I want to feel like what it would feel like to get that grand experience. So thank you. It was so moving. I've read it a couple of times so for me that day I remember everybody has that memory right I would just dropped off my two oldest at elementary school and I was at the gym and most people listening to this, I don't believe that but I was at the gym. I know this is shocking news but it was 20 years ago and I was with my three year old who is now 23 I saw the second plane hit live on the gyms tv over over the screen and everything in that room stopped, everyone stood stock still, nobody knew what to say. It was this really eerie silence and I ran total mother's instinct and I grabbed my three year old from the little nursery and went to my friend Susan's house, I was in Atlanta at the time to watch the news and we stayed there all day Horrified and knowing I kept saying this is a before and after in our lives this is a...

...before and after and it ended up being very true. It was a before and after. So Darren, can you tell us a bit about what you remember from that morning, 20 years ago? So when the first plane hit um this little Paula knows how this works broke. This was like 15 minutes before my co anchor leon Harris, we're about to go on the air. So we were in the makeup room which is where nice little news anchors go right before they go on the air and one of the producers popped in and said hey this thing is happening in new york turn up the volume on the monitors in here I think you need to watch. And at that point if we can dial back our memories when that first plane hit. I don't think it was within the thought of any of us that that was anything possibly more than like a private plane, a small private plane that went a long way. Yes it's really an accident. Um and only and I am sat down the first anchors moved out and we were interviewing aviation experts. I mean you just kind of go CNN is made for this kind of breaking news and so there's just kind of a thing that you do and they call on experts and you interview them while there is a live feed of what's going on. So we were on the air interviewing this aviation expert when we watched the second plane go into that second tower which was the point I believe where the world shifted, where we realized something different bigger and the world was never really the same. That's right. Yeah. You know I remember I was at home writing in a little backyard hut. That was my office at the time and my memory is hazy about how I found out but I know that I stopped working and I was glued to the television the rest of the morning. I called my husband at work because that was my instinct even though I knew what had happened in new york. And then D. C. My instinct was to call my husband to make sure he was okay. And you know it was one of those days when I miss my old life as a newspaper reporter of being part of a breaking news story. And you know in our after show tonight we're gonna be expanding a little bit more on our personal memories and we're gonna bring you are Managing director meg walker and she's going to share her story because she was pregnant with her daughter Grace. And she was commuting in by train from New Jersey to lower Manhattan when the first plane hit and you are going to want to stick around for the rest of that harrowing tale. But now Paula tell us about your experience, you were working at a station and dating at the time, is that correct? I actually ladies, this is really interesting because this was such a pivotal moment for me personally and professionally pivotal just culturally, I, we all, as you said, patty, we all remember exactly where we were. I was also working out in, in Dayton Ohio, newly married. We were married about a year. I was working in radio sales at the time, so I got a degree in broadcast communications. I emphasized in television production. I'd been out of school about four years. I really felt this burning to get back into television news. I had interned. I have most of my experience, that's really where my heart was. But I allowed my fears to paralyze me. And I still remember watching the coverage, I watched NBC all day and I was so gripped by the coverage that I told my husband, I said, this is it, this is the moment where I need to get back into television news. So I quit my job like a couple of days later I was making as a 25 year old, I was um I was making probably $50,000 and at the time and radio sales. You guys, I was crushing it. But I just, I had this burning desire, I had to stop. I couldn't run away from it any longer. This dream I had to really press into my fear. So I quit my job and I handed my resume out to all of the local television stations in Dayton Ohio. I substitute taught for a while just to pay the bills before I got a job and I got hired to be a production assistant means seven bucks an hour at the duel affiliate station in Dayton Ohio. So I started down here. But because I knew how to shoot and edit and and produce at, right because that was my background. I was able to um, pro I presented the news director probably about four months after I was there. I said, hey, I put this tape together, can you just take a look at it? I wasn't expecting for him to put me on the air because I was just a lowly P A. Um, but he liked what he saw. He knew that I could, what we call one man band in the business so we can do all of it. And um, he put me on the air and that's really but 9 11 for me yes, culturally. Um, you know, it's a moment that so pivotal. But for me that was the moment I decided to press into my fear and go for this, this thing on my heart. So it's incredible Paula and mary Kay, a former newspaper reporter. You actually are talking about something that's kind of like their dirty the dirty little secret but the thing that we don't really talk about as journalists in public and that is on the big day, that is where you want to be. So it's this dichotomy of this is horrible but get out of my way because it's my story,...

The Fire Bell are Fire Bell is the Fire Bell is going off At that point, I'd been out of newspapers for 10 years but the fire bell was still going off and I was still thinking how could I muscle my way into this story five minutes, That's a challenge and Darren. You bring that up and yeah, nothing made me feel more alive, you know, in my 20 years of broadcasting than being on the scene and chasing breaking news, but it's also reconciling the fact that I want to be the first on the air or I want to get this story but but not becoming callous to to human emotions, you know? So that was that was one of the big struggles with with me and Darren, you might feel the same way seeing the absolute best in people on a daily basis, but also the absolute worst um in some ways you have to protect yourself from that because otherwise it can affect you in so many so many negative ways. So it's it's almost a defense mechanism to protect yourself but then at the same time like I didn't want to become callous to human emotions. Um so that was a delicate balance that I was always trying to, to find, wow, that is so interesting that you took that and you know, really made this incredible change in your life. Um I was in high school so um I was, I remember like coming out, I mean it was in geometry and I, this is so bizarre, like I remember, so I guess everyone remembers so well, but I was like standing by my locker talking to my best friend about what we were gonna wear to him coming and that's what we were talking about and her boyfriend came up and said, oh this is super weird, I just heard that this little plane or helicopter or something um hit one of the twin towers and we were like so weird and kind of brushed it off, but I remember having this really weird feeling about it and actually instead of going to my next class, I went into the library and we have these huge TVs in our library that were like running the news all the time and I was standing in the library completely by myself when the second plane hit, which was really crazy and I don't know how like, I mean no one would have even known I was in there, but I remember for some reason like that my boyfriend at the time coming in the library where I was standing and he was like how I'm relieving, we're going home and and I mean, I would never have left school, but you were so shell shocked about like what is going on and what's happening in the world and um and I think, you know, you know, all these things were happening and we were like, what's gonna happen next and you're right Darrin about that before and after, like, I think especially as, you know, as a teenager, it was like that moment, it was like that last moment that you ever really felt like totally safe in the world because before that the world was a completely safe place for me, you know, as a 15 year old in my mind, I mean in my mind it was, you know, like nothing that like that had ever happened before. So, Um anyway, it's just really hard to believe that it's been 20 years, but You know, one of the things we'll talk about tonight of course is the joy that you've both found and reporting good and inspiring news. But over the course of your lives as journalists, you've had to report some really difficult things such as September 11 and its aftermath. And I think that sometimes we forget that is Darren said and Kristen's parade article today, the people in front of the camera have their own stories too Darren. I know that a couple years after September 11, you wound up as a war correspondent in Kuwait and I'd love to hear from both of you what it's like to report difficult news when you're struggling with your own worries or fears or feelings about that news. So Darren, could you start us off? So when we talk about when the U. S. Was going to invade kuwait? Yeah, just just in general, I mean how it is, you know when you're warning me I would say um well at the time again I was facing the big story. If we were going to war, I wanted to go to war. Um kind of funny side thing. I was also the one who covered the Oscars. So I had to go to new york and have a gallon sting. I had two things going. Either we would go to war and I had my go bag or having a gown that's no. Oh my gosh. Oh my word. Text to physician. Yes. So I had hoped you gonna wear. I had both. Uh interestingly with war. Now another personal thing um as we were, you know, they don't just send you to war. They send you to war school. There's a lot of training, there's a lot of thought that goes in it. Um I was single at the time, I consulted with my brother and sister, we decided we were not going to tell our parents that this was going to happen. Uh It happened when they were both having big health struggles. My dad was in one hospital in Los Angeles and my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and she was having surgery the next day at another hospital and we went to visit my dad and we were downstairs in the cafeteria and something came on one of the monitors about potential war. And she just looked at me like, you know who my mother knows? And she just said she was like, you're going, aren't you? And I said, well dad, I just messed up like I've been caught blowing turkey or...

...something and like, so where is this moment? So my mother's gonna breast cancer surgery. My dad's upstairs very sick. My mother looked at me and she said, so what are you gonna wear? I you know what my mom was always about how you dress right? And she's like, well what is the ladies wearing toward these days? You're going shopping, We're going shopping. I'm like dad's upstairs in the hospital, you're having breast cancer and we're going shopping. And she looked at me and she said, I can't control what happens to him. And told what happens in my surgery. But I'll be damned if I'm not going to control how my kid looks on international tv. Oh my gosh, gosh, we did. We went shopping. Got a Grammy. It was always not what you're gonna wear. So yeah, that's right. That's my memory of that was what was important at that moment. Uh totally, totally hollow. What about you? I mean, that's it. Like to report that difficult news while you're juggling your own feelings. I, you know, I think that the stories that were hardest for me to report on, you know, Newtown, I distinctly remember doing this interview for 2020 and Nightline and Good Morning America and I had to to fly to, I believe it was north Carolina to interview these parents whose daughter had been brutally murdered by the husband. And the stories that always got me were the ones where a parent was losing a child. Um, and, and Darren can testify to this. Um, how difficult it is. I think to be a working mom, but to be a working mom in television is really, really hard. Um, You know, as Darren says, you have to be ready to go at a moment's notice. Um, and so there's a lot of personal sacrifice involved. Uh, 11 moment that I can really recall was I was pregnant with my third child and this was in 2014, and abc asked me to go cover the World Cup in brazil and I knew that would be gone about 4 to 5 weeks and I'm doing the math and I'm thinking, okay, I'm going to have a three or four month old and I've got my other kids are six and four and I have to leave them for over a month, but also feeling this poll. Like, well, this is part of the job. I don't want somebody else to take my job. So it's it was the hard part for me was trying to do my job. And also at the same time reconciling that I have a young family. So what I what I ended up doing is I said I'll go um but I want to take my newborn with me because I was nursing him, you know? So here I am flying. I used to have these pictures, I left my older two back with my husband, which is really hard to be away from your kids for you know, over four weeks. Um but I was nursing him. I hired a nanny down there who I'd never met you guys like looking back on and I'm like what did I do? And I'm in based in Rio and the World Cup is different than let's say the olympics because for the olympics, all of the sports take place in one city when you're at the World Cup there in the same country. But brazil is a big country. So I'm here, here I am nursing. I'm like can you guys ship back some breastfeeding bags? I ran out to brazil because I would I would have to leave my baby with the nanny for like 34 days at a time to go cover a match with Team UsA And it was just set that was you know covering stories. But the personal effects with you know, juggling all of that with motherhood was really that was always a struggle for me. But in terms of editorially the the stories that were tough to cover always were those of parents just tragically losing a child. It's just you know, trying to contain. I cried during interviews maybe twice. And um it's hard to contain your emotions when you you know, no parent should have to bury a child truly. But when you talk about it like that and you to Darren both of you, it reminds me of when I was a nurse, right? You don't want to become callous, but you also want to be there for the harder cases so that you can help. So there's always this putting it was always the kids that did us in. Why do we? And the thing is like what that sucks. Why do women have to choose between a career and having kids? You know, it's like everything kind of happens at the same time. I just think that it's it's not right and things need to change in society and uh we shouldn't we shouldn't have to choose between those two. We we really shouldn't, but I'm sorry. You know, I represent we've talked we've all talked about it before and we've talked on this show about how we juggled it when the kids were little and what did we do? And what about Book Tour? And what about you and Kathy when mary Kay was uh reporter and working full time. So we've we've all we've talked about it so many times but now I want to talk about your books. So you have both excellent transition patty, thanks writer right over the bridge before we fell down that rabbit hole. So uh you...

...know how much I loved your book? I remember the night you handed it to me in your house in south Carolina and said be honest when you read it and of course I texted you within days. But I love the opening scene in your book which is so powerful. You walk us through your meeting with abc news President James Goldstein where you tell him over a meal that you need to take a step back from the on air jobs you had at the time and you're writing, you describe your sweaty palms how nervous you were, how he was, he was not expecting it. And you were about to tell him that you needed to take this step back. And the jobs were what all of us would consider dream jobs at the pinnacle of a journalism career. So can you tell us a little bit about that meeting and your book called out and what is called out mean in this context? Right, well, Pat, you have to say that you like the book because I'm best friends with your sister Jeannie. So I have to say it, I can stay um called out its name called out because I feel like I was called out of a space where I think my personal values had started to clash with the choices that I was making and I, the opening scene, the first line of the book is there's no rational way to kill your career and that's what I really felt like I was doing and I can't remember which of you said at the very beginning, um you know, with Darren and I, and we're both doing much different things now, um but you know, you reach a point where we all kind of reach a point, this pinnacle of our career and we think it's gonna look one way and it really doesn't um and I, you know, it's that it's that old adage of what good is it for a man or a woman to lose her soul, you know, to gain the world but to lose her. So all the process and I felt like that I had these dream jobs, I was anchoring Good Morning America weekends, I was co hosting the view, I mean, I was, you know, the sky was the limit for me. Um and I just looked around and I was like at what cost, you know, and, and um I really felt this guttural instinct, I'm a person of deep faith that I was supposed to take a step back at the height of my career, so that's where the book opens with these, these feelings that knowing I have this piece that I have to have to pump the brakes at the height of my career, but also this fear like what the hell am I doing? Uh you know, like what? You know, I wasn't sure why, but I had to follow that piece and my spirit that this was the right thing for me and for my family. Again, the values were clashing with the choices that I was making. Um so I knew it was a decision that I had to be made, but I was still scared as hell to do it. And you describe it so meaningfully meaning it's that David White's one of my favorite poets and he has this phrase about let me be courageous in my terrors and when I went so good, so good and it's good. And when you describe that scene, I was like, that's how your courageous in your terrors right there. But what tell us a little bit also about your podcast, you started that just recently, right? I did. So yeah, we decided to blow up our lives completely, I left abc in november of last year, during the pandemic. And uh not so when I pump the brakes in 2018, that was my choice. And then last year, um during the pandemic, it wasn't totally my choice to leave abc. So, you know, sometimes changes our choice and sometimes it's not, but I I say thank God that I got what I needed and not what I wanted. It sent us, we ended up down in south Carolina where my sister is and um, we are just exploring new seasons, new chapters. I had an opportunity um, that that was presented to me to do a podcast. And I mean I, I mean this is my podcast studio, it's really fancy ladies. Um, but this is where I record podcast. It's called the faith and calling podcast Paula Faris faith and calling podcast And I talked to people about what they're called to do, who they're called to be. And um, but it was, it was crazy. Again, going back to that piece, that back in 2018, that piece in my spirit, I knew I had to pump the brakes. Um, the same thing happened when we came down for what we thought would be a couple of weeks in March of 2020 to south Carolina to visit my sister and my husband and I just had this piece, We were supposed to stay, we're like wait wide like and we had nothing, no financial net safety net. We didn't know why we were supposed to stay here, but we just had that piece and we, we, we stepped in and stepped into that, that moment we stepped into that space of fear and terror and courage and as you said, the courage and terror and the doors just started opening. Um once we did, and one of those opportunities was the podcast. Um and what's really beautiful about it is it's allowed me, you know, to be a mom first to be able to take my kids to school. I've never been able to do that. I mean we let go of our nanny last summer. I remember the day we did it, I said, kids, you're gonna have to figure mom is gonna have to figure out a mom on her own. And, and so I've been like,...

...mommy without a safety net. Um but I've been able to put my kids first, but also have these passion projects, which it's been a real blessing for our family. That's amazing. That's so great. I can't wait. I'm going to go subscribe to the podcast. You cry when your nanny walked out? Were you hanging on to her ankles like, oh my gosh, we had so many nannies. Well, I know I was kind of ready because I said I could figure out if I was, I got to figure out if I can do this on my own because I have, I've never mom and I don't mean that some people might think that that's naughty, but like, you know, I've worked, I've worked and I'm going to get a job and but I was like, I've got to figure out if I could do this on my own, I really do. So I might be a crappy mom. Oh, we're still later, so probably not. Oh my gosh! Well that's awesome. So Darren, you were in the morning anchor anchor. I love telling you about yourself. I'm going to tell you about yourself all you sit there and you can just listen and not thank you, you in the morning anchor for CNN for a long time and you had a 12 your career at the network where you did some truly amazing things and then in 2000 and six you were told your contract wasn't going to be renewed. So as we talked about earlier, the shift away from what you were doing began a little while before that, inspired in part by what you've witnessed on september 11th and by going to kuwait is a war reporter after that. But when you left CNN, you suddenly had no job and realized you hadn't been married, you didn't have kids and those were things that you really wanted. So essentially you're at this moment in time when suddenly you realize that life didn't look the way you thought it would. So you realize your priorities and along the way these pieces of your life began falling into place a journey we experienced firsthand with you in the pages of your book Hope possible, which is subtitled a network news anchor thoughts on losing her job finding love a new career and my dog always a best ever. So can you tell us event about hope possible and about the impossibly happy life that you have now, which includes husband and two young daughters. It does well. First of all hats off to people like Paula who take things that they have wonderful things and let them go because that wasn't me. Um, I was shown the door anything dramatic just, um, you know, we're not coming to your contract. And as problem is usually when they say they're not going to renew your contract, you're out the door that day with me. They called me in in january and said, well your contracts not up for a year. We kind of like you to stay and we'll keep you on the air. I think we'll let you know. So every day I came to work for nine months. I don't know if that was my last day. Oh my gosh, 12 years. So it was eventually the last day. Um, I left, I, you know, I could have, I mean, I guess as an inside baseball thing, Apollo, like the thing that you would do then is like you either then go stop to MSNBC or Fox or the other network, You talk to all the networks go back to the local and none of it. I was like, you know what, it's going to end eventually. So what's the thing? And I always loved uplifting and positive news and so it was my little sister, as long as we're calling out sisters, I tried to sell the idea because I was on more, I couldn't sell the idea. That was my sister who said, what are you doing? Like why are you giving this away start a website launch company and do it. Um and that was one of the benefits of being single. You know, there was no husband or kids or anyone to consider and I had pretty much thanked my last contract at CNN so I just financed my own company um and started doing that and and did that and tell me when I've gone on too long, did that for years and had not been on a, when I say I was single, I mean not not a date for four years like nothing, nothing. Uh and um met my now husband through my two gay boyfriends, which answers the question how you're going to be enough guy if you only hang out with your boyfriend. There you go. They they were too, they were and are two gay dads and their son was in the same elementary school class as great as my now husband who was raising his young daughter by himself. His first wife had passed away. So he was a young dad raising, so they were dad's, you know, raising kids. Um and we met at a summer festival and one of the dads turned to me afterwards and said, so what did you think? Uh he's like that's more than I've heard out of you in four years. So what he went on the parent contact list and he emailed front and said, hey, you know, just wondering, you know, if you were available, which said, I thought you guys were happy together like now I know you're straight, you know Darren who introduced to do. So now two years...

...later we started dating two years later we got married, I legally adopted his daughter. That was my sideways into motherhood. And then the year before I met them when I was having a pity party moment, I, my best friend named designed for big brothers, big sisters. So I was mentoring this little girl. Um she kind of folded into our family and ended up coming to live with this whole time. So I would never marry beautiful married with two kids. Two girls. Beautiful Darren. Yeah, that, that's incredible. I love Darrin, that you just kind of created the life that you wanted to do and I, I did, but I feel like it got created bigger than I could ever, it's so much bigger and better. Um the guy I got this so much bigger and better than anybody ever dated. Uh the daughters I have, I'm completely convinced these were, the daughters was meant to raise their was so that I had to have a biological child, We all kind of like on this or way to each other. It's beautiful, it's beautiful, it's man man plans and God laughs. Yeah, it really sounds like something that like, one of us would make up in a story and people would be like Yeah, yeah, sure, sure I wanted to write about it, what you write about it. I think it's like in the novel form way, um the professional side along the way, I picked up the syndicated newspaper column and it kind of journey followed the journey of dating, meeting a nice guy, getting married, becoming a mom. Like, these topics would be weekly along the way. I decided I wanted to be like, you guys and become a fiction writer. So, I spent two years working on a novel. That was so bad. My book agent like cried, I love you, but I can't submit this, this is so bad. I cyber doc kristen and made friends with her. That's how we became friends. Like, you be my friend, like, we did my book coach and she's so nice and so encouraging and gave great tips and it connects me with an editor and still it was bad. And so I'm trying trying trying on this novel thing, the new husbands, like, what are we doing? We're working on a novel that's not selling. And yeah, yeah. Meanwhile, every week I get these emails from these people about my column and so it was like, hello, This is what you're good at writing possible is 80 of my most popular columns of that story of looking for Love Finding love, blah, blah, blah well and before we move on, can you tell us about your new show that you are launching on the new streaming service loco plus Good News lady. So the next thing is there's a new streaming service coming out based out of Atlanta um and the Good News Ladies Show and it's something I wanted to for a long time, you know, ever since I left CNN all this content and all these different platforms, but the dream has always been to have the Good News tv show and back foot. Um this is gonna be and so it's launching this fall um some of it up there already, but we're kind of redoing it and giving it a new style, but it's basically about, there is good news and let's talk about it and celebrate it and feel it and hopefully inspire people to show that you can do good things. So cool way to see it. Yeah. You know, Paula and Darren, both your books have so much in common as do the two of you first, your books are about essentially trading in what looks like a dream job for a life of true Calling, which is of course a paraphrase of Paula's subtitle, I know a little bit about that personally because I gave up my lifelong dream of being a journalist to strike out Um in 1991, so long ago for a new, terrifying life as a novelist, but you know, what are you thinking? You ended up working out for you. You know, I should have listened to my managing editor at the time who told me I would never be a writer, but that's another story. Oh gosh, we all have one of those in our lives. We always a man, it's always a man in a short sleeve shirt. Anyway, this is not about me. Um you know, we discovered when we invited Paula on the show that she's actually known Darren since 1997. You guys, I'm so old that our paths never crossed because I was out of journalism before you guys ever got into it. But anyway,...

Darren Paula was your intern at CNN ness, is that right? CNN I went CNN and and Sports Illustrated try to joint venture which inevitably failed. It was called CNN s I and I look at this, I actually brought my My card. It's hilarious, it's not worth it. That's hilarious. No, I've always like, yeah, this was 1997. So my senior year in college, I went down to Atlanta to intern at CNN S. I. Chris Rose was there Hammond. Um Daryn Kagan. So I was doing a little bit of everything but Darren, I know you don't remember me um you had shorter hair, I was really impressed with you because Darren was so like, she was just like the epitome of cool, calm and collected. I mean, she'd be like seconds before live, she wouldn't have looked at any of the tapes really heredity of the copy and she's just going with the punches. Okay. But I have a funny story about your producer and I'm totally blanking on his name, john, he was kind of all okay. Yeah. So anyway, um so back in the day before we have like, like now when you edit, it's all um it's all digital, it's non linear. But back in the day you had tape to tape, so you're editing and splicing tape. And so we, I, my friend and I, my Pierre and I were tasked with editing tape editing the highlights for Darren. And we, this is just standard at the end of the highlight. Um let's say that you know, you've got five highlights on there. You always want to pad the tape out so that it doesn't go to black on the air and we didn't we didn't pat it out enough and we went to black on the air and I remember he was so pissed at us in the control room and from you didn't say a word to us about it again. You probably, you don't remember any of this stuff, but from then on, we put like seven minutes of pat on every single tape. So we didn't go to black. But those are, those were the days where you had to slice and dice your tape and but I was so impressed with Deer and you guys, she was just, I mean like I've been around um anchors and reporters for a very long time and she's got to be one of the columnist and coolest and most collected that I bet that I've been around. I was just really taken with her. So, and here you go. Yeah, this is what I look like. This is I was a little, a little chubbier. I put on the senior 16 literally looked like a middle schooler. I and I lived in Buckhead at the time. I lived in Buckhead during the internship. I tried sushi for the first time in the head. Yeah, I edited tapes that went to black at CNN s I mean, there you go. That's where so Darren, really, you're responsible forever. Everything I've ever done. So thank you. But you never, you never made that mistake again, right. I never made the mistake again. Ever. And that's the thing like that's why I say like mistakes, like the greatest successes come from your failures, you know? Yeah, I Got a cannon. I was a local news reporter, but I reinvented myself as a sports anchor, which is a long story, but that's how I got into CNN. So, um, I had done that for a few years and that's at the end of it because it was at the end of 97 I pushed over the news. Um, and I'll share like one of my horrifying moments? So not too long And I was scared to Bill hemmer and Bill who's on Fox now? And it was early in the news part of you know being a news anchor and I got a story and I read and it was about Kosovo and I said Kosovo and it was right when the president of CNN had come in the control room and he was a large man and he came in the in the break in the studio. Yeah because it's Kosovo. My I mean I thought I was made for on the spot. I didn't but he then he left and I turned the bill and I I thought that was horrible and you can look on the bright side. And I said well what could that possibly be like? You'll never forget how to stay close somebody. Hey there you go. We'll never he's such a nice guy, like he really he's a great colleague, he's somebody that it's rare to have to find colleagues that have your back that aren't stabbing you in the back at the same time. So it builds one of those, he's good. I love I love the stories about how you had to learn on the job um how to uh pivot. But I wonder if both of you ladies would offer some advice to our viewers out there. You...

...guys have done this, you ladies have done this about taking control of your own destinies and finding a tour path to joy. So what besides how to pronounce Kosovo. Have you learned that? You can No, no, no, no. Oh bono Darren. I'm so jealous. That's my one dream interview that I've not conducted by Love bono. Okay, so Darren, we'll start with you. What what are you what's the nugget about Finding pivoting and finding your true path of joy? Besides finding a hot guy. I didn't even have, I always say I didn't even have hot on the list. That was like an extra like, wow, okay, so it can it can be bigger than you dream. Yeah, he might be listening to. I think the biggest thing is you can't, the biggest power any of us have is you have the power to choose to be the kind of person you want to be. So you can't shoot what happens to you. But you get to choose Grace, which I'm sure Paula talks about and carries as a value, you get to choose grace and gratitude. And when you do that, a wayne dyer had a saying, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change and it is literally on a podcast I listened to this morning that was supposed to be in my life today. That's so crazy. That's um and that's what you get to decide what your story is. Um all the story could be that she was like, she could tell her she's victimhood story about her end of abc and that's it was barely a blip. There's nothing victimhood about it because that's not how she sees her story. Um and I could tell you a story how my life was not really because I never had a biological child, that's not my story, my story. If I have the two most amazing daughters, because I have the exact story, I get to choose that story. Everybody gets to choose their own story and who they want to. Yeah, that's about you Paula, I think, you know, just kind of um playing off of what Darryl just said, you know, you can create the life that you want in many ways. Um I, my big message is that I don't have to do one thing for the rest of my life, but I had to first realize that my worth and value and calling weren't just tied up into a job, but I it had to start with me realizing that my my worth and value are from who I am not what I do and then giving myself the permission to try new things and to make mistakes and to be scared to do it, scared. Um you know, I'm launching a company, I haven't talked about, I'm launching a company and of the year and it's going to be focused on working moms and I for so long, it's something that's been in my heart for about eight years, but for so long I tried to dissuade myself from, from going for it because for a myriad of reasons I was busy. Um I was comfortable in my job also, I was scared that other people would see me in a different capacity and what I see myself in a new capacity and I just, I'm like, you know what, I don't have to do one thing. If this is on my heart, I'm going to take who I am uniquely created to be, take, take those talents and gifts into this space and do that as best as I can and Stewart it. Um, and it's okay to be scared. I say like I have a piece about it and I'm scared about it, but those, those aren't mutually exclusive. So um fears normal, it really is and change is normal and you don't have to do one thing for the rest of your life, give yourself permission to try new things. That's a good point. That was like seven, thanks, sorry, Oh, just down to one. I feel like, you know, off of here and go do stuff needed. Exactly. Well ladies, you know, just speaking of doing new things, you both excelled so much at bringing good news to the world, which we kind of touched on a little bit earlier. Um and you know, I think especially because people will be tuning in a lot this week to the news coverage of the 20th anniversary of 9 11, there will be the sadness and the sad stories, but I think there will be some focus on the good stories to the heroes, you know, the Children have done something to honor a lost parents, the family members who are doing things to remember. I think there's a lot of heartwarming stories that come out of that sort of thing also, um quickly because I know we're kind of running up, starting to run up against time. Now, can you talk both of you a little bit about why it's so important to share good news and why this is a mission of yours, both of you Paula. Do you want to start? Sure, I just think it's important to not just tell people what you're against, but to tell people what you're for. And I think at the end of the day when you just peel back the layers, there's so much more that unites us than divides us and just focusing on that and it's really, I think it may have been Darren that, that said this earlier, it's really just a paradigm shift. Um and choosing, I mean joy and gratitude is a choice. Um but I'm big, I'm in any a gram eight if you guys are all into that, but I have a strong wing nine where I like to, I like to bring everybody to the table,...

...let's talk about it, let's hash it out, but then let's make peace at the end. You know, but I just think it's in this climate. Uh we need joy and we need good news more than ever. And we need to know that there is so much more that unites us. Then divides us at the end of the day. So true. And how about you, Darrin? You're you're the good news lady. I mean I think of you and I think of good, positive uplifting stories. Why is that so important to you? It's important. I'm not anti news. There goes the hot husband and the dog, my husband and you promised me you would take care of the dog for this hour. I don't want to say that I'm anti news. I'm not anti news. I think it is so important to be informed. I just think it's also important to be inspired and that's why my whole ted talk is about how to watch the news and get inspired. I think if you watch and get informed with the mission of getting inspired and the mission of what can I do that gives you a natural boundary of okay, that's enough. I found out what I what I need to go do and I've met and seeing people that have shown me what's possible. And um I think they're both really important. It's kind of like the main course and the dessert. Yeah, that's good, great advice from both of you. Well you guys have definitely I think inspired everyone including myself to you know change your life and live better in all these amazing things um Christy you don't we? Yeah more, come on Chris He's a slacker. Is that what I heard? Right? 27 hours in the day. Right. Yeah. But you guys also you know you've brought so much joy to the world but you're also amazing writers and we have so many writers out there in our audience and us this is really are selfish time. We want to ask you for a writing tips. So is there any advice that you would give someone who is um looking into you know, breaking into what you guys have done Darren. Do you want to start us off? Well if you want to be like me, don't write fix it because what were the exact words that? No but I'm so disappointed, so bad. What? What? I'm sure I was going to write this one book and I was going to be you know mary Kay I was going to be turning them out because people would love them. Um So I guess I'm good at is writing essays and writing columns and if that's what I'm terrible in that so okay I have to disagree with that. I would just say um write what you feel right? What you are the most scared of telling somebody and when it's really a big mess that looks like throw up on the paper of the screen, go smaller, that's my one thing. I go like, ok, I'm trying to say too much. So look for the smallest thing in that big mess of your writing and that's probably the nugget that you can actually write about. That's really good coach agency. I'm not good at writing um fiction either. That's not really fiction is not my forte. That's the name of my book. Your next fiction. I like to write about real life and I'm probably more of a quippy writer. Um and and to be honest, I had to I worked alongside somebody for my book. I would send them sample chapters because and that's the thing, be honest about your about your writing experience and what you've done and what you haven't. I've written news forever and news is like writing for the A. D. H. D. Generation, you know, get it all in in 60 seconds. So writing a book um is in the narrative and the ark is so much different. So um you know, right to your strengths and also, right, right, right, Your passions. You know, I I never wanted to write a book. You guys, my friends that have written books have said it's like the worst experience in the world because it's like, it's like this is this is my analogy, it's like birthing a child and then this this child you feel extraordinarily close with, let's say something happened during the pregnancy and you just have this extraordinary connection and then you hand the child over to strangers and the strangers can judge your child. And so that's what it's like, right, It's something that you have literally poured yourself into and then you just hand it over to somebody else to judge. And that's that was really hard for me, but right to your strengths and right to your passions. I'm writing a kid's book that have super passionate about, I'm writing a, hopefully writing a book, a meeting with publishers the next couple of weeks, reading a book for working moms. So I write to your passions, I'll be ready to read it. That's great advice. Okay, maybe you could work, maybe we could work together on it. So there you go, all the work. And how about that? I like that, I like that. Okay, Darren and...

...everybody else, please stick around because we have one more question and paul, are you gonna hang with us for a little bit? I I can I've yes, I've got five minutes. I'm actually hosting um the called out Book Club. I see that I've released the paperback edition of this book and it's got a discussion guide in it. So I'm taking readers through the six week discussion guide for six weeks and this is week two and we're doing that at 8 30. So yes, I've got I have my instagram page. So if if um if paul disappears, just know that it wasn't us, you do something wrong, wasn't us? Okay, everybody stick around. We'll have one more question for both of these ladies First, we want to remind all of you to check out our friends in Fiction Writer's Block podcast. Speaking of right podcast, we're gonna always post links under announcements each time a new one goes out. It's a lot of fun. It's totally different from the podcast from the webcast. So if you like hanging out with us here, I think you'll love being there with us this week. Every friday. This past week our guy Ron Block and Kristen talked to S. A Cosby about his new novel, razor blade Tears, which is tearing up the new york times bestseller list. It was a big feature about him in this past sunday's new york times. And also this week we'll have a brand new episode, Christie patty and Ron chatted with Andrea cats and Christie barrett about their their popular facebook reading groups and speaking of reading groups if you're not hanging out with us yet in the Friends and Fiction official book Club, you are missing out this group which is separate from us and is run by our friends lisa Harrison and Brenda Gartner is now almost 9000 members strong On September 20 patty will be joining to discuss her novel, the bookshop at waters end and next week join us right here, same time, same place to meet our guest, the one everybody's talking about this summer. Emily Henry, the author of the wildly popular novel Beat Read and people we meet on vacation and then in two weeks our guest will be our friend widely cash. I know everybody out there loves Wiley Cash and his brand new book, which is stunning, is called When Ghosts Come Home. He will be live at an independent bookstore in charlotte north Carolina with a live audience for our show. It's the first time we've ever done that. So if you're ever wondering about our schedule, it is always on our friends and fiction website, it's always in our newsletter which you can sign up for through a link on our website and I know that we've barely talked about this, you guys probably don't know but patty and mary. Kay and I all have winter books coming out and are partnering with Nantucket bucks for to do a winter wonderland subscription box, We were gonna do 600 and they all sold out. So we added 50 more. Um the new uh little free gift is not a coffee mug, it's a really cute tote with this custom logo that we had made. Um and these fun hot chocolate spoons. Um and there are only about 10 of those left. So if you were wanting a large box um yeah, I just heard from tom we've got like 10, so if you want a subscription box, Get on it because there are 10 left. So and hang tight because in just a few minutes we're gonna be announcing this week's merch star on our after ship. That's right. Okay. Now for the last question, the one that we love to ask Darren and Paula, I'm gonna go with Paula first just in case she has to fade on us, Paula. What what about the history, what was your writing life? What were the values around reading and writing in your childhood? My family's readers or writers, not my mom was a big reader. I always gravitated towards nancy drew and he sort of mystery novel and that's what I like. I bet when I think about when I read today, I have to have a page a page. Uh I just have to have a page turner, some sort of thriller. My favorite book that I've read in the last two years was the silent patient, I think I ignored my entire family for 24 hours and read it. So, but that's what I gravitate towards. Um I mean I like to read other genres but thriller, mystery, that's me. So it's awesome and Darren. What about you? What were the values about reading and writing in your childhood? I would say it was by example, my mom was a big reader, he always had a book. So I think that's where I kind of fell in love with reading and then the reading and writing stuff always came more easily to me than the math and the science. Um, and yeah, still still a reader reader today. I think my genre. I love my...

...favorite or anything. Anything multigenerational. Uh, I love immigrant stories. Um, yeah, and I guess I don't know if you ask this, but I am a tablet reader now. I'm not a book reader which you find my yeah, really I can't read on a tablet. Yeah. To me that means my books go with me everywhere. And then my book I have that happened. I like to bend the pages and like, I like to I Yes, exactly. You wanna tablet. Alright. So to all of you out there, we encourage you to grab Darren's hope possible. And paul is called out, especially this week when we need to be reminded of the power of good news and our own potential to find a truer path in our own lives. So thank you ladies so much. You so nice to have you and y'all were amazing. You know, and we're so grateful that you both opened up. I feel like we both, you both had so many valuable, wonderful things to say and we're really, you know, this will be to be continued when Darren and I plan our get together right. I love that we find out that y'all got together without uh yeah, there's gonna be trouble here. Okay, let's not tell them. We just get on social media, we will know, awesome. Thank you. Good night for everybody. Thank you All right, everybody out there, we will see you all in a minute for the after show. You'll want to stick around for this one as well. Be sharing our own memories of September 11 and meg are dear friends and managing director who was in lower Manhattan that day will be sharing her memories to we would love to also hear your memories in the comments. You know, we all, we often go back and read them after the show. We love hearing when you share your thoughts with us too. So don't forget to come back next week. Same time. Same place as we talk with Emily Henry, the author of one of the hottest books this summer and good night everybody, we will see you in the after show in 30 seconds. Yeah, yeah. Hey, wow, ladies to show, wow, so introspective and they just both had so many valuable, meaningful things to say. They both have done the thing we talk about doing, you know, brave enough to make a change and brave enough to Yeah, they're amazing. Yeah, I saw something this week, Somebody wrote on something I posted on instagram that said leap and the net will appear both of them. I love that. I had not that before, but now it's my favorite, I heard it and then Jason Mraz song for the first time and I loved it. I've never heard it until then. It's a joseph Campbell thing. It's about that, about the hero's journey and about mythology and about following your bliss and just started, I didn't mean Jason Mraz made it up. I could just keep it and guess what? He might not have been the original, like he's probably originally a bugs bunny thing. I was up like something really um third and we're like quoting, I love it. Okay, so we have a lot to get to in the after show because I really do want to have meg, come on and talk to us about september 11th, but quickly before we do that Christie, do you want to announce our merch star? Yes, So if you guys do not know, we have some really fun friends and fiction merchandise. I was gonna wear my T shirt tonight, but I felt like this was like sort of a serious show, so maybe I wouldn't, but we have t shirts and these adorable wine cities were actually sold out of coffee tumblers right now, but we have some numerous releasing really, really soon that you guys are gonna be excited about. Um but so every week for the next few weeks we are going to be picking a merch star of the week. Um This week's March star is winning a copy of mary Kay andrews, the santa suit. So Sean, can you show our picture of our merch star. Susie, baldwin armored star of the week. So thank you Susie for being such a big supporter. So I know she looks so good and I'm with the Pearl in it is amazing. Um but anyway, yeah, so thank you to all of you who have supported us and Warner emerge and shout out the show. We love you guys and Susie. Um do you want to give me your address? I'll get your special prize. I think you emailed me but you can put your pictures on our facebook group. You can email them to...

...me. You can Dm me, I'm getting them all over the place. So thank you guys for all of your support. This is awesome. Congratulations cuz that's awesome. And she's such a frequent so that's great. So a lot of our events to which is not great. Okay. Um Sean, would you like to bring Megan, would you mind doing that? Hey, good to see you? Well, meg we know you have we talked a little bit about our stories, although I realized I didn't write it into the script for me to talk about mine. So I'm just being secretive about my 9-11 story apparently. But no meg can you tell us a little bit about your memories of September 11? Sure. Before we start though, Patti, you just said that you're so proud of Darren and Paula for their reinvention stories. I mean every one of you guys have done the same exact thing. I mean none of you started out your careers as best selling authors. So um oh, like, well I think that's why it's so inspiring. Make like when, when they're talking about it, we're all going back in our heads to those moments where we said, I'm going to try this, I'm going to do this right and scary. And then you hear them talking about it and you're thinking, whoa, that really was this like dive in the deep end without a swimming lesson kind of thing. So they're really inspiring. You said it meg, you did it. I mean you and reinvented yourself and your career and went out on your own and yeah, lemons into lemonade thing. Yeah, yeah. And we get to drink all the lemonade lemonade. Thanks man. True. So make did you want to tell us what you remember september 11? I was reading your story today on, on facebook and like I just had tears in my eyes thinking about it. Yeah. I mean it's still So raw and it dawned on me before when it hits me every year because my daughter will be 20 and in eight weeks. And uh, So when everyone's like, can you believe it's been 10 years, can you believe it's been 20 years? You know, I believe it. Absolutely. Because I have a marker on my calendar of exactly, you know when it impacted my life personally. But so yeah, I mean I was pregnant, very pregnant with Grace at the time and taking the train from, I lived in stomach New Jersey and I was taking the train to lower Manhattan, I worked at penguin and so that was on the corner of the house tin and Hudson. So after, you know after everything happened, that house and ST was that was the demarcation line where you weren't allowed to go back into the city below house in ST so our offices were closed um for a couple weeks after that. But so yeah, I mean I had been taking a little easy on myself because it wasn't the easiest pregnancy in the world and I was super swollen and just a hot mess. I had one pair of shoes that fit me, it was not pretty and I was late to work and so I was on the train looking, you know, I took the train from Summit to Hoboken and then in Hoboken, took the path and then got out of Christopher Street and walked a few blocks down, that was my daily commute and I looked out the window and there weren't that many people on the train because we were like the late goers were the lazy bums and There was smoke pouring out of one of the towers, so that shows you it was you know after 846 um and so we were all like what do you think that is just talking amongst each other, we all started calling whoever we could, so I called Dave, he was home, he worked from home and I said you need to turn on the tv, something's happening, there's smoke pouring out of one of the towers of the trade center. And so he's standing in our living room on the phone with me watching as I'm watching out the window of the train and right that second the other tower got hit as we're both like watching a lot. Yeah, and so he says um when that train pulls into Hoboken you need like, I don't know what the hell is going on, you need to come home like just get on the train and come back. So this is exactly what Paula and Darren were saying like you just didn't know what it was at the time and you thought, I thought I've been to work in weird situations before, I've been to work in blizzards and power failures and you know, it's not like me to not show up for my people, for my boss, for my employees, so I was like no, I'm gonna go, I'm just gonna go and we'll see what this is, I'm sure it's just some freak thing. And so I got the Hoboken and I got on the path train and the doors closed and I thought to myself like, oh my God, I think I just made the biggest mistake of my life because who knows what's happening in the city and help me to get back out and so I was just very glad that it pulled into Christopher street and that the doors open and then I walked up onto the street into daylight. But you know,...

...then then it was what everybody, you know what you see on tv. I don't, there's no point in following in the like the sights and the sounds of the day. But it was um, it was a crazy day, you know, I had to, it was really hard to get a phone call out. Everybody was worried about me because I was pregnant. Mm Sorry, Right. So really the only way to get out of the city in a moment like that within a power failure. I mean, you know, terrorist attack um, is by boat or on the spot. So the whole day became about like how is anybody going to get out of here? You know, how are we going to safely get to? When I lived in New Jersey. The only way is across the river, the only way across the river on a boat, you know, I have co workers who walked 100 blocks are over the Brooklyn Bridge and into the outer boroughs. And um, so I ended up taking the boat home that day, like way later in the day. Um, you know, hmm, I had coworkers who had Children working in the Towers who had um, husbands, you know, wow and meg talk a little bit about the people who actually let you get on that. Very Yeah, well, and that, you know, it's funny, like, the weird thing to remember about a day like that because I always remember the clothes I was wearing, uh huh, I had on her all black and then over the black I had on like an open button down shirt, which I never would have taken off, like, you know, walking around with a big giant belly and a black cat, it was warm and I was pregnant. And so we started walking in this big group to try to get to the boat, which was, you know, far, it was, it was a long time. Um we had to walk Up to like the 30s, so, you know, I mean if you know in Manhattan, it's that's pretty far. Um and so there was a lot of people waiting to get on the boat, everybody, you know the stories you hear are true, Like everybody was very calm and respectful and um they were, you know, it was peaceful for sure, two years later, oddly enough, I was also pregnant with my subject during the blackout and that was a different story, were not very nice, but I Don't believe those stories. Um but anyway, I got to the ferry and you know, the line was hours long and I had just walked 30 blocks and I was very visibly pregnant and so one of the people that worked at the ferry terminal, um we're like letting me into the front of the line, but I didn't want to go alone, obviously wouldn't have been alone on the boat. There were a lot of people, but there were people covered in ash from head to toe. There were people who had been there In it and you know, it was like a war scene and so I just grabbed this kid who worked with me, he was like 21. I was like this is my husband anyhow, he has to come with me. And so I grabbed this for Justin and I'll never forget him because um you know, he saved himself a few hours of waiting on line for the boat fine to my husband and my baby. Um Yeah, I mean, I don't know, I I tend to not like to follow in the actual memories of it and rather would instead think about like, you know, what, what are the takeaways, you know? Um Yeah, there's been a lot, there's been, you know, good ones for those of us who are lucky enough to to not be directly impacted that day. For sure. Yeah. Uh huh. I mean it's weird to be in my shoes because there's a lot of people in my life who like I'm the closest one they know who was, you know, to the action to me. I own there was a long time after where it but like, I don't I don't have a story like that's not, you know, so many people that I knew, neighbors, you know, friends, lost people and you know, I thought this isn't my like I don't really have a survivor story, but everybody, everybody, Well in 20 years later when, when we watched the imagery and we see the things that we've seen every year for 20 years, people covered in ash, people going for the boat. People walking over Brooklyn Bridge, we can forget that it was a person you meg walker pregnant with a daughter who is now 20 right? Like there's, we've seen it so many times that we forget about or we can until you tell it again and it goes back to the person, back to the individual and of course I'm thinking about poor Dave at home uh, to death...

...about you. Yeah. You know, and my mom, my grandmother, like everybody was just a wreck and it was really hard to get a phone call out. There was a lot of, there was a lot of time that stretched out of where no one knew anything, you know? And um, so yeah, that Pepper was not great. I mean, I was the best reunion ever because I've walked to the train from our house and Summit and you know, he knew at that point that I was trained, I was on. So he walked across the park to me, it was like lovers across the cornfield. You just couldn't, you know, I couldn't wait to get back to my people and then, you know just, you know, the survivor's guilt type of stuff of like all people that didn't know about that and to look at the parking deck at our train station, all the cars that were left okay, those cars were still there and every car has a story, you know, you're absolutely right. Yeah. You know, weeks like I said, because work our offices were closed and this was pre there was no real ability to work remotely then. Yeah, so the world kind of stopped, I mean just became obsessed with the news, but you know, I'm just going to like um pre k you know what are the, what are the breathing classes that you take when I'm like I said to dave like, you know every day watch the news and you cry and then you'd open the paper and you cry and I said like I just started to be worried about like what is grief due to a pregnancy, you know? And then, you know, you start thinking like, what is this world that I'm bringing this kid into? So there was so much heaviness, you know? Um but I think, you know, looking back there were like really valuable lessons to about like never leave without saying goodbye, you know, never leave that, I love you that kind of stuff and you know, I also think it's really beautiful that, you know, when you were talking about getting on the boat, you were talking about people helping people and being good to each other and people letting you go because, you know, you were very, very pregnant and you know, it's it's I don't know, that's one of the things that always strikes me about these horrific stories is that you also hear these stories of goodness and of humanity and of the best of people, kind of, rising to the surface in the darkest times. Absolutely, I mean, and that was all around, you know, I mean, and that was overwhelming in its own way, but it was just really, it's like, Mr Rogers says, right, like, yeah, they're always there and there was so much goodness and there was so much unity after that, as you remember, I think people have this image, people outside of new york have this image of hardened, callused new Yorkers who would step on you to get to a bagel. I mean, all of those, I mean, there's such such really unfair cliches, because I I've rarely had anybody in new york. Yeah, but yeah, maybe that's because I present as a stupid rube. Not at all, wow, that's powerful, It's interesting because I think another stereotype we have is of the french, right? Like you think of definitely no french people, you know, being insulting to american tourists, it's not a stereotype I've ever experienced, but, you know, that's the entire um and but I lived in paris this summer after that. So, you know, less than a year later and I cannot even begin to quantify the number of people who, when they heard my american accent came over and put a hand on me or squeeze squeeze my hands. I mean, it was probably numbered in the hundreds just hearing my accent, People would come and say, I'm so sorry for what happened to your country because it was so fresh in in their minds and I will carry that with me always because it was just as dark, as awful as that time was. I think there was a brief period of time where we were together as we were one, I mean it was truly, I mean it must have happened over 100 times were strangers in France, would hear my accent and come over and say I'm sorry or I hurt for your country or I take for you or how are things in America? You know, it was, and I've never experienced that since I've been back countless times. It was just in that window of time afterwards where it was still fresh in our hearts and minds and you know, that really meant something that's awesome. Yeah, that's really interesting. Omega thank you on mute.

My dogs are barking. So, um I think from the years since um you know, I would, I would struggle like on the anniversary and stuff and what's the right way to what, what's the right thing to say, what's the right thing to do And it's for me it's been different pretty much every year. But like, I used to resent based really resent the like, never forget all that and I felt like everyone who wasn't in it would would say these what felt Goldman right, Right. And I was like, if you were there, you could never possibly forget, but like, honestly softened on that over the years because I feel like you have to show people some grace. Like everybody has their own way. Everybody has the story grieving and of dealing with horrific occasion and for them it helps to I don't know why for some people it helps to show the horrible pictures over and over again. I just choose not to look at them. I won't get mad at that anymore. I'm just gonna choose not to look at that. But like, you know, everybody's got their own story to tell in their own piece of it. And so, you know, I you know, I have friends who was with today who I worked with a day who are like, I don't go on social media on 9 11. I get mad at everybody. I don't want to hear it, I don't want you know, I don't want I don't want to wallow and I think, you know, some years that's what you need to do. Some, some days, that's what you need to do. Some people that's what they need to do. So just all right, have a little mercy and compassion. Yeah. Oh sorry go ahead. And I was just gonna ask meg if it's any if it's a coincidence that the daughter you were pregnant with, it's named Grace. You know, I just love that name but you know, I had never made that connection. But um she was the calmest baby too, which I think was just such a blessing because she, I feel like she came out of the room just smiling and like then a close like never like I don't think I have it in me to feel I would be opposed to that of my girlfriend came out that way. Not one not one. I wasn't willing to try it 1/4 time but it's never too late patty know beyond too late. Maybe. I know I posted about this but my son just got a dog. So I have a grand dog and it is a super zen b I when you were like people have posted about their grand dog, I have a zen grand dog. Does that count meg. Thank you for sharing that. That is a beautiful red bits and pieces of it that you've written about but to hear you narrate it like whoa. Just like a gut punch. Yeah. You know, I think it helps people to hear some of that. And another thing I was Had very mixed feelings about the 9-11 museum and memorial, not the memorial, but the museum. Um, and uh, I would never go, I don't need to go, I lived through it. I don't want to see that until my kids were like in middle school and they, you know, they had assignments, ask somebody, you know, who was somehow involved in 9 11, like what their memories are. And so we talked about it And they heard the stories and they've heard the stories, bits and pieces over the years. But like when they were both in 8th grade, they did this whole unit on it. And so then they were very interested in going to the museum. So we did do that. Well, I have to say, um, for anyone who hasn't been. Um, it's it's certainly not a lovely museum experiencing out there to admire any beautiful artwork or creativity or you know, marvel at someone's talent. But I imagine it's similar to the holocaust museum where it's, it's a very immersive experience and having lived through that day. I can tell you, they they bring it back whether you want this fair warning. I mean they bring it fully back to life. Um, you know, that's an honoring though. Just like the holocaust museum when I went out last night at first you're like, wait, why would and then you realize it's an honoring. Like there is something about, you know, it's like the book you write kristen it's an honoring, It shocked me. But I think, you know, it's an important thing to see. I think if you want to and if you know you're interested in, it's very well done. And with the four of us were, my family went and I think something very happy afterwards. Like we took a walk over the Brooklyn bridge on a beautiful sunny day and got pizza in Brooklyn, you know, try to cleanse your...

...mind after. But it is um, I'm not mad at the museum anymore. I think I'm not mad at the museum anyway. It's an important thing for the future too because now we have a whole generation of young adults coming who have no memory of that, you know what I mean, who were either too young or weren't born, you know, So that's what museums for them. It's not for people who may have been through and then, you know, but then, you know, to go with my kids and have them ask me questions about it and be able to answer it. It was, it was a valuable experience. It really was. And so, I mean, I think whatever people want to do, whether they want to go or not go or whether they want to tattoo never forget on their arm or you know, post ugly pictures, like whatever it gets you through the day. I, I respect it. Like, you know, to each his own kind of the thing, wolf. All right, What a powerful evening. I'm so glad you came on and shared that. That was just but an inspiring show tonight. I mean, just what was going to be watching that again? It was going to say I'm going to re watch it or it was awesome, a fascinating to hear this story from behind the camera because you watched sometimes he's covering Newtown 9 11 or any of it, like Yeah, human to think they have kids. You know, when I was working for people I covered remember the terri Shiavo story. She was um she was on life support, her parents wanted to keep her on and her husband wanted to take her off. I was reporting that story for people and you're supposed to stay detached, right? Um but it was something that, like, a lot of cameras were on and the day that they came out to announce in a press conference in front of the hospital that the court had ruled against the parents and they were taking her off of life support. Um, I burst into tears. I mean, like, I had just gotten so invested myself in the story, which you're not supposed to do. Um which was all fine that I burst into tears except that I burst into tears on national television. And so I immediately got a call from my editor saying, could you at least try to appear impartial. So it's hard. It's hard when you, you know, because as as a journalist pretty bad at it. Obviously. Way that was, that was not my strong suit meg. You're irish. We can't help it. Nothing we can do. And then we turn all red and our faces get all red. Yeah, yeah, Yeah. I've never been able to cry bread. No, no, I'm the worst prior. And like the most obvious crier too. If I had been a subtle crier, nobody would have noticed. But it was way I don't think any of us are subtle. Anything to be all right. I think that sums it up and maybe that's why this was the right career for us where you care we get with your heart. Right? Yeah. All right ladies here, Amazing. Thank thank thank all of you. Listen, Good night ladies. Thank you. Yeah, thank you for tuning in, Join us every week on Facebook or YouTube where our live show airs every Wednesday night at seven p.m. eastern time and please subscribe to our podcast and follow us on instagram. We're so glad you're here. Yeah.

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