Monday, September 28, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays #19

Well, it's a rainy Monday in Pittsburgh, a day after the Steelers lost for the second straight time. That calls for some entertainment.

I'm reverting to some old favorites this week...

First of all - a very lovely musical snack!

And you can't watch this and not laugh...

Finally, the best fight scene ever!

Happy Monday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays #18

With my recent schedule, it's been hard to spend the time I'd like on writing. It seems to be time for some inspiration and advice from one of the greats.

From By-Line: Ernest Hemingway

Mice: How much should you write a day?

Y.C.: The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.

Mice: All right.

Y.C.: Always stop while you are going good and don't think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start. Once you are into the novel it is as cowardly to worry about whether you can go on the next day as to worry about having to go into inevitable action. You have to go on. So there is no sense to worry. You have to learn that to write a novel. The hard part about a novel is to finish it.

Mice: How can you learn not to worry?

Y.C.: By not thinking about it. As soon as you start to think about it stop it. Think about something else. You have to learn that.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Little Bits of Random

So, last night, I was watching Man vs. Food. That's a great show.

He conquered a Four Horseman Cheeseburger with four different kinds of peppers that only four others had ever dominated. Maybe four's a lucky word...

He also visited Pittsburgh and ate six atomic wings at Quaker Steak and Lube. More importantly, though, he visited THE Pittsburgh restaurant I take my friends to when they're in town. If you've been to Primanti's - if you like sandwiches - if you're ever hungry (um, does that include everyone now), watch this video!

Preseason's over folks. It's time for some football, and I think you've already realized a Primanti's sandwich and football go hand in hand. I want one so bad right now.

P.S. Go Steelers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dining with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The Dining with Authors series is back today with prolific author Lauren Baratz-Logsted.

Since 2003, Lauren has had 14 books published with at least 6 more to come. She has written for adults, teens, tweens and young readers. Before being published, Lauren was an independent bookseller, a reviewer, a freelance editor and a sort-of librarian. You can read more about her work at

In addition to writing and reviewing good books, Lauren is heavily involved with several writing groups online. She is always generously offering writing advice and support to other writers (including me!). Her young adult novel Crazy Beautiful, a contemporary tale about a boy with hooks for hands and a gorgeous girl who meet on their first day at a new school, is being released this Monday!

Tamara: Welcome to the Girardi Diner. For this interview, imagine we are sitting across from each other in an adorable diner, sipping tea or coffee, enjoying a slice of our favorite cake or pie (mine's cherry pie!). It's much more fun that way!

Lauren: I’ll take a lime diet Pepsi and strawberry cream pie!

Tamara: If you could have dinner with any one of your characters, whom would you choose, and what would your character eat?

Lauren: Lucius Wolfe from Crazy Beautiful. Whatever he chose to eat, he'd have to eat it carefully, because he's still self-conscious about having hooks for hands.

Tamara: What's your favorite vacation spot?

Lauren: Because my daughter is nine, I'll say a cruise ship.

Tamara: What was your favorite musical group/singer when you were in high school?

Lauren: Led Zeppelin

Tamara: What is the funniest prank played on OR by you?

Lauren: Gack! How boring am I? I can't even think of one by or on me right now! The closest would be this past April Fool's. My nine-year-old short-sheeted my bed but only on my husband's side. He thought it was hysterical - that she even knew how to do it and that she chose to only prank him, not me.

Tamara: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Lauren: A psychologist or writer. One night at dinner, when I was around 12, I did mention that I might like to be a singer. Much laughter followed - kind of like in a Charlie Brown cartoon - so I realized that was probably out.

Tamara: What question do you get asked most often about your writing? How do you answer it?

Lauren: Q: "Where do your ideas come from?" A: "The Idea Fairy."

Tamara: Gotta love that Idea Fairy! Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

Lauren: Surprisingly enough, given that I just confessed a belief in The Idea Fairy, I don't believe in ghosts. But that's because I've never seen any evidence of any. If and when I do, I promise I'll change my mind.

Thanks so much for stopping by the diner for this interview, and congratulations on the upcoming release of Crazy Beautiful!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Morning Coffee

What's entertaining about the new blog feature for Tuesdays is that I don't drink coffee. At all. Ever.

But most people do, and they usually like a bit of news with their coffee. So here are a few recent stories that caught my eye.

When I see stories like this, I ask exactly that - why don't they run?

Is the economy so bad that marrying for money is a good thing?

The economy wasn't that bad back then...can't be her excuse!

Talk about back-to-school blues! I'm happy to be teaching online this semester, especially since Pittsburgh is involved.

If a snake bites me, someone call this guy.