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National Tell a Joke Day & Tunes…

Bacon and eggs walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and says: ‘Sorry, we don’t serve breakfast.’

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Michael:
I can’t believe she got that driver’s license renewed.

Gob:
She didn’t. I dummied her up a new one. Not my best work, though. She wanted to look 48. I nearly airbrushed her into oblivion. Ended up checking “albino” in the form.

Currently ♪♪♪ on Little Mountain FM
Feels Like Summer (acoustic) – Weezer
Hate To Say I Told You So – The Hives
Poison – Bell Biv Devoe
Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers
Debra – Beck
Circles – Soul Coughing
83 – John Mayer
1901 – Phoenix
Just Because – Jane’s Addiction
Romeo & Juliet – Dire Straits

Special Dedication to Tony ❤ 
What It Takes – Aerosmith
Sunset grill – Don Henley
Rock The Casbah – The Clash
Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
Lights Out – Peter Wolf
Lowdown – Boz Scaggs
Rio – Duran Duran
Slow ride – Foghat
Truckin’ – Grateful Dead
That’s The Way – Led Zeppelin

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Twenty Question Interview with Evan Berke


Hello Readers,

I am super excited for this Twenty Question Interview with my friend, Evan Berke. I got to know Evan through working with him. Aside from being a talented comedian, Evan is also an engaging TV show personality currently featured on TMZ. Similar to my Author Interviews published here, these interviews started back in 2007 where I hosted famous and semi-famous creatives/comics to promote their work while having laughs in the process. Rob Delaney of the TV show Catastrophe and Paul Scheer of 30 Rock and Veep were some of my first ones published. Due to popular demand, these Q & A’s are back intermittently on here and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
 
1. Where are you from?
 
I was born and spent a majority of my life in Marietta, Georgia. It’s right between Atlanta and the country. I then went to college in Charleston, South Carolina before ending up in New York.
 
2. What is your occupation?
 
I am an Associate Field Producer at TMZ. You’ll also see me pop up on the show from time to time.

3. What effort in your profession are you most proud of?

I don’t know. I am a standup comedian and I have been doing it for 8 years. As a comedian, you have to adapt and find different ways to get your personality out there and different channels and audiences. Whether its hosting, producing, acting, ect. I’m most proud that I’ve always been able to find other mediums beside standup to be a comedian and entertain people.

4. If you could, what would you change about the city you live in?

Quality of life. I want a beach with palm trees and sunshine. I want getting around to not take two hours. I don’t want to have someone clip their toe nails next to me on the subway. Okay, now I’m ranting. Next question.

5. What was the strangest thing that happened to you while commuting or traveling?
 
I always find myself talking to strangers, so I will really need to think about this. I’d have to say there was one time I was on a flight for 4 hours and spoke to the woman next to me for literally the entire time. We had just met we just chatted it up. I’m sure the people around us were pissed.

6. Of all the famous people you’ve met, who’s your most treasured?
 
When I was walking through Beverly Hills in LA, I got the chance to shake Mel Brooks’ hand and thank him for being the great legend that he is. That was such a great moment for me, and hopefully for him too.

7. If you could commit a crime and not get caught, what would it be?
 
I would steal a bunch of money. But from a bank, because it is insured and really all they need to do is print more of that green paper stuff we give value. No one gets hurt and I walk away rich.
 
8. Do you cook? If so, are you ‘Chopped’ worthy or ‘Worst Cooks’ material?
 
I don’t cook often, but I wouldn’t call myself a bad cook. My girlfriend does most of the cooking, but I do make for one hell of a sous-chef.
 
9. What quote do you live by?

“It’s not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” — Rocky Balboa

10. What do you most admire about your creative process?
 
The part no one sees. So much goes into a finished product and the debuts and premieres. But I love those moments when everyone is worn out and tired and just wants it to be over with already. When you are pushed to your limits and you are forced to let go the idea that something needs to be perfect, but that it just needs to be unique.

11. Black, brown, red or blonde haired hottie?
 
Blonde, of course!

12. What award would you love to win?
 
People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive (LOL)

13. Favorite dessert?
 
My stepmom Shelly’s Coconut Creme Pie. So good!
 
14. What do you dislike about your profession?
 
The thing I dislike is the thing that keeps me coming back — the grind. I love it and I hate it. I’m addicted to it.

15. Do you play a music instrument or would like to learn to play?
 
I don’t play an instrument, but I would love to learn to play either the drums or piano. They are the ones usually keeping time and rhythm and I like that.

16. Favorite concert to date?
 
Phish at Madison Square Garden. I’m not even a Phish fan, but holy shit, that concert was something else.

17. If you could have a dinner date with anyone dead or alive who
would it be?

Stephen Colbert. That guy is the best.

18. Biggest pet peeve?
 
Tardiness. I’m always early and I can’t stand it when other people are late.

19. What’s your latest plug / project / promotion?
 
Well, currently I work for TMZ and I am constantly producing content and interviews. You can check it out at www.evanberke.com/tmz! A bunch of my standup comedy is there too so check it out!

20. What is the last question you would like me to ask you? Or want to ask me one?
I want to ask you one! How many interviews have you done and who would your dream interview be with?

You’re no. 87! Wow… on my blog and other publications. As for dream interview… sadly he has passed, David Bowie. For now there are many but one? Michelle Pfeiffer. I had the fortune of meeting her and would like to continue the conversation we were having… this time without a drooling boyfriend next to me (haha).

Special thanks again to Evan for taking part of my fun questionnaire! Watch him on TMZ and click here to learn more about Evan: www.evanberke.com/tmz
Twitter – @evanberke

P.s. Amazon gift card giveaway for my book reviews by September 18th. If you haven’t reviewed this book yet, Please do so now! Paperbacks are on sale for $12.99 / kindle $4.99 https://www.amazon.com/Feedback-Lisa-Montanino/dp/0615972500/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501512828&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+montanino

Till next time, peace out!
Lisa

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Motivational Monday – A Midsummer…. Note.

Dear Readers,

First, a warm thanks for all your support and positivity exuded to me here and in general. Deeply indebted. I usually refrain from talking politics on my blog but in the current climate, there’s some things in regards to bullying and harassment that I’d like to address candidly.

I know all of us can relate to the turbulent times our world is going through. How sad that issues from long ago regarding racism and the like are still alive and unfortunately well today. Instead of posting numerous, bloviating posts about my disdain for our current Presidential administration, I figured one note would be as effective. Embarrassment sums it up for me. I never thought in a million years that people unqualified to represent the USA would ever have a chance to do so. Wealthy men are currently trying to take away equal rights and empathize with the plights of the poor and working class people. Revolting.

But, to every wrongdoing there is a right one. Think back in history. Dire events like this creates pioneers, protesters, and advocates to “right the wrongs” of injustice. Dignity, grit, ethics, grace, knowledge, and humanity are just some of the words to associate with leaders. I hope my country will have this again—a fair and strong democracy. Currently we have a bloated miscreant smeared all over the “real news” who thrives on avarice, misogyny, and callousness—thanks to unlawfully buying his election from you know who. No worries people. Groups like the ACLU and Change.org (with our help of course) will aid in Trump’s comeuppance. Mark my words. The biggest gripe I have are the lies and bullying that has been in his backdrop from the get-go. It doesn’t just end in politics. It’s everywhere really. Whether you’re in school, at work, traveling, etc. Bullies thinking they can get away with this crass behavior. They’re wrong. No one has the right to harass or defame anyone and if they do, punishment is in order.

My blog is and always will be open to all, no matter what religion, race, or sexual preference. Diversity and kindness have always been (some of) my favorite words. This is a time for us to keep striving farther than ever. Endurance and respect are key. Hard work pays off. It starts with care. Caring about your life, loved ones, people with illness, children, environment, people with disabilities, neighborhood, people you pass by on the street, etc. Banding together, protecting each other goes on for infinite miles. No one, no matter what rank they hold, can ever take away your integrity, reputation, and conviction.

I leave you with words of wisdom from a couple of great men:

Our goal is to create a beloved community and
this will require a qualitative change in our souls
as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” 
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” ~ Harvey Fierstein

Ciao for now,
Lisa

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Author Interview with Mia Powell

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  1. When did you start putting pen to paper?

I remember writing a short story about a ladybug when I was around six or seven. I typed it up on the family computer, printed it out, drew pictures, and stapled it together. My parents were friends with the owner of a restaurant by our house and I remember bringing my little book with me to dinner one night; I think I wanted to show him my accomplishment!

  1. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?

Prose, poetry, and plays mostly! I’ll write or read anything!

  1. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Right now, Wonder Woman and Moana. I thought they were both beautiful stories, I loved all the characters, and these heroines are super important for audiences, especially children, to see.

  1. Which famous writer can you most identify with?

I’ve been compared to Hemingway and I absolutely love that. I also have a strong connection in my heart to Stephen King: my grandfather and I are very much alike and King was his favorite; towards the end of his life, he read and reread any King book he could get his hands on.

  1. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)

My major WIP is a high fantasy novel, but I’m also working on two poetry collections. I have a blog (http://legendsofmia.blogspot.com/) where I post some of my creative writing, op-eds, and reviews. And I’m planning out a YouTube channel centered around writing, books, and makeup that I hope to get up very soon!

  1. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece? 

Yes, I already have to! There’s a character in the first few chapters that I decided I didn’t need. I knew that if I went back to edit her out before moving on, I’d stop writing (it’s happened before). I just made her leave as soon as I could and kept writing, so I’ll have to remove her when I go back for the first big edit!

  1. Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Try everything. You don’t have to write one specific way or genre because you’ll get stuck and sad and think about giving up; you don’t have to follow every piece of advice that people give you because it will contradict. Try everything until you decide it doesn’t work for you – and then try it again later.

  1. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful 😉 )

Straight A’s! I still talk to some of my English teachers from high school, and I so admire the professors I have in college.

  1. How much research do you do for your writing?

Depends on the piece. If I’m doing something that’s soaked, marinated, and covered in history I’ll go through months of timelines and history books and trivia. There’s a WIP in the deep, deep depths of my folders set in WWI or II and I spent an entire year reading books and looking at maps and writing out a timeline of real-life events that might affect the characters and important fictional events in the characters’ lives before I even sat down to write the first word. In another historical romance, I didn’t do any research except for what I already knew until I had a question or two that needed to be answered immediately. For my current WIP, the only “research” I’ve done is figuring out how to draw a map and finding the pictures I put on my Pinterest board.

  1. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I mostly write on my laptop, but there are a few that I’ll write longhand if the mood demands it. I almost always write poems longhand first, because I get a line stuck in my head in class and need to put it somewhere, so I write it out in my binder or maybe my phone if I’m in the hall. There’s one WIP that needs to feel like a journal and an essay, so I have a very in-character notebook that I’m writing that in.

  1. What is the best advice you’ve been given? 

One of my writing professors is an absolute Godsend, especially when it comes to speaking actual gold very offhandedly. I’ve tweeted two things in particular that I find to be excellent reminders: “I think a lot of people stop writing because they don’t think it’s good. But it’s not good because it’s not done,” and “There’s no ‘good enough.’ There’s just what you want to do.” Keep an eye out on my Twitter for #GreenFacilitates (he often says he doesn’t teach, he facilitates – because you can’t teach writing)!

  1. What book do you think everyone should read?

There are three books I recommend to absolutely everyone no matter what they usually like to read: Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby, The Winter Seaby Susanna Kearsley, and Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys.

  1. Two-part question: Do you play a musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?

I do not! I took piano and violin lessons when I was younger, but I never quite connected. I’d love to learn the harp – that would be so cool!

  1. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?

I think I’d like to go the traditional route, but I’ve only done minimal research into the different paths so far.

  1. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?

I don’t know who Tom Hanks considers to be his best friend, but that person! I would love to hang out with him!

  1. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?

I almost wish I enjoyed science, so I could be a marine biologist!
 
17. Two-part question: Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And John Cleese or Michael Palin?

Bill Murray. John Cleese. No question.

  1. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)?

My senior year of high school, I got to direct a one act play that I wrote the year before. I don’t really like the play that much anymore and I wish certain circumstances could have been better, but I’m still really proud that I got it to production.

19.  What quote do you live by?

Robin Williams: “You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Mr. Williams is a huge inspiration to me, and the reason behind my tattooed R on my wrist.

  1. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous Pulitzer Prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)   

I think it would be really cool for my work to be taught in school.

  1. Would you like to ask me a question?

Was there a specific book or author that sparked your interest in writing?

Probably Catcher In The Rye.  It was the first book I read where I felt like an adult… absorbing his (J.D. Salinger) compelling words considering I was only 15 years old. I paid homage by naming one of my characters in my book, Feedback after him.

Many thanks to Mia for interviewing with me! Please keep tabs on this cool up and coming writer here:

Twitter @LegendsOfMia
https://www.instagram.com/legendsofmia/
http://legendsofmia.blogspot.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW7GrcwJRId2_ulUJdKDHIA

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Wednesday’s Quotes & Tunes…

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“Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. no matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment.” ― Sarah Dessen

“I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes” ― Vladimir Nabokov

“But this road doesn’t go anywhere,” I told him.
“That doesn’t matter.”
“What does?” I asked, after a little while.
“Just that we’re on it, dude,” he said.” ― Bret Easton EllisLess Than Zero

“Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn
And broils roots out the work of masonry,
Nor mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till judgement that yourself arise,
You in this, and dwell in lovers eyes.” ― William ShakespeareShakespeare’s Sonnets

Currently playing on Little Mountain FM

The Ghost in You – Psychedelic Furs
Englishman In New York – Sting ❤
Set My Baby Free – Ian Brown
Loaded – Primal Scream
Rise – Public Image Limited
Slide – Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean & Migos
Nearly Lost You – Screaming Trees
Rumor Has It – Adele
The Good Life – Weezer

Special dedication to Anthony
Lonely is the Night – Billy Squier
So What’cha Want – The Beastie Boys
Paul Simon two play – You Can Call Me Al / Late in the Evening
Going to California – Led Zeppelin
Stop Dragging my Heart Around – Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty & The Heart-breakers

 

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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The 10 Best Bookstores in New York!

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https://bestthingsny.com/bookstores/

I’ve been to 8 of these, hope to scratch off Buffalo & Ithaca soon. Road trip anyone? Support your local bookstore gems 🙂

Happy Friday!
LDM

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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Wednesday’s Poem & Tunes

Romance 
by Edgar Allan Poe

Romance, who loves to nod and sing
With drowsy head and folded wing
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been—most familiar bird—
Taught me my alphabet to say,
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child—with a most knowing eye.

Of late, eternal condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky;
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings,
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away—forbidden things—
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.

Currently playing on Little Mountain FM

Fight the Power – Public Enemy
Something Just Like This – The Chain Smokers / Coldplay
Cold – Maroon 5
Suddenly – The Bogmen / Black Motorcycle Rebel Club
I Am The Highway – Audioslave
Ventura Highway – America
I Wanna Be Adored – The Stone Roses
Always On Your Side – Sheryl Crow & Sting
Everything Counts – Depeche Mode (101 concert version)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / With a Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles
Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Special dedication to Tony ❤

Contact – Big Audio Dynamite
Rock of Ages – Def Leppard
Don’t Come Around Here No More – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann
Rocky Raccoon – The Beatles
Der Kommissar – After the Fire
Runaway Car – Audioslave
Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) – The Rolling Stones

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Unedited Quill Spills

 

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