Friday, October 30, 2009

Pittsburgh Highs and Lows

Working Stiffs welcomes the super-fantabulous (yes, I know it's not a real word) CJ Lyons today! Woo-hoo!

Pittsburgh Highs and Lows

by CJ Lyons

Thanks for having me back here at Working Stiffs!!! Instead of focusing on crime fiction or my new release, URGENT CARE, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane of the best and worst of Pittsburgh in the news lately.

Even though I've recently moved away from PA, I still read the Pittsburgh papers every morning (thank you Internet!) and here are some of the highs and lows:

High: The Steelers!!! What a Super Bowl! White-knuckled until the final seconds, I loved it!

High: The Penquins!!! While I lived in Pittsburgh the Pens won two Stanley Cups and I was at several games including a finals game. Plus, I had a bet with a friend from Detroit about the Cup and won tons of money for St. Judes, double yeah!

Low: The Pirates....say no more.....

High: the relative lack of drama around the G-20 summit--although I'm sure anyone caught in the commute and traffic snarl would call it a low.

Low: G-20 protestors smashing the window of Pamelas--I mean really! Who could have any problems with Pamelas pancakes???

Not-so-sure: the Greenpeace demonstrators hanging from the West End Bridge. Very out of the box thinking, but how much good did it do their cause? Think of all those rescue boats, trucks, and other vehicles....not exactly carbon neutral!

Low: closing the Carnegie Library branches.

High: the successful move of the Children's Hospital to its sparkling new facility in Lawrenceville

Bottomless pit low: the line of duty deaths of three police officers in Stanton Heights

And, finally, a high point for any fiction writer: the alligator who started a fire in an old school that was also filled with rabbits and other assorted critters......I gotta figure out a way to get that gator in one of my stories!

(BTW, the gator in the photo isn't the Pittsburgh gator, it's one I found ten feet from my steps!)

So you tell me, have I missed anything in my Pittsburgh top ten? Let me know!

What wild and wacky stories are you wanting to include in your books?

Oh, and for all you writers out there, I'm hosting a contest where you can win a critique of your query package from my agent, Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency. Go to my site for details.

Thanks for reading!

About CJ:
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels. Her debut, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), became a National Bestseller and Publishers Weekly proclaimed it a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller." The second in the series, WARNING SIGNS, was released January, 2009 and the third, URGENT CARE, on October 27, 2009. Contact her at


Annette said...

Welcome back to Working Stiffs, CJ!

I'll add road construction to your list of LOWS. Is it just me, or does this year seem especially bad? Route 28 to the north, the interchage at 22 and 60 heading to the airport, and the huge hole in the middle of the city for the new T tunnel under the river. You really CAN'T get there from here. No matter where "there" or "here" happens to be.

Joyce said...

Welcome back, CJ!

I'm not sure if this counts or not, but one high would be Pittsburgh as the setting for another TV show. Three Rivers is only an average show, but I LOVE seeing the city featured.

Annette, the entire state of PA is one big construction zone.

Joyce said...

And CJ--I can't wait to read the new book. I'll be buying my copy at Mystery Lovers Bookshop on Monday night before our SinC meeting!

Annette said...

Me, too! I hope Mary Alice has enough in stock.

And I know the whole state is under construction. There isn't ANYWHERE I go that I don't encounter it.

CJ Lyons said...

Hi guys!!!! Thanks for having me back!

Annette--isn't that a constant? Or is it worse this year?

Joyce, so far I'm enjoying the Three Rivers show for it's depictions of Pittsburgh and for the hunky star, the medical

Say Hi! to Mary Alice and Richard at Mystery Lovers for me!!!!

Jennie Bentley said...

Welcome back, CJ! As one of the very few non-Pittsburgh-based Working Stiffs I don't really have much to add to the list, although I'm excited about Nancy Martin's new mystery series set there. "Our Lady of Immaculate Deception"... I can't wait!

CJ Lyons said...

Hey, Jennie! Yeah, I know, doesn't that title ROCK!!! When Nancy told me about it, I was blown away, can't wait!

Gina said...

Welcome, Elizabeth.
Although many of the things that happen in the Pittsburgh area ressemble what's happening in the rest of the nation, we seem to have our own weird way of doing everything. For example, recent news demonstrates that it isn't unheard of for a young woman to be held captive for years by an adult male. Where else, though, would the predator keep the girl captive in his bedroom, in the house where he lives with his parents, for ten years without the parents suspecting he has a "guest"? These are the facts behind the case of Tanya Kuth of McKeesport, who was held captive from ages 14-24 by a school security guard.

Gina said...

OOPS. I meant to say WELCOME CJ. YIKES.

Annette said...

I was wondering who the heck Elizabeth was.

CJ Lyons said...

Hi Gina! I have been following that case--it would make a great plot for a story, but you don't want to make it too close to home, either.

Gina said...

CJ -
You can call me Antoinette, since I got your name wrong. It would be only fair.