Thursday, April 26, 2018

Community News: April 26, 2018

Check out upcoming events in the Joliet area, as well as the awesome things people are doing.




District 202 in Plainfield honors 24 educators 

Sign up for the Will County Go Guide



Sign up for the LocalLit Short Story Newsletter



Sign up for The Munsonville Times


Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"

BryonySeries Throwback Thursday: White Cat Meowing

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Community News: April 25, 2018

Check out upcoming events in the Joliet area, as well as the awesome things people are doing.


Need help? Want to help? Here’s a roundup of Joliet area food pantries and upcoming events 

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/17/need-help-want-to-help/a6kqr27/


Bolingbrook students approve garlic bread samples 


And the newsletters:

Sign up for the Will County Go Guide



Sign up for the LocalLit Short Story Newsletter



Sign up for The Munsonville Times

https://www.bryonyseries.com/munsonville-times



Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"

Open Mic Night 2017: Diana Estell (Round 2)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Community News: April 24, 2018

Check out upcoming events in the Joliet area, as well as the awesome things people are doing.


Local health events: April 24 through May 1 

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/20/local-health-events-april-24-through-may-1/aso3fe/


Easterseals Joliet Region earns 3-year CARF Accreditation 


Morris Hospital physical therapist recognized for inspiring others


Morris Hospital introduces new chief financial officer 

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/23/morris-hospital-introduces-new-chief-financial-officer/a9iso78/


And the newsletters:

Sign up for the Will County Go Guide



Sign up for the LocalLit Short Story Newsletter



Sign up for The Munsonville Times


Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"



The Best of Times, the Worst of Times


If you were to ask anyone in my household right now, he or she might agree.

Everyone is going through major restructuring at their jobs, and no one is quite certain what that looks like.

So we're a bit tense at home right now. But it occurred to us last night that in a couple of weeks, everyone's routine will be vastly different than it was at the beginning of this month.

I'm not sure about you, but we thrive on routine and the occasional break from it. Developing a routine allows our tasks to run (somewhat) smoothly and provides the most productiveness for us.

So when that is shaken up, we tend to get a little shaken up - at least until we're able to understand what we're doing and mold out a new routine.

Such is our current definition of the worse of times. Now for the best.

Opportunities to learn and expand our skills into arenas we didn't think we could. New routines emerging from the old and giving us new experiences and new ways or looking at our day. 

In a season for us when we're still singing Christ is Risen and will be for a few more weeks, when our minds are on "Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" (Isaiah 43:19), which follows with, "I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert," shouldn't we be excited that God takes old routines and "like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed." (Hebrews 1:12)

In faith, we are moving in that direction. For now, I think Dickens applies.



It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)



Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"

Community News: April 21 and 23, 2018

Check out upcoming events in the Joliet area, as well as the awesome things people are doing.


Smokey Bear Hot Air Balloon collector’s button at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie on May 5

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/20/smokey-bear-hot-air-balloon-collectors-button-at-midewin-national-tallgrass-prairie-on-may-5/ab945en/


Laughing for a Cause: HaHaMen and Phil’s Friends Partner for May
Monthly show “Good for the Soul” to feature local cancer support charity Phil’s Friends

http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2018/04/20/24bf4206aefe4a8da382298740a232bc/index.xml


Illinois State Police District 2 to participate in second annual distracted driving week


Finger gym benefits #Plainfield kindergarten students  



Romeoville student 'brings down the house' at choir festival

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/17/romeoville-student-brings-down-the-house-at-choir-festival/ado29dn/


And the newsletters:

Sign up for the Will County Go Guide



Sign up for the LocalLit Short Story Newsletter



Sign up for The Munsonville Times


Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"

Monday, April 23, 2018

Playing "Old-Fashioned Girl"

It seemed that every nineteenth century book I read as a child, from An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott to Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder referenced some form of molasses candy.

So of course when writing Bryony, I referenced it, too, and put an authentic recipe (i.e. one that doesn't contain corn syrup) into the office BryonySeries cookbook, Memories in the Kitchen: Bites and Nibbles from "Bryony," which is a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

Yesterday, Rebekah Baran and I made some, but we started too late to to post it. Here's some of the highlights.

Try the recipe HERE.

What did I think of the my first bite of nineteenth century candy? It's not very sweet; I could see why some recipes call for "nutmeats" (if anything to keep the teeth from sticking together); and I kept Almonzo's pig in mind and ate only very tiny pieces at one time.




Molasses boiling on the stove. This was the longest part of the process.



Molasses lightens in color after saleratus (baking soda) is added.



Molasses nearly cooled enough to pull and shape.



The finished product.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Community News: April 20, 2018

Check out upcoming events in the Joliet area, as well as the awesome things people are doing




Lincoln-Way West student wins Frankfort Fall Festival Poster Contest 

http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2018/04/18/e0623f23112b4096a9fe9ce0fa76b3d1/index.xml


Joliet school district celebrates



Romeoville paraprofessional honored for service 

And the newsletters:

Sign up for the Will County Go Guide



Sign up for the LocalLit Short Story Newsletter



Sign up for The Munsonville Times

Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"

Ed Calkins: "Staked!"-Based Epic Poem (Part Two)

The next installment of a continuing saga by none other than the Steward himself!

Of course, the entire thing will make the most sense to readers who have read Staked!, but since Staked! contains so much nonsense, this prerequisite isn't strictly necessary.

Missed part one of Ed's epic limerick? You can read it HERE.

To buy a copy of Staked! (and the first two books in the BryonySeries trilogy), go HERE.


Dear MOMI,

I thought this (writing an epic limerick) would be easier, but its good mental exercise.

Some of the most vulgar words have been "Xed" out. If you feel a need to censor further (which I always appreciate) please "X" out with one "X" per letter only (even if it's the entire limerick).\

Example:

 
XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXX
   XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXXX
   XXXX XXX XXXX
   XXXXXXXXXXX XX
  XXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX


This way readers can drive themselves crazy guessing what was intended.



ED CALKINS, WHO DIDN'T HEAR A SOUND, SURVIVED WHEN THE CHIP IN THE LEPRECHAUN CAUSED THE ALLIGATOR TO BE A VEGAN


Called up Ed as Glorna was falling
“Your self-delusions are really appalling.
For you made a mistake,
No real noise did it make
It’s me not the tree that is calling.”

As he landed, Glorna said “Now I’m pissed
Your rightful end once again you have missed.
"By what myth or magical seal
"Were you not a gator meal
"And by what curse is it so hard not to exist?”


“A leprechaun not me that is cursed
"Into the open mouth it did fall first
"And it first did he eat
"Now he cannot eat meat
"He spit me out.  I’m none the worst.”



ED CONVINCES GLORNA THAT MAYBE LIFE AS A TEEN ISN'T THAT BAD. GLORNA HOPES ED WILL FORGIVE THE LITTLE MURDER ATTEMPTS. ED SPEAKS FIRST, THEN GLORNA.


“And as for you my little wood sprite friend
"Your self-destruction you need to amend
"In your real life as a boy you have gotten
"By real people no chance to be forgotten
"But only trees remember a little sprite’s end."

“Maybe life as a human’s worth living
"Another chance to reality I should be giving
"If the cosmos sees the light
"Maybe fate will treat me right
"And like my uncle Ed, I’ll be more forgiving."


ED DECIDES TO PUNISH GLORNA, NOT FOR TRYING TO KILL HIM BUT FOR ROBBING HIS CORPSE OF A LUCKY PENNY AND USING IT TO GET BEER (TO SEDUCE ANGELA)

FOR HIS LOOTING, ED PLEDGES TO DEDUCT ONE YEAR, AND FOR TRYING TO GET BEER, ANOTHER TWO. JOHN-PETER WILL BE RESURRECTED AT AGE 14 INSTEAD OF (SOME OF THE MORE VULGAR LINES ARE CENSORED. MURDER IS TOLERATED, BUT UNDERAGE DRINKING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED).


 “Hold it right there cause you’re still in trouble
"One year for the first and the second is double
"And if you cross me again
"You’ll be John-Peter at ten
"But as it is, you’ll be fourteen with beard stubble”

“But dear Uncle give me a pass or a clue,
"Young life is hard and harder on the redo
"Might I pay for my transgression
"With a trip to confession
"With full repentance for the twice I tried to kill you?”

“What? Of that arrow you think I should have ducked?
T"hat disgruntled should kill me, my dictatorship’s tucked.
"But you removed from my corpse a lucky penny
"When Denise wasn’t looking, you XXXXX XXXX benny
"So now you and your XXXXXXXXX are just XXXXXX!"

“Your assassination attempt was quite classy
"It was far more noble-minded than sassy
"But what were you thinking?
"To cause underage drinking
"And corrupt the young life of a lassie?"


GLORNA ADMITS TO LOOTING FOR MONEY TO BUY BEER IN THE HOPES OF SEDUCING ANGELA, BUT HE COMPLAINS HE WASN'T AB;E AND DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HOW HE AND ED ARE ON THE BANKS OF THE NILE.


 Quite puzzled did Glorna appear
Saying, “I admitted that I wanted a beer
"But I looted your corpse to buy it
"And get her to drink and to try it
"But it wasn’t enough and how’d we get here?”


ED GUESSES THAT MAYBE A MYTH HE COMPOSED WITH REPLAY ITSELF. HE EXPECTS A SHIP TO ARRIVE ON THE NILE WHERE A CAPTAIN DISEMBARKS TO ASK FOR DIRECTIONS.

THEN THE CAPTAIN TASTES BEER AND BRINGS IT BACK TO IRELAND, ENDING THE GRAND IRISH EMPIRE BEFORE IT STARTS. SURE ENOUGH, ED IS RIGHT.


 Said Ed “I know what it might be
"On you mystical grounding, don’t fight me
"Your wish called us to the bringer of beer
"To the ancient Nile we are now here
"To see the ship of brave Captain O’ Windfree.”

As Ed said this, a distant ship did appear
Its strange smell smelled as if it were near
A badly damaged Irish vessel
The river current it did wrestle
The very one that traded perfume for beer

The famed Captain disembarked in the distance
To make the historical direction asking instance.
“We got to get there before evening,
 "Because that’s when it’s leaving.
A"nd a way to counter to our boarding, resistance.”


ED'S ASSESSMENT: THIS IS GOING TO COST


 “For that ship is the key to our Irish keep
"But without money, that sure won’t be cheap
"And vegan nutrition
"For our gator’s condition
"For other resources we’ll have to dig deep.”


GLORNA'S IDEA IS TO WAGER ABOUT THE ALLIGATOR'S VEGAN DIET


“To a bloke that never met us.
"I’d bet any amount he would bet us
"That a ruthless dictator
"Doesn’t feed his alligator
"A preposterously large head of lettuce”


ED DOESN'T LIKE THE IDEA, HE'D RATHER TRADE SOME OF HIS WIVES


“A sailor cheated of money is an engager.
"The offence is considered quite major.
"The feeling I get,
"It’s unhealthy to bet
"If you don’t have the money to wager.”

“I might no longer have a lucky penny
"But there is one thing I truly have many
"I’ll get us back to my castle
"Without too much hassle,
"For a Mary or a Linda or a Jenny.”

To Glorna’s frown Ed explain “There’s a portion,
"Of my wives that were never informed of their good fortune.
"Let the buyer pay the dues
"Of informing the maidens the good news
"Yes, its trafficking but don’t blow it out of proportion.”



GLORNA DISAGREES, REMEMBERING ALL THE GIRLS THE BROWNIES ENSLAVED AND ED DOING NOTHING TO HELP.


“Oh Uncle Ed you’re just a big XXXXX
"The pain you ignore just makes me sick
"Angela and the others felt the sting
"I’d find it far more comforting
"If your ego was as small as you XXXX”


ED AGREES.


“Yes, I surely am a big XXXX to be carried
"For we are now in a cruel time we buried.
"To treat slaves quite unfair
"Many young girls out there,
"Prefer to brownies or sailors be married."


Part three coming soon!


Ruthlessly yours,

Ed Calkins
Steward of Tara





Ed Calkins, Steward of Tara, looking ruthless at his 2018 Calkins Day book signing.
 
                                                                                     

Friday, April 20, 2018

No "Story Round-Up," just some Community News (April 19, 2018)

Actually, I had this ready to post yesterday before dashing off to my WriteOn Joliet meeting last night, so yesterday was just plain...full (and full of forgetfulness).

But with upcoming training at work and new processes to learn, I used the last week and a half to catch up on those minute details of half-done projects before the routine changes up.

Now I'm not exactly caught up. But the backlog is about 85 percent gone, a huge relief.

So just one story and it's not even one I wrote. And then the briefs I did edit and assemble from news release. And then switching over to work.

Have a wonderful Friday, readers, writers, and vampire fans! :)


Mystery Diner: Friendly service, good food at Cookie's Restaurant in Minooka

The service was good – and friendly – despite the reality that we were a little loud and messy at our table.

http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2018/04/13/246f81a9068f41aab2ce39118a8ef86c/index.xml


Editor's note: I forgot one story (headthump!)

Shaw Media's LocalLit short story newsletter begins this Tuesday. Here is a spotlight on our first author. 

Not signed up? Link is at the end of this blog - and at the end of the article.


LocalLit author spotlight: Ken McGee of Plainfield





Check out upcoming events in the Joliet area, as well as the awesome things people are doing


Local Faith Events: April 19 through April 26



Joliet Catholic Academy announces March Students of the Month



Joliet Catholic Academy announces February Students of the Month



Joliet Catholic Academy announces January Students of the Month



Project Acclaim to issue first Allen Award



Disability Resource Center in Joliet names new employee 



Romeoville High School announces valedictorian, salutatorian 



STEM Team from A. Vito Martinez Middle School emerge victorious 



Women of the Year 



Maintenance staff at 2 Romeoville schools recognized 




Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Community News: April 17 to April 18, 2018

Check out upcoming events in the Joliet area, as well as the awesome things people are doing


Local health events: April 17 through April 24

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/14/local-health-events-april-17-through-april-24/a6khd8e/


Need help? Want to help?
Here’s a roundup of Joliet area food pantries and upcoming events



McQ’s Bar & Grill in Bolingbrook earns People’s Choice Award at Baconfest Chicago



Plainfield Public Library celebrates Fandom Fest 



New Lenox hospital announces medical staff appointments 



Presence Medical Group and Joliet Women’s Health Center Become 'PMG OBGYN Joliet' 



Immediate care physician joins Morris Hospital Ridge Road Campus



Romeoville students raise money for the American Heart Association  



Joliet students and staff raise money for American Heart Association 



Upcoming pet expo in Plainfield seeking businnesses and organization 



Bolingbrook students use geometry skills to make gingerbread houses 



Bolingbrook High School students read books they authored



AP students from Romeoville and Bolingbrook treated to lunch 






Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"

Open Mic Night 2017: Joshua Henderson (Round 2)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

In Praise of Coffee

I found this title saved in drafts on Dec. 1, 2011, when the BryonySeries blog was scarcely a year old.

I don't remember my original intent or why I didn't write it. But with new and a rearranging of duties coming up this month at work, I'm spending taking time to tie up dangling threads on a number of projects to reduce physical and mental clutter.

So maybe instead of praising coffee, this post is dedicated to some random coffee thoughts.

1) I'm a dark roast snob, so much that I'll pass on regular roast most of the time. Dark roast has less acid and caffeine and richer flavor, making it easy on the stomach and the mind and happier for the spirit.

2) There's nothing like the first sip of coffee in a dark quiet house. Pure heaven!

3) I can't imagine writing fiction without it, less the caffeine and more the taste and ambiance, I think.

4) I feel like a boss sitting in front of my computer at work, hand moving between handle and mouse. Oh, wait! I AM a boss. Without any staff. Except me. And, boy, do I grumble some days.

5) It just TASTES good.

There. One blog post moved from draft bin to published.

Onto the next item on the list!



Illustration by Matt Coundiff for "Visage." Follow him at www.facebook.com/artbymattcoundiff or @MattCoundiff on Twitter.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Community News: April 14 to April 16, 2018

Check out upcoming events in the Joliet area, as well as the awesome things people are doing


Gotta Do It: April 15 through April 22

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/12/gotta-do-it-april-15-through-april-22/a2q951o/


Pets of the Week: April 16 (adoptable pets)



Local pet events: April 16 to April 23 



American white pelicans make annual return to Channahon 



Local pet events: April 9 to April 16

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/02/local-pet-events-april-9-to-april-16/aqlcg7v/


Pets of the Week: April 9

http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2018/04/02/b009ff19421347ecb3ba4d0fc725c46e/index.xml


Crest Hill church to install lead pastor Sunday

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/11/crest-hill-church-to-install-lead-pastor-sunday/a83609o/


Joliet Knights donate to Cornerstone Services

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/11/joliet-knights-donate-to-cornerstone-services/aj3qzbp/


Joliet student advances in essay competition

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/11/joliet-student-advances-in-essay-competition/a37nup9/


St. Raymond students earn Christian Conduct Awards

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/11/st-raymond-students-earn-christian-conduct-awards/ameyucv/


Joliet nursing professor wins nurse educator fellowship

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/05/joliet-nursing-professor-wins-nurse-educator-fellowship/abvhcqv/


Edward Foundation awards $50,000 in nursing scholarships
Local recipients include residents of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Lockport, Plainfield and Romeoville

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/05/edward-foundation-awards-50-000-in-nursing-scholarships/ar2tgc5/


R.A.C.E. Foundation donates to Will County Children’s Advocacy Center

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/05/r-a-c-e-foundation-donates-to-will-county-childrens-advocacy-center/av514pk/


Will County Health Department warns about synthetic cannabinoids

http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2018/04/08/5c5c8e0650934525b1505d1a19e98662/index.xml


Troy Township, Shorewood recognizes veterans

http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2018/03/29/c2836f8ad8de47c9aeeb152654ed6bbb/index.xml


Three Plainfield grads join District 202 Foundation Hall of Fame

http://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2018/04/04/f306289b33fa4aa6b0876682601bed96/index.xml


Mathematics Association of America honors professor at Romeoville university

http://www.theherald-news.com/2018/04/05/mathematics-association-of-america-honors-professor-at-romeoville-university/a7t8u3e/


And the newsletters:


Sign up for the Will County Go Guide



Sign up for the LocalLit Short Story Newsletter



Sign up for The Munsonville Times






Illustration by Christopher Gleason for "Staked!"