Friday, January 12, 2018

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, Jan. 7 through Jan. Jan. 12 (And Self-Publishing Seminar Recap)

A few less stories this week as I play catch-up from the holidays, which in features world, starts in September and continues nonstop through the first of the year.

Adding to the mix that I worked the news end of things on a holiday and then taking a day off to compensate, and having Monday off for my anniversary date (the company has each employee take a free day in the month he/she was hired, which is very nice), already puts me at a deficit of three days.

Oh, and I had a big project to complete under a tight deadline, which too me an entire day. I also learned 2018 will bring not one, but the start of two newsletters by moi.

As I've previously mentioned, I'll be starting a newsletter for the BryonySeries this year. Details are HERE.

But The Herald-News has asked me to start one, too, beginning this month. I was given some direction as to the vision, with me mulling on how to best execute that vision.

As you can see, it's an exciting start to the new year.

Last night, nearly twenty brave souls ventured into the sleet to learn the basics of "how to self-publish for nearly free," with a couple people actually traveling a distance to do so. I estimated two hours for the event, and we used up every bit of it.

Nearly everyone, it seemed, received something use from the time (and from the handout), and one gentleman even asked me to autograph it! So a good time (and the quaffing of some great coffee at Book and Bean Cafe) was had by all.

For those who missed it and are sorry they did, not to worry. There's more events coming up, including a WriteOn Joliet meeting on Jan. 18 and the Calkins Day celebration and book signing on Feb. 11. Details are HERE.

Now where do you find features, fiction, and me?

Non-bylined features:

Monday through Saturday I assembled my non-bylined works - brief posts and calendar listings - into one convenient file and posting them on Facebook in the evening, so readers can easily choose the ones they want to read.

One can also find those event listings, the Gotta Do It calendar, as well as the pets, health, faith, and arts and entertainment calendars, under the sections tab on the left hand side of Click on "features" and the topics drop down.  Gotta Do It runs under "people."

Community news? Again, under the sections tab, under features, and by topic. Updates are posted on these days in print and web (and some only on web on other days as I have the time): Monday (pets), Tuesday (health), Thursday (faith), Friday (arts and entertainment), and Sunday (people).

Social media:

Daily updates: I do post the briefs and calendars on Twitter during the week, so you're welcome to follow me at @Denise_Unland61.

BryonySeries stuff: I post curated content relating to the BryonySeries at @BryonySeries. And assorted related content at And of course, please follow the adventures of Bertrand the Mouse on Instagram at bertrand_bryonyseries.

Books and Such

Information on my books (including where to buy) is at

Thank you for reading The Herald-News. And for reading this blog. And if you're read (or plan to read) any of my books. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Here are the stories that ran in features this week:

Why some Joliet area churches celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7

The answer lies with church history and how people once marked the passage of time.

Just one of the villagers
Joliet man found adventure in life's simplicity

The more others share memories of Joe Baltz with his wife Marie Pierre Baltz, the more Marie Pierre realizes “what a great man he was” and “what a complete man he was.”

Joe Baltz of Joliet died on Nov. 4 at age 71.

“Not only was he complete in what he did,” Marie Pierre said, “but my feeling now is that I am discovering the man I lived 44 years with.”

Channahon beekeeper keeps puppies' paws safe

"There's nothing I make in the paw wax that's bad for the dogs," Parhsall said. "It's just basically beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil. No petroleum products, nothing like that."

Plainfield's Blueberry Hill Breakfast Cafe: home-cooked meals in a friendly atmosphere

The epitome of blueberry breakfast dishes is in Plainfield.

It's called the Baked Blueberry French Toast. The texture was more dense than traditional French toast and the cream cheese frosting was "more refreshing than sweet," said one diner.

Illustration by Matt Coundiff for "Visage." Follow him at or @MattCoundiff on Twitter

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