Friday, June 1, 2018

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, May 27 through June 1

Can you believe it? How did it get to be June already?

Especially since we in the Midwest lost spring altogether, a long winter and then straight to summer!

First question: did I get lots of writing done last weekend.

And then answer is, "Yes."

Not as much writing as I wanted to get done, but that's not the fault of distractions and obligations, only my limitations as a human being and author. Except for a couple hours each day where a few lingering deadlines had to be met, scant family and walking times (focused on writing, too hot), and sleeping, I wrote.

And wrote.

And wrote.

I finished Cornell Dyer and the Necklace of Forgetfulness and hope to complete the editing this weekend.

The entire first book of Before the Blood is self-edited and ready for the editing and hope to get a good chunk of the second one done this weekend. 

BTB No. 5 is about a third to half done. I reread this week what I wrote last weekend and am happy with progress thus far.

And this morning, I'm surprising one little Bertrand fan with a visit to her school (shhhhhh). Bertrand has been up since before dawn grooming for his appearance. You can see the final results later today at bertrand_bryonyseries.

For those of you following the inaugural BryonySeries blog tour (and for those of you needing to catch up on posts or pick up some souvenirs), I hope to archive the entire tour this on a dedicated page at I'll keep you posted.

Have a beautiful weekend readers, writers, vampire fans!

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.

If you're a writer anywhere in the world, you're welcome to jon WriteOn Joliet's Facebook page at We're based in Joliet, Illinois, but we love to meet and interact with writers outside our area, too.

Books and Such

Information on my books (including where to buy) along with upcoming events is at

Thank you for reading The Herald-News. And for reading this blog. And if you've read (or plan to read) any of my books. And for those who came out to WriteOn Joliet's open mic night last night. Your support is greatly appreciated.

These 2 friends won't be parting ways

 They became friends at Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox where they participated in swim team and water polo team together.

By coincidence, they ended up at Joliet Junior College together in the pre-engineering program.

Somewhat by design, they both earned engineering degrees at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where they graduated on May 12.

Last week, they two of them flew out to Sparks, Nevada. Both have jobs as quality technicians at Tesla Gigafactory and, yes, they are sharing an apartment.

How did this friendship developed?

With great courage and commitment
Despite her own health issues, former New Lenox resident Tracy R. Sefcik took a 61-day solo bicycle journey to raise money for veterans

She called her event "Cross Country Cycle 4 Vets" and said it was her way of helping fellow veterans, as well as first responders, and thanking them for their "sacrifices and commitments."

But this isn't just a feel-good human interest story.

Aurelio's in Morris serves the best pizza

I ate my first Aurelio's pizza when the Joliet location was located in Marycrest shopping center. I remember well the distinct taste of Aurelio's, so different from Barone's on Jefferson Street or Pizza King on Route 30 in new Lenox, both favorite venues of mine and both now gone.

New York times author and genocide survivor to offer retreat at Joliet church

"I felt that was an important lesson all of us needed to learn in high school and all the things that can happen to people in any aspect of their lives but especially when going to high school," Katie Dow, Joliet Catholic Academy graduate, said. "Forgiveness is a powerful tool to have."

Former students surprise retiring band director with an alumni concert 

"Dan [Valkema] was one of the biggest inspirations in my life, basically," Kurt Gros, now a school band director, said. ""It was just a fitting celebration for someone who changed so many lives for the better."

Artworks: Joliet native bringing jazz to New Orleans North

New Orleans. It's a very musical town," Sophie Lee said. "There's music everywhere, on every corner. Most of my friends are musicians. Everyone is dedicated and hardworking and it has really helped me with my own songwriting."

LocalLit author spotlight: Peggy Lindgren of Shorewood 

Lindgren is currently working on a memoir about one local boy who had a difference for many.

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