Friday, June 29, 2018

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, June 24 through June 29

First of all, I am profoundly grateful to the Joliet Area Retired Teachers Association for allowing me to speak to their group about self-publishing this past week, which also allowed me to raise a little money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

While the actual presentation didn't generate many questions, the "after-presentation" did, with quite a few stopping at the display table to check out my books and take a few cards, as well as information about WriteOn Joliet, LocalLit short story newsletter, the July 21 self-publishing workshop at Book and Bean Cafe in Joliet, and the Art of the BryonySeries exhibit in September and October.

Last night, I attended the bittersweet retirement party for Dick Goss, who's served very generously as The Herald-News sports editor for 35 years. Bittersweet because, although I'm very happy for this new chapter in his life, he's been my seat mate for the last year, and I've enjoyed getting to know him over the past four or so.

Tonight, he's hosting a party just for staff, which I'm looking forward to attending and hearing everyone swap stories.

This weekend, I am really hoping to finish chapter 17 in the fifth novel of Before the Blood and start the editing on the third novel. I am taking an at-home writer's retreat for the week after next, which probably means I'll go missing on social media as well, except for coffee photos and updates on this blog.

Cornell Dyer and the Necklace of Forgetfulness still needs Rebekah's attention to some formatting. Hopefully, she can finish it this weekend so we can get that uploaded. And once BTB is in my editor's hands, I have four more Bertrand books nealy ready to go and one to be written.

Oh and WriteOn Joliet's second anthology to edit and assemble, my Fourth of July project.

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.

Upcoming events: 

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.

'For me, education is the beginning'
Single mom blossomed at Joliet Junior College 

Marc Kaufman, assistant professor of English and adviser for the Phi Theta Kappa chapter at JJC, said Cindy Phan was active in the chapter in many ways, including helping to start an on-campus thrift store (Phi Theta Phashion), moving a suicide awareness project forward, creating a haunted house fundraiser at JJC, helping plan the chapter's first formal event and arranging "bonding and fellowship" retreats for the office teams.

"She is a single mom and she took on a lot of extra work herself," Kaufman said.

An Extraordinary Life: Joliet man planted a legacy at JJC

“He was very generous,” said Kristi Mulvey, executive director of institutional advancement at Joliet Junior College. “I’d take him to Hero’s; he’d order a blue cheeseburger and then pull out a check for $45,000.”

2 beloved Plainfield dogs cross the rainbow bridge

Will the Clancys adopt another dog? They've discussed it, are open to it and have decided to wait a bit longer.

"My kids all have dogs so they bring them over and we babysit for them," Mary Patt said.

Joliet native just wants to give back

"For the past 10 years, I had my head down in my books and just went to work," Vince Gutierrez, physical therapist, said. "I didn't pay any attention to the community. But giving back to Joliet is extremely important to me."

Home Cut Donuts in Joliet Excellence in each bite

In case you’ve never tried a Home Cut Donut (new to the area, perhaps?), our comments might help you with your selection.

Couple's love for vinyl records becomes a downtown Joliet store

What made these two 35-year-olds with kids decide to open a Mom and Pop record store?

Their own love for vinyl.

"We both work real jobs," Tiffany said. "This is what we do for fun

Artworks: Not the typical blockbuster summer movie 
The Cafe Film Society shows art films at Plainfield coffee shop 

"I just would like to foster a small community where people actually get together and talk about art films," Kevin Gawthorp, one of the organizers, said.

LocalLit author spotlight: James Guseman of Oswego

Meet this week's featured author. To read his short story on Tuesday, sign up for the free LocalLit short story newsletter today. Information at the end of this article.

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