Friday, July 27, 2018

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, July 22 through July 27

It's funny about improvement.

You work and work and work at something and don't perceive any measurable progress. And then suddenly!

There it is.

When it comes to reading my works aloud, I've improved.

For small presentations , at least, I've lost the jitteriness that comes from standing in front of a room and reading words that originated in my imagination. And I'm thankful to events like the  "Writers 15 Minutes of Fame" that the Plainfield Public Library offered last night.

I'm even getting a feel for selections that work well for reading aloud. With my drama tutor busy these last few months, I've not worked on any performance pieces, and that's still a goal I need to meet.

So last night I read one from Before the Blood I read almost three years ago at a WriteOn Joliet open mic, a piece that closed the event. My co-leader Tom Hernandez had complimented it at the time, saying he liked the "poetry" in it.

Ironically, the same piece closed last night's event, too. Plus, it shows how long I've worked on this prequel. It will be nice to finish it, read it as a reader and move onto other projects, knowing I've put the best I can into it.

And now onto other information.

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: 

These are listed here:

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. Your support is greatly appreciated.

'Journalism gave me a purposeful outlet for my writing'
10 questions with Herald-News intern Sydney Czyzon

Czyzon said: "Once I realized I could make a career out of my passion, I ran with it, and I’ve been writing ever since. I love that my career choice gives me the opportunity to make a positive difference in the community by empowering the voices of others."

'I want to get as much experience as I can'
10 questions with Herald-News intern John Nudera

Nudera said: "Once it was time to decide a major, I went with what I enjoy and that’s writing. I like having a voice that people can listen to regarding certain subjects, I just felt like journalism was the best for that."

An Extraordinary Life: 'We called him our king'
Joliet man modeled servant leadership

Martha and Edith recalled the time Isaac decided to tear down the dilapidated garage at their Iowa Street home and build a better one. But Isaac didn’t keep his skills at home.

“Every house on our street had some of my dad’s work,” Martha Rucker of Joliet said about her father Isaac McDaniel.

Joliet steak house has vintage atmosphere

Since Al’s is a steak house, I was curious to try something other than steak, just to see if the other food would be just as good. Not just steak.

So I ordered spaghetti and meatballs and was not disappointed.

'I go as the Lord leads'
Living Water church in Morris transitioning to Crossbridge Community Church
By Jeanne Millsap

 “We’re not closing,” Pastor Steve Cook said. “We’re transitioning.”

Lockport Poetry Project creates art from poetry, workshop on Saturday

"I'm not against graffiti," Sam Love said. "But what people are submitting on the cares and at the workshops is beautiful. People really understand this community and their love for it. Visitors will see the beauty of it, too."

Plainfield teen performs at Carnegie Hall as part of an honors band

"There were thousands of applicants from all over the word. What are the chances I would make it?'" Amelia said. "But my family believed in me. They knew I could do it."

LocalLit author spotlight: Ken McGee of Plainfield is back

McGee sums up his featured short story this way: "Don't bother to negotiate with your wife because though you might think you win the battle, you always lose the war."

Illustration by Matt Coundiff for "Visage." Follow him at

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