Friday, August 3, 2018

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, July 29 through Aug. 3

Last night's WriteOn Joliet meeting: what an inspiration for a packed Friday!

The last few weeks have brought quite a few new faces and talent to our meetings. It's humbling and encouraging to see. I only hope they're muse is fed half as much as mine is.

WriteOn Joliet is also ahead of publication schedule for our second anthology. This is good because we noticed some errors last night while flipping through the proof copy. Still, it's looking good, and the process is smoother than last year, all good things.

On the calendar for the next couple days: work (today, tomorrow, and probably a bit on Sunday, too), three meetings tomorrow (The Book Market, a marketing meeting, and WriteOn Joliet's Gothic Book Club), a ghostwriting project, and some work on Before the Blood, because I am definitely adhering to a schedule.

And bringing this post back to WriteOn Joliet: some exciting developments in the works. Looking forward to sharing!

And circling once again to Before the Blood: I may go off radar again in a month or so and use more vacation time to really sink my teeth into that last novel. August is turning out to be busier than I anticipated, and with no money in the budget for a Raleigh trip, I might as well spin words into story.

Or so the old fairy tale sorta says.

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.

NAACP - Joliet Branch #3018 serves the community in many ways

"It's important for people to have a say in what goes on in their community," Mike said. "Too often we sit back and let other people decided for us. We wait until something negative happens and then we want our voices heard. It's always better to be proactive. We can do much more to fix problems or improve things that are already going well before problems occur."

Joliet cafe features artsy ‘zoo’

Check out these whimsical animals...and then stop by the cafe to see more!

Cystic fibrosis won't get her last word
Plainfield teen is off to college to study creative writing

“College is the big independent moment, for me, even more so,” Thakkar said. “For the first time, I’ll be taking care of my health in all its entirety. I’ll be living in a dorm and having a bunch of new experiences. I love what I’m going to major in and I get the chance to study it.”

Mystery Diner: Lucano's in Crest Hill offers quality and quantity

Our first item was a 16-inch traditional sausage thin crust pizza. Our pizza came hot out of the oven. Lucano's was generous with the ingredients, and the pizza was covered with sausage!

The sausage was tasty and somewhat sweet. The pizza crust was golden brown and crispy, all covered with delicious mozzarella cheese. We had plenty of pizza to take home and enjoy later on, and it reheated well.

A 100-year-old sax sparks a special event for youth-based church orchestra
Lockport church makes a joyful noise 

Tuba player Antonio Gonzalez, 17, of Joliet, said, "I have always been met with appreciation and kindness which has made playing at church one of the highlights of my week."

It's all fun and games in New Lenox
Escapement Mobile LTD brings escape rooms to right your door

"We can bring the experience to you whatever you have going on," Carla Erdey, one of the four partners, said. "A corporate meeting or team-building meeting? We can add on and be part of it. Or if you're having a birthday party, it can be the hip new thing."

Artworks: Making people happy with her music
Crest Hill teen sings, writes her own music, plans to teach and release first EP

"I love empowerment songs," Mikayla Ahern said. "I love to bring people's spirits up."

LocalLit author spotlight: Denise Issert of Wilmington

Denise Issert said: My interest was truly awakened in high school when my college prep English teacher, Mrs. Diane Stacy, allowed me to design an independent creative writing class that gave me the freedom to write my heart out.

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

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