Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Never Too Old

In 2016, I wrote a column for The Herald-News on how our family's St. Nicholas tradition began.

And the tradition is indeed a cherished one for ALL members of the household, complete with the hanging up of stockings, giving of gifts, and putting together little stockings for adult children and grandchildren outside our immediate household, too.

If you think that the feast day is only for children, consider the words from this blessing prayer for candy canes, which, along with chocolate gold coins, always are added to our St. Nicholas stockings.

The prayer is from Prayers From the Domestic Church, a book we used until it fell to pieces from so much, well, use. Fortunately, the St. Nicholas Center has the prayer online. 

Here is the excerpt that always stands out to me, especially the last line:

We rejoice that you are the holy bringer of gifts

and that so many have been delighted

through your great generosity.

Help us to be as generous of heart.

So, no, the celebration isn't for just for children. I don't think we grow out of celebrating the feast day of St. Nicholas. I think we, if we follow God's lead, we grow to fit into it.

My youngest three adult children still have their original stockings from babyhood. But they may retire them after this year since the fabric is so worn, it's separating from itself. But the enjoyment of the day is what matters, not the actual stockings or the gifts.

May anyone reading this today feels some of that joy and is forever rich in the gifts that matter.







Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Books and Edible Vampire Slaying Kits

If you come out to WriteOn Joliet's sixth anthology release party on Dec. 8 at the Black Road branch of the Joliet Public Library, be sure to stop by the BryonySeries table and check out our books, a "Books and Edible Vampire Slaying Kit" special offer, and opportunities to win a copy of the holiday version of Visage, which is out of print, and one complete set of Bertrand the Mouse books.

You want details about these, right? Sure you do!

And here we go!



Books and Edible Vampire Slaying Kit:

Every person who buys one (or more) of these combinations will receive a free, locally chef-made edible vampire slaying kit per combination - while edible vampire slaying kits last.

Edible vampire slaying kits are not limited to one per customer. But for each additional kit, you must still purchase one of these four combinations.

1) One "regular" young adult or adult BryonySeries book (choices include any book in the "drop of blood" trilogy, Lycanthropic SummerThe PhoenixRuthless by Ed Calkins Steward of Tara or any of the Before the Blood books) or Nine Months of Kindness.

2) Any two books in The Adventures of Cornell Dyer series.

3) Any three books in the Bertrand the Mouse series.

4) All three of our BryonySeries cookbooks.

To check out details of most of those books, visit bryonyseries.com/general-store.

To be clear, you cannot buy one of these edible vampire slaying kits at the anthology release party. They are strictly gifts for select purchases.

These kits were made locally by three local chefs (pastry and otherwise). Jasmine provided much of the creativity and delicate decorating. Timothy and Rebekah provided a lot of labor.

A LOT of labor. 

We have twenty-two kits of six large cookies, all made and packaged by hand.

I know, I know. You want to know if the items sparkle? Well, yes. Some DO sparkle since they are sprinkled with edible glitter. 

Seriously, glitter alone should slay any real vampires. But I digress.



I also have this surprise collection of edible titles, etc.. I wasn't expecting these, and I'm not certain of their fate - yet. 




Bertrand the Mouse giveaway

We will also "give away" one complete set of all Bertrand the Mouse books published (to date) .
NO purchase is necessary. Just drop your name and contact information in our Bertrand Box. 

A random person (not anyone from our team) will select the winner at the end of the event and leave the prize package at the library's circulation desk for the winner to pick up at his/her convenience.


Holiday "Visage" Giveaway

This BryonySeries book is the second book in the "drop of blood" trilogy and can be read as a standalone.

The book is out of print and only available from us.

It has some "extras" in the back of the book that are not in the official version (such as a picture of me in a kangaroo suit).

The cover is very different.

And it has an introduction by me celebrating artists and creative folk. This is the first and only BryonySeries book that has an introduction.

We will be giving away three of these. Again, NO purchase is necessary. You only need to drop your name into the "Visage" Box.

A random person (not anyone from our team) will select the three winners at the end of the event and leave the prize package at the library's circulation desk for the winner to pick up at his/her convenience.



WriteOn Joliet's Sixth Anthology

And, of course, we will have plenty of anthologies (the 2022 anthology and a limited number of past anthologies) available for sale - along with the opportunity to meet many of the writers who contributed to these wonderful books of poems, essays, and short stories.

The anthology is a fundraiser for WriteOn Joliet, so all money stays with the group to support additional programs.

You may also purchase the anthology on Amazon.





But I live too far away....

For anyone near or far who cannot attend the actual event: message me at bryonyseries@gmail.com if you're interested in some of the BryonySeries books.

I will reward your reading of this post by working out a special discount just for you.

For those planning to attend:

The anthology release party will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Joliet Public Library, Black Road branch, 3395 Black Road in Joliet.

Admission to the anthology release party is free.

The celebration includes complimentary appetizers and desserts, an informal meet and greet with local authors who are members of the group, and the opportunity to purchase copies of the anthology as well as as individual works by individual authors.

The Book and Bean Cafe, which is located inside the library, will have a variety of heartier food as well as coffee, tea, and other beverages, available for purchase.

Janet Staley, owner of The Book Market in Crest Hill, will handle checkout. Everyone who buys a book, either the anthology or a book from the other tables, will receive a Book Market bookmark that features a ten percent discount on books at Staley's store through January 31, 2023.

The party is for all ages. So if your children and grandchildren have yet to visit Santa this year, bring them out. 

Photos with Santa are free. Santa, known as Ed Calkins, Steward of Tara the rest of the year, will also be signing and selling his own BryonySeries books.

And he will most likely sign any BryonySeries books in which he also appears as a character.



Santa will also give away away free candy canes as long as he has some left to give.



Bertrand the Mouse and his Uncle Barty will also be hanging out all night, greeting guests.



Bertrand will have limited copies of his books to sell. He just fulfilled a large order for Santa and Amazon can't ship more books in time.




Invite your family. 

Invite your friends. 

Invite your neighbors. 

Invite anyone who likes books, outstanding food, great coffee, and meeting wonderful humans.

And invite anyone who really wants to take home an edible vampire slaying kit, which are packed up and ready to go.








Monday, December 5, 2022

"Live" Readings Thursday Night at the Joliet Public Library

So today's big reveal must wait one more day because I don't have a complete "product" to reveal.

I had promised in yesterday's post to give a "sneak peek" of a special "thank you" gift BryonySeries is offering for select purchase of books in the BryonySeries on Thursday night at WriteOn Joliet's anthology release party.

I'm not trying to be mysterious; really I'm not.

The gifts were prepared yesterday. But they won't actually be assembled until today, so I don't have a final product to show.

Last year, we offered this gift. This year, we have something equally terrific.

But I can give you this teaser photo and teaser collage:



I know what you're thinking. And you're only a tiny percentage correct.

In the meantime, let me explain the "live readings" feature for Thursday night's anthology release party.

WriteOn Joliet founding member Duanne Walton calls himself the "intrepid videographer" because he and his video recorder are not far away.

Duanne has recorded every WriteOn Joliet open mic every since the writers group starting holding them in 2013 at the Book and Bean Cafe in Joliet.

But he also pops in to various events individual members are hosting. 

Here is Duanne (right) recording an interview with member Robert Hafey on the official release of his book Bumping and Snacking, which was held at the Will County Brewing in Shorewood.

The event featured a special Bumping and Snacking-inspired beer. Robert will be at the anthology release party selling his books, including this one. He will not have any beer.


Duanne plans to set up a table at WriteOn Joliet's anthology release party on Dec. 8 and play all those open mic videos. So be sure to stop by his table and listen for a bit.

The anthology release party will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Joliet Public Library, Black Road branch, 3395 Black Road in Joliet.

Admission to the anthology release party is free.

The celebration includes complimentary appetizers and desserts, an informal meet and greet with local authors who are members of the group, and the opportunity to purchase copies of the anthology as well as as individual works by individual authors.

The Book and Bean Cafe, which is located inside the library, will have a variety of heartier food as well as coffee, tea, and other beverages, available for purchase.

Janet Staley, owner of The Book Market in Crest Hill, will handle checkout. Everyone who buys a book, either the anthology or a book from the other tables, will receive a Book Market bookmark that features a ten percent discount on books at Staley's store through January 31, 2023.

The party is for all ages. So if your children and grandchildren have yet to visit Santa this year, bring them out. 

Photos with Santa are free. Santa, known as Ed Calkins, Steward of Tara the rest of the year, will also be signing and selling his own books.

He will also most likely sign any book in which he appears as a character.


Santa will also give away free candy canes as long as he has some left to give.

Bertrand the Mouse and his Uncle Barty will also be hanging out all night, greeting guests.

Here are they are from 2021, waiting to be loaded into the car for the party.


We're all looking forward to seeing you on Thursday night! 


Sunday, December 4, 2022

A Taste of the Complimentary Food for Thursday Night

Timothy spent the last couple days of his time off preparing a new menu of chef-made treats for WriteOn Joliet's anthology release party, this Thursday, Dec. 8.

And you are invited to the party.


The anthology release party will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Joliet Public Library, Black Road branch, 3395 Black Road in Joliet.

Admission to the anthology release party is free.

The celebration includes complimentary appetizers and desserts, an informal meet and greet with local authors who are members of the group, and the opportunity to purchase copies of the anthology as well as as individual works by individual authors.

The Book and Bean Cafe, which is located inside the library, will have a variety of heartier food as well as coffee, tea, and other beverages, available for purchase.

Janet Staley, owner of The Book Market in Crest Hill, will handle checkout. Everyone who buys a book, either the anthology or a book from the other tables, will receive a Book Market bookmark that features a ten percent discount on books at Staley's store through January 31, 2023.

The party is for all ages. So if your children and grandchildren have yet to visit Santa this year, bring them out. 

Photos with Santa are free. Santa, known as Ed Calkins, Steward of Tara the rest of the year, will also be signing and selling his own BryonySeries books.

And he will most likely sign any BryonySeries books in which he also appears as a character.



Santa will also give away away free candy canes as long as he has some left to give.



Bertrand the Mouse and his Uncle Barty will also be hanging out all night, greeting guests.



Bertrand will have limited copies of his books to sell. He just fulfilled a large order for Santa and Amazon can't ship more books in time.


Now for a "taste" of the complimentary food in its deconstructed format.

These include brownie bites...


...honey vanilla rum-flavored (no alcohol) frosted doughnuts...


...vanilla cake (a component of the next dessert)...


...apple cheesecake shooters with apple gelee, vanilla cake, caramelized apple...


...two edible cookie doughs: funfetti...


...and chocolate chip...


...pumpkin creme brulee...


...and s’mores shooters.

We will also serve a meat and cheese platter with crackers (homemade cheese log) and miniature water bottles, which is, again, all complimentary.

Monday: I'll provide a sneak peek of a special "thank you" gift BryonySeries is offering for select purchase of books in the BryonySeries on Thursday night. I'm not being mysterious; it's actually being prepared today.

Last year, we offered this gift. This year, we have something equally terrific.

Hope to see you Thursday night at the Joliet Public Library!







Saturday, December 3, 2022

Meet Santa Thursday Night at the Joliet Public Library

Ed Calkins, Steward of Tara, also known as Santa Claus this time of year, will have copies of his books for sale Thursday night at the Joliet Public Library, Black Road branch.

He is just one of several authors who contributed to "Write Where We Are," the 2022 anthology for Write On Joliet. 

WriteOn Joliet will celebrate the release of that anthology from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, December 8, at the library, located at 3395 Black Road in Joliet. 

Admission to the anthology release party is free.

The celebration includes complimentary appetizers and desserts, an informal meet and greet with local authors who are members of the group, and the opportunity to purchase copies of the anthology as well as as individual works by individual authors.

Janet Staley, owner of The Book Market in Crest Hill, will handle checkout. Everyone who buys a book, either the anthology or a book from the other tables, will receive a Book Market bookmark that features a ten percent discount on books at Staley's store through January 31, 2023.

The party is for all ages. So if your children and grandchildren have yet to visit Santa this year, bring them out. Photos with Santa are free.

Tomorrow: I'll provide a sneak peek at some of the complimentary food.

Monday: I'll provide a sneak peek of a special "thank you" gift BryonySeries is offering for select purchase of books in the BryonySeries on Thursday night. 

Last year, we offered this gift. This year, we have something equally terrific.

Hope to see you there!




Friday, December 2, 2022

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, 2022

Good morning!

I have twelve features and news stories to share with you today. But more will be scheduled this weekend. So do check back on The Herald-News site: shawlocal.com/the-herald-news

WriteOn Joliet's sixth anthology is live and you can buy it here on Amazon. Or you can purchase it on Dec. 8 at WriteOn Joliet's annual anthology release party, which will be held at the Joliet Public Library, one of our community partners. Details are here.

One the fiction side of things, I plan to release the first three books in the new "Girls of the BryonySeries" subseries  at WriteOn Joliet's anthology release party on December 8 are now available online on Amazon.

Jennifer Wainright (frontispiece artist for Lycanthropic Summer) created the portraits for all three books (and is currently working on a fourth). Rebekah designed the cover art.

These first three books are Julie and the Too-Hard Homework Summer Sistersand Katie and the Big Fear, which are all now available on Amazon. And when Timothy has time to update the website, these three books, as well as Call of the Siren, will also be available in the BryonySeries bookstore.

I'm also currently working on a new Adventures of Cornell Dyer story: Cornell Dyer and the Hounds of Basketville. You can find other titles in the series here. Timothy has not yet added our latest titles to the BryonySeries bookstore. But all titles are also on Amazon

Next up in the series: a Sherlock Holmes parody (the main character is Sherman Homes), which has a solid outline. Sue Midlock is already working on the cover and the interior art: Sherman Homes and the Howls of Basketville.

I'm currently outlining the final book in the BryonySeries Limbo trilogy: House on Top of the Hill

I'm also working on a guide book to the series called: Welcome to Munsonville: the People, Places, and Things of the BryonySeries.

And I'm also working on a novella. But I'm not sharing any details yet. 

Rebekah is also slowly updating the BryonySeries YouTube and Pinterest accounts, so watch for those.

Speaking of Rebekah, thank you for all the good thoughts and prayers for Rebekah. We finally have finally identified and eliminated some health concerns and now have a clear picture on how to treat her. She has a road ahead of her, but everything is treatable. So please continue all the well wishes.

Rebekah is the behind-the-scenes driver of the BryonySeries. She oversees its all its financial aspects, handles all book production, manages two social media accounts, and is the go-to person at events. Plus, she's a wonderful person. We need her to feel much better soon.

Now back to the stories. Simply click on the link of the story that looks interesting to you. Happy scrolling!

But before the stories, I have a list of additional resources and information. Please check them out, too -

Finally, if you'd like to find more kindness in your life, consider this book.

And have a great Friday!

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Sue's Diner is a fictional restaurant in the fictional Munsonville that only exists in the BryonySeries.

Each Sunday, we post a new recipe. The recipe is either featured in one of our cookbooks or will be featured in an upcoming cookbook.

Check out the recipe here.

WRITERS

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

If you'd like to officially join WriteOn Joliet, we have two tiers of dues. We also have a marketing arm that's getting longer every year, well, except this year. Check us out at writeonjoliet.com.

I also suggest this book: Little Book of Revision: A Checklist for Fiction Writers. It's exactly as it says. Each page some with one suggestion for revision. The rest of the page is blank, so you can add your own notes. All proceeds benefit WriteOn Joliet.

If you need support in your writing, I highly recommend this Twitter group: #5amwritersclub. I  joined it last year. Writers support each other on Twitter and meet every three weeks at 5 a.m. (4 a.m. CST - needless to say, I am often late!) on Zoom.

If you need editing or help with self-publishing, check out dmbaranunland.com.

ARTISTS

If you need an artist for a project, I offer these recommendations.

NEWSLETTERS

Sign up for The Munsonville Times by emailing us at bryonyseries@gmail.com. The newsletter still isn't official yet, so we don't have an actual link on the website - but we are working on it! 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Daily updates: I do post the briefs 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 on Twitter at @BryonySeries and assorted related content at facebook.com/BryonySeries, youtube.com/user/BryonySeries, and themes of each book in the BryonySeries at pinterest.com/bryonyseries.

And of course, please follow the adventures of Bertrand the Mouse on Instagram at bertrand_bryonyseries.

BRYONYSERIES BOOKS

For books and more information about the series, visit bryonyseries.com.

BRYONYSERIES EVENTS

A full month of virtual events can be found at bryonyseries.com/calendar-of-events.

QUESTIONS

Email me at bryonyseries@gmail.com.

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.

FEATURES

Misuse of antibiotics can hurt you, Morris Hospital pharmacist warns: Becca Capshaw: ‘We have this need to receive something when we feel bad.’

Tickets for Joliet band’s 39th Christmas concert are free, on one condition.: Mike Fiske: ‘You also get to hear the Barton Grande Organ in the beautiful Rialto.’

New Lenox student starts mental health awareness club for her school’s athletes: Kailee O’Sullivan: ‘Mental health was not something our school talked about too much’

Get a photo with a horse, donate to Salvation Army on Saturday in New Lenox: Will County Trail Riders will ring bells for the nonprofit with their horses in tow.

Register now for ‘Owl Watch’ tours and ‘Owl Prowl’ hikes in Will County this December 

Shorewood teen has performed in ‘The Nutcracker’ for 5 years. She’s now the lead.: Tickets still available to ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet on Sunday. 

Media literacy: Illinois high schools are teaching students how to spot fake news

Baran-Unland: Joliet university’s “Spirit of Christmas’ begins 30th year: Livestream or listen on your radio. 

MLK Day of Service returns to Joliet in 2023: register now: The 16-year event took a pause during the pandemic.

Register now for Veterans Appreciation Night at Lockport H.S.: Veterans will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Pets of the Week: Nov. 28, 2022: Will County rescues have dogs and cats for adoption.

5 Things to do in Will County: Holiday-themed live performances, festivals, concert


Illustration by Matt Coundiff for "Visage"



Thursday, December 1, 2022

Do You Know What This Is?

Or, more to the point, do you know what this will become?


Well, we're not sharing that until Monday.

But here is a hint.

This...stuff...will become part of a very unique "thank you" gift for select purchases of BryonySeries books at WriteOn Joliet's anthology release party on Dec. 8 at the Joliet Public Library, Black Road branch.


Of course, we will only have a limited amount of these "thank you" gifts. So we will offer them as supplies last.

Naturally, we have plenty supplies to make the very best gifts.


So if you are in the area next Thursday, and have a couple of spare minutes, please stop out.

Keep scrolling for more features of the night.



We will have anthologies and local authors selling their individual works. This picture is from the 2019 release party at The Book Market in Crest Hill.





We will have Santa. This picture was taken last year at the Joliet Public Library right after we packed up for the night.




We will have free, complimentary, upscale snacks prepared by Timothy. Here is Timothy's spread at The Book Market in Crest Hill in 2019.




And we will have Janet Staley, owner of The Book Market, will handle checkout and have special store offers for everyone who makes a purchase at the party.



And we hope to see you, too!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Sue's Diner: Easy Berry Trifle

My mother, Virginia Schonbachler, contributed this recipe to the BryonySeries cookbook Memories in the Kitchen: Bites and Nibbles from "Bryony."

We renamed it Darlene's Trifle for the cookbook because in Bryony, the protagonist's mother made this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner.

Rebekah also prepared it for a family Thanksgiving dinner last week as an alternate to pumpkin pie since half of the guests (many, but not all, were children) do not like pumpkin.

So if you need an easy-to-prepare dessert with plenty of child appeal for the holidays, we suggest this easy berry trifle, also known as Darlene's Trifle.

Try this recipe on the Sue's Diner page on the BryonySeries website

But try the recipe this week. It will be gone some time next week. A new recipe will take it's place. 

All proceeds from  Memories in the Kitchen: Bites and Nibbles from "Bryony." benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

Order the cookbook from the BryonySeries store or from Amazon.


By the way, Sue's Diner is only real in the BryonySeries world. But didn't Timothy do a great job making the page look like a real menu at a vintage diner?

Here is the full diner page: bryonyseries.com/sue-s-diner. You can't really order, of course (wouldn't it be great if you could?).

For more BryonySeries recipes, check out our three cookbooks at our BryonySeries bryonyseries.com/general-store.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Story Round-Up: Features in The Herald-News, Nov. 19 to Nov.25, 2022

Good morning!

I have fourteen features and news stories to share with you today. But more will be scheduled this weekend. So do check back on The Herald-News site: shawlocal.com/the-herald-news

Thank you for all the good thoughts and prayers for Rebekah. We finally have finally identified and eliminated some health concerns and now have a clear picture on how to treat her. She has a road ahead of her, but everything is treatable. So please continue all the well wishes.

Rebekah is the behind-the-scenes driver of the BryonySeries. She oversees its all its financial aspects, handles all book production, manages two social media accounts, and is the go-to person at events. Plus, she's a wonderful person. We need her to feel much better soon.

WriteOn Joliet's sixth anthology is live and you can buy it here on Amazon. Or you can purchase it on Dec. 8 at WriteOn Joliet's annual anthology release party, which will be held at the Joliet Public Library, one of our community partners. Details are here.

One the fiction side of things, I plan to release the first three books in the new "Girls of the BryonySeries" subseries  at WriteOn Joliet's anthology release party on December 8 are now available online on Amazon.

Jennifer Wainright (frontispiece artist for Lycanthropic Summer) created the portraits for all three books (and is currently working on a fourth). Rebekah designed the cover art.

These first three books are Julie and the Too-Hard Homework Summer Sistersand Katie and the Big Fear, which are all now available on Amazon. And when Timothy has time to update the website, these three books, as well as Call of the Siren, will also be available in the BryonySeries bookstore.

I'm also currently working on a new Adventures of Cornell Dyer story: Cornell Dyer and the Hounds of Basketville. You can find other titles in the series here. Timothy has not yet added our latest titles to the BryonySeries bookstore. But all titles are also on Amazon

Next up in the series: a Sherlock Holmes parody (the main character is Sherman Homes), which has a solid outline. Sue Midlock is already working on the cover and the interior art: Sherman Homes and the Howls of Basketville.

I'm currently outlining the final book in the BryonySeries Limbo trilogy: House on Top of the Hill

I'm also working on a guide book to the series called: Welcome to Munsonville: the People, Places, and Things of the BryonySeries.

And I'm also working on a novella. But I'm not sharing any details yet. 

Rebekah is also slowly updating the BryonySeries YouTube and Pinterest accounts, so watch for those. 

Now back to the stories. Simply click on the link of the story that looks interesting to you. Happy scrolling!

But before the stories, I have a list of additional resources and information. Please check them out, too -

Finally, if you'd like to find more kindness in your life, consider this book.

And have a great Friday!

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Sue's Diner is a fictional restaurant in the fictional Munsonville that only exists in the BryonySeries.

Each Sunday, we post a new recipe. The recipe is either featured in one of our cookbooks or will be featured in an upcoming cookbook.

Check out the recipe here.

WRITERS

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

If you'd like to officially join WriteOn Joliet, we have two tiers of dues. We also have a marketing arm that's getting longer every year, well, except this year. Check us out at writeonjoliet.com.

I also suggest this book: Little Book of Revision: A Checklist for Fiction Writers. It's exactly as it says. Each page some with one suggestion for revision. The rest of the page is blank, so you can add your own notes. All proceeds benefit WriteOn Joliet.

If you need support in your writing, I highly recommend this Twitter group: #5amwritersclub. I  joined it last year. Writers support each other on Twitter and meet every three weeks at 5 a.m. (4 a.m. CST - needless to say, I am often late!) on Zoom.

If you need editing or help with self-publishing, check out dmbaranunland.com.

ARTISTS

If you need an artist for a project, I offer these recommendations.

NEWSLETTERS

Sign up for The Munsonville Times by emailing us at bryonyseries@gmail.com. The newsletter still isn't official yet, so we don't have an actual link on the website - but we are working on it! 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Daily updates: I do post the briefs 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 on Twitter at @BryonySeries and assorted related content at facebook.com/BryonySeries, youtube.com/user/BryonySeries, and themes of each book in the BryonySeries at pinterest.com/bryonyseries.

And of course, please follow the adventures of Bertrand the Mouse on Instagram at bertrand_bryonyseries.

BRYONYSERIES BOOKS

For books and more information about the series, visit bryonyseries.com.

BRYONYSERIES EVENTS

A full month of virtual events can be found at bryonyseries.com/calendar-of-events.

QUESTIONS

Email me at bryonyseries@gmail.com.

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.

FEATURES

Santa Sightings 2022: Where to find Santa in Will, Grundy counties this year: Registration required for some events.

Festival of Gnomes is Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 and Drunk’n Gnome is Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 

'A whole flock of them came over: Random #turkey photo becomes Seneca man’s Thanksgiving tradition': Robert Anselme: ‘It was unreal, the sound. I’ll never forget it.’

Joliet theater presented ‘A Very Rialto Christmas… There’s No Place Like Home’ on Monday night: Rialto Square Theatre kicked off its holiday season with annual concert 

The need for basic necessities in Will County just isn’t going away: Affordable housing is the highest need as annual Herald-Angels campaign kicks off.

Shorewood assisted living facility celebrates 20 years of senior living: Sheila Albor: ‘Everyone here is like one big family.’ 

Joliet kindergarteners explain the importance of Thanksgiving: Children’s perceptions of Thanksgiving are very similar to those of adults.

Here how’s to donate toys to kids in Will, Grundy Counties this holiday season.: Options range from donating online to a jeep toy ride.

Donate a new or gently used coat to keep someone warm in Will County: And if you need a coat, Our Caring Closet NFP in Wilmington can help.

2 Lockport Catholic grade schools will become regional school for Lockport and Homer Glen

Apply for a 4-year scholarship from the American Italian Cultural Society in Crest Hill." Applicants must be graduating seniors.

Baran-Unland: Why you should care about local hospitals’ Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades: Morris Hospital, Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, received an ‘A’ for patient safety for fall 2022

5 Things to do in Will County: holiday music, movies and more: Bird lovers: Don’t miss the last monthly Midwest Bird Fair of 2022.

Pets of the Week: Nov. 21, 2022: Will County rescues have dogs and cats for adoption



Illustration by Matt Coundiff for "Visage"



Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Sue's Diner: Turkey and Dressing

 Good morning!

I shared the following "Thanksgiving" story last week (and the week before that).

But for those who missed it, I'm sharing it again - along with a new recipe.

Why am I sharing the same story again?

Because someone who isn't celebrating a "traditional" Thanksgiving might feel encouraged by it.

Because Thanksgiving happens more in the heart than on the table.

Feast well, dear readers!


When our family delivered thousands of newspapers each night in the middle of the night, Thanksgiving week was the most challenging week of the year.

The newspapers themselves were enormous, which took longer to prepare for delivery, and often required multiple trips for delivery.

Because the holiday season would officially begin with that publication (at least in the newspaper world), newsroom deadlines were right and we had more pre-stuffing of ads for us and the kids customers, for other newspaper carriers would pay my children (at the rate of $5 per hundred) to do the stuffing for them.

This meant we had more work as a family while simultaneously losing the help of one member (me) for part of the time.

For many years, we arrived home too late and, quite frankly, too tired to cook a proper Thanksgiving dinner, since we would be back on our feet again in a few hours.

So we created our own tradition: poor boys, kettle chips, raw vegetables platter, and pumpkin pie. That dinner is still part of our Thanksgiving weekend tradition.

But a few years ago, with those midnight days behind us, we began a new tradition: building our Thanksgiving dinner around the recipes in the BryonySeries cookbook: Memories in the Kitchen: Bites and Nibbles from "Bryony."

Like the recipe I'm sharing with you today.

Each week for the next three weeks, I'll share one of those recipes with you on the Sue's Diner page on the BryonySeries website. 

This week's recipe for turkey and dressing is actually two recipes, submitted by two different contributors for the cookbook.

If you want to keep it, copy and save it. It will be gone some time next week. A new recipe will take it's place. 

Of course, it would you like all the recipes, order the cookbook from the BryonySeries store or Amazon

All proceeds are donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.


By the way, Sue's Diner is only real in the BryonySeries world. But didn't Timothy do a great job making the page look like a real menu at a vintage diner?

Here is the full diner page: bryonyseries.com/sue-s-diner. You can't really order, of course (wouldn't it be great if you could?).

For more BryonySeries recipes, check out our three cookbooks at our BryonySeries bryonyseries.com/general-store.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Art Linkletter: 'We Did With Less And Made It Matter More'

While double-checking a couple of "Art Linkletter" facts for a special Thanksgiving story for The Herald-News, I stumbled upon a gem of an interview with Art in 2009, eleven months before his death.

The YouTube video was called "Overcoming Challenging Times." It was some of the best four minutes and twenty-seven seconds I've spent.

Listen for yourself right here. It's my gift to you today.