Printer's Row Book Fair 2017

We will be wandering around the Fair this year - enjoying the day and soaking up the wonderful energy.  If you will be doing the dame thing, and you get the urge to buy a copy of Revise the Psalm then join L. D. Barnes at the Mystery Writers of America Tent from 10 am to 12 pm on Saturday and from 12 pm to 2 pm on Sunday.    She will be selling copies for $25.00 (cash or Square), will happily sign her poem and provide you with a FLOW bookmark.   Or just stop by to say HEY - I read it on FLOW's website!    She'll give you a bookmark with a secret message and a small serving of side-eye.   

Posted on May 29, 2017 .

Writers! Know Your Legal Rights: Everything you need to know but were afraid to ask! June 17, 2017

We know it is short notice, but we are very happy to have two prominent practictioners of law who have specialized in entertainment law as it pertains to writing, publishing and creating internet content.  

Below are the bios for our facilitators Marci Walker and Jason Koransky  -  I know you will be impressed.  

Jason M Koransky

Jason Koransky's practice focuses on trademark, copyright, advertising, data privacy, and Internet law. His experience ranges from litigating in federal court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, to trademark clearance, prosecuting domestic and foreign trademark applications, and drafting and negotiating license agreements.

Before transitioning into a career as an attorney, Jason worked as a journalist in the Chicago area for more than a decade. For 10 years he served as the editor of DownBeat magazine, an international music magazine devoted to jazz and blues. At DownBeat he gained a deep understanding of the issues affecting musicians, record labels, music publishers, venues, and the other entities in the music industry, as well as the myriad issues confronting journalists and publishers. He also interviewed the likes of Dave Brubeck, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, and Joni Mitchell. He carries his experience in the music and publishing industries into his law practice.

Prior to joining Pattishall in September 2014, Jason worked as an IP Associate at two firms in Chicago. In addition, he served for a year as a law clerk for the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber in the Northern District of Illinois. He earned his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School, and his B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University.


Marci Rolnik Walker

Marci Walker joined Lawyers for the Creative Arts in 2004. She has advised clients in all areas of art and entertainment, including intellectual property protection for motion pictures, visual arts, music, dance and literary works. Ms. Walker plans LCA's educational programming and lectures widely on copyright law, including rights acquisition and transfer and overall best practices to manage copyright interests in creative works. She has experience drafting and negotiating film production, recording, publishing, art production and installation, and multimedia licensing deals, often limiting the scope of licensed rights, maximizing revenue streams, and giving artists real bargaining power, including adequate information to turn down commercially exploitative offers. She is the former Chair of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Division of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, the Chicago Bar Association's Media and Entertainment Committee, the Intellectual Property Committee of College Art Association, and the Fiscal Sponsorship Committee of Independent Features Project Midwest (IFP/ Chicago).

Prior to practicing law, Marci worked in independent film and media, providing production management, clearance, set photography and ghost writing services. She is a closet writer, who wrote her first manuscript at age 12 and published at age 14. Marci is an adjunct faculty member in the Film Department of Columbia College Chicago and DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media where she teaches entertainment law courses, concentrating on copyright acquisition and chain of title documentation.  Marci formerly worked at Harper College, teaching intellectual property law, the American Judicature Society, the City of Chicago Department of Law, Chambers of Judge Wayne Andersen (Retired—U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois), Loyola University Chicago’s Media Department, and the Department of Communications at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she student taught a legal ethics course. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois and in the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois.

For ticket information -

Posted on May 29, 2017 .

Independence is a Good Thing . . .

. . . whether you are talking about a person or a book store.  I have had a long and productive relationship with the only book store left in my neighborhood, Bookies.  

Yes, Borders, when it was on 95th Street had a better layout, more magazines, a coffee shop and a wider selection of gift items, but after the Kindle Krash of 2011, all of that made no difference.  Borders dissolved like salt in the rain and Bookies was the little engine that could. AND did  And still is. 

A wonderful warren of used and new books, almost underground in its existence, but God love them for keeping the feel, the smell and the wonder of books alive in Beverly. 

Check them out at   or better yet, drop by.  You can order a copy of Hot Johnny (and the Women Who Loved Him) by Sandra Jackson-Opoku.  

Posted on June 8, 2016 .

Retreating is NOT a bad thing

The Travels of Sandra Jackson-Opoku

Spoiler alert: If you get twinges of jealousy over globetrotting world travelers, stop reading now. 

In military terms, retreat is not something you should do unless absolutely necessary, but in writing retreat is a positive word.  To go on a retreat is to carve out time and find a place to shift your focus totally toward working on your work.  Retreating in creative terms, like in military terms, can be something to save your creative life and your work. 

Sandra has done the research to find places that offer artists nurturing environments for their work.  She has applied and been accepted by a diverse set of retreats that will have her moving across mental and physical landscapes simultaneously.

Starting with an easy trip of about one hundred miles, her first stop is a two week retreat in the bucolic surrounds of Benton Harbor, Michigan at Blueberry View Artist Retreat.  Here her hosts, sculptors and former Chicagoans Janet Sullivan and Mark Toncray, provide an environment of peace and tranquility for artists of any genre.  Overlooking Lake Michigan, their garden and of course blueberry fields, Sandra hopes to revise her cozy mystery, Sweet Potato Crimes


After a brief return to Chicago, she will be traveling to the exotic east to attend the retreat at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China. Situated in The Bund area of Old Shanghai, the international section that was developed over a century ago, this stretch of four to six story buildings sitting on the west bank of the Huangpu River is picturesque.  In a city of 23 million people, she will have the opportunity to mix with artists of many countries and disciplines when she is not conducting Open Studio Sessions or working on her young adult novel North Shore/ South Shore.   

Swatch Peace Hotel and other buildings of the Bund 

Swatch Peace Hotel and other buildings of the Bund 


Lastly, she will travel across the sea to the African motherland of Senegal.  Located on the eastern coast of the continent, she will participate in the WOW Senegal Residency in Saint-Louis, Senegal. Her novel God’s Gift to the Natives, a crime story set in Senegal will be richly enhanced by her total immersion in the county, the culture and the language.  When she isn’t writing, she will be automatically researching and absorbing.   She intends to visit Goree Island, the small rock outcropping located off the coast of Senegal, which has the last standing ‘Slave House’, which was built by the Dutch in 1777.   Now a museum, this was a holding pen and point of demarcation for hundreds of thousands of slaves for nearly a century.  It is complete with small door called the "door of no return" through which every man, woman and child was walked to the waiting slave boat.  It was the place where they caught a last glimpse of their homeland.  

Turn of the Century on the streets of Saint-Louis, Senegal

Turn of the Century on the streets of Saint-Louis, Senegal


We, the members of FLOW,  wish our sister safe and productive travels. 

Inclusion is Wonderful

I've sent a lot of pieces to a lot of places.  I've been rejected time after time.  I even kept a binder of the kind rejection notes that I have gotten (with the appropriate pieces attached).  As my own inside joke, the binder is thin and embossed with the letters PMS, from an old computer system I once managed.   Do I need to say that I love irony?  

So, the last few weeks were made of pure joy for me.  Not one but two pieces got accepted.  First the Tallgrass Anthology took my short story about a haunted house in my neighborhood, called My Mount Greenwood Home.   

Then one of my poems, called Recipe, was accepted in the Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks.  This work is about a woman who is brewing something up to revenge herself.   

Let me point out the irony in these selections.  Two different publications, but one strong theme.  I am busy dealing with death.  They do say,  write what you know.  


Posted on May 23, 2016 and filed under Writing, Poetry, Short Story, Rejection, Inclusion.

Battling Writers Block Links

If you cannot make it to our event - we do not want to leave you alone in your battle with the blank page.  Here are a few online resources that can aid you in your struggle.  

How Famous Writers Deal with Writer's Block: includes Maya Angelou, Neil Gaiman, and others.

A list of tips to combat writer's block 

Language is a Virus website - prompts, activities and generators - check it out


Posted on May 4, 2016 .

Battling Writers Block

Ray Bradbury said "You fail only if you stop writing."  So at FLOW we want to help you cure or prevent writer's block.  We have gathered people from a broad spectrum of writing to talk about what they do when those ugly monsters raise their heads and take a bite out of our productivity. We have bloggers, educators, essayists, fiction writers, mystery writers and self-publishers who will talk about their methods to flow through obstacles, large and small.    Reserve the afternoon of May 7th to attend our event.  You can even bring something that you are working on to share in the workshop portion.  For a mere $20, you will be encouraged, educated, refreshed and inspired by fellow writers.  Come find out that you are not alone staring at a screen or a blank page.  



Posted on May 4, 2016 .