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Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Taste of Chicago by Margot Justes

I may have mentioned once or twice before that I love to travel but I also love going out to eat and trying new things. I was raised on simple fare and going out to restaurants was not the thing to do. You ate at home. Period.

The one thing my father instilled in me was the love of travel; we moved frequently and lived in some pretty amazing places. Maybe that is why to this day I have wonder lust and always want to see more.

Growing up in that environment allowed me the freedom to sample different cultures, and as I matured (I hope) and became more independent my palate grew as well. That is not to say I do not love Polish and Jewish food. I do, very much so.

I live near a truly amazing city, thirty five minutes away from my home is Chicago, and that means world class museums, theatre, opera, orchestra and food; all of that just minutes away.

This weekend starts The Taste of Chicago, over three hundred restaurants are represented, and for the first time, the participating restaurants must have a Chicago presence. An excellent idea, because we do have some great ones, from The Lettuce Entertain You chain of restaurants, Everest, an exquisite restaurant that offers dining at its best to the very casual and delightful R. J. Grunts in the Lincoln Park area. And of course, any discussion of fine restaurants must include Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, and I don't even have to whisper the chef's name, but I will...Rick Bayless.

Inexpensive fare to the very high end and everything in between can be found in Chicago. And because we're so culturally rich, all ethnic foods abound.

More next week about my favorite Chicago restaurants.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Photographer Matt Connor by Margot Justes

I would like to share some wonderful photographs taken by a young and very talented photographer.
Just looking at them makes me want to travel, not that I need a reason.
Rome, Capri and Egypt are scheduled for next year and the shots from both Rome and Capri just increase my desire to roam the world.
I really think I could live out of a suitcase on a permanent basis.
Till next time,
Margot Justes
Read and travel the world...
A Hotel in Paris

Vanity Press by Margot Justes

It would seem that even the Wall Street Journal is paying attention to the explosion of the digital books and the resourceful authors that navigate the complex and timely world of e-book publication.

A recent article in the Journal, 'Vanity' Press Goes Digital mentioned authors who either can't get published, as in an example of author Karen McQuestion, who was rejected, self published, sold well and even has a film option with a Hollywood director. Not bad a way to start your career.

The Journal went on to mention authors like Joe Konrath. Joe is already a very well established (check out his Jackie Daniels series) author who took his work directly to the reader via Amazon and is succeeding admirably. Joe is selling like the proverbial hotcakes, he is also a master of marketing and a personality with a goofy, funny sense of humor, his books are a scary, spooky good read. He is in fact the complete package to sell well.

For mid-list authors, the e-book avenue or any avenue for that matter, is not an easy one to manage. You have to let your readers know you're out there. But first, you have to figure out if you even have any readers. If you're lucky enough to have established a following, albeit a small one, you now need to grow that readership, and somehow let them know you're out there.

The social networks are always a good idea, in fact a great idea, but how to tell all your friends out in the nebulous land of the internet that you're out there, without hitting them over the head and becoming a nuisance. That is my question? Does anyone have a few answers?

I regained my rights to two short stories, and this weekend I plan to go to the Amazon site and learn how to download and sell them. Amazon, it would appear actually helps the author promote the work, and they have vast resources at their fingertips. We'll see how it all works out.

Till next time,
Margot Justes