Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Walking Tour: NAVY PIER TOP TEN LIST

When I was a kid growing up in Chicago Navy Pier was a dilapidated Navy Base on Lake Michigan. When it was built in 1916 it was the largest pier in the world, this is probably when our Chicago desire to have the biggest, tallest edifices started. Today, Navy Pier is a year round child and adult play ground, drawing 900 million visitors to the number one attraction in Chicago.  Here’s my top ten list of what to do on Navy Pier.

10. Smith Museum of Stained-Glass Windows. 150 pieces of fine stained-glass line the interior corridors of the pier, including 13 pieces from Louis Comfort Tiffany. It it the first stained-glass museum in the US.

9.  Wave Swinger. Colorful old-fashioned thrill ride that raises passenger 14ft in the air and spins them until the skyline is a blur.
8. Musical Carousel. 36 hand-painted horses and chariots fill this merry-go-round with laughter and excitement for all ages.

7. Chicago’s Shakespeare Theatre. This highly renowned theatre has a series of Shakespeare’s plays every season. I saw King Lear here and it physically rained on stage when King Lear’s madness took hime to the forest, it was one of the most captivating performances I’ve ever seen. The 510 courtyard style theatre in the round would make the bard proud with its annual summer kid’s adaptations.
6. Boat Cruise: Boats from tall schooners to high powered motored boats line the docks along the pier. You can enjoy dinner, dancing and cocktails on the Odyssey or in the summer you can sail out onto the lake in a four-masted schooner and come away with another perspective of the city.

5. Children’s Museum. Kid’s love this hands on museum that educates through interactive play.
4. Dinner at Riva’s.  Riva’s is a steak and seafood restaurant on Navy Pier that offers breathtaking views of the skyline and lakefront and was recently named one of the top scenic views restaurants in the U.S by OpenTable Diners. Bon Appetite, but save your pennies, it’s pricey.

3. Fireworks at Navy Pier. Every Wednesday evening at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:15 p.m. there is a spectacular fireworks display that is synchronized with music at the pier overlooking Lake Michigan.
2. Riding the Ferris Wheel: The ten story Ferris wheel offers a fine view of both the city skyline and the lake. The 7 minute ride in the gondola cars is the Piers most visible attraction. The 40 gondola’s hold six passengers each and the Ferris Wheel is a replica of the original Ferris Wheel designed for the 1893 Chicago’s World Colombia’s Exposition.

1.Riding the Ferris Wheel during the fireworks display. In order to make this happen, you would have to time you’re getting in a gondola precisely and there is usually a long line for the Ferris Wheel. So get in line early.  Also, the 7 minute ride time is if you rode a complete circuit without stopping, keep in mind that the conductor stops and starts to let riders off which makes the ride considerably longer, especially on a busy evening. The photo above is the view from the Ferris Wheel looking back at the skyline.

I've been off for a few weeks traveling. But thanks for visiting my Wednesday Walking Tour. I hope you'll come visit me in Chicago soon. Let me know when you're coming and I'll roll out the red carpet.
Elizabeth Marx

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Besides sending us a personal note about how our book touched you, the nicest thing you can do for an author is write us a review. Many people have no idea how to do this, myself included. I’ve been a booklover my entire life, but I was never a reviewer. So this is my simple approach to writing a book review.  You need to supply some basic information: title, author, genre and short plot synopsis. Next, we want to know your personal reactions and connections to the story. Basically, this is how you feel about the story. Did it keep you up until all hours of the night? Make you laugh out loud? Prevent you from going to work because you had to know what happened or couldn’t stop crying? Then close out your review with your recommendations and the value and quality of the writing. What you liked about the style and prose of the novel. Simple right? So take a few minutes to write a review for your favorite author.   

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FREE!!! The Seer's 7 Deadly Fairy Tales

Okay, let’s start out by saying this book is a compendium, not a novel. I had no idea what a compendium was until my good friend Merriam Webster informed me. Compendium: 1) a brief summary of a larger work or of a field of knowledge; 2) A collection or compilation.
This is all the ExtraOrdinary knowledge I’ve collected and written down in the little black book Ilithyia gave me as a death-day present. The same night she gave me the spiel about the important purpose I’d serve as The Seer. I have more questions about the Order than I have answers for, but I’ve decided to serve my higher purpose by constructing this encyclopedia for the Ordinary world.

The Seer’s 7 Deadly Fairy Tales also includes a truthful account of what happened to me, and a peek into what transpired while Locke and I were sent away to Blessingston. It’s full of definitions, cool illustrations, and the first of seven fairy tales that will be told over the course of the series. If you’re dying to know what goes on behind the veil of secrecy Salem is shrouded in, feel free to read this compendium.

But beware, the Order has one rule about recording ExtraOrdinary events--it’s strictly forbidden. So just to be on the safe side, you might want to destroy this after reading it.
But don’t worry about me getting in trouble, I’m already dead!

The Seer
Visit me on Facebook:!/TheSeers7DeadlyFairyTales

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Declaration of Independent Authors

When in the course of self-publishing it becomes necessary for an indie author to dissolve the old ideological bands which have contrived to separate books from our audience, and to assume among the powers of publishing, the separate and equal station to which our independent books are worthy of reading.  A respect for the opinions of booklovers everywhere requires that we should declare our books valuable, even as the big five try to create a distinction.
           We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all books are created equal, and that they are endowed by their authors with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are voice, creative storytelling and the pursuit of readers. In order to secure these rights, new devices were invented and new platforms were created to allow the devotee of the written word to deem what is worthy to climb the New York Times Best Sellers List. That when any form of gatekeeper, be it agent, editor, copyeditor, publishing committee or retailer impedes the right of the reader to decide what is high-quality and praiseworthy of consumption, it is the right of those passionate about books to alter or abolish it, and to institute new ways of determining the next blockbuster. Prudence dictates that publishing long established should not be changed for light and transient causes, but when an extensive train of rejections by editors and agents, who invariably pursue the same “safe” content, reduces authors to doubt their talents and stories, it is their right and their duty to disregard the constraints of these gatekeepers and to seek new, respected opinion leaders to vet the future security of the most beloved book. Such has been the patient endeavor of independent authors, to throw off the old firewall and blaze a new trail.  The history of traditional publishing is the establishment of absolute tyranny over what is read in this country!
        Indie authors reject the assumption that anyone who can pen a shopping list can write a novel.
Indie authors reject the idea that because we are unknown we are untalented.
Indie authors reject the traditional detachment between reader and author.
Indie authors believe in the power of word of mouth recommendation.
        Indie authors believe in climactic plots, strong heroes and heroines, and cringe worthy villains.
Indie authors believe in protecting our intellectual property.
Indie authors do not work for free, nor will we suffer piracy, which is a romantic word for stealing.
Indie authors believe we can manage our books’ marketing, public relations, pricing and distribution as well as any publisher.
Indie authors believe that if we share, collaborate and exchange information we can grow our platforms and brands.
Indie authors believe writing is a labor of love and books are created through talent, tenacity and team work.   
We, therefore, the representatives of indie authors everywhere, assembled and appealing to the supreme judge, the reader, solemnly publish and declare, that we are free and independent writers, who will do our best to provide well written, expertly edited and perfectly packaged books worthy of your praise and accolades. That you will read, review and hold our work to a standard set by you, the esteemed booklover.
Elizabeth Marx, Illinois
Please add any ideas you think I missed in the comments & I'm looking for an indie author from every state and country to sign the declaration!!! Happy 4th of July and please accept this declaration in the spirit of independence that inspired it.