Doing What you Can, One Day at a Time 

Something told me, that morning in May 2021, I shouldn't have gone out for a third trip on the bike. The boy's bicycle with a straight bar was intended to fit my partner, not me. With my gimpy right hip, I could barely swing my leg over the bar, and my body was saying “Tired. Take a rest.” 

I want to go, I said. I pulled my leg over the bar and started down the street. To stop, I braked and put my left foot down. But now I couldn't lift my weary right leg over the bar, nor lean on it to lift my left leg…

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Now Helping Writers Develop and Polish their work with Editing! 

After a lifetime of writing, I'm now helping other writers edit their work. Email me if you want me to take a look at your memoir, essay, short story, novel-- even  your bio and how you present yourself. (No porn or extreme violent material--enough of that!)  Rates are $25-35 an hour, based on word counts, total job quoted before we start. How does editing work? See this: What's an Editor Do?

CLICK and read FURTHER to see recommendations from people who've found that my editing services helped them in their…

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West Side Blues & Culture Center in Laramie Bank Building? 

In March 2021, , Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced plans to redevelop the historic Laramie Citizens Bank building at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Laramie. It will offer housing, business and culture through the neighborhood program Invest South and West. An easy ride on Bus 66 along the designated Chicago Avenue “Soul City” business corridor, this striking popular landmark can draw both locals and visitors. If carried out in a thoughtful and inclusive manner, the Laramie bank project can truly…

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Bonni's 2020 year end report and THANKS  

A  big THANK YOU to everyone who donated in 2020 to keep the boogie going . thanks to you I'm on track to have my novel  edited (see "Chicago Blues Plantation" below,  and be ready for musical opportunities.  Read my year end report /fundraiser to catch up  HERE

New Novel in the works: DELTA SONG 


A Novel under construction by Bonni McKeown 


Chapter 1: Two Brothers 

Marcus Sr., Mississippi Delta, October 1948 

Saturdays in October, the cotton bosses paid off. Marcus Manning and his younger brother Luther, guitars strapped across their backs, headed to Rendell to cash in. Just in their teens, the Manning brothers had built a musical reputation around the Delta. People pointed them out—Marcus, the tall, dark and rangy one; Luther, shorter, more rounded, a little lighter. 

“Sure easier to…

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Bonni's Austin Weekly News Blog "West Side Blues" 

Local neighborhood papers these days are rare, but since I've had the privilege of writing a blog and news articles for the Austin Weekly News. Mainly I write about  people, arts and culture of the West Side of Chicago.  Austin is located on the far west of the West Side.  It turned very quickly from a white working class area into a Black neighborhood in 1970, right as the Great Migration era was ending and jobs were beginning to leave the city.  People here have survived in a slow economy ever since. The…

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Chicago still isn't promoting blues on West and South Side 

Three years ago in 2017, I spearheaded, with West Side  travel agent Crystal Dyer, a series of community talks on West Side blues and culture.

This was after a Crain's Business article showed the city is losing millions for failure to promote its local music.

In 2020, Mayor Lori Lightfoot launched "Year of Chicago Music" and spent thousands of dollars on a cute logo, "Music in the Key of Chicago."  The program was set to highlight 18 days of downtown festivals of various genres, which arenow in question due…

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The New Normal. Time for some Rhythm 'n' Rage! 

The New Normal



The fraying of nerves

as democracy crumbles--

“The new normal.” “Get used to it.”

Work til you’re 85, chained and indexed,

Minimal wages.


Get used to schools that teach nothing

but how to stand in line.

Get used to poison rivers

Smelling like licorice.

Get used to city hall

abandoning neighborhoods

to build stadiums 

Roman circuses. No bread involved. 

Get used to Daddy Mega Warbucks

sucking in tax dollars,

exhaling fire: bombs and drones;

Get used to Big Brother

perching on your…

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