Monday, November 4, 2013

New Books On The Block: LOUISIANA'S A - Z plus STORY SPROUTS

Today I'm excited to present to you two books that I've been involved in the production of (formatting-wise). The first is a collection of 26 stories that mingles history with personal anecdotes, told by the talented Kittie Howard. The second is an anthology of stories and writing exercises by a group of writers, the CBW-LA.

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Growing up in Louisiana meant strawberries from my grandfather's garden on top of homemade ice cream, listening to elders tell stories on the stoop, and carefree days beneath a cornsilk sky. Parents were old -- really old! -- and grandparents who lived across the pasture were at least a million years old. 

In an era when a child was a child and clocks ticked too-loud in the rural quiet and calendars hung on kitchen walls, other than finding a doodle bug that wanted to play, my biggest worry was Santa Claus wouldn't come to a white-sided house without a fireplace. "Santa doesn't need a fireplace in Louisiana," my mother would say, then kiss my freckled cheek. Soothed by her words, I'd snuggle into Mama's skirt and embrace love's warmth. 

As time passed and I stepped into life, love's warmth remained the common denominator, but I also realized growing up in Louisiana was a unique experience. Most kids didn't eat crawfish or boudin, avoid alligators in bayous, or come from a family that has been in what is now Louisiana since 1679. Nor did most kids have a grandmother who was half-French and half-Spanish and spoke French as a first language, a grandfather whose English-Welsh ancestors had emigrated in 1700, and a mother with 1800s German roots. 

It was all so normal -- one great-grandmother speaking German, the other French -- that I didn't appreciate until later how my family traveled Louisiana's colonial history and into today. Louisiana's A-Z wanders much like a lazy river, from alligators to Zydeco music, a gumbo of personal and historical seasonings that infuse the soul.

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Nineteen talented children’s book authors accepted a challenge to workshop, write, revise, polish, and submit two stories - in public, under the pressure of a six-hour deadline, with the promise of publication. Their work is revealed with the global release of Story Sprouts Anthology 2013.

In a revolutionary new approach to writing and publishing, the Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles turned convention upside down with Story Sprouts: CBW-LA Writing Day Exercises and Anthology 2013.

A fresh take on an old classic, the Anthology uncovers the creative process in its raw form, celebrating the seeds of story generation. Framing the authors’ contributions are the 10 writing exercises that guided them along their journey, as well as tips and techniques shared at the workshop.


Alana said...

Thanks for posting Rachel, and thank you once again for all of your hard work formatting Story Sprouts. It looks amazing!


Arlee Bird said...

I've got my copy of Story Sprouts at the release party this past Saturday--autographed by the authors too! Everybody did a great job on the book. Your formatting was outstanding. I look forward to reading and leaving my review. I can see where this book can be very helpful to any writer and entertaining for those who like to read.

Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I just caught both of those books on the authors' sites - excited for Kitty and Nutschell!

Andrew Leon said...

I grew up in Louisiana, but I don't really have anything good to say about the experience.

J.L. Campbell said...

Kittie's childhood sounds like a slice of heaven. Really like the cover on her book too.

Story sprouts sounds useful and entertaining.

Melanie Schulz said...

I love stories like that- the real ones that take you back to a simple time.

Mark Koopmans said...

Congrats to Kittie, Nutschell and Alana - and hello Miss Rachel... where do you find the time to write - and format other books!!

(Can I buy a bottle of whatever IT is :)

PS: Thanks so much for wanting to participate in the #50StatesOfPray event :)

I have you down for South Africa (and I think Misha will be right there beside you :)

Kittie Howard said...

Thank you, Rachel, for this fab shout-out and for the magnificent work you did. Kept wanting to stop by yesterday but the stats kept changing -- A-Z is #1 for regional books and ebooks and #22 for memoirs. If sales continue, I could crack Amazon's Top 100. But I'm soooo excited about what's happened thus far I'm walking on air.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Stories come to us in different forms.

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats to Kitty and the authors of Story Sprouts (what a cute title!)! I'm sure their books look fantastic with your formatting skills. :)