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Local writes for 'Chicken Soup' book

Friday, December 2, 2011

Local Brazil resident Diane Stark is at it again.

The stay-at-home mom is doing more than picking up toys, buying groceries and packing school lunches.

Stark recently had two stories "Becoming a Cook" and "Happiness is a Full Freezer" featured in the new "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love."

Starks's story "Becoming a Cook" is about how she gradually went from not knowing how to cook to cooking for her husband's family of 40.

"Happiness is a Full Freezer" is about how Stark learned to start small when cooking once a month after a not-so-delicious casserole.

The new "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book features stories about connecting through food and being inspired in the kitchen.

"Food and love are inextricably intertwined. Our memories of grandparents and parents, of favorite holidays, of family traditions, of first dates, of good times with friends, very often revolve around food," writes Amy Newmark, Chicken Soup for the Soul's publisher, in her introduction. "This book is all about the relationship between food and love, whether it's romantic love, the love between family members or the love we show our friends when we invite them over and cook for them."

In addition to the 101 stories, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love features 23 recipes that correspond with their respective stories, from Whole Grain Applesauce Muffins to Chicken and Dumplings.

For Stark, this is the 18th "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book she has been featured in.

She began writing for Chicken Soup in 2004.

"Several years ago, I was at the library, and I ran across a book on becoming a freelance writer," Stark said. "This book said that writing was a great way to make some extra income in your spare time. I had spare time, and everyone could use a little extra income, so I thought I'd give it a shot."

Stark's first published article was for a parenting website about advice on how to lose weight after having a baby. After submitting several articles to the website, Stark began looking for other places to send her work.

"I love the Chicken Soup books, so I began submitting stories to them too," she said. "One thing led to another, and now I'm a freelance writer. That library book I found so many years ago said that anyone can become a writer if they really want to, and I guess they were right."

In 2010, Stark had her own book published, "Teacher's Devotions to Go," a devotional book for teachers.

"I would love to write more books, but they are very time-consuming," she told The Brazil Times. "With five kids at home, I find it easier to write magazine articles and short stories right now."

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