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Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25.

East Asheville history and sites

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Feb 27.

The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

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Mark de Castrique posted a blog post
Oct 13
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Oct 8
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event

Julia Nunnally Duncan at MACA Authors' Booth

October 14, 2017 from 9:30am to 1:30pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be signing her new books A Part of Me and A Place That Was Home at the Mountain Glory Festival in downtown Marion on Saturday, October 14, from 9:30-1:30. She will be located at the MACA Authors' booth on Main Street.See More
Oct 7
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Sample 8 Great Smokies Writers at Malaprop’s, Oct. 15

Writers in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP)read atMalaprop's Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 3 p.m., Sun.,Oct. 15 Elizabeth Lutyens, editor of the GSWP’s Great Smokies Review, leads the Prose Master Class and will host the reading. ·        Ellen Carr, who works in the financial industry, will read excerpts from her novel of uneasy relationships, Unmanned. ·        Sarah Carter, an artist and photographer who will publish an excerpt of her novel, Jolene, Joe-Pye,…See More
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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

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Mark de Castrique posted a blog post

How To Kill Your Reader

Danger is a crucial element in a mystery novel. A killer is on the loose and no one is safe. But sometimes the killer can be the writer, and the victim, the reader.I'm talking about when the author turns into a preacher and the story becomes a sermon. Now I am not against using a mystery novel for social commentary. Writing doesn't happen in a moral vacuum, and, after all, isn't a mystery a morality play? As fellow North Carolina author Margaret Maron said there is no topic that can't be dealt…See More
Oct 5
Mark de Castrique posted a video

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Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson investigate a 70-year-old death that unleashes a killer.
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Mark de Castrique posted a discussion

Black Mountain College as Backdrop for Mystery

My new book, HIDDEN SCARS, is released Oct 3rd.  D.G. Martin notes the star of the story is Black Mountain College.  http://chapelboro.com/town-square/columns/one-on-one/one-one-lost-college-still-shinesSee More
Oct 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Upcoming book--Sacred Sites for Secular Times

Sacred Sites for Secular Times: 50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina by Rob Neufeld              Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences.  They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance.             The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive…See More
Sep 25
Susan Weinberg posted events
Sep 22
Susan Weinberg shared their event on Facebook
Sep 22
Susan Weinberg shared their event on Facebook
Sep 22
Kathryn Hall posted a blog post

Aim for Beauty

In honor of my blog Plant Whatever Brings You Joy's 10th Blogiversary I've posted a chapter from my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden. This particular chapter was also excerpted in Fairview's GreenPrints magazine, which was greatly appreciated. Read more here: http://plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com/aim-for-beauty/…See More
Sep 11
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

McCrumb ghost-opened world in The Unquiet Grave

McCrumb sees stories behind haunting ghost by Rob NeufeldPHOTO: Sharyn McCrumb and her dog Arthur, 2017.  Photo by Laura Palmer, courtesy, Sharyn McCrumb In “The Unquiet Grave,” Sharyn McCrumb once again demonstrates her mastery at turning a folktale into something larger, different, and greater.The legend of the…See More
Sep 10
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

James Vestus Miller

­HISTORIC PHOTO James Vester Miller James Vester Miller had been a boy when his mother, a Rutherfordton slave, had responded to Emancipation by taking her three children to Asheville and getting a job as a cook in a boardinghouse—some say Julia Wolfe’s boardinghouse, Old Kentucky Home.  Growing up, Miller hung…See More
Aug 26
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Dave Minneman and a sense of justiceby Rob NeufeldPHOTO CAPTION: Dave Minneman doing research at Pack Memorial Library.  Photo by author.            “One of the biggest things I did as a kid, in order to escape my father,” Asheville resident Dave Minneman says of his 1960s and 70s rural Indiana childhood, “was…See More
Aug 25

12 Notables of WNC by Jack Prather; and Grateful Steps Foundation

Jack Prather celebrates greats with Grateful Steps

by Rob Neufeld

 

Grateful Steps, one of the generators of this region’s literary vitality, is reaching out in many directions to fulfill its mission of diversity in publishing.

On Aug. 4, the non-profit foundation and publisher hosts its “biggest event ever,” says Grateful Steps owner Micki Cabaniss, as Jack Prather, along with notables celebrated in his new book, “Twelve Notables in Western North Carolina,” gather in the foundation bookstore

Three of the notables—musician-storyteller David Holt; poet Glenis Redmond; and Doug Orr (President Emeritus, Warren Wilson College)—will perform.

 

Prodigious

 

Grateful Steps has published 50 books since its founding in 2004. Forty more are in production; 100 more on a waiting list.

One upcoming book, “Why the Clown Wouldn’t Smile,” is by a Prather notable, Dr. Olson Huff.  It features artwork by disabled children Huff has known through five decades of pediatric caring.

“Dr. Huff is the consummate child advocate and everyone’s role model community pediatrician,” Dr. O. Marion Burton, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, testifies in a quote that opens Prather’s 29-page chapter on Huff.

In each chapter, testimonials lead to bulleted biographical notes and substantial interviews.  Prather’s notables, selected through recommendations and research, give themselves over to the generous space Prather provides them.

Prather’s journey started with Joe Epley, novelist and public relations all-star, whom Prather had met at a Public Relations Society Meeting in 2004.  Epley led Prather to Huff.

David Potorti, N.C. Arts Council Literature Director, led Prather to basket artist Billie Ruth Sudduth and studio glass artist Richard Ritter.

“When I started glassblowing,” Ritter told Prather on a tour of his studio, “There were no furnaces or equipment commercially available, do you had to build your own.”

Ritter had attended Penland School of the Arts in 1971, and served as its Artist-in-Residence from 1972-76.  A few years later, he and wife, artist Jan Williams, had moved to a house a few miles away.

“I wanted to get to know my neighbors,” Ritter says, “and I also wanted to join the Volunteer Fire Department.  As a kid I always wanted to be a fireman.”  He eventually became chief of that organization.

 

Halo effect

 

“I’m pacing a bit,” Prather writes, describing his excitement before interviewing Dr. Huff.  “Suddenly striding my way,” he narrates, “is a spry septuagenarian with Carl Sandburg-like hair and bright smiling eyes.”

“Doctor Huff, please share with me how you stay so trim and fit,” Prather asks when they settle in Huff’s office.

The ensuing conversation touches upon Huff’s childhood in hardscrabble Kentucky; his discovery of medicine as a career; Vietnam War service; “Country Remedy,” the movie based on his book about a pediatrician; Smart Start; childhood obesity; MAHEC; Mission Children’s Hospital; and faith.

“My life began in a religious environment that was pretty restrictive,” Huff responded with frankness to Prather’s admiring inquiries.  Influenced by caring parents and role models, Huff stated, he “began to look more at the broadness of what it means to have a faith.”

He identified with the role of healer.

 

In step

 

Prather published the book through his own company, Future Now Publishing; and connected with Grateful Steps to promote and sell it.

Grateful Steps Foundation embraced the “Twelve Notables” message; and its publishing house applied parts of its full-service (edit-design-promote-distribute) operation.

“All our books are top quality,” Cabaniss attests.  “We work one-on-one with the authors sometimes for years.

“We bring voices to the community that wouldn’t otherwise be heard.”

The bookstore, opened a year-and-a-half ago, helps get out the word, and includes consignment books, representing other publishers. 

Additional collaborative efforts include providing space to writing classes, Tek Kids, and Creative College; support of Wordfest, the annual Asheville poetry festival directed by Laura Hope Gill, Grateful Steps’ marketing director; and interfaith book discussions.

 

Mission

 

This past January, Grateful Steps Foundation received non-profit status.

“Just like Hub City Press in Spartanburg,” Cabaniss relates, “we are a non-profit publishing company with a book shop…There are some highly respected non-profit publishing companies outside of universities and religious organizations” she notes, also citing Graywolf Press in Minneapolis and Sarabande Books in Louisville. 

Grateful Steps’ mission statement identifies its guidelines: to publish under-represented voices; preserve and teach the history of Appalachia; and to promote multicultural, interfaith and economic community development.

The interfaith focus connects to a spiritual foundation.

“We have crosses on our logo,” Cabaniss states.  “We have a Christian base to our company.  People here have a Christian base to their personal lives, and we start our days with prayer.

“We feel it’s a ministry of sorts to open the door respectfully to others’ beliefs, and to share with them ours.”

 

The books speak

 

The message is in the diversity of Grateful Steps’ books.

One book, soon to go to press, is by an inmate who turned his life around and became a chef and now a novelist.

“Near Death” by Steven Cox portrays evil-doers who are brainwashed by a tribunal to believe that they have died, faced judgment, and been given a second chance at life.  When they discover the scam, many years later, they have second thoughts about their fates.

Here is a sampling of other Grateful Steps books:

  • The Other Half of My Soul by Bahia Abrams (2008)—a novel about a romance between a Syrian-American Jewish woman and a passionate Syrian Muslim.
  • My Brother Is Like a Baby Bird by Amy Tiller (hardcover, 2009)—a picture book by the mother of extremely premature twins, revealing animal lessons about caring.
  • Meigs Line by Dwight McCarter and Joe Kelley (2009)—the story of the authors’ explorations along the Cherokee-American 1802 boundary.
  • Look Up Asheville: An Architectural Journey (2010), to be followed by Look Up Asheville Collection II, by author Laura Hope Gill and photographer Michael Oppenheim.
  • Sharks on My Fin Tips by Simone Lipscomb (2011)—described as “journeys deep into the wilds of nature and her own instinctual self.”
  • Traveling to Marshall by Jack Thomas (2011)—a look back at the mountain town by a retired pastor.
  • The Cow That Meowed by Hal Mahan, owner of The Compleat Naturalist in Biltmore Village, and illustrator Susan Peterson (Dec. 2011)—a parable about tolerance.
  • The Asheville Art Book—a new project, featuring area artists and gorgeous photos, now seeking sponsors.

 

THE EVENT & BOOK

Jack Prather launches his book, “Twelve Notables in Western North Carolina,” 7 p.m., Aug. 4, at Grateful Steps, 159 South Lexington Ave., Asheville.  He will be joined by notables Dr. Olson Huff, Joe Epley, David Holt, Doug Orr, Glenis Redmond, and Rev. Dan Matthews.   

Learn more about the event, the publisher, and Prather’s notables.

Part of the proceeds of the sale of the book will go to the Warren Wilson College Young Writers Scholarship, to be awarded annually to an incoming freshman majoring in Creative Writing.

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