EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: AMY KROUSE ROSENTHAL - A TEN, PLUS ONE

By (TK) Published on .

Chicago-based freelance copywriter Amy Krouse Rosenthal has a funny little book out called The Book of Eleven: An Itemized Collection of Brain Lint ($10.95 from Andrews McMeel Publishing). While "11 random thoughts on 23 random subjects" may be a small book, it's loaded with big ideas like, "If a dog breaks a mirror, does it get 49 years bad luck?"

If that sounds like a good headline for an ad, it probably is, but Rosenthal, 33, has the luxury of not worrying about it. "As an ad writer, you're paid to pay attention to the universe, write these things down and then make them relevant to Campbell's soup or dog food." she says. "Doing the book is the same thing, except I don't have to struggle to make my insights relevant to something. Which is really liberating. I almost felt guilty about it. The biggest thing I missed about writing the book, though, was the lack of focus groups and M&Ms."

Rosenthal was a creative standout in Chicago at several small shops, then she went on to the local office of FCB before leaving in early '97 when she had her third child. Her Brain Lint column also has a history, appearing first in Art Direction, then in Might magazine before going online at the Chicago Tribune Web site (chicago.digitalcity.com) earlier this year.

A second book will be out with the same publisher next fall, she says -- "thoughts about kids and about being a mom." Along those lines, Rosenthal recalls, "My son Justin, who's 5, asked me one day: 'You write?' 'Yeah.' 'What do you write about?' 'All kinds of things.' 'Do you try to use all the letters?'

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