Maybe I should have named my blog Potpourri or Pastiche or simply a Savory Stew because I aim to throw a lot of different things into the pot, mostly about reading, writing and art, but many other things, too, because I’ve lived a long time and have a lot of interests. I also will include here thoughts of others I come upon who share my loves. Including those of you who care to share your thoughts and impressions.

Archive - March, 2013

About Indy Books
posted by Ed Farber on March 28, 2013

A lot has been written on line about the newest phenomenon in the publishing world. Indy publishing. That is publishing your book independent of the publishing houses that do it for you. Not that this is something new. In the past it was called having your book published by a vanity publisher who charged you money for the privilege of printing a short run of a book you had written. There are still many vanity publishers out there offering to do the same. And, in my mind, to be avoided.

No, the main difference between today’s indy publishing and publishing back then is the development of the e-reader led by Kindle. Now, people can read books on these hand held devises, and a writer can publish a book specifically to be read on those readers eliminating the cost of printing on paper. Now in its infancy epublishing has grown tremendously and thousands of book titles are available in all genres.

I chose to publish my first book independently and selected Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon) to produce the book. It didn’t cost me a cent, but I spent hours on line trying to figure out what I had to do. I must confess that I would have much preferred the old-fashioned way of having an agent sell the book for me to a big publisher who would pay me a cash advance and, of course, it would become a best-seller and I would make millions. The reality of the business is that only a tiny fraction of the books written actually become best-sellers. More in the next blog. I have to get back to working on my short story collection.

 


Hand in Glove--My Writing and Painting
posted by Ed Farber on March 22, 2013

The idea behind Echoes of Clara Avenue, the collection of short stories that I am putting together, is that people move into a neighborhood, live part of their lives there, and move on. Rarely does someone spend their entire life in one home. Perhaps in the country on a farm that may be true. Or if a wealthy family has a large estate that is handed down. But most often, we either rent or buy a home, grow out of it or move for some other reason. Some statistics say that the average family stays in their first home for about 5 years, then stay longer in their next home as the family grows older, and finally leave an empty nest for a retirement home. All that is governed by personal economics. Poorer folks tend to rent, and moving may occur more often.

All those many people moving in an out have some humor or drama in their lives, I supposed. Why not create a series of stories about a selected few? Since people tend to differ from one another, their stories would have to be quite diverse. The only thing that would link them to one another would be their humanity and address on the same block. That was my basic idea. Then I enlarged upon the idea. Why not write the stories to give a chronology to the neighborhood so that I could show how the neighborhood changed as well.

And neighborhoods do age and change. My old neighborhood happened to be in northwest St. Louis city. I lived on a street named Clara Avenue (hence the name for my book.) That neighborhood was new at the time of the World’s Fair in 1904 and age has taken its toll since then.

  I created a fictional neighborhood, but based largely on the neighborhood of my growing up years. Prior to writing the stories, I had painted, largely from memory, a series of paintings of that neighborhood as it was when I lived there. I selected one of them for the cover of the book. Art and writing. For me they go hand in glove (I cherish old clichés when I can use them on purpose.)

The stories are not about people I remember. They are fiction as is the neighborhood in the book, not to be construed as the actual Clara Avenue.

In a forthcoming blog, I’ll comment on a couple of the stories from the book and how they came to be written.

Here's the painting, entitled: The Old Neighborhood, Clara and Minerva.

 


My Birthday
posted by Ed Farber on March 14, 2013

Today is my birthday. Turned 81. Just another day. The important birthdays have long passed: turning 21, turning 40, turning 65 (retirement age), turning 70, turning 80. The next will be 87 (four score and 7 years.) I should live so long! In the meantime, it’s back to work. I wrote two short stories which I will include in my collection of short stories entitled “Echoes of Clara Avenue”. I love short stories…to read them and write them. I’ve been fortunate to have had a number published in literary journals. Some of these will be in this book.