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 - May, 2013

Changing Book Cover Art
posted by Ed Farber on May 31, 2013

There are many experts out there who talk about the importance of a good cover design. As an artist, I understand layout, typography, using photographs, and putting it all together for readability. As a former advertising man, I also understand appealing to emotions as part of the “sell.”  That doesn’t mean I “know” it all. In fact, we learn as we do.

In my case, I designed the cover of my first book, Looking Back with a Smile, over a year ago. Now I think it needs to be strengthened. More eye appeal, more emotional impact. And so I did a redesign which I have not yet put into use. The book cover on the left is the original design; on the right is the proposed new design. I used a darker background color since the background in the photo was dark. In fact, I color-matched the background to the darkest tone in the sepia-colored photo (the photo is one taken of me when I was 13 months old. The photo in the first design also is me as a youngster.) I then selected a typeface that was a bit old-fashioned to suit the context of the book and used a color that also reinforced that impression. I believe I have come up with a much stronger cover design, one that has more emotional appeal. What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know if you agree. Or not.

 


Two Grammar NO-NOs that are Myths!
posted by Ed Farber on May 20, 2013

Most of us writers remember at least two grammatical errors we were told never to commit. One was: don’t end a sentence with a preposition. The other was: never split an infinitive.

In an interesting article in the Smithsonian (Feb. 2013) authors Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellarman, both former New York Times editors and bloggers at Grammarphobia.com, say that these two “rules” are bogus, both pushed by over-zealous Latin scholars who wanted to reshape English to conform to Latin.

I’ve been guilty of splitting infinitives and felt guilty about doing it. But the split infinitive always sounded more natural to me than the so-called correct way. The authors use the example "to boldly go” (made famous in Star Trek) as an example. They explain that the word “to” isn’t part of the infinitive, so there is nothing to split. It’s correct either way: to boldly go or to go boldly. What a relief. I no longer feel guilty.

And it’s OK to end a sentence with a preposition as well as start a sentence with a conjunction as I just did. So free yourself from guilt and go ahead and split infinitives. And end sentences with a preposition or start one with a conjunction.

If it sounds better that way, do it and bogus grammar rules be damned!

 


Where do ideas come from?
posted by Ed Farber on May 14, 2013

In a forthcoming interview (I’ll let you know when it will appear) one of the interview questions was: Where do your ideas come from?

Interesting question. All of our ideas come from the synapses in our brain but how do they get into our brain? Many ways: reading, viewing, conversation, true incidences and many more, all of which may trigger an idea that we shape into a story. Ideas just happen. What we do with the idea is what is most important.

Usually an idea lodges in the brain where it simmers and stews until it bubbles up into consciousness. From that point, it requires tons of effort to turn it into a story. And how that creative process works is still a mystery to me.

Some of the ideas for the stories in my new book, are based on actual events. For example the story Papa’s House evolved from a true incident that happened to my father, reshaped and colored by my own imagination, of course. You can read that story in the Books and Story section of this website

Another story took shape after a casual conversation about Ouija Boards and resulted in my ghost story, The Lady in Red, also in the book.

Where have your ideas come from?  I’d be real interested to hear. So make a comment below.

 

 

 

 


My Newest Book is Out!
posted by Ed Farber on May 9, 2013

Hooray! My new collection of short stories, Echoes of Clara Avenue is now available as an Ebook at Amazon Kindle!

I would greatly appreciate any comments on the cover, the blurb on my book page, and the sample. You can read all of Papa’s House, one of the stories in the book, by going to my Books and Stories page on this site. Of course, every author’s hope is that people buy the book. If you happen to like what you see and do purchase it, I would appreciate a review on my book page at Amazon, Goodreads, and anywhere else you are connected. For a look at the cover, see my blog on April 10. Here's the link to the Kindle page:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C41ZHV0