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.
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.


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