A Sunny Day on West Street

 

A Sunny Day on West Street will appear in Ara’s 4th book, due March 2018. Available only through pre-order: https://theliterateshow.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/accepting-pre-orders-on-my-4th-book/

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About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
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2 Responses to A Sunny Day on West Street

  1. Hello readers, Ara here. This is my first longish work since my dear cat Petey died. His absence has left a big crater, he was the most important animal in my life. I hope you enjoyed A Sunny Day on West Street.

  2. Ten days after publication here on WordPress, this story has 46 reads, including 2 today. It’s gotten reads every day since it was published. This makes me happy.

    When there’s no referring site, that is, when I don’t know how people got to this story’s link, I wonder who the readers are, and how they’re getting to the story. The main way would be from the email I sent to maybe two dozen people, at the time I posted the story on 5/22/2017.

    A Sunny Day on West Street is a story of hopefulness, because that’s where my head was during the 2-3 days she was written. I know the used book world fairly well, and I know West Street too. The photo that inspired the story was taken to illustrate the struggle of vertical lines. The story gives us the meat of that struggle.

    The quote that hurt the light pole, I’d scribbled onto scrap paper a week or two prior to writing the story. I don’t remember the context of what I was thinking about when I jotted the line. In fact I was about to throw away the paper, when I let the weight of the words sink in. The idea was heavy and I didn’t want to waste it. Maybe it was heavy enough to support a story– or bend a cast iron light pole.

    The story has a few book “characters”, one is a thin red UK book, the other is a large book on the Pacific Island peoples. My 1942 encyclopedia was an inspiration for the former, it was published not only in wartime, but at a time when the Allies did not have the war well in hand. The book describes facts, countries and peoples as they existed in the day, and this information is honest, and rare. I was happy to give it a voice.

    The Pacific book, which turned out to be the workbook of our story’s heroine, was a volume I bought at the long-defunct Victor Hugo Books on Newberry Street. Gosh, was it 20 years ago, when I’d quibbled over the price? Yep, I’d balked, so much so, I’d left the book with the shop owner and called him midweek to ask if he’d reconsidered lowering it for me. Shame on me– that book held incredible value and I was lucky he held it for me (and at full price, something in the $30 range). Book lovers at Victor Hugo will remember their resident cat, Blue Bard, who would always be good company during lazy visits.

    Back to hopefulness. The point of A Sunny Day on West Street is that you can be safe and secure and dumb as a brick, but you’re not going anywhere. You can be a strong, long-living iron pole but you may still get bent over a hurtful comment– and it’s up to you to consider others’ comments, despite your weariness. A parting thought. Some people may think old books house useless information, but there’s a gal headed downtown, who knows better.

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