Tag Archives: ray bradbury

rip Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury is responsible for my reading habits. I was always somewhat of a reader as a kid.  My first character obsession in grade school was Danny Dunn and his inventive adventures.  Surely,  the most exciting event of the school year was ordering books from the Scholastic Book service.  Recess paled in comparison to the joy of the book order arriving in the classroom and seeing two or three new books piled on my desk.

One day in the junior high school library – the place to go socialize and listen to smuggled in rock records during study hall  – I saw this book cover on a revolving rack of paperbacks, and in that instant, my life completely changed.  I devoured Ray Bradbury’s magical words and was transported to Mars on glistening rockets; travelled to other places and dimensions where strange, wonderful, and sometimes unnerving things happened.  From that pointon I read everything Mr. Bradbury had written, collecting his short story collections like a beached guppy re-entering the lake.  The Martian Chronicles, I Sing The Body Electric, Something Wicked This Way Comes, S if for Space, R is for Rocket

My desire to read everything…everything…came into full bloom.  The Bradbury spark kindled (pun intended) the joy of the written word that stays with me to this day.  I had the good fortune of seeing Mr. Bradbury speak at a writer’s conference about ten years ago and he was everything I expected.  He spoke about the ups and downs of being an author with humor and intelligence, and ended his speech with a magically seamless transition into a story as only he could tell one, using words to transform the listener to another place and time.  This was his gift.  The fact that he shared it with everyone is a treasure not to be lost in time.

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sez it all…

“TO SUM IT ALL UP, IF YOU WANT TO WRITE, IF YOU WANT TO CREATE, YOU MUST BE THE MOST SUBLIME FOOL THAT GOD EVER TURNED OUT AND SENT RAMBLING. YOU MUST WRITE EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE. YOU MUST WRITE DREADFUL DUMB BOOKS AND GLORIOUS BOOKS, AND LET THEM WRESTLE IN BEAUTIFUL FIGHTS INSIDE YOUR HEAD, VULGAR ONE MOMENT, BRILLIANT THE NEXT. YOU MUST LURK IN LIBRARIES AND CLIMB THE STACKS LIKE LADDERS TO SNIFF BOOKS LIKE PERFUME AND WEAR BOOKS LIKE HATS UPON YOUR CRAZY HEADS. I WISH FOR YOU A WRESTLING MATCH WITH YOUR CREATIVE MUSE THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME. I WISH CRAZINESS AND FOOLISHNESS AND MADNESS UPON YOU. MAY YOU LIVE WITH HYSTERIA, AND OUT OF IT MAKE FINE STORIES—SCIENCE FICTION OR OTHERWISE. WHICH MEANS, MAY YOU BE IN LOVE EVERY DAY FOR THE NEXT 20,000 DAYS. AND OUT OF THAT LOVE, REMAKE A WORLD.”

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Filed under Books, writing