http://io9.com/5916175/rip-ray-bradbury-author-of-fahrenheit-451-and-the-martian-chronicles for the full article.)
I fell in love with stories because of Ray Bradbury and his sphere of influence over the world of fiction & literature. So I read Bradbury, Verne, Burroughs, Clarke, Howard and I knew that, in some fashion, I wanted to write; to tell stories. Then George Lucas came along with a little movie called, “Star Wars” and my fate was sealed. I knew I wanted to tell stories and, like Bradbury, I wanted to see the world through eyes of wonder. As he said in one of the finest books on writing that I have had the good fortune to read, Zen in the Art of Writing, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” If you want to hear Ray Bradbury talk to you too, become a better writer, and wish to sample his Dandelion Wine then I couldn’t recommend this book any higher.
But how could such audacity be sustained? Well, Ray spoke to me again with the Bradbury Challenge (see: http://evilchickenscratch.blogspot.com/2006/09/bradbury-challenge.html). I found a quote from him about writing short stories that went something like this, “…You defy yourself to write 52 bad short stories in a row – and it’s impossible. Somewhere along the line you’re gonna write a good one.” This statement started me to thinking. What a great idea; 52 short stories – a years worth of stories! As Ray said himself, “…they cant’ be all bad.” I completed my Bradbury Challenge with a combination of short stories and several scripts that I was writing at the time. Could that be considered an incomplete since they weren’t all short stories? Well, perhaps in some circles but not in my book. I was writing, following the craft, and, I might add, in the footsteps of one of my HEROES, Mr. Ray Bradbury. And in all honesty if you want to learn how to write effectively you go to the Masters of the craft, read them and read what they have to say on the discipline. I go to the legends. Ray Bradbury is at the top of my list. Some literary heroes and legends cast a large shadow. I have other writers that have spoken to me, King, Gaiman, Moore are among some of my favorites but Bradbury spoke to them as well…
Here is what President Obama had to say about his passing, “For many Americans, the news of Ray Bradbury's death immediately brought to mind images from his work, imprinted in our minds, often from a young age. His gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change, and an expression of our most cherished values. There is no doubt that Ray will continue to inspire many more generations with his writing, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.” You can read Morgan Little’s piece from the L.A. Times right here: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-issues-statement-on-ray-bradburys-death-20120606,0,1846140.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29&utm_content=Google+International
Poets, writers, and historians with far more talent than I will be able to eulogize Ray Bradbury far better than your humble servant, so I will take solace in reading the man and listening to him speak to me. I encourage you to do the same.
Ray Bradbury once said, “Joy is the grace we say to God.” Amen.