“I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but it’s true-hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.”-Ray Bradbury
Clearly, the man loved writing.
Pages upon pages of literary treasure are likely being perused for the first time today by a new generation of readers, since the passing yesterday of one of the icons of a genre known as science fiction. From what Ray Bradbury himself has said, it is a misnomer. He preferred to think of his writing as fantasy. It touched the hearts as well as the minds of readers and writers. He is quoted as saying, “Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal.” I recall reading his classic 1953 novel Farenheit 451 in college; so called because it is the temperature at which paper burns. Imagine a world in which books are outlawed and torched and imagination is stifled. It boggled the mind of the then budding writer to consider that dystopic world. Without reading matter, life would seem dull and colorless. Bradbury’s vision was one of the catalysts that encouraged me to pursue writing as a career.
This nonagenerian had his finger in all sorts of prolific pies; writing books, plays, tv shows and films. I just discovered that he had been involved in one of my favorite childhood sites; the 1964 Worlds’ Fair. Much of what he imagined has now come to pass; particularly in terms of inventions that we take for granted.
“Do what you love and love what you do.”, was a comment he made during a presentation at a library a few years back. I do, Ray. Writing is indeed it. Someone asked me tonight what I feel when I first set out to write something. It is like a sneeze that I can’t hold back, a yawn that can’t be stifled, a compulsion that can’t be quelled unless I express my thoughts. Often, in the midst of a powerful event, my mind turns to “How can I share this, so that other people can take the trip along with me, as if they are experiencing it vicariously?” In short, I can’t NOT write. It’s as simple and beautiful as that. Writing soothes my soul, drenches me with wonder-rain, splashes me with word paint. I am grateful to have been given the gift of painting word pictures so that readers can enjoy their vision of a world as it is now and as may someday be.
Write in peace, Ray~