14 June, 2012
Ray Bradbury passed away last week. He was 91. He accomplished more in his 91 years than dozens of people do in their lifetime. Why? He believed in himself. He was a writer who never went to college. A writer that crossed multiple formats to include short stories, novels, radio, tv, and film to name a few. If you're not sure you can do it look at his life's work. I first discovered Mr. Bradbury in elementary school from a teacher reading several of his short stories to us. It wasn't until I hit sixth grade and was unleashed on the school's library that I found the amazing world of science fiction. I was fortunate to have a librarian that didn't restrict me to reading books at my "grade level". She encouraged me to read any and everything. I started in the A's--Asimov. Then I moved to the B's-Bova, and then I found Bradbury. A man that could write a story about something as common as a paper clip and hook you until the end. At home watching Ray Bradbury theater helped me see the connection between the written word and screenplays. I started writing short stories. I would look at everyday objects just like Mr. Bradbury did, and write stories about them. This bled over into my art, as I would draw or paint items, but in each painting or drawing if you looked close enough you would see something else hidden within. I don't know how many times he was rejected by publishers, or panned by critics. I just know that at the age of 10, he took painfully shy girl and introduced her to the wonders of not just science fiction, but to writing as well. And for that I am deeply grateful. His death was a blow to me. This man who I had never met, but shaped my life just the same. Thursday I sat down with a piece of paper and thought about him. And a story began to take shape, of a young girl living in a post apocalyptic world.