Author of OUTBACK LOVE a contemporary romance novel set in Australia, JETTING AWAY a short story prequel to OUTBACK LOVE, MOON OVER MADNESS a paranormal romantic comedy and BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS a collection of short stories and poems about life and love. All are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel and Kobo. On Twitter @TeriHeyer

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Memory of Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury is a name that brings a warm fuzzy feeling to my soul. It goes back to my childhood days when I first read  Dandelion Wine. New tennis shoes and summer were never the same after that.

I was saddened to hear that Ray Bradbury passed away yesterday. Certainly he has left behind an empty place where he once had been. Of course, living into your 90s is something that most of us only hope to obtain, so it can be said that Ray lead a good, long and productive life. I counted up his books, thirty-six in number, unless I've missed a few. What a treasure trove to leave behind to mark your place in the world, in the universe.

Ray Bradbury holds a special place in my heart. Back in my college days, in 1979, I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture by Ray Bradbury. I was mesmerized as I listened to him speak. His eyes sparkled as his voice wove words of magic through my soul. I laughed, smiled, sighed, dreamed, sat there enchanted by his words. I was truly in awe of the man and his books.

Afterwards a few of us wandered down to the podium to meet Ray Bradbury. He smiled and talked to each of us. When it came my turn, I reached out to shake his hand and tell him how I admired him for all his wonderful books. I explained to him that I was writing and that I dreamed of one day being an author. He held my hand in both of his and gazed deep into my eyes. Then he smiled and said, "You're going to be an author some day." Just like that I felt he'd bestowed the power of being an author onto me. It was a heady moment for sure. I was certain that he knew, really knew, that day would come to pass.

In all the years since my few moments with Ray Bradbury I've carried his words with me. He has been a guiding light and an inspiration for every word I've ever written. I could never claim to be anything in comparison to the great Ray Bradbury, only that he somehow knew I'd be an author sometime in the future.

Now that I have four ePubbed books to my name, I have to say that Ray Bradbury was able to see into the future and knew that I could fulfill my dream of being an author. How can I not hold him in the highest esteem? I shed tears for the passing of a wonderful, brilliant, enchanting, inspiring man, an author whose words will live way beyond his mortal years.

I went to the library today and checked the shelves for Ray Bradbury's books. I found six of his books, two of which were favorites of mine from those long ago days, and four I'd never read before. I brought home The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes. I put in a request for Fahrenheit 451, surprised that in our whole county library system they only have one copy of that great book. How could that be? Don't people read Ray Bradbury today? The book has been requested from a library 20 miles away.

In the meantime, I may go to Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million and buy some copies of his books instead. Of course, I can always order his books online or download them onto my Kindle, but it seems that in this case I really should make a trip to a bookstore.  I imagine I have a copy of Fahrenheit 451 tucked away in a box somewhere, but it could take me close to forever to find it.

I'm sure Ray Bradbury means many things to many of us readers/writers/authors. I'm hoping you'll add your thoughts and memories of Ray Bradbury and his books in your comments below.

12 comments:

  1. Teri, I just finished Something Wicked... not too long ago. I think you'll really enjoy it. He had a truly unique gift.

    Best,
    Michael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael, thank you for adding your comment. I read Something Wicked... back in my college days, much too long ago. Looking forward to rereading all my old favorites. I started The Martian Chronicles last night and then will read Something Wicked... next. Thankfully Ray Bradbury left us a lot of wonderful books to read.

      Delete
  2. I was so moved by your post. Ray Bradbury was a kind and generous soul from all that I hear. And what ? Having only one copy of Fahrenheit 451 in the whole library system is criminal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nica! My plan is to read my way through his books, starting with my old favorites. Yes, only one copy to be shared between four libraries.

      Delete
  3. I enjoyed your words about Mr Bradbury very much. I have been a voracious reader since age 4. I write also, and own a collection of Ray Bradbury titles that are now delighting the youngest of my children and the eldest of my grandchildren. True treasures on my bookshelves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed my post. Isn't it wonderful being able to share books we love with our kids and grandkids? How nice to have a collection of Ray Bradbury books. I think the only one I still have, packed away somewhere, is Fahrenheit 451.

      Delete
  4. Hi, I love your book, and I am so happy to meet authors like you. Good luck, Dianna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dianna! It is great to meet other authors. We're pretty much all in this together. Good luck to you too. That's something we all need.

      Delete
  5. Hi Teri,

    Mr. Bradbury was an inspiration to me too. His Ray Bradbury Theater is what got me writing. I posted a tribute to him as well on my blog. It's no where near as well written, and wonderfully touching as yours however. He would have been an amazing man to meet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M.L., thank you for your nice words. It was wonderful listening to Ray Bradbury's lecture. So inspirational. I remember his sparkling eyes as he talked. He truly believed every word and made you believe too. I think he inspired so many of us.

      Delete
  6. John RaubenheimerJune 15, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Ray Bradbury woke me up to words. He woke my imagination. I read every story of his that I could find. Some of those stories haunt me still, like the one about the house that robotically continues to clean, look after, cook for and entertain occupants who have been vaporised by a nuclear attack... as our environment becomes increasingly digitized and mechanized this seems more and more a possibility. When did Ray Bradbury come into my life? At about age 15 when I found "The Martian Chronicles" and "The Golden Apples Of The Sun" at our local library. I read "Fahrenheit 451" too at about that time. Then last year on a visit to South Africa where I come from, at age 63, I found and devoured one of his latest novels, "Now And Forever". I had lived my whole life and the man was still writing, still creating... What an inspiration to all of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, thanks for your wonderful words. The story about the house is in The Martian Chronicles, which I just finished rereading. That story is haunting. I first fell in love with Ray Bradbury's books when I read Dandelion Wine. I'm anxious to reread that one, but our library doesn't have a copy. I'll probably just order it online. I'm reading Fahrenheit 451 right now. Taking my time to savor every word. We're so fortunate that Ray Bradbury had a good long life and wrote so many incredible books for us all to enjoy.

      Delete

I love hearing from my readers.