a farewell to Ray Bradbury

You've got fifty-four and a half minutes to spare, right?

I did, once, back in the early 2000s, and I spent them watching Ray Bradbury give a talk at Point Loma University. Perhaps it was because his book, FARENHEIT 451, had been such a favorite of mine over the years. Or perhaps it was because I like to learn things from potty-mouthed, white-haired old guys. What 'ere it was, about three minutes into his talk he said something that caught my imagination and stuck with me for years. He said:

"If you could, write at least one short story a week. It doesn't matter what the quality of it is to start; but at least you're practicing, and at the end of the year you have fifty-two short stories... I defy you to write fifty-two bad ones. It can't be done."

Last year, I finally took up "The Ray Bradbury Challenge," and although I missed a week here and there, I ended up with forty-six short stories; some of which are fairly readable.

Ray Bradbury died this week, at the age of ninety-one. He was a hard-working writer, and an inspiration to writers and readers everywhere. He spoke a whole lot of truth into the world, and will be missed. Thanks, Ray.


  1. I just watched the whole thing. I've seen it before, but it really is truly amazing how he captures and illustrates the essence of the creative process: joy and surprise. It's not just what he says but how he says it.

  2. Have you read "The Illustrated Man"? I want to read it, but I've never read anything by Bradbury before so I'm not sure if I'll like it...

  3. Cool, Mark. I haven't actually watched it right through since way back when. I probably should, you know: "In Memorium."

    Holly, I have not. I have a children's book of his about dinosaurs that I plan to read with my son when he's old enough for it, but the only thing I've actually read of his is FAHRENHEIT 451, and maybe some short stories. It's a crying shame, really, that'll have to be remedied.


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