Ray Bradbury

  • Aug. 31st, 2013 at 10:08 PM
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If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

Ray Bradbury

  • Feb. 21st, 2013 at 7:47 PM
beth_shulman: (stock: open book rose)
I often use the metaphor of Perseus and the head of Medusa when I speak of science fiction. Instead of looking into the face of truth, you look over your shoulder into the bronze surface of a reflecting shield. Then you reach back with your sword and cut off the head of Medusa. Science fiction pretends to look into the future but it’s really looking at a reflection of what is already in front of us.

Ray Bradbury

  • Jan. 24th, 2013 at 12:56 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: open book rose)
My passions drive me to the typewriter every day of my life, and they have driven me there since I was twelve. So I never have to worry about schedules. Some new thing is always exploding in me, and it schedules me, I don’t schedule it. It says: Get to the typewriter right now and finish this.

Ray Bradbury

  • Aug. 16th, 2012 at 1:27 AM
beth_shulman: (stock: black and white tree scene)
There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.

Ray Bradbury

  • Jul. 11th, 2012 at 10:58 PM
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Science and machines can kill everyone off or be replaced. Myth, seen in mirrors, incapable of being touched, stays on. If it is not immortal, it almost seems such.

Ray Bradbury

  • Jun. 6th, 2012 at 6:35 PM
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The ability to "fantasize" is the ability to survive.

Ray Bradbury

  • Jun. 25th, 2011 at 11:30 PM
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Everyone must leave something in the room or left behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime. (Fahrenheit 451)

Ray Bradbury

  • Apr. 11th, 2011 at 8:49 PM
beth_shulman: (book: great gatsby art)
I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.

Ray Bradbury

  • Oct. 29th, 2010 at 12:14 AM
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Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.

Ray Bradbury

  • Oct. 6th, 2010 at 1:29 AM
beth_shulman: (black and white tree scene)
And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation. So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.

Ray Bradbury

  • Sep. 26th, 2010 at 9:09 PM
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You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Credit to [livejournal.com profile] brandy_painter
beth_shulman: (Default)
...I write for the child I was and the child I still am. Like countless other lucky adults, I have much in common with children. We daydream, wonder, exaggerate, ask "what if?"--and what we imagine sometimes is more true than what is. We like to play with squishy things--mud, clay, dough, words--and we make stuff out of them. We like kids, animals, rain puddles, and pizza, and dare to love silly things. We don't like Brussels sprouts, the dentist, or books with great long passages of description, flashbacks, or dream sequences. We like happy endings - or at least, hope. And we love stories.

As a child I wrote constantly but never thought about growing up to be a writer... We didn't own many books; in school I suffered through basal readers, but before long I discovered the library. Then chances were if I could reach it, I would read it... Writers, I began to think, were people who had all the answers. I didn't have all the answers; I didn't even know all the questions. So I stopped writing, for a very long time, and for years endured the painful search for a place to belong. Some times were great, some empty and awful, but there was always something missing.

Finally, the day my daughter began filling out college applications, I sat down to write, for myself. I still didn't have the answers, but I began to know some of the questions: why? what for? what if? how would it be?

Writing was still hard work - hard to begin, hard to stop. But it also became a passion, and that made all the difference. "To sum it all up," Ray Bradbury said, "if you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling... I wish for you a wrestling match with your creative muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories . . . Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days and out of that love, remake a world."

I read that, and I said, "Yes." And out of my passion came Catherine, Called Birdy, my first book. I wrote it despite my own doubts and the "don'ts" of others, because I needed to find out about things, about identity and responsibility, compassion and kindness and belonging, and being human in the world. How could I learn them if I didn't write about them?

...As children are what they eat and hear and experience, so too they are what they read. This is why I write what I do, about strong young women who in one way or another take responsibility for their own lives; about tolerance, thoughtfulness, and caring; about choosing what is life-affirming and generous; about the ways that people are the same and the ways they are different and how rich that makes us all.

Katherine Paterson, whose books, both fiction and nonfiction, have inspired me more than I can say, wrote, "It is not enough simply to teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own." ...

"The goal of storytellers," Russian poet Kornei Chukovsky wrote," ... consists of fostering in the child, at whatever cost, compassion and humaneness--this miraculous ability of man to be disturbed by another being's misfortunes, to feel joy about another being's happiness, to experience another's fate as one's own."

Such is the importance of stories. This is why I write. And what can be more important in this world?

Ray Bradbury

  • Jul. 6th, 2010 at 3:33 PM
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Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.

Ray Bradbury

  • Jun. 16th, 2010 at 10:31 PM
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"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."

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