Dead People I Love: Getting Inspired by Ray Bradbury


Hello Dear Readers! Yesterday I was lucky enough to hang out with one of my favorite dead people, author Ray Bradbury via the magic of YouTube.  

Phone of white-haired Ray Bradbury
Wonderful Ray Bradbury

“The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.”  –Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, who recently died at the age of 91, was best known for works such as  “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “The Martian Chronicles,“ “Dandelion Wine“and “The Illustrated Man” to name just a few of the hundreds of stories he wrote.

Ray Bradbury was a man who experienced the fullness of life in the amusement park of his wild and bubbling imagination and lived to write about it.

“My stories run up and bite me on the leg.  I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite, when I finish, the idea let’s go and runs off.” – Ray Bradbury

I recently found a wonderful interview he did.  It’s from an old PBS show called Day at Night that’s been digitally remastered.  It’s a half hour long but well worth watching. His insights on life and writing are fascinating.

Ray Bradbury grew up in a family of modest means.  Suffice it to say, when he graduated from high school, he was wearing the suit of his murdered uncle who had been shot in a hold up.  The family didn’t even have enough money to repair the bullet hole.

Ray-Bradbury-
Bradbury with his three daughters and his wife, Maggie

“Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.”–Ray Bradbury

By age eleven, Bradbury was filled to the brim with stories, fairy tales, myths and the words of Edgar Allan Poe and Edgar Rice Burroughs.  It was like these stories seeped into his subconscious and became a part of his DNA. Interestingly enough, he never considered himself a science fiction writer but a writer of fairy tales and modern myths about technology.

Love and the Feeling of Language

Ray Bradbury kept a sign over his typewriter that said “Don’t Think.”  Because he thought that you must never think at the typewriter, you must feel.  “At the typewriter, you should be living, not thinking.  What you try to do as a creative person is surprise yourself — and the only way to do this is to be very emotional and react and get it out of yourself.”

In addition to being a creative genius, Ray Bradbury seemed like a thoroughly nice guy.
In addition to being a creative genius, Ray Bradbury seemed like a thoroughly nice guy.

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” –Ray Bradbury

“I believe the universe created us — we are an audience for miracles. ” –Ray Bradbury

On Character

Ray Bradbury thought the typewriter should be a Ojai board that your hands move on to reveal things about yourself you didn’t  know. For instance, Montag, in Fahrenheit 451 was Ray Bradbury discovering himself. “There are sides to ourselves that are destructive — so you bring them out in the open and find ways of making them creative.”

 Many of his books were made into movies. One of my favorites is The Illustrated man.  Here’s a clip:

And finally I’ll leave you with this wonderful quote:

“From now on I hope always to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in future, I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” — Ray Bradbury

* * *

Until next time  . . . I love you

20 thoughts on “Dead People I Love: Getting Inspired by Ray Bradbury

  1. I literally fell in love with Ray Bradbury when I was 8. I’m still in love with him. I don’t think anyone has ever made a decent version of his works, and I don’t think they should try. Bradbury’s writing should be viewed through their vivid mind’s eye, creating the look of his character and the feel of his landscapes for yourself.

    • At only 8! I didn’t read any of his writing until I was probably in high school. But I loved him too. And what a role model an inspiration he was and is to all of us.

      Oh I just couldn’t agree more about the movies. I still like his movies, but, you’re right, they don’t hold a candle to the experience of reading him for yourself.

  2. Bradbury is one of my favorite authors. The Rocket, in The Illustrated Man, is probably one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read, of any genre.

    • I think so too. His mind was so incredibly imaginative. And there’s lots of really good writing advice to be found by him in various interviews on YouTube. I find him immensely inspiring.

  3. I remember reading Dandelion Wine, and I understood the desire for the tennis shoes….I knew that a new pair of shoes could make me run like a gazelle and jump like an antelope….very beautiful writing.

    • I know what you mean Helen. His writing has that magical quality that when you read a story, it sticks with you forever. He really is one of my all-time favorites! 😀

  4. So ironic that you write this! For the last few days I have been mentally reminding myself that I need to put a Bradbury book in the hands of my 11 year-old bibliophile; specifically “Something Wicked This Way Comes!” Right time; right place! Brilliant!

    • Oh isn’t that interesting? I’ve noticed before how a lot of us on the blogs are on the same wavelength. Not long ago somebody recommended a book on their blog — it was kind of obscure — that afternoon I found it at the thrift store. Weird huh?

  5. Wow! I never knew Ray Bradbury’s story. It’s so funny, Linda, how we are drawn to the same qualities and beautiful imaginative spirits. 🙂 Just reading this post, and I will watch the clips, I can say that Ray Bradbury is someone who speaks to my soul. Anyone who prefers to feel rather than think, is my kind of person. Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to do a little digging around and perhaps pick up a book of his. I think Lily just read Fahrenheit 451. This was great!

    • We are always drawn to the same people! Since I wrote that I’ve been on a Ray Bradbury kick. There are so many wonderful interviews of him on YouTube. Besides giving really good writing tips, he was just a really good all-around guy and very wise about life! I want to a hold of some of his books and read them again this summer!

  6. Great profile! I think I had most of his story collections in paperback at one time. Guy used to stand the hair up on my head, and it wouldn’t come down for days. I got a lotta funny looks, but it was good training because I still get a lotta funny looks, especially when I tell people I’m a big Linda Vernon fan!! : )

    • Ah shucks! Thank you Mark. See now that’s what I love about blogging, where else would I get to meet wonderful people like you, Mark! You are the only person I know whose hair will stand up for days after reading Ray Bradbury. (Poor, Ray! I’ll bet he went through a lot of bottle of gel, thinking up all that stuff!)

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