Lisa's Lair

Hi everyone –

 

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you probably know that Ray Bradbury was a HUGE influencer on my writing. In fact, he probably saved me from giving up my dream.

 


 

I cried this morning when I found out we lost Ray Bradbury. He made such an impact on my life and my writing.

 

I was lucky enough to meet Ray a few years ago, and I was struck by his capacity to love. He actually made me weepy when he talked about how deeply he loved writing. You could hear his passion in his voice, and his eyes reflected an infectious joy for storytelling.

 

Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. – Ray Bradbury

 

 

At that point I had been so disillusioned with rejections that I found it difficult to write anything new. I asked him what he would recommend to improve my writing. I expected a craft book recommendation, but instead he challenged me, and gave me the best advice I’ve ever received.

 

 

Ray told me to write 52 short stories in 52 weeks.

 

 

At first, I thought it was a waste of time. I had sold short stories before, and there wasn’t much money in it. Then I realized that money couldn’t be the motivator.

 

 

It was love. Pure love.

 

 

And every week I wrote.

 

 

As the year went by and I looked over the mass of stories, I realized what a gift he’d given me. Story after story, filled with new characters and places. I wrote two more novels and over 70 new short stories. His challenge helped make magic for me as a writer.

 

 

More importantly, he reminded me why I write.

 

 

The answer is simple…

 

Love.

 

So I couldn’t let this day pass by without saying thank you to an incredible soul. Although Ray’s gone from our world, I can’t help but think he’s embracing the next adventure with a smile and that amazing spirit… “You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.” — Ray Bradbury

I bet he has some gorgeous wings… RIP Ray.

 


 

Thank you for all the stories and adventures, Ray.

 

Lisa

  • tamarae9

    Lisa, How fortunate you were able to meet the man. He will live forever in the magic words he left us. Thanks for a wonderful memorial tribute. Tamara

    • You are so right Tamara!!! He used to tell the story of the time he met Mr. Electrico when he was 12 and the man from the circus toughed his shoulder with a sword and declared Ray would live forever…

      And he will through his books…

      THanks so much for commenting!

      Lisa

  • Arianne

    You are now passing on his legacy, Lisa. U inspire people just by sheer enthusiasm. The passion in your voice is also apparent and very contagious. The way you support other people is also very very encouraging. So thank YOU for being an inspiration to US like he was to you 🙂

    • Awww you made me cry Arianne!!! Thank you!!!

      *HUGS*

      Lisa

  • Thanks Lisa for your heartwarming tribute! I’m posting his quotes over my writing desk! 🙂
    Bless you!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post Darcy!!!

      Ray was SO inspiring…

      Lisa

  • Susan Burns

    Thank you. Thank you, Lisa, for honoring Ray as you have.

    As a young girl, I grew up on my uncle’s hand-me-down science fiction books. The one I most remember and appreciate was The “Machineries of Joy” by Ray Bradbury. And I read his young adult “R is for Rocket” nearly to threadbare death.

    In reading your words, I almost feel we’re connecting with him and his spirit from somewhere beyond the grave.

    Thank you, again.

    Susan

    To honor Ray, maybe we at RWASD can have a special Ray Bradbury workshop to help or encourage our members, much as we do with the Challenge, to write a short story a week, or a month. That seems a daunting task. I already write full-time. I fear I’d need encouragement.
    S

    • You’re welcome Susan!!! I’m so glad the post touched you…

      I’d love to start a Ray Bradbury challenge in our chapter! 🙂 Maybe after my presidential duties are over… LOL

      Thanks so much for commenting!

      Lisa

  • ccaries

    Thank you for sharing this.

    • You’re welcome!

      Thanks so much for commenting…

      Lisa

  • sue

    Yes I saw that in the news. But as someone said above you are passing on his wisdom. And I’m sure glad you wrote those 52 stories –that’s how we met. Don’t cry he lived a full life and will always be remembered.

    • You’re right Sue!!! I’m so glad we met and thanks for always encouraging me while I was cranking out a new story every week… You helped to make the journey fun!!!

      *HUGS*

      Lisa

  • He was one of a kind! As a child and teen, I ate every word he wrote. Love the idea of the 52 week challenge. Hmmmmm…..

    • You would love the 52 week challenge, June!!! It definitely inspired me and improved my writing…

      Thanks so much for commenting!

      Lisa

  • Dianna

    I too was introduced to Mr. Bradbury’s stories with hand-me-down magazines. I started haunting librarys for more of his work and other science fiction. His body of work changed our world. He inspired us to become scientists, readers, writers, and thinkers. Thank you for writing about him. He will be missed.

    • You’re welcome Dianna!

      He definitely changed our world in so many ways…

      Thanks for commenting!

      Lisa

  • Lovely tribute! I, too, read a lot of Ray Bradbury as a teenager. Everything my library had. Then when I taught 7th grade for ten years, the short story anthology I used in class had a Ray Bradbury story in it. The kids liked it the best. He had a long and productive life. We need to celebrate that life, not mourn his death. He’ll live on in his writing.

    Barb

    • He definitely lives on in his stories… We’re so lucky to have them!

      Thanks for commenting Barbara! I’m glad you enjoyed the tribute…

      Lisa

  • Wonderful tribute to a one of a kind person and author, Lisa. I wanted to write sinc eage 8, but after i picked up short story of his and read it in 8th grade, and been addicted to his works since, he inspired me to grow up like him. He is definitely one of the authors who I admit are those who made me keep writing. And he is right, you must love what you write, otherwise, why write?

  • Nina Pierce

    I can’t even imagine meeting a great writer like this. The man was amazing for not only his stories, but the fact that he loved writing so much.

  • The world has lost a truly great man and author.

  • How very fortunate to have met such a great man.
    Without a love of what we write, we cannot put any passion in our writing.
    Your love of writing and your passion for what you write is evident in your books.
    Great post.

  • Having met you at the SF Writer’s Conference, you helped me change my approach to writing (that, and you’re the only person I know who can recognize Doctor Who’s name, spelled correctly). Once again you are most impressive, and I am drawn to tears by your story.

    Thank you for reminding me why I sit alone at my desk day after day.

    Thank you for reminding me why I write.

    Love.

    Tim Lewis

  • He’s sounds like an amazing man. I remember your 52 stories in 52 weeks. I love the passion behind that challenge. I’m sorry for the loss of such an amazing writer and motivator.

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