A Year of Muses To Come

“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

This is SO my New Year’s resolution – which was the same resolution I had for 2015.

What’s yours?


A Night With Neil Gaiman

So tonight I got to see and hear Neil Gaiman in his penultimate appearance before he goes off for “a year or so to be a writer.”

“Writing is really lonely…but it’s time to do a novel.”

He started the evening with two stories, the first one about Harlan Ellison and the second about Terry Pratchett. Then he read a poem he wrote shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks about ideas which is his credo, so to speak.

“I believe that ideas are invisible and they linger and sometimes they are true.”

I loved his answers to questions people posed before the talk, among them his advice about writing (read, even the things you aren’t into), writer’s block (doesn’t really exist though being stuck in a story does) and how long it takes him to write a story (between 2-1/2 months for Oceans at the End of the Lane and 22 years for The Graveyard  Book).  He also read a short story, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury from his book of short stories, Trigger Warning.

“My biggest moment of self-doubt is probably the same reason in up here on the stage in front of you.”

I loved how he spoke about Amanda and his baby, Ash. I love the man, and have loved him since I first read American Gods so many years ago. And I count myself lucky for being there tonight.

Oh, and then I got myself this autographed copy of The Sleeper and The Spindle. So time to get reading!

Found Memory Thursday

Stuck at home with a sick child (he has a high fever but that doesn’t stop him from driving me nuts by running all over the house naked and refusing to rest), I was organizing crap here and there, when I spied a few misplaced treasured memories in the garage.


Yes, that is amazing writer, Ray Bradbury!

I met Mr. Bradbury twice when I was an officer for our local writers’ club and he always came down to speak to a large crowd once a year ever since the club was formed more than fifteen or twenty years earlier.  After the talk, all the officers would then go to the club president’s home where Mr. Bradbury would regale all of us with more stories, this time more intimate and usually, I’d like to believe, the ones he would tell close friends.

In this photograph, the president asked me if I wanted to have a photograph taken with Mr. Bradbury after I had taken everyone else’s photos for the newsletter and I realized at that moment that I was actually ‘starstruck’ – or should be ‘writerstruck’ or ‘authorstruck’?

One of the most important things I learned from Mr. Bradbury was to never stop asking “what if” questions.  Keep asking them and write the stories to figure out the answer.

Because of that, I never have a dull moment to myself because there are just way too many questions to ask.

Aren’t there?