Wednesday, November 07, 2007
A Perfect Writer's Day
Wednesday evening. My day began with an autumn bouquet delivered to my door and it is ending with me wrapped in my favorite blanket sipping a Starbucks chai tea latte. In between, I met two wonderful writers and heard the voice of Ray Bradbury himself. You could say this was a good day.
I had recently rediscovered Ray's magic and so was very excited to be invited by John McNally (a fantastic, humorous storyteller in his own right) to come to Wake Forest to hear Sam Weller talk about his book THE BRADBURY CHRONICLES: the Life of Ray Bradbury. It is an authorized biography which I highly recommend if you want to know the real man behind the tales. As a bonus, they had arranged a live teleconference with Mr. Bradbury himself. As these technology things sometimes go, the teleconferencing equipment wasn't working, so we only got to hear something to the effect of "I can't hear you, call back on another phone."
I wish I could remember Ray Bradbury's exact words. I wish I could remember the particular tone of his voice, but I can't. I can only remember the feeling of having this surreal moment--a moment of reality animating a man that I have never thought of as a regular man...a man who puts on shoes, sleeps or eats breakfast just like the rest of us. Any image of him I have ever had involved typewriters and furrowed brows and mad pounding of keys. But, now I have heard his voice, he is human. Which makes his stories all the more extraordinary.
Sam told stories and answered questions. I am too much of an introvert to ask questions, but I had a good time listening to his experiences and his answers to other's questions about his book and his time with Ray.
One thing that I loved about this book was Sam said he wanted to not just recount details of Ray Bradbury's life, but to give some insight into where such a larger-than-life imagination comes from. Is it nature or nurture? After reading his story, I'd have to stick with nature nurtured by certain environmental influences. Like his wonderfully creative aunt or the magician who touched him with his wand and the words "live forever."
I have no doubt that he will.