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Mentor Blog

So sorry about the loss of Ray Bradbury. I don't know if the "blue light from the television spilling onto the street" was his, but it stayed with me all these years as a look at dual worlds co-existing.

So does the idea of a stepping on a butterfly and changing the world, which was in Bradbury's short story "Sound of Thunder." I taught it to tenth graders. Many of them were immortal at that age and if they were going to change the world, they'd do it like Batman. But I saw a glimmer in the eye of a quiet one, and knew she'd gotten the message. I have no idea where she is today. So hard to Google girl students, who often changed their names when they married.

I know my thoughts are rambling.

Bradbury influenced me, but so did Laura Ingalls Wilder. She made poverty sound glamorous, and for many years I thought that you had to be impoverished to be loved. I wanted to visit her beautiful prairies when I grew up. I wanted to experience the loneliness of Silver Lake which she described in such lyric language. I wanted to find all that family love and triumph somewhere in my own family in the late fifties.

I agree with Bradbury's idea of reading, reading, reading. But intelligent discussions often help bring new ideas into focus, and deadlines often help me get stories out in the world. So while his system worked for him, there may be more. What I really want to know is where those thousand stories came from and how many of them he might have abandoned if he's allowed a critique group to shred them.

Gotta go. When I stopped reading, my characters froze in place. They're waiting for me to reopen Jean Reynolds Page's Safe Within. m