I only found out an hour or two ago that Ray Bradbury died this morning...and I only just stopped crying long enough to write about it. I don't normally get all teary eyed when a celebrity dies, it's not like I knew them or anything....but I did cry for Ray. I remember a few years ago when I first read The Martian Chronicles, and loving it and every thing by him i could get my hands on. But for me, Ray was more than just some author whom I really admired. Even though I never knew him personally, i felt that he was both my friend and mentor (if only by osmosis). He taught me through his art, helped shape my philosophy of the craft, Showed me what writing was all about. I felt connected to him through his books.
I remember a few years ago, I wrote him a fan letter, and asked him to sign my copy of "From the Dust Returns."
Which he did and more, sending me back small reading guides for
Fahrenheit 451, post cards promoting stage adaptations of 451 and Dandelion Wine and a charatuire drawing of him at his typewriter on which he had written "Will: Mad Love"
He wrote the same thing on the cover page of "From the Dust Returns."
Later I sent him two poems that I had written, and returned with grades "A+" and "AA++ Super" I still have all of those things. the book is on my shelf,
And the other things rest in a drawer in my desk. I wrote to him and said that i hoped to meet him when i had established myself as a writer. I was even going to send him a copy of Walking With Summer Dreams this ...now I'll never get the chance, in this life anyway. Someone once told Ray to "live forever" and even though he's no longer with us, he still lives on. In the books and in our hearts and memories.
Thank you Ray, for everything. I will miss you. With Mad love.
(To my followers: sorry If I sound like a crazy fan here guys. But this really wasn't easy for me write. Thanks for your indulgence).