As writers–actually as people–we sometimes have to step back a moment and examine the what and why of our craft. I just finished reading DANDELION WINE by Ray Bradbury this week and found myself once again envious of the man’s ability to spin yarns, to pour images into the crevices of my brain so they flow like streams down a mountainside.
I’ve always been a fan of Bradbury ever since I stole a copy of my brother’s MARTIAN CHRONICLES from his bedroom and started reading about the “Rocket Summer.” There are no words really to describe my complete fascination with that first opening chapter, but I found myself feeling the same once again this past week. Perhaps it was the description of the “Happiness Machine” I read about or the oration given about living the life we have now and not a life we can’t have. Perhaps it was the feeling of being on a street in summer in Green Town, listening to the bees buzz, the apples fall, the susurrus of the wind through brilliant leaves.
Whatever it is that gave me that feeling, I know it’s important to retain. It is that feeling, in fact, that drives some of us forward, to look at the words on a page and want to put them in just the right order to pull our readers into our story and drop them inside our own fantasy world, where gods do battle, princes and princesses run amok through ancient castles, monsters lurk in the woods at the very periphery of our vision.
I haven’t felt whatever it is Mr. Bradbury put in me in quite some time. There are few books that really welcome me inside, and fewer still that keep me between the covers without the smallest desire to return to whatever world my flesh is stuck in. It’s only when I can get my hands on those books–when I can travel through time or across the universe to bask under another sun–that I really feel like I can make a difference with words.
Because if one author can make a difference with words, can not another and another and another?