I have been telling stories for as long as I can remember. There are old videos of me making up and performing plays, and stories my parents wrote down or typed for me. I always knew I wanted to write (and act, but I don't really want to do that anymore), but along the way, there have been some people who have been particular inspirations. Along with Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury was the best of those. With his eclectic writing, science fiction, gothic horror, memoirs of childhood and so many others, he always created an enchanted world. You could get lost in his stories. His prose was simple but evocative. His writing was, in a word, perfection.
I often despaired at ever writing anything half as good, and there were times when he made me feel a bit inadequate, but at the same time, he inspired me to try to create something better. If I ever get published, I know I will owe him thanks for his inspiration.
I wish I had had a chance to meet the man who enchanted my youth with his magical tales. I still haven't had a chance to read all his writing, and I look forward to discovering new stories, while at the same time, feeling that wistful sadness that such a great man is gone from the world. It makes me believe in some kind of afterlife where he is wandering the fantastical worlds of his stories with old friends. Walking martian landscapes, visiting his own beautifully twisted version of the House of Usher, and drinking dandelion wine.
Rest in Peace Ray Bradbury. The world is a poorer place without you.