Ray Bradbury

I recently read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. It was not what I was expecting. Was it bad? No. Was it good? That’s an opinion. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it. Simply, it was not the book I thought it would be.

I have Zen in the Art of Writing – a collection of Ray Bradbury’s essays. I find the essays to be very insightful. Helpful. Thought-provoking. Perhaps, even, inspirational. They seem to be well written, and, while informative, also entertaining. Clearly, Bradbury was a dreamer, and that is a good thing in the business, and pleasure, of being a writer. It is especially helpful when your work is in genres where the majority of the content is fantasy, make-believe. In writing where almost everything comes from the depths of the mind and not real world objects, the mind is your most essential tool.

The Martian Chronicles was an exciting story. Its presentation was unique, at least compared to the books on my short list of conquered pages. Though compelling, and constantly moving forward, I just didn’t personally connect with the style of his writing. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t for me. That being said, I read through it quickly and don’t regret the time put in to it one bit. The stream of words flowed smoothly across the page, through my eyes and into my mind. The artistically crafted sentences and paragraphs painted a vivid picture that I still see, even now after some time has passed.

For Zen in the Art of Writing, Bradbury is no less animated or artful. While I didn’t find his writing for fiction to be a preferred style for my own tastes, when it came to non-fiction I found I was far more enthralled. While it seems that most of the books on the craft of writing that I have read are a bit dry, Ray Bradbury keeps his advice and insight fun and light. Not to mistake that attitude for not being serious where it counts, he challenges you to be the best you can by not giving up, always pushing to keep an open mind and never letting your pen be idle or a new book be off-limits.

In the end, it seemed to me that Bradbury brought his fantastic vision of fantasy and science fiction with him to his non-fiction. For me, that is a winning combination.

That is all. GA

Finding Inspiration

I’m sitting at a bar right now, enjoying a beer that, honestly, isn’t that great. But still, I am enjoying it for the simple fact that I enjoy trying new beers. I dunno what else I should be doing, but I know what else I could be doing.

It got me to thinking: Where can you find inspiration when all you are looking for is contentment? Why seek inspiration to do something more if you feel content with where you’re at? Quite the dilemma, aye?

Well, I’ve realized that even in contentment there is still more to life. You can be happy with what you have, but there will still be more that adds to your happiness. That is, if you are only at content. You could proceed past that; I don’t know what we would call it…overly contented satisfactory syndrome…sure O.C.S.S…sounds good to me. Anyway, you can be fine with your current situation, but how can improving it ever hurt, right?

Now I’ve gone off topic. All I wanted to know was how to be inspired when there seemed to be nothing pushing you to be such. I think the answer lies within the question: What do you need from life? What do you want from life is not a pointed enough question. So many things are there to be desired but not needed. Even in contentment there is uncertainty. What if something happens that knocks you from your current position? Are you prepared? Will you still be able to provide for yourself, your family? Will the life you are living be affected? That takes some thought.

So finding that inspiration? You just gotta remember that nothing in life is certain, nothing is guaranteed. Think about that. Then look.

That is all. GA

Purpose vs Passion

I thought today about the things you can accomplish just having the desire to accomplish it. Then I thought how sometimes desire alone doesn’t really mean all that much. If you need to get something done, but it requires a skill you don’t have, you can, fairly easily, learn to do many different things. Humans are quite a marvelous creature. Full of ability, comprehension, understanding, problem-solving; our minds are highly developed and capable of many things, some you wouldn’t even think about normally.

With that in mind, it also occurred to me that some people are far better at certain things than others. Obviously, some people are smarter than others, some faster, some stronger, but in a general comparison, all people are the same. So why is it that some are better with mechanical systems, like how engines work, or some are better with computers and their programs. It can’t just be that they were born with better skills in those areas, could it? I don’t think so.

I think it has to do with passion. Do I care much about how the hardware or software of this computer work? No. Not really. I find it mildly interesting, but too much about it and I get bored and tired and stop caring at all. Can I learn about it? Sure. If I want to. It has been my purpose to start my website. I did it. It’s not great, but it’s functional. It does what I need it to do. Could it be better? Of course. Will it? No. It won’t really improve much while I’m the one in charge of making improvements. I don’t have passion. Not for the detailed work of making a better webpage.

I have a passion for writing. Is it good now? Ehhhh. Can it be better? Always. It’s something I enjoy and will continually improve upon. That is, as long as I have passion to do it and not just purpose.

That is all. GA