The last few weeks I have started writing just for writing sake. I entered two short stories competitions: Fiction 101 with City Beat and 24 Hour Contest with Writer’s Weekly. City Beat should be publishing the finalists in the next couple weeks and Writer’s Weekly won’t publish their results until almost Halloween. Win or lose, I will post the stories once the results have come in.
Deadlines seem to help drive my imagination, as do word limits. College was great for that. How can I say a sentence the most eloquently or creatively in the least amount of words? I guess that is another reason that I like Twitter. Sometimes it feels like a puzzle, re-arranging words and using the thesaurus to get the right phrase to give the right feeling.
I have always wanted to write a book, but I am a bit of a procrastinator. It is also hard to imagine writing on one subject for 100 plus pages. That is where blogging and short story writing comes in.
Ray Bradbury is my favorite author of all time. Well known for his novels “Fahrenheit 451” and the “Martin Chronicles”, Bradbury composed most of his stories as chapters or short stories to be published in journals (he could make more money that way too). His short stories are descriptive and captivating. The endings are never what you imagine.
He also wrote a book on writing called “Zen and the Art of Writing”. Inspiring, yet simple. He talks about why he writes and where he gets his inspiration from. You can see common threads that run through each of his stories that allow you to see pictures of the whole from only reading pieces.
If you have never read anything of Ray Bradbury’s except for “Fahrenheit 451,” try something new for a change. Here are my favorite novels and short story compilations:
“Dandelion Wine” My favorite novel of all time about a boy and one summer of his life. Horrible description on my part, amazing story from a child’s mind.
“Something Wicked This Way Comes” The carnival comes to town and the dark things that come with it. Again, from a child’s view.
“The Veldt” Short story published in “Illustrator Man” and “The Vintage Bradbury”
“The Small Assassin” Short story published in “Dark Carnival” (Ray Bradbury’s first published book of short stories, now out of print and pricey), “October Country”, “The Vintage Bradbury” and “A Memory of Murder”
“Skeleton” Short story published in “Dark Carnival”, “October Country”, and “The Vintage Bradbury”
“The Gift” Short story published in “A Medicine for Melancholy” and “R is for Rocket”
“The Anthem Sprinters” Short story published in “The Machineries of Joy” and “The Vintage Bradbury”
“Yestermorrow” A collection of essays from Bradbury on projects that he worked on including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland and the design of Horton Plaza mall. This one is hard to find since it is out of print.