The Shape of this Blog

  • December 1, 2016
  • W.R.Smith
  • notes

Ray Bradbury wrote the following as part of his introduction to Bradbury Stories – 100 of his most celebrated titles. I got my copy from Google Books.

“The Pedestrian” was a precursor to Fahrenheit 451. I had dinner with a friend fifty-five years ago and after dining we decided to take a walk along Wilshire Boulevard. Within minutes we were stopped by a police car. The policeman asked us what we were doing. I replied, “Putting one foot in front of the other,” which was the wrong answer. The policeman looked at me suspiciously because, after all, the sidewalks were empty: nobody in the whole city of Los Angeles was using them as a walkway. I went home, sorely irritated at being stopped for simply walking—a natural, human activity—and wrote a story about a pedestrian in the future who is arrested and executed for doing just that. A few months later I took that pedestrian for a walk in the night, had him turn a corner and meet a young girl named Clarisse McClellan. Nine days later, Fahrenheit 451 was born as a short novella called “The Firemen.”

There is some fascinating stuff here, a revelation of sorts. You see, I am an aspiring writer who also happens to like those old watches with the see-thru cases – made back when watches were made of silver and brass gears and springs and pins. Neat stuff. When I read Bradbury’s introduction I could see the cogs turning or at least I feel I was given permission to try. A very generous thing this author has done, because he lets you near enough to sense the works while being short enough about it to avoid the vanity of “Artist At Work” hardhat zone. No, once you get close enough you should be ushered out shortly – go and write for yourself if you wish to know more. At least that is what I took from it – along with a kind of permission to blog up my own journey through the writing process without becoming authoritarian about the process. What follows works for me.

I only hope and will try to remember to remain short and insightful as possible with my own blog entries.