Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Wednesday
Nov212001

dandelion wine




When I was seventeen, I fell in love with Ray Bradbury.


Since I had never met the man, it was an extreme case of long-distance passion, particularly because he likely didn't know I existed at the time. I've always had difficulty separating an artist from his/her work.


I swooned over Dandelion Wine, read and reread R Is For Rocket until the cover fell off (years later, I wrote the song Homecoming based on one of the stories in that book, "The Rocket Man").





Most of all, I marvelled over Bradbury's mastery of the English language. He turned a jumble of letters into poetry, into vivid images and sensations and emotions I could experience by just reading a page of printed text.


After finishing Dandelion Wine for the first time, I ached to rush out and buy a new pair of running shoes. I also become more conscious of little details in my surroundings as I began asking myself, "How would I describe that in a story?"


Every writer remembers an author who turned her onto the written word. I've always loved books, but Ray Bradbury was the one who taught me to really see things with a writer's eyes. And in doing so, I also learned to experience everything more fully.





Reading Dandelion Wine as an adult is a different experience from reading it as a child because of the changed perspective of childhood. All this reminds me of the fact that I haven't read that book in a few years. I think perhaps it's a good time for me to dig it out again. :-)


(pause)


Hm...this Blathering was originally intended to be about my childhood autograph collection, but I seem to have digressed. I suppose I'll have to Blather about that some other time.





Links:


Ray Bradbury website at RayBradbury.com.


Ray Bradbury Is On Fire!: Salon article.


Dandelion Wine, the music group (with my friends Tom and Dave!). I believe that Tom thought of the group name, and it was indeed inspired by Bradbury's book.





Blatherpics:


These are a few samples from my childhood autograph collection.


- Ray Bradbury. I suspect he put the exclamation mark after my name because I used so many of them in my enthusiastic letter to him. :-)


- Isaac Asimov


- William Gaines (publisher of MAD magazine)


- Robert Heinlein


- Stanley Kubrick


Today's Poll: (Suggest a question)

Have you ever read Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine"?

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