My husband’s gift to me on my birthday. I went back in time to meet George Harrison. Lucky me.
Ray Bradbury died this week. and his death couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. I had been out of the routine of writing every day because as most insecure writers feel, I did not know if what I think means anything new or important.
A quote by Bradbury flashed through my mind a few days ago. Sometimes that happens before I learn of someone dying. I don’t think it’s a sixth sense, it’s more kismet. The quote is from Zen in the Art of Writing:
“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together. Now, it’s your turn. Jump!”
His routine was to write a thousand words in the morning (the landmine) then spend the rest of the day editing (putting the pieces together).
About 3 years ago I was mesmerized by an English teacher friend who had been corresponding with Bradbury for years. I thought I’d give it a try and send him two of my poems. He sent them back to me with this note scrawled:
He included the next item which is my favorite piece. It’s a brochure about Fahrenheit 451 in Spanish. You can see the ragged edges, where he cut it to fit into the envelope I included with my poems:
Here is the play he invited me to, Falling Upward:
Although I included an envelope, I mistakenly forgot to include a stamp. Luckily Bradbury had a stamp of Edgar Allan Poe, whom he referred to as “Ray’s Papa.”
In a story he tells on his website about how he became a writer, he talks about meeting a magician named Mr. Electrico at a carnival:
Mr. Electrico was a fantastic creator of marvels. He sat in his electric chair every night and was electrocuted in front of all the people, young and old, of Waukegan, Illinois. When the electricity surged through his body he raised a sword and knighted all the kids sitting in the front row below his platform. I had been to see Mr. Electrico the night before. When he reached me, he pointed his sword at my head and touched my brow. The electricity rushed down the sword, inside my skull, made my hair stand up and sparks fly out of my ears. He then shouted at me, “Live forever!”
It was then, Bradbury said, that he knew he must lead the creative life. And through that creative life, he did exactly as Mr. Electrico commanded him.
Hi! I’m Flat Stanley! One day a billboard flattened me (don’t worry, there’s a happy ending) so I’m able to travel the good ol United States through snail mail. Thanks to my friends Bud, Mark, Tom, Gwen, Mary Katherine, Rowdy, Sarah, and Steve, here are pictures from my travels.
Special thanks to blogger Slim Paley for helping make the pictures look extra special!
On February 22, 2012, Andrew Breitbart‘s second to last radio show he guest-hosted for Dennis Miller, he talked about the quick passage of time. He said if you ever want to slow time down, stare at the clock like you did in grade school. Time goes by so quickly that we don’t even know what day it is. He said, “If someone asked me the date, I’m usually about 3 or 4 days off.” Staring at a school clock will slow everything down, he assured us.
Sadly, we lost Andrew shortly after midnight on March 1. I first heard of Andrew way before the James O’Keefe/Hannah Giles sting on ACORN. I met him on Facebook in the fall of 2008 when I first joined the Dennis Miller Zone (DMZ), the message board for the radio show. Andrew was a member of DMZ just like the rest of us.
I saw him online one day on Facebook and chatted with him. All he talked about was how Dennis was his idol and he couldn’t believe that he’s guest-hosting his radio show. Shortly after I posted that I’d be sure to call in one day. He was afraid he wouldn’t have a lot of callers,
On December 19, 2008, I called to ask him how he breaks up fights among his 4 young children. I held on for an hour. I didn’t mind it really, I just had to use the bathroom bad and I didn’t know exactly what time I’d go on air. I was afraid I’d go on at the exact time the toilet flushed (which Erik Estrada later did in a phone interview with Dennis on-air!).
Then I heard the click and excitedly said, “This is Terri Jones, I’m one of your Facebook friends!”
To which he replied, “I know who you are!”
I asked my question but he said when it came to parenting ask his wife because he’s never changed a diaper. I would have responded with amazement that his wife was the only diaper changer but I didn’t want to expand on that topic with a full bladder.
He did, however, have a strategy for breaking up fights which was to sit his kids on the stairs until they resolved their differences. The show rewarded me with “Call of the Day” that day. I like to think it was because out of pity for holding on for so long in more ways than one.
Though this was more than 3 years ago, it’s like it just happened. When someone dies you don’t really measure time. You just remember those moments like they are still happening and they never ended.
Tonight, I think I’ll get my analog clock and just stare at it for a while, like I did back in grade school.
Gary Sinise with the Lt. Dan Band are holding a benefit concert tonight in Temecula for Marine Cpl. Juan Dominguez. who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan. Hugh Hewitt hosted his radio show from Baily’s in Old Town Temecula sponsored by KTIE 590. I was happy to be in the audience, not only because I’m a Hewitt fan, but that he celebrated the life of Andrew Breitbart, the recently deceased conservative commentator. Here are some shots of Hewitt on air:
And taking a break in between segments:
He was kind enough to come up to me and say hello. I was also lucky to get there just in time to snap this pic of Sinise:
Here he is talking to a representative from KTIE who commended him for all the work he does for the troops:
It was quite cold this evening at the show but it was such a wonderful way to celebrate Andrew Breitbart. May he rest in peace.