Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Sun and Dandelion Wine

Cork is currently basking in a bit of a heatwave, which is my excuse for the recent lack of posts. Actually, it has been wonderful, invigorating, inspiring, and a host of other superlatives far too boring to mention. Last night was barbecue night, which meant hamburgers and cider, crisps with dips, wine if that happens to be your tipple of choice, lots of chat, and quite a few greenfly (or maybe that should be greenflies ...?). Anyway, good times.
I've been reading Dandelion Wine for what seems like the hundredth time. I really can't express how much this book means to me except to say that Ray Bradbury is music to my soul. This is perfect sunshine reading. Dandelion Wine recounts the story of a young boy losing himself in a beautiful long-ago summer and, in the process, discovering life. Bradbury adores words, the feel and the taste and the shape of them. He's not Hemingway or Joyce, but he's not 'just' the science fiction writer that many consider him to be, either. I have read a massive amount of his writing, and only a fraction of his output can, in my opinion, be labelled. He's a fantasist, yes, perhaps, but only in the most beautiful meaning of the word. Those who overlook him, or who choose to dismiss him, are doing themselves a great disservice.
At the moment, I'm working on a new story. I was excited when I started in on this idea a week or so ago, and I'm still excited now that I can see the finish line in sight. I've been working and slaving over it, putting down the sentences and then picking them apart, and my heart is beating with such joy over this one that I'm not sure I really want it to end (though of course I do, because it won't be a story without an ending). As the hours drift by, though, I find myself glancing with an increasing sense of longing towards the great empty blue of the sky beyond my open attic window. A thousand words today is good enough, I think. Outside, the sunshine is waiting, with gallons of dandelion wine. Tomorrow will have to be another day ...

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