‘Love What You Do, Do What You Love’
Hi I’m Gabrielle Wang and this is my second post as writer-in-residence for Inside a Dog.
‘Love What You Do, Do What You Love’ These are the words of Ray Bradbury, one of my writing heroes.
Not only do I love Ray Bradbury’s books, but also his words on writing and on life in general.
It’s good to have a writing hero. They can show you what’s possible, how far the imagination can bend, and offer advice that will inspire and lift you to new heights.
Ray Bradbury died last month and I mourn his loss. Two great literary figures in a very short time. The other was Maurice Sendak whose picture book, Where the Wild Things Are is one of my all time favourites.
It was my mum who introduced me to Ray Bradbury when I was a teen.
On the bookshelf in the room we called the library were some of his books like, Something Wicked This Way Comes, (who could resist a title like that!), Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and The Illustrated Man.
Most of the books I read as a teenager were books I plucked off these shelves. Books by John Wyndham (Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes, Village of the Damned), Gunther Grass (The Tin Drum, Cat and Mouse, Dog Years).
There was no such thing as Young Adult fiction. We all read books written for adults.
My mum wasn’t so lucky though. There was only one book in the house she grew up in.
Can you guess which book that was?
Yes … the Bible.
So it wasn't until she was in sixth grade at Rathdowne Street Primary School in Carlton, that she discovered the magic whispered between the cover of a book.
My mum's the cute little girl in the front row.
Well, In her classroom there were just two books. One was called Undine, a nouvella by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque published in 1811 on which Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid was based.
The other was Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson. published in 1904.
Both books are similar in that they are about mysterious girls in mysterious settings. And both are romance novels.
I wonder who put those books there. I wonder how many other students discovered their love of reading through them.
When I was a child it was the stories of Enid Blyton, in particular The Magic Faraway Tree, Secret Seven and Famous Five that I fell in love with.
Adventure, friendship, other worlds, overlapping dimensions are all part of my books. And the genre is magical realism.
And so I thank my mum and that teacher at Rathdowne Street Primary School so many years ago and Ray Bradbury and Enid Blyton for inspiring me to write.
Who inspires you?
This post wouldn't be complete if I didn't include my dog Hero. It is about heroes afterall.
Hero keeps me company during the long lonely hours of writing.
He listens when I want to read my story out aloud, although mostly he just yawns at the first sentence, but that’s okay. I don’t get offended because he’s only 9 months old, which multiplied by 7 makes him 63 months, which divided by 12 makes him around 5 and a half in human years.
He'd rather be running free in the park.
So, all I have left to say for now is:
“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the centre of your life.” ~ Ray Bradbury
If you want to see more of Ray Bradbury you will find lots of his advice on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzD0YtbViCs&feature=share
My next blog post The power of music