However... I did find this, date March 27, 2009. It's a letter I had written to Ray Bradbury. See, at the time I was contemplating self-publishing my first novel, Devil's Town (still as-yet-unpublished) via Lulu and mailing my ARC to Mr. Bradbury, along with this letter:
I hope you don’t mind my calling you by your first name; I have read so many of your books and essays, I feel as though I have known you for half of my lifetime. I am writing to offer you the author’s proof of my first published novel, my serial killer thriller Devil’s Town, as well as to express my appreciation for your work. I feel I owe this book’s publication to you for the inspiration you have provided me over the years.
In March of 2007, I was seized by writer’s block which lasted over a year and a half. Seeking inspiration, I read your book of essays Zen in the Art of Writing in July of 2008 and quite frankly, I sank into deep depression. I thought to myself, “Write 1000 words a day? Impossible! I could never be a writer to meet Mr. Bradbury’s standard.” For three agonizing months, I entertained the thought of giving up on becoming a novelist and change gears towards a possible career in journalism or English education.
Then in October, a wonderful thing happened. I re-read my favorite novel of yours, Something Wicked This Way Comes. And I did not even make it to the second page when I realized, “Of course I could never meet Ray Bradbury’s standard! He is, without a doubt, the most skilled and talented writer I have ever found myself poring over, and I would be a fool to even consider comparing myself to him!”
Upon finishing this marvel of the English language, I revisited From the Dust Returned and read for the first time The Halloween Tree. I then found myself producing three short horror stories before reaching Halloween. They were not very good short stories as compared to some of my earlier work, but I was deliriously happy to be writing again.
And so, even though writing 1000 words a day seems impossible to me, I decided to return to my first novel (written half my lifetime ago, at the age of 15) and not give up until it was published. I was also aiming for having it published before my 10-year high school class reunion. It may be self-published, but that does not make me feel any less proud.
Even though I have gone around the world in saying so, I believe this author’s proof should belong to you even though it is not your preferred genre of science fiction. I hope you enjoy the story, though I can’t imagine you enjoying it nearly as much as I have enjoyed your work. But, I can hope, as you have taught me to do.
Sincerely and with much love and admiration,
That was over three years ago, and I never contacted Ray to tell him these things. And, in case you've been living under a rock for the past six months, you know that Ray Bradbury passed away earlier this year. It was a sad day for me, and upon finding this letter, I'm sad again, though maybe I shouldn't be...
In one of my stories (one that, ironically, I had chosen last night to include in A Fall of 13 Stories), the dead are said to be omniscient. If that's so, then maybe he knows about this letter. But since he had no clue as to who I was in his lifetime, it's not likely. So, yeah... sadness.
I'm still browsing the MySpace blog, so maybe I'll find something else worth sharing... perhaps some good news. Who knows? It could happen, right?