Like the usual stuff you encounter on the first day of school minus the awkwardness and the people you wish weren’t there. I didn’t have any first day jitters. I just rattled on about myself in a few paragraphs, replied to the other students’ intros and that was about it for orientation.
It’s interesting that F2K has their entire course set up as a forum. There are several classrooms, a tech support section, and the F2K Cafe for general discussions. There’s also a chat room where they host session chats 3 times a week. Those are optional, though.
When I joined, I noticed each classroom is named after a different author. I thought that was cool. There’s the Charles Dickens Room, the Mark Twain Room, the Stephen King Room, etc.
I was hoping to be with Dickens or Twain because I’m a fan of those two. However, come classroom assignment day, I checked the list and wouldn’t you know it. Next to my name were the words: RAY BRADBURY ROOM. I think my heart stopped for a second.
Ray Bradbury’s books terrified me when I was a child. I was seriously wondering if I could change rooms at that point. Please, please, I would even take the Stephen King Room. I’m not a fan of horror but I’m not so scared of King. The Shining was awesome. But for some reason, Bradbury gives me the willies.
Of course, I’m not a complete coward. I don’t think they allow classroom swaps, so I clicked that darn link. I read the course’s introductory post and then it hit me.
Bradbury may have scared me as a kid but there’s one thing I can’t say about him. I can’t think of anything negative about his books. Not one thing. He was an amazing writer, phenomenal even. I realized that’s why I was so scared of his stories back then. His worlds always seemed too real.
I remember reading Something Wicked This Way Comes when I was 8-years-old. I read it for a school project, and that was the first time I realized I could be terrified of a book. I didn’t read anything for a while after that. A long while.
You could say, I wasn’t a happy student on the first day of F2K’s class. At first, I wasn’t. But when I read the mentor’s introductory post about Bradbury, and how he influenced her as a writer, I realized this classroom was exactly what I needed. In fact, the room’s perfect for me.
Bradbury was a master at creating worlds and characters so real, that I was scared they’d reach off the page and grab me by the throat. When I look at my writing, my worlds are flat and my characters need work. Actually, everything needs work.
So, I didn’t need to be in the Mark Twain Room, or Dickens, or any of the other classrooms. Not now. Right now, I need to work on world building and my characters. I also need to face an old fear, suck it up and crack open one of Ray’s books again. It’s going to be painful. I’ll probably have nightmares again. But this is one thing I need to overcome. I refuse to stay a chicken.
Now that the bad news is over, how about some good news? The classroom’s mentor posted a few inspirational quotes from Bradbury, and I rather liked this one.
You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
Since I’ll be looking into his works again, I figured I would try out a few of his short stories first. You know, to test the waters before I dive in. I found a couple of Bradbury’s short stories online:
Here’s a list of his books with excerpts. I should also mention that F2K’s mentors are very helpful and encouraging, even in this first week. I can tell the other students are eager to learn too. As a surprise, a sort of pre-course practice, we were given our first writing prompt.
I have to write about one thing I love or one thing I hate, and I have to write about it in 500 words or less. I haven’t started yet. So, I guess I should be writing now. We’ll have homework next week and that’s when the real fun begins. I can’t wait.
See my next post: F2K Social’s First Writing Prompt