Lunch with Ray Bradbury and Peanut Brittle

I had lunch with Ray Bradbury back in the 1970s. I know, that was before you were born. Still he was one of the classic science fiction writers. He sold his first story in 1938 so he had been writing for a long time before I first met him.

He considered himself a fantasy writer rather than a science fiction writer. But with a book titled The Martian Chronicles I still think of him as a science fiction writer. (Someone once said that Mr. Bradbury admitted that he knew when he wrote the book that Mars was nothing like he was writing about).

What did he have for lunch. I don’t remember. I do remember that I asked all the usual dumb questions people ask famous writers. I was young, but I had never been to a science fiction convention. I had read every science fiction book in the town’s public library, and had asked the ladies that ran the library to get more science fiction books. I had read all of my friends Analog magazines because I couldn’t afford my own subscriptions. Not bad for someone that grew up in a small town in the middle of the desert.

I didn’t know anything about writing or writers. I still don’t, but I have come to believe that nobody knows nothing about writing.

Example; have you every stopped reading a story because it was written using the snowflake method of plotting instead of the three act structure method? Would you care. Of course not, you, the reader, want a good story.

Mr. Bradbury once said, “Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations. Plot is observed after the fact rather than before. It cannot precede action. It is the chart that remains when an action is through. That is all Plot ever should be. It is human desire let run, running, and reaching a goal. It cannot be mechanical. It can only be dynamic.”

Can you tell if Harry Potter was written with a three act plot structure? Do you care? Does it matter?

If you’re anything like me you just want another good story to read. But most people have and hard time telling someone what a good story is. “I know it when I see it,” just doesn’t cut it.

Me, I’m going to follow the foot steps in the snow. I don’t want to see what’s coming. I don’t want formula.

Was it a waste to have lunch with great writer. No, it made for good memories and a learning experience.

Recipes;

I have cut back on my bread eating this week. All this stay at home stuff is hard on the old waist line. I didn’t make a loaf of bread this week.

I’ve got a sweet tooth. Not a good thing to have while locked in a house.

Peanut Brittle
Microwave directions. The cooking times vary based on the wattage of your microwave.

Cook Time: 9 Minutes
Prep Time: 7 Minutes


Ingredients
⦁ 1 cup sugar
⦁ 1/2 cup light corn syrup
⦁ 1/8 teaspoon salt
⦁ 1 1/2 cups shelled raw peanuts
⦁ 1 tablespoon butter
⦁ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⦁ 1 teaspoon baking soda

Preparation
Lightly grease baking sheet.
Microwave first 3 ingredients in a 2-quart glass bowl on HIGH 5 minutes, using an 1100-watt microwave oven. (Microwave 1 more minute if using a 700-watt microwave.)
Stir in peanuts. Microwave 3 more minutes in an 1100-watt oven (add 1 more minute in 700-watt oven). Stir in butter and vanilla.
Microwave 45 seconds in an 1100-watt oven (add 1 more minute in 700-watt oven) or until candy is the color of peanut butter.
Stir in baking soda (mixture will bubble). Working quickly, spread hot candy in a thin layer onto a lightly greased baking sheet using two metal forks.
Cool completely. Break candy into pieces.

Stay strong, write on.

Professor Hyram Voltage

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