Bradbury Trio #SOLC Day 9

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There are lots of routines that I want to try out but if I tried every one I would never get anything done though. I do not have an MFA but there are various ways to recreate a DIY approach. There is even a book: DIYMFA. One of the leaders of this idea is one of my writing heroes, Ray Bradbury.

The ‘Bradbury Trio’ in Ray Bradbury’s own words:

“I’ll give you a programme to follow every night. Very simple programme. For the next thousand nights, before you go to bed every night, read one short story. That will take you ten minutes, fifteen minutes. Okay? Then read one poem a night from the vast history of poetry. Stay away from most modern poems. It’s crap. It’s not poetry. Now, if you want to kid yourself and write lines that look like poems, go ahead and do it, but you’ll go nowhere. But read the great poets. Go back and read Shakespeare, read Alexander Pope, read Robert Frost. But one poem a night, one short story a night, one essay a night, for the next 1,000 nights.”

There is a great explanation of this idea at Benjamin’s Blog.Benjamin has an inspiring video of Bradbury on this post as well you want to check out. I have watched it several times.

Yesterday, I decided to follow this program. Several writers I know participate in this process. I cannot time wise do it everyday but for the next month my goal is to accomplish the Trio 3 times a week. 1000 nights is over 2.7 years!

Essay: “The Joy of Writing” by Bradbury Zen in the Art of Writing

Essay: “The Rules of Writing Practice” Natalie Goldberg Wild Mind

Short Story: “I Found Your Voodoo Doll on the Dance Floor After Last Call” Nancy Stohlman

Flash Fiction: 1000 Cranes Melissa McCracken

Short Story: “Findings and Impressions” by Stellar Kim Best American Short Stories (BASS) 2007

Poem: “Knives” by Michael Stephens

Poem: “The Chairs That No One Sits In” Billy Collins


The idea of gathering with a group of people with these three readings as a topic excites me too! The Knives poem is what inspired my writing the most yesterday. I also am going to play with the format of the Kim story.

Clearly, I get caught up and cannot just read one of each! How does this practice resonate with you? What are your thoughts about it? Please share in the comments.

Image result for best american short stories 2007
Image result for natalie goldberg wild mind

30 thoughts on “Bradbury Trio #SOLC Day 9

  1. “For the next 1,000 nights” seems to be the challenging part. Thanks for all the fabulous links. Habit formation is so dang hard!

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  2. Good luck with the “Trio”! I love any and all of the poems written by Billy Collins. I know that this is a little off topic, but it connects – My students and I read one short story a week in class. We have read 25 short stories this school year. As you know, there are so many reading skills that can be taught while reading and discussing a short story.

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    • I love short stories! Collins has so many poems I use in class too. I love Naomi Shihab Nye too. Do you have the list posted or in their notebooks? I would love a copy of the list. You could send it to me in my contact form of my blog if you are willing to share.

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  3. Bradbury has a definite “Magic Three” here, and I respect the methodology—and the man, but I would never dismiss modern poets…ever! You chose Collins and Stephens, so I’m guessing you agree. Thanks for sharing. Good luck in your quest. There are brilliant suggestions here!

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    • Yes, I do like modern poets for sure. I use a lot of Mary Oliver as well. I was so sad when she passed. Do you have a favorite modern poet? I love Kaveh Akbar’s work too. He is at Purdue University here close to me. He posts a lot of prose on Twitter.

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    • I have had it forever and have dipped into it here and there. I had some trouble finding essays and then realized that whole book is essays! Natalie Goldberg too. I love all her books…What is your favorite essay in Zen so far?

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  4. Definitely a cool idea, especially if reading is not already part of your daily routine. I’m not sure if it has to be these three things specifically, though. Reading a few chapters of a novel seems like it should be just as good as a short story.

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    • Reading is already a big part of my life but it would be a good way to start with the trio if it wasn’t. I think novels are good but I get different things from poems and short stories esp. I think essays are inspiring for blog posts.

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  5. I have that Ray Bradbury book and Natalie Goldberg’s too. I love the challenge. Though I’d have to alter it to fit my life. So many challenges… Have you read DIYMFA? I get her newsletter, but I haven’t read the book yet. Well, I am going to put some reading challenges in my day planner. That helps me keep them in mind.

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  6. Wow! This is an ambitious goal. I’m going to come back to this post for reading ideas. I love reading kidlit so much, I want to sprinkle more classics into my reading diet. Let us know how this goes!

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  7. I love this idea – ambitious, but cool. I might have to break it up – one night a short story, one night a poem, one night an essay… I wish you luck – and consider adding some Raymond Carver stories. Love him.

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  8. What an interesting idea! I’m not sure I’d make it through all three in an evening, though. I do read every night before bed, but lately I’ve been falling asleep with my book in my hand…or on my face! I love Ray Bradbury and will have to check out the book you mentioned. I’ll be looking at some of the others you shared as well. Thanks!

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  10. Love the idea! Talk about engaging in mentor text study!

    Try One Art by Elizabeth Bishop
    Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Sandpiper by Elizabeth Bishop

    3 of my all time favorite poems.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is truly ambitious but very inspiring, indeed. I love the way your reading informs your writing to such a great degree, and your readers are the ones to reap the benefits. As a new blogger, you have inspired me to use more of what I read in my writing. Thank you!

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  12. I didn’t know about the Bradbury Trio until I read your article! I really like Ray Bradbury as an author 😊 but I’m not sure I can go a 1000 nights with this routine! Hehe All the best to you!!

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