A middle-aged Octavia E. Butler looking off into the distance.

Octavia E. Butler’s Notes to Self

Today happens to be the birthday of Octavia E. Butler, one of the greatest sci-fi authors of all time (and one who deserves to be named as an SWFA Grand Master). I often share quotes from authors here, but since it’s Butler’s birthday I’m going to go a different direction and share some images of the colorful and inspirational messages Butler left to herself in her private notebooks. They’re a fantastic glimpse into her mind, and perhaps these can serve as an inspiration for our own creative work.

This is just a handful of notes left by Butler. Upon her death, she bequeathed her extensive archives to the Huntington Library, which is where the images above are taken. They have loads more, with Butler’s notes on specific work as well. It’s worth checking out.

If you haven’t read any of her work you should fix that! I’d recommend starting with Kindred which remains a poignant time travel tale, or consider the Xenogenesis trilogy starting with Dawn. It’s unlike any science fiction tale I’ve read before. I’ve also heard great things about The Parable series, the first of which is The Parable of the Sower, and while I own both books, they’re still on my TBR pile. I’m hoping to get to the first a little later this summer.