Saturday

Sep. 19, 1998

How to Take a Walk

by Leo Dangel

SATURDAY 9/19

Today's Reading: "How to Take a Walk" and "After Forty Years of Marriage, She Tries a New Recipe for Hamburger Hot Dish" by Leo Dangel from OLD MAN BRUNNER COUNTRY, published by Spoon River Poetry Press.

The voice of the working class, the teller of the cityís tales, MIKE ROYKO, was born in Chicago today in 1932. Born to Ukranian immigrants who ran a saloon, he grew up in a tough Polish neighborhood on Chicagoís northwest side. He started writing for Chicago newspapers in 1959 and won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for commentary that stuck up for the little guys.

American pathologist ELIZABETH STERN was born today in Cobalt, Ontario, Canada, 1915. She became one of the first specialists in cytopathology, the study of diseased cells. A professor of epidemiology at UCLA, she published the first case report linking a specific virus to a specific cancer in 1963, in her study of birth control pills and cervical cancer. She later showed that a normal cell goes through 250 distinct stages before reaching advanced cervical cancer, which helped lead to earlier detection techniques to help save womenís lives.

Itís the birthday of English novelist SIR WILLIAM GOLDING, born in Cornwall in 1911. As a teacher, he once allowed a class of boys complete freedom in a debate, only to see them fall into chaos. A master of strange situations and ironic twists, his first novel was his best known, Lord of the Flies, about schoolboys isolated on a coral island who very quickly fall into barbarism. It was published after receiving 21 rejections.

The FIRST HOT AIR BALLOON was sent aloft in Versailles, France, in 1783 with animal passengers including a sheep, rooster, and a duck.

The first BATTLE OF SARATOGA was fought today in 1777 south of New York, technically a victory for the British, but the French were so impressed by the colonists who fought that they decided to join the war on the American side.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









«

»

  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
  • “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up.” —John Edgar Wideman
  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” —E.L. Doctorow
  • “Let's face it, writing is hell.” —William Styron
  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
  • “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
  • “Writing is very hard work and knowing what you're doing the whole time.” —Shelby Foote
  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
  • “Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck.” —Iris Murdoch
  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.” —Pico Iyer
  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
  • “Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” —Anthony Powell
  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
The Writer's Almanac on Facebook


The Writer's Almanac on Twitter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for poems, prose and literary history every morning
An interview with Jeffrey Harrison at The Writer's Almanac Bookshelf
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show
O, What a Luxury

Although he has edited several anthologies of his favorite poems, O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound forges a new path for Garrison Keillor, as a poet of light verse. Purchase O, What a Luxury »