Oct. 7, 1998

Soaking Up the Sun

by Tom Hennen


Today's Reading: "Soaking Up Sun" by Tom Hennen from CRAWLING OUT THE WINDOW, published by Black Hat Press, Goodhue, Minnesota, 1997.

It's the birthday of Australian novelist THOMAS KENEALLY, author of "Schindler's Ark," which was made into the film SCHINDLER'S LIST. The book won Britain's Booker Prize in 1982.

It's the birthday of writer LEROI JONES, now known as IMAMU AMIRI BARAKA, born in Newark, New Jersey, 1934, one of the leaders of the 1960's African American arts movement.

It's the birthday of the mystery writer HELEN MACINNES, born in Scotland, 1907. She wrote "Above Suspicion," "Decision at Delphi," and many others. In "The Venetian Affair" she wrote, "How meager one's life becomes when it is reduced to its basic facts. And the last, most complete reduction is on one's tombstone: a name, and two dates."

It's the birthday of Danish physicist NILS BOHR, born in Copenhagen in 1885, who won the 1922 Nobel Prize for leading research into the new science of atomic physics. Late one night in 1943, the Danish resistance whisked him and his family out of the country in a fishing boat to Sweden, where he was then flown to England to help work on the nuclear bomb.

It's the birthday in 1879 of JOE HILL, the labor organizer and songwriter, who got caught up in a Salt Lake City murder-robbery trial and was convicted of the crime, though thousands of demonstrators, and even President Woodrow Wilson, thought Hill was innocent and that he'd been accused because of his radical labor organizing.

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY, "The Hoosier Poet," was born on this day in 1849 in Greenfield, Indiana. He wrote "Little Orphan Annie," "The Raggedy Man," and "When the Frost Is on the Punkin'."

It's the anniversary of ZELDA FITZGERALD's 1932 novel, SAVE ME THE WALTZ.

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
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  • “Writing is a performance, like singing an aria or dancing a jig” —Stephen Greenblatt
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  • “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
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  • “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
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