Tuesday

Dec. 8, 1998

TUESDAY 12/8

Poem: "Travel," by Edna St. Vincent Millay, from EARLY POEMS (Penguin, 1998).

Itís the birthday of the creator of Popeye, ELZIE CRISLER SEGAR, born in 1894 in Chester, Illinois, in 1894. The first strip with Popeye characters came out in 1919, entitled "Thimble Theatre," but Popeye did not appear in the strip until ten years later, in 1929.

The writer and cartoonist JAMES GROVER THURBER was born on this day in Columbus, Ohio, in 1894. His most beloved creation is Walter Mitty, the daydreaming henpecked man featured in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," published in My World—and Welcome to It (1942).

Itís the birthday of Finnish composer JOHAN SIBELIUS, born Johan Julius Christian in the town of Hämeenlinna, Finland, in 1865.

Itís the birthday of South Carolina native HENRY TIMROD, known as the "laureate of the Confederacy," born in 1828 in Charleston.

Itís the birthday of ELI WHITNEY, inventor of the cotton gin, born in Westboro, Massachusetts in 1765.

Itís the birthday of Mary Stuart, also known as MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, born in Linlithgow Palace in Lothian, Scotland, in 1542.

Itís the birthday of QUEEN CHRISTINA OF SWEDEN, born in 1626.

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 Sharon Olds 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 »