Sunday

Jun. 27, 1999

Managing the Common Herd: Two Approaches for Senior Management

by Julie O'Callaghan

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: June 27, 1999

Poem: "Managing the Common Herd: Two Approaches for Senior Management," by Julie O'Callaghan, from What's What (Bloodaxe Books).

It's the birthday in Brooklyn, 1953, of novelist ALICE MCDERMOTT, author of That Night (1987), At Weddings and Wakes (1992) and Charming Billy, which won last year's National Book Award. Her parents discouraged her from becoming a writer because they thought she'd starve. But she entered the writing program at the University of New Hampshire, then came out with her first novel, The Bigamist's Daughter. She says, "There has to be an obsession with the act of writing.... It's too hard, too unpleasant too often, without that. When I'm not writing—and I have considered many times trying something else—I can't make sense out of anything. I feel the need to make some sense and find some order, and writing fiction is the only way I've found that seems to begin to do that."

It's novelist CHARLIE SMITH's birthday, in Moultrie, Georgia, 1947, author of Canaan, Shine Hawk, and The Lives of the Dead. His most recent, Cheap Ticket to Heaven, is about Jack and Clare, a husband and wife criminal team who try to get to heaven through a series of bank robberies and murders.

It's novelist RUSSELL HILL's birthday, in Spring Valley, Illinois, 1935, a California high school English teacher for 25 years, best known for his 1991 book Lucy Bloomer; about a middle-aged professor who hooks up with Lucy, a 93-year-old California nursing home resident who claims to have been the mistress of five U.S. presidents.

It's poet FRANK O'HARA's birthday, in Baltimore, 1926, whose Collected Poems won the 1972 National Book Award, six years after his death.

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 »