Jul. 3, 1996


by Mary Oliver


Today's Reading: "Toad" by Mary Oliver from WHITE PINE, published by Harcourt Brace & Company.

It's the start of the Dog Days, the 40 days or so generally considered the hottest in the Northern Hemisphere, originally named for the days when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose around sunrise.

National Tom Sawyer Days get underway in Mark Twain's hometown of Hannibal, Missouri.

Russian Anatoli Grishchenko died on this day in 1990 from leukemia. During the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl he had repeatedly flown a helicopter through clouds of radioactive fallout to drop sand and concrete on the plant in order to seal it.

It's the birthday of playwright Tom Stoppared (BRAZIL) in Zlin, Czechoslovakia in 1937.

Writer M(ary) F(rances) K(ennedy) Fisher was born in Albion, Michigan in 1908.

It's the birthday of writer Franz Kafka (METAMORPHOSIS) born in Prague in 1883.

American songwriter, playwright, producer, George M. Cohan ("Give My Regards to Broadway"; "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandee") was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1878.

Architect Dankmar Adler (partner of Louis Sullivan) was born in Stadtlengsfeld, Prussia in 1844.

It was on this day in 1775 that George Washington took command of the Continental Army in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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
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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
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  • “Writing is a failure. Writing is not only useless, it's spoiled paper.” —Padget Powell
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