Jul. 6, 1996

The Gift

by Li-Young Lee


Today's Reading: "The Gift" by Li-Young Lee from ROSE, published by Boa Editions, Ltd.

The 70th annual National Cherry Festival starts today in Traverse City, Michigan.

The Newport Music Festival opens today in Newport, Rhode Island.

South African writer Bessie Emery Head (WHEN RAIN CLOUDS GATHER; MAROU) was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1937.

It's the birthday of the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) born in Tibet in 1935.

The first feature-length film with sound, "The Lights of New York," premiered on this day at the Strand Theatre in New York in 1928.

It's the birthday of opera singer Dorothy Kirsten, born in Montclair, New Jersey in 1910.

Louis Pasteur gave the first successful anti-rabies innoculation on this day in 1885.

The Republican Party was formed on this day in 1854 in Jackson, Michigan.

Revolutionary War hero, John Paul Jones, was born on this day in Kirkbean, Scotland in 1747.

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
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