Jul. 27, 1996

The Bluejay and the Mockingbird

by Howard Nemerov


Today's Reading:"The Bluejay and the Mockingbird" by Howard Nemerov from TRYING CONCLUSIONS, published by University of Chicago Press.

The Black Hills Jazz and Blues Festival begins today in Lead, South Dakota.

The Montana State Fair begins today in Great Falls.

The Virginia Scottish Games take place today in Alexandria, Virginia.

In Deer River, Minnesota the White Oak Rendezvous starts today.

Today in 1945 an Army plane crashed into the 78th floor of the Empire State Building.

It's the birthday of Indian novelist, Bharati Mukherjee (THE TIGER'S DAUGHTER; WIFE), born in Calcutta in 1940.

American writer, Joseph Mitchell, who wrote for the NEW YORKER from the 1930's until his recent death, was born in Iona, North Carolina in 1908.

American baseball star, Leo Durocher who coined the phrase "nice guys finish last," was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts in 1905.

It's the birthday of English aircraft designer, Geoffrey De Havilland, born in Surrey, England in 1882.

French writer, Hilaire Belloc (THE BAD CHILD'S BOOK OF BEASTS; CAUTIONARY TALES), was born today in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France in 1870. He wrote: "When I am dead, I hope it may be said: 'His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.'

It's the birthday the scientist whose work helped in the development of the theory of isotopes, Bertram Borden Boltwood, born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1870.

The first Atlantic telegraph cable was laid between England and America on this day in 1866.

John Hopkinson, inventor of the three-wire system for electricity, was born in Manchester, England in 1849.

It was on this day in 1586 that Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the potato into Ireland.

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
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  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
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  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
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  • “I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act.” —Michael Cunningham
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