Jul. 30, 1996


by Maxine Kumin


Today's Reading: "Appetite" by Maxine Kumin from THE LONG APPROACH, published by Viking Press.

The full moon, also known this month as the Thunder or Hay Moon, falls a few hours after perigee, a combination expected to produce the highest and lowest tides of the year.

It was on this day in 1975 that former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa was last seen outside a restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed the medicare bill, establishing health care benefits for the elderly.

The first modern paperback books went on sale on this day in 1935, issued by British publisher Penguin.

The first color motion pictures were demonstrated on this day in 1928 by George Eastman.

Writer William Gass was born in Fargo, North Dakota, on this day in 1924.

Historian, author C. Northcote Parkinson was born in Durham, England in 1909. Parkinson's Law: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

Sculptor Henry Moore was born on this day in Castleford, England, in 1898.

It's the birthday of economist, sociologist Thorstein Veblen (THE THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS) in Manitowox County, Wisconsin, in 1857.

English novelist, poet Emily Bronte (WUTHERING HEIGHTS) was born on this day in Thornton, Yorkshire, in 1818.

It was on this day in 1619 that colonists in Jamestown, Virginia, established the first legislative assembly in America, the House of Burgesses.

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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