Aug. 10, 1996

Encounter in August

by Maxine Kumin


Today's Reading:"Encounter in August" by Maxine Kumin from NURTURE, published by Viking Penguin (1988).

The Repub lican National Convention starts today in San Diego, California.

The 59th annual All-American Soap Box Derby festival begins today in Akron, Ohio.

The Railroaders Festival will be held today in Promontory, Utah.

Today is the start of the week-long Seward Silver Salmon Derby in Seward, Alaska.

The Chester County Old Fiddler's Picnic takes place today in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

It's the birthday of singer Eddie Fisher in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1928.

Mount Rushmore was dedicated by President Coolidge on this day in 1927.

In 1912, thirty year old writer Virginia Stephen married writer and editor Leonard Woolf in London.

Poet and playwright Witter Bynner was born in Brooklyn, New York, on this day in 1881.

Composer Douglas Moore (GIANTS OF THE EARTH; THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE) was born today in Cutchogue, New York in 1893.

It's the birthday of the 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, born in West Branch, Iowa, in 1874.

Today is the 150th birthday of the Smithsonian Institution, established by Congress on this day in 1846 according to the bequest of English mineralogist James Smithson, who donated his fortune in the aim of increasing knowledge.

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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