Aug. 12, 1996

Coming of Age (Stanza IV)

by Ursula Le Guin


Today's Reading: An excerpt from "Coming of Age" by Ursula Leguin from WILD ANGELS, published by Capra Press (1975).

It's the birthday of writer William Goldman (THE PRINCESS BRIDE; MARATHON MAN), born in Chicago Illinois, in 1931.

Singer, songwriter Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr., "Buck" Owens ("Act Naturally," "Together Again"), was born on this day in Sherman, Texas, in 1929.

The first Model T, the "Tin Lizzie," came rolling out of the Ford Motor factory in Detroit on this day in 1908 and sold for $825-$850.

It's the birthday of American painter, George Wesley Bellows, born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1882.

Film director Cecil Blount de Mille was born on this day in Ashfield, Massachusetts, in 1881. His biblical films were known for plenty of violence, some good whippings and bathing scenes.

The 30 year old inventor Thomas Edison first recorded the human voice on this day in 1877.

The woman who wrote the lyrics to the hymn "America the Beautiful," Katharine Lee Bates, was born today in Falmouth, Massachusetts, in 1859.

Isaac Merrit Singer got a patent for his continuous stitching sewing machine on this day in 1852.

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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