Sep. 19, 1996


Today's Reading:"Song" by Elizabeth Bishop from THE COMPLETE POEMS, 1927-1979, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Today is the Feast Day of St. Januarius.

The Lodi Grape Festival and Harvest Fair opens today in Lodi, California.

The National Guitar Flat-Picking Championships and Walnut Valley Festival starts today in Windfield, Kansas.

The Adirondack Balloon Festival begins today in Glen Falls, New York.

The Seventh annual Route 66 Rendezvous starts today in San Bernadino, California.

It was on this day in 1985 that Mexico City was struck by a massive earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale. Nearly 10,000 people died.

Mickey Mouse debuted today in 1928 in Walt Disney's first sound cartoon, "Steamboat Willie." Disney himself provided the voice.

It was on this day in 1912 that Rebecca West reviewed H. G. Wells's novel MARRIAGE, and dismissed him as "an Old Maid among novelists." Wells asked to meet her and by the next spring they had begun a love affair that would last for ten years.

It's the birthday of author Sir William Golding (LORD OF THE FLIES), who was born in Cornwall, England, 1911.

New Zealand became the first country to grant women the right to vote on this day in 1893.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote a scathing review of Emily Bronte's WUTHERING HIEGHTS in 1854: "The action is laid in Hell, only it seems places and people have English names there."

George Washington delivered his farewell speech as president today in 1796 and warned against creating a large federal debt.

Today in 1783 the Montgolfier brothers sent up the first balloon with live passengers aboard: a sheep, rooster and a duck, in Annonay, France.

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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