Oct. 15, 1996


by Maxine Kumin


Today's Reading:"Chores" by Maxine Kumin from CONNECTING THE DOTS, published by W. W. Norton & Company (1996).

The Norsk Hostfest, one of the country's largest Scandinavian festivals, begins today in Minot, North Dakota.

The human rights organization Amnesty International was established on this day in London, 1961.

It's the birthday today of actress and director Penny Marshall, born in New York City in 1942.

Theater director Jose Quintero, cofounder of New York's Circle in the Square Theater, was born on this day in Panama City, Panama, 1924.

It's the birthday of Italian novelist Italo Calvino (MR. PALOMAR), born in Cuba in 1923.

Novelist and screenwriter Mario Puzo (THE GODFATHER) was born on this day in New York City in 1920.

Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.(THE AGE OF ROOSEVELT; A THOUSAND DAYS: JOHN F. KENNEDY IN THE WHITE HOUSE) was born on this day in Columbus, Ohio, 1917.

Writer, diplomat John Kenneth Galbraith was born on this day on a farm near Iona Station, Ontario in 1908.

Novelist, playwright P. G. Wodehouse, the creator of Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves, was born on this day in Guildford, England, 1881.

It's the birthday of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, born in Rocken, Prussia, 1844.

It's the birthday in 70 BC of the Roman poet Virgil, born in Andes in Cisalpine Gaul.

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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