Oct. 29, 1996

Early Thoughts of Winter

by Maxine Kumin


Today's Reading:"Early Thoughts of Winter" by Maxine Kumin from CONNECTING THE DOTS, published by W.W. Norton & Co. (1996).

The Literacy Volunteers of America Conference begins today in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The first ball-point pen in the United States went on sale at Gimbel's department store in New York on this day in 1945. It sold for $12.50.

It's the birthday today cartoonist Bill Mauldin, born in Mountain Park, New Mexico, 1921.

Novelist Henry Green (Henry Vincent Yorke), who wrote LOVING, PARTY GOING, and CAUGHT, was born on this day near Tewkesbury, England, 1905.

It's the birthday of comedian Fanny Brice, born in New York City in 1891. The musical FUNNY GIRL was based on her life.

It was on this day in 1880 that the ship OCEAN QUEEN ran aground during a storm off the coast Norfolk, England. Eleven people drowned in a small boat sent out to rescue the sailors, who were able to walk to shore when the tide went out.

Daniel Decatur Emmet, composer of "Dixie" and "Jimmie Crack Corn," was born on this day in Mount Vernon, Ohio, 1815.

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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