Nov. 29, 1996

FRIDAY 11/29

Today's Reading:"55" by Hayden Carruth from COLLECTED SHORTER POEMS 1946-1991, published by Copper Canyon Press.

Today marks the traditional beginning of the Christmas shopping season, also known as Black Friday, a term coined by retailers to describe the day when the ink on their income statements turns from red to black.

The Fish House Parade takes place today in Aitkin, Minnesota.

The Jule Fest, a Danish Christmas festival, starts today in Elk Horn, Iowa.

An Old German Christmas will be celebrated today in Papillion, Nebraska.

It was on this day in 1989 that Czechoslovakia officially ended communist rule.

American dancer and choreographer Pearl Primus was born on this day in Trinidad, 1919.

It's the birthday of writer Madeleine L'Engle (A WRINKLE IN TIME), born in New York City, 1918.

It's the anniversary of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre in the Colorado Territory. More than 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, including women and children, were rounded up and slaughtered by the U.S. Cavalry after they had surrendered and been disarmed.

Louisa May Alcott, author of LITTLE WOMEN, was born on this day in Philadelphia, 1832. She thought the story boring and wrote, "The publisher thought it flat, and so do I and neither hoped much for or from it. I do not enjoy writing 'moral tales' for the young, I do it because it pays well."

Austrian physicist Christian Doppler, who came up with the Doppler Effect which became a major tool in astronomy, was born in Salzburg, 1803.

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
Current Faves - Learn more about poets featured frequently on the show