Dec. 5, 1996


by Christina Rossetti


Today's Reading:"Up-Hill" by Christina Rossetti.

The Jewish holiday Hanukkah begins at sundown today; an eight-day holiday known as the Feast of Lights.

It's the birthday of author Calvin Trillin, born in Kansas City, Missouri, 1935.

It's the birthday of animation wizard Walt Disney, born in Chicago in 1901.

Leftist writer Jack Conroy, who wrote about American workers during the early 20th century, was born on this day in Moberly, Missouri, 1899.

It's the birthday of aircraft manufacturer Clyde Vernon Cessna, who was 33 years old when he flew for the first time and six years later made his first plane. He was born in Hawthorne, Louisiana, 1879.

Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was born on this day in New Rumley, Ohio, 1839.

Christina Georgina Rossetti, considered by many to be one of the finest poets of the 19th century, was born in London on this day in 1830.

It was on this day in 1791 that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died of kidney failure in Vienna. He was 35 years old.

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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