Dec. 20, 1996

Personal Address

by Pat Schneider

FRIDAY 12/20

Today's Reading:"Personal Address" by Pat Schneider from LONG WAY HOME, published by Amherst Writers' and Artists Press.

On this day in 1985, President Reagan signed a law establishing an American Poet Laureate and Consultant in Poetry.

Writer Hortense Calisher (FALSE ENTRY; QUEENIE; AGE) was born on this day in New York City, 1911.

It's the birthday of American philosopher and author Sidney Hook, born in New York City, 1902.

Actress Irene Dunn (MY FAVORITE WIFE; LOVE AFFAIR), was born on this day in Louisville, Kentucky, 1898.

It's the birthday of Branch Rickey, who devised baseball's "farm system" for training and brought the first black players into the major leagues. He was born in Stockdale, Ohio, 1881.

On this day in 1871 Mark Twain said, comparing himself to George Washington: "I have a higher and greater standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I CAN lie but I won't."

The Irish nationalist heroine who helped found Sinn Fein, Maud Gonne, was born in Dublin on this day in 1866.

It's the birthday of "the father of colloid chemistry," Thomas Graham, born in Glasgow, Scotland, 1805.

In 1803 on this day, the Louisiana Purchase was completed, with more than a million square miles turned over to the United States by France, for a price of about $20 a square mile.

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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