Feb. 13, 1997


by Stuart Dischell


Today's Reading:"Volume" by Stuart Dischell from EVENINGS AND AVENUES, published by Penguin Books.

It's the birthday of actress Kim Novak, born in Chicago on this day in 1933.

Test pilot Chuck Yeager was born in Myra, West Virginia, on this day in 1923.

Country and gospel singer Tennessee Ernie Ford was born in Bristol, Tennessee, on this day in 1919.

It's the birthday of engineer William B. Schockley, who worked with John Bardeen and Walter Brattain on the development of the transistor. He was born in London in 1910 and grew up in California.

Novelist Georges Simenon was born on this day in Liege, Belgium, in 1902. He said, "Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness."

It's the birthday of painter Grant Wood (AMERICAN GOTHIC), near Anamosa, Iowa, in 1892.

Opera singer Feodor Chaliapin, who played the title character in Mussorgsky's BORIS GODUNOV, was born near Kazan, Russia, on this day in 1873.

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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