Feb. 17, 1997


by Rodney Jones


Today's Reading:"TV" by Rodney Jones from THINGS THAT HAPPEN ONCE, published by Houghton Mifflin Co.

Today is President's Day, observed on the third Monday in February.

The first color television was demonstrated at the Dominion Theatre in London on this day in 1938.

Novelist Chaim Potok (THE CHOSEN; THE PROMISE) was born on this day in the Bronx, New York, 1929.

The first issue of Harold Ross's magazine, THE NEW YORKER, hit the newsstands on this day in 1925, selling for 15 cents a copy.

Apache war chief Geron imo died, of old age, on an Oklahoma reservation on this day in 1909.

Baseball announcer Walter Lanier "Red" Barber, the play-by play voice of the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Yankees, was born on this day in Columbus, Mississippi, in 1908.

Australian poet "Banjo" Paterson (A.B. Paterson), whose song "Waltzing Matilda" became Australia's unofficial national anthem, was born on this day in Narrambla, New South Wales, 1864.

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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