Mar. 4, 1997

Past, Present, Future

by Timothy Steele


Today's Reading:"Past, Present, Future" by Timothy Steele from THE COLOR WHEEL, published by Johns Hopkins University Press (1994).

In Vermont, today is Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday in March, an official state holiday for day-long public meetings of voters.

Charlie Chaplin was knighted at Buckingham Palace on this day in 1975. He once said: "All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman, and a pretty girl."

It's the birthday of anthropologist Jane Goodall, famous for her work with chimpanzees, born in London in 1934.

It's the birthday of South African singer Miriam Makeba, born near Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1932.

Novelist Alan Sillitoe (SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING; THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER) was born on this day in Nottingham, England, 1928.

It's the birthday of writer and women's rights champion Ding Ling, author of over 300 novels, born in Hunan Province, China, 1904.. She was imprisoned in 1970, and later released after the death of Chairman Mao in 1976.

Charles Goren, "Mister Bridge," world expert on the game of bridge, was born on this day in Philadelphia, 1901.

It was on this day in 1877 that the Russian Imperial Ballet staged the first performance of the ballet "Swan Lake," in Moscow.

Playwright Lady (Isabella Augusta) Gregory, who helped William Butler Yeats found the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, was born on this day in Roxborough, Ireland, 1852.

Novelist George Sand, pen name of Amandine-Aurore Lucille Dupin, Baronee Dudevant, was born on this day in Paris, 1804.

Composer and violinist Antonio Vivaldi (THE FOUR SEASONS) was born on this day in Venice, Italy, 1678.

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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