Apr. 18, 1997


by Louis Simpson


Today's Reading:"Chocolates" by Louis Simpson from COLLECTED POEMS, published by Paragon House (1988).

The 43rd Hood River Valley Blossom Festival opens today in Hood River, Oregon.

The Spinach Festival gets underway today in Alma, Arkansas.

The mainland of Japan was bombed for the first time during World War II on this day in 1942.

Yankee Stadium opened on this day in 1923 with Babe Ruth hitting a three-run homer as the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1.

It's the birthday of the founder of the study guides known as Cliff's Notes, Clifton Keith Hillegass, born in Rising City, Nebraska, in 1918.

It was at 5am on this day in 1906 that a massive earthquake hit San Francisco, measuring 8.25 on the Richter scale, one of the worst disasters and US history. Deaths were estimated between 700 to more than 3,000.

It's the birthday of journalist Richard Harding Davis, the swashbuckling foreign correspondent, born in Philadelphia on this day in 1864.

It's the birthday of lawyer Clarence Seward Darrow, born in Kinsman, Ohio, in 1857.

It was on this night that Paul Revere, along with Bill Dawes and Sam Prescott, made the famous "midnight ride" to warn colonial militiamen that British troops were advancing toward Lexington and Concord.

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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