May 16, 1997


by Maxine Hong Kingston


Today's Reading:"Restaurant" by Maxine Hong Kingston from FOR A LIVING: THE POETRY OF WORK, published by University of Illinois Press.

Dermott's annual Crawfish Festival begins today in Dermott, Arkansas.

The Bath International Festival in Bath, England begins today with two weeks of music, exhibitions, and lectures.

The Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Highland Games open today in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

In Rochester, New York, the ten-day Lilac Festival starts today in Highland Park with over 500 varieties of lilacs in bloom.

The 13th annual Morel Mushroom Festival gets underway in Muscoda, Wisconsin.

In Florence, Oregon, the Rhododendron Festival begins today.

The Viking Fest, celebrating the area's Norwegian heritage, begins today in Poulsbo, Washington.

The 27th annual Williamette Valley Folk Festival starts today in Eugene, Oregon.

It's the birthday today of poet Adrienne Rich (DIVING INTO THE WRECK; A WILD PATIENCE HAS TAKEN ME THIS FAR), born in Baltimore in 1929.

Jazz singer Betty Carter, a member of Lionel Hampton's band, was born on this day in Flint, Michigan, in 1929.

It's the birthday of jazz bandleader Woody Herman, born in Milwaukee on this day in 1913.

Writer, broadcaster Studs Terkel, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, THE GOOD WAR, was born in the Bronx on this day in 1912.

It's the birthday of journalist and historian Douglas Southall Freeman, in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1886, author of the Pulitzer Prize- winning biographies of Robert E.Lee and George Washington.

It's the birthday of the Polish surgical pioneer Johannes von Mikulica-Radecki, born in Romania in 1850; the first to suture a perforated gastric ulcer, surgically restore part of the esophagus, and remove a malignant piece of the colon.

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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