Jul. 12, 1997

My Elusive Guest

by Maxine Kumin


Today's Reading:"My Elusive Guest" by Maxine Kumin from THE LONG APPROACH, published by Viking.

On this day in 1957, the Surgeon General announced the discovery of the first scientific link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

Comedian Bill Cosby, was born on this day in Philadelphia, in 1937.

It's the birthday of American concert pianist Van Cliburn, born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1934.

American realist painter Andrew Wyeth, best known for his painting "Christina's World," was born on this day in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, in 1917.

It's the birthday of Norwegian operatic soprano Kirsten Flagstad, born in Hamar, Norway, in 1895.

It's the birthday of comedian Milton Berle, born in New York City in 1908.

Chilean poet and political activist Pablo Neruda (RESIDENCIA ON LA TIERRA or RESIDENCY ON EARTH) was born on this day in Parral, Chile, in 1904.

It's the birthday of architect and engineer R. Buckminster Fuller, creator of the geodesic dome, born in Milton, Massachusetts, in 1895.

Italian painter and sculptor Amadeo Modigliani was born on this day in Livorno, Italy, in 1884.

Photographic pioneer George Eastman, who made photography available to the masses with his invention of the first simple camera, was born on this day in Waterville, New York, in 1854.

It's the birthday of American essayist, philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau (WALDEN, OR LIFE IN THE WOODS), born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1817.

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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