Jul. 15, 1997


by Dana Gioia


Today's Reading:"Insomnia" by Dana Gioia from DAILY HOROSCOPE, published by Graywolf Press (1986).

Today is St. Swithin's Day, honoring Swithin, the Bishop of Winchester, England.

It was on this day in 1960 that Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for president.

A new record for an ar ound-the-world-flight was set on this day in 1938 when Howard Hughes and four crewmen arrived back in Brooklyn three days, 19 hours and 17 minutes after departing in a twin-engine Lockheed. They cut the previous record in half.

It's the birthday of British novelist Iris Murdoch, known for her macabre and comic novels including A SEVERED HEAD, THE BLACK PRINCE, and THE MESSAGE TO THE PLANET, born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1919.

It's the birthday of Scottish writer and naturalist Gavin Maxwell (RING OF BRIGHT WATER), born in Elrig, Scotland, on this day in 1914.

English novelist Hammond Innes, was born on this day in Horsham, Sussex, in 1913.

Songwriter Dorothy Fields ("I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "On the Sunny Side of the Street") was born on this day in Allenhurst, New Jersey, in 1904.

Outlaw Billy the Kid was shot to death on this day in 1881 by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico as he was trying to escape from jail.

The first U.S. citizen to become a saint, Frances Xavier Cabrini, was born on this day in Sant' Angelo Lodigiano, Italy, in 1850.

Historian and mythologist Thomas Bulfinch (T HE AGE OF FABLE), was born on this day in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1796.

Clement Clarke Moore, professor of Oriental and Greek literature and the author of A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS, was born in New York City on this day in 1779.

Dutch master painter, etcher and draftsman Rembrandt van Rijn, was born in Leiden, Holland, on this day in 1606.

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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