Jul. 31, 1997


by Raymond Carver


Today's Reading:"Waiting" by Raymond Carver from ULTRAMARINE, published by Vintage Books.

Today is the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits.

The 50th annual Maine Lobster Festival begins today in Rockland, Maine.

The two-day annual Melville Marathon begins today in Mystic, Connecticut, with a marathon reading of MOBY DICK on the deck of the old whaling ship CHARLES W. MORGAN.

The Wisconsin State Fair begins today in Milwaukee.

The 14th annual Meat on the Mississippi BBQ Contest starts today in Caruthersville, Missouri.

The Texas Folklife Festival begins today in San Antonio, celebrating the state's different cultures.

It's the birthday of jazz pianist, composer and bandleader Horace Silver, cofounder of the Jazz Messengers, born in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1928.

It's the birthday of Italian writer and scientist Primo Levi, author of SURVIVAL IN AUSCHWITZ, born in Turin, Italy, in 1919.

It's the birthday of French sculptor, painter, and printmaker Jean Dubuffet, born in La Havre, in 1901.

It's the birthday of General George Henry Thomas, born in Virginia in 1816, but fought against the South on the Union side and earned the nickname "Rock of Chickamauga" during the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863.

On this day in 1703 English novelist Daniel Defoe was made to stand in the pillory, a punishment for offending the Tory government and high church with his satire THE SHORTEST WAY WITH DISSENTERS.

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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