Aug. 1, 1997

Happy Endings

by Shirley Kaufman


Today's Reading:"Happy Endings" by Shirley Kaufman from ROOTS IN THE AIR, published by Copper Canyon Press (1996).

Today is Lughnasadh, an early Gaelic holiday, also called August Eve, marking the first harvest.

The Birmingham Heritage Festival celebrating African culture begins today in Birmingham, Alabama.

The National Czech Festival begins today in Wilber, Nebraska.

The Maui Onion Festival starts today in Kaanapali on the island of Maui.

The 18th annual Steinbeck Festival starts today in Salinas, California.

It's the birthday today of writer Madison Smartt Bell (WAITING FOR THE END OF THE WORLD), born in Nashville, in 1957.

Writer and musician Jim Carroll (LIVING AT THE MOVIES; THE BASKETBALL DIARIES), was born on this day in New York City, in 1951.

The Warsaw Uprising began on this day in 1944, when the Polish resistance opened thousands of windows and began shooting German soldiers in the streets, a rebellions quashed by the Nazis two months later.

San Francisco's first cable cars began running on this day in 1873 as the Hallidie's Clay Street Hill Railroad Company began operation.

It's the birthday of writer Herman Melville (BILLY BUDD; MOBY DICK), born in New York City, in 1819.

It's the birthday of attorney and social worker Francis Scott Key, author of the poem 'The Star Spangled Banner," born in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1779.

The founder of the Boston Public Library, George Ticknor, was born on this day in Boston, in 1791.

William Clark, of Lewis and Clark, was born on this day in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1770.

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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