Aug. 3, 1997


by Thomas Traherne


Today's Reading:"Ethics" by Thomas Traherne (1637-1674).

Volkfest, celebrating Swiss Independence Day, takes place today in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

The weeklong W.C. Handy Festival begins today in Florence, Alabama.

It's the birthday of poet Diane Wakoski, born in Whittier, California, in 1937.

Writer Leon Uris (BATTLE CRY; EXODUS), was born on this day in Baltimore, 1924.

It's the birthday of British mystery writer P.D. James, who acquired a vast knowledge of criminal procedure while working as a civil servant in the police department which she went on to use in her detective stories about Adam Dalgliesh. She was born in Oxford, England, in 1920.

Western novelist Walter Van Tilburg Clark (THE OX-BOW INCIDENT), was born on this day in East Orland, Maine, in 1909.

It's the birthday of science-fiction writer Clifford D. Simak (COSMIC ENGINEERS; WAY STATION), born in Milville, Wisconsin, in 1904.

World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle, was born on this day in Dana, Indiana, in 1900.

English poet Rupert Brooke, best known for his sonnet sequence titled 1914, was born on this day in Rugby, England, in 1887.

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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