Aug. 12, 1997


by Robert Francis


Today's Reading:"Pitcher" by Robert Francis from THE ORB WEAVER, published by Wesleyan Press.

Desegregation of public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, began on this day in 1959 when six black students were enrolled in the city's high schools amidst jeering crowds.

Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny was born in Lee's Summit, Missouri, in 1954.

Novelist and screenwriter William Goldman, author of MARATHON MAN and THE PRINCESS BRIDE, was born in Chicago, in 1931.

Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1927.

The first Model T Ford---nicknamed the Tin Lizzy---was built on this day in 1908.

Poet Robert Francis, who Robert Frost described as the "best neglected poet," was born in Upland, Pennsylvania, in 1901.

The Spanish American War officially ended in 1898 after three months and 22 days of hostilities.

Educator Zerna Sharp, creator of the "Dick and Jane" reading books for elementary schools, was born in Hillisburg, Indiana, in 1889.

Film director and producer Cecil B. De Mille (CLEOPATRA; THE TEN COMMANDMENTS) was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, in 1881.

Architect and engineer Robert Mills, who designed such buildings as the Washington Monument, the National Portrait Gallery, and the U.S. Treasury Building, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1781.

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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