Aug. 14, 1997


by Michael Palin


Today's Reading:Assorted limericks by Michael Palin from LIMERICKS, published by Random House Children's Books, London (1992).

The 10th annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering begins today in Prescott, Arizona.

The Hope Watermelon Festival starts today in Hope, Arkansas.

In Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, the Sweet Corn Festival gets underway.

A Centennial Celebration of Dracula, Bram Stoker's novel, begins today in Los Angeles.

It's the anniversary of Victory or V-J Day, when President Harry S. Truman announced the Japanese surrender in 1945.

Author Russell Baker, a columnist for the NEW YORK TIMES since 1962, was born in Loudon County, Virginia, in 1925.

Singer and cabaret queen Bricktop (Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith), whose 1920's nightclub drew people like Hemingway, Steinbeck and the Fitzgeralds, was born in Alderson, West Virginia, in 1894.

Novelist and playwright John Galsworthy, best known for his sequence of novels called THE FORSYTE SAGA, was born in Kingston Hill, England, in 1867.

The first book ever printed was published on this day in 1457 by a German astrologer named Faust. He was thrown in jail when he tried to sell the books in Paris---it was assumed that he had dealt with the devil because he had so many books that were exactly alike.

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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