Aug. 19, 1997

The Bald Spot

by Wesley McNair


Today's Reading: "The Bald Spot" by Wesley McNair from THE TOWN OF NO, published by David R. Godine (1997).

It's the anniversary of the unsuccessful coup d'etat in Moscow in 1991, when hard-line communists attempted to remove Mikhail Gorbachev from power.

In 1934, 38 million Germans voted to make Adolf Hitler the official successor to President von Hindenburg.

The radio program AMOS 'N' ANDY debuted on NBC in 1929.

Writer James Gould Cozzens (BY LOVE POSSESSED) was born in Chicago, 1903.

Humorist Ogden Nash, who wrote over 20 volumes of verse during his 40-year career, was born in Rye, New York, in 1902.

Silent film star Colleen Moore, who personified the "flapper" of the '20s and '30s, was born in Port Huron, Michigan, in 1900.

Fashion designer Garielle "Coco" Chanel, creator of Chanel No. 5 perfume and the "little black dress," was born in Issoire, France, in 1883.

Aviation pioneer Orville Wright was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1871.

Clockmaker Seth Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut, in 1785.

Five women were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, after having been convicted of the crime of witchcraft. Fourteen more people were executed that year, and 150 others imprisoned.

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
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  • “In certain ways writing is a form of prayer.” —Denise Levertov
  • “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” —E.L. Doctorow
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  • “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
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  • “I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.” —William Carlos Williams
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  • “The less conscious one is of being ‘a writer,’ the better the writing.” —Pico Iyer
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  • “Writing is my dharma.” —Raja Rao
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