Oct. 3, 1997

A Toast

by Charles Stetler


Today's Reading: "A Toast" by Charles Stetler from THE FABER BOOK OF MOVIE VERSE, published by Faber & Faber.

The Georgia National Fair starts today in Perry, Georgia.

In Paintsville, Kentucky, the Kentucky Apple Festival gets underway.

Octoberfest begins today in the Amana Colonies, in Amana, Iowa.

The South Alabama State Fair starts today in Montgomery, Alabama.

The children's television program CAPTAIN KANGAROO made its debut in 1955.

A shot was heard around the world in 1951, when New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson hit a home run, in the bottom of the ninth inning, to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers and win the National League pennant for the Giants.

THE MALTESE FALCON, the classic film starring Humphrey Bogart as detective Sam Spade, opened in 1941.

The comic strip DICK TRACY first appeared in 1931 in the NEW YORK NEWS.

Writer Gore Vidal, author of WILLIWAW and the controversial THE CITY AND THE PILLAR, was born in West Point, New York, in 1925.

Yorkshire veterinarian James Herriot, author of ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1916.

Novelist Thomas Wolfe (LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL) was born in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1900. After his death from tuberculosis at the age of 38, an eight-foot pile manuscript was worked into two novels (THE WEB AND THE ROCK; YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN) and a story collection.

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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