Nov. 21, 1997

FRIDAY 11/21

Today's Reading: "#91" by Lawrence Ferlinghetti from A FAR ROCKAWAY OF THE HEART, published by New Directions.

Cole Porter's musical ANYTHING GOES premiered at New York's Alvin Theatre in 1934.

Novelist and critic Marilyn French, author of THE WOMEN'S ROOM, was born in New York City in 1929.

Writer Elizabeth G. Speare, who won several Newbery Medals for her historical novels for children, was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, in 1908.

Jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1904.

Surrealist painter Rene Magritte, whose famous painting GOLCONDA featured men in bowler hats falling from the sky, was born in Lessines, Belgium, in 1898.

French writer and philosopher Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet), a leading literary figure of the French Enlightenment and author of CANDIDE, was born in Paris in 1694.

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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