Dec. 15, 1997

Minstrels and Maids

by William Morris

MONDAY 12/15

Today's Reading: "Minstrels and Maids" by William Morris (1834-1896).

Writer Edna O'Brien (THE COUNTRY GIRLS; HOUSE OF SPLENDID ISOLATION), whose books have sometimes been banned in Ireland for their sexual explicitness, was born in Tuamgraney, Ireland, on this day in 1930.

It's the birthday of writer Betty Smith (A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN), born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1896.

Playwright Maxwell Anderson (WHAT PRICE GLORY?) was born today in Atlantic, Pennsylvania, 1888.

Architect and furniture designer Kaare Klint, who almost single-handedly created the look of modern Scandinavian furniture design, was born on this day in Copenhagen, 1888.

Charles E. Duryea, who with his brother, Frank, invented the first car built and driven in America, was born in Canton, Illinois, in 1861.

French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel, who designed the Eiffel Tower and the framework for the Statue of Liberty, was born on this day in Dijon, France, 1832.

Jane Austen's novel EMMA was published on this day in 1815.

The Bill of rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, became effective today in 1791.

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
  • “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
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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
  • “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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