Feb. 3, 1954: Though Mr. Chuckles, a spotted cat native to Central and South America known as a margay, was terrifying to 2-year-old William J. Clarke III — to clarify, he is the one in the cage — at the Empire Cat Club’s Annual Championship Show at the Hotel Belmont Plaza, it was the shorthair Ginger, “an unimpressed individualist from the alleys,” who sent Mr. Chuckles to an “undignified retreat” behind a chair, The Times reported. Wu Oedipus, a Siamese kitten, watched the scene from inside the brandy snifter he had gotten stuck in. Photo: Ernie Sisto/The New York Times
“An author once told me that your novel is always perfect until you write the first sentence, and then it’s ruined forever. I think about that statement a lot. I think about a frozen river and the hours, days, it took to freeze over—and how easy it is to shatter its surface with one stone.”
On Ploughshares, our own Justin Alvarez on thinking about writing too much to write.