The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – April 12, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is April 12th, the 102nd day of the year 2024, with 264 days remaining.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

Anaïs Nin

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to journey into outer space, orbiting Earth in Vostok 1. This historic event not only marked a significant achievement in the Space Race but also inspired a myriad of literary works focused on space exploration and the human condition in the face of the vast unknown.

Notable Birthdays:

  • Beverly Cleary (April 12, 1916-March 25, 2021), an American author of children’s and young adult fiction, was born on this day. Cleary’s beloved characters, such as Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, have delighted and influenced generations of children to embrace reading.

Today’s Readings:

From Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary: “It was a high mountain Ramona planned to climb, but she was confident she could do it.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On April 12, 1934, the “School of Letters” was officially opened at Bread Loaf, Vermont, later becoming the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, one of the oldest and most prestigious writers’ conferences in America. This event has been instrumental in nurturing the talents of countless American writers.


Today, as we recall Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering journey and Beverly Cleary’s insightful storytelling, let us reflect on the themes of exploration, whether through the cosmos or within the pages of a book. Each journey offers new insights and the potential to transform our understanding of the world and ourselves.

Poem of the Day:

“High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee Jr.:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Beverly Cleary, create characters that resonate with authenticity and relatability. Consider how the simplicity and clarity of children’s perspectives can enrich your storytelling, providing fresh views on complex themes.

Have an adventurous and inspiring day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your literary explorations bring you closer to the stars and deeper into the human heart.

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