The Muses Companion

The Muses Companion – May 10, 2024

Good day, readers. Today is May 10th, the 131st day of the year 2024, with 235 days remaining.

Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do.

Liz Smith

Today in Literary History:

On this day in 1899, Fred Astaire, an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, and television presenter, was born. While Astaire is best known for his dazzling performances in musical film, his influence extended into literary circles through autobiographies and biographies that explore the intersection of dance, cinema, and American culture.

Notable Birthdays:

Barbara Taylor Bradford (born May 10, 1933), a British-American novelist, is celebrated today. Her debut novel, A Woman of Substance, is one of the best-selling novels of all time and has spawned sequels and television adaptations. Her work explores themes of power, love, and ambition, drawing readers into the lives of compelling characters.

Today’s Readings:

From A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford: “In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t. Keep singing.”

Literary Fact of the Day:

On May 10, 1773, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act, a pivotal event that led to the Boston Tea Party. This act has been widely written about in historical texts and fiction, reflecting its significant impact on the American Revolution and the broader themes of colonial resistance and governance.

Poem of the Day:

“An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” by W.B. Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

This poignant poem by W.B. Yeats reflects on the thoughts of an Irish airman contemplating his mortality and the motivations for his involvement in World War I. It captures a deep sense of introspection and personal resolution.

Advice for Writers:

Inspired by Barbara Taylor Bradford’s rich character development, think about how you can create characters whose personal journeys resonate with ambition and resilience. A well-crafted character not only drives the narrative forward but also deeply engages the reader, making the story memorable.

Have an inspiring and productive day, dear readers. Until tomorrow, may your writing and endeavors be as substantive as the characters you admire.


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