July 11 ~  Joy (Charlotte's Web) Stuart Little

"We should all do what in the long run gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry." ~ E.B. White

E.B. White A writer who inspired readers to get lost with his characters, writer Elwyn Brooks White (1899-1985) was born on this day in Mount Vernon, New York.

"Writing is an act of faith," he said. "Not a trick of grammar."

White wrote his classic children's story Charlotte's Web while living on his North Brooklin farm on the coast of Maine. The story goes that one day White felt sorry for a pig he was feeding, carried his portable typewriter to a nearby shed that overlooked the ocean, and wrote.

"Like most pigs, he was doomed to die. This made me sad. So I started thinking of ways to save a pig's life," he explained. "I had been watching a big, gray spider at work and was impressed by how clever she was at weaving. Gradually I worked the spider into the story... a story of friendship and salvation on a farm."

The best-selling novel was first published in 1952. White called the illustrations by Garth Williams "beguiling."

Charlotte's Web weaved the magical tale of Wilber the pig and the lessons of love, sacrifice, and protection. "You have been my friend," his character Charlotte said. "That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die."

A miracle for children AND adults to read and remember, Charlotte's Web bequeathed the unforgettable lesson that human beings must always be on the lookout for the coming of wonder.

Writer's Digest TOP 100

Friendship, a miracle, weaves joy and magic.