Q Is for Quotations & Mr. Twain: #atozchallenge

  Today's topic is Quotations. Today's theme is Mark Twain. The following quotations are taken from the "Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions." Jane Austen and cat get twice as many lines as the rest because I like Jane Austen and cats. Twain liked cats but despised Jane Austen. I think his … Continue reading Q Is for Quotations & Mr. Twain: #atozchallenge

Mark Twain’s Mother: What We Have in Common–They Followed Us Home

  Some people scorn a cat and think it not an essential; but the Clemens tribe are not of these. ~ quoted in "UC's Bancroft Library celebrating Mark Twain," San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 2, 2008 * That sort of interference in behalf of abused animals was a common thing with her [Twain's mother] all her life; and … Continue reading Mark Twain’s Mother: What We Have in Common–They Followed Us Home

Mark Twain’s Mother

Her interest in people and other animals was warm, personal, and friendly. She always found something to excuse, and as a rule to love, in the toughest of them--even if she had to put it there herself. She was the natural ally and friend of the friendless. It was believed that, Presbyterian as she was, … Continue reading Mark Twain’s Mother

No, No, NaNo or, Just Do It

NaNoWriMo --National Novel Writing Month--the month* in which participants vow to write a 50,000-word novel--and some of them do--began yesterday. The goal--if you want to reach 50,000 words and win NaNoWriMo (which from this point on will be called NaNo), you need to write an average of 1667 words a day. I've registered for NaNo--there's a … Continue reading No, No, NaNo or, Just Do It

Political Poetic Parody: Sonnet #2

My second missed-the-deadline poem written for Nicholas Kristoff's Trump poetry contest. Sonnet #1 appeared last week. For those who have forgotten, the reference to Stephen Dowling Bots is explained below the sonnet.   How do I love Trump? Let me count the ways. How do I love Trump? Let me count the ways. Uh… Well… … Continue reading Political Poetic Parody: Sonnet #2

Branding: It’s Not Just for Cows Any More

Before launching into the post, a definition of terms: brand noun 1. kind, grade, or make, as indicated by a stamp, trademark, or the like: the best brand of coffee. 2. a mark made by burning or otherwise, to indicate kind, grade, make, ownership, etc. 3. a mark formerly put upon criminals with a hot iron. 4. any mark of disgrace; … Continue reading Branding: It’s Not Just for Cows Any More

My Gratitude List: 12 Items, Girdles Not Included

Make no mistake: I am grateful. For my husband, my family, parents who gave me a good start and kept on giving, my home, teachers, education, friends, time to use as I wish, the rights guaranteed to me by the Constitution, the freedom to pursue happiness, good health, and a host of other blessings. But … Continue reading My Gratitude List: 12 Items, Girdles Not Included

Poetry: Huck Finn Praises Emmeline Grangerford’s Tribute to Stephen Dowling Bots

Mark Twain is given official credit for this poem, but it was really composed by Emmeline Grangerford, whose family Huckleberry Finn met on his Adventures down the Mississippi River. Below, Huck quotes Emmeline's tribute to Stephen Dowling Bots, who came to a watery end. He also records what happened to Emmeline, whose compulsive rhyming finally … Continue reading Poetry: Huck Finn Praises Emmeline Grangerford’s Tribute to Stephen Dowling Bots

“Use the right word . . . “: Mark Twain’s Mother

Mark Twain cared about words: Pa's boot with a couple of his toes leaking out of the front end; the sow lying in the middle of the street looking as happy as if she was on salary; and Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on. "The difference between the almost right word … Continue reading “Use the right word . . . “: Mark Twain’s Mother

Guest Post: E. B. White

While I'm in the throes of doing laundry so I can be up in five hours with all the other chickens and get to the airport (and consent to another pat down because the X-ray machine says I have metal under my arm), E. B. White provides today's post. Mr. White responds to the ASPCA, … Continue reading Guest Post: E. B. White

Telling the Truth, Mainly

A friend asked recently, "Why do you blog? It's for the numbers, right?" No. Numbers are nice. I won't pretend I don't look at them. Several times a day, in fact. Compulsively. As one who for a long time was her own audience, I'm delighted by every little hit. Better than numbers, however, are what … Continue reading Telling the Truth, Mainly

Sores on the tops of the horses

Writing about his college years, James Thurber tells the story of Haskins, an agriculture student who takes up journalism, "possibly on the ground that when farming went to hell he could fall back on newspaper work." Haskins is assigned the animal husbandry beat, which comprises cows, sheep, and over two hundred horses. Unfortunately, he is … Continue reading Sores on the tops of the horses

Les Liaisons Dangereuses, or The writerly thing to do

Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance.  ~Dan Greenburg I returned home from Just for the Hell of It Writers filled with enthusiasm for the next assignment. Sat down in the recliner, put my feet up, booted up the laptop, read e-mail, checked a couple of … Continue reading Les Liaisons Dangereuses, or The writerly thing to do