Another of my Writing Influences

Life Influence too

Mark Twain. Born 1835, died 1910. Currently it’s 2017. He still factors into my writing today, and my way of life too.

He didn’t write science fiction (though technically A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is), but he was a fantastic humorist — but that’s not just why he’s an influence to me. There are more personal reasons.

First, here’s his Wikipedia entry.

His real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Mark Twain was his pen name, taken from a measurement on his beloved riverboats in Mississippi (where he was born).

He had jobs in many fields: writer, journalist, riverboat staff, pilot for same, owner of one, typesetter, lecturer…

Several of his business ventures failed (fortunately, his writing and lecturing didn’t go that way). Despite this fact, he kept trying different things - and when he did fail, he paid his creditors back in full when he could, even if it was after the time that he had to.

He was born shortly after Halley's Comet made its closest approach in 1835. He died in 1910 after it was at its closest approach again.

I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.

That was his last words. Not mourning or complaining about his fate.

From his biography I learned that he liked science too, and held several patents. He was a renaissance man, and I’m one now, so it comes as no surprise that I admire him.

I haven’t even spoken about his writing yet!

Writing

Yes, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer both had some racist words, such that the Brooklyn Library has banned them… but Twain wasn't one.

He used bad words (ones I won’t repeat), but they were the words used in the era and location of the books, not in his personal views.

What I admired was his skill with satire and humor, skill that still works well over a century later.

I hope I can even be a fraction like him.

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