Showing posts with label Mark Twain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Twain. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Mark Twain's Tips For living a Kick-Ass Life



I wanted to quote Mark Twain in my book The Frog's Song, but the editor kept taking them out.


Publishing companies must be cautious about quotations and have permission to use them. I thought that Twain had been quoted so many times he was public domain. 


Nope. Only books before 1923 are public domain. 


After that, one must have permission to quote them. (I guess Hal Holbrook acquired special permission to do his one-man show on Mark Twain.) Twain's quotes are all over the place, but not from the book MARK TWAIN IN Hawaii, Roughing It in the Sandwich Islands. Hawaii in the 1860s. It was copyrighted in 1987 by A. Grove Day, and thus was off limits for quoting.



The book MARK TWAIN IN HAWAII was compiled from the series of 25 articles he wrote during his four-month visit to the islands. He was 31-years old when he got off the ship in Honolulu on March 18, 1866, and had only recently adopted the pen name Mark Twain. Twain was not a novice but not famous either when he landed the exotic assignment of writing a series of articles for the most influential newspaper in the American West, The Sacramento Union. 



In a letter to his friend Charles Warren Stoddard in Hawaii (Octobers 26, 1881, Twain wrote: "If only the house would only burn down, we would pack up the cubs and fly to the isles of the blest, and shut ourselves up in the healing solitudes of Haleakala and get a good rest; for the mails do not intrude there, nor yet the telephone and the telegraph. And after resting, we would come down the mountain a piece and board with a godly, beech-clouted native, and eat poi and dirt and give thanks to whom all thanks belong, for theses privileges, and never house-keep any more…what I have always longed for was the privilege of living forever away up upon one of those mountains in the Sandwich Islands overlooking the sea."


I considered that book to be such a gift. I often wondered if the previous owner left it behind by accident or design. I found it in the Macadamia Nut processing shed behind our house. We processed no macadamia nuts during our stint. The only macadamia nuts I saw on the property we bought at the store.


We used the shed's wire shelving, meant for drying macadamia nuts, for storage, as we had moved from a large house into a small one. The much-needed extra space was a godsend, as our two washing machines (daughter's and ours) and one dryer stayed there the entire nine months of our stay. We preserved electricity (solar power) for more important things, like lights, the water pump, computers, and watching DVDs at night. Daughter and I, with little grandson in tow, used the Laundromat, where water and electricity wasn't an issue, and my little grandson watched Finding Nemo for the first time. 


We have a washing machine and a dryer in the house now and abundant water and electricity. Oh, happy day!


I've told you all this before? Oh, sorry. It all came back to me this morning as I sorted papers and found Mark Twain's Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life, by Henrik Edberg, dated May 16, 2008. 


Edberg dated his article, May 16, 2008. That was before we moved to Hawaii in December of 2009, when I had no idea Twain had written about the islands. Neither did I did not know that his 25 articles are the very best ever written about Hawaii. Finding such gems as Edberg’s article is why I need to attempt organization once in a while.


I won't copy everything Edberg wrote, but I will list the tips.


Approve of yourself

"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."

Your limitations may just be in your mind. "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."


Lighten up and have some fun.

"Humor is mankind's greatest blessing."


Let go of anger. 

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured."


Release yourself from entitlement.

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."


If you're taking a different path, prepare for reactions.

"A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."


Keep your focus steadily on what you want.

"Drag your thoughts away from your the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it."


Don't focus so much on making yourself feel good.

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."


Do what you want to do.

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." 


Check out Aloha tee-shirts on Etsy:




"Hello, Goodbye, I love you."

"Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy."

Humuhumununakiapua'a, Hawaii's state fish. We practiced a lot trying to pronounce that one.

After an 8-year term he was demoted for a time, but has been reinstated. Now he swims with stately vigor.





 This notebook will lay flat which means it won't fight you by closing the pages as you are placing passwords of whatever on the lined pages. I like my "Chirp" notebook for it has quotes, but I prefer a spiral binding. This notebook has a lined interior, no quotes, and is available on Etsy.




Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Well, It’s Been an Exciting Week in Junction City

Sign at the local Coastal Farm Store: “Stay one horse length away.”

I loved that sign and the sense of humor that went with it, although a horse length is usually considered to be 8 feet, not our social distancing of 6. Consider this, the racehorse Secretariat in 1973 won the Triple crown (All three races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont) by an amazing 31 lengths. A feat unsurpassed.


I know, this has nothing to do with my blog, it just struck me. And I like horses and Champions, and being thrilled when some animal or person steps out of the commonality of life.

Okay, my week:

On my way to create a blank book, I found it was more trouble than writing one. I wanted a journal/notebook with lined pages, but I refused to sign up for another subscription to allow me to have them. “I’ll do it myself,” I said. “Hee hee,” said the Universe. “I will jerk you around first.” (Just to see if I was serious, I guess.) 

It’s easy to do a Kindle book, but formatting for a hold-in-your-hand’s-paperback book is another story. My first try of putting lines on every page of a 250- page booklet failed to comply with Amazon’s formatting specifications.

Okay, try putting in a table and erasing unwanted lines—that worked until I added quotes. And Amazon requires a page break between every page. I kept losing page breaks, losing lines…

It’s like a game you want to win and refuse to give up. I’ll get this. 

Sorry, this story is longer than you want to hear… 

I found it fascinating, however, reading quotes.

Don’t you love little notebooks with pithy quotes?

I do. I like a motivation a day, although I have not placed a quote on every page. I just broadcast them throughout the booklet like seeds. It will be an Easter-egg hunt. 

Oh, the fascinating thing I found with quotes is that some work, some don’t. Now, Mark Twain was a master. His quotes are simple, poignant, and to the point. No wonder Hall Holbrook received raves dressed and speaking as Mark Twain.

“When angry count to four, when very angry, swear.” Mark Twain 

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life.” Mark Twain

Other motivational people or teachers run on too long…their words lose their punch.

Zig Zigler is another great speaker who creates pithy quotes. His motivations are top-notch “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

You might have to read that a couple of times.

And, you know my favorite Zig quote: “They say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing, that’s why we do it daily.”

Other than the booklet I was formatting for Amazon paperback, life was going beautifully. Suddenly, Wham! The manufacturing company whose items I was selling shut down advertising on Amazon. “Company policy,” they said. You cannot sell their product on Amazon or eBay. Well, darn, and I had a good thing going. 

Time to make that timeline switch.

This is something I have praised about people during our recent shut-down. For many, when one avenue closed, they tried another. When businesses needed to social distance, they sent their workers home to do remote work. When restaurants were required to cut back and social distance, they set tents outside and started carry-outs and curb service.

One thing daughter and I are contemplating: It’s her invention. What if someone created a computer game with no rules. The people were on some remote place like Mars, where a big mistake would blow a hole in their dome or some such thing. The people needed to work together or perish. Where would that go?

Would we pull together or argue ourselves into obviation?

Last night we watched the newest remake of the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. Basically, the moral was that there is more to people than first meets the eye. The grand moral was that people change only when they reach a crisis point. 

Let’s imagine this: Momentum says that an object tends to travel in the direction it is headed, and with speed behind it, it is next to impossible to stop. (That’s not exactly the law of Physics, but my interpretation.) One would think that the world would continue in the way it is headed. And that people are predictable. But what if—and this has happened repeatedly—along comes an individual who causes a shift in the timeline. Didn’t Martin Luther King Jr do that? Didn’t Jesus? Didn’t the Buddha? Didn’t John F. Kennedy? 

Well, they got killed, but they changed the world.

Oh heck. Let’s have a happy ending.