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Monday, November 23, 2020

WE NEED A LITTLE HUMOR - A Salute to Mark Twain

by Judy Ann Davis

One of my favorite authors, Mark Twain, was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. Best known as a novelist, lecturer, and entrepreneur, he has also been called the “greatest humorist of the United States.” He is one of my favorite authors because of his wit and humor.

Mark Twain is the pen name of Samuel Clemens. Although the exact origins of the name are unknown, it is worth noting that Clemens operated riverboats, and mark twain is a nautical term for water found to be two fathoms, twelve feet, deep which equates to mark (measure) twain (two).

We had the pleasure of taking an American Queen riverboat cruise down the Mississippi River from Memphis to New Orleans a few years ago. My husband and I learned a lot about Southern culture and Mark Twain while on board. Some of my favorite Mark Twain sayings are:    

        If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

        Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

        A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.

        The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.                   

        Let us endeavor to live so that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry.

 In my romantic mystery, “ADELENE ~ The Violinist,” Book 2 in the Musical Christmas Series, which recently won "first place" in the Contemporary Short Category of the International Digital Awards (IDA), sponsored by the Oklahoma Romance Writers, there is reference to Mark Twain. 

I don’t want to ruin the mystery for you, so here is the blurb:

A joyful novella to brighten your day!

Adelene Almanza, an accomplished violinist and Spanish teacher, has only one Christmas wish—to buy an old decrepit schoolhouse and create a teen and literacy center in her small hometown of Bluestone Bluff, New York.

When she tries to attend the sale of the building, she is injured and must rely on her old boyfriend and owner of a construction company, Clay Ciaffonni, to help purchase the building and help with the renovations. But money is tight, and a demolition and salvage company is pressuring her to give up and sell.

Despite an act of vandalism, mounting costs, and a stray puppy, the couple pushes forward to restore the structure to its natural beauty. Will they discover the long-forgotten secrets of the old schoolhouse, hidden away in its boarded-up attic? And will the sparks of love ignite a second time for Adelene and Clay?  


Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! 

If you are not able to celebrate with your family this year, as we are not able, we should still give thanks our family members are safe, our table is plentiful in these uncertain times, and our Creator will bless us as we move forward to the year’s end…and toward a new, more hopeful, one in 2021.   


  1. My Hero and I have wanted to take that steamboat trip on the Mississippi. I don't suppose we ever will, but we took a very short one when we were in New Orleans for our honeymoon. I love Mark Twain's humor, too. My family thought we were related to Mark Twain but it turns out there was a Samuel T. Clemmons in our line and the old script T looks like an L. I was the "bad guy" who learned that through my ancestry research.

    1. Oh, it would have been cool to be related! Thanks for stopping by and have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. Mark Twain is one of my favorite historical characters. He was witty, sarcastic and wise, rolled into one. I would have loved to sit, listen and interact with him for hours. "Adelene The Violinist" sounds like a good cozy mystery to curl up with along with a cup of hot cocoa. I enjoyed your post and hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving, Judy Ann.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Laurean. Yes, isn't humor helpful...and especially now while we're experiencing this pandemic? Stay safe.


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