Mark Twain, “real” shoes, and not being with the majority…

“Whenever you’ve found yourself on the side of the majority. It’s time to pause and reflect” – Mark Twain

I’ve had to put on real shoes. That is what this day has come to. The horror.

Unless I’m hiking, I prefer sandals, or bare feet. Luckily have managed to get to a point where, most days, that’s exactly what I have adorning these size 13 sleds.  Does anyone else feel that way about footwear?

But it’s cold. 39 degrees.  Despite the cold, it’s a beautiful fall day. Bright orange and brown leaves cover the walkways through the campus. The kind of day that makes me miss living back home in Michigan. 

Twain Campus Walk

I found a nice park bench in the sun to sit and write. Every day… remember?

Leslie and I are in Elmira, NY for a wedding. She’s in it. I have some free time. I’ve found myself visiting the long time study of Mark Twain on the campus of Elmira College while she and her dad visit her grandpa at the nursing home. If this place can’t inspire writing, I don’t know what can. Certainly not the nursing home.

The study was originally many miles away at Quarry Farm, the home of Twain’s sister-in-law, but was moved to this campus in the 50’s. Twain called the Farm “the quietest of all quiet places.” and spoke of the views as “an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills.” These views are what inspired some of the best of American literature, including The Adventures of Tom SawyerLife on the Mississippi and Huckleberry Finn. 

While Twain’s main home was in Hartford, CT, it was here, in Elmira, that he summered, and did the majority of his writing. In an 8 sided wooden study, built to resemble to pilot house of a steamship. A pilot house “full of cats and cigars”.

If you want to know more about the Twain Study – The Constant Rambler wrote a good article here.

Where do you find quiet to do your creative work? What do you do when you find yourself on the side of the majority?

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