Tag Archives: Writers

The Arts: Mark Twain

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We all know the contributions Mark Twain made to American literature. Instead of a biography, let’s enjoy some of his wit and wisdom:

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

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

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“I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55.”

“The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.”

“Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.”

“The low level which commercial morality has reached in America is deplorable. We have humble God-fearing Christian men among us who will stoop to do things for a million dollars that they ought not to be willing to do for less than 2 millions.”

The Arts: Elmore Leonard

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Some of you just said, “Whomore What?” Well, if you don’t know Elmore Leonard, allow me to make the introduction. Meet one of the greatest crime novelists ever. But that’s not even enough, one of the greatest novelists of our time in any genre.

No one writes better dialogue than Elmore. No one. Crisp, smart, funny, real. Maybe you’ve heard some of it in movies adapted from his books: Get ShortyOut of SightJackie Brown (the novel was Rum Punch). His advice to writers: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”

Elmore is writing less frequently these days, as you might imagine, at the age of 83. But if there’s been any drop off in quality, I haven’t seen it. He has a new book, Road Dogs, coming out in May.

I cannot wait.