Pause for a Quote by Mark Twain


No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.Mark Twain’s Speeches (1923 ed.)

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

That impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words howsoever felicitous could accomplish it…. For one audience, the pause will be short; for another a little longer; for another a shade longer still; the performer must vary the length of the pause to suit the shades of difference between audiences. … I used to play with the pause as other children play with a toy.
– Autobiographical dictation, 11 October 1907. Published in Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 3 (University of California Press, 2015).

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 12

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Twelve

Joe paused in the living room of the cottage and didn’t quite know what do.  What could he possibly have to say to a girl?  Girls were funny creatures.  His sisters just ignored him mostly.  He hesitated in going back up stairs and stood amongst the higgledy-piggledy arrangements pondering.  His eye caught upon the ship in the bottle, which he took with him and headed back up the stairs, twisting it and turning, trying to figure out how it got in there – there had to be some magic involved. Continue reading

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 11

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Eleven

The Captain and his wife had been sitting on the wall for about an hour, holding hands, each lost in their own thoughts.  Their memories were not that far removed from each other.  They were both thinking of their lost boy.  It had been almost eight years since that tragic night when their boy had been taken from them during a storm.  Continue reading

Once upon a time …

This is from a book that my six year old nephew made me. It says “once upon a time there was a boat that was so tiny”. I love it!

Leo’s short story

Leo’s short story

Fifty Word Inspiration

Fifty Word Inspiration

This is from a writing challenge when I had to pick from a number of choices and write a story in 50 words.  I chose….

Decade is a period of ten years.
Century is a period of one hundred years.
Millennium is a period of one thousand years.
“Together forever” lasts a fortnight.

That is, statistically.
That is, in about 90% of cases.

That is also why romantic mathematicians are so hard to come by!

(“On the Importance of Not Being Literal” by Standing Ovation, Seated)


A mathematician once said that “together forever” lasts a fortnight and after a passionate two week fling Tess had to agree.  Visions of bridal gowns and corsages danced across her mind.  She could get a job here and give up her boring office existence for sun, sand and sangria.  Life could be a beach….couldn’t it?

“Ladies and gentlemen we have completed our pre-flight checks…” intoned the nasal air steward.  Tess rubbed the sand between her toes and smiled ruefully.  Her “forever” had finished.

(It’s not 50 words, but it’s close!)