Golden Shades of Twain

November 3, 2018, Hartford, Connecticut

For once, I got up when I actually anticipated. I think it’s because of scheduled itinerary; if I have to be somewhere at a certain time, subconsciously my mind and body make sure I perform in that acquired, timely fashion.

Due to that performance, I headed back down to Connecticut after almost a month since I last snooped on Sherlock’s grounds. Instead, I drove to the Mark Twain House and its museum. I did mention before that Gillette Castle was nearby another place I’d gone to; this was the place less than an hour away. After two years, I came back due to a correlation between Twain and King Arthur. If you have no idea what I’m referring to, google it, because I shouldn’t have to elaborate on everything. And people could stand to read a classic or two.

As to that morning, I brought a protein drink to chug as I headed for coffee and an ATM. I prepared my time wisely to where I was forty-five minutes ahead than anticipated. I ordered a venti latte from Starbucks, and for those two hours to the house on Farmington Avenue, I listened to my go-to podcasts, Lore and Myths & Legends. Stories and accounts flooded my ears about ghost ships like the Valencia and the Queen Mary. Others were about superstition and marks left behind on the Cora Witch Tree, the gathered story of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Tinder Box”, and several more.

My timing couldn’t have gone better especially since I had no toll roads to worry about with the filtered route on my GPS app, Waze. Meanwhile, I picked up my ticket and took nerdy pleasure in the museum as I had twenty minutes until my tour. Phenomenal was all I had to say as to what was preserved, restored, and replaced to keep Twain’s work, accomplishments, and life steady in the present.

Mark Twain bought the house not too long after its construction for $45,000 and lived at that house for seventeen years. With wife, Olivia “Livy” Clemens (maiden name, Langdon), and their three daughters, Susy, Clara, and Jean. They did, however, have one son, Langdon, who died of diphtheria at only 19 months while they initially lived in Buffalo. Shortly, after their son’s death, Twain decided to move he and his wife to Hartford due to the notion of death and heartache remaining in their Buffalo home.

Twain arranged the building of the house in 1873 and hired architect Edward Tuckerman Potter. The house was designed in the American Gothic style, as you can see from the pictures.

I’m not going to go any further because you could easily look up the history and background of Twain and the property OR you could go see it for yourself and pay the admission fee. I recommend going online to buy your ticket; I went to the visitor center and noticed a whiteboard with all the time slots and mine I purchased online was sold. As was the next tour and the following one. I learned some lessons while in London on scheduled tours.

The tree from Chapter One of Virago: Origins of the Once & Future King.

Anyway, more importantly, this day trip was all about the exposition of my book. More of a confirmation and hopefully a kick-start for reignited inspiration.

I won’t go into explicit detail but basically, my main character comes here and her life changes in the most unexpected and unbelievable way. And, for safety, she hightails into the enlarged tree parallel to the home of the Father of American literature. Only to fall out of when out of supposed harm’s way and hurdles into an unexpected situation. If you think this is pure, unadulterated time travel, you’re wrong; this isn’t Doctor Who, or Quantum Leap, or Outlander. My story arch is something much more; it involves past lives, lucid dreaming, astral projection, and marks left behind. There’s a hell of a lot more but I guess you’ll have to wait until it’s on the shelf.

Nevertheless, I felt restless but eager as there was more to explore. Pacing around the colossus of bark and leaves gave me a peaceful reassurance that goes many depths. How ambiguous and vague that may be, it’s a matter of perspective and of my business.

Intuition and intelligence can become a very prominent–and a very powerful–duo.

So thank you, Mr. Clemens. For the first encounter and for this past Saturday. You, Connecticut Yankee, definitely gave me a way to King Arthur’s court. This won’t be the last time I’ll cross your threshold. Or rather your backyard.