Thunderbolts and Lightning Bugs


By Lillian Csernica on May 4, 2013

Day Four: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
Mark Twain, The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

Nowhere else have I read such a perfect illustration of the importance of finding just the right word.  When I was in school I didn’t appreciate Mark Twain’s writing.  As I got older and discovered the fine arts of sarcasm and satire, then Twain’s writing and his observations about the human condition held more meaning for me.  Twain himself is one of my role models.  As a teenager he became a licensed riverboat pilot.  He was a confederate soldier in the Civil War.  He mined for gold and silver, then went on to become a journalist in San Francisco.  He was one of the first people to use this newfangled invention called a typewriter.  This was a man who knew very well the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

I want to write stories and novels that say something meaningful about people and the historical periods in which they lived.  I hope I can always find the right words.

Rest in peace, Mr. Twain.  Thank you for showing me the way.

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2 Comments

Filed under Blog challenges, Fiction, Humor, Writing

2 responses to “Thunderbolts and Lightning Bugs

  1. There are a few books I had to read in high school that I remember not enjoying much. Reading your post makes me want to reread them and see if, now that I’m older and wiser, if I appreciate and understand the stories better.

    Like

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