I knew Mark Twain when he was a fellow Washington correspondent many years ago, before his “Innocents Abroad” brought him fame and fortune. I had opportunities to see his working habits then, and I hear that he has not materially changed them since. Mark was then writing letters for a California paper, while at the same time planning several gigantic works, as is the wont of beginners in the field of letters. His room was a perfect chaos, his table a curiosity in its way. One it could be seen anything – from soiled manuscript to old boots. He never laid his paper on he table when writing, partly because there was no available space, and partly because the position so necessitated was too much for his lazy bones. With both feet plunged in MSS., chair titled back and note-book and pencil in hand, he did all the writing I ever saw him do. An ordinary atmosphere would not suffice to set in motion the stream of Mark’s ideas. It must first be thoroughly saturated with the vilest tobacco smoke, which he puffed from a villainous pipe – said pipe having never received a cleaning – as many newspaper friends of those days can testify. He regarded this pipe as his salvation from boors, taking a ghastly light in puffing away like a locomotive when an undesirable visitor dropped in, and eagerly watching the paleness which gradually crept over the face of the enemy as the poisonous stuff got in its work. – Washington Letter.
"Mark Twain in Washington, D.C." set to be released by The History Press fall 2013.
“Mark Twain’s Washington Career” _ Daily Evening Bulletin (San Francisco) 21 Nov 1885, front
- Library of Congress Book Talk: Wednesday, June 18, at noon – Montpelier Room, 6th floor of James Madison Memorial Building
- Gaithersburg Book Festival 2014: John Muller & Ida Jones
- Library of Congress & Center for the Book host talk on “Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.” [June 18, Noon, Montpelier Room, Madison Building]
- See you at the 5th Annual Gaithersburg Book Festival; Sat., May 17th [H. L. Mencken Pavillion; 10:35 A.M.]
- Book Talk & Signing: Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, Wednesday, April 9 @7pm