The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
Ghost of Mark Twain here, saying about the above, "Ain't that the truth!"
Mary Pickford let me have the ghost of her little kitten to play with for a spell. Lovely lady that one.
Now, on Roland's theme of Outlaws, there's Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts which was published on this day in 1933.
Why is that book an Outlaw one?
The oddball mix of distress, black comedy and religion in West’s “novel in the form of a comic strip” (his description) was highly praised by many critics,
but like his other books it was a flop with the public when it first appeared.
West was inspired to Miss Lonelyhearts by some of the characters he met through his job as night manager in a New York hotel,
(just like I was by the group of scoundrels I met in Virginia City as a newspaper man)
and by a group of letters shown to him by an acquaintance who wrote a “Heart-to-Heart Letters” column for a New York daily.
Why do I mention him you ask?
"Dead before reaching middle age, Nat left behind no children, no literary reputation of importance, no fine New York Times obituary ensuring immortality, no celebrity eulogies,
just four short novels, two of them [Miss Lonelyhearts and Day of the Locust] unforgettable."
So you heathen struggling Outlaw writers take heart, hear?
In 1789, the U.S. House of Representatives holds its first meeting.
In 1946 on this date, the League of Nations assembles in Geneva for the last time.
In 1973, the artist Pablo Picasso dies of a heart attack at his chateau near Cannes on the French Riviera.
And ever since that fool has wanted to paint my portrait, but I refuse to look like a plate of lasagna!
On this date in 1625, the young John Milton enters Christ's College at the age of sixteen.
Seeing as how I am the Outlaw Pilot of this post, I will say G stands for GAIMAN --
Gaiman and his beloved dog, Cabal
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman, born Neil Richard Gaiman,
is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films.
His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.
He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals.
"Fiction is the lie that tells the truth, after all. We have an obligation not to bore our readers, but to make them need to turn the pages.
One of the best cures for a reluctant reader, after all, is a tale they cannot stop themselves from reading."
- Neil Gaiman
And on this date in 1859, at the age of 23, I received my license to pilot steamboats on the Mississippi River.
I had snatched my dream and piloted steamboats ...
until the American Civil War broke out in 1861 and snatched it back.
(Ain't that always the way with Life?)
I then turned to writing and took the pseudonym, Mark Twain.
I spent four months in the Sandwich Islands with Captain Sam in 1866, when I was 31 and working on becoming famous.
(You can read about it in DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE)
My 25 letters from the Sandwich Islands, written on assignment for The Sacramento Union, are still fresh and rudely funny after almost a century and a half ...
even if I say so myself!
For my adventures in 1895 Egypt with Oscar Wilde, keep on reading DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE.
And should you think I am forgetting Roland's Outlaw Trail:
And for all you outlaws out there, on this date in 1881, Billy the Kid is convicted of murdering the corrupt sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico,
and sentenced to hang -- prompting me to quip, "No good deed goes unpunished."