There in the midst of literary passion....imagine yourself standing ten-feet tall and having wrapped up one of the top ten great novels of American history. Your heart is pounding.....you feel like angel's wings could lift you off the Earth.....and there's nothing holding you back from epic success. Then you turn some corner.....start to whittle out the next book, and find yourself lost in some abyss. There's no creative genus....no inspiration....a vision utterly lost.....and you've fallen as far as you can as a mortal.
Some foolish thought enters your mind. You need a rest. You need a chance to see something to refocus your mind.
So you start out on some adventure to Huckleberry Mountain.
Well.....it sounds pretty nifty. Most folks would dream up a fancy hotel in San Francisco, or a brothel in New Orleans, or some Greek resort where women dress half-nude. You'd pour a drink....talk to some drunk over a circus elephant you saw dance, or some boxer who was twenty pounds less than his opponent.
But, Huckleberry Mountain is different.
There, the river flows by your window, and boats move gracefully up and down all day.
On a hot rainy day, you might sit under the roof of some cafe, sipping a chilled beer, and engage on light chatter about cobblestones or roofing tiles with some retired guy who claims some fancy blood or former title from Duke such-and-such.
On a snowy day with chilling temperatures, you might sit near a fire and hear some gal fetch up a long discussion about French brassieres and undergarments. You might question her on design options or colors, but you mostly sit there amazed that there is a rhyme and reason explained for hooks and the color red.
On a fall day with leaves dropping and dark clouds on the horizon.....you enjoy a hot coffee and a fresh baked apple tort, which the baker's daughter describes in sixteen details over the ingredients and method of making this fabulous tort. She could be a rocket scientist but she's happy enough in this craft and will make some fine gentleman a great wife some day.....well....if she ever stops talking.
On a spring day, you sit on a park bench and observe a fine statue erected just yards away to some famous figure on a horse, who apparently waved some fancy sword at the right moment.....uttered some phrase that got men all aroused and charged-up.....and whooped some opposing folks in a through and harsh way. Folks got all proud of so-and-so, enough to shed tears, pay some sculptor guy lots of cash, and get this statue erected in this town for folks to sit and admire.
Somewhere down the line, you sip the wine, the booze, the beer, and the various spring waters.....which seem to have a favorable result upon your writer's situation.
Folks come around and tell you little stories about such-and-such widow who married some fake duke, or recite some 100-line verse about a battle which occurred three-hundred years ago, or a widow comes by to tell you about her poor husband who was the greatest husband who ever lived. You humble these people by sitting there and hearing the stories, and eventually realize that they've given a ton of fresh material for new books.
So, days pass on Huckleberry Mountain, and you eventually get rested enough and cleared out all this thinking business.....enough to write again. And in the maze of life.....you seem to write some of your best material ever.
So it was.....on Huckleberry Mountain.....Heidelberg, Germany, with Mark Twain.