Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Travels with Charley or staying home with Charley?
ROSEMARY: This year marks the fiftieth anniversay of John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley. Fifty years ago Steinbeck embarked on a road trip with his standard poodle, Charley and set off to see America, perhaps for the last time. I remembered loving the book when I was young and reread it five or six years back, just before I embarked on my own road trip with doggie. My pooch was a golden named Patrick and I was convinced the only way I'd ever finish my first book was to load up the car and take off, just the two of us.
I drove a Jeep, not a refitted "Rocinante" and I schlepped a computer and a printer (six years ago printers were big!) My plan was to visit famous gardens on the east coast and derive inspiration from them, as well as from Steinbeck.
Despite the fact that I had to change my route numerous times(the DC sniper was targeting people at gas stations)I had an amazing trip and did manage to finish the book.
More recently I sequestered myself in my NY apartment to put the finishing touches on book four. It worked. I can't say I ate healthy, exercised or was very sociable but it was total immersion and I loved it. And i felt great when it was over!
Do you have any rituals or favorite ways to get yourself across the finish line when you're finishing a book?