Travels with Charley

Last weekend, I was up in Oregon visiting my college-aged daughter. While at the Bed and Breakfast, (ah, bliss! A lovely hotel room all to myself!) I came across the book Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck.

Steinbeck is a hit and miss author for me. Loved some of his work but not all. Travels with Charley, though, is a hit.

In 1960, when he was almost 60 years old, Steinbeck set out to rediscover America. He was accompanied only by his French poodle named Charley, and he traveled the length and breadth of the country. One adventure after another. All true!

Loved this paragraph in particular:

For weeks I had studied maps, large-scale and small, but maps are not reality at all–they can be tyrants. I know people who are so immersed in road maps that they never see the countryside they pass through. Suddenly, the United States became huge beyond belief and impossible ever to cross. I wondered how I’d got myself mixed up in a project that couldn’t be carried out. [Here’s the part I like…] It was like starting to write a novel. When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages a sick sense of failure falls on me and I know I can never do it. This happens every time. Then gradually I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all I can permit myself to contemplate and I eliminate the possibility of ever finishing.

This last weekend, while in my delightful B&B, I finished up the notes and groundwork for a novella that is due September 1st. Steinbeck’s words spoke to me!

And now…I better get busy…

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Cortney says:

    Yes, Suzanne get writing we are all waiting so patiently for something new from you. I want to read The Choice soooooo bad.

  2. Cortney says:

    LOl I mean The Waiting…. I read the choice.

  3. Mocha with Linda says:

    What Cortney said – Your public awaits! LOL

    Love the new header on your blog!

  4. Karla says:

    I am so glad that you enjoyed your time with your daughter and staying at the B and B. Time away is so important to relax and forget the world's worries ( and our's). That is why we make frequent trips to Amish communities. You can just feel the peacefulness flow through you. You know that God is at work. Sometimes, I am a real handful, as I am a worrier BUT I just keep praying. NOW, your readers are waiting- not too patiently – for that new book!! Get writing, please!

  5. fredamans says:

    Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors, though I suggest reading East of Eden.