A Long Way to This Strawberry
The times were pretty wild when I was at the University of California at Berkeley, especially for one friend who called himself after a popular cartoon character; I’ll refer to him here as “Roadrunner” (not his real nickname). By spring of our freshman year, the combination of the rigorous academic schedule, various romantic complications with his girlfriend, the campus riots and a few unfortunate recreational drugs eventually caused a breakdown that landed Roadrunner in a psychiatric care facility.
When I was finally allowed to pay him a visit there, I was shown to a sunny porch where he sat quietly looking down at a bowl of strawberries sitting on the table in front of him. He looked exhausted but triumphant, with the air of tough battles fought and won.
“How are you doing?” I asked.
“I’ve come a long way . . . “ Roadrunner smiled and plucked a strawberry from the bowl, holding it up to the sunlight. “… to this strawberry.”
From that moment on, his phrase became my favorite way of describing the hard-won accomplishment of any enterprise worthy of the effort.
Eighteen months ago, I leapt into this book project on a moment of pure impulse and inspiration. Since then, I have spent countless hours writing, editing, rewriting, making the story line tighter, revealing more about myself than I ever expected to, taming recalcitrant phrases, working with editors and proofreaders, coordinating with production people, arranging distribution with Amazon sites around the world, getting the Kindle version ready for release…
And now, my book is making its official debut. It has changed a lot over the last eighteen months, but in all the ways that really count, it’s exactly how I wanted to write it.
I’ve come a long way to this strawberry, and it is sweet.
8/13/2012 09:40:03 am
Karen, Congratulations on publication of your book! We met in blogoshere land when you commented on a post I'd written about 'Carpe Diem' and I have to commend you on having done just that. We've been toying with the idea of splitting our time between the U.S. and some yet to be found place in Spain or Greece, I am certain your book will give us another nudge in that direction. Look forward to reading it (in paperback as I've not yet made that e-reader plunge you described in your last post ;-) )
8/13/2012 08:01:01 pm
8/26/2012 12:50:37 am
What an amazingly positive way of looking at things. I will definitely remember that phrase. It reminds me a little of Danielle LaPorte: she says that everything we have ever done has bought us to this point, that's a lot of life experience on our side.
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Winner of the 2023 Firebird Book Award for Travel
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TO I'm an American travel writer based in Seville, Spain.
Wanderlust has taken me to more than 60 countries. Every week I provide travel tips and adventure stories to inspire your journeys and let you have more fun — and better food — on the road
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