THANK YOU CHERYL STRAYED, AUTHOR OF "WILD"
This is a special thank you to Cheryl Strayed, author of the book WILD, of which the 2014 Reese Witherspoon movie was based on.
When I started my transition from screenwriting to self-publishing, I thought the first book I was going to write would be about my trips to visit all 50 States.
To prepare for this I got a hold of and read a few of the more recent popular travel books: INTO THE WILD, EAT PRAY LOVE and WILD.
I only wrote a few chapters of my 50 STATE travel book, before I put it aside to work on other projects, most notably my novel A UNIVERSE APART.
But here is what stayed with me about Cheryl’s book WILD that helped me complete my novel.
Cheryl’s book was about her journey of self-discovery in the wake of her mother’s death as she set forth to hike the Pacific Crest Trail by herself.
Cheryl was not an experienced hiker when she launched herself on her 1,000 plus mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail. Despite that, she threw herself into it and saw it through to the end, despite the many hardships and sacrifices she encounted along the way.
It’s not that I didn’t have any experience as a writer. I had actually written a novel many years
before, I WANT MY MTV BACK.
But I WANT MY MTV was told in the journal format, something I felt comfortable writing. I had also written many screenplays, but a screenplay is about 15,000 words and a novel was at least 50,000 words.
I knew I had my issues with grammar and writing denser material, but just like Cheryl at the start of her trek, I decided I was going to start and complete this journey no matter what, experience be dammed.
Cheryl’s book was also real to me, because I visited some of the places that she went to and found that to be extremely motivating to help make my book a reality.
While I didn’t hike the actual Pacific Crest Trail, I did stop in Ashland, Oregon on my own journey from Southern California to Oregon on Interstate 5. My family and I spent the night in the scenic town known for their annual Shakespeare Festival.
I also got to visit Cascade Locks, Oregon, location of the Bridge of the Gods where her journey ended.
The bridge connects Oregon and Washington over the Columbia River.
My family and I have made many trips up there to the Columbia River Gorge area since moving to Oregon.
We have eaten lunch in the Bridgeside Restaurant she wrote about in the book.
We also got some of the monster ice cream cones at the legendary Eastwind Drive-in.
You can even find a movie poster for the movie WILD still on display on the side of the eatery.
Each time we stopped in Cascade Locks I would always remember Cheryl and her book. I would also always ask myself when was I going to write and finish my own book.
This past weekend we once again stopped in Cascade Locks to grab lunch at the Bridgeside and enjoy a couple of ice cream cones at the Eastwind Drive-in.
Of course I couldn’t help, but think of Cheryl and her book again. But this time I no longer had to ask when I was going to finish my book, because I already had. In fact, I had even finished reading my own audio version of it for my podcast PODBOTIC.
Instead this time all that ran through my head was gratitude.
Thank you, Cheryl, for every step you took and every word you wrote.
Your journey and your efforts to document it in your book WILD have inspired me and many others to pursue our own personal goals. Yes, they maybe fool hardy and yes, we may not have the experience of others on the same trails, but we are here and step by step, we are working tirelessly to achieve our dreams as well.