“To the Stars on the Wings of a Pig”

Dear RAH! Readers: For those who have kindly asked how on earth a California girl decided to become an adventure writer, it all began with the twin literary forces of Brenda Starr and John Steinbeck.  Brenda had the world, the assignments, the red hair (and the clothes!) as well as Basil, her handsome suitor who always managed to show up wherever she was.  Steinbeck had Charley, the masterful French poodle who accompanied him on his in-the-trenches, mind-torn-asunder 1961 road-trip across America that became the travel classic Travels with Charley. And that’s the book that some twenty years after its publication lit an adventure writer’s fire in my Pacific soul.  So imagine my surprise to open the pages of Steinbeck’s California-boy memoir, East of Eden, my book club’s pick for March, and on the very first page have my eye fall on John Steinbeck’s personal logo, “Pigasus,” his own charming line drawing of a little flying pig haloed with the Latin motto “Ad Astra per Alia Porci“:  “To the Stars on the Wings of a Pig,”  because he considered himself “a lumbering soul but trying to fly.”  Aren’t we all.  HooRAH!   Jessica Maxwell

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