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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Charles Schulz's Snoopy had many personas, including, but not limited to, World War I Flying Ace, Joe Cool, Legal Beagle, and my favorite, Literary Ace/World Famous Author.  Snoopy considers himself a literary ace, even in the face of the daunting stream of rejection letters he receives for his work, which always seemed to begin with that same, cliched line … 

As the Literary Ace, Snoopy encompasses many of the experiences those of us who write face as we bang away on our typewriters (or computers), hoping for inspiration and that next, big idea.  He is a good reminder not to take ourselves too seriously, not to take rejection personally, and to keep on trying, even in the face of writer’s block, rejection, and negative feedback.

There is a Snoopy cartoon strip that reflects most of the frustrating situations many writers encounter throughout their careers.  In fact, I have recently been finalizing a short story and, every time I read it “for the last time,” I make another edit.  Maybe I'll finish it some day, or maybe continue editing it into infinity.

Since my move to Northern California, I find myself only an hour's drive away from the town Charles Schulz called home for over 30 years, Santa Rosa.  In addition to the whimsical Peanuts statues around the town square,

the town hosts a Charles Schulz Museum that I could not resist taking my dad to visit when he was in town last year, since we both grew up reading and enjoying Peanuts comic strips. 

The museum contains displays and murals of the famous comic strips, an exhibit showing Schulz’s work history in the comics, and even a display of the office where Schulz created much of his art.

This mural is made up of thousands of tiny Peanuts comic strips.

Dad even got some cheap, yet valuable, advice from the expert, herself.

We somehow missed the famous ice rink and the Warm Puppy Cafe, but that’s just an excuse to make another trip.

As I continue to write, I’ll remember the trials and tribulations of Snoopy, Literary Ace, and try to keep a sense of humor!  

Angela Crider Neary is an attorney by day and writer by night. She is an avid mystery reader and especially enjoys reading novels set in interesting locales. She was inspired to write her first mystery novella, Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau: The Case of the Parrots Desaparecidos, by one of her favorite areas in San Francisco, Telegraph Hill. To learn more, visit her on Facebook and Amazon.


  1. That the "Literary Ace" is one of your inspirations is awesome. I'd actually forgotten that was one of Snoopy's occupations, but the strips you mention brought it all back. I love that Peanuts is 60+ years old and can still make me laugh - absolutely timeless!

    1. Snoopy had so many alter egos, it's hard to keep up! I still need to go see the new Peanuts movie!

  2. That is so neat, Angela! My oldest sister, Annette, is a huge Snoopy fan. I love the times when he's on the doghouse writing, or thinking. Lots of wonderful laughs from this cartoon, for sure.

    1. Your sister (and you!) should visit the museum if you're ever in the area. I had a Snoopy doll when I was very young, so feel like I have known him forever!

  3. Angela, this was such an adorable post and it kinda made my day. I've been spinning in the vortex of the news and political brawl along with the death f my good friend's mother. Reading this delightful post lifted me right up and put a smile on my face. The Peanuts characters are such a part of our American culture. That little comic strip was always such a funny and sweet way to get going every day.
    I wish you all the best with Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau. I love that cover.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Peanuts, especially Snoopy, never fails to cheer me up, too.