Then one morning I experienced a reckoning: was this book ever going to come into existence? Or was I going to allow it to die on the vine? On top of that, visions of having to return the contractual advance danced through my head. Of course I was going to illustrate it! I set up a "schedule of completion." My quota was one double-page spread per working day. Five working days a week. Fifteen weeks total. I work slowly, and this schedule was going to be impossible for me. But somehow I had to do it.
It was strawberries that saved the day. Strawberry shortcake, to be more exact. Even more exact---strawberry shortcake with homemade biscuits and heavy cream. Each night of those one hundred and fifty working days, I ate strawberry shortcake for dessert. As I labored through each double-page spread, I knew that strawberry shortcake was waiting for me when I had finished. It was the only thing that enabled me to complete that wonderful project.