What better way to clear the mind than intense physical exertion? Husband, John, and I travelled to Jackson, Wyoming for four solid days of hiking in The Grand Tetons. Weather was perfect and the scenery so gorgeous it was surreal.

I’ve learned that when inspiration strikes I need to get to the closest pen and paper fast or run the risk of a great idea evaporating, never to return.

On day three we were five miles up the trail when the beginning pages and the final page of my next novel came barreling into my brain. I told John to turn around and we began to beat feet back to the car.

I was laser focused on every word of dialog as I led the way downhill. I was in the zone and unaware of my surroundings when I heard John whisper loudly, “Back up, back up, back up, back up.”

For a subconscious nanosecond I thought, didn’t I hear somebody say that to his wife on Dateline right before he backed her off the side of the mountain? But I obeyed and backed up. Good thing.

Without John’s warning I would have come eyeball to eyeball with a 10-foot-tall female moose. We waited a long while for her to cross the trail and head up the mountain far enough for us to continue our trek back to the car. I had no idea a moose if threatened will knock you down and stomp on you but learning that certainly shifted my focus.

By the time the moose was out of sight and we arrived at the car my moment of inspiration had passed. All that was left to write down was the final page of the book. Oh, well. One down and only 299 more pages to go.