Writers need time away from that glowing screen and that troubling story. This is an opportunity to get away, or that is the intention. I often find that getting away from my computer gives me a fresh perspective. Perhaps it's the distance or the fresh air or the fact that I rarely have a pen to jot down that epiphany that lures the muse. But I often get story ideas, plot twists or dialog snippets when I am not writing.
My most recent adventure took me to visit Amy the giraffe in her home at the Animal Adventure Park in upstate NY. Amy became an internet sensation when her calf was overdue and she, live on a webcam, gained thousand of Twitter followers, anxiously awaiting her little bundle of joy.
I spent the day petting llamas, goats, donkeys and feeding the critters. Being out-of-doors, away from my screen and seeing so many baby animals was a real joy. But you know what? My mind, or some part of it, kept on working on that story. Fresh ideas popped up and had to be scrawled on the map of the park.
I'd never petted a camel before, but I had a chance this day and found their hair to be a lot like sheep. We walked over three miles around past zebra, hyena, warthogs and even lions. I spent a long time with the American bison and watching the black bear play with her cub.
Feeding animals, seeing them, touching them was very grounding and very restful, but still, my mind is churning.
"Can I borrow that pen?" I ask the woman at the snack bar and jot down the line of dialogue before it slips away.