On July 9, 2015, I returned from a two-week vacation, one week of which was spent in Glacier National Park in Montana. Since it’s about a 26 hour/1600 mile drive one way from where I live and we didn’t want to pay to fly, we took 4 days to drive there and 3 days to drive back, including a stop at my sister-in-law’s about 6 hours away to drop off our dog and our son (who didn’t want to go because of the hiking involved).

I took notebooks and writing utensils, of course, planning to be inspired by the beautiful scenery, which I was, but not enough to write a lot about it. I also took a stack of books to read but never got to them because of admiring said scenery.

I did find inspiration somewhere else that I suspect will be percolating for a while into something – maybe a novel. It was a book I found in one of the souvenir shops called Dream Chasers of the West. It’s the true story of Clara Miller Smiley from Minnesota who moved to Montana shortly after Glacier became a national park in 1910 to homestead. In another store, I found Montana Women Homesteaders and bought that (but haven’t read it yet).

The idea that’s percolating is what if a woman connected to the Sinkey family from Camanche ventured out to Montana to homestead on her own? I think that would make a great story and I already have some of the research materials.

The writing craft lesson? Keep your eyes and mind open; you never know where an idea will come from.