And it’s where I find new ideas. Some days I am so swept up in mentally writing new scenes and plot lines that I nearly trip over my feet. Luckily my two dogs keep me grounded in reality by occasionally lunging for a squirrel or sniffing for a deer and snapping me out of my thoughts. Over a year ago I was in a major writing standstill but something as simple as noticing an old Chevy pickup truck on my evening walk gave me the breakthrough I needed. Yet another reminder of how dogs keep me sane and how a few minutes of serenity and quiet time outdoors is essential for my mental health.