This is my equivalent of looking for those girls in the Jungian basement — a trip into the dark snowy woods. I was thinking I should have brought my headlamp, I could barely see beyond my ski tips. But out from the darkness, a giant owl swooped at me, bringing a primal flutter of fear with the soft beat of its wings. It stilled my heart, and made it race. It made stop, and listen. And then I heard the soft chink of sleighbells in the snow.

From the blackness, through the whirling flakes, over the snowy field, emerged giant black percherons carting a sleigh with people huddled quietly in blankets, watching the night. It’s gifts like this I hope to find as I venture into my own mind, looking for story gems in the murk. And often it’s at times like this, when I make the journey a physical one, that the ideas come to me. As they did on this night.

I skied on, and came across a group seated around a small bonfire, warming their hands as they waited for their turn on the sleigh, yellow and orange sparks popping into the frozen night. A tree full of Christmas lights twinkled beyond the glass windows of the building behind them, where tables were set with white linen and silver for dinner.

Then I ducked back into the dark … knowing just what my heroine was going to find :)

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