I was lazy yesterday.

It was a gorgeous day and I decided to sit outside and soak up the sun before we went camping. My daughter got tired of playing in the sprinkler and ran around to the front door as I flipped over to my stomach to sun my back (trying in vain to avoid an Alaska tan). I turned and looked over by the BBQ just in time to see our neighbor’s black lab poke his head past the house.

“What the heck?” I thought to myself. “How did Shadow get over the fence?”

Holy expletive!

Yeah, it wasn’t Shadow. My backyard visitor was a black bear. Not a huge one, but still- a bear is a bear. My hubby snapped the picture after I ran into the house, scooping up my daughter and screaming like a banshee.

Now, I pride myself on being a tough Alaska girl. I live in the woods on a mountain and while I’ve seen bears in the wild before, it was always from a car or looking outside as one meandered through my dad’s yard. But I’ve never been ten feet away from one without some protective surface between me and Mother Nature. I kind of like it that way, at least when Mother Nature has big claws and sharp teeth.

I always thought I’d be cool if I confronted a bear, wave and yell at it like they tell you to. But now I know that when confronted with something that has the capability to eat me I just run like a bat out of hell and swear like a sailor.

Yeah, I’m cool like that.

So next time I’m writing about some wild animal chasing one of my characters I have first-hand experience to draw from (okay, so the bear didn’t chase me- whatever). Write what you know, eh?