Here's a little story about how a writer's mind works.

Yesterday morning, I had to get up super early, and yeah, I know - it was Sunday. Cannot fathom how my KISA (Knight In Shining Armor) manages to sleep while I'm up shuffling through my usual angst. However, in his defense, he has had years of practice sleeping through the noises a scribe makes stumbling awake.

A sailing customer unhappy about weather related delays has to be called about yet another day of storms. This goes way better than I thought. My suggestion that indoor pursuits might benefit her anniversary celebration tickles her funny bone.

Then plans change. Midway through my tourist-clogged hometown, I realize I can't tackle a day at the docks without some caffeine. "She who must be obeyed" (my 25-foot Cape Dory - her name's actually Into Thin Air) is sorely in need of scouring and scrubbing of the scuffs we've suffered throughout a week of hair-raising returns to the slip in 25-knot-plus winds and lightning all around.

Slip into my favorite locals coffee shop only to be greeted by a mob of similarly minded souls. When it rains on your vacation, where do "you" go? Right. Glad Julie's shop (Cuppa Joe's) has been discovered, but a writer in search of caffeine can get testy.

Sooo, struck off on foot. Once you find a parking spot in downtown Breckenridge in July, you do *not* abandon the space. Then have to zip up the foul weather gear when the heavens open. :-) Didn't I warn a customer about rain a few paragraphs ago? Lack of caffeine.

Next coffee shop is a wee bit disappointing, but they've just opened. The sweet lady behind the counter wonders where all the visitors are. I don't have the heart to tell her. However, she does stock gluten-free flour I've been searching for.

So now I'm carrying a bag of flour, my planner, and a cup of coffee. Oh, and did I say it's raining? Then I discover the Breck arts fair is in full swing. Artists, browsers, and asssorted crazed children are milling amongst the little white tents, in the rain. OK. Can't pass this up.

Usually I'm sailing when this great show comes to town, but here it is and here I am, which kind of explains what happens next. I run into Martha and Del Pettigrew, great Western sculptors whose works appear in collections and museums everywhere. We first met when I sold art for the former Paint Horse Gallery in Breck.

We chat a bit and then I meet someone who mesmerizes me. I collect Western art and fortunately, this particular occurrence doesn't happen often. For years, I've admired Martha's amazing small sculptures of native women, but never could afford the plunge (can't afford it now, but did it anyway). This particular strong little woman holds me in her serene gaze.

Have to have her, but sagely decide to think about it for a while. Can't get her out of my head, so I go back later and we work out a payment plan. All of Martha's little women have a name, but so far I don't know hers. The artist gives me her book about her sculptures and dashes off a few lines in the front.

Del helps me carry her to the van. Remember - bag of flour, coffee, and planner? Once she's safely padded into the seat in the back and Martha's hubby and I say our good-byes, I decide to see what Martha wrote.

Simply - "I know you'll enjoy Esperanza's company for many years to come!" Her name is Esperanza - Spanish for "hope" or "expectation."

Just what a tenacious writer needs. Another eerie writerly collision with the Universe sending me what I need.

So now she sits in my prize corner behind the computer in my office. Her gaze changing its meaning from time to time. Right now she's wondering if I've gotten those 1,000 words on paper yet.

Last night I explained Esperanza to my writing buddy here in Breck. We talked about the vagaries of the writing life and weird coincidences and hung up. In a matter of minutes she called back. She'd received a request in her email inbox from an agent for a full ms on one of her mysteries after we talked about Esperanza. I went back to the sculpture. This time the gaze seemed a little smug.

I'm not going to say it, but you know what I'm thinking. Esperanza.