Nothing like a camping trip to restore the muse, and remind you of the pros and cons of the activity. For example, when you're camping:
1. Sleeping late is not an option. A tent (and a pop-up) becomes a sauna once the sun clears the trees, especially in Illinois in August.
2. No matter how much bug spray you apply, mosquitoes will find the one spot you couldn't reach, and feast on it all night.
3. Two retrievers in a camper is doable, unless they're wet from a day at the beach, or one--like Kate DiCamillo's Winn Dixie--has a pathological fear of thunderstorms.
4. You're reminded that stars do still shine in the night sky. Other than the North star, Big Dipper, and Orion's belt, we rarely see the stars anymore from our Chicago suburb in the Midwest. The night sky from our campsite was another matter. Shooting stars lit the sky each night we camped, their tails trailing behind them like shimmering ribbons. And we saw so many satellites crossing this way and that I seriously wonder how they manage not to collide on any given night.
5. Rain in a pop-up is a lot less soggy than a tent.