Out of the blue I started writing a story about a fictional takeover of a wildlife refuge. Before I knew it, I'd written 2500 words, and they were good.

What the Hell? Where did that come from? I still have to finish "The Toad King." I have a thriller to write!

Wrestled with the concept last night, and realized that this could be the thriller I was looking for. Just change it slightly--make it about the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, which I've been to and can visit again.

Add a murder or two, and I've got myself a thriller.

It's a political mindfield, but I figure I can have both viewpoints, (which will probably offend everyone.)

I think a really pleasing plot turn would be to have both the occupiers and the occupied banning together to fight an outside threat. Maybe some foreign terrorists who tries to take advantage of the situation. Something like that.

Or simply, like I said, some murders. (Or maybe both scenarios, if it isn't too much.)

Lots of possibilities, but I like the premise.

Not sure how I'm going to make my outdoor journalist character the main protagonist, but he can be part of the mix. (I want to build a series around a single hero.)

I still like the other ideas I had for a thriller, but those ideas are still out there.

My subconscious obviously wants to work on this first.

Linda says, "Enough with the foreign terrorists already."

I agree. Maybe a more extreme faction takes over, starts threatening to kill the rangers, who have stayed behind to protect the place.