Does anyone remember that old commercial with the voice of Mother Nature? I don't remember what they were advertising, only that her command resonated with me. After I share my clash with Mother Nature, the one that made it into PRIMAL OBSESSION, I invite you to share yours. Two lucky sharers will will a copy of PRIMAL OBSESSION.

To prepare for writing PRIMAL OBSESSION, I signed up for a six-day canoe and camping trip in northern Maine, along with my husband, three strangers, and a Maine guide. Even though I live in Maine where people hunt moose and have wilderness camps, my usual idea of a vacation is a hotel with a pool and a nice restaurant and beach. So not being an outdoorsy kind of person, I hoped the scenery and wilderness experience would be rewarding enough to make up for the grueling paddling and sleeping on the ground. I was right but there were times I wasn't sure.

Here's my story. On the second day of our trip, the guide, named Al, taught us compass and direction-finding skills. To put those into practice, we embarked on a "bushwhack," sometimes called orienteering. We were divided into two groups. The first group was to paddle a canoe around a small island cear our campsite to meet up with the second group at a designated beach. The second group, Al, the dh and moi, were to hike across the island to meet them.

Oookay, but none of us--including Al--counted on Mother Nature's tricks. The island was a maze. No amount of compass use headed us in the right direction because at every turn, brambles, boulders, or deadfall--or all three--headed us off another way. After three hours of a hike that was supposed to take one hour, we made it to the shore. Only it wasn't the beach where we were supposed to be. The dh and I sat down, finally, and Al hiked around through a marsh in search of our compatriots. An hour later, he appeared in an outboard driven by a park ranger. Rescue!

We learned that the other three campers had met with strong headwinds and had returned to their starting point. No one made it through the bushwhack successfully. It was exhaused and frustrated band that paddled back to the campsite.

So now, what's your tale of woe in Mother Nature? Come on, give. You know you have one.