Sometimes I awake in the middle of the night with an idea for a short story, a novel or an article that cries out to be written. I reach for the pad and pen on my bedside table while trying not to wake my husband and--in the dark--scrawl down the idea in what will turn out to be partially unreadable. In the morning, it will either be torn out off the pad or, if the thought holds up in the light of day, carried to my computer
Then, sometimes, an image of the school bully may appear--and she's perfect for the antagonist in a novel I'm planning to write. A photograph of my grandmother inspires the elderly lady in a short story. Art and sculpture in theMetropolitan Museum of Art lets me travel back in time to another place and other beliefs. Travel frees my mind and opens it to the world's pleasures and pain. Discussions and disagreements make me think and sometimes change and broaden my opinions and misconceptions leading to another piece, another story, another novel.
Where do you discover and mine your ideas?