Then I remember the advice given by a presenter, Karen Hoover, at a conference. Inspiration is all around you if you look for it.
So, here's a few things that came up lately that may end up in my books somewhere along the way. If not, they're just fun anecdotes.
I stood in line at the dollar store to pay for birthday party favors, when I noticed a spider crawling along the gum rack in front of me. I took off my shoe, killed the spider, and replaced my shoe. I looked up at the cashier, the woman ahead of me completing her purchase and the woman behind me, who had now taken a large step backward. I said one simple word of explanation, "Spider," and all three women breathed a sigh of relief, that I wasn't crazy (still debatable;)). That can go in a book.
Walking my daughter through New York City for the first time, (There's lots of fantastic ideas to be had whenever you introduce someone to a place or an activity for the first time.) she asked about the homeless man begging on the subway, the rats on the subway, and the impromptu street performance while we ate a pretzel at Union Square. Oh, and she saw Elsa from Frozen get on a bus. Any of these can go in a book.
The other day I was listening to a song (a country one about This Ain't My Mamma's Broken Heart or whatever the actual title is) and I thought, there's a whole story I could write about a woman (the mother) who is a true Southern Lady and how she doesn't show the cracks in her soul when her husband dies and how that affects her whole family.
Ideas can be found as I walk around my neighborhood, listen to music, go through the mundane housekeeping tasks, on outings with my family, at rehearsals for the musical I'm in this summer, waiting in the line at the store, etc. The possibilities are endless. They are everywhere, if I just open my eyes to see them.
My task is to learn to strip away my tunnel vision and see them. This is made easier by the simple fact that my kids are old enough to not cause me infant/toddler sleep deprivation. Wait until I get that from their teenage years!
Of course, those will be rich idea years too. Think of all the stuff they might do that could be immortalized (to their ever-living embarrassment) in a book.
Now, please excuse me while I go fold a load of laundry and think up the next scene for my book.
Where do you find your ideas? What will you see/do/run into today that could jump start your creativity?