Where do I get my ideas?

I remember reading once that most of Stephen King's ideas for his stories came from his dreams.  My first thought was, if I had his dreams I would never want to sleep.  That got me wondering where other authors came up with their ideas for their stories.  And if I wondered that about other authors, some day someone might want to know the same about me.

So I'll tell you.

With The Day the Ivy Fell, it began with the title.  I don't remember exactly how it happened, but I was talking with my sister (she's been the catalyst for several of my stories).  Somehow the words the day the ivy fell came up and I built the story around that.

Secondhand Keys was nearly identical.  We were sitting at Culver's for our Sunday lunch with our father and again Karen was talking about secondhand keys.  While she was talking about keys that open doors, the first image that came to my head was a used piano, and a door was opened to a new story built around the concept of a beautiful old piano.

My Fisher Of Men series, started at work.  We received an interoffice envelope with Fisher Ertl written on it.  (Fisher is the name of the building I work in and Ertl is the last name of our current superintendent)  I said to my co-work that it sounded like the name of a character in a book.  And Father Fisher Ertl was born that very moment.

For me anything can be inspiration.  Even the destination of an interoffice envelope.

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