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Sexy ideas come to me at the weirdest times. Yesterday, for instance, I was sitting in the waiting room of a pediatric cardiology practice, filling out forms before kiddo’s cardiac study, and I caught sight of two of the receptionists sharing a look. I though, huh, now that’s interesting. Later, during the trip home from Austin, that idea started to percolate and become a short story I’ll be writing later today.

Inspiration is everywhere. I know writers who scour news stories for book ideas and others who have taken a seed of an idea from a favorite film or TV show and nurtured it into a series of books. Heck, look at 50 Shades, right? From fan fiction to filing off the serial numbers to the New York Times Bestseller list!

Sometimes I’ll log on to stock photo sites like Fotolia and type in a couple of keywords. Scanning sexy photos is a good way to spark some ideas. Like this guy? What’s going on here? Is he sad? Overwhelmed by love? Overwhelmed by loss? Is he exhausted? Why? Or maybe he’s just a sexy bastard who makes extra cash on the side by posing for steamy photos taken by his photographer friend…who has a secret crush…and…and…

(c) Margarita Borodina

See what I did there? One simple photo. A dozen different ideas and one that would actually make a pretty nifty (and super sexy!) short story.

I think staying open to possibilities is key. I like to let my mind wander. I love thinking about the what-ifs and playing around with possible outcomes. Sure, a lot of times the stories don’t work or I can’t figure out a way to make the plot come together–and that’s okay. Sometimes the stories that don’t work teach me more about the craft of writing than the ones that do.

And that’s my writing tip for the day!

*Photo purchased from Fotolia*