Disclaimer - If you find any grammatical errors or misspelled words and it bothers you...breathe and then go get the help you need. I am a human being, not a machine. I make mistakes and so do you. Enjoy! :D

Okay it has come to my attention that I have not written in my blog for some time now. According to my astrological calculations, over one month...unacceptable. I know everyone is just dying to hear what I have to say, right?....*insert sounds of crickets* Well at least the crickets will listen then.
    Thought I would take a moment to just talk about ideas for writing. The question I get asked, more often than not, is "Where do you come up with all of this stuff?" ( aka, books ideas ) The question seems simple enough, but unfortunately there is no simple answer...if a definite one at all. I blame it on my over-active imagination. When I was young I remember fighting off invisible monsters and going on adventures in my own backyard. I remember being obsessed with dinosaurs, fighting hordes of tyrannosaurs and other meat-eaters off with fake guns and swords in my grandma's backyard for hours on end...go ahead and laugh, I'd still do it if it didn't draw so many weird stares from people. I think all children have imaginations like this, well at least I hope they do, all that video game playing nowadays has probably stunted some of that creative time consumption...but I digress. But I feel my imagination probably was stretching the limits of "normal" for that time in my life, I still think it does even today.
     An over-active imagination and the ideas you pull from it are almost as much as a gift as they are a curse. I swear to you for every book I finish, 5 ideas have already manifested for new books in the time frame I spent writing the one. It never seems to stop. Ideas for new characters, settings, story lines, they emerge almost every single day of my life. Then I have to take the time to write them down, which is something any writer should do. If you get an idea for a character, general story idea, or even something as seemingly insignificant as a quirky conversation between 2 characters, WRITE IT DOWN. I have made the mistake too often in the past of imagining story elements that I simply figured I would remember at a later time and "poof" they are gone just like that. So don't be lazy like that, carry a notebook with you or type that idea down in your smartphone notepad, you'll be glad you did. Again, I don't care how insignificant the idea seems. I have post-it notes lying around with a character's name and then just one sentence of dialogue he/she spoke that just popped up in my head and I thought "I need to write this down."
    The problem with most of my ideas is they are just random things that sometimes have nowhere to be placed at the time of their inception. It is then up to me to, sort of, lay them out like a jigsaw puzzle and figure out in what story, and at what part, they go in. Though this is discussed in the preface of "Catahoula" I remember doing research for "Kentucky Moon" I had went out a purchased a dog breed book. While taking notes on hound dogs I came across the Catahoula Leopard Dog. I was absolutely taken aback by that breed. The roughness, beauty, and the breed's overall obscurity to the general public is what drew me in so much. And just like that, I started imagining this Walt Disneyish story, with an animated motif. A Catahoula Leopard Dog named Jasper, on the road trying to find a home in the swamps of Louisiana.  And just like that, another story was born by doing nothing but simple research for a current work at that time.
    It is as insane as it is fantastic when and where you will come up with stories. I still do not, and will never, fully understand where all of this stuff comes from. When I really sit down an dwell on the genesis of every story I have done and every story that will be done by me, it is almost eerie. The way they end up falling into place, all those misplaced ideas and characters. Where do they really come from? Why are there so many? Why will they not stop? I am sure some writer's would be over the moon with problems like this. Again, it feels like a curse and a blessing rolled into one. I just picture the inside of my head in sections, the largest one being a factory that dishes out nothing but ideas for fiction writing. Each idea falls off the conveyor belt onto the floor and I am standing there trying to put all of them together while the idea machine itself never turns off, just continually spits these story elements out with no end.
    So what sort of advice can I give to someone looking for inspiration for a story? Well, I can suggest this...the lion's share of ideas that come to me are while I listen to music. If it was not for music I doubt I would have created any books for people to read. The thought of a world without music is...well, unthinkable. Music is tied to us humans on some otherworldly level that I can not even begin to comprehend. It makes us happy, sad, angry, inspired. It makes us laugh, cry, hope, smile, gives us chills, and makes us despair. It hand dips us into a spectral caldron of emotions that few things on this earth can mimic. I say, with little doubt, that music has played some part in curing diseases, ending wars, and creating life. In short, it is "omnipotent candy you insert into your ear to feed the soul itself". I take it I need not go into much further detail as to why music helps me with my writing. If you don't already agree with me on this, just take some time to listen to some of your favorite tunes and just let your mind go...just see where it takes you. Some of my favorite places to listen to music for inspiration are driving in the car or while taking a shower, but honestly anywhere where you are by yourself works well.
  Another place where you can possibly pull ideas from is the night itself. Dreams and nightmares can play a pivotal role in seeking out material for writing. Let's not kid ourselves, the dream realm is a place rife with interesting settings and absolute insanity...what better place to get inspired and pick the fruits of your subconscious and dine on them. Just remember to write those crazy ideas down before you get too awake. For some reason or other the mind seems to slowly erase the remembrance of your dreams as the day progresses, so don't dawdle...yes I just used the word dawdle in 2013.
Though the suggestion of dream inspired ideas is something I admittedly do not use much myself, it may work very well for some...music is definitely my ultimate, be all-end all muse for writing.
 Well I hope someone, somewhere got something out of this drivel. The plain fact of the matter is I can't really tell anyone how or why these ideas for stories come to me, they are simply "just there". Unfortunately with that said, I would find it a near impossibility to properly teach someone "how to come up with story ideas". Maybe some of us are born with overactive portions of our brain ( i.e neocortex, thalamus, dipery doomus, twinkie biscuit ) okay those last 2 are not parts of the brain...but they should be. Perhaps ideas are just given to us by a higher power, or maybe we are seeing into other dimensions and pulling pieces back with us. The bottom line? No one knows for sure why some of us can come up with a thousand stories and the next can hardly come up with one...so let's just relax and enjoy those stories while we still can.