I admit that I've been at this writing business for a long time and I now have to dig much harder for new ideas. One of my friends told me that's because when you first start, every idea is new and fresh. After a few years, and many books, you can't/don't want to use those ideas again -- or your editor utters the dreaded words, "This isn't working for us." This always brings up the next dreaded phrase of, "Back to the drawing board."
Non-writers often ask me, and every other writer, "Where do you get your ideas?" My response is usually, "From every possible source. Don't tell me a story you don't want to appear in a book." Quite often people will tell me their stories in hopes that I'll use them in a book. I love the How We Met type, especially from long-married couples. I sometimes use those, but always with major changes so they're unrecognizable to the source. Usually, the giver of the story doesn't read my books, anyway, so it works out.
I don't know if other writers do this, but I often see myself as the heroine in my books, even when I try to change her personality so that she's nothing like me. One author I know says she sees herself as the hero. I love imagining scenes and situations in which my characters either win or lose, then have to decide how they're going to deal with it.
This always involves a great deal of daydreaming, sometimes sitting on my patio and staring at my garden, especially the raised flowerbed that I way, way overprinted with pollinator-attracting blossoms (see above photo). Since I took this picture, the flowers have begun to wither because of the Arizona heat and the overprinting. I'll have to cut them back or pull them out and start again. Hm, sounds just like coming up with a new book idea, doesn't it?
How about you? Have any great ideas to share?