Gloria Oliver took a picture for me of a tree in a park in Portland, OR. That particular tree seemed to have an opening that resembled a maw in its base – and where would that maw lead to (unless it really is a mouth on a particularly hungry and evil tree?
So a recent trip to New Zealand and Australia for two science fiction conventions (Au Contraire and Aussiecon/Worldcon) recently resulted in the usual – more pictures of trees. And some rocks.
But really, who could resist taking a picture of the path (in a nature reserve called Zealandia) winding between two trees? Not I. One of my friends pointed out that it’s similar to a scene in The Crystal Throne – the hidden entrance to an elf village. But I was getting several other story ideas when I saw it. Time will tell which ones will win out.
The whole length of pebbled beach and the nearby cliff face is all gray but yet just a bit off shore is a collection of red rocks. There’s a story idea there that will probably be moved to an alien planet.
The fallen tree supported by the big branches of the second tree suggested one idea. However, the green of the orchids growing along the fallen tree resembled a garden that some arboral or avian species could use.
So, when I'm asked 'Where do you get your ideas?', there are times when I can point to a picture. And then I'll get stranger looks than usual.