Today’s story was another in this seemingly endless series of stories written to illuminate my novel’s characters backstories. Rather than use one of the provided prompts, I was inspired by a conversation I overheard on the bus yesterday. That led me to think about some of the other wonderful places to capture story ideas. These days, I mostly bike or walk (because of where I am going and the distances involved) and, although I sometimes see things that I can store away for later pondering, they tend to be moments, rather than more substantial interactions. The conversation yesterday on the bus was definitely sustained!I find, although it can definitely become a timesuck and one has to consider ethical issues (although, really, I find that ‘story ideas’ are only the merest of starting points and don’t bear much resemblance to the actual story in the end), that discussion boards or other web-based forums are a great source of ideas. Some forums are more compelling than others, of course, but it is a window into people’s thoughts and how they choose to present themselves.I also, being more than a little bit of an introvert, find parties and other social events good opportunities to observe. Since I am more likely than not hanging back from the crowd, I have the chance to consider the setting, the situation and the types of people involved.Often, what sticks with me is not an individual, it is an idea or a feeling or just something that really bothers me — a discordant set of beliefs, perhaps, or a perception of reality that seems utterly flawed.So.