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On writing—'Where do your ideas come from?'

From the May 2002 issue of The Christian Science Journal

One of the trickiest questions for any writer is, "Where do you get your ideas?" Even articulate authors can stammer when this one comes, as it surely will—whether it's at a book-singing event, a question-and-answer session in a writing workshop, or at a dinner party in a good friend's home. There are various pat answers one can give, all of differing lengths and levels of wit.