I'm always in search of possible story elements. Sometimes it's faces or behaviors that I observe. Other times it's towns or cities. But there's also what I call "Story Houses." These are houses that when I look at them, give me the impression of a story that might exist within its walls. I can almost see and hear what characters might inhabit them. Their faces are ghosts peeking through the windows. Their voices a whispering echo. Whenever I pass one of these places, I take a picture.
On my recent road trip up to Maine, I encountered a few very good story houses. A couple inspired new ideas. Others seemed to fit ideas that I already had. It's always good for a writer to have a concrete image in their mind of the places their stories exist in. Sometimes passing these places is just the spark I need to fill out the picture.