Can you force story ideas?

Sometimes story ideas seem to blossom out of the ether. One moment your mind is wondering about the to-dos of daily life and the next you have an idea for a story that seems complete from beginning to end. Nice. Sweeeeeeeet!  But what happens when these ideas just...

How to get from the real world to a story idea?

The short story is a fiction microcosm. A Petri dish where all the elements of a good read, from story idea to the afterglow you get when it stays with you, are present, but in small pieces. As part of my own exploration into that Petri dish, I’m reading a lot...