I thought I'd talk a bit about what inspires me and how that informs my practice.
For me it's all about the words and ideas of a thing. I love to read and find the way it allows the imagination to run free incredibly liberating. In my imagination nothing is wrong. The rules of physics happen somewhere else. This gives me a place to explore all sorts of things that may not be realistic but are none the less exciting and inspiring. That's not to say that my work looks like fantastical beasts that breathe strings of notes which are magically synthesised by beetles in the way RNA codes for protein (now there's a thought), but it may start there.
Sometimes the words are much more simple. For example - the Beyond the Fat Lady series is based on a password and the events that surround it in the book. A shawl I'm working on is based on an exclamation "The Temple and The Arch" from one of my favourite books. (Geek points to anyone who recognises it.).
I've found the best thing to do with these words and ideas is to sit with them a while. Not necessarily to ponder them night and day but to hold them gently in my mind whilst I get on with other things. Kneading bread is incredibly useful as a meditative act that allows my mind to drift but it can be all manner of "distracting activities" that gives me space to think without actually thinking. The solution that presents itself is usually how best to proceed. What kind of project it will be. How it may start to take shape. What techniques I may want to use.
Then the next step begins.