Ten Things To Help Spark Ideas
Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.
Seeing = writing: The Creativity Portal offers 365 picture prompts to inspire you.
Sometimes I key in a descriptive word and watch as Henry Solaass's Dreamlines paints abstract images based on matching images it pulls from the internet.
Frigtool (Flickr random image generating tool) allows you to search for specific images based on keywords; I put in "rain" and got this spooky shot of lightning against a pink (eep!) sky.
Vickie Britton's article Generating Story Ideas ~ Tips on Finding Great Ideas for a Short Story or Novel has some practical tips, including one I loved about starting your own X-Files (if I ever did, mine would be really, really weird.)
Spin the virtual Idea Generator and three random words to nudge your muse.
If you don't mind flirting with infectious ideas, Language is a Virus has an entire page of creative writing widgets for you to play with (I love the Poem Engine.)
Mangle allows you to "View the latest 25 pictures uploaded to Livejournal.com. Note that ANY picture can be uploaded to Livejournal. Livejournal is not moderated or censored in anyway, so some images might be may NOT safe for work!" You also get links to the LJ where the image is posted. This works, too; I gave it a whirl and got this very cool photo of a storm from Ravenstar's LJ, which reminded me to do a bit more sky description in Rain Lashed.
Pick any one of the 329 writing prompts on this page to jumpstart your creative batteries.
The Northern Nevada Writing Project has an entire site devoted to writing inspiration, Writing Fix, which offers a variety of prompts to help with journaling, blogging, story telling and more. I especially like the Writing Prompts for the Left Brain section, which speaks to those of us who like to work with structure and logic (but for those of you who need a fix of random chaotic seredipity, there's a right-brainedsection, too.)
You can get a download link to the lite version of Write Sparks software by e-mailing your first name and addy on the web form here.