I can't tell you how many projects I've worked on, that started with something small I noticed many years earlier and then used as the basis for a story. That's what happened with my first film, After . . ., which began with a small article on urban exploring that I read in McLean's magazine in my early twenties. Several years later, I pitched the idea to a director, and it launched my career as a screenwriter.
The same is true for my latest book, Unlimited, the premise of which was inspired by a sign I saw for a radio station at a waterfowl marsh in Saskatchewan many years ago. A question entered my mind almost instantly: what if someone figured out how to hijack the radio signal and used it to launch their own pirate radio station? Originally, I conceived it as a film, but as I was looking for new adventures to include in the Milligan Creek series, it seemed like the perfect fit.
Now that Unlimited has been launched, I've turned my attention to book three in the Milligan Creek series, The Water War, the premise of which was inspired by a newspaper article in the Yorkton Enterprise newspaper that I read when I was in grade eight. That's a scan of the actual article to the left.
All that to say, if you want to be a writer, pay attention, and keep track of ideas. You never know when--or what--they'll grow into one day.