In my case, since I write and blog, my imagination looks at all the potential "what ifs" for story ideas. And two years ago, Halloween week brought a plethora of "what ifs" for story ideas, and one of those story ideas stayed in my head long enough for me to flesh it out and write a nifty story.
The basis of the idea was pretty simple. I went grocery shopping at a now defunct (for Connecticut that is) grocery store and saw a female cashier dressed up as a cat, complete with whiskers, ears and a tail. The image stuck when I got home, so I decided to sit down and write a story based on that image. Four days later, I finished up the story while I was manning the door at our house for Halloween.
I proceeded to spend the next year and a half (2009 thru early 2011), tweaking and entering the story in the various writing contests I happened to come across. Eventually I changed tactics and started submitting it to a few magazines, partially for the idea of trying to build up some publishing credits while I was submitting Line 21, and partially to see if I could find someone else besides the fantastic e-zine Beat To A Pulp to publish a story of mine.
Success came for the story in June of this year when The Cynic Magazine agreed to publish my story entitled "Red Stripe", of which the link can be found near the top of the front page of this blog.
So this is why Halloween is my favorite holiday: from the simple observation of a young lady dressed up like a cat, came a story about a day in the life of a punk rock singer, which in turn became my second commercially published short story.
However, for those of you who might want a better visual for Halloween, give this video a shot.