Stephen King has said that when people ask him where he gets his stories, he tells them about a factory somewhere in Oklahoma. Jennifer Crusie talks about the "girls in the basement" sending up ideas. Other people also refer to girls in the basement--maybe even before I heard Ms. Crusie do it. Some call it the "collective unconscious" or "the well."
I have a swamp. It bubbles and oozes. There are alligators. Things rot in there. They ferment. And every so often, something will come bubbling up to the top. I grab it out with this hook thingie and look it over. Sometimes it's ready. Sometimes I have to toss it back in the swamp to bubble some more. Sometimes I even have to jump up and down on it to make it go back under because I don't have time right now for whatever it is under all that ooze.
Yes, I realize this is kind of an icky metaphor for my subconscious, and that I am probably strange to visualize it this way. But hey, I'm a writer. (And I write that weird fantasy stuff.)
What about you? Where do you get your stories? A factory? A basement? A swamp? Or someplace else, perchance? Or are you more normal than some of us and haven't ever seen what the place looks like...?