I've discovered a pleasant bonus to my Story Seedlings blog. By doing little exercises in story creation more frequently, and even if I don't actually write a story based on anything in that blog, practice, while not making the process perfect, is certainly making it easier.
So it strikes me that this sort of exercise could be beneficial to every writer. If you're not interested in historicals, what about using advice columns in your local paper as a source of story ideas? Or The Ethicist columns in the New York Times Sunday magazine. Every letter there comes with an internal conflict. And does that column "Can this marriage be saved?" still exist? Even if you only do this once a week, I think it'll help crease the wheels of the story-developing portion of your imagination.
In other exciting news, THE VISCOUNT'S KISS doesn't need any revisions. Whoo hoo! Waiting for word on a completed manuscript is always like holding your breath.
Another whoo hoo: stepped on the scale yesterday and - weeee! - 138.6! The Treadmill of Power does it again. And giving up the cola seems to have almost immediate effect.