Where do I get my short story ideas from? Mainly I just make them up. But once in a while I'll find something like this, an item in my local newspaper.
What makes this the germ of a good story? For me, it's not the fact that this arch criminal was trying to escape the police in a kayak, or that his desire to start a new life in France was so spontaneously random. No, it's the fact that he was wearing a child's life jacket.