Okay maybe not so much the dirigibles. I often find myself inspired by others work, and the most inane things can spark my imagination. The other day it was sitting in a restaurant and I was tired. Somehow my mind slipped to what nightmares are made from (it had been a long day) and walla a new story was born.
While my inspirations come from many sources, I try to read as much in my favored genre as possible. Mostly fantasy. Thus dragons and demons are an intense part of my imagination. Some of my favorite books include these, but I would have to say it was the book Dragon's Milk that really started me down this path of writing. I read that book at least a dozen times in my early teenage years, and was sadly disappointed once when I relaized my favorite part of the book wasn't actually in said book. It was so vivid that I must have dreamed it, but it was truly the best part of the whole story. It wasn't long after that I wrote my first novel. (One which will never see the light of day again, but it was a start).
My favorite authors always paint the scenes in their stories with such incredible precision that I can see every aspect of the world. I aspire to be like that, and am grateful I've had the chance to meet a few of the authors I admire so much. Their advice has been invaluable, and I look forward to the day that I can do the same for others, inspiring them to reach for their dreams as these people have made me reach for mine.