The main place where I am passionate about my writing is at my computer keyboard. The rest of the time I'm just another human. I have hopes, fears, aspirations, all that stuff. And if I shut up and listen (a skill I am still learning) I can listen to other people express their hopes, fears, aspirations, and stuff. Some of it is source material: how can it not be? But most of the time, it's just humanity.
Yes, I am interested in fairies and starships and aliens and strange new worlds. However I am also interested in what happens to human beings when we encounter fairies and starships and aliens and strange new worlds. And one more thing, I am not interested in stories about people hurting each other. I'm more inspired by stories about people building things, growing, solving problems, and helping each other.
Because ultimately, regardless of time or place, whether the setting is in ancient Rome or Tomorrowland, whether we're in Pompeii or Penticton or Montreal or Melbourne - all we have is each other. All we have are the choices we make in how we're going to deal with each other.
Of course it's exciting to fly to Jupiter, or climb to the top of Everest, or dive to the bottom of the ocean. But afterwards we still have to come back to the rest of the world and the people in it. Sometimes that's frustrating because humans really are the strangest things on Earth.
But the rest of the time, when I shut up and listen, humans are also the most wonderful.