I've just returned from visiting family in Arizona. My Indiana trees and grass were replaced with cactus and sand. My temperatures in the teens were upped to the forties. And my surrounding farmland morphed into small distant mountain ranges.
Sometimes if I'm stuck in a writing rut, it helps to change my perspective by changing my location for a while. Talking to different people, admiring various landscapes, and experiencing new things all force my mind to entertain new thoughts. Thoughts that, although initially not geared toward story ideas, end up that way none the less. And I found that being away from my computer and in essence, my work in progress romance novel, has given me fresh story ideas and a renewed energy to kick myself out of my writing rut.
Guess a vacation turned out to be more than just a vacation after all.