One of the most valuable things a writer can do with other trusted writer friends, especially those who know your work, is to bounce ideas off them and do a little talking about the projects in process. Some people say that talking too much about a writing project drains the needed energy one has to have to actually WRITE it, and to a point I agree with this, but there is absolutely a place for casting the seeds of ideas out and letting your writer friends help you water them to see what sprouts.
I'm editing one of the Claire novels right now, and am on the third full pass through it, looking at structural issues and trying to sort out the best way to lay out the book.
[ As is the way of the writing life on November Hill, as I was typing this post the thunderstorm I've been watching rolled in quite suddenly and I had to leap up, shove my feet into muck boots, and dash to the barn to let the herd in. There's nothing like a quick stall-by-stall muck, bringing a bale of hay into the feed room to feed from during the rainy day ahead, topping off water buckets, and listening to whinnies from the shelter as the equines wait to be let in! All while the winds whip up and the thunder cracks and you know the rain is going to fall very soon. ]
But now I'm safe in the house again and back to thinking about writing and writer friends and ideas.
I'm also working on a special project for the Magical Pony School books.
And I'm keeping my hand in with short pieces of fiction and nonfiction these days. As I was describing the piece I'm working on in an effort to entice a certain literary journal, my friend said something about that being the prelude to a novel. She said the words, I stopped and thought about them, and that little seed she cast out on the table between us got watered as we talked it over. By the time I left I had written it down, expanded on it, and did the same again when I got home. It definitely sprouted.
The discourse, the banter, is what led to that sprouting. I highly recommend it. Whether you're a writer or a fine artist or a photographer or a horsewoman needing inspiration, make a lunch date with a like-minded friend and see what happens!