The Fictionlets have been a lot of fun and great use for keeping my prose muscles loose and active, but they are by their nature very different from working on a novel. Granted, if you string enough of them together, they'd be novel length, but 80,000 words of 500-word micro-stories is a very different beast from a single 80,000-word story.
So as I've been bending my mind towards writing as a more primary part of my life, I've been trying to come up with ideas large enough to sustain a novel -- and I don't mind telling you, it's hard! I've come up with a couple dozen premises that would be great for short stories (and writing them down, I never throw a good idea away), but a novel requires a much deeper framework than "cellphone found embedded in 5,000-year-old volcanic rock." You need a cast, a setting, two or three meaty subplots and a theme -- and you need a plot with enough actual plot in it to fill a book.
And it's that last part is the tricky bit, for me. Sometimes I can sit down and just start banging out something and a plot will unfold in my mind, but more often than not, after having established character and setting, I then go "Uh ... then what?" and get stuck. I'm pretty solid on writing entertaining-to-read prose, but that's just the icing. I need to come up with a proper cake to put under it, and that's where the hard part of writing is, for me.
 Yes, OpenOffice is free, and so is that one from Google; but whether it's because WordPerfect is what I got my start in, or it's just a superior product, I'll leave for others to debate. I need to be working in WordPerfect to work comfortably, so Corel gets a bit more money from me. Le sigh!