Today I ended up spending an unexpected forty minutes waiting for the paperwork to be completed so I could pay for service on and retrieve the key for my main set of wheels. I wasn't even waiting for the service, which was already done. I wasn't even waiting to take the vehicle home, because I was going to do that in the evening when I had another driver to drop me off. I was just waiting for paperwork.
But even though I had already been away from home for five hours and had a couple more hours of elder care/life chores to do, I was fine. Because I can live in the moment. I can grab a moment and wring the juice right out of it.
What I did was, I read some of the dealership's back issues of Highlights. I thought, gee, maybe I could try writing some sort fiction for this thing. It would be like flashfiction for kids, wouldn't it? I would feel good if I had a short story published somewhere. It would help tide my psyche over while the book publishing world acts as if I never existed.
So I read a few back issues, as I said, and I saw this lovely little nonfiction piece about an arctic fox that had stowed away on a barge in Alaska and ended up in Seattle. An absolutely inspirational piece. It inspired in me the desire to write a short story about a human stowing away on an alien space craft. Once he arrived on the alien world and was discovered, he'd have to stay in quarantine for a while because humans often carry disease. The aliens would name him and play games with him and keep him in a nature preserve because it wouldn't be safe to release him back out into the wild.
At about that point I realized I didn't have a prayer of getting something like that published in Highlights, and I went over to the service counter to see how that paperwork was coming along.