Tonight I opened the garage door on the way to run an errand, and walked into a February moment: the sudden way the chill air, absolutely becalmed but entering the space like a physical presence, touched my exposed face; the accompanying specific scent of below-freezing night, a smell I had never experienced before I left California; the complete blue-black clarity of a rare, clear winter sky with vibrant pinpoints of stars; the perfect imperfection of a waning gibbous moon.
My breath puffed out in trailing clouds, and I remembered a little snippet of story that apparently didn't want to be forgotten or discarded. I'd worked on it earlier, but it had already gotten mired in mawkish sentimentality and was headed for the Graveyard of Bad Ideas. February has made me reconsider. Maybe it's worth going back to the basic concept, and spinning the story in a different direction.