Busy Critters

Me? I’m no more busy than usual (which isn’t trivial, but…). My pets, on the other hand, have been doing all sorts of things this week.

My turtle Sand Dollar has been laying eggs. Sand Dollar is fifteen years old, and has been with us for over ten years. She’s a Red-eared Slider, which typically start laying eggs once they’re about five inches long (shell). She was that big around eight years ago and has been nine inches long for years, but I’ve never seen eggs until this week.

She has exhibited egg-laying behavior plenty of times–basking a lot, digging with her hind legs, and acting like she’s trying to get out of the basking enclosure on top of her tank. I’ve put her in a nest box and taken her outside. I took my laptop and worked on our front porch a couple weeks ago, and Sand Dollar acted like she was laying, but four hours later, no eggs. I guess they could’ve fallen down the snake hole she was sitting over, who knows!

So the other day I was sitting at my desk doing day job work, and glanced over to see Sand Dollar nibbling at something that looked like a small, white hot dog in the bottom of her tank. An egg! Or more like two or three fused together, for it was three inches long! She had dropped four more this morning, this time normal size (slightly larger than robins’ eggs). Oh, and if anyone’s curious, I discarded them, as they wouldn’t be viable even if she hadn’t laid them in water, because Sand Dollar is a single girl. 🙂

Sand Dollar sleeping (and probably dreaming of food)

My gerbils have also been busy. I’ve had gerbils for years, but just recently joined a Facebook group about them. Typically they do best in pairs, but one of my sweet little guys died in November (he was old and had cancer), leaving his brother alone. My other gerbil, a little rescue gir,l has always been by herself. I don’t put them together because I don’t want to wind up with twenty in three or four months (yes, that has happened before). 😀 After lurking in the Facebook group, I realized that my babies sleep a lot because they don’t have enough to do, especially being alone. So I bought tank toppers, and upgraded them from studio apartments to townhouses! This will enable them to collect more bedding below and dig and burrow, which is what gerbils do. Upstairs is for the wheel, eating, and of course, getting treats (which my boy Digger has already figured out). I also got some wooden toys and houses for them, but those haven’t come yet. So, more on the gerbils next week.

As for me and my husband, we did get out yesterday for a nice motorcycle ride. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is still closed… except for Foothills Parkway. Seeing it has been on my bucket list since we started looking at land here almost four years ago, and we finally drove it in the truck a couple weeks ago, just to get out. It was even more fun on a motorcycle, and the views did not disappoint! Yesterday, we talked to a family (from six feet away, of course) who had lived in the area all their lives, and this was the first time they’d seen it. Definitely worthwhile, and something else to share with guests once they can come visit!

One of many fantastic views from a scenic overlook on the Foothills Parkway

What I’ve Been Reading

Finding the Perfect Mate by Stacy McKitrick is the latest in her Bitten by Love vampire romance series. I love this series because her heroes aren’t super dark and broody, but more like regular guys who have some special abilities (and limitations) to contend with–guys you’d like to spend time with. This book is about Perry, who appears in most of the other books as the snarky, irreverent sidekick, and one of the more entertaining characters. Glad he finally got his own story! And now I’m wondering who will be in the next, which I’m definitely looking forward to. Highly recommended!

What I’ve Been Writing


My goal last week was to spend at least 1/2 hour, five days, working back through the book to work in the changes needed after my outlining and notes. I only hit four days, and only added about 500 words, though that’s partly because I also cut a lot. But the good news is I figured out what the story needs, which just outlining and taking notes didn’t tell me: there are not enough scenes in the main heroine’s point of view. Rewriting one scene should fix that (I hope). So my goal is to do that, and then continue with cycling back to do the changes, spending at least 1/2 hour on it for at least five days.

I did meet my learning goal of completing week 5 of my online workshop. I also did some reading about copyright, but this is getting long, so I’ll summarize what I learned next week.

What about you–do you have any pets? If so, do they make you feel like a slacker, or are they like my dogs, and you’re super productive in comparison? 😀 Have you read any good books lately? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing-related or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Friends, Fun, and FREE!

I seem to be leaning toward a “blog on Wednesday” rather than Sunday lately, so let’s go with it. Sundays have been busy of late, so that’s the main thing. This past Sunday, I worked on formatting a print book for a friend, and by the time I finished, it was pretty late and I didn’t feel like blogging. The print book turned out nice, though!

That was the last of several days in a row devoted to friends–a good thing!

Mondays and Tuesdays are usually pretty quiet around here. Mondays, in particular, I spend most of the evening doing bookkeeping for my husband’s small business. Tuesday is for catching up other things, and maybe some writing!

Last week’s friend activities began with a special, four-legged friend in need–and no, not my dog Isis. No, this time it was another of our critters who needed attention–as in, a visit to the vet, for Sanddollar, our turtle.

SanddollarSanddollar is a Red-eared Slider, an aquatic turtle. She came to us six years ago in the form of a request to pet-sit, for one of my daughter’s friends.

The turtle was surprisingly inquisitive and interested in whatever we were doing when around her container, and DD and I quickly grew fond of her. At the time, she was maybe four inches long, and arrived in a plastic container barely large enough to turn around in. DH and I thought, “that can’t be right,” and did some research on the ‘net. It turned out Sanddollar needed a 40 gallon aquarium! Not to mention lights and a platform on which to bask. It also turned out that DD’s friend wasn’t really that into the turtle anymore, so the turtle stayed. She is an enthusiastic eater, and often swims to the side of the tank when someone comes in the room, and splashes to get our attention (and hopefully, a snack).

Except that for the past couple of months, her appetite has been diminishing, to the point where she hadn’t eaten anything–even her turtle pellets–for a week. She was also doing nothing but bask–which she’s always loved to do, but not to the point where she even slept on her basking platform. Reptiles can go a long time between meals, so in itself this wasn’t a big deal–but this wasn’t like Sanddollar.

So to the vet we went, where Sanddollar got poked, prodded, x-rayed, and injected with vitamins and antibiotics. Let me tell you, that was one ticked-off turtle! But we also went home with a new bag of a different brand of turtle pellets, and when we dropped some in Sanddollar’s tank a few hours later, she ate! And was also back to being her more active and curious self.

Oh, and I learned something new–how to give a turtle a shot! She needs a full course of antibiotics, so every three days, DD has to hold her and restrain her from biting (plastic cup works really well here), while I pry the turtle’s front leg out and give her the shot. Definitely a bit tricky!

The next few days were more standard fun with friends. I saw my writing group on Saturday, and then had one of my best friends from high school over for dinner. Then on Sunday, one of my best friends from college came over and went to lunch with us. The rest of the day was spent formatting that print book, for a good writing friend.

And now for the FREE: To spur interest in my Saturn Society books, my publisher has made the ebook version of Time’s Enemy, the first in the series, FREE on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and Google Play Books. Click the Buy Now button below for links. Barnes and Noble wasn’t yet free last time I checked, but will be soon. So if you’ve thought about trying my series (or maybe you are now? :D), now’s a great time to give it a read!

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Time’s Enemy

Saturn Society Book 1

ISBN: 978-0983909729

One unwanted gift.
Tony Solomon never wanted to be a time traveler. But a brush with death leaves him a time traveler—and an unwilling initiate in the Saturn Society, a secret society of those with his ability.

1913 Flood, Dayton OHOne great wrong.
Tony vows to use his gift to prevent his daughter’s murder—if he could figure out how. Never mind that this violates the Society’s highest law, branding him an Enemy for a crime he has yet to commit. Determined to thwart the Society, he seeks help from Charlotte, the woman whose life he saved decades before he was born.

One chance to make things right…
Tony jumps to 1933 in search of answers, but lands on the wrong side of the Society, a fugitive on the run. Thrilled, yet terrified to see her childhood hero, Charlotte offers him sanctuary…and unexpected love. But Charlotte hides a terrible secret: loyal to the Society, she must bring to justice those who manipulate time for their own gain. By sheltering Tony, she faces a terrible choice: condemn the man she loves and to whom she owes her life, or deny her deepest convictions by helping him escape, and risk sharing his sentence.

Not your typical time travel romance, Time’s Enemy creates a wonderful blend of romance and science fiction, an exciting adventure through time rich in action, romance, and history.

Smiths-Monthly-Cover-10-webWhat I read this week: Smith’s Monthly #10 by Dean Wesley Smith. I read the short stories and serial segments last week, and this week, read the novel, Heaven Painted as a Poker Chip. It’s a story about ghosts, with a really unique treatment of the ghosts and their abilities. It also had next to nothing to do with poker (not a bad thing for me), other than it was mostly set in Las Vegas. This story is also available standalone. I’m really looking forward to reading more in the series. Highly recommended!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I finished the outline for the new novella, so that’s a win! For this week, the plan is to go through the beta readers’ notes on my upcoming WIP, and get the revisions made from at least one of them, preferably more.

What about you–what kind of pets do you have, and do you have any interesting stories to share? Learned anything new this week? Can you imagine giving a shot to a turtle? O.o  How are you doing on whatever goals you may have, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.