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.

I am Officially…

BD PartyOLD. Yep, that’s why I skipped posting last week. Well, not really because of that, but because my husband threw me a big party last Saturday, and I was wiped out! Not from drinking, just tired.

My husband says I don’t look old, but sometimes I feel it!

The party was a lot of fun. I said “No gifts, please” unless they were gag gifts. He also did up our garage (party area) up right, with 50 black balloons, an “old lady” cane for me. And appropriately, a tiara. 🙂

Most people respected my request, though a few brought bottles of wine. I don’t mind those, 🙂 though I don’t drink much, so they will last me a good while. But probably the best (and most creative) gift was a copy of “my” college yearbook, from one of my best friends from high school…


My friend thinks I am really old LOL

yearbook inside

…but there is my photo

I apparently knew some interesting people! – click to enlarge –

VampireWeddingWhat I’ve been reading: I was pretty tired for several days after that, so I had time to read. I read the short stories from a Smith’s Monthly, then a book I’ve been looking forward to came out in the middle of the week: A Vampire Wedding, by Stacy McKitrick. This was a fun addition for those who’ve read any of her other vampire books, especially the one where the main characters in this book met. In this book, human Sarah does not want a big wedding, but agrees to go to Vegas with a few friends because it’s important to her vampire partner. There are a lot of humorous moments with secondary characters, and some real tension with her family, with a great come-uppance in the end (plus of course, a happily-ever-after–more than one!). I highly recommend this series if you like vampire romance, but read Bite Me, I’m Yours before this one.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I finished my latest edits of the novella, and it’s now off to the copy editor! This week, I need to do a print book layout for Mythical Press, and I have a lot going on later this week, so I don’t expect to get much writing done. I’ll be happy if I get the print book done, and manage to keep up with the Business in Writing workshop I’m currently taking. Most likely, I won’t be posting here next week, but be sure to stop by the week after!

What about you–do you have any advice or tips for me, now that I’m “old”? Or perhaps any funny stories to share? Have you read any good books lately? And how are you doing on whatever goals you may have, whether writing related or not? Please share–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.

WANA Wednesday: Just in time for the Holidays! plus ROW80 Update

If you’re starting to think about the holidays, and need some little gifts for the readers in your life, look no further! Home for the Holidays has a little something for everyone who’s a little romantic. This anthology of holiday stories is the work of six authors who are members of the Ohio Valley Chapter of Romance Writers of America – five of my In Real Life writer friends, and me!

The stories in the anthology run from sweet to poignant, darkness-tinged to comedic, but in each one, people find the hope of love, and joy in the holidays. Stories feature married couples and those newly-met, some whose lessons lie in the past, and even vampires… all of whom find happiness and peace when they come Home for the Holidays.

Becke Martin‘s “Coventry Arcade” is where Ben Whitaker is determined to get his beloved Lily the best gift very little money can buy in this homage to O. Henry’s classic story “The Gift of the Magi.”

In “The Holly and the Ivey” by Sandy Pennington, Jon thought bells would be ringing a merry tune when he did a surprise Christmas visit but it turned out to be a Ho! Ho! Oh, no! instead.

Aileen is frustrated when she has difficulties communicating with her mentally challenged brother. But Dr. Lew Bard shows her it’s really just a matter of “Speaking the Language,” by Ann Gregory.

There’s magic in threes in Becke Martin’s “Triple Trouble for Christmas Eve.” With her dying breath, the triplets’ mother predicted they’d all find true love by midnight on Christmas Eve. Too bad Mom didn’t specify which Christmas Eve.

In “Merry and Bright” by Ann Gregory, Alex and D’Vee discover that a cup of spicy tea and a pair of fine brown eyes can both be inspiring. The Christmas season is the perfect time to kindle friendships and create possibilities.

Aiden Flynn is no Superman, but he does have a secret identity. And he just might be able to save Christmas for one young boy and his hardworking mom in “Silver and Gold,” by Becke Martin.

Stacy McKitrick’s vampire Katarina thought she was drawn to the mortal who refused her gift of immortality 45 years ago, but on her “Last Christmas Visit,” she discovers the truth.

Christmas can be murder when a trip back in time pits Taylor Gressman against a murderous street gang, but through a new friendship, she learns the greatest gift is in the giving in “Time’s Holiday” by Jennette Marie Powell.

In “No More Resolutions” by Dakota James, Stella despises holidays. Now she has to find a husband for bosszilla, deal with a stripper pole in her house and work with Simon, the guy she loves to hate. Or does she?

Oh yeah, and I designed the cover and did all the formatting, for both the print and ebook. 😀

The anthology is available in both print and ebook at Amazon.com; and in ebook from Smashwords, Kobo Books, and Sony. Coming soon to Barnes & Noble and  iTunes. All proceeds go directly to Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America, and help bring in educational programs for the whole chapter.

My story, “Time’s Holiday,” is also available as a standalone ebook for FREE! If you’ve thought about giving the Saturn Society series a try, this is a great way to see if it’s something you might like. Grab a copy of the ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo Books, Sony or iTunes.

What about you? Do you like holiday stories? Know of any good new releases this week? Or what the heck, what are your reading now?

Quick ROW80 Update: This month, my main focus is my NaNoWriMo novel. My weekly goal is to write 1,500 words four weeknights, and 3,000 words each on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday through Tuesday, I’ve written 6,000 words, bringing my total to 12,346 – right on track. So far so good!

In other ROW80 news, I solved my dilemma with things that won’t go away from the to-do list. This was not intentional. But disappear they did. I use Cozi Organizer for this, and its Remove menu consists of 1. Delete checked items, 2. Delete everything on this list and 3. Delete this list (IMO there’s not much difference between 2 and 3, but there they are). Well, with a slip of the mouse, I clicked the second item when I meant to click the first. So boom! Those pesky things hanging around on my to-do list were gone! I decided not to worry about it, and reconstructed what I knew I needed for the week. Who knew it could be so easy? 😀

What is WANA? It stands for We Are Not Alone, a guide to blogging, social media and networking for authors by Kristen Lamb. It’s writers helping writers, whether or not we’ve taken the course, and proving that we really are not alone!

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.

Favorite Things and Quirks

Last week, my IRL friend Stacy McKitrick mentioned this as one of her favorite blogs, and offered us the Kreativ Blogger Award. Yay for Making the Mundane Magical! And thanks, Stacy, for the blog luv!

To accept the award, all I have to do is list ten things about myself. I’ve already mentioned how much I luuuuuv Mountain Dew, so I’ll skip that. Oh, and Camaros, too. So here are some more favorites, plus a couple of Sheldon Cooper tendencies of mine.

  1. Favorite beer: Shock Top
  2. Favorite place for Camaro information: Camaro 5 forums
  3. Favorite pizza: Marion’s
  4. Favorite band discovered after high school: Front Line Assembly
  5. Favorite WWE wrestler: Evan Bourne
  6. Favorite color: red
  7. Favorite breakfast cereal: Frosted Mini-wheats with Fruit in the Middle
  8. I don’t do many chores every day, but I must make my bed, even if it’s right before I get into it.
  9. …and, the covers must all be pulled up evenly
  10. I can’t stand trash in my car.

I’m not going to pass the award on, since most of the people I’d pass it to have already received it. But anyone who reads this blog is deserving, so go ahead and consider yourself awarded if you like!

What are some of your favorites? Do you have any Sheldon Cooper tendencies? Do you allow trash in your car? 😀

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