Upgraded Abodes, Dedicated Reading

For once, this is not about my new house. I mentioned a couple weeks ago amidst discussion of turtle eggs, that I bought upgrades for my gerbils’ tanks. I’d kept gerbils in 10 gallon aquariums for years–since 2002, when we got our first pair, and even back in the 70s and 80s when I had them as a kid. Even back in the early 2000s, it was the standard–10 gallons per pair.                 

Digger shredding a TP tube – his second favorite thing to do (his name is the first)

Recently, I joined a huge Facebook group, and found that that’s no longer the case; in fact, in some European countries, it’s illegal to house a pair of gerbils in anything smaller than a 20 gallon tank, which is now the minimum standard.

The toppers allow deeper bedding for burrowing, an activity Valkyrie also enjoys

My gerbils are both single–not that that’s good either, but Digger’s brother passed away back in November, and Digger’s over three years old. You can’t just put two gerbils together who don’t know each other, as they’ll fight. They have to be introduced in a split tank, and Digger’s old enough that it doesn’t make sense to go to this much effort when three years is the typical life span. My other gerbil was a rescue who came to me alone, and with all that’s gone on over the past year, I haven’t had the chance to look into getting her a buddy. “Her” being the key word as to why I can’t put her in with Digger, either–I don’t want to wind up with twenty in a couple months!

Digger hoping I’ll give him a treat – yes, our pets are spoiled

So they would probably be OK in their separate, 10-gallon tanks. But I wanted something more, so I got tank toppers. They’ve gone from living in studio apartments to townhouses! Digger has already figured out to go to the top level to beg me for treats (sunflower and pumpkin seeds).  Valkyrie enjoys her “upstairs” too.

What I’ve Been Reading

The Amortals, by T.S. Hottle. I downloaded this science fiction book from my friend T.S. Hottle’s newsletter. It’s one of the offshoot novellas in his Compact Universe space opera series that I was looking forward to reading.

It did not disappoint. This main character was last featured in The Marilynists, about a crazy religion devoted to the late Earth actress Marilyn Monroe. Tom pulls a lot of humor from this, which makes for a very entertaining read! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys science fiction with a good bit of humor, but read The Marilynists first for the best experience.

But what really blew my mind–and I’ll admit, might make me a bit biased–was when I saw the title page:

I have never had a book dedicated to me – wow, what an honor! So cool!

What I’ve Been Writing


Unfortunately, this was one of those “not much” weeks. I only wrote three days this week, and added about 600 words. The wordcount is no big deal since that’s not my goal, but I need to spend more time on it. I’m not quite stuck, but not sure where I’m going is where I need to go. Or maybe I’m just bored because I’m redrafting a scene (the same one still–ugh) from another character’s point-of-view–it’s better, but not vastly different. I’m almost done with it, so if I can just get there, things should pick up again. So that’s what I’ll shoot for again this week–five days, for at least a half-hour per day.

I did meet my learning goal of finishing a week’s worth of my online workshop, so there’s that. I’ll do another week’s worth this week.

What about you–do you have pets, and if so, how do you spoil them? Have you read any good books lately? And 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.