Three Birthdays and a Mothers’ Day

Like many families, mine had planned to spend Mothers’ Day together last Sunday. But instead of attending a cookout in her honor, my mom was bringing my dad home from the hospital – something she was glad to do (and everyone else was glad she was able).

But this wasn’t just to be a Mothers’ Day cookout. We have three birthdays in my family this week, and it was going to be a quadruple-combo celebration! My birthday was Tuesday, the 15th, my husband’s is today, and my brother’s wife’s is Saturday. Dad is doing well, so it looks like our postponement to this weekend is a go!

It’s always hard to buy for my mom. She’s trying to declutter – she has not only her and Dad’s stuff, but both their parents’. My parents also typically just buy for themselves whatever they want and need. Gift certificates make a good clutter-free gift, and have pretty much become a default in my family. The surprise is where are they from. ūüėÄ

I do have something special for the other mother in attendance (besides me, I mean), my sister-in-law’s mom. She’s like the aunt I never had – my dad’s an only child, and my mom’s only brother was divorced when I was little. I don’t think Ann reads my blog (she’s the kind who’d comment if she did), but she’s always been wonderfully supportive of my writing – not that the rest of my family hasn’t, but she’s an artist, and really understands what it means to me. So for Mothers’ Day, she’s getting a brand-new copy of my newly-released print version of Time’s Fugitive.

Yes, it’s now out in print! So if you’ve been waiting to read it in pulped-tree form, it’s now available at Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon, and should be coming to other online retailers soon.

The get-together should be a good time – they always are! My daughter and my brother have birthdays nine days apart in August, so we celebrate theirs together, too. And my mom’s birthday is always near (or on) Father’s Day, so we combine those.

Do you have combo family celebrations? Any special person who’s not related, but like family? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments. And if you have any ideas for clutter-free gifts that aren’t gift cards, I’d love to read them!

ROW80: New Babies – Help Us Name Them!

I got some new babies for Mothers’ Day. No, not human babies. Furbabies!

We’ve had gerbils for years, ever since my daughter wanted “a small pet” when she was seven. I had gerbils when I was a kid, so that’s what we got. We’ve gone through a couple dozen since then, and once again were down to one as of a couple weeks ago when our little Onix passed away.

His cagemate, Sandy, has definitely been mopey since then. Gerbils are social animals, and are happier in pairs or trios. So we stopped at our local Pet Supplies Plus to see if they had any potential new friends for him.

They had three darling babies there, and two were boys. Since we didn’t want two to turn into two dozen a few months down the road, that was a must. But we don’t yet have names for them.

Sandy’s name is actually Sandslash, after the Pokemon. His former cagemate was also named after a Pokemon. We’ve had gerbils named after snacks (our original two were Ho-ho and Twinkie), and drinks (like KC [Kahlua and Cream] and Bailey). But none of those are ¬†a requirement.

The lilac one (silver-gray) is a wheel fanatic. They’ve been here about four hours, and he hasn’t stopped running on the wheel since. He’s jumpy and squirmy – not unusual for gerbils, especially young ones.

The other is called a spotted Siamese. He’s mostly uninterested in the wheel (it usually seems to work that way). But even after this short a time, he’s warming up to us. The last couple of times I’ve gone to check on them, he’s practically climbed into my hand. He’s relatively calm, and will sit still to be petted. Sandy (gold one in the background, above) is the same way – he’s the calmest, most mellow gerbil we’ve ever had. And like Sandy, this new baby purrs. Yes, gerbils purr! You can’t hear them, but you it feels like they’re shivering, yet they’re¬†relaxed, and aren’t trying to get away.

Yet even now that we’re getting to know them, my daughter and I aren’t sure what to name them. So please comment with your ideas!

Luckily, I don’t have the same problem with characters in my books. They usually freely give me their names. (Don’t be too jealous – that’s the only thing they give up that easily!) One of my goals this week was to work through How to Think Sideways, Lesson 5. I not only did that, but whipped through Lesson Six (which was just reading, no worksheets) and started on Lesson 7, where we started defining characters. Names? No problem.

Here’s the rest of my goals results:

  • Complete Lesson 5 of How to Think Sideways – Done!
  • Develop Book Info sheet for Hangar 18: Legacy and follow up with other beta readers – Book Info done, forgot to send the emails.
  • Write guest blog I promised, and email the written one to the blogger – Emailed the one, didn’t get to the other
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts – Got three intervals and two short workouts
  • Track exercise and consumption – Did well until yesterday. Lots going on, at least that’s my story!

Overall goal progress:

  • Release¬†Time’s Fugitive, in both ebook and print – Done!
  • Complete Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Series workshop – Done!
  • How to Think Sideways workshop – complete through Lesson 8 (1-4 done previously)
  • Release¬†Hangar 18: Legacy¬†– OR – release¬†Times Two¬†(Time’s Enemy/Time’s Fugitive¬†box set) as an ebook –¬†Cover design for Hangar 18 done! Also got some great feedback from first beta reader – thank you, Carey!
  • Bonus: Both of the above¬†– on hold until other goals accomplished
For this week:
  • Complete Lesson 7 of How to Think Sideways
  • Follow up with beta readers¬†for Hangar 18
  • Write two guest blogs I promised – the one from last week, and a new request
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts
  • Track exercise and consumption

Do you have any ideas for names for our new babies? Please comment and let me know! How are you doing in this round of ROW80 – or if you’re not a writer, or not doing the ROW, for this spring? Let me know that, too, even if you have no name ideas!

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