Dateline: Tuesday afternoon, driving to lunch/errands. I change the radio (I cannot abide a certain Taylor Swift song unless it is the goat version) and land smack dab in the middle of an advertisement for Northwest Surrogacy Center. A suspiciously animated-yet-serious female is talking about how fulfilling it was for her to serve as a surrogate for a gay couple. Her story ends with a brief/odd comment on how handing over the baby was “…the easiest part.” An official (male, ahem) announcer takes over, and talks about how the center is looking for women between the ages of 21 – 40 who have already had one “easy” pregnancy, and how surrogates can make “up to $27, 000.”
“HA!” I hear myself say,  as I pound the steering wheel. “Like that’s a reasonable reimbursement.” I must pull over to the side of the road and do the math.
Gestation is no 9-5 show. It’s not even back-to-back swing shifts. When you are pregnant you are pregnant 24 hours a day (and during the last month it can seem like 48 hours a day). Forty weeks of pregnancy = 5,720 hours; thus, being paid $27k for the gig works out to less than $5/hour, less than minimum wage. Even less than that, when you factor in what the post-preggo Pilates  are going to cost. The never ending story, of how anything considered “woman’s work” is undervalued.
My short story “Maddie is Dead” has been reprinted in a new book: Joy, Interrupted – An Anthology on Motherhood and Loss. The anthology is released…uh…just in time for Mother’s Day? Rather peculiar timing, considering the subject matter. From the book’s press release:
Joy can be interrupted – but not lost. Most people think of motherhood as a joyous experience, but for some it can be an experience of interrupted joy. This anthology delves into the subject of motherhood and loss from different perspectives of authors and artists from all over the world. This anthology includes Short Stories, Poetry, Art Work, Essays, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and more. Contributors explore such topics as Adoption, Death, Infertility, Disabilities, Illness, and Estrangement. Various themes addressed include Coming of Age, Identity, Recovery, Connections, and Forgiveness.
But wait, there’s more:
The internationally acclaimed contributors are: (snip snip of a whole lotta names that are not mine), Robyn Parnell, (more snip snip)…
Internationally acclaimed? This is news to moiself. But if it’s in writing, it must be true, right?
Still, I await the multilingual kudos. Having heard none, I’ll furnish my own:
Συγχαρητήρια  Ole! Felicitations! Chúc mừng! Pongezi! Gratulerer! Cestitke! Kung hei lei! Donadaliheligv! Comhgháirdeachas!
May 13 – 19 is Children’s Book Week.
Get ready to Get Mighty!
The Mighty Quinn, that is.
The Mighty Quinn is available now at Amazon , Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers, in both paper and eBook formats. Starting May 14 it will be available at your regular brick and mortar bookstores.
Of possible interest to you locals (local as in Portland metro area): As part of the celebration for National Children’s Book Week I’ll be doing a reading-book signing event with another local author at Powell’s Books Cedar Hills Crossing (Beaverton) on Tuesday, May 14, beginning at 7 pm. Another Local Author is Heather Vogel Frederick, who’ll be reading from her newly released book, Once Upon a Toad. 
After the reading and signing my family and I will be de-stressing celebrating at Peachwave Frozen Yogurt afterwards (Cedar Hills Crossing Mall, enter by the Starbucks) – stop and say howdy if you can!
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From their halcyon days as America’s sweethearts to their current status as superstars who pioneered a genre, The Go-Go’s preside over an amazing three-decade reign as high pop priestesses….
(from The Go-Gos website, re their upcoming concert tour)
That is what I want to write, and get paid for doing so: hyperbolized press releases.
I’m trying to imagine phrases like “halcyon days” and “amazing three-decade reign” – not to mention “high pop priestess” – being used in conjunction with my name. Not to get all philosophical or nothin.’
You may remember  the Halibut That Ate My Daughter’s Brain (April 19 post). I have been experimenting with halibut chowder/soup/stew variations every Sunday since, with the apparent approval or at least toleration of our regular Sunday dinner guest, the lovely and talented (and patient) LAH. I have been tormenting son K, a lover of all things seafood chowder-y, with information re my culinary concoctions. Next week is finals week for K, and he’ll be home from college for the subsequent Sunday dinner, the 19th. There is enough halibut and fish stock left in the freezer to make him his very own tastefully-sized tureen trough-full of whatever version I shall deem as the best-est. 
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Remember to get your pet halibut his fish license, and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Actually, I hear myself say a stronger version of HA: the version that rhymes with, HORSESHIT!
 Or whatever exercise regimen you’ll undertake in a futile attempt to undo the damage done to your body in order to give someone else “the gift of life.”
 Acclamations are in Greek, Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Swahili, Norwegian, Croatian, Cantonese, Cherokee, Irish Gaelic.
 Or, like my family, you may be trying to forget.
 Not many footnotes in this post, eh?