Female aphids really don’t need male aphids, and biology professor Hattie McLean in Plan On It (A Contemporary Romantic Comedy) finds this reassuring. (I will admit, I had some dating moments when I would have been in total agreement!)
Hattie’s story of a science experiment that falls apart outside the lab, is FREE until midnight on Amazon. You can start with the excerpt below… Hattie’s just encountered an adorable little boy who runs by her saying Mama and reminds her that her reproductive clock is ticking!
She wasn’t sure how she’d gotten to the radio station, but she’d managed to walk across campus and take a seat in front of a mic. Rose, the afternoon d.j., was smiling at her and finishing the introduction, just like every month Hattie had done a spot for the department.
“And now for a Biological Moment, sponsored by Iguana World, located on Seattle’s west side. Be sure to stop in for something green. Biological Moments, an educational service of the Excelsior Biology department, with Professor Hattie McLean.”
Rose pointed at her, and Hattie realized her notes were missing. Twelve times a year from three-thirty to three-thirty-five her notes sat neatly typed just below the mic, and she read, as best she could, what she had so carefully researched. She couldn’t even remember what the month’s topic had been.
“Uh.” Uh was not it. “Well.” Not better. That boy had done her in. He’d called to her basic animal instincts and temporarily knocked out her capacity to think. She’d probably left her notes on the sidewalk, right where he’d kick-started her urge to reproduce.
“Reproduction.” That was a start, although Rose was raising an eyebrow at her as if questioning the subject. Hattie recalled talking about the large intestine once. No one could tell her she wasn’t capable of edgy programming.
“We think of sexual reproduction…” maybe she’d planned to talk about fungus. It was starting to come back to her, the oxygen needs of fungus.
Rose looked more amused than concerned about a Biological Moment Meltdown. “Sexual reproduction?”
Not her original topic, but she’d taught dozens of biology courses. She’d just keep it academic. “We think of sexual reproduction as needing both a female and a male. Many people don’t realize even flowers and trees also have female and male designations.”
Rose shook her head as if it was definitely news to her.
Hattie wondered if there was actually an audience out there for this kind of information. “But it’s possible, evolutionarily speaking, for the male to be completely obsolete.” And didn’t that sound like the best news ever? She stopped. God, had she said that out loud?
Rose motioned for her to continue.
“Uh, and many sexually reproducing organisms have asexual episodes and are quite successful.” She was right in the middle of an asexual episode herself, apparently for the past three years, although she hadn’t been able to reproduce during her drought. She tried to think of an example of a luckier creature. An octopus? Slipper Limpits… “Aphids.” She said it so loudly, the force of her breath blew like a gust of wind across the mic. She cringed, but Rose waved her on. And aphids were such a fine model of how the world could be.
“Aphids are nearly all female during the summer then most of them die off. But those females strong enough to make it through the winter, you know, the ones who’ve known adversity and sure they may wear a few signs of aging on them, but they still have a great deal to offer…” she stopped. Where had she been going with that? Little boys saying Momma, old aphids…
She had it. “Older female aphids…” she paused for what she hoped was effect, “can reproduce all by themselves. No male required.” She felt nearly dizzy at the prospect. “And there are strong females in many other species.”
Rose coughed, and Hattie took it as encouragement. “A human female can have a great job and control her own destiny and just because she doesn’t, right now, possess the capacity to self-fertilize, and sure, time is running out for her, doesn’t mean she needs a man, does it?” A child running toward a momma on a sidewalk. There was no man in that picture.
“We could embrace it.” She grabbed the mic and drew it closer as if someone was about to take it away. “We may be on the threshold of an evolutionary leap for human females, and like aphids we could find a really efficient way to reproduce, a Plan B so to speak.” She thought of her own Plan A, the Ph.D., the tenure, the home ownership. She’d focused on the profession of biology and maybe ignored her own biology. “Biology and babies.”
Rose cleared her throat, pointed to the clock, and Hattie scrambled to complete her usual close. “Uh, this has been Professor Hattie McLean with a Biological Moment. Remember, the biological perspective is an outstanding way to make sense of our world.”
Make sense? That was a good one given she’d rambled on about sexual reproduction for her five minutes and completely neglected the oxygen requirements of fungi.
She glanced up at Rose who was raising the volume on the next program, a pre-recorded retrospective of big band music beginning with Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else but Me. She’d certainly put a damper on the monogamous forties with her dirty aphid talk, but maybe no one was listening.
Rose pointed to the studio window, and standing in the hallway, Hattie saw the entire female staff from the building. It was mercifully silent with the soundproof glass between them, but she could feel the vibrations as a couple of them high-fived.
Click on the cover above or the button below. You deserve a FREE read today!
Plan On It, a contemporary romantic comedy, is a free download today on Amazon. What happens when a biology professor discovers she has six months of fertility left? She sets it up as a biology experiment, of course. But first biology has to remind her she wants a child in the first place…
From Plan On It…
She’d reminded herself all week that she had no problems, no problems at all. As she headed across campus to the college radio station, she decided she was even getting pretty good at exuding gratitude. She’d had a plan for her life, and she’d nailed it. She’d completed the Ph.D. and secured tenure at a respectable university. Her life was fulfilling and interesting, and she made a sizeable contribution to others and to the community at large and…
She heard it first and thought for the briefest of moments that the sound was in her head. Then she saw him, a little brown-haired boy toddling down the sidewalk right toward her. His arms swung as if half-opened to embrace her, but his gait, not fully developed by practice, reminded her of film she’d once seen of bumblebees slowed down for the study of flight.
“Momma.” His voice was higher with more excitement as he reached her, and it was all she could do to not drop to her knees and open her arms to match his embrace. She felt his small body brush by her leg on his way by, and for a moment let herself imagine picking him up just as the mother behind her did. She’d murmur his name too, and kiss him on the top of his sweet head with the ease only a mother could know and would know for a lifetime.
The woman, carrying the boy, walked past her, and she closed her eyes, tried to breathe and orient herself again. She was somewhere outside the biology building and inside her life, and she just needed to regain her scientist’s calm even though every inch of her tensed with something she didn’t want to identify as longing. She looked down at her clenched hand, opened her palm to free her office key, and saw that the wavy indentations had changed her lifeline.
Sixteen years ago I became a Mom, and I celebrated the day.
Thirteen years ago I became a Mom again, and I celebrated the “Mother’s Day Three Day Weekend.”
This year with a sixteen-year-old daughter and a thirteen-year-old daughter, I have been referring to May as “Mother’s Day Month!”
But this year in addition to receiving, (’cause my family knows when Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy) I’m doing a little giving.
All day Mother’s Day Sunday, I’m offering my novel, Plan On It, for FREE. This full length romantic comedy is about a woman who sets out to have a baby and decides to choose the father based on what she knows best… the science of biology! You can download it right from the Amazon Kindle store
I wrote Plan On It by swapping babysitting with a neighbor, and I’d like to celebrate Mother’s Day by giving it away. I’ve given away over 50,000 downloads of my other novels and want to see moms out there enjoying a free read on their special day.
I hope you enjoy Mother’s Day… Mother’s Three Day Weekend & Mother’s Month!
It’s 34 degrees here in Montana, and it’s Spring Break. Yep, the vacation that centers around warm weather and all things beachy has begun with SNOW. So, to celebrate, here are 10 reasons we all deserve a little warmth.
- It’s past the official first day of spring, so bring it!
- My backyard looks like this…
3. I like my backyard when it looks like this…
4. College students probably don’t need a week on a beach as much as the rest of us do.
5. I’m pretty sure I heard Oprah say, “You get a vacation and you get a vacation and you get a vacation!”
6. Frostbite doesn’t glow the same way a tan does.
7. Even bears know it’s time to stop being cooped up in the den.
8. Admit it, you’ve rented every movie in Redbox this winter and are starting to see even the bad ones twice.
9. There are some really cute bathing suit cover-ups out there, so the only thing to fear is fear itself.
10. You’ve been good all winter, and when Santa came by on a sleigh yesterday, he said you could take a week off!
Enjoy the spirit of Spring Break even if you have no sunshine or time off!
To celebrate… March 31st & April 1st, download for FREE the romantic comedy
Plan On It: 6 Men in 6 Months
You may not have a beach, but you can have a beach read!
P.S. If you’re not signed up for my email list (at the top right “Subscribe” box just pop in your email) you’ll want to be by March 29th… Someone will win a bubble bath gift basket just like the one that drove Mara to Canada in The Do-Over!
So a funny thing happened to me in February…
Because of all your great support and encouragement, The Do-Over made its way up the Amazon Kindle Bestseller list!
The Amazon Top 100 seemed an impossible dream for an indie author like me, but we did it! Thank you especially to everyone who posted a review on my Amazon page or clicked on the thumbs up button to encourage other readers to find a Montana writer who’s done it all from her tiny home office.
I’m always looking for that sentence or two of support that leads new readers to give my books a try!
This Sunday to celebrate (and because it’s almost Valentine’s Day!) I’m giving away FREE downloads of Plan On It.
I gave away over 20,000 copies of The Do-Over, so don’t hesitate to pass this on to friends. The more the merrier! (Plus, it may count as a gift from you even if it’s a Freebie!)
And finally the Newbie which is also a Freebie… If all the Amazon stars align, my newest novel, Back To U, will be available on Valentine’s Day and FREE!
As a writer and a teacher, I’ve had some really great years. But as an author, this is already the most amazing year ever, and it’s only February!
Thanks for coming along on the ride!