Thanks so much for joining us this week. This is the final part of my birthday gift to you, a fun short story. I hope you loved it, or that it at least made your week a bit brighter.
If you need to catch up, the first day is here, Tuesday is here, Wednesday is here, and Thursday is here. Enjoy the end!
“And isn’t this year a big one?” Kathy lifted a brow.
Ginny narrowed her eyes. “I suppose you could say that.”
“The big 4-0.” Pete walked to the front door and opened it.
“What are you doing?” Ginny stepped that way, but froze as more friends piled into their house. Friends who weren’t simply parents of her son’s friends.
Balloons and flowers came in with several of them. As well as another cake, this one decorated for her.
Ginny’s mouth hung open. She had literally given up on a party or anything else for her birthday other than the card Pete had handed her that morning. And here was her wildest dream come true.
“You did this?” She turned to her husband as he stepped next to her.
Thanks so much for joining us this week to read my birthday gift to you, a short story. If you need to catch up, the first day is here, Tuesday is here, and yesterday is here. Have fun!
“Whoa, Mom! This is amazing!” Carter spun in a circle in the middle of the dining room.
The night before, Pete had hung the banner while Ginny placed all her candy Lego bricks on the store-bought cake. Honestly? It didn’t look that bad. Maybe even better than not bad, considering the boy’s reaction.
Balloons and streamers hung in other corners. Ginny had printed out a game online where the kids could challenge each other to build different structures or vehicles. And Michelle had helped her make a pinata that looked like a big Lego brick. It was enough to make any almost-seven-year-old boy happy.
Still, it would’ve been nice if the first words out of his mouth to her this morning were, “Happy Birthday.”
Just a single recognition. Was that too much to ask?
Thanks so much for joining us this week to read my birthday gift to you, a short story. If you need to catch up, the first day is here and yesterday is here. Have fun!
“Hey, can you come grab that?” Ginny attempted to tie the balloon in her hands more quickly as the oven timer went off.
Pete grunted from his chair. “Yep. Give me just one minute.” His fingers flew over his phone screen, typing who-knew-what.
“Pete …” Ginny pushed the tip through the knot around her fingers, but it slipped back out again.
“Yeah. I’m coming.” He rose and started walking toward the kitchen, but slowly.
An acrid smell filled the air. No! Ginny let go of the balloon and rushed toward the oven, but she slipped on the edge of the tablecloth that draped longer on one side of the table than the other. She hit the floor, her palms slapping the linoleum.
“Ginny, you okay?” Pete leaned over her.
“Don’t stop for me! Pull the cake out!” She flapped in the direction of the oven.
He turned, jerked the door open, and a bit of smoke wafted out. Too late. He groaned as he pulled out the almost-black dessert.
Thanks so much for joining us this week to read my birthday gift to you, a short story. If you need to catch up, the first day is here. Have fun!
“But Dad, what ARE we doing for Mom’s birthday this year?” Michelle took a big bite of chicken finger.
Pete’s gaze met Ginny’s across the table, fear palpable in his expression. He did not do parties if he could at all avoid it. Most of the time, he made sure Ginny got some gifts and a bag of her favorite chocolates. And she appreciated it.
But this was a big year.
Sure, Pete hadn’t wanted any deal made when he turned forty the year before. But he hated being the center of attention, too. In fact, he’d rather skip his birthday completely, if he could find a way to do it. But he’d married Ginny, who loved any and all excuses to celebrate.
“Chelle, Mom’s birthday isn’t for two more weeks. I know because mine is two weeks and two days away and hers is right before mine.” Carter dipped a French fry in ketchup.
“I know hers is before yours, Carter. That’s why I suggested we start planning for it. Because we should celebrate hers BEFORE yours.” Michelle, at age twelve, had the patronizing eye-roll down perfectly.
“Are we going to give Mom a party?” Carter’s forehead wrinkled.
All eyes turned her way.
For the last few years, I've shared a short story here on my blog, one piece a day for the week of my birthday. This is I think my fourth year to do this, although my birthday isn't technically until Sunday. It fit my calendar better this week.
All the others are still on my blog under the link "Short Stories." Feel free to go back and read the others. And in the meantime, I have a new one this week. Enjoy!
Here's part one.
“Mom, is that for my birthday cake?”
Ginny paused where she’d been putting the box of mix into the pantry. “Is this the flavor you wanted this year?”
No point in reminding her almost-seven-year-old that his birthday came after hers. Or that he wasn’t even supposed to be born in the same month, but he decided to show up three weeks early. No point in suggesting they celebrate her this year instead of him … on her birthday.
“Um, I don’t know.” Carter shifted from foot to foot. “Do you think chocolate would go well with a Lego birthday party?”
“We can make any flavor work. You just tell me what you want and I’ll make sure we have it.” She pushed the box further back on the top shelf, relinquishing her hopes that it would magically appear baked and decorated for her in a few weeks. Not as long as Carter wanted to party. Part of motherhood—taking back seat to those she gave life to.
If you love to read historical fiction, you're going to want to learn more about the author I'm interviewing today. She's got all sorts of historical stories out, and they all sounds good! So, stick around and get to know Linda Shenton Matchett with me.
Linda, what first made you want to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was very young. My parents gave me a tablet (with a bouquet of pencils on the front!) and a package of pens and encouraged me to fill the notebook. I was an active, imaginative kid, and I think it was their way to keep me in one place (and out of trouble) for periods of time. I scribbled lots of stories, but the incident that lit the desire of being an author was when I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as a young teen. The book made a deep impression on me, and I wanted to write stories that affected others the same way. I continued to write stories but was not able to get serious about publication until about fifteen years ago.
You call yourself a history geek. What is it about history that makes you love it so much and want to weave it into your books?
I actually hated history throughout my school years. Unfortunately, it was taught as a collection of dates, places, and names. It wasn’t until my early adult years that I experienced museums with docents and re-enactors who brought history alive with people’s stories and what it was like to live during the time period. The personal aspect is what intrigues me. How was life different during the particular era and how was it the same? How would it have felt to be there? Live through the various events?
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)