Ericka Scott
Friday’s Frantic Family Update
Friday, March 5th, 2010
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Remember last Friday, when I was soooo looking forward to Monday. This is one of those times when if I’d known what was in store for me, I’d have run away to Las Vegas for a week, or two.

Saturday, Ed took kidlets to the movies, everyone felt fine and dandy (well, except Drama Teen who still had lots of pain from her angio Seal/angiogram). Sunday, the first inkling that things weren’t “right” began to rear their ugly head. Mr. Wonderful was dead tired. He’s been fighting a cold for weeks and just never getting better. Then, on Monday, Kinderboy #2 had pink eye. I used Kinderboy#1’s drops while I waited for his prescription. Kinderboy#2 also had a cough from the souls of his shoes, a headache, and an earache. By Tuesday, so did Drama Teen and Mr. Wonderful. A trip to urgent care set us up with all sort of medications. Kinderboy#2 started feeling better, even Drama Teen’s eyes have finally started to clear up (we were late starting her drops because she’s allergic to “everything” and needed to make sure her face wouldn’t swell up if we used the boys drops. Ends up, that’s all that was needed.

Wednesday night, I had my first oh-oh of symptoms. A cough that dug so deep I thought I’d spill my dinner. Woke up Thursday with a sore throat, ear ache, headache, congestion, etc. Just in time for everyone else to feel well…yippeee!

I’m blogging over at the Lyrical Press blog today about something…not sure what as it’s still early yet. Perhaps I’ll address the issue of how to write and meet deadlines when you feel like a zombie.

Too True Tuesday
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
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If you missed my post on Monday, there wasn’t one. 3 out of 5 of our family members have pink eye, ear aches, sore throats, runny noses, and…and…and…. I’m one of the lucky ones who isn’t sick, the other one is only 6 years old. Guess you don’t have to wonder who’s been dispensing medicine, tissues, and lots of love. I didn’t get any writing done either…but that’s okay because the book is FINISHED. Well, it’s out with critique partners and put away for a month while I tackle a book in a month challenge at Cobblestone Press (can you say erotic big cat shifters???) Luckily, I can plot and be a mom simultaneously (sort of).

Essie, the accidental mommy, has thrown down the gauntlet for us to reveal to the world our compulsive/obsessive habits. The ones that enable society to exist and keep us from sliding into a horror even Stephen King couldn’t contemplate (Dean Koontz, now, maybe he could envision my sort of horror — read Relentless).

My obsession came along long before I was an author, but I didn’t “own” it (i.e., I lived by myself and no one else noticed) until I was an author.

I, um, constantly. Even when I’m writing, surfing the net, chasing spiders… my e-mail is open on my desktop. I’ve tried to turn it off when I write, but curiosity drives me to open it every one to five minutes. I found I spent more time typing in my virtually unbreakable password (which is near to impossible to type correctly the first time), every time I *had* to check my e-mail. So, it stays open so that I can see what has dropped into my inbox.

I’m also right on top of collecting phone messages & mail.

Now, the door? Someone else can answer that puppy, because I’ll tell you, no editor/agent is going to come to my house, so I know whoever is standing on the steps is either Jehovah’s Witness or for the kids.

So, do you have any obsessive/compulsive drive you’d like to share?

Friday already????
Friday, February 26th, 2010
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It’s been a crazy, crazy week. Monday was pretty typical. The kids went to school, everything was great. Then, Tuesday came.

Drama Teen had a follow up angiogram at Loma Linda to evaluate her aneurysm. Is it blocked (fingers crossed that it is), has any titanium shifted (fingers crossed that it hasn’t). When we were all caught up in the aneurysm scare, I looked at the angiogram as a blessing. It was a way to get a glimpse in there and find out what was needed to fix that bulging vessel. So, I’ve been amazed at my reaction to this last (hopefully last forever) angiogram.

It was at a new hospital (Loma Linda versus UCLA) although our beloved neurosurgeon, Dr. Nestor Gonzales, was in contact with the doctor performing it. It also took all freaking day. The appt was to have been at 10:30 but she didn’t go in for the procedure until 1:30, was out at 3:30. I was prepared for a 5-hour lay flat period. Mr. Wonderful called at 6:30 saying they were being released (can you hear the screetching brake sound I made?) They pierced the femoral artery and they are letting her go now????

After some checking, we discovered that they were using a new type of seal for the artery. I made the mistake of Googling it. Damn scary. Now, I’m sure that the old sandbag/lay flat method is just as dangerous, but I hadn’t googled that and didn’t know. So, Damn!

They got back late and she was white as a sheet. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well at that night. I think I was up every half hour alternating with Mr. Wonderful, also up every half hour. That she got any sleep was a wonder. We also weren’t prepared for the pain of this new closure. Before, it looked awful (bruising up the wazoo) but it didn’t hurt. This Angio Seal hurts. So, instead of a quick recovery (used to be a couple of days of laying around and then she’d forget about the procedure)….she’s been down for the count. Bruising, swelling, and general malaise. Instead of an decreased recovery time, it’s been days longer. Yeah, it’s great for the hospital. They get the patients “out” in a few hours instead of most of the day…however, the recovery time just gets pushed off onto the patient at home.

On Wednesday, Kinderboy#1 went to school and immediately came home with pink eye. I don’t know if I just didn’t notice the crusty eye because my own eyes were barely open or what. The drops have cleared it up noticeably and he went back to school on Thursday.

Yesterday, Kinderboy#2 got off the bus with his performance slip. He gets one every day that gives me an accounting of how good (or bad) he was at school. Oddly, a red pen had marked a “not good/not bad” block stating that he’d had trouble listening and had interrupted the class. But, the “Excellent” box had also been checked. Hmmmmm. Interrogation by me elicited that Kinderboy#1 had been coerced into marking that block for Kinder#2. Shouldn’t that mean that Kinder#1 would get in trouble. Um, no… So, after an hour or so of crying and saying “sorry”, I’m pretty sure Kinderboy#2 won’t be pulling that stunt again.

As for me…I’m gonna be glad when it’s Monday and they all go back to school, especially as it’s going to rain most of the weekend and I’ve still got a bit to go on polishing up my work in progress. I’m still loving the story and I’m going to be a bit sorry to see it go. I’d be sad, but I know that I’ll fall deeply in love with the next one, too, and I’m just a bit excited that I’ll be meeting it soon.

Totally True Tuesday
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
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Here it is, your tidbit of the week:

My mother raised me to believe that five minutes early is “on time”. As such, I stress about arriving a few minutes late for any appointment. But, today, was my personal best for being early. One day…yep, a full 24-hours early.


TGI Monday
Monday, February 22nd, 2010
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I am certainly glad to see Monday come, although the weekend was a good one. Saturday, we didn’t do much. Just the usual cleaning, playing, and entertaining bored kids. Sunday was our Wedding Anniversary. Six years (don’t ask why 2 out of 3 of our kids are older than our marriage — it’s one of those long, complex, blended family sagas) and they’ve been the best ones of my life. To celebrate, we went shopping. I know that sounds a little weird, but we don’t often get time “alone” and this way, we got a weekend errand done AND got to actually talk to each other. After the household stuff, we went looking for a new chair for me.

Since I spend so much time with my butt parked in one, we decided the wicker rocker that wasn’t good for anyone’s back or legs, needed to retire and we’d get a proper computer desk chair. After lots of sitting, and shopping, and more sitting, we picked one out. But, guess what? They didn’t have it in stock.

Grrr… luckily, there are two business supply stores in the area and the other one had two chairs in stock. So, we ditched our first set of dinner plans (Black Angus) to drive to Palmdale and pick up the chair. Proximity and time pretty much dictated our choice of dinner to a local Indian restaurant. Curry for our anniversary? Worked for both of us! Then, home to rescue Drama Teen and her friend, who were co-babysitting the boys (and devouring pizza, wings, and cheesy bread).

I was thrilled to send the whole crew out of the house this morning and dive into my editing cave. I’m taking a finished first draft deeper, adding details, characterizations, and fleshing out my characters. Honestly, this is the most fun I’ve ever had editing before. I have Donald Maass to thank for this…his workshop opened up new horizons for adding tension to not only the manuscript in total, but to individual pages, paragraphs, and even lines. Let’s just hope it pays off in the sale of this story!

Frantic Friday Update
Friday, February 19th, 2010
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I love my children, I love them more when they are at school or asleep (or playing at a neighbor’s house — can you spot the trend there?). Despite it having been a short week, it’s gone relatively well.

Drama Teen has had issues with her bio dad for over a year now. She’s 17 months shy of 18 and anticipating that once she’s passed that magical landmark, he will have nothing more to do with her. Honestly, I fear that, too. He threatens it often enough. Sad that the person who is “supposed” to love you repeatedly talks about rejecting you. Yes, this is why she’s in therapy to improve her self-esteem — grrr…

The Kinderboys have had a relatively good week. They’ve both earned ice cream…too bad it’s supposed to rain tomorrow (another grrrr). Good thing we have a local Foster’s Freeze (or, if I can get my act together, I might head into town and stop by Cold Stones — can you say YUMMY!!!)

Kinderboy#1, our RADish, has been having trouble with the word ‘No;. It’s his automatic answer to any question (just to be contrary). Needless to say, he’s missed out on some good snacks and one night’s dinner because he didn’t listen to the question. He begs for a second chance, but after the first couple of times giving him another shot at it (and still having him sabotage himself), we’ve run out of seconds. He’s also having trouble *hearing* the word No, but I don’t think that’s RADish, just kidlike.

Kinderboy#2 is growing up W-A-Y too fast. I’m so glad that out of all my children I got one snuggler. Even now, he’ll curl up in my lap right before bed, snuggling in just like a baby. I get tears in my eyes thinking that by next year, he’ll probably be too mature to want to be rocked for a few minutes. Where does the time go?

Speaking of which, Sunday is my wedding anniversary. It’s been six years of nearly married bliss. He’s buying me a new computer chair for my gift…even better, we’ll get a whole afternoon of shopping for a chair and a gift for him and then dinner after, without the kids! Wooowwweeee!

I’m running through self-edits on my finally finished historical (remember, the one I was *never* going to write?). Now that the “story” is written, I’m having a blast layering in nineteenth century details, slang, and fleshing out my characters. I look back on when I first started writing this book a few short months ago and marvel, wow, have my hero and heroine grown! Still, I’ll be glad when I’m ready to send them out into the cold harsh world of publication. I have high hopes for their success, and I’m already thinking about my next book. It’s one of those stories that pops into your head almost fully formed (thank you Madam Muse). I just have to get it from my brain to my fingers and then on to paper.

Too True Tuesday
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
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I’m counting down the days until Drama Teen turns 18. Not because then she’ll be a grownup, but because after that date, I can block my ex-husband’s phone number from our home and never have to speak to him again.

Sounds like a case of bad attitude on my part? You’d change your mind if you ever met him.

Monday Marathon
Monday, February 15th, 2010
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Wow — I forgot to do my too true Tuesday and my frantic Friday updates…mostly because there really wasn’t anything all that memorable to write about. We saw Tooth Fairy (cute movie) on Monday, the kids finally went back to school on Tuesday (with a half-day break on Wednesday), and in between all of that I have been writing. And writing, and writing, and writing. My word count has been over 1500 words per day (my average is 500).

I can’t seem to get the scenes from my head to the paper fast enough. Needless to say…I love it when this happens. It’s almost as if I’m channeling the story. But I know the basis of the tale is coming from inside me. I’ve been dreaming about my characters, envisioning scenes while I’m driving the car, walking, picking up kids from the bus, taking a shower… the story seems to have taken over my life.

Now, this occasionally happens when I’m writing…but never to this extent. This particular tale has been dominating everything. I’ve managed to keep the household running…just. I have two, perhaps three scenes left to write for the first draft and my mind has been working overtime, reminding me of things I need to add, details/layering, and I have pages of notes to myself for things to correct in the second draft (already). To say I’m passionate about this particular story might be an understatement!

Valentine’s Day was lovely. Gorgeous weather and I got to do some preliminary shopping for my wedding anniversary present (I’m hinting for a new desk chair, since my old one is in sad shape and I spend so much time with my butt planted in it.) Today, we’re celebrating President’s Day. Mr. Wonderful is feeling better (he’s been fighting a cold all weekend) and has taken the boys to the park to feed the ducks. Drama Teen is tackling homework, so, I’m gonna cut this blog post short and bop on over to Word and write one more scene today.

The Darker Side of Valentine’s Day
Monday, February 8th, 2010
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I should’a been writing…instead, I’m giving you a free read! Happy Valentine’s Day and Enjoy!

As you know, I write seductive suspense and often my writing focuses on the dark side of life. Murder, mayhem, magick, ghosts, goblins, and even a zombie or two, they are all fodder to my imagination and my keyboard.

When I was single, I dreaded Valentine’s Day. But thinking about it, that yearly visit from Cupid isn’t only dreaded by singletons, but also by those unhappily married.

Take a peek at how the men of one family solve Cupid’s mistakes in A Family Tradition.

Flippin’ it off Friday
Friday, February 5th, 2010
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I had Drama Teen home sick two days this week, and Kinderboy#2 two days…only one of those days coincided (Thursday, actually today, since I’m writing this post early in hopes of not having to do anything more than park my butt in a chair on Friday and bang out over 2000 words). Needless to say, I’m feeling a bit failed by the school system. Why? Because next week on Monday is a holiday and to add insult to injury, Wednesday is a minimum day. Listen, I love my kids. I would give my life for my kids. Too bad sick, whiny kids don’t want your life, they want every waking moment of your life to be spent getting them drinks, tissues, food, more drinks, more tissues, more food (can you see the pattern developing here?)

And, if the sick, whiny ones weren’t enough, I have Kinderboy#1. His play therapist asked how things were going and I unloaded on her. How he wouldn’t get dressed on Friday and nearly went out the door with a coat on over his birthday suit to school. And how on Monday, he was soliciting the playground guards to take him home because his house had burned down and his whole family was dead. Thank goodness Kinderboy#2 was playing happily on the playground, evidence to the lie. Then, on Tuesday morning, after he asked me several times if his shoes were on the right foot (no, they weren’t) and after deliberately putting his shoes on the wrong feet several times, I asked him why he always wanted Mommy to wear her frustrated face. I told him I didn’t like wearing the face, why did he go out of his way to put it on my face. He said it was because I was an evil witch.

Now, I’m a firm believer that parents aren’t a child’s friend. And I’ve been the target of quite a few “I hate you’s” and slammed doors. But, the way that he delivered it was calm. He likes me to wear that horrible frustrated face because it proves his belief that I’m an evil witch. It was a “kick him to the curb” moment for me. If he had been eighteen, I’d have packed his clothes, changed the locks, and told him “sayonara, have a good life.” Unfortunately (or fortunately, whichever way you look at it), he’s only 6. I think the therapist got a sense of my desperation and she’s going to mix up the therapy a bit to give me some support.

Thursday, this morning remember, since I’m writing this early, started out much the same. Two sick kiddos and Kinderboy#1 doing his best to punch my buttons. I refused to take the bait. I put his clothes out for him, refused to let my husband insist that he talk to me instead of whispering in hubby’s ear when I’d asked him a question. It’s just so not worth engaging at this point. Intellectually, I understand RAD, emotionally, it hurts.

So, yes, Thursday he went to school with his pants on backwards and if the kids made fun of him, so be it.

Needless to say, I’m sooo not looking forward to the long weekend. On a brighter note, my hubby (Mr. Wonderful) has promised me dinner with my Alphasmart tonight (Friday) at Panera Bread and possibly a nice long stint at the library on Saturday afternoon. This book may get done yet…with or without the school’s cooperation.