Ericka Scott
Too True Tuesday
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
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Essie, The Accidental Mommy, who’s blog I stalk religiously ’cause she’s funny, informative, and did I say funny?, has thrown out the gauntlet to confess our most shameful listening habit.

What music do I have on my IPOD that I’m embarrassed to admit to. Hmmmm…Now, I do have a Barney CD on my IPOD, but that’s for the boys (really!). What I do have is a lose weight hypnotism session. I paid a small fortune for it one night when I couldn’t sleep and got hooked into watching an informercial. Yes, I dialed the 1-800 number and waited anxiously until it came in the mail. Does it work? I haven’t a clue. The session takes about 40 minutes for the first session which you are supposed to do daily for about a week. I don’t think I’ve had 40 minutes to myself on consecutive days (when I’m not banging out my word count or shopping, or….). I tried using it a couple of times right after dinner, or right before bed, but my children are psychically attached to me. If they are home and I endeavor to exclusively use my brain cells for something selfish like reading or trying to lose weight, someone throws up, breaks something, clamors for attention, etc. I thought maybe, just maybe, this year I would give it a try right after lunch and before the yobs come home from school. In fact, I thought, oh, I’ll try that today….well, best laid plans and all, I have one child home sick from school. See…it’s that psychic connection thingy going on.

So, lots of money wasted… but I swear, I will listen to it and lose weight…one day….

Saturday, January 30th, 2010
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What do you mean it’s Saturday already???

The week whizzed by, rather like a deadline, and all I heard was the whooshing sound it made. My excuse is that I’m running behind because of being gone all last weekend. Usually, on Saturday I make a meal plan for the upcoming week, plan my grocery list, shop… (gee, that sounds so organized). Needless to say, last week, it didn’t get done.

I meant to do it on Monday, but I desperately begrudge having to give up any of my writing time for mundane housework. I write from about nine to noon on weekdays. Laundry I’ll throw in and move around, but I don’t fold it until kids go home. So, I didn’t go shopping. On Tuesday, I had good intentions to clean out the car while the maids were here disrupting my schedule. It rained…so the car didn’t get cleaned. Wednesday….well, you get the picture…housework/shopping/etc. just wasn’t happening this week.

On Thursday, Drama Teen finally had her 1 year checkup of her brain surgery. I picked up the films (CDs really, although they still called them “films”) and the reports. I could tell right off the bat that the test the insurance company had assured us was equivalent to the more expensive one the physician had ordered wasn’t adequate. There was far too much discussion by the physician about not being able to make things out because of the scatter caused by the titanium wires blocking the aneurysm. Duh. Bad enough that we had to pay out of pocket to see the original neurosurgeon simply because his group had fallen off the in-network provider list and been replaced by an equally good group. Yes, the new group is as good…but the Dr. had never seen my daughter before. We wanted the surgeon who had done the surgery to see her for the first follow up. Two appeals later, we lost. Thank goodness we have a medical reimbursement fund through my husband’s work. Lessens the blow to the pocketbook a little. AND, poor Drama Teen should still have the more expensive and intrusive test (a CT with angiography) done. Other than that, she got a clean bill of health.

And then, to top off the week, I subbed an online pitch to a literary agent for one of my books. They requested a full manuscript! Only thing, it needs a little more work before I send it off. Nothing like a deadline to set a fire under your bum! I know what I’m gonna be doing next week~

Major Squee!
Thursday, January 28th, 2010
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Crisscross won a Favorite Book Reviewed in 2009 award at Romance Book Scene. What a thrill!!

Too True Tuesday
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
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Given the opportunity to go out or stay at home…I usually opt for staying at home UNLESS going out involves camping.

Now, I never camped growing up. My family seldom took vacations. My dad was in the military so we moved…a lot. There was never much need to take a vacation because about every two years we got to pull up stakes and live somewhere new.

When I first met my now-husband, we became friends first. I dragged him to movies, company picnics, the fair, all just as friends. So, when we first developed an interest in each other, he invited me to go camping. What I didn’t know is that it was a TEST. Yep, one of those infamous trials that men subject women to in order to determine if they are “the one”….

So, we went camping. I loved it…so much so that I invited myself to go along on the next outing (the following week). Used to be, we’d go camping four or so times a year. That dropped off once the boys came home…it’s much harder to camp with babies. However, now that they’ve grown up, we’ve been going more often. I just booked a trip to one of the state beaches over Spring Break and we’re talking about a week-long road trip to Oregon this summer.

I may look like a girly-girl, but there’s some pioneer spirit buried in there somewhere.

Donald Maass Workshop Recap
Sunday, January 24th, 2010
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All I can say is wowza (or, in his words…DUDE!) What an incredible day! Eight hours of writing information, networking, and spending time with people who “get” it (the writing life, that is).

I took 15 pages of notes and came back to the room last night, enthused. Wasn’t able to write a word as my mind was simply too full of information that still needed to be process and absorbed. So, I read a little bit instead. However, this morning, I woke up early and banged out over 1K before I packed my suitcase. Now, it’s time for the long drive back home. I have Pirate Latitudes to keep me company on audiobook and if I run out of that, I have Angels by Marian Keyes downloaded as well. I checked out the first of the Walsh girls’ stories (Anyone Out There?) on audiobook from the library. Even my hubby (who is also a big audiobook fan) loved, loved, loved the characters. Especially Mum Walsh. I’m hoping she makes an appearance in this book and I also hope the mystery of who Anna married is solved at some part during the series (the sooner the better, but I understand if the author leaves me hanging. Okay, no, I won’t. I’ll hate it…hate her for keeping me in the dark, but I will buy her next book. Sigh)

Anyway….I’m posting this early – Sunday-, so don’t expect a Monday post this week…I’ll be writing on my WIP instead!

So, hope you had a fantabulous weekend. I surely did.

Too True Tuesday
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
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As promised, here’s one little nugget of trueness about yours truly that may (or may not) come as a surprise. Although I have a near legendary sweet tooth, I do not like ice cream. Now, the toppings. I could live on hot fudge…caramel…strawberry….you name it, I love it. It’s just too bad the “toppings” have to accompany ice cream.

Unrealistic Expectations
Monday, January 18th, 2010
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Back in the summer, when I was thinking about the freedom I’d have once the kids went back to school has now settled into the reality.

I had thought I’d have five full, productive days to write. I pictured myself sitting down at 8:30 and writing until noon or so. Ha. It was a lovely dream. The reality set in with a thump. Since the kids have gone back to school in August, I think I’ve only had one or two “full” weeks to write. Holidays, minimum days, sick days, and the endless round of IEP meetings for one of my sons has whittled away at my productivity. Yesterday, I wrote 6 words. Yep…but it was a Sunday. I thought I would have the opportunity to get out of the house and go somewhere quiet to write. My husband beat me to it and took the boys out…leaving me with Drama Teen. Yes, theoretically, we could leave Drama Teen alone. She’s sixteen and perfectly capable of sitting in front of the television and allowing her brain cells to wilt. Unfortunately, she doesn’t “want” to do it alone. I mentioned leaving for Panera Bread and she brightened and wanted to go with me. Um…the point is to “get away”… it’s not as if she would have anything to “do” there. The argument made sense to me, but not to her. In the end, it was easier to just stay home and get some busy work done. I backed up my files, finished a critique for a friend’s WIP (jj Keller…if you haven’t read her latest, Undercover Housewife, you are missing out. Do yourself a favor and hop over here and get a copy!)

I also got a first glance at my new website template. Frauke at CrocoDesigns rocks. There were just a couple of things I’d like fixed and then I’ll be able to unveil the design. I cannot wait!

If all the kidlets actually go to school tomorrow (please!), I’ll finally have a day to transport myself to Baltimore in 1849. My fingers are itching to get some words typed. Wednesday is a wash. An IEP late in the morning will throw a wrench into getting a lot of writing done. Thursday, I hope to have another full day and then Friday….oh, I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to Friday.

For at noon, my dear, darling, loveable husband is coming home from work early. I’m gonna throw my suitcase, my Alphasmart, a laptop, and my printed WIP into the car and start driving north. Not to Alaska…but to Sunnyvale. The Donald Maass workshop is on Saturday. I’m practically panting to “Put Fire in my Fiction”…getting away for almost two full days (Fri noon until Sunday at 4) and having to take care of only myself sounds heavenly.

And I comfort myself with the thought that just maybe for the rest of the year I can get more than two days a week to write….maybe….

A Day Late and Somewhat Less Than A Dollar Short
Saturday, January 16th, 2010
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After the wango-tango of Wednesday, the rest of the week was smooth sailing…perhaps because I headed off to bed as soon as Drama Teen was tucked in (a little after 9 pm) and slept until the alarm went off with very little wakeful times in between. Mama is soooo much happier with a normal night’s sleep.

The ice cream truck, once again, skipped our neighborhood on Friday. He was out there blaring his annoying music on Thursday, so, I’ll be mixing things up a bit next week and letting the kids have ice cream a day early (assuming he comes…the weather is supposed to be dark, gloomy, and rainy all next week). Being as we live where there are two seasons…summer and SUMMER…I relish the rain and the clouds. Makes me a bit reminiscent for home (Illinois). But, just to be on the safe side, I watered the lawn today. That should induce Mother Nature to dump some H20 in our direction.

It’s a long weekend…the car I’ll be driving north for the workshop next weekend was serviced early this morning and the boys are down for an afternoon nap (which they desperately needed). Tomorrow, we may try to take a day trip to Placerita Canyon for some hiking before the weather changes.

I am soooo looking forward to next weekend and the Donald Maass workshop. I’m hoping to see some of the wonderful ladies I met at the All Writers All Weekend conference last year. It’s nice to network with people who “get it”. Plus, I really need the kick in the butt. One of my e-publishers contacted me to see what books I’d be delivering to them this year. As I am now in the throes of writing my third full-length novel, I haven’t been very focused on anything short/erotic. So, I grabbed a pen and a calendar this morning. If I can finish my zombie historical by the end of April, I could possibly write three or four novellas/short stories before the end of the year. So, I need to get cracking!

Surprise Wednesday Update
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
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Why? Well, although this falls into the happenings of my Friday family update, I feel the need to post about it now. Maybe just to get it off my chest.

I’ve been up since 3:18 am. Not because I wanted to be, either. I brought the sickness home over the weekend (picked up in Walmart on aisle 6 or 7, I forget which one). I had hoped it was food poisoning, but in the wee sma’ hours of the morning, it was obviously viral. Kinderboy#2 woke Daddy up (because I sleep like a dead thing) and some shuffling and turning on lights ensued. I turned over, trying to recapture the dream starring Keanu Reeves. Hubby flies through door and I ask him what’s up. He murmurs something about a thermometer. I inform him that the viral-thing I had didn’t come with a temperature.

CRASH, BANG, BOOM. I sat straight up in bed, heart pounding, sure it was the Haiti earthquake repeating itself here in California (the land of the impending Big One). But no, it was angry hubby searching for the thermometer. More crashing, more booming, and it’s obvious that things are being pitched onto the floor.

Hubby departs and quiet ensues. I try, desperately to recapture that Keanu feeling. Hubby creeps back to bed but ruins the affect by giving me a lecture on what to tell the maids about hanging cords in front of drawers that must be opened in the night. Then he tells me I need a lesson in cord safety as well. WTH?

Now I know, and he denies, that this all started with the dishwasher incident 3 weeks ago. What, may you ask, was that? Well, my husband is a great guy. He works hard and doesn’t grumble (too much) about the money I spend to keep the household running or snipe at me for the housework I should be doing, since I stay home all day and work in the house. I appreciate all that. So much so that he only had one lousy little chore to do every day.

Empty the dishwasher.

That’s it.

Get up in the morning, empty the dishwasher, go to work, come home, eat dinner, play with family, rinse, repeat. Except since the programming contest in early NOVEMBER, the dishwasher duty kindof dropped out of the routine. I didn’t say too much from Sept – Nov, knowing that the contest takes over most things. But after? So, one night after I’d looked at TWO sinks full of dishes all day and watched him give up washing his hands at the kitchen sink and then walk away from a dishwasher full of clean, shiny dishes to go to bed that I lost it.

Yes, I could, indeed, empty that dishwasher. When it’s only once or twice a week, I can swallow it. However, it was going on day 5 of him just “forgetting”. Now, I could understand if it were buried among a busy schedule of other household chores, but this is IT. The only daily one he has. WTF? So, around midnight, I unloaded the dishwasher with vim and vinegar, loaded it back up, and meandered (stalked really) back to bed.

He acted all surprised, apologetic, etc. but I still suspect there’s something passively aggressive about not doing the chore. So much that I brought that up. He denied it, but I still wonder if the whole incident hasn’t just been seething on his back burner. So, was last night payback? He claims it wasn’t, but as for me…I’m not that sure.

All I know is surprise, surprise…I’ve forgotten to cook dinner tonight. So there.

Too True Tuesday
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
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This week’s topic is to “get your cheap on”…

I reuse plastic grocery bags for trash liners in the bathrooms

I bought hand soap pumps that dispense foam instead of pure soap. Now that jumbo bottle of hand soap refill lasts months longer.

I make our greeting cards (except Christmas)

I wear the same pair of sweatpants around the house for a whole week. If I have to go out, I change into a pair of jeans that also gets worn multiple times. Drama Teen has finally succumbed to wearing her jeans for two days instead of just one (partly because she has to do her own laundry). Mr. Scott, also, wears his pants for more than one day. The only clothing the boys can wear twice without washing is their PJs…their pants and shirts are usually dirty within minutes of being exposed to their little bodies.

Edited and Updated: Oh! I nearly forgot. I received a pair of hair cutting clippers for my birthday a few years ago and have been happily cutting my boys’ hair (and saving 10.95+tip). Just last year, I got skilled enough that Mr. Scott now has me clip his hair as well (saving 8.00+tip — he used to get his hair cut on the AFB where it’s cheaper)