Friday, September 25, 2009

What a week...

This week started out innocuously enough on Monday, but by Tuesday, all heck had broken loose.

Kinderboy #2 fell while riding his bike on Monday night. I thought he'd just bent his nail back...ends up he jammed the digit and by the time he woke up on Tuesday, the base of his thumb was swollen and bruised. A trip to Urgent Care and 4 hours later determined that it really was just a jammed thumb. He was splinted and set free. We were supposed to come back this morning for a follow up...however his thumb is fine and I caught him taking the splint off in order to play his DS. I don't want to waste my time or the Dr's.

Sometime during the morning at Urgent Care I got a call from our "other" daughter. When my best friend died a few years ago, I stepped in as surrogate mother. We've tried to provide emotional and reasonable financial support when needed. Her call, informing us that her father had died unexpectedly, had us stepping up to the plate again. Clothing appropriate to a funeral had to be purchased and transportation to get her and her older sister to Arkansas for the funeral had to be arranged. I only wish I could be there to help out more, but I know she'll get things taken care of for the estate and her younger sister.

To top off our trip to Urgent Care, I came home to a house full of foul-smelling smoke. Mr. Scott had boiled water for his coffee and then wandered off to work, leaving the water to burn. Melted the tea pot. Most concerning is that none of the fire alarms were shrieking! Batteries were changed and tested and we now have another weekend project...the family fire drill.

Wednesday, I needed to take Drama Teen to the doctor to get all of her prescriptions refilled. We also needed to buy a dress and a gift for her friend's quincinera on Saturday. So, after the appointment, we had a little "girl" time. On Thursday, we got another surprise. The school has been using some new software to inform us of activities at the school. Well, they also give a weekly update on the student. I had tears in my eyes when the computer voice said "Pleasure to have in class" "Comes prepared to class" "Always pleasant and helpful". Wow. As Drama Teen gets older, I'm really discovering that I like the glimpses of the woman she is to become that I see in her.

Kinderboy #1 has had a decent week. Lots of smiley faces from his school status report. Looks like he's been saving his stubborn streak for us at home. I'm used to his selective hearing, arguments, and passive aggressive behavior and would much rather him be attentive and cooperative at school, so I can't complain. And for all of his lacking fine motor skills, this is one little speed demon on his bike! He looks so cute flying up and down the street following all the 'big' kids on their cycles.

As for me, I've just been reacting to all of the things thrown my way (and seemingly at my head). A work-related decision that I'd been struggling with for a while now was made easier by one of those events. Once it's all official, I'll let you in on the changes in my life.

No soccer this weekend, as our little town has their annual Armed Forces Parade. I'll be sitting in front of the gas station waving a flag.

Hope you have a great Friday and upcoming weekend!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Coming Soon...

My exciting news...I just handed in the galley corrections for my upcoming release, Crisscross coming on October 1st from Write Words, Inc.

The simply GORGEOUS cover was designed by one of my favorite cover artists, Emma Peterson.

Crisscross (noun): A web of deceit entangling a bestselling author and her small son, two ex-lovers, and a killer with a knack for cruciverbalism and a thirst for revenge.

A psychic, and skeptic, and serial killer…

Lia Morgan has seen portents and signs since she was a teenager; however, few people believed her, including her own family. Although estranged, Lia travels across country to aid in the search for her missing sister, Sylvie. What seems to be a simple case gets complicated fast when Lia discovers her sister had a plethora of secrets, including a small son. Is her sister running from an impending paternity case like the police assume, or is her disappearance the work of a serial killer as her friends suspect?

An anthropologist and crossword puzzle fanatic, Jared Trimble is a packrat with a PhD. His world is grounded in the here and now, with no room for paranormal mumbo-jumbo. When Jared's asked to work as a consultant on a missing person's case involving a series of crossword puzzle clues, he's conflicted. One part's thrilled. The other part is suspicious; worried he fits the description of suspect more than investigator.

All that is forgotten when he realizes his ex-lover, Lia Morgan, is the missing woman’s sister. While Lia follows signs and portents, Jared uses his wits and experience. When the two collide, nearly forgotten passions flare. As the final clue is revealed, the solution brings them both into the bull’s-eye of the serial killer's target.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Family Friday

Writers are such solitary creatures that we often forget they have friends and family...heck, I often forget I have friends and family. So, I thought that I would start sharing some of the happenings around the Scott household on Fridays.

Drama Teen has had a good week. Her progress report was impressive...all A's & B's except in Geometry where she landed a resounding thunk of an F. Yep, genetics tell, math is not my strong point and I still count on my fingers when we play cribbage.

Kinderboy #1 was sent home with a stack of papers earlier this week. Each one had his indecipherable scrawl at the top with the teacher's comment to please make sure he can write his name. I'm looking at the words and a sudden pattern of the same letters, n-a-m-e in various configurations meme, amne, etc. emerges. Turns out that instead of writing HIS name at the top of the paper, he was copying the word in front of the line (name). Argh! We all had a good laugh at it...

I received a call from the school today about Kinderboy #2. My first thought..."oh, no, he's sick" disintegrated with the secretary's words. He'd tattled on a child doing something they shouldn't have been doing and that child got sent to the office. In a paroxysm of misplaced guilt, he was now crying and feeling guilty. Yep...that's my boy. The woman assured me that the child was, indeed, doing something wrong and Kindrboy#2 was right to tattle, but he still felt cruddy. Now, if he'd only feel that bad after he tells tall tales about his brother!

Mr. Scott is busy with "the other woman"... he's a judge/director of a intercollegiate programming contest and for about 3 months of the year is "distracted" by programming problems, programming solutions, website updates, etc. We're expecting the delivery of Mary Kate and Ashley (hard drives) and Vanessa, the server, lives in our garage.

The nursing home where my father lives, confined by the Alzheimer's Disease that has stolen his family and friends from him, has a whole wing quarantine with this horrible H1N1 flu. Luckily, he hasn't succumbed to it yet. My mother still spends most of every day with him. It reminds me of those couples that when one dies, the other one simply gives up living to be with them...I'm hoping that's not the case with my parents as Mom is still in good health and as vibrant as ever.

Well, that's it for us until next Friday. On Monday, I'll have some great book news and a new cover to share...

Until then,


Friday, September 11, 2009

My new affair...

Yep, I've got a whole new love in my life. Audiobooks. Wow!

Since the boys went back to school at the beginning of August, I determined to take back some of "my" time, which included exercise and reading. I used to take a book the gym with me...but it's difficult reading and cycling or reading and elliptical training. All that bouncing around made me a little sick and I ended up feeding my brain with useless news shows or worse yet, daytime dramas, playing on the gym televisions.

My husband listens to podcasts (yawn), but I got to thinking about books. Audiobooks. The first one I tried out was the lastest Diana Motts Davidson, Fatally Flakey. Cute got me through a long car drive to San Francisco and loads of laundry. So...could it survive a walk?

Oh, was even better than I expected. This week, I finished up The Rule of Four, by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. I love a literary mystery and this one kept me pounding the pavement and was interesting and thought provoking enough that I actually looked forward to my walks!

And whoever said that nothing can be learned from genre fiction needs to have their head examined. There was a fantastic image at the end of the book. That the present is a reflection of the future. Like looking in a mirror, the things to be stretch out behind you. There's a great temptation to turn away from that mirror in order to face the future. However, that only serves to take a person OUT of the picture....

What a fantastic concept. And it's so true in so many ways. As a writer, I find myself concentrating a lot on my future (when I get that book deal, when I get an agent) without enjoying the process of achieving success. I still get a stab of disappointment with every rejection and I keep wishing I could "make it"...but if I had "made it" with the first query to an agent back almost 2 years ago, I wouldn't be the writer I am today. I've learned sooo much in those ensuing days, months, and years, knowledge that will serve me well when I finally get "there". So, I'm determined to start enjoying the journey more...I'll get to my destination when I'm ready.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Digital Drama

Lots of shake ups in the digital publishing world today. I'm saddened that Quartet Press didn't even open their doors. I was very interested to see if their business model would succeed.

Just found out that there's going to be some changes at another one of my publishers. The news hasn't gone public yet, so I can't say much. I'm not sure how it's going to affect me, as of yet. I, too, have struggled with major decisions about where to place manuscripts, how much time to devote to activities outside my writing career, etc. Right now, I seem to have hit a good balance, but that could all change in a matter of weeks or months. (Yes, I keep hoping that I'll get an agent and a traditional book publishing contract, which I'm sure will take up all my time!)

On another note, although I still haven't found my notes from my zombie historical, I've managed to re-research and replot. In doing so, I think the entire story has turned out better and deeper. So, perhaps it was all for the best.

The only bad thing is that I sat down and wrote 900 words then realized that it isn't where the book starts. I may be able to recycle the scene...but if not, I can recycle the pixels! LOL.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A letter to my muse

Dear Ms. Muse -

I haven't complained (much) about your flighty attitude, the way you pitch ideas to me in the shower when I have no paper to write them down, or how you tend to throw not one story premise at me, but sometimes three at a time. But you've gone too far this time, Missy.

You pitched two story ideas at me and then dashed off to a tropical island, which was bad enough. But stealing my research? Why? Oh, don't look at me that way. You know why! You knew when I started working on my heroine's back story that I would realize she isn't the same woman as the urban fantasy protagonist you'd been urging me to write about. You knew that when I cornered her for her story that I would realize it wasn't "back story", that it was more interesting than the infuriating drivel you'd urged me to plot back in July.

You tricked me! You promised me you'd only give me contemporary, paranormal, perhaps even futuristic plots. So, when I questioned Mary Reynolds...what did I find out? You knew full-well she was born in the early 1800's and that she had a most incredible story to tell that would solve a great literary mystery.

So, now that you know I know, you can come back. Just fling those useless pages of research into the shredder as you slink back into my psyche. But just answer me this one question.

Is it really "historical" if it has zombie's in it? And do not tell me to ask Jane Austen (hurrumph!)

Your servant,

Ericka Scott

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

I've finally put the finishing touches on a paranormal romantic suspense and have it making the rounds to several literary agents. I've gotten several requests for partials and fulls, but I'm trying to be realistic and not get my hopes up. Yep, the book has a catchy title and a great premise... but I'm not holding my breath.

Instead, I signed a contract for Crisscross, my first full-length paranormal thriller/suspense/romance. I'm waiting on edits, but hope to have more firm news about release date, etc. soon. I'm uber excited, as this book has the potential to go to paperback (fingers crossed). I love e-books, but there's nothing like the feeling of holding your own book in your hot little hands.

My muse has been very conflicted over the next project she wants me to tackle. She's thrown out several ideas, two urban fantasies and a romantic suspense. Unfortunately, before she let me know which one to write, she dashed off to a Caribbean island somewhere and is oogling hunks and drinking frou-frou drinks with tiny umbrellas. *itch. It's left me in quandry, as the story I most want to write has a prologue (and perhaps some journal entries) set in the 1840's. What was she thinking??? Me, write historical? I distinctly remember asking her to drum up a Science Fiction plot. Did she listen? Obviously not. As for me, I hope she forgot her sunscreen and burns her knockers!

Other than that, I'm having a terrific Tuesday and hope you are too!