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#Amwriting

As a wife, mom, and career woman, it’s incredibly challenging to find time to put words on the the page. I write in short increments of time, ten minutes here and twenty minutes there, but the story I’m writing needs more time than that, as do I.

I honestly don’t know one single woman who has a crazy amount of time on her hands because we are always rushing from one task or event to the next, and sometimes it’s just freaking exhausting. I find myself in the past few days getting extremely short with my family and even prickling at the sound of my name.

As a girl who’s usually able to always see the glass as half full, I know that people calling my name is a blessing because it means that I have people who love me, but let’s be real. Being summoned 24/7 can challenge even the most patient person. So I’ve been incredibly human in the past 72 hours; irrational.

With a husband who’s just had surgery, a new puppy, and the holidays coming up the thing that looms in the back of my mind is the book that I’m working on that I feel as though I’ll never finish. It’s the second book in the Coming Home Series and Dylan’s story has been begging to be completed. The thing is … I know how his story is going to end, I just haven’t had time to write the middle and he’s feeling as frustrated as I am that I haven’t worked on it as much as I should. After the kiss with Lucy and the dream about his mom, he’s been in limbo.

Even as I write these words, I can feel myself beginning to decompress.

While I’m not actively writing Dylan’s story, I’m writing. When I’m not writing, my head begins to feel like an overinflated balloon that needs to pop but can’t and the pressure is excruciating. Perhaps I’m being a little dramatic but I’m a writer and that’s what we do, specialize in drama.

I’m happy because I can see imagine words on the page because I know that I’ll have time to work on Dylan and Lucy’s story, Finding My Way, today. Their story is complicated because Lucy was in love with Dylan’s brother, Jordan, first. There are things that have happened between them that I don’t even know about yet, but they do. I can’t wait for them to reveal their story to me, even though I know it’s heartbreaking and beautiful. I haven’t even realized what Lucy’s biggest heartache is yet, but I’m looking forward to findng out.

I’m off to send out my newsletter now because I’ve got two amazing giveaways that I need to share and then… I’ll be writing. If you’re not on my email list, you’ll want to be because you won’t want to miss all of these amazing boks.

Lucy and Dylan, here I come.

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The Good One-New Release

So … I did a thing.

I released my seventh book and my first one of 2018! Shortly after The Missing Piece Anthology was released, I published The Good One.

There wasn’t a lot of fanfare or even a great big plan, because that’s just how I roll sometimes. I was on a mission to get this book published by April 10th and I made it by the skin of my teeth.

I have a confession to make… This was a tough one to write for a number of reasons.

As a working mother who is also an author, it can be difficult to juggle the writing life with my everyday life. Writing is something I do because I need to, for my soul. I do it for me alone and I’ve been fortunate to find a few beautiful people who love to read the words I put on the page.

Like many Mom-needs, the need to write often gets put on the back burner because homework, packing lunches, doctor appointments, and that other thing I love called my full-time gig, takes precedent. Believe me, I’m not complaining. All of those things mean that I have people who love me and a place that I get to go to that pays me for a job that I love to do. (I’m a pretty lucky girl

Still, finding time to write can be a struggle. With this book came a deadline because it was part of a series that joins me with other writers, and other books, in a place called the Happy Endings Resort. Being included in this has been such a privilege and a challenge because I don’t often write to a deadline. The challenge was awesome and stressful, but I loved it and would do it again in a second.

In an effort to streamline my productivity, I wrote much of the first draft using dictation. Ugh! While I was able to get more words on the page, the page was probably wondering what in the hell I was doing most of the time. Words were garbled, sentences were butchered, and my main character’s name was wrong (Livvie) about seventy-five percent of the time. In addition, the story went in about fifteen different directions because I was speaking it instead of seeing it. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, let alone what color my main character’s eyes (brown) were half the time because I can’t remember anything.

Often I felt as though dictation was an experiment gone wrong so I was waiting for my laptop to explode because of how horrible the story was. Thank goodness, after moving chapters around, deleting so many words (soooo many words), and then reworking the story multiple times, it finally came together.

Finally.

Or at least hopefully. The only person who’s read it so far has been my editor and she said not to worry because it was good. I didn’t even have time to give it to my trusted beta readers. So, I worry because all writers worry when others are reading our stories. We are crippled with self-doubt every time a new book come out, a new story is created, and new characters are borne. It’s in our nature and whether I have seven books or fifty, I’ll always worry.

This is me, writing the synopsis. Omg!

Here’s the synopsis and if you’d like to join my review team, I’d love to have you! Just sign up here!

The Good One

Olivia and her sister Molly grew up in a trailer park in a small resort town called Happy Endings, but their life together was far from happy.

When the unthinkable happens, Olivia must learn how to live without the person she loves the most and she is forced to keep secrets that she buries deep within.

Thirteen years later, an accidental collision gives Olivia the chance to finally experience love with Danny, who promises to always protect her. As Olivia and Danny build a life together she is suddenly forced to face a past she has struggled to forget.

Can Olivia find the strength within to save herself or will she lose everything, in Part One of The Good One?

Goodreads link-Check out The Good One: Part One by Jennifer Sivec

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39794604

The Rock

I swear I’ve been writing. I promise!

While I am behind with a book due March 1st, a short story due for a anthology that will benefit autism, and the second book in my Coming Home Series, I try and write a bit at a time. I would love to write in blocks of time but often I only have minutes.

I admit that I’ve been failing at marketing and behind on writing but its a constant struggle that I know I’ll always have. With a busy life, many responsibilities, and shifting priorities, I remind myself that it’s all about the journey. So yes, I have been writing.

I can’t not write because it’s just a part of who I am. It’s how I make sense of the world and am able to face it every day.

As part of this journey, I’m currently looking for reviewers! If you’re interested in helping me by reading and reviewing my books, please fill out this form. Writing is better when people are reading, and people read books they know others have read.

Here’s my latest blog post for the Hummingbird Charm , The Rock. Not the Dewayne Johnson “Rock,” but me. I’m the rock. I love this collective of amazing writers and women and most of blog posts will appear there first though I’ll share them with you!

I’m wondering how many of you are the rock in the center of your universe? If you are, I’d love to hear about it. Us rocks needs to band together!

http://www.hummingbirdcharm.com/family/being-the-rock

30 Day Writing Challenge-My Commute

My longest commute to work has been an hour and a half while my shortest has been fifteen. Right now, I’m somewhere in between, depending on the day. 

My commute to work typically consists of loud music and lots of mental preparedness as I run through my upcoming day. If I need a good pump-up session, I’ll play songs I can sing to so that I’m nice and awake. Yes, I’m the crazy chick rocking out at 7:00 in the morning to anything from Eminem to Ed Sheeran, my taste in music dependent on my mood. It’s rare that I drive to work in silence, though not unheard of.  

My commute home is typically quiet unless I’m wrapping up my day with phone calls. I like the peace and quiet of my drive home and often need it to unwind and clear my mind, in preparation for a crazy household with three crazy males. Since my sons have learned how to FaceTime me, I find that those drives are typically less quiet as they’ll call me and travel me on the way home, often. Now my rides home tend to be more interactive opposed to the solitude that I’m used to but I don’t mind one bit. 

I know how lucky I am to have people who love me and can’t wait to see me. 

Being a Mom

Being a mom is one of the best decisions I’ve ever been fortunate enough to make. 

My husband and I toyed with the idea of being DINKs (Double Income, No Kids). We dreamt about it, wrapped our brains around the idea and fantasized about all of the money we’d have, until suddenly we’d worn it out and realized we were two people who were born to be parents. He’s Mr. Responsibility and  I’ve always been maternal (read-bossy yet affectionate) so the concept of parenthood  was an easy one to commit to fully. We understand how fortunate we were to have parenthood come to us when it did because while we weren’t too much older as new parents, we weren’t in our twenties either. In fact when my youngest was born, I had moved into a higher risk category because of my age and every medical professional reminded me of that, much to my dismay. 

Flash forward a decade later and I’m incredibly thankful for my two funny, loud, interesting kiddos. But let’s be honest. Sometimes being a parent is very hard and we lose ourselves in the idea of being the “perfect parent.” We are utterly  disappointed and defeated when we fall short and question whether we should’ve ever been allowed to have children in the first place. I remember just how much I cried when I wasn’t able to breastfeed, despite numerous experts and  failed efforts. I was sure that I was failing at the first task of motherhood and I was devastated. When my best friend who had breastfed both of her children with ease for the first year of their lives, told me that I was okay, I finally stopped beating myself up and allowed myself to enjoy my baby. Despite everything I had read, there were no bonding issues, no health issues, and both will likely be far more intelligent than I am.  

There have been countless other failures since then, like baby food in a jar (not homemade), forgetting pajama day (I took them back up), store-bought bakery (I’m a hot mess with flour and eggs), and the list goes on. I don’t buy organic anything, i fail at anything crafy, and I work too much many crazy hours to participate in the PTA. 

In spite of my many mommy fails, my children remain my most important thing.

But even though I’m a mom, I’m also a wife, a full-time professional, and a writer which means that  I still struggle with myself,  even about the important things. I recently had to cancel a book event that I’d committed to last year, when my son’s baseball tournament schedule came out. Their one tournament fell on the weekend of the event and  there was a small voice that whispered “Sorry kiddo, I won’t see you pitch/play on the Saturday of your tournamen.” But within a second, the the mom in me squashed that little voice and reminded me that these years pass so quickly. I always know that my children comes first. 

I always try and remember that when your little, everything in the world is big and while missing one day of games may not be huge for me, it could be monumental for him. While I’ve missed a few games due to work or my other son being sick or having a game, I’ve never missed anything as big-time as a tournament. What if he hit a home run or pitched an amazing game? Life’s moments are just too fleeting anf the memory of a child can be long and unforgiving, which I know from experience. 

Being mom means I also don’t get to write whenever I want or do what I want the moment I want to do it. It means that cuddle time precedes any and all else, and that spending time with my children and teaching them to be unselfish begins with me not being selfish. It means that I still get to be an adult but that I need to remember what it’s like to live in a world where your parents are your most important people. I need to remember that being there when they need me or want me for as much of their childhood as I can, is half the battle. Already  their childhood is slipping away and I’m looking at two boys who, in a few short years,  will be young man who won’t need or want me around as much as they do now. 

That’s why, for now, I’m good with just being mom. It’s not all of  me, and they both know this. But it’s the most important part of what I get to do right now.

I’m not perfect and I suck at a lot of mom-related things, I give them too much sugar and not enough vegetables, I work a lot and we eat too much carry-out food. I can be too distracted and cranky when I’m trying to finish a chapter, but for the small things, I always try to be there. If they can see how important all of the small things have been to me, when they’re bigger, and their lives and problems are bigger, I hope theyll see that I’ll be there for those moments too. 

Being Patient 

Being a writer has taught me patience, a virtue that I’ve been sorely lacking my entire life. 

 I’ve always been a driven person getting results through hard work and determination. Moving quickly, taking risks, and being decisive have served me well in life. 

Yet having patience has always taken a back seat and been sorely underrated. 

Then I had children and patience began to rear its elusive head and j have learned to stop, breathe, and then proceed. Now as a writer, I find it encompassing me even more. 

With a life that is consumed by a full-time career, two active boys, sports schedules, marriage, and family, the stories that are begging to be written often take a back seat. Days will go by without a written word until I’m ready to implode, but instead, I am patient. 

The writer in me didn’t fully emerge until I wrote Leaving Eva and self-published it in2013 (later republished by Booktrope Publishing in 2015). Even when I first began, I was impatient with myself when I started to write a book. I wanted to finish it as quickly as possible so I could get on to the next one but over time but I’ve learned not to rush the process and to allow myself to experience it, instead. Three books later, as I prepare to finish my fifth, Saving Eva,  I know that I could write so much more if only I had more time. I would be able to refine my skill, sharpen my prose, and perfect my craft. When I pick up a story that I haven’t worked on in weeks, much of the time is spent reacquainting myself with it, much like an old friend I having seen in a long time. 

Through this process, I have grown patient. 

I’m patient because I love my family and I have the luxury of loving my job and the people I work with. I’m patient because I’m not well-known and there isn’t a lot of pressure, and I’m not in great demand. I’m patient because my characters don’t always speak to me and sometimes I have to give them time to breathe so we can figure out what they’ll do next. Much like me, they need time, and I’ve learned to be patient with them and with myself. 

This journey of book writing, blogging, and authoring has only just begun for me even though I’m a lot older than I would’ve liked to be when it began. But I’ve learned that I can learn experience new things, challenge myself in ways I’ve never imagined, and that I’m not nearly complete. 

Time flies entirely too quickly and if I’m at too much of a hurry to get to the destination because I know that I’ll just miss too much a long the way. So I’m happy with where I am and the path that I’m on. As a writer, I’m challenged but not yet complete. 

And I am thankful that I have become a great deal more patient and am far happier.

Ten Vacation Lessons

We recently experienced our first big away vacation. While we’ve had a lot of stay-cations and a few smaller road trips, for many different reasons we’d not yet experienced the true “road trip” as a family. When I was younger I did a lot of road-tripping on my own and with friends  but as a mom with younger kids, we’ve stayed homebound for many years for many reasons.

  It’s been entirely too long since I’ve laid on a beach or sat in the sun pretending not to have a care in the world. But going far away from home on vacation reminded me of a few things, so I thought I would share them.

  1. I have new respect for the hot-spot. The mobile hot-spot to be more specific. I don’t know who decided that giving phones the ability to share the Internet with multiple devices would be a good idea, but I’d like to give that person a big, fat, sloppy kiss and hug. Having three children who are kept occupied with Internet access is priceless. It sure beats playing “I Spy”, the license plate game, and breaking up endless fights about “who is touching who.” While we still did some of all of that, they were able to occupy themselves for the most part while still interacting and watching the scenery around them when it got interesting.
  2. Travelling with four males is both funny and smelly. I’ll spare you all of the gross details, but if you’ve ever lived with one male, multiply it times four and you’ll understand what I mean. There was a lot of inappropriate joking, bathroom jokes, and multiple inquiries of “Who farted?” 
  3. This brings me to the third thing. After being trapped in a car for twenty hours and sharing a bathroom with all of these males, I’m reminded that I’m thankful that I can’t smell. Anything. Ever. Enough said.
  4. Humidity and bathing suits are not my friend. While my Asian skin loves the sun and soaks it up turning it golden brown, I also sweat profusely from  the top of my head like a man. This has always been embarrassing, incredibly un-ladylike and very unattractive. Gross! I hear Botox cures this which is would be the only reason to consider Botox. After all, I’ve earned my wrinkles but I don’t like literally melting when it’s the least bit humid. And while I’ve somewhat accepted that the days when throwing on a bathing suit didn’t give me complete and utter anxiety, are long gone, I also realize it’s up to me to take some personal responsibility. I can’t just throw in the towel and blame it on age and gravity.  I need to eat better, and work out. Period. No excuses.
  5. The world is really big and it’s my responsibility to teach my kids about its vastness and their place in it. While I don’t ever want to imagine a time that they aren’t near me, I don’t want them to live their lives feeling limited. I want them to feel the amazing, incredible, and endless possibilities of what their young lives can’t yet imagine. I want them to truly feel that the world is their oyster and that they can go anywhere in it and be anything they want to. By exposing them to a bigger world and showing them bigger things, hopefully they’ll understand that. I want them to imagine big things for themselves.  
  6. Going below an 1/8th of a tank of gas when you’re in the mountains and have no idea where you are going, in the middle of a thunderstorm, is going to guarantee a marital spat no matter who you are. Period. Always fill your tank when you have the tank because sometimes taking that risk causes unnecessary stress.
  7. Fun is what you make it! After you’ve nearly run out of gas in the mountains in the middle of a thunderstorm and gotten into a spat with your spouse, making fun of yourself for freaking out during the rest of your vacation is pretty funny. The sooner you can start laughing about it, the better. Truly this is something to remember in life. Attitude is completely a choice in most situations and while being lost in unfamiliar territory sometimes isn’t a choice, how you deal with it most definitely is.  
  8. My children are not perfect. It’s not that I didn’t already know this but when you love them so much, it’s easy to overlook their faults. Seeing them in different situations reminded me that it’s up to me to continue challenging them, encouraging them, and looking for opportunities to help them build their character.
  9. My children are so different from one another, yet so amazing and I can’t wait to see what they will become. Watching them experience new adventures and enjoy life with one hundred percent effort and joy is such a wonderful thing to watch. 
  10. Taking a vacation is good and necessary. It clears out the cobwebs and rests your body. I was reminded of how much I love to swim, even though I haven’t really done it in a very long time (see number four). I’ve been a swimmer since I was a kid, even life guarding for a summer in college, and I love it. Vacation reminded me that I don’t ever want to take a vacation that doesn’t involve swimming again. Lying in a pool in the middle of the mountains does something for the soul that no stay-cation gas ever done. Going away on vacation, unplugging from life for hours at a time, gave me such peace of mind and erased some of the stress from an otherwise tense and frustrated body.   

While I realize that going away isn’t always possible, the act of unplugging, de-stressing, and indulging in your family is priceless. We spent many moments escaping the heavy responsiblities of regular life, laughing at the most random things, and actively “freezing the moment” so we could remember our time together. It’s important to focus on the good moments and not dwell on the bad or the mundane. Thinking about the laughter and the good times in life get us through the more difficult times, until you can get to the good ones again. And time spent together can ultimately bring you closer when you let it.

While none of these are earth-shatteringly new revelations, they have been refreshing reminders. And I will hold onto them until the next time we go away, because there will definitely  be a next time. 

For the health of my mind and body, that is also my choice.