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Sorting Socks

I haven’t blogged in, what feels. like. forever.

I find that summer is an extremely difficult time to write. It’s not because the words are not there, but because the time to let them flow, is not. This can certainly make for a frustrated writer.

Between baseball, working, spending time with little boys who are home all summer, and juggling the craziness of plain old life, blogging falls to the bottom of the priority list, with working on my fourth novel not that much higher. I’m not whining… not really. Doesn’t anyone and everyone feel the way I do about things they love? Life just gets in the way which is expected.

But do you want to know what really makes me crazy?? It’s the ONE thing in life I can’t stand or accept no matter how hard I try. It’s the one thing that pulls me from being able to write and makes me insane… sorting socks!

With four people who wear multiple pairs of socks sometimes all in one day even, between washing, sorting, matching, and folding I waste hours of valuable writing time. HOURS! HOURS! If you’re like me, socks are the last thing I deal with when doing laundry. I would rather clean a toilet than sort through a gigantic pile of socks in every imaginable size and shape. It’s a task that feels futile… you know what I mean. Laundry is the one domestic duty I detest because it’s time consuming, annoying, and never ever ending. And honestly, I’d rather be writing. I’d rather be writing than doing many things, but I’m not kidding, I would rather go naked if it was socially acceptable that wash another load of dirty clothes.

An old friend asked me the other day,” How does it feel to be a writer?”

I struggled to answer the question because quite frankly, I don’t often feel like a writer. As much as I want to be, I’m more often other things. Queen Sock Sorter, being one of them. And it’s not a question of not wanting to write more often, it’s just a matter of what is most important in my life, and sometimes, those little pieces of cotton just end up to be priority above sitting at a keyboard and “bleeding” (Ernest Hemingway).

I jest, but seriously. Show me a writer, mother, blogger, full time career woman, SAH (stay at home) Mother, who doesn’t deal with the same issues? How many times do you say “I would work out more” or” eat healthier”, “get my nails done”,  or “take that art class” if only… I didn’t have to (fill in the blank)? So, I’ve decided it’s time to make a stronger effort.

Writing makes me happy.

It calms my nerves, empties my head, and is the one thing I do for ME. I don’t write because I’m expected to or even particularly great at it. If I stopped writing tomorrow the only person who might really miss it, is me, which I accept and am completely fine with. But being a writer helps me reflect so I understand who I am and can make better sense of the world which is why I’ve always done it. Which is why I’ve decided that this Queen Sock Sorter can also be a more prolific writer.

I just have to figure out how.

I’ll keep fighting to blog and to write because sorting socks just depresses me. And hopefully you’ll see more pieces from me in the near future as I practice my writing skills, release the demons, and do something other than practice my powers as a domestic Goddess. 😉 And if anyone wants to come over and sort my socks for me, you can comment below and we can negotiate. 🙂

 

Book Sale!

I’m a girl who loves a good sale.

Sooooo… I’ve decided to have a summer sale for all of my EBooks! Right now, they are only $.99, including my new release, I Run to You. It’s a great time to stock up on them, even if they are on a TBR list for later.

Go and take advantage. Tell a friend! It won’t last forever!!! 🙂

I Run to You
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/I-Run-You-Jennifer-Sivec-ebook/dp/B00KPK5EE2/ref=sr_1_2_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1405434916&sr=8-2&keywords=I+Run+to+You

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-run-to-you-jennifer-sivec/1119886694?ean=2940149786183

Leaving Eva
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Eva-Jennifer-Sivec-ebook/dp/B00CBDHYCG/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1405434953&sr=8-1&keywords=Leaving+Eva

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/leaving-eva-jennifer-sivec/1115148135?ean=2940016461694

Losing Eva
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Losing-Eva-Jennifer-Sivec-ebook/dp/B00G99ZIDA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405434977&sr=8-1&keywords=Losing+Eva

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/losing-eva-jennifer-sivec/1117254869?ean=2940148589853

Cover Reveal-I Run to You

It’s hard to believe I’m releasing my third book in a month!

I shared the cover on my Facebook page but in case you missed it, I wanted to share it here, also. It’s my first cover with actual people, and I fell in love with it immediately. I felt it conveyed the beauty of Landon and Alyssa, so well.

On July 2nd, I’ll release I Run to You (Synopsis below):

Alyssa Bennet had been living life on autopilot, never taking chances or the time to figure out what she wanted in life. A broken family and lonely childhood had failed to show her the true meaning and depth of what love can be.

But all that changes on her 25th birthday.

Alyssa suddenly realizes that it’s up to her to take charge and choose the direction of her life.

Landon Daniels, Alyssa’s best guy friend is always there for her whenever she needs him. But when the unthinkable happens and life takes a drastic turn, her relationship and feelings for Landon become too complicated to face. Alyssa is forced to rely heavily on the only two people she’s ever been able to trust, her best friend Anna and her beloved Nona. As they always have, they help Alyssa sort through the mess that has become her life.

At her time of deepest despair, Alyssa finally begins to learn what true love really means. But her old feelings of inadequacy quickly creep back into her life making her doubt she can ever have happiness.

Will Alyssa be strong enough to face her fears and run toward the only man she’s ever loved, or will she destroy her chance completely?

Come join me on my Facebook page for the Release Day Event! There will be a lot of fun giveaways, including eCopies and signed copies of I Run to You!!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1499212766964532/?ref=22

I Run to You~Excerpt

I wanted to share an unedited excerpt from my most recent work, I Run to You. Set to release on July 2nd with a Cover Release on May 31st, this is an exciting project that I’ve been working on for about nine months. Told in first person from the perspective of Alyssa Bennet, I Run to You, is a story of one woman’s quest for self-discovery and love, all while trying to survive the fight of her life.

I Run to You
-Unedited

I didn’t have a ton to move but I knew it wouldn’t all fit in my Ford Focus. To avoid making multiple trips I bribed one of my friends from work, Landon, to help me in exchange for beer. I knew he would be great to help carry some of the bigger items, and he had a truck. He was an easy target as he was one of the nicest guys I had ever met and wouldn’t say ‘no’.
The first time Landon and I ever hung out together, a year or so earlier, we pledged our everlasting friendship.
“You’re the only female I know, who isn’t crazy,” he’d said. “If I even hang out with someone once, the girls I see act like we’re in a committed relationship and they go nuts. It makes no sense.”
“Yes, women are freaks,” I laughed at him, good-naturedly. “Myself, included.”
“No. You’re different. That’s why I like hanging out with you. You’re not clingy, and needy, and all emotional and whacky.” He rolled his eyes, his cute face morphing into sheer goofiness. “We should be friends. Good friends.”
“I agree. We should be friends. And it helps that you are incredibly ugly and I’m not attracted to you in the least,” which was mostly true, mostly. So Landon and I easily became very good friends, with natural chemistry and an easy banter.
He was ridiculously hot with thick brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a perfect athletic body. Even though he was fun and we spent numerous hours together, Tom and I were dating and neither Landon nor I believed in cheating, ever. I felt completely at ease with him from the moment I first met him, which was unusual for me. We even spent a lot of sober time together, when one of us wasn’t working or at school.
Tom never cared because he slept mostly during the day but I was always up and moving like most of the world, unable to sleep during daylight hours.
Landon jokingly called himself my “stand-in boyfriend” and I was his “substitute girlfriend”, since he never seemed to hang out with a girl for more than one night. But we knew where we drew the line. Besides Anna, he was someone I could count on and feel comfortable around.
Nobody understood how we could only be good friends without hooking up. His nickname for me didn’t help matters. No matter how many times I protested, he refused to acknowledge how dirty “Kitten” sounded, and eventually I gave up. I found a little secret pleasure in the fact that he had a nickname for me, at all. In the years that Tom and I were together, there were no terms of endearment for either of us. We were simply “Tom and Alyssa.”
I knew that Landon was painfully attractive, I had eyes after all. He was definitely a 10 where I was more like a 7. I knew a 7 and a 10 could only be friends and I was perfectly fine with that. With that to consider, and the fact I technically had a boyfriend when I met Landon, I never thought of us any other way. I liked being his friend. He was funny and brought out what little bit of funny I kept buried deep inside.

Cleveland Author Event 2014

I participated in my first big Author event over the weekend, which was fantastic!

I was so excited and did as much as I could to prepare, including signage, swag, hair, nails, and wardrobe. It almost felt like a trip to the Oscars!

First, let’s start with the wardrobe. I purchased five dresses for this event. FIVE! That is more than I have bought in two years and two of the dresses were the same, just in different sizes. I’m a short woman with a long torso and stubby legs, so finding dressed that fits me proportionately is quite a feat. Then when I finally picked “the perfect dress” of the five, it was too big, which I didn’t realize until after I was already at the event. All day, I was tugging and pulling, and at risk of having a serious wardrobe malfunction, which was frustrating! UGH! If I had done my usual black skirt and whatever shirt, I think I would’ve shown off less and been far more comfortable. 😦 Lesson learned!

But I was happy with my hair, nails, set up and swag. So that made me feel a tiny bit better about the dress issue!

As for the event itself, it was incredible meeting so many authors, bloggers, and readers who are passionate about books like I am. I was overwhelmed with how nice everyone was, and how genuinely supportive everyone was. One wonderful blogger even offered to buy me a shot to calm my nerves (Thanks Mayas!). I was so nervous in the beginning, I thought I was going to freak out, but my husband kept me grounded! Even though he was sick as a dog, he still made me laugh and helped me gain perspective on the day.

I’ve been networking and connecting with people for the past year via social media and email. When you make so many connections and share so much on line, and then actually get to meet face to face, it’s transforming! It makes all of the hard work and long hours of writing, editing, marketing, and networking seem completely worthwhile. It was wonderful to put names with faces and to be inspired by so many talented people who are living their dream of writing and promoting books! I felt very fortunate to get to spend the afternoon with such talented and successful people!

Overall, the event was a success for me. To even have the opportunity to be included, felt truly amazing! The House of Blues was a beautiful venue, the fans were fun, raucous, and amazing, and the event was incredibly well organized by Books, Coffee, and Wine and Mary Tatar! It was a smashing success, all around!

It was such an inspiring event, I went home and finished my third book, which is currently off to the beta readers, and then off the my amazing editor, Rogena Mitchell-Jones.

It has been quite a year! A big Author event, my blog turns one year old in May, and with my third book on the verge of release I realize that I am enjoying this journey so much. It has enhanced my life in such unexpected ways and I am so thankful to have been reminded of how much I love to write and the fulfillment it gives me to be able to do it.

I wish I would have taken more pictures at the event, but time was limited. I’m pasting the link below to the photo gallery on my website if you’d like to check it out.
http://www.jennifersivec.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=15542919

I don’t know what is in store for me moving forward. I have an event in May, but after that I’m open. I’m open to whatever new experiences this journey takes me on, and I look forward to continuing to share them. 🙂

Getting Ready CAE…

I said I would blog every day before the Cleveland Author Event, which was clearly a big fat lie.

I have probably blogged LESS than usual for the same reason I haven’t been able to write “the end” to my current work in progress, I Run to You. It’s just a little thing called LIFE.

Writing soothes and strengthens me, but it’s not all of me. It doesn’t completely define me, though it’s always been a driving force in my life even when I didn’t know it. Anytime someone is passionate about something in life, I believe it unknowingly propels them forward in life. And while I desire to write daily, it just gets too crazy to write the way I wish I could.

And I’m okay with that.

The Cleveland Author Event is in one week and one day, and I am a lot less freaked out about it than I was a month ago. I have a dress, shoes, books, swag, a banner, pretty pens, and chocolate (a must). As I begin this blog entry I am sitting under a hair dryer getting my hair done, then nails after. I’ll be all beautified by two of my favorite women, Drema and Brenda.

So I believe I’m ready.

And I’m so excited! I’ll get to meet people I’ve only ever talked to or communicated with in emails or via social media. To be able to put names with personalities and faces, will be an extreme pleasure. I can’t wait to spend quality time with such talented and successful authors, many of whom have answered questions and been so supportive, even though they probably thought I was some mad stalker in the beginning.

This past year had been such a wonderfully amazing year, full of so many new experiences. Between writing, releasing two books, blogging, interacting with so many incredible new people, and becoming more open to the world, it has truly been a whirlwind. But I’ll take it! I’m much happier than I’ve been with myself in a long time as I’ve struggled to reach my potential. While life is this constant journey, it often feels as though we’ll never get to where we are going. We are always searching for the destination instead of just enjoying the road.

I’ve blogged before about how writing a book was on my bucket list. And now that I’ve almost completed my third, I realize I’m definitely enjoying the road, for the first time. When I finished writing my first two books, I had this incessant urge to start the third, as well as a fourth. I see now that as long as I continue to have a passion for writing then I will write, the way I’ve been doing it. Around my marriage, my children, my career, and around life. I’ll write because I get to and because I understand how lucky I am to do so many things I love.

I just had a lovely lady on my Facebook page tell me I am “on her list” of authors to visit! I don’t think I’ve ever been on anyone’s list before, so I am super excited to meet her. It’s my first big signing and I am beyond ecstatic to get to be a part of it!

I’m sorry I lied and didn’t blog every day. I think I must have been crazy or drunk when I said I would because there is no way it was ever going to happen. But I’m happy I get to do it now. And if you’re at the Cleveland Author Event, please stop and say Hi :). Even if I’m not on your list, or you’ve never read any of my work, if you’re reading this post then I would love to meet you!

So… I’m ready.

But first, to finish planning a seven year olds birthday party that is in two days…

Best Selling Author?!?

I was perusing Amazon, as I occasionally will do to check my rankings. I realized that my first novel, Leaving Eva, had a number 65 next to it for some strange reason.

As I looked further, I realized that it’s ranked as a Best Seller>#65 in the Top 100 Kindle Books>Adoption! I’m excited and stunned. While the adoption category in Kindle Books isn’t huge, to be in the top 100 of anything on Amazon is pretty cool.

While Leaving Eva has a strong adoption theme, it’s also about drug abuse, abandonment, separation, abuse, kidnapping, love, and so much more. But I’ll take the words “Best Selling” next to my name, any day of the week!!

There are only 20 more days until the Cleveland Author Event and I’m so excited about it! I can’t wait to meet awesome authors and readers, and put some beautiful faces with names.

And now I can do it even if it’s only for a day, as a Best Selling Author, according to Amazon. 😊😊😊

Day 27 Old Dog, New Tricks

I LOVE LOVE LOVE learning new things!

I’ve learned so many new things in my lifetime that I’m afraid I’ve forgotten half of it. Learning is exciting, exhilarating, and FUN! I didn’t always feel this way but as I get older I see it as a way of reinventing myself.

Whether it’s learning a new way to parent, put on eyeliner, cook, clean, or write, I love learning just about anything. I don’t want to be the same person in ten years from now and I’m certainly not the same as I was ten years ago. I’ve evolved and grown and I hope that I’m better, smarter, and so much more than I was. Some of my learning has been honed through deep pain, the kind you think will destroy you. The kind of pain that seems endless at the time and changes you infinitely. But most of my learning has been been simply from having an open heart and mind.

I revel in any amount of learning big or small. Even today I got to learn something new in the past couple of days… Spotify. I even made playlists and everything. It was definitely fun! The link for my current work in progress, I Run to You, is below.

I’m not an old dog yet, but I hope that if I ever get to be 80, I’ll still love to learn new things!

The Most Interesting People I Know…

I’ve met a lot of interesting people in my life. Heroes, criminals, writers, college dropouts, and self-made millionaires. But by far, the most interesting people I know actually live in my house, and are under the age of ten.

I was adopted, so for all of my life, there was nobody that looked like me, sounded like me, or resembled me in any way. That is… until my two precocious little boys came a long. Suddenly, I was surrounded by two little people who mirrored my husband and I, both in appearance, personality, and behavior. It was uncanny and miraculous, and I was instantly in love.

What has truly been amazing about this journey of motherhood, has been how interesting I find them. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist or a child psychologist stalking my little experiments, watching them change and grow. Seeing them develop from tiny dependent babies to funny and intelligent little boys has been all-consuming, so much more than I ever imagined.

My oldest son, Jack, is like my husband in many ways. And because I understand him, my depth of understanding has also grown for my husband. The “baby”, Charlie, is most like me so I understand how infuriating my stubbornness can be. The beautiful pattern of our family is woven by common threads, as well our own dynamic personalities. I am often mesmerized by how truly amazing it all is.

I could listen to my children talk all day. And right now, they love to talk to me. They can’t wait to share things and tell me what is on their minds. They share every idea, hope and thought with me and I can’t get enough of it! I truly love watching their minds work, thoughts formulate, and theories about life develop.

I love how much they rely on my husband and I to help create their core beliefs. But it’s always fun to watch how they take what they’ve learned and run with it. Whether it’s the answers to the big questions or the little ones, it feels like a privilege to witness them evolve and grow.

Jack recently realized that he has the ability to “choose” the big things in his life. Up until then, he believed that his course was set by us. It never occurred to him that he could do something different than what his Dad and I decided. This revelation that he could actually decide, didn’t change much for him. But his mind opened up just a little bit more on that day. With his newfound epiphany he edged slightly away from my little boy, to a wiser one.

I read somewhere that if you listen to your children when they are small, they will come to you when they are bigger. I’ve become a better listener, and what I’ve found is that I’m actually very interested. Whether it is their plan for their world in Minecraft, or what they are doing in school, or which wrestler is making his return debut-I hang onto their every word. And I listen. Always.

They are so interesting. Their passion, reflection, thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. They are a gift wrapped up in a beautiful little package borne of innocence, goodness, and discovery. All of which are gone way too quickly. I don’t remember thinking and imagining so sweetly. Those days are long gone for me, but when I see them in my children I find so much joy and happiness.

Charlie still believes in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, even though Jack has spilled the beans on countless occasions. But Jack still thinks that his dad and I are the best people in the world, and they both still love to cuddle with us every chance they get.

I am anxious to see what they will become. I can’t wait to watch and listen to them grow, though I am not in a hurry for them to do so. And I can’t believe that I made such beautiful children and that they can mesmerize me so completely.

I hope that as a mother, this complete interest in them early in their lives will open the door to more important moments when they are older. The conversations that will be needed when they are struggling with life and with themselves.

I don’t see myself ever losing interest in them, but I’m a realist and I know that there will be times-maybe even years when it will have to be from afar. But I hope they will always know that they will remain the most interesting people in my life.

And I hope against hope, that they will feel just a smidgen of that for me. ❤

Shiny Objects…

So, I’m working on my third book. And it’s going painfully slow.

Painfully.

I decided that the story was getting too dark. I decided that I need my main character to experience a little more love in her life. So now I need to go back and add it. The love that is. The truth is… I love dark stories. I always have. The twistier and uglier, the better. I think that’s why I loved mythology when I was a girl. Mythology rarely had the Happily Ever After and I was good with that, even at a young age.

My first two books were dark. Sad, ugly, tragic, and dark. I actually wrote about people killing and being killed, which surprised me because I didn’t plan it that way. It just happened because that’s where the story went. That is the beauty of writing, at least for me. Something comes out of nothing and then the unexpected happens. Magic.

But I’m having a hard time getting to a point in the story that makes me feel like I have finally made progress. I’m at least, if not more than halfway into the first draft. Once the draft is done, I tell myself that I’ll feel more resolved but chances are that I won’t. Since I’ve been writing again there is a consistent sense of things being undone. I feel more sane and there is a lot less chaos in my head, but I definitely feel a lack of completion in my daily life.

The fact is, I’m just busy. With a full time career that has full time responsibilities, a beautiful but active family, two dogs, parents who aren’t in the best of health, and a brain that won’t settle down… it’s hard to find the time to write. Even now, I’m blogging when I should be trying to figure out why my characters love each other so much. But I am writing and the exercise of writing and creating is what gives me peace, helps me breathe, and quiets the noise in my head. It always has. But moments like this don’t come every day.

My last post was about needing a vacation. But truly, I know that I can’t take a vacation from my own mind, only from some of the rigors of life. I’m always questioning how I can finish the next book, and with each one it becomes increasingly more difficult. But I do know that I need to be more disciplined in my writing. Writing instead of Facebooking tweeting, and daydreaming about writing. I need to just hunker down, “clear the mechanism” (For Love of the Game), and write, even if it stinks. I can work out the bugs after the first draft is done, after my editor and awesome pre-readers get done hacking it up.

Sometimes I am frustrated because I feel that there are so many stories to tell, yet not enough hours in the day to tell them in. When I began my first book, I told myself that I would feel like a writer after it was done. Then it became, after the second book is finished. Now it feels like, after the third book is finished, I may finally feel like a writer.

But who knows? Maybe I will never feel complete again. Maybe that is what compels me to write, this inward sense that there is so much more to write about. I’m hoping that after I finish this third book, that I will be able to take a little teensy weensy break before I write the third book in the Eva series. The overall 3rd Book, tentatively titled Run to You, was meant to give me a break from the heaviness of the Eva series. This was supposed to be my easy novel. As it turns out, it has actually become my most difficult in many ways. Now that my main character wants more love, it’s proven to be more challenging. But being more challenged it great!

So I gotta go now and try to bang out some more of this story. That is unless another shiny object comes floating by…