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Perfectly Unique; An Autism Anthology

Imagine that your child never speaks or can’t communicate through regular conversation. Consider that she can’t understand your perspective or sense of humor or that she doesn’t like to be held or can’t make friends easily.

These are some of the experiences that parents of children with Autism experience daily. Autism Speaks is an organization that supports families touched by Autism.

One of the most amazing things about this author journey has been the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

They’re empathetic, funny, creative, generous, compassionate, and incredibly gifted. Getting to know these Creatives was a benefit I didn’t expect but one that has far surpassed every expectation.

When I began writing books, I never imagined that it would open so many doors. Recently I was asked to join a group of eighteen extremely talented authors in a collaborative project to write uplifting stories, with all profits going to Autism Speaks. Everyone involved donated their gifts, their time, and their energy to creating this fantastic project.

While the stories aren’t all Autism-related, the collection’s purpose is to bring focus to Autism, and will be released on April 1st, which is the beginning of Autism Awareness Month. The health and well-being of our children is the most important thing to all of us, with Autism touching so many of our lives. I feel privileged to have been a part of this anthology and hope that it will contribute to and benefit families who are affected by Autism’s effects.

The Perfectly Unique Anthology is available on Amazon on April 1st as an ebook and paperback.

Please grab your copy today and support this is wonderful organization! You’ll get to read eighteen amazing stories and do some good in this crazy world, at the same time. It doesn’t get any better than that. ❤️

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The Whisper that Began the Eva Series

For me, every book idea begins with one tiny whisper.

It may be so quiet at first that I don’t hear it, but then it works it’s way deep down inside until I can’t stop thinking about it. This is what happened with the Eva Series.

The story of Eva began as the whisper about a little girl who was abandoned and completely alone. Frightened and afraid, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I thought about her incessantly until I had no choice but to write her story. When it was all finally there on the page, for the first time in my entire life, there was a part of me that was free. The story of Eva was born … and in many ways, her story was my own. Like Eva, I was also abandoned at around the age of two. While I don’t remember any of it, and the circumstances were completely different, the little girl left in a puddle lost and alone made me believe that I had to feel the same. As heartbreaking as her story is, there’s always been that part of me that kept it buried deep down, telling myself that it didn’t matter and it didn’t hurt anymore.

The truth is, it didn’t hurt at all until I had children of my own and I finally knew what true, honest, pure, undeniable love felt like. The pain I had been carrying around inside suddenly exploded without warning until I couldn’t imagine anything worse.

Writing Eva’s story was a way to exorcise my own demons and heal my own deepest wounds. I wrote it at a time in my life when I was the most alone and lost. While writing Leaving Eva helped to heal the past, it was also a distraction from the present because I had been deeply struggling with life on many levels. The only time I could find any normalcy was when I was writing because I was able to focus on the story instead of on my life, which was a train wreck. Throughout the years, getting married, having children, and building a career, I had forgotten how much writing had meant to me. It had been my own form of therapy when I was younger, and I had needed it.

Once I began writing,  it was impossible to stop, and though Eva’s story took many twists and turns that were not autobiographical, there are many elements that are. While I know that leaves much untold, the moments that are true are recognizable for those who can see it, and it’s best that way.

Eventually the series took on a life of its own and with healing, also came a renewed vision and creativity. What began as the story of a girl abandoned and alone became the story of a woman who was far stronger and more resilient than she ever imagined she could be. Her life and circumstances veered far from my own, and while Eva’s story will always be close to my heart, the story that remains the closest to my own, is only the first one.

I’m happy that I wrote it because it became far more than I ever imagined it to be, opening doors to friendships and people that I never realized would mean so much. What began as a whisper, became an orchestra of beautiful music and a world that has brought me more joy and happiness that I ever knew could be possible.

For that one tiny whisper and for Eva, I will forever be grateful.

 

 

 

New Adventures

This writing life has taken me on so many new adventures in the past few years. 

I’ve been to book signings, started a blog, made many new friends, joined a publisher, and then lost a publisher. I’ve submitted to and been rejected by agents, published four books, written five books, and am now working on my sixth and seventh. I’ve received five star and one star reviews and have had readers both love and dislike my books. This journey has been full of ups and downs and through it all I’ve enjoyed the entire experience. I’ve laughed and cried, and been frustrated and excited, and throughout it all I haven’t regretted one moment.

I’m still amazed that anyone even wants to read any of my books. I’m humbled and honored that with the millions of books and authors, that anyone even chooses me. 

Now, I’ve had the honor of being chosen to join Evatopia Press as one of their amazing authors who write books  for women. I’m incredibly excited to get to work with Margery Walshaw who has experience as a publicist, literary agent, and script manager. I can’t wait to see what she teaches me, how she stretches me, and how I will grow from this experience.  My books have strong female protagonists who struggle with life and love, and I’m excited that they’ll get to be represented by a company with such a commitment to quality and support for both readers and authors. I’m anticipating what the future holds as I start down this new and exciting path and I’m excited to share it with you!!

Life, Books, Writing 

Okay … 

(Deep breath)

I’m diving in. For real this time!

Every month I tell myself that I’m going to get better with my blog for a number of reasons. Mostly I know that I need to for the practice,  to create a more consistent schedule in my writing, and because I need to create a better flow for the random words that are often tumbling out of my brain, with no rhyme or reason.  

I started my blog a couple of years ago but I’ve always struggled to keep up with it regularly. I tell myself that, like exercising, it’s due to time constraints, but it’s really about commitment. My blog has been like that old boyfriend you can’t quite stay away from, but don’t ever completely say ‘yes’ to. 

(Yeah, you know the one.) 😉

Just as I was about to recommit to my blog, once again, this beautiful blog challenge presented itself. Since I’ve never been one to resist a challenge, I’m taking it and am going to post every Friday, then reblog it on Monday for anyone who missed it. If this works, I’ll be in blog heaven for the remainder of 2016, which is super-exciting.

Next week is the first week where I get to write about My Writing Room which should be interesting because I don’t really have one … but I’m going to write about it anyway. 

Can I do this thing? I guess you’ll have to stay tuned!

Being a Writer

Being a writer is weird. Strange. Frightening. Disconcerting. Dizzying. Horrifying. Breathtaking.

Amazing.

I should’ve recognized in my early life that I was a writer because I’ve always loved stories, often seeking them out on every possible canvas; books, movies, art, news, music, people, and even commercials. Stories could always intrigue me, enthrall me, and draw me in, and often the effect lasted for days. 

With every person I’ve ever met and every problem I’ve had there is an interest about where they came from, what motivated them, and how they have became what they are. Even if I didn’t ask them, I imagined it. 

Being a writer has allowed me the freedom to explore this curiosity as well as my imagination in a way that makes more sense to me. I can indulge my intense curiosity and contemplate the hearts and minds of my characters without reservation. I can also create a world that I can control, instead of watching it helplessly unravel before me, as true life can have the tendency to do. Yet, as freeing as it is to control the destiny of my characters and plot the outcome of their stories, writing can also take a turn and the story can still end up completely changed from they way I intended it to be. 

This is also part of the beauty of being a writer.

Finding something within that I never realized existed, giving it life and permission to breathe, is unbelievably intoxicating and I have fallen in love with it. I don’t know what I ever did before I was a writer and I don’t know how I existed when I wasn’t. 

I’ll often have people ask me about my writing journey because they want to write. I’m sometimes unsure advice to give, other than to “just write.” Everyone’s path is their own. I believe that if you’re a writer then at some point, you’ll know. You’re heart and soul will scream it out to you, though it may only sound like a whisper at first. But when you can no longer silence the chaos and pouring out your heart onto paper is you’re only option … you’ll finally know.

You’re a writer.

I’m a Troper!!!

I began this writing journey many years ago beginning with a story that I penned with a girl in my fourth grade class. The story was short, simple, and contained the “f” word.

And it was terrible!

My oldest son is the same age I was when I wrote it and I’m still perplexed with my younger self. Yet, it was my first foray into a lifetime of writing and honing this beautiful craft. My stories and style have improved tremendously over the years (thank goodness), but that cringe-worthy story remains folded up in the corner of a drawer reminding me that while I wasn’t always prolific, I have always loved to write.

My writing journey has been a long one. I didn’t release my first book until nearly two years ago, and when I did I was filled with such fear and trepidation. It was like standing naked in front of a sold-out stadium, baring everything as I held my breath and waited for the laughter. I have always been a fairly private person, sharing only with people when I completely trust them. I’ve been this way all of my life, with only a few people who I allow into the realm of my secret craziness, completely.

In fact, I am just now becoming comfortable talking about my writing with others because it’s so personal. Writing about my writing always seems so much easier. Writing about everything has always been easier.

But I have loved everyday and every moment of this journey. Now, I get to take another step.
I’ve been accepted by the hybrid press, Booktrope. To say that I am ecstatic about having a publisher is an understatement. I LOVE self-publishing and the Indie community is absolutely amazing, but the Team concept of Booktrope has an allure that I can’t ignore. To engage with others and work toward a common goal, everyone sharing in the success, is a theme that I am all-to-familiar with in my grown-up job so this is a natural fit. Sharing my writing has helped me to become a creature who is more comfortable sharing out in the open, unlike the closed-off, impersonal person I once was.

I feel privileged to have been recognized and accepted by such a great group of people, and I am so ecstatic about having the opportunity to have help building an audience for my books.  This is where you can help.

I’ll be looking for a launch team who will help me when the time comes, to share, tweet, Facebook, blog, and inundate their news feed and everyone they know with news about my books or about new releases. If you are interested in being on that Team, you’ll receive certain perks which may involve getting advanced copies of my books before anyone else, being a part of a private Facebook group, having direct access to me AND the opportunity to receive some fun stuff in the mail, as well as have input on projects I’ll be working on (such as… what will we name this group?). In return, I’ll ask you to read my books, write HONEST reviews (even if you don’t like the book), and share, share, share!!

I hope you’ll consider joining me and being more involved in this amazing journey!! When the Team has been assembled, you’ll receive an email to let you know you are in. We may add Team-members later if the need arises, but only the first select will receive all of the perks! Join early because the early bird will get cooler stuff.

Sign up here… http://eepurl.com/bf9ugH

 

Being An Author

I never realized it before but I was an author even long before I had books in print. Instead of writing the stores down, I would just write them in my head, one right after the other. Unable to quiet the noise in my brain, there were often times when I felt like I was losing my mind. But I’ve found that since I’ve been writing, life actually seems clearer without the residual noise that comes from having all of those extra thoughts rolling around.

It’s funny how being an author has changed me. I’m not yet prolific (three books published, one in the editing process, and one about 1/3rd of the way written), or on the NY Times Bestsellers list (A girl can dream…), or even very well-known (Jennifer Sivec… “Never heard of her!”). BUT, I am more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been.

After being alive for (ahem!) several decades, I finally feel as though all of my important pieces have been discovered.

It’s been nearly two years since I’ve published my first book, Leaving Eva. I thought that publishing a book would be like having a birthday. I had the anticipation that I would feel different after reaching this momentous milestone in my life. But after I published Leaving Eva, I didn’t feel like an author right away, at all. Instead, I was almost embarrassed anytime anyone brought it up and I was constantly worried that if they hated my book they would look at me differently (writer neurosis). I wasn’t even sure what being an author would feel like, I was just convinced (like birthdays) it would feel different. I kept waiting for it to hit me and wasn’t sure if I would feel it after my first book  or after my tenth, though I wasn’t even sure I could get to writing two.

Finally, after three books published and another one “on the way” (yes, it’s like giving birth), I FINALLY find myself settling into this new role, realizing it isn’t just a passing whim or just an experiment in life. I realize that writing is here to stay and that I can fit it into my busy life and make it a permanent part of me. I struggled with making that commitment for a while wondering if I would be too busy and if it would eventually end up on the list of things that “just didn’t work out”, in my life.

It’s been challenging rotating roles: wife, mom, full-time career (that I love), and writer. There have been many long days and nights, and moments when I’ve wondered whether I would be able to do it all. But I’m finally figuring out that each role fulfills a different part of me and makes the other one so much better. I’m more fulfilled from the inside, which makes more productive and complete on the outside.

I finally understand what being an author is all about. It’s quite simply about writing, and nothing else. While there are many other things involved in selling books, without the writing there is nothing else. I’ve set some goals for myself this year, to center myself more around the writing in order to become a better writer. They involve blogging, newsletters, and simply writing my books. After all, that is why I became an author, so I could write, which is what I love to do.

Now I wake up and life makes much more sense. And despite the many long days and nights, and constantly juggling roles, I feel utterly fortunate to get to live this busy, far from perfect, but very full-life! And for the first time in my life, I finally feel as though I am what I have always been… an author!

http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Sivec/e/B00CA7NN64/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1420987883&sr=8-1