Tag Archive | Booktrope

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.) ūüėČ

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!

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The Forgotten

The writer’s mind is a weird place to reside. The twists and turns, the subtle paranoia, the dark and spirally stairwells that lead to the strangest of places. There is an inability to relax or stop thinking because the brain is constantly moving at lightning speed, even when you wish it wouldn’t.

These are all of the elements that propelled me to write The Forgotten.

Every book has a story about why it was written or what it was inspired by. My own writer’s brain, inflamed by tragedy at a certain time in my life, created this story before I even realized there was one.The two main characters, Jakob and Kell were inspired by my own two boys. The beauty and heroism of Jakob and Kell, as they save themselves and the other children is a reflection of how they’ve unknowingly saved me. Their goodness and love has made me become a better mother and a better person and without them I came to realize that I was doomed to a life of darkness. Writing The Forgotten was a story that originated from pain but evolved into something else entirely.

It’s beautiful to me how a story can grow into itself and become something even more than what it was intended to be. As I wrote The Forgotten, more beautifully strong children emerged, as well as a seemingly harmless creature called a Yashwa, who ultimately destroys the entire Balance of all things. I write a lot about the Balance in this book because I believe that balance is the center of a good and healthy life. Without it, life can go awry and become uncontrollable which is why it’s a strong theme in The Forgotten.

As the story evolved, so did the need for an obvious enemy and the  Ubilez were borne, reflecting the darkest places in my mind. Black and spindly with collective, yet individual voices, oily and evil to the core I envisioned them as a monster that could reach deep into  your core and gut you from the inside out. The ugliest creatures have always been easy for me to see in my mind and I was thrilled that my children loved this awful creature almost as much as I did.

In some ways this book has been one of my favorite to write. I knew in the beginning that it would be a Fantasy novel and somewhere along the journey I realized how freeing it was to just be able to create without limits. Being able to let my imagination go, unbridled, was exhilarating and fun and I loved that I didn’t have to be tethered in reality as I wrote. I’m looking forward to continuing the series with the next two books. Writing this series has given me an entirely new appreciation for being a writer and I look forward to continuing the journey.  I hope you’ll join me on the journey to find The Forgotten in The Lost Children Series

Amazon

“I have loved everything that this author has written and this book was no different. She made the characters crawl out of the pages and come to life for me, many of them being children which was a bonus.I love that I can pass this down to my daughter to read and that it was such a interesting read. I’ve decided that I really need to read more in this genre.
Thank you Jennifer Sivec!!”-Jensi Mooney (Amazon review)

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.

Celebrating with Books

I can’t believe that a year has already come and gone since I first joined Booktrope Publishing!

Time truly does fly, especially when you have the opportunity to do something that you love and meet so many wonderful and amazing people. My editor, J.C. Wing and cover designer, Brenda Gonet, have been with me since I joined Booktrope and I am incredibly thankful for both of these special and talented women. I don’t know how I got to be so lucky to find them both but I am so happy that I did. They guide me and make my work better and I don’t know what I’d do without either of them.

It’s been amazing to me how many wonderful people I’ve met in both Booktrope and in the book world. There is something so special about readers, writers, bloggers, designers, authors, and getting to know all of them has meant so much to me.

The timing has been great to celebrate with a giveaway! I Run to You is free on ITunes and only $.99 on Amazon until tomorrow! Then it will be $1.99 from the 11th-15th. There are over 200 Booktrope books that are running the same deal, which is super exciting. I hope you’ll celebrate with me and take the opportunity to find a wonderful new author as well!!

Booktrope Prefunk Books List

I Run to You on ITunes

I Run to You on Amazon

Pre-funk I Run to You

When you think you’re unlovable, how do you find the courage to love?

All of Alyssa Bennet’s life, the two people who were supposed to love her the most have let her down. Anna, her best friend, and her beloved grandmother, Nona, are the only constants in her every day; that is until the unbelievably perfect Landon Daniels comes along. For the first time in her life, Alyssa begins to believe that she might just be worthy of being ‚Ä®loved.

When the unexpected happens and threatens to snatch away her first chance at happiness, Alyssa must decide if she wants to continue her journey alone, or embrace the love she’s always wished for.

Women’s Fiction author, Jennifer Sivec explores hope, courage, and mortality in this gripping novel about one woman’s struggle to discover what it means to come to terms with your past, and above all, love yourself enough to be loved.

When you think you’re unlovable, how do you find the courage to love?

All of Alyssa Bennet’s life, the two people who were supposed to love her the most have let her down. Anna, her best friend, and her beloved grandmother, Nona, are the only constants in her every day; that is until the unbelievably perfect Landon Daniels comes along. For the first time in her life, Alyssa begins to believe that she might just be worthy of being ‚Ä®loved.

When the unexpected happens and threatens to snatch away her first chance at happiness, Alyssa must decide if she wants to continue her journey alone, or embrace the love she’s always wished for.

Women’s Fiction author, Jennifer Sivec explores hope, courage, and mortality in this gripping novel about one woman’s struggle to discover what it means to come to terms with your past, and above all, love yourself enough to be loved.

 

 

If you LOVE¬†getting a great deal, you’ll want to download I Run to You. The Pre-funk deal¬†begins Feb 8-10 , free on iTunes and .99 on Amazon,¬†Feb 11-15 it is 1.99. Don’t miss this!

 

Being Perfectly Imperfect 

Recently Author Harper Sloan posted a challenge on Facebook to share pictures of a time when we have felt perfectly imperfect. This challenge came at just the right time when I’m already on a journey to feel better about myself through exercise and eating better. I posted  a picture that was taken six months after having my youngest son, though there are hundreds of pictures I  could’ve could’ve chosen from. I’ve spent years hiding from the camera because I hated how I looked. I was always afraid that I would I look too fat or have a double chin. They are all the pictures I hide from my timeline on Facebook or untagged myself in, with the hope that nobody would recognize me.

The truth is that I’ve felt horribly imperfect my entire life. Even when I was in high school and a size nothing, I still never felt good about myself. As a younger woman in my 20s and in the prime of life, I never saw myself for who I was. Even when I didn’t need to, I went to Weight Watchers because I thought that would help me feel better about myself. It reflected the fact that I wasn’t comfortable in my  own skin even at such a young age.

When I got to my 30s, which were my childbearing years, I felt even worse about myself than ever. Even though my body had created the beauty of life, I was miserable. This is evident in the numerous videos that my husband took when I was running away from the camera, and yelling at him to put it  down. I didn’t want to see myself and what I looked like and I didn’t want it preserved on film, forever. Even in my latter 30s when faced with personal trauma, I lost a lot of weight but even though I wore smaller clothes,  I still couldn’t find happiness with myself or the person that I had become. 

Now that I am deeply rooted in my 40s, for the first time in my life, I feel more comfortable with who I am and what I look like. I’ve decided to come to terms with embracing my imperfections. I know that if I want to be healthier it’s completely my choice. 

Physically, I know that I have a lot of work to do but for the first time it’s more for health reasons then for aesthetics. Vanity has been replaced by necessity, and the necessity is to feel good and be around for my children for a long time. I simply want to be stronger and healthier which is more important than anything else. 
I don’t blame anyone else for my insecurities or make excuses anymore . I don’t fault society,  magazines, movies, or television. I don’t blame anyone although it’s tempting to pass the buck, and blame the generation before, or the world around me. But instead I choose to own it and change it. If I don’t, where will the cycle of insecurity end of it doesn’t end with me? 
As I get older I understand that the best that I can do is to be the best person that can be. I’m short and I’m stocky, built more like a gymnast than a Barbie Doll, but when I was younger I didn’t see that I was built like an athlete. I only saw that I didn’t have a tiny waist and slender shoulders and I only saw the things about myself that I didn’t like, and didn’t see anything that I could like. I’m learning that the key is to be happy with who I am and to look for reasons to love myself. I know there are things about myself that are what they are. There are parts of my body that no matter how much I work out, how little I weigh, or how small my clothes are, that will never change. I will always be built the way that I am  with big calves and broad shoulders and there’s nothing I can do about that.  
But I can be healthy and better toned with lower blood pressure and better cholesterol. I may never be the size I was in high school, but that doesn’t matter now, because I didnt even appreciate it then.

I have a long history of faking self-confidence pretty well. But when someone I once knew saw through it, they asked me why I had such low self-esteem. They told me that I was pretty and had much to be proud of and thankful for but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t answer them. Even now for as many times as I’ve asked myself that very question I still don’t fully know the answer. Maybe it began in childhood or sometime later in life. There were a lot of things I was confident about but deep down I still struggled with myself, daily. I often feel that the mirror we look into reflects so differently for us than it should. We fail to see the beauty within us that others see. Instead  we focus on what we perceive to be our own ugliness because that’s what we choose to see. If we could only embrace what the people who love us see, and envision ourselves in the best possible light, our world would be a far more beautiful and peaceful place.

I’m raising sons and I’m finding the boys have just as many insecurities as girls do. I’m trying to teach them to see the good in themselves especially when they don’t want to.  While I don’t ignore their insecurities we talk about them with acceptance and love, and I try to help them understand that its a part of their beauty and who they are. I’m trying to teach them that there is no such thing as perfection and that we only have the best version of ourselves to live up to.

It has taken me over 40 years to realize this and accept it. While this is not the truth I live with every single day, it is the truth that I strive for. I’ve accepted that I am perfectly imperfect with my wrinkles and extra pounds, my broad shoulders, my not so tiny waist, and my huge calves that won’t fit into every pair of boots. I’m learning to love myself for who I am while still hoping to become the best version of myself that I can be.

Truly that is the best thing that I can ever do and the best gift I can ever give myself or my family. Yet in all of my perfect imperfection, it’s amazing to know that they are completely and fully in love with me. 

Even when I struggle to love myself. 

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.