Tag Archive | Monday blogs

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)

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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.

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.

The Beauty of the Young Reader

There is something very special about children who read. 

Both of my boys are very good readers… now. But it didn’t come naturally which surprised me  because as a child I was inexplicably drawn to books. I devoured  so many that I can’t even come close to remembering them all. Some of my fondest memories are of walking to the local library and taking out as many books as they would let me. I remember going through the aisles for what seemed like minutes when it was probably more like hours, trying to figure out which book I would read next. 

I would pull my favorites off of the shelves: Are you there God? It’s Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, the Sweet Valley High Series, Nancy Drew, VC Andrews, Mythology, Anne Rice… re-reading the books I’d already read, the ones I really loved. I spent hours and hours reading, imagining and becoming  the characters, all the while living and breathing with them. Reading was a way of life. I loved books so much that my punishment was that my parents would send me outside and ban me from books for the afternoon!

I hate to admit there came a decade in my life when I forgot my love for reading. I read but not with the passion and voraciousness of my early years. I was working… a lot… romancing, socializing, building a career, and having babies. But then my husband got me a Kindle for my birthday and I read three books in one week.  It felt as though I had found a long lost friend, my love for reading remembered and reignited.

When my children were given reading assignments and I had to practically hog-tie them down just to read a paragraph, I was surprised. I think I expected them to fall instantly in love with words, like I did. But getting them to read a page was torture and I felt like an utter failure. Even though I read to them when they were little, they fought reading tooth and nail. 

But little by little, word by word, it happened. 

We took turns reading to one another, we read every night before bed, we talked about the books they were reading in school, we talked about where they were with their reading levels, and we recognized when they hit their reading goals. Their teachers gave then goals and then rewarded them when they made their goals and I realized that my boys were finally readers! 

They learned to love reading and we were able to cultivate it with time and consistency. My youngest was the student who read the second highest amount of words this past year and my oldest made 200% of his reading goal. I’m so proud of them, but I know that this love has  to continue to be reinforced and fed. I’m planning trips to the library and trying to figure out how to continue to make reading fun.

Through my writing I’ve met some other young readers who share my passion for books and for reading. I love how it bonds us, making us instant friends because we share such a strong love. I love how it opens so many doors and makes me a part of such a strong community. It’s as though we have an unspoken understanding that reading opens our minds to a world where everything is infinitely possible. 

Children who read,  become adults who understand that the world is large and endless, beyond anything we can imagine. I love that children can imagine that. They are our future writers, inventors, teachers, scientists, doctors, and entrepreneurs. Children who read understand that the world is limitless and so are they and I can’t wait until the moment that my children truly understand this. 

I’m incredibly thankful that they are well on their way.