Tag Archive | writing

Special Day

Seeker of the Extraordinary

Today is my Special Day.

It’s the first one without the people who gave me a reason to have this day. I’m not sure how special it’s really going to be.

When I was a kid, it was like having another birthday. I honestly don’t remember if we had cake and presents, but it was a well-honored day in my house because it was the day I became my parents daughter. It was the day they became parents for the first time and I was saved from a life in a country that didn’t value women. I don’t know what kind of life I would’ve had if I’d have stayed but as an orphan, I can’t imagine it would’ve been worthwhile.

So I owe them everything.

Tomorrow will be the first day I don’t have one of them to thank. My dad died in 2014 and my mom, in March.

They adopted me when I was two, picking me out from pictures and choosing me from all the others.

I’ve struggled for more than a decade to understand who and why my birth parents would abandon me. I was a toddler and unable to care for myself but somehow I survived. There are far more questions than answers, and the people who have the answers left me on the side of the road.

Me at age two in a Korean Orphanage.

As I grew up, I never thought much about that early struggle to survive. Strangely, I didn’t consider it at all.

My new mom and I in my new home. Day One.

Then I had children and it changed me.

It made me realize that as a mother, there are things I would never do. Abandoning my children was one of them.

Because of that, I began to write.

I’d always been a writer, but when my youngest was two, I was facing personal trauma that was too much to bear. As I looked at him in the crib, I realized that he was the same age I was when I wandered the streets hungry and alone. Something inside of me changed forever so I turned to the one thing that had always given me solace and I wrote a book.

 http://a.co/fCMD9Lo

As Eva’s story poured out of me, so did the pain. My story became Eva’s story, and I realized that there had always been a part of me missing. I’d always felt it but never knew what it was.

Her abandonment story wasn’t quite my own, her story riddled with poor choices and addiction while mine remains a mystery.

Her broken leg was my broken arm and her shattered heart was a reflection of my own, calling out for a mother who no longer wanted her. Left in fear as darkness.

Writing brought healing and so did the laughter of my boys and their tiny voices and endless hugs. With them, I had purpose and I understood why I had survived when nobody cared if I would.

So on my first Special Day without the parents who raised me, I’ll think of them with nothing but gratefulness in my heart. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have this life, or my children, or the freedom to love and create.

I am so thankful for all of this and this makes every day special, for me.

These two make every day special ūüíôūüíô

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

Everything I Write Sucks

This is where I am.

Everything I write sucks and I’m struggling to find a rhythm but this is different. This isn’t simply trying to find time; it’s struggling with the story I’m writing. There’s a crucial piece missing and I need to find it … soon.

I’m beginning to believe that Ms. Plath was right. Perhaps the answer is simply to just keep writing.

So I’m going to stop freaking out and just … 

First Draft Blues

As a writer, I’m just not in a great place.

I’m working on completing the first draft of a story that has turned into something completely different than what I originally intended

As I’m writing this book, I’m reminded of my younger years when I began a story and became so discouraged that I could never see it through to completion. I’d write a few chapters and then give up because I knew it sucked. At that time in my life, I didn’t realize that first drafts are supposed to, so I just surrendered to the suck and gave up. I know better now, but the feelings remain.

I’ve often struggled with the story for months at a time. Leaving Eva took about a year to complete. When I became frustrated with the story I simply walked away from it for weeks at a time. As I try to hone my writing skills, I find now that walking away simply makes me rusty. When I pick it up again, I have to sharpen those skills all over again and I just feel as though I’m trudging in knee-deep mud, unable to move forward. I’ve been more committed to writing regularly, so walking away from the story this time, isn’t an option.

Writing this story is so difficult that I want to pull my hair out. I know… I believe… that somewhere in there is the beautiful story of a young woman whose past is dark, but her love for her husband and children changes her. These are the stories that I love.
I’ve also been experimenting with my medium. This is also the first book that I’ve written mostly by dictation, so instead of the words flowing out from my fingers they have to come out down from my brain and out  of my mouth. The connection has often been fuzzy and the process, difficult. Although my brain is often racing as the words hit my mouth I often want to take them back, the moment I hear them come out. The biggest difference is that with dictation there is no backspace. I often find that what I’ve written is unintelligible and as I go back to reread, I struggle to try and figure out what the hell I was thinking.

Still, I am tenacious.  Although it’s been a struggle and I’m convinced that this is the worst story I’ve ever written, I’ll press on because I need to see how it ends. While, dictating has given me the ability to write thousands more words faster than I might normally have time for, I know I’ll send up cutting many of them. The heart of the story is somewhere in the mess of  extra words and tangled chapters; I can feel it. I just have to find it.

I know that in the characters of Liv and Danny, there is great love and passion. However as with many couples, there is also deep conflict which is all I can share right now. Will they end up together? Will they be happy? Even I don’t know the answers yet. I do know that the characters love one other deeply but as with most of my stories, and much of life, it’s not always about love. It’s about so much more.

This books is about love, betrayal, and deception. It’s about lives ruined by selfishness and indulgence, neglect and  regret. The dynamic between the characters is heartbreaking and strong, and I can’t wait to flesh it all out. In many ways, I know this will be the most challenging first draft I’ve ever had to pick apart. I would love say writing gets easier; instead it seems to get harder. I’ve expected that the story will fall into place faster but it has eluded me.  There’s something magical about the moment when a story clicks in place, and with this one it hasn’t had that moment yet.

I am happy that I’ve dictated this book despite the challenges and frustration. The importance of learning a new process and sticking to it has taught me that there are other ways to be productive. With limited time as a wife, mother, and a full-time career, it is often impossible to put pen to paper. Dictating has become my saving grace and I am committed to becoming more skilled in this process

As I struggle with this first draft, I am in a place where I am also wrestling with self-doubt. It’s the moment when I question my ability to write well at all, which is a common fear for many writers. I imagine that if the process was easier I would have already written a thousand books already, so I am trying to remind myself that I can do this. I am going to pull myself up by the collar, kick myself in the butt, and tell myself to stop whining. 

I know that I’ll make it through this somehow. I can feel it in my heart and deep down in my bones. I’m searching for the story and reminding myself why I love to write so much. Through this journey, I’m sure I’ll find what I’m looking for … those two beautiful words …

The End. 

The Eva Series, the Whoa-Giveaway, and other Things

On February 17th, the Eva Series was finished with the release of Saving Eva. It took almost four years, but Eva’s story is finally complete.

While I thought that writing the first book, Leaving Eva, was the most difficult, this one was certainly the hardest¬†to write¬†for a number of reasons. The main character, Brynn’s, life has been heartbreaking and cruel but with every tortuous moment, also came hope. I was unsure how to leave the final book in the series, afraid that I would let the readers down and taint the beautiful stories and characters they had come to love. But early feedback and reviews of Saving Eva are good … even better than good, and some of my most beloved readers are happy with the ending, which makes me incredibly happy.

With the completion of the series, I also wanted to make it available as a collection so that you could cry your eyes out with all three of them, at once. (Major tissue alert here!) If you love ugly cry books, believe me, you’ll want to read these. I’ve had readers message me about support groups for this series, as well as how much these books made them laugh and cry. If you want books that will rip your heart out, the collection is available on Amazon and is free on Kindle Unlimited. Don’t get mad at me if your eyes are too puffy to leave the house for a week. You’ve been warned!

Since the release of Leaving Eva, much like Eva’s story, my author life has taken numerous¬†twists and turns. ¬†Though certainly not as violent or uncertain as Brynn’s, nonetheless it has been rocky and surprising. I began as an Indie Author in 2013, admittedly naive and totally clueless. I then joined two separate¬†publishers and subsequently¬†lost them. While¬†both experiences were vastly different, one lost by choice and one not, I learned a great deal about who I wanted to be and what I wanted my writing journey to look like.

As a result, I started my own imprint, Soul Sister Press, LLC. and while I am certainly not an expert in this¬†¬†creative life, I continue to learn¬†every day. The name Soul Sister Press made sense to me because I truly believe that soul mates come to us in many forms.¬†I’ve been fortunate to have found many of mine in the form of sisters; other professionals and creatives who understand¬†me and share my vision and passion. I love that we get to choose one another to bring our love of books to a beautiful completion. It’s the part of this journey that I love so much.

With Eva series complete, I’ll continue to work¬†on more beautifully broken stories throughout the remainder of the year, as well as search for¬†ways to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. With the help of Brenda Gonet of Starbound books, who is coordinating¬†a WHOA-Sized giveaway, we’ll be gifting signed paperbacks, ebooks, and swag to lucky winners just for being amazing! I have the most wonderful readers that I could ever imagine and I am so thankful for them every day. This WHOA-sized giveaway will give points for everything below and at the end of the month (March), Brenda will tally them up and the WINNERS will get some very nice prizes! If you want to get in on the fun, just message ¬†Brenda Gonet on Facebook with your entries!

whoa-giveaway

I’m also anticipating the release of my first audio book for I Run to You, which is set for release on my birthday, March 15th! Christine Rauch has a wonderful voice and I think she¬†has the perfect voice to tell the story of Alyssa Bennet.

There are so many exciting things happening in 2017 and I can only look ahead to an even more incredible year! If you’re reading this, you’ll also notice that my blog and website got a new makeover, thanks to the wonderful Brenda!

Honestly … I just don’t know what I would do without my soul sisters!