In fall of 2009, I was visiting New York’s Hudson River Valley when in a split second, a thousand pound tree limb struck me, breaking my neck and leaving me unconscious for days. After neurosurgery and release from the hospital for a multiple month recovery far away from where home was at the time, South Florida, I also discovered my husband had been living a double life. If that wasn’t enough, I received a call from my employer forcing me to resign, thus losing my professional identity. It was a triple whammy of loss. During this time, I was writing in a journal. It was my therapy as well as walking. Through my writing and walking, I gradually reframed my circumstances. I decided that I had lost everything, but I had the opportunity redesign my life, having it all: health, love, and career. It was nearly a year and half after the accident while on a multiple week walkabout in South America when I decided to write When All Balls Drop.
Why did you pursue writing?
I have been writing for most of my professional career whether as a teacher, marketing/pr professional, blogger, or now author. I decided after my life change that I wanted to do what I loved. And, why not? I wanted to create a profession where I could write, inspire, travel, and learn. I would do what I loved.
How long have you been publishing your work?
I started publishing my writing in 2008; however, When All Balls Drop is my first published book. I hope it inspires its readers to pursue their dreams in spite of whatever gets in their way.
What’s your writing environment like?
It changes, but I typically work in confined spaces. I don’t like to work in large coffee houses or settings that allow for much distraction. Although I do write at my small desk in the bedroom, you will most commonly find me writing from the kitchen table, backyard, or even a tray table on an aircraft. I have been known to put in earplugs to muffle the noises of our neighborhood roosters in Kauai or the landscapers and traffic of South Florida. I never listen to music. I would just start multi-tasking and not focus on the story.
As a goal, I try to concentrate for only two hours by setting an alarm on my phone, but I find that the majority of time, I pause the alarm to continue a thought or until it feels that I’m not making any good progress.
I do have a little secret to share with you. I’m a fan of Post-its. I love them. I stick them everywhere to remind me of a train of thought. Although my Macbook is covered with them so are my mirror, fridge, and the inside of my purse.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently rereading my journal entries from 2010-2011 for my sequel to When All Balls Drop. It will pick up where the first in the series left off. I will return to my roots in small-town Wisconsin. It will continue to South Florida where I started to rebuild my life. It includes a crucial therapeutic walkabout to South America. Its main theme describes the healing components of travel whether to a foreign place or somewhere as familiar as your hometown. The perspective gained from getting away completed my life change sparked by the tree in 2009.
I plan on releasing my next book in the fall of 2015. Until then, I will be promoting When All Balls Drop in Florida, Wisconsin, Kauai, and Massachusetts. You can check out my events on www.heidisiefkas.com and my Facebook page. Don’t worry! If you are in remote area, you can attend one of my virtual events.
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