Saturday, June 28, 2014

Guest post by Sharon van Ivan, author of 'Juggle and Hide'

I enjoy writing, but I am a high-level procrastinator.  This is the first book I’ve had published.  I am not good at promoting myself or even letting people read my work.  If it hadn’t been for friends, friends who were also writers, and my husband, Charles Pfahl, the manuscript would still be in a file in my office and I’d never mention it to a soul.  Other people have taken care of this.  Other people have made it possible for me to send Juggle and Hide out into the world.  On my own.  No way.  So any help I can get from anyone is better than what I can do for myself.  I’m older now and it’s about time I start sharing my stories with others.  Someone might even be helped by something I write.  So many things have happened in my life that have turned me into the survivor I am today. I’m hoping that now that Juggle and Hide has found its way out into the world, that I will be able to begin a new book very soon. I have lots of ideas running around in my head, but the sorrow I feel from the recent loss of my husband, has taken precedence over everything else.  In time, I’m sure I’ll write again.  Hopefully, I can put into words the love story that was ours.  We met at my wedding reception for my first marriage in 1968.  He married someone else, too.  Then we were just friends.  Later we met again – after we had both been divorced from our first loves -- and became lovers and moved in together for two years.  We lived and worked in New York – in a huge loft in Hell’s Kitchen.  Because of our alcoholism and drug addition, we didn’t last long.  We split up, married other people again, and then both of us moved all over the place till we ran out of steam and ended up in New York at the same time (and also both divorced again).  I had already stopped drinking and drugging by then and was two years sober.  He was in very bad shape and was staying with friends only blocks from where I was living.  He got my phone number from an old friend.  We had dinner.  I did my amends for my part of our difficulties back in the 70s and he asked me to help him.  We were together after that for twenty years.  Twenty sober years and it was a wonderful time for both of us.  Then came cancer and death and here I am on my own living one day at a time.  Should be able to write about our story soon.  Or at least be able to write something again.  Grief lasts forever, I think.  

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Title: Sharon van Ivan
Genre: Memoir
Author: Sharon van Ivan
Publisher: Cygnet Press
Find out more on Amazon
Juggle and Hide is award-winning writer Sharon van Ivan’s dizzying story of her unconventional, often harrowing, and 
sometimes hilarious life. With a childhood split between time with her alcoholic mother in Akron, Ohio and her gambling dad in Brooklyn, New York, as well as other challenging family members along the way, she was destined to find comfort on the edge and in the company of highly creative and self-destructive individuals.
Hers is a story of getting drunk and getting sober, of triumphs and failures in her work as an actor and screenwriter, and of exhilarating love affairs, including her twenty-year relationship with the renowned artist Charles Pfahl. The book is quirky and compelling, and engaging on many levels. Sharon takes the reader on a roller coaster ride into the depths of personal tragedy with unexpected outcomes.
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Sharon
Sharon van Ivan lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her two cats, The Duke and Earl.  She was born in Brooklyn New York and couldn’t wait to move back to New York when she grew up.  Her parents divorced when she was a baby and she lived with her mother in Akron, Ohio, until she returned to New York in her early 20s.  There she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was a working actress for many years.  But she was always writing.  Her debut as a playwright was when she was 10 years old and living in Sacramento, California.  She wrote about the hardships of a young girl in Mexico.  The play was so good, it was presented to the whole school.  Sharon was mortified and did not write again until high school.  Then when she had a writing assignment, she would dream about it the night before, and write it just before class.  She was an A student in English.  Not the most popular person in school, however.
Growing up with an alcoholic and, therefore, mentally ill mother and a mostly-absent father (plus a slew of stepfathers) was a challenge that Sharon met head-on – as she had no choice. Later in life when she did have a choice, the patterns had already been set and she followed a similarly disastrous road until she found show business, a great psychiatrist and the love of her life, the renowned realist painter, Charles Pfahl.