My latest Google search topic…

I write romance, so it couldn’t be helped… my latest Google search topic was “Hot Scottish Men in Kilts.”  It truly was for research purposes I promise!  While I was looking for the perfect Logan in my current work-in-progress, I found a ton of amazing pictures of very handsome men, but alas… no one that represented the man I had pictured in my mind. Perhaps that was because the man I had pictured in my mind was a werewolf, but more on that later.

I did finally have some luck, and while he isn’t wearing a kilt in this photo and he needs to have a smidge more hair, I am sure you’ll agree, once book 3 is released that I did finally find the perfect mate for Fire!  For anyone interested in taking a peek into my brain and checking out my inspiration boards (totally giving you a disclaimer here and letting you know it is at your own risk), you can find them on Pinterest at: daauthor.

Logan

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Would love a Follow! @SarayBooksDA

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I am in the final stages of production for the second book in my Power of Four series, and thought this would be a good time to remind everyone of where they can follow me.

For those of you interested in reading my genre, which is Magical Fantasy with a bit of spicy Romance, I am active on quite a few social media channels. If you have come across this post, and this genre isn’t for you but you know who may like it, please pass it along.  I would love to answer questions about my books, what I am working on next, and to chat about the trials and tribulations of my writing life.

For Facebook users, you can follow my page at: saraybooksllc

For Twitter, you can follow me or send tweets at: @SarayBooksDA

On Pinterest, you can see my inspiration boards at: www.pinterest.com/daauthor/

On Instagram, posts can be followed at: dahenneman

Google Plus users can find me at: D.A. Henneman – Author

On Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/14986235.D_A_Henneman

Sign up for updates and goodies: http://eepurl.com/cKqoQP

So whether you Like, Tweet, Pin or Post (or all of them), please check out my links and help me to find more awesome readers like you!

Writer’s Block…Gasp!

Vintage Typewriter

Writer’s Block. A frightening concept for any writer, and something that most of them will tell you they have had personal experience with. So what is it? How can this crippling occurrence happen with all of the information coming at us through the internet, daily interactions and social media? Wouldn’t those things provide someone with an imagination a constant stream of ideas? My answer is yes…and no.

Having information at your fingertips can be inspiring; there is no doubt about that. It can also help make developing a character easier by providing endless supplies of research material. But on your way to researching job skills necessary for your lead character to be a Scuba Instructor, or how many petals from a poinsettia it takes to “off” someone (not that I have ever thought about this), you can easily get sidetracked.

Research is a necessary evil of writing, but sometimes too much research overloads our circuits and gives us the excuse to avoid writing. That avoidance can only go on so long before procrastination turns into a full-fledged writer’s block-a-thon. So how do we avoid this horrible fate? Simple…by writing. Even if you have nothing to say.

I think Stephen King nailed it on the head when he said “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and Write a lot.” I also believe that when you don’t have time to do either of those things, the very least a writer should do is think about writing. By keeping writing as your focus, whether you are hammering out the next scene in your novel, developing a character’s resume or working out how someone is going to act when they get punched in the face (also something I have not thought of), you will keep writer’s block where it belongs… in someone else’s story.

Soundtrack of my Life – Entry #8

It is hard to believe “the eighties” are now ancient history. That the people I knew growing up are sneaking up towards retirement, have had children of their own, and perhaps even grandchildren. That the bands we listened to and the stars we watched at the movies are now adorning the cover of the AARP Magazine (not too long ago they had a great article on Cyndi Lauper). But that is the way of life, everything has its time, and now I can sit back and reflect on how those days, made such a huge impact on my life in a very subtle and beautiful way.

I am certainly not done living, although it never really is our choice is it? (The volume of talented artists we lost in 2016 speaks to that). Nor am I ever going to stop learning new things since I kind of dig being one of the oldest students in the classroom. I love learning things because I want to, not because I have to and it is not in my nature to sit back and watch the world pass by me, as anyone who knows me can attest. But this is a great time for me to take a deep breath, and focus on what brings me personal fulfillment and joy, something I haven’t really been able to do since my glory days. Life has blessed me with a wonderful marriage, beautiful children and a skillset that I developed during a mishmash career (I am forever trying new things).  My days were filled with errands and duties, all things we are familiar with. While I have always written in one, way, shape or form, it wasn’t until I closed the door on the things I felt were my destiny – that the window opened for the thing that truly was…writing.

Coming back full-circle to writing creatively has been a challenge, since there are endless things to learn about the industry. It is certainly more so for those of us who come back to our passions later in life. Because what I found, is even though I feel 20 on the inside, the woman looking back at me in the mirror is far from that. And the babies that I raised are now at the age I was so long ago, and doing the same things I did…navigating their way through life and looking at it as a great adventure. You can’t stop the world, there will be progress and people will move on with their lives, but the one thing I have come to realize is that you shouldn’t let life stop you from reaching for the stars, or following your dreams. I wish I would have realized that so long ago instead of putting things off for when I was comfortable that I had the “right” amount of time to jump in. Especially since now I have come to realize I have much less of it…time that is. We all do.

This latest entry in the Soundtrack of my life came on the other day while I was listening to Pandora at my 8 to 5 job. It brought a smile to my face as it was sung by a band I absolutely adored (and still do) the GoGo’s. When I looked up the lyrics I realized that the message is just as relevant to me now as it was all those years ago. Don’t wait for things to come to you, for there to be time to do the things you love…time is the one thing that can’t be guaranteed. So the message for me? Pursue your passions and dreams right along with taking care of the business of living, and make your choices with no regrets. If it is the right choice for you, it will bring you happiness, and that is the best that any of us can hope for.

By the way, this is just how I will always remember seeing them in concert.  They warmed up for the Police and it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to! So full of positive energy and life!

There are not enough hours in the day to write! Or are there?

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When life gets in the way and leaves me with little time to write…I get cranky. The sense that I will never have time to write again, sneaks silently into my mind and feeds my lethargy. When I cry that there aren’t enough hours in the day, I force myself to look back over the last six years of my life. Remembering what I have accomplished in that time is often just the thing I need to get my motivation back on track. Here are five ideas I have used to make every minute count:

  • Driving Time – Whether you are in the car for an hour, or ten minutes, you can use that time to your advantage. If you are driving, there are obvious limitations to what you can accomplish. This is a great time to mentally plot out scenes, develop characters, or take verbal notes on a recorder. I often use the microphone function on my phone and add notes verbally, emailing them to myself later for transcription. If you are a passenger, even better! Jot down notes to further your plot, write your next blog or your next several social media posts.
  • Lunch Time – It doesn’t take long to eat, so in between bites make the blog or social posts you worked on earlier, catch up on your email or work on the outline for your next chapter. You’ve just added another hour of writing!
  • Television – Here’s where I get a bit harsh. Think about your favorite television shows, how often they air, and how long they are. According to an article posted in the New York Times by John Koblin, the average person in America watches 5 hours and 4 minutes of television per day. Switch your priorities and you can finish that chapter you plotted out at lunch! Record your show, and catch up when your project is in better shape.
  • Insomnia – Stinks if you have it, but if you can’t fall back to sleep in a matter of twenty minutes, try getting up and completing something. Research a blog post, find clipart and photos for your next Facebook post, or crank on your novel. Chances are, if you spend an hour or so, in the wee hours of the morning tying up a loose end, a more restful slumber will await you. A few stretches or yoga poses might help as well!
  • Unplug from your phone – Unless your project is specific to your website, blog, or social media networks, consider unplugging from your phone. According to an article by Jennifer Harper in The Washington Times, the average person in America spends 4.7 hours a day on their smart phones. That equates to a lot of writing time!

Freeing up 6 to 8 hours per day might seem like a Herculean task, but by making small changes in your daily routine, you can find the time to do anything you set your mind to. I’m making writing my priority in 2017…how about you? DAH