Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.


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First 1 1/2 Weeks In Germany!

Anyone who has ever traveled somewhere with a time difference of more than just a couple of hours will agree with this statement:

Jet lag is evil.

I landed in Germany on the morning of September 14th and have dealt with the daily struggle of fighting to stay awake halfway through each day. Slowly, it’s gotten better and if all goes well, I should be fully adjusted in a day or two. I hope.

Things have been normal while visiting my parents so far. Sleep, naps, catching up on some shows (Lucifer and Master Chef), trying out new shows (Lethal Weapon), and playing games (currently Ni No Kuni and Xenoblade Chronicles). Now that my mind isn’t as frazzled from jet lag, it’s time to get back into writing as well.

Starting Monday, I’m planning for daily writing with a hope of 10,000 words per week. If I manage 2,000 words each day during the week, that gives me either free weekends or time to get extra words written!

With National Novel Writing Month just around the corner, I need to finish the first draft of this book so I can start something new during that event!

That aside, I’ve successfully stolen the dog’s affections and have been walking her on occasion as well. Now, time to relax this weekend before writing kicks into gear on Monday!


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Journey To Germany

Hi everyone!

This is just a quick update to explain what’s going on in my life. This coming Tuesday, September 13th, I’ll be getting on a plane for an almost ten-hour flight from Seattle to Germany.

I’ll be visiting my parents from September 14th – December 6th.

It’s going to be exciting and I’ll also get to see my cats, as well as the dog they got after I moved back to the US. I’ll definitely be blogging while I’m in Germany. I’ll likely also take a trip to the Netherlands and possibly England while I’m there.

This week so far has been full of meeting up with friends and family before I disappear for almost three months. More meeting up will happen in the next few days, alongside finishing up packing my suitcase and bags. Fun, but busy times!

This trip will be a good chance for me to catch up on my writing. I need to finish writing my book, Vanquished Virtue, before November hits so I can start writing the sequel during National Novel Writing Month!

Look forward to upcoming blog posts. If I don’t pass out when I land on September 14th (at 8:40 in the morning!), then I’ll try to blog that day. We’ll see how it goes!

Where’s somewhere you’d like to travel to?


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Camp NaNoWriMo – Winner!

Once upon a time, it was a dark and stormy night, in a land far, far away…

There, a writer who hadn’t honed her craft in months was tired of sitting around and decided to give Camp NaNoWriMo a goal, with a small goal of 15,000 words.

Ten days in and 15,000 words later, she upped her goal to 25,000 words.

She attained that goal.

campnano

We did it! Two writers in the local writing group and I all started with goals of 10,000 – 15,000 words and all three of us upped our goals to 25,000 words. Guess what? We all reached that increased goal. The three of us encouraging each other and sharing snippets along the way was an amazing experience and something that clearly benefited all three of us.

For me, I’m now about one third of the way through this book, titled Vanquished Virtue. My goal is to finish it before NaNoWriMo comes around in November. After all, wouldn’t that be the perfect time to start book #2?

I won’t ramble too much today. After all, I’ve got more writing to do!


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Music: An Inspiration

This week, I took the time to listen to some music I haven’t heard in a while. Some of the bands, singers, and artists I’ve neglected recently. From Within Temptation to Tokio Hotel to The Gazette – English, German, Japanese. I returned to it all. There are two reasons for this, but one of them is a specific cause.

Panic! At the Disco’s new album, Death of A Bachelor, releases on Friday. My favorite band since I was twelve and the music I can always turn to and be entertained by; how could this upcoming release not excite me?PATD_Cover_FINAL_Death of a Bachelor

I’ve stayed in the loop as they released singles. I’ve listened to them all.

Now, I’m ready to hear the final product.

You might wonder why this led me to listen to other music. It’s really quite simple. Music is inspiration. Singers are artists. Writers. Storytellers. Music is one of my greatest inspirations. The right song of album can guide me through scenes I need to write. Finding the right song can create that burst of inspiration, that EUREKA moment that gets me unstuck if I’m struggling.

Music is a large part of my writing.

With the release of their new album, a new burst of inspiration is sure to come. I need to be ready for it.

How does music inspire you?


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2016 Writing – It Begins

I’ll admit it: I’m a horrible person because I haven’t written anything yet this year. My excuse is that I worked extra hours around New Years and that my third quarter of Japanese started last night. Between work and class, I haven’t had a chance just yet.

It’s time to change that.

I won’t waste too much time here, because I have writing to do. So for now, I’ll leave you with the opening paragraph. Expect updates to come more frequently from now on.

I worry sometimes that everything I’ve done will accumulate, one day at a time, until eventually it will erupt and bring with it horrible consequences. The future eludes me in that way. All I have are speculations – situations I think may happen to me one day. But what good are speculations?

What are your 2016 plans?


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A New Year – 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone transitioned from 2015 into 2016 safely with their friends and family. Me? I was in bed at 10 PM since I had to be up by 5 AM and at work by 6 AM. The transition for me, therefore, was spent in bed.

Not a bad thing, if I dare say so.

For the next few weeks, everyone’s bound to discuss their New Year’s Resolutions. Personally, I’ve decided not to go with any clear-cut resolutions.

My goal for 2016 is to be happy.

While 2015 was in no means a bad year and there were several highlights (I joined a writer’s group, spent a weekend at the ocean, went to San Japan, went to Pax Prime for the first time), parts of the year dragged on and came with some challenges. I don’t regret 2015 and by no means will I disregard it, but my goal for the coming year is to make it better.

Happiness.

Naturally, I hope each and every one of you has a fantastic 2016.

Let’s make this the greatest year yet!


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Psst…

I’ll keep this one short.

New novel in progress during National Novel Writing Month. Once I finish this first draft, I’m heading back to Kaine and Vera’s novel to give that the editing it deserves. Gotta blow the dust of it. With any luck, I’ll finish this book by the end of the year and can start editing that book come January 1st.

I’ll write more here later, but for now, here’s a little snippet of the book I’m tentatively titling, Second Chance.

“Ben -” I froze as the elevator stopped on the second floor. The doors opened and it was like a tidal wave of energy that surged at me in one giant swoop. Dark, powerful, and distinctly reminding me of one person. Instinct pushed me forward, off the elevator and onto the second floor. I took a left, heading down the hall. An invisible imprint had been left in the air, noticeable only to those with illusionary abilities or stronger than average senses. The aura led me down the hall to the very end, where a door unlike the regular hospital room doors stood tall.

Over and out for now!