Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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


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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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The New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I’m going to keep this one simple. No long-winded explanations of my goals for 2014, no lamenting the goals I failed to reach in 2013. None of that!

Instead, there will just be a very short summary.

My goals include, but are not limited to:

  • Writing 1,000 words per day.
  • Losing weight.
  • Learning to drive.
  • Traveling more.
  • Doing things I like.

Sounds simple enough. I started off my writing goal well enough, with 1,252 words written in the past hour! That’s it for tonight though; I need to do some things.

Like I said, I’m keeping this one short.

I hope 2013 was a great year for you and that 2014 will be even better!

How did you celebrate the new year, and what are some of your goals for 2014? Let me know in the comments! 🙂


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Best writing day – ever!

2013-Participant-NaNoWriMo-CoverThe title of this post really says it all. Today was, by far, the best day I’ve ever had for writing. I’ve never written so much in a single day. Do you want to know how much I wrote?

Alright, I’ll tell you. But shh. It’s a secret to everyone. 😉

7,240 words.

I completely and utterly shattered my previous record for most words written in a day. Before today, my record was somewhere around 5,300.

Here’s my NaNoWriMo progress:

This means I’m three days ahead for National Novel Writing Month. I’ve never been ahead. I’ve only just stayed on track – and I’ve never won. The most I’ve gotten is 30,000. Six days in, and I already have half of that.

This is my year. I just know it.

Are you participating? If you are, how are you doing? If not, what are you doing this November?

Let me know in the comments!

If you’re participating and would like to add me as a writing buddy, you can add me here.


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Blog Redesign!

This post is taking the place of my usual Wednesday post because I am incredibly impatient have exciting news! Plus, it’s after eleven PM so it’ll be Wednesday soon enough anyways.

Remember that blog overhaul I mentioned a couple of weeks ago? It’s finally here! I switched themes, got a lovely image from the amazing Jenn over at J-Raye Studios to use as a header and I’ve tweaked other minor things. Like, for example, the domain name. I’ve dropped .wordpress from the link and my website is now http://www.natashamcneely.com!

Unfortunately, I was unable to use the entire image for the header due to cropping issues, but I believe I’ve found a suitable solution. 🙂 For those curious, however, and to give Jenn proper credit, here is a small version of the complete image.

750-x.jpg

Isn’t it beautiful? I can’t thank her enough for this amazing drawing!

These are the two main characters of my current project, Kieran and Avalyn. I’ve made some pretty good progress in their story so far and I don’t plan on stopping!

Overall, I’m incredibly excited to be taking this blog in a more professional direction. Expect more posts about my writing and other assorted things, as well! If there’s interest, I might even blog about my ongoing study of the Japanese language.

Let me know what you think of the new design!

I hope you have a great week!

If you can, show some support to the amazing artist! Check out her art here:


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Brief Update

Phew. I know it’s not Sunday or Wednesday, which are my normal blogging days, but 7:37 on a Monday morning should count, right?

Right.

Anyways, this is just a short update so I can let you all know what’s going on. I’ve got a blog overhaul planned for something in the upcoming week or two. I’m talking about a new blog header, slightly changed design, and just all kinds of other awesome stuff.

Excited? I know I am!

Now for a writing update. I missed a week’s worth of writing and blogging due to adjusting to a new work schedule with more hours (which I won’t complain about!), but now that I’ve gotten used to it, I ended up writing two chapters this past week.

This means I’ve got five chapters finished and a total of 12,689 words written! I’m getting into the real meat of the novel now, so that’s really exciting. I’ve loving these characters and the story, so I’m going to push myself and make sure to keep at it!

I’ve got today and tomorrow (and Thursday!) off from work, so my plan is to get a lot of writing done. I mean, it’s not even 8 AM yet, so I’ve got plenty of time left in the day!

That’s all for this short update! Look forward to more in the future.

Did you have a good weekend? 🙂


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Blog Overhaul: Do you see what I see?

The new year brought with it some changes for my blog! Most of them are small changes, but I figured I’d let you know about them, regardless.

This little guy ate all the stuff that vanished from my blog!

This little guy ate all the stuff that vanished from my blog!

  1. Tales of The Forbidden, Chapter One is now online and ready for reading! If you’re curious about how the novel starts or just my writing in general, that’s a great place to begin!
  2. The previously untitled dark fantasy novel that you wonderful people helped me create during my Halloween Stream project now has a (tentative) title! You can now read about Waning Moonlight! The first chapter will come as soon as it undergoes some editing. Furthermore, it’s now the first novella in a trilogy!
  3. The page for The Hunted Trilogy has been temporarily taken offline. The series needs to undergo some serious thought and plotting and until I get all that done, I figured it would be best to remove it from my website. A new header should replace the current one in the near future, as well.
  4. In the nifty sidebar to the right, you’ll see not only a progress bar for Tales of The Forbidden, but also for Waning Moonlight! Keep an eye on those to track my progress.
  5. My side-project, Survival, does not have its own page or progress bar at this point. I want to keep my website focused on my main projects. However, feel free to ask how it’s progressing!

I think that’s all the changes I’ve made so far. If I make any major changes, I’ll let you all know! Until then, enjoy the new year! I hope everything goes the way you want it to.

Is there any other information you’d like to see on my blog? Comment with your suggestions!


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New Design Is Here + Meet The Artist!

Welcome all to my redesigned page! New background, new header, new colors; so much new stuff! As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had a new design in the works. Well, it turns out that my dear friend and awesome graphic designer, Nakaya de Jong, got it all finished today!

A cover made for fun.

Personally, I love the new design. What do you think?

While we’re at it, it’s time for me to show a bit of my gratitude by showcasing Nakaya’s art a bit. All drawings and designs shown in this post were used with her permission.

Nakaya de Jong lives in The Netherlands and spent three years in Nigeria when she was younger. At twenty years young, she’s in her fourth year at the Grafisch Lyceum in Rotterdam, with a focus on Art & Design.

She is an amazingly helpful and kind person with brilliant art that can only get better and better as time goes on. Don’t believe me? Just look at these pieces she created.

A drawing of Sherlock Holmes.

Not only are we partners in crime an author and artist duo; we’ve been friends for several years now and it doesn’t look like it’ll change anytime soon!

A plushy made six years ago and her new and improved version, made this year.

As you can see, she creates various things in different styles and with different materials. This is just a small glimpse into her collection. She has much more art that is well worth taking a look at.

Don’t believe me? Why don’t you take this chance to find out!

If you’d like to get in touch with her or see more of her artwork, here are the two places where you can do so:

Nakaya’s deviantART | Nakaya’s Portfolio