Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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

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14 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

This was going around on Facebook and I decided that, instead of using it there, I’d use it as inspiration for a blog post! One of my dear friends – the one who made my gorgeous blog header – gave me the number fourteen. Why? Because we’re both mildly obsessed very fond of the game Final Fantasy IX.

Her logic is that the title has fourteen letters and its anniversary is tomorrow!

It’s pretty hard to argue with that logic, so without further ado, here you go!

14 Things


  1. You might know I love studying languages. But did you know that I have enough language-related books to rival the average college student? And I’ll be getting more in time!
  2. While writing, I mostly listen to video game soundtracks. Specifically the soundtracks to Final Fantasy IX, Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, Persona 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. All these soundtracks inspire me to no end.
  3. Final Fantasy IX is my favorite video game of all time and has been since its release in 2000. The only game to ever challenge it is Persona 3 Portable.
  4. I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month right now. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s my fourth try and I’ve never won – but I’m on track right now!
  5. Drawing is something I wanted to learn before, but I quickly learned that I don’t have the patience for it. My creativity goes to my writing. I’ll leave visual art to others.
  6. My favorite movie genre is horror, and my favorite horror series is A Nightmare on Elm Street. I don’t care that it’s classified as horror-comedy. It’s awesome.
  7. I’ve never been to a gaming/anime convention before, but 2014 will be my year! San Japan in San Antonio, TX should be the first convention I go to. If I’m lucky, Pax Prime will be my second.
  8. I’ve lived in Washington, Kentucky, The Netherlands, and Germany. I’ve spent time in France and England. Next up on my list is Japan. I’m saving up to spend two or three weeks there. In a few years. Once I know the language better.
  9. Those language books? I put them to good use. I’m fluent in three languages, am currently perfecting my French (I can survive using it), and have started studying Japanese. Spanish and Russian are on my to-learn list. We’ll see what comes after that.
  10. Nine times out of ten, I’d rather be writing than socializing. That doesn’t mean I’m anti-social. I’m just picky. Also, these characters I write about are incredibly demanding!
  11. I hate loud noises, i.e. fireworks. Fireworks absolutely terrify me. Just ask my family. They learned just how terrified I am of fireworks on July 4th.
  12. Concerts are an exception to that loud noises rule. That noise actually makes sense. It’s more than just noise. It’s music. Speaking of which, I’ve been to four concerts, in the following order: 30 Seconds to Mars, Tokio Hotel, Panic! At the Disco, and Within Temptation.
  13. I’m an incredibly independent person who hates accepting help from others. If I can do something myself, then I will, no matter how stressful it is. I’ll often keep going until I can’t anymore, rather than ask for help.
  14. I have no desire to be in a romantic relationship, nor do I see myself having kids in the future. If I decide to have kids, my plan is to adopt.

That makes fourteen, so I’m off the hook. I was just spewing nonsense there, I think. I never know what to write for these, so I just wrote the first things that came to mind. I might have also looked at my friend’s version for some inspiration.

So, that’s that! Enjoy those fourteen facts about me. Did you know any of them? I’m curious.

Have a great day! 🙂

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What will you be doing in the future?

I’m writing this post while listening to the soundtrack of my favorite video game of all time. Odd, to be inspired to write a blog post by a video game, or is it? This post in particular centers around a quote by one of the playable characters in the game.

The main playable characters of Final Fantasy ...

The main playable characters of Final Fantasy IX, from left: Quina, Freya, Eiko, Garnet, Zidane, Steiner, Vivi, and Amarant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The only dependable thing about the future is uncertainty.”
– Amarant, Final Fantasy IX

Blunt, to the point, and true.

Do any of us truly know what’s coming, what will happen? No. The future is a gaping void that looms over our heads and expects us to try to figure out what will happen. Will we be successful? Will we fail? Will we reach our goals?

Only the future knows, but that doesn’t mean we should ever give up. We can’t decide the future, not in the long run. This doesn’t mean it’s pointless.

Can I guarantee that I’ll one day find a literary agent who loves my work, and then get a publishing contract? No, but what I can do is fight for it. I can write, I can improve my craft, and I can keep trying. Whether or not I’ll succeed, I don’t know, but at least I’ll know that I’m trying my hardest to carve out the future I see for myself.

We can plan short-term things. Going out to a movie with a friend next week? Sure. Saving up money for an eventual vacation? Absolutely. Even short-term, though, things can interrupt our plans.

We keep trucking along.

Never give up. That’s the moral of this story. Even though the only dependable thing about the future is uncertainty; keep going. You’ll get there.

Fight for what you believe in, for what you want. If you do that, then your future will be worth it. 🙂

What are your plans for the future?


Week #1 of Writing: Success!

On Monday I started my new project with a very simple goal in mind. Write three chapters per week. At that pace, I’d have the first draft finished in three months – four if anything happens to interfere. And that’s my goal.

Four months.

In this first week, I wrote chapters 1 through 3 and therefore successfully reached the goal I’d set for myself. Having a good start is really motivating for me; it makes me want to continue and I feel like this project will keep running smoothly.

I know there will be times when I’m less motivated, but I’ll push my way through them. Nothing will stand in the way of me and my four-month deadline.

So far, I’m really pleased with the story’s progress and that has me in a good mood. So, enjoy this short excerpt from chapter three!

“Talking to yourself, hmm?”

Avalyn whirled around, coming face-to-face with the foreign noble.

“You do realize most people would question your sanity… correct?” Kieran stepped out of the doorway, sauntering towards her.

“But you don’t?” Her momentary peace dispersed and her muscles clamped up. He made her uneasy and that discomfort made her drop her polite façade. “Tell me, what does that make you then?”

You know, I don’t know why, but I get the feeling that Avalyn doesn’t like Kieran. Huh. Go figure.The World Ends With You

That’s all for this post! Here’s hoping week #2 goes just as well as week #1!

How was your weekend?

Now I’m going to barricade myself in my room and play more The World Ends With You. Just bought it this week and I’m having fun with it!

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New Experiences: What are things you’d like to do?

We all know how it is. You go to school or work, you come home, have dinner, do homework, etc, etc. It’s a cycle that repeats itself. It gets boring unless you do something to spruce it up a bit. Something unique, to break up the monotony.

There are so many things you can do!

So, what are things you’d like to do in 2013 to add some spice to your life? Go skydiving? Go on a tropical holiday? Go to the movies? Go see your favorite band or singer in concert?

Image of a unified SmackDown / ECW Wrestling R...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

For me, my new experience this year will be going to see the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) live when they come to Germany in April! That’ll be a fun Saturday night, and as an added bonus, it will help me write Survival, my side-project. There are fights in wrestling rings in that book… although the fights are a tad different. You know, until one fighter is completely unable to fight just a bit more physical. These fighters are a bit rougher and cause much bloodshed and possible death.

So, I’m definitely looking forward to going to see that and to experience the vibe in the arena. That’ll help me portray it better in my writing. Plus, I’ll get to see my favorite wrestlers in action. And then, another goal of mine is to go to gamescom in August. My first ever trip to a gaming convention. I’m excited for that!

So, what are things you’d like to do in 2013? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you all get to do the things you want to!