Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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

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Halloween Stream: Final chance to vote!

That’s right, folks. Two weeks of voting is coming to a close. Tomorrow, the 29th of October, is the last day that you can vote on the polls that will decide key aspects of the Halloween novella I’ll be writing – part of it live for all of you to see!

For those of you who haven’t voted, here are the polls one last time!

To see what all of this is about check out the official blog post. If you’ve already voted, hang tight! The first live stream is coming this Wednesday.

Have a great week everyone, and have a brilliant Halloween!




Lifestyle Changes

You read it right; it’s time for me to start making changes. These changes will start Monday and I intend to keep at it. What all do I intend to do? Here’s a small list of the important things:

  1. Find a job
    While at school, I had to juggle schoolwork with a part-time job, as well as my writing, all while also trying to find time to relax and have time to myself. Because of this, I felt drained and when both school and my work contract ended, I elected to take a few months off before starting a full-time job. Now is the time to head off to work.
  2. Write
    My writing schedule is too irregular. I’ll write 3,000+ words a day for a week and suddenly I won’t write for weeks. That needs to change. I need to have a solid schedule. My goal is 2,000 words per day. If I fall into a good rhythm with that, I’ll give myself weekends off. I’ll be happy with 10,000+ words per week.
  3. Exercise/lose weight/be healthier
    Same situation as my writing. I’ll start exercising (that’s what our elliptical machine is for, after all) and it will go great for a week – and then it stops. Again, I need to fall into a solid pace for it and stick to it. To go along with that: Fewer snacks. Small changes can make a huge difference.

I won’t lie: I might need some help with this. Small things. If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads, feel free to send me a message. “How’s the writing?” Simple things. They mean a lot to me and I always respond to messages; I love reading them.

You can also email me at nrmcneely[at]googlemail[dot]com.

If you’re making any changes in your life, let me know and I’ll be happy to send supportive messages, as well! Speaking of which, feel free to share your stories about lifestyle changes in the comments!

I’m going to enjoy this lazy weekend and then Monday, everything is going to change. Have a good one!

Don’t forgot about my Halloween Stream project! Voting is open until Monday, so click the banner and go cast your votes. You decide what I’ll write.
Halloween Stream!


To write, or not to write…

Or rather: To write this, or to write that. That is the question.

This is the dilemma I’m currently faced with. I have three short stories that I must write and send off to various places. One for a magazine, two for anthologies. Great things, of course, but the deadlines are so close together!

One needs to be done by October 22nd and the other two by November 1st. Oy.

300 – 3,000 words. 4,000 – 8,000 words. 1,000 – 5,000 words.

…Wait, what?

Okay. I can do this. I’ll be busy. A bit busy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it, right? I have ideas for two of them and only a vague inkling of an idea for the other one. That’s the one with the nearest deadline. Lovely.

The plan: Finish and send off all three by Monday the 29th, at the latest. Any later and it’ll interfere with my Halloween Stream Project. We can’t have that now, can we?

Again, I can do this. I’ll just need to sit down and do what’s rather important when writing submissions for places. Write. Now excuse me while I go procrastinate for the rest of the day and mull the ideas over so that things will flow smoothly as of tomorrow. Promise.

What’s the one thing that made you feel the most stressed, or busy in general, and how did you deal with it? Tell me in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Halloween Stream!


Halloween Stream: Create the story – live!

Welcome to my interactive Halloween Project, the Halloween Stream! After a week of hinting at it, it’s finally here for your enjoyment. Let me explain exactly what this is and how it’ll work.

What is this all about?

This is my attempt to create an interactive project and to involve readers in the writing process, while letting both the author and the readers communicate and have a great time while doing so.

The result of this project will be a dark fantasy or horror novella, available for sale on Amazon as an eBook – and potentially paperback.

How will it work?

Starting tomorrow, Monday the 15th of October, I will add a new poll to this post every day this week. Friday the 19th, I will post the last of the five polls. Each of these polls will focus on aspects important to stories: Characters, the setting, and so on and so forth. It will be up to all of you to vote on your favorite choices in each poll! At the end of the voting period, the winning choices will be taken and used for the novella.

The writing process of the start of this novella will be shown live. On Halloween and November 3rd and 4th, I will be streaming as I write the beginning of the novella. During this live stream, I will also answer questions that you submit into the chat during the live stream.

Excited yet? I know I am!

When and where is all this happening?

The five polls will be posted Monday, October 15th through Friday, October 19th.
I will add each poll to this blog post.

The voting period starts as soon as the first poll appears in this post and ends Monday, October 29th. Don’t forget to get those votes in!

Let’s not forget the live streams! The times and dates are:

  • Oct.  31st:  2 pm PST | 5 pm EDT | 9 pm GMT
  • Nov.  3rd: 12 pm PST | 3 pm EDT | 7 pm GMT
  • Nov.  4th: 11 am PST | 2 pm EST | 7 pm GMT

The live streams will take place on my livestream page. The Halloween stream will last two hours and the November live streams anywhere between one and two hours. If you’ve ever wanted to chance to really see what goes into the writing process, then this is your chance! And if you have any questions you want to ask me, this will be your time to get them off your chest!


If you’re excited to see this project progress, then share the word! The more people who join in, the more fun we’ll all have. Thank you in advance to everyone who joins in with the fun; I’m looking forward to hearing what you all have to say!

Many thanks to graphic designer Nakaya de Jong for creating the Halloween Stream banner at the top of this post and many other small goodies you’ll see on my blog in the next few days. You can see more of her work here: deviantArt | Portfolio

Let’s make this a brilliant Halloween!


Productivity: What did you do this week?

“Natasha, what’s with the odd title? Where’s your Friday Snippet?”

I know, I know. I should be talking about how unedited the snippet that’s about to come is and that I appreciate your comments. I would – if I had any new material to offer you. Well, I do, but it’s a long story. So, that’s where this post comes in.

I have done a fair bit of writing this past week, all of which has been sent off to magazines. Six flash fiction pieces, total. So, as much as I’d like to share some of those, that’s not an option right now. I’m just hoping good news will come my way!

Thanks to everyone who recommended magazines and duotrope in one of my recent posts; I appreciate it. Writing aside, I’ve also spent a lot of time working on my Secret Halloween Project. More information on that, coming Sunday! It’ll be great, trust me. And my dear friend Nakaya de Jong even made a banner to go with it.

Excited yet? I know I am.

I’ll illuminate the way.

I’ve even made a video to go with it. A banner, a video – what more could a person want?

Enough about my week, however! What about yours? Had a good time? How did you spend your week? Let me know in the comments; I love hearing from you.

Have a great weekend, y’all! And look forward to that Halloween project. 😉

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Coming Soon: Halloween Project

With Halloween just around the corner, the temperature is starting to drop, light comes later and leaves us faster, and of course, the darkness is creeping ever closer. And with darkness, I mean the wonderful thing that is Halloween!


Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why is this important, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

I have a super secret Halloween project planned. Shh. Don’t tell anyone I told you. You’re not supposed to know yet. You also shouldn’t know that this Sunday, October 14th, is when more details will be announced – right here. So, let’s get this straight:

  • You know nothing.
  • If you do, you didn’t hear it from me.

Keep an eye out for this Sunday’s blog post. I guarantee that it’ll be quite a thrill to read.

Enjoy October everyone and keep your doors locked! The darkness will find you if you don’t.

Remember: This Sunday. Super Secret Halloween Project.

You didn’t hear it from me.