Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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


I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…and a happy new year!

But not just yet, for the latter. This is my last blog post before Christmas; my next post will be on Wednesday! So, I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope you’ll have an amazing couple days with your family, and that you’ll get everything you wanted and more. Have a brilliant holiday.

What are you looking forward to the most? Tell me in a comment!


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Christmas Gifts: Have you bought them yet?

It’s that time of year. Decorations are going up and in many places, they’ve already gone up. In less than three weeks, Christmas will be here! People are rushing to get Christmas presents and, for those of us who hid inside our homes with locked doors during ignored Black Friday, we have to get them some other way, which brings me to my question.

Pile of gorgeous gifts

Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you bought gifts for your family and friends yet, or do you still need to?

I got most of mine the other day. Personally, I ordered them online because I was at the mall last week for groceries and it was sheer chaos. What about you? Do you buy your gifts in-person at a store or do you just order them online?

As much as being able to see and take a look at what you’re buying in person before actually purchasing it, online shopping has a certain convenience to it. I’m expecting my package tomorrow!

What are your holiday shopping experiences? Good ones? Bad ones? Share your stories in the comments!


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. ūüėČ

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

That would about conclude what I had planned for this blog post. Ironically, I am writing this just after midnight for me, but it’s still the fourth in America, so all is well.

Enjoy your day everyone!

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July, 2009...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spend it with your family and friends and cherish the time you have with one another. Take care to appreciate the freedom you have and make the best of today. Barbecues are great. We had a nice meal, too. Sausages and home-made potato skins, as well as a freshly baked peach pie. Yummy. That’s all I can say about that.

Aside from that, my parents and I watched some shows together and had a nice, relaxing day. I also wrote a bit – yes, even on a day like today. What can I say? I’m in Europe.

What are your plans, or what did you do?

Have fun, y’all!


Breaking Out The Big Guns

Education is both a gift and a sin.

For these past two weeks, college has piled on so much work that I have been unable to find time to write Рboth this blog and my fiction writing. To prevent this from keeping up, my Easter Holidays have decided to arrive at a convenient time. In two days, Friday the 15th of April, my vacation will start and I will be free from class until May 2nd. This means the days will be long, time will be there, and specific Word documents will get dusted off.

My deadline for the first draft of my novel is approaching.

With all this free time on my hands (because, honestly; the holidays are pretty much here already), it’s time to up my game.

7,500. One week. Three weeks of vacation.


What this means is that I intend to write at least 7,500 words a week throughout this blessed freedom. It breaks down to 1,500 words in five days – nine to five, excluding weekends. Writing is a job; a profession to focus on like any other career, or else it will smack me in the face and¬†send me¬†rolling downhill until I hit the brick wall at the bottom called Writer’s Block.

I don’t want that to happen.

With the amount of 7,500 words a week and nearly three weeks of holiday, that totals to 22,500 words. I’m at 19,070 words now – I would essentially write¬†at least double¬†what I’ve done thus far, if not more. That progress sounds like the gentle tone of Angel’s singing Hallelujah in my ears. Or maybe more like Eureka.

Either way, progress is good. I won’t fight it, but I’ll sure as heck fight for it.

The work I have during my vacation is minimal – a couple of hours here and there, so there’s no reason for me not to write. I will hit 22,500 and I’ll try my best to soar through that and end up further than I expected. 50,000 total, anyone? I’m only 30,930 words away from that. A little over 10,000 words a week for these three weeks and I’ll reach it.

If¬†I manage that, I’ll be ecstatic and¬†you’ll definitely know it. For now, it’s time to get started on the 7,500 words between now and next Wednesday. I’m living this very¬†second, so why not get it started, right?

What is the most you’ve ever written in a week, or a¬†day? How did you do it?