Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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


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Holidays: How are you spending them?

It’s no secret that we’re right in the middle of the holiday season now. Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed (Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope you had a fantastic day.) and now we’re en route to various other holidays depending on where you live and the like.

So, since we’re in the holiday season, I figured I’d ask you about them!

How did you spend Thanksgiving this year?

Personally, I spend a relaxing day with my parents. Good food – very good food – and we watched some shows together. Nothing too extreme. Just a nice day. The weekend after Thanksgiving, however, I went on a reading binge. Four books read along with three short stories/novellas.

It was a good weekend.

Furthermore, how do you plan to spend the upcoming holiday(s)?

I need to get some Christmas presents still, but I already have them in mind. Aside from that, in the weeks to come, I’ll just be writing like mad and hopefully making some good progress. I’m still job hunting as well; hopefully it works out.

Have a great holiday season, everyone!

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The Time to Push: Tension Rises

Yes, you read correctly. The time to push.

It is now.

After a good three weeks, perhaps even four, of not touching my novel, it is time to make a change. The deadline is creeping up at a terrifyingly fast pace and while I do have time off from college as of the 21st, there’s also a holiday in between and Christmas gifts are very distracting.

Trust me, they are.

Christmas in the post-War United States

Image via Wikipedia

If I get a new video game, that equals me playing it for the day itself, and at least a day or two after the 25th. Still, this year I’ll be helping more when it comes to preparing our grand feast and all those other wonderful things. The cat will be in uproar from the wrapping paper and all that fun stuff, the house will smell like food and shiny new things, and more!

Therefore, I intend to get as much writing in before then, as I can. 15,000 words, twenty-two days. I can do this.

I just need to kick-start my muse and write.

5k. I want 5k this weekend.

We’ll see how that goes.


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Change of Pace: Summer Holidays

Very little feels better than getting that piece of paper that signifies your grades at the end of the semester and coming to realize that you passed with flying colors. Top of the class and on to the next year.

One of the things that surpasses that sensation is time off; six weeks, exactly. As of yesterday, June 22nd, my holiday has begun and I will have freedom until the 9th of August. A month and a half that I will use to work on my novel, catch up on my reading and just general relaxing. My novel is at a solid 36,000 words now. By the end of my holiday, I intend to have at least 50,000; it is very likely I will overcome that obstacle and venture even closer to my last word count.

To give a more precise plan: It is my goal to write a minimum of 5,000 words per week. With that schedule, I shall reach 50,000 by the midway point of my vacation. By extent, it means I could easily hit 65,000 words by August. Let’s make that my secondary goal, shall we?

The nifty little progress bar on the side of my page¬†will change when I complete a chapter. After the holidays, it’ll reach at least 50%. Making my secondary task will have it at 75%. That’s progress, if I ever saw any.

I plan to get so much writing done, because I have a busy year ahead of me. As it is my exam year, I’m unsure how much time I’ll have to spend on my novel – and writing in general. It is a journey into the unknown. When the time comes, we will know how matters turn out. I will make it work. Nothing, even impending exams, will keep me from finishing this book by my nineteenth birthday.

As for unknown and uncharted territories; I will find my way into one from the 24th of September until the 21st of October. For four weeks, I will live with a yet-unnamed family in France, for an obligatory abroad work experience, organized by my college. For almost a month, I shall live and work in France; I will learn the culture, improve my language skills and find inspiration in ways that I never would have otherwise. Even if I cannot write while there; when I return, I will have inspiration aplenty.

Nothing will stand in my way of completing this novel, nor commencing the editing process and its sequel.

What are your plans when it comes to writing this summer? Do you have specific plans for your blog, reading or writing? Or do you have different plans altogether?