Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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

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I’m slowly getting back into things now that I’m feeling better. Most of the pain after my surgery is gone now; all that’s left is a bit of tenderness and some pain if I move in a way that does not favor my abdomen. But, that makes sense.

I’ve started studying Japanese again, so that’s good. Slow progress, but I’m getting back into it.

Work begins tomorrow again, which I’m excited for. I’m so tired of sitting around, so it’ll be good to get out of the house and go make some money and hang out with awesome colleagues!

Today, I wandered to the library and managed to start writing chapter 12 of my yet-untitled book, so my writing is finally progressing again, too. My short-term plan is to finish this chapter tomorrow. Let’s see if I can do that. 😉

Speaking of my writing, here’s a short teaser as an apology for being so in-and-out lately!

Disclaimed: This teaser is from the first draft, so it hasn’t undergone editing yet.

“Who says I won’t take advantage and betray you?”

My lips curved upwards in amusement. Cute. He thought he could intimidate me. I’d have to set him straight about that. “You can’t betray someone who doesn’t trust you, because that someone expects to be betrayed.” I caught my foot behind his ankle and yanked hard towards me just as I thrust my weight forward at him. The motion threw him off guard just enough for me to yank my wrists free and shove him away from me. The entire thing took less than two seconds.

Kaine stumbled back two steps, quickly regaining his balance. Even now, after I shoved him off of me, his smirk never faded.

“I’m not afraid of you.”

Let me know what you think in a comment! I love hearing from you guys.

How’ve you all been?


Languages: Not Just a Written Skill

In this post, I’ve decided to talk about something integral for all of us and something that I, personally, find fascinating.


Europeans are known for speaking more than one language and in general, speak more languages that people from other countries and continents. Why is that? Because in Europe, traveling from country to country is like traveling from state to state in America. The difference is that in Europe, each country speaks a different languages, whereas each state speaks the same – English.

It’s a language barrier that needs to be overcome and the average European can speak at least two languages. Perfectly? Not necessarily, but enough to survive in foreign countries. At the very least, Europeans learn their native tongue and English. I know from experience that the Dutch can also learn German and French, or even Greek and Latin; it’s the same in Germany, minus learning Dutch.

However, one language is commonly forgotten.

Body language.

Take this in:

Body language makes up 60% – 70% of every conversation, regardless of the language the conversation is in. I’d call it a language of its own; it deserves that right.

Writing is one of my passions, but studying different languages comes as a close second. I speak four languages essentially fluently, namely:

  • English
  • Dutch
  • German
  • French

Is that enough? Hardly. I want to learn more. My plan is to first move on to Spanish and after that, figure out where to go from there. Languages that intrigue me are Japanese, Russian, and Arabic – not to mention Latin, Greek, and reading Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Okay, so maybe I don’t exactly pick the easiest languages. For me, it’s a challenge I’m willing to face. I love languages and I love communicating – do you hear that, teachers who called me anti-social? – and learning more languages just broadens the amount of communicating I can do.

Of course, it also shows in my writing. Characters from different countries with varying native tongues. Speaking multiple languages lets me create variety for my characters and add that little extra spice to my writing.

Learning languages is something I will always recommend to everyone. Speaking at least two languages opens up so many doors, and the more languages you speak, the more options you have, even if it’s just a matter of making holidays easier.

Languages help when it comes to communicating with other people, but don’t forget that it’s not just about the words you say; your body will show what you really mean with the words.

Okay, so maybe I like shows like Lie To Me and The Mentalist, but it’s true.


Do you speak languages other than your native tongue? If so, how many and which? What’s your view on learning different languages?