Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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


Life in France: Day 10

Day 10, October 3rd

We hit the double digits today! It just got real; yes, it did.

Mr. Tweetums

I made a friend this morning; I'm surprised by how close this bird came to me.

Humor aside, today was a good day. I finally feel rested and even after work, I still felt quite active and not as drained as I did the last week. It’s a small change that makes a lot of difference in the end.

It’s 21:30 as I’m writing this and I’m not tired. Last week, I felt the need for sleep before even finishing work. I like this change and hope it will stay this way! It makes life a heck of a lot easier.


Can you decipher these scribbles? I can. They're mine - hasty writing. It'd look better on real lined paper, rather than the squared paper Germans are so fond of.

Throughout the morning, I actually worked on the report I need to write about my work experience for school. I pretty much finished it before my lunch break, save for adding or changing things at the end of the work experience – if necessary.

Do not fear the scribbles. I have a printed version and a digital one. This was the rough draft. Well, the first page of the rough draft.

After my break I spent time doing more inventory things; nothing too special, but it was a good day regardless.

Kujtesa and I got some dinner after work as a small celebration of her eighteenth birthday being today. Nothing special, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I’m going to see about making sure each Life in France post has a picture from now on. It just draws people into the experience more and makes it more realistic. At least, I think so. Two pictures today and another tomorrow. You have been warned.

I have some pictures I want to take; it’s just a matter of actually stepping back and getting it done. That’s apparently my problem, I guess. Either way, today passed well and I even did some novel-planning and all that fun stuff.

Can’t write a novel without ideas. Now, to write.



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?