Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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

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First 1 1/2 Weeks In Germany!

Anyone who has ever traveled somewhere with a time difference of more than just a couple of hours will agree with this statement:

Jet lag is evil.

I landed in Germany on the morning of September 14th and have dealt with the daily struggle of fighting to stay awake halfway through each day. Slowly, it’s gotten better and if all goes well, I should be fully adjusted in a day or two. I hope.

Things have been normal while visiting my parents so far. Sleep, naps, catching up on some shows (Lucifer and Master Chef), trying out new shows (Lethal Weapon), and playing games (currently Ni No Kuni and Xenoblade Chronicles). Now that my mind isn’t as frazzled from jet lag, it’s time to get back into writing as well.

Starting Monday, I’m planning for daily writing with a hope of 10,000 words per week. If I manage 2,000 words each day during the week, that gives me either free weekends or time to get extra words written!

With National Novel Writing Month just around the corner, I need to finish the first draft of this book so I can start something new during that event!

That aside, I’ve successfully stolen the dog’s affections and have been walking her on occasion as well. Now, time to relax this weekend before writing kicks into gear on Monday!

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Journey To Germany

Hi everyone!

This is just a quick update to explain what’s going on in my life. This coming Tuesday, September 13th, I’ll be getting on a plane for an almost ten-hour flight from Seattle to Germany.

I’ll be visiting my parents from September 14th – December 6th.

It’s going to be exciting and I’ll also get to see my cats, as well as the dog they got after I moved back to the US. I’ll definitely be blogging while I’m in Germany. I’ll likely also take a trip to the Netherlands and possibly England while I’m there.

This week so far has been full of meeting up with friends and family before I disappear for almost three months. More meeting up will happen in the next few days, alongside finishing up packing my suitcase and bags. Fun, but busy times!

This trip will be a good chance for me to catch up on my writing. I need to finish writing my book, Vanquished Virtue, before November hits so I can start writing the sequel during National Novel Writing Month!

Look forward to upcoming blog posts. If I don’t pass out when I land on September 14th (at 8:40 in the morning!), then I’ll try to blog that day. We’ll see how it goes!

Where’s somewhere you’d like to travel to?


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?