Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

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


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Life in France: Day 3

Day 3, September 26th

Today started too early. I could have slept longer if it weren’t for my instinct that tells me that, when doing new things, I need to make sure nothing goes wrong.

This means I arrived at the meeting point for my teacher, Kujtesa and I, half an hour early. I even took the tram right and didn’t make any mistakes traveling; that honestly surprised me. A few years back, we moved and after my first day at school after the move, I walked home and couldn’t find our house.

I was looking right at it.

We brought Kujtesa to work first and then went to the school where I have my work experience. I’m in the computer room/library of the school, which brings me to my chore for the day.

I needed to take a list of books, dated 2005, mind you, and check the shelves for those books. Books not on the list, but on the shelves – again, this list dated 2005 – needed to be written and missing books highlighted.

I wrote down a minimum of three times the amount of books on the old list. It took all day. We’re talking just getting the author names and titles on paper. I didn’t have time to add them to the list on the computer; that’s my first project for tomorrow.

Isn't this an awesome-looking theater?

After finally making it back to the apartment, I was about ready to crash. Got some groceries, had dinner alone, as Melanie is with friends tonight, and then sat down to write this.

Kujtesa and I made plans to look around together after work tomorrow, just look in some of the shops and whatnot. Nothing too much; a bit of spying on this foreign culture, as it were. After tomorrow, I’ll also really know what my work schedule will look like.

Back to work again tomorrow. 09:30 – 17:30.

It’ll be a long day.

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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?