Category Archives: Former Lawyer

Manic Monday: What’s Up Natalie?

I’m not sure if I actually have any regular faithful readers of this blog who read what I post here. Or if the thousands of “hits” each month are bots.  But I’m writing this post in faith that there are some actual human beings who read what I write here.

So if you are a human being reading this and if you have read my blog for a while, you may have noticed that over the past year or so (*scratches head and says “Has it really been that long?”*) I have been inconsistent in posting. Yeah, I’ve posted Writer Wednesday spotlights of other writers. Sure, there have been some Sci Fi Friday posts. And yes, there have been posts about my most recent release (Emily’s Heart).

But when is the last time I wrote a Manic Monday post? I can’t remember.

Anyway, I have reasons (numerous) that I’ve been lax in my blogging. Some are lame, like feeling like since no one comments much on my blog that I may in fact be visited solely by Internet bots rather than real people so what’s the point in writing? Or that I was busy – blah, blah, blah.

But mainly I’ve been lax with my blogging because I’ve been dealing with some heavy shit in my life.

“What kind of heavy shit?” you ask.

First, there was my retirement from the practice of law in June of last year. You may be thinking that such an event should have freed up time for me to blog my brains out. And that’s logical.  But in truth, saying good-bye to my profession was a major life-change event which I’d wanted for sooooo long and was glad for but when it actually happened sort of took me by surprise at being sad about it. In recent years I had worked (very) part-time at being a lawyer and had stopped taking litigation cases so I wasn’t in court. It had become a small part of my life taking third seat to being a mom (always first) and my writing. But still, it had been a major part of my life – and my identity – for over twenty years (saying that makes me feel fucking old).

My very wise husband who knows me sometimes too well warned me. “Give yourself six months, Natalie.” I rolled my eyes and let his words of wisdom go in one ear and out the other (as I do too frequently). “Whatever,” I thought. 

Guess what happened? He was right. (Don’t you hate it when your mate is right?) It indeed took me about six months to fully release the old job and identity and to get into a new routine and be okay with the whole thing. It was like for the second half of last year, I’d get up and get my kid off to school then sit at my desk and play at being a writer, all the while feeling guilty that I wasn’t really “working” or having anxiety that somehow I was neglecting some serious shit that needed done, and then feeling worse because I was feeling down about retiring to write full-time when so many writers I know don’t have the opportunity to do that though they want to, so get over yourself all ready and be fucking happy! I wasn’t happy and then felt guilty about not being happy.

But wait, there was more. And this is the heavy stuff that as I writer I feel I should be writing about and talking about but mainly I want to just ignore it and hope it goes away. At the end of the summer last year, my mom was diagnosed with cancer.

For the fifth time.

And it’s bad. Really bad. Like the oncologist using the word “palliative chemo” kind of bad.

As if that weren’t heavy enough, on the heels of us finding out about my mom’s cancer, my dad had a stroke. He has been in and out (mostly in) a nursing home ever since. He’s alive, but extremely diminished.

My mom is only 73. My dad 76.

They aren’t that old. And I’ve had to face the fact over the past six months that it is more likely than not that neither of my parents will make it to the age of 80. In fact, it is quite possible that one of them will be gone before the end of the year.

I just typed that without crying. For months I could not have.

The story of my mom’s cancer is actually one of hope and of sort-of miracles and of human strength and endurance. It’s a story of pain and relationships and love and family. It’s a story that could educate others with the BRCA1 gene (my mom is BRCA1 positive). It’s a story that many may relate to and find interest in.

But I’m not able to write it. At least not now.

When I first found out my mom’s dire diagnosis, my writer friends said “write about it.” It was good advice. And I tried.

Some people can wrest poetry from pain. I’m not one of them.

Grief shuts me down. Sorrow makes me withdraw to the within. And try as I might to exorcise it through words, it does not work.

I was able to complete my third novel and maybe I did channel some of my pain into the prose. Emily’s Heart is, after all, an Apocalyptic story that tends to the darker side of things. But *spoiler alert* the end is a happy one and I was stuck for months last year, unable to wrest that happy ending out of myself because I did not feel happy. The fact that it finally came out of me at all is a sort of small miracle that I can’t explain.

Over the past nine months or so, my writing was filled mainly with anger and angst, heartache and unhappiness.

So I spared you all of that and kept my blog a cancer and sickness-free zone. 

The good news is that as this year progresses, I’m feeling more and more able to write without it being filled with misery. The shadowy veil of sad feelings is lifting and I’m more focused on the here and now – on the living – than on things past.

I’m in the mood to celebrate. I wrote three books!! Can I hear a woot, woot?! I completed a whole series (The Akasha Chronicles). *Does happy dance*

I am an incredibly blessed person to be able to devote my working hours full-time to doing what I love to do. I get to write the stories that fill my head. And I get to go out to book events and meet readers and chat story with them (one of my absolute favorite pastimes).

I have a wonderful daughter, husband and three furry critters that I share my house and life with. And I am alive, and this is no small miracle.

So as I move with more hope and optimism than I’ve had in a while into the middle of this year, here is what’s coming on my blog and in my writing:

Natalie Wright, Manic Monday
1. Manic Monday will return! I don’t promise that I’ll have a Manic Monday post every week, but I am feeling the itch to speak my *manic* mind so stay tuned for my rants, ravings, musings and Monday weirdness.

2. Writer Wednesday is here to stay. In the past, I have devoted Wednesdays to featuring other writers and occasionally to posting writing tips. Both of those things will continue to happen on Wednesdays. (If you are a writer and would like to be featured on my Writer Wednesday, please shoot me an e-mail to NatWritesYA (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll speak of it).

But I also have a new feature that I’ll add to Writer Wednesday in upcoming weeks that will appeal to writers of all makes, models and types – and will get the writerly conversation going.

3. Sci Fi Friday continues. For any of you paying attention, you may have noticed my new Friday feature, Sci Fi Friday. These posts are about scientific discoveries that I come across that strike me as having science fiction implications. I also reserve that time to review science fiction books or movies, OR generally to post anything science of science fiction related.

H.A.L.F., by
Natalie Wright
Arrives Spring, 2015
I’ll continue to devote Fridays to all things science and sci fi as I gear up to release the first book of my next series, H.A.L.F., a young adult science fiction series. While my last series was (mainly) fantasy, I’ll be writing science fiction (mostly) for the foreseeable future AND science stuff fascinates me. So if you, too, enjoy hearing about science fact that seems more like science fiction, then make sure you hang out with me on Fridays to discuss new technology and scientific discoveries. 

So that’s what’s up with Natalie. What’s up with you? Drop me a line in the comments below or you can reach me by e-mail at NatWritesYA (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thank you for reading to the end 🙂
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Coaxing the Muse: A Day in the Life of a Novel

Once upon a time, I worked as a divorce litigator. I spent
my days in a courtroom, witness to people who once swore undying love battle
each other over money and children. I chugged Mylanta straight from the bottle
while I drove to the battle arena, fantasizing about spending my days writing
instead.

Ah, blissful days writing. I pictured myself grabbing a cup
of coffee or tea, sitting down to the computer, and spinning out page-turning
stories with ease. It would be blissful. Just me, my thoughts, and the pliant
keys under my nimble fingers.

While any writing day is better than a day as a
litigation warrior in the divorce court, my writing days are far from what I
dreamt they would be. It turns out that being alone with yourself all day –
well, you’re alone – with yourself! And it also turns out that that sly minx of
a muse doesn’t just appear on command like a pimp’s bitch, eager to obey and
please. At least not my muse. No, mine is more like an irritable, temperamental
child that I have to coax and bribe.

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Here,
then, is a peek into my writing day:
8:30
a.m.:  Each writing day starts with the
blank page (to some extent or another). Ah, the promise of the page. Anything
can happen. Everything can happen.
The empty, white screen that contains the potential for genius.

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9:00 a.m.:  The blank
page still there. Better check Twitter and see what’s going on in my Facebook
world. Hey, that’s a great article on writing. This is just the thing I need to
get me going today. Wonder what’s new on Wattpad?
10:30 a.m.:  Laptop
ready. Tunes going. Waiting for inspiration.



I
know what I need – coffee. A strong cup of jo will get that blasted muse to
work!


11:00
a.m.: You know what goes great with a cup of coffee? How about some of this –


12:00 p.m.:  All that
net surfing, coffee slurping and chocolate nibbling sure did work up a hunger.
Better go grab some lunch. That’s what I need – food. That’s sure to spark an
idea.
1:00 p.m.: Wow, lunch sure was exhausting. I need a nap.
Maybe I’ll dream the next plot step. Okay characters, tell me what’s next for
you while I sleep.


2:00 p.m.: Yawn! Great nap. Back to work. Okay, muse. I’m
listening. Really. Come on. I’m waiting. Where’s that *#%@ muse?!


3:00 p.m.: Crap – it’s time to pick up my offspring. I
didn’t get much writing done today. (Looks at blank computer screen.) Okay, I didn’t
get any writing done today. I’ll get some words banged out later.
8:30 p.m.: Best time of the day – dinner and T.V. and
laughing with the fam. Got the kiddo tucked in. Hubby’s watching football (or
insert game with a ball that’s in season). Dog is napping. It’s dark outside,
quiet inside. Maybe I’ll try this –

11:00
p.m.: Apparently that’s what my cranky muse needed. Quiet. Relaxation. Who
knew? I got two chapters written. I’m not sure I’ll stick with where the plot’s
going, and I need to add more details about the setting – oh, and some inner
dialogue. But words were written. That page is no longer blank. If I do this
about fifty more times, I’ll have the first draft of a novel written 😉