Natasha Raulerson

Well I’ve Been Scarce

Okay, so it’s been a minute. My bad.

I’ve missed being a part of the writing world, but as happens with so many of us, life pulls us away from the computer. That doesn’t mean it’s forever. I’m back–and I intend to get back into the groove.  It’s been a while since I’ve written a new novel, but that’s about to change.

 

Not that I know what I’m going to write.

In the last year, a lot has happened. My son turned 1, I was without power for 5-6 days after Hurricane Irma, I graduated with Bachelor’s in English, and I got a dream job. No, seriously, people want this job. I’m a website editor. I get to write newsletters and content, I get a lot of free food, there’s production days. Like, a lot goes on in this job, and ya know what? It’s the people that make it amazing. I’m pretty damn lucky to have landed it.  I also won 2nd place in the Writer’s Digest 86th Annual Short Story Competition (Literary/Mainstream). A lot of people have been asking for me to post it and I’m trying to find out the details, as for second place, WD doesn’t actually post the story anywhere. So it may be resubmitted, or I may add a page here with the nifty little badge they gave me.

It’s been a transition, but the amazing thing is, I come home and don’t have homework. I get to hang with my hubs and my son. Then my son goes to bed. Then I have time.

I can write again. I’m not fighting to stay awake, drinking three coffee’s a a day just to make it through, and the best part–no homework. What happens at work, stays at work. Home is home, and bed time is early for the Lil Monster Boy.

So, on top of doing my own writing, I’m happy to say, I’m reopening my freelance editorial business to help amazing author’s work on their own stuff too. Seriously, I love being an editor and there’s so many forms. I busted my ass in school, and I’m happy to say, it was worth it.

That being said, I miss you all, can’t wait to get to know you if I don’t, and hope to get back to doing what I love!

Later gators!

 

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Adventure In The Keys Part 3: Hemingway’s Home

Okay, so my overdue vacation has another overdue post, but hey, it’s the holidays y’all! I’ve been getting caught up in self-imposed deadlines, editing, and putting together the Renewal of Vows ceremony. It’s harder than you’d think. Well I guess if you’ve planned a wedding, it’s not that hard in comparison, but this is the wedding I never had. Anyway! Sorry, onward to Hemingways House.

So I knew Hemingway lived in the keys. Did not know he had a thing for six-toed cats. There were a TON of cats on this property and man were they living the life. If you’re interested in the story look it up.

One thing I thought was pretty awesome was he used to have a catwalk from the balcony on his second story room to his office across the yard. Unfortunately, it had been blown away by a hurricane some years ago. So we had to go back down out, across, and up. Still, man, standing in Hemingway’s actual office. I still get the chills just thinking about it! Yes, there was a cage blocking people from going in, so I had to sneak my camera through. 😉

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Anyway, this is more going to be a picture post. I basked in the fact that I was in an amazing authors house. That I got to see his office, that I got to walk where he walked. It was an awesome experience. If you ever get the chance to go down to Key West, make sure to add this place to the list of things to do. It’s cheap, it’s fun, and it’s just crazy awesome!

Click for the rest of the pictures!

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Natasha Raulerson

Chuck Wendig’s Creative Non-Fiction Challenge

So the awesome Chuck is having everyone tell a story from their life. I thought, “Hey, why the hell not?” It’s been a while since I’ve posted with my own words on my blog. I’ve been mostly doing cover reveals and the like. Besides, this should be fun. It’s pretty short, but hope you have fun reading it.

***

Jenn reached into the bag beside her chair and pulled out an empty syringe. It had a larger gage needle, meant to fit in the feeding tube that stuck out of her scar addled belly. She’d had her first surgery just after she was born. I didn’t know her then. We were the same age at nineteen and I was in love with her brother—a man I later married and still adore to this day.

A cool breeze cut through the South Florida humidity as we sat around the patio table, everyone wearing bathing suits, bullshitting, and drinking the variety of booze that had been spread out on the table. The conversation didn’t matter, wasn’t important—at least I can’t remember it so I don’t think it was—or maybe it was just Jenn reaching for the tequila that stole the show.

Not that she didn’t drink. Before the Cystic Fibrosis had become really bad, she’d have fun when she could, but at 90 some-odd pounds, with not only a feeding tube in her stomach, but a port in her chest, liquor wasn’t exactly conducive to her state of being. Even so, she still took a shot here and there, and what were we going to say? Don’t do that? Don’t enjoy the time you have? Don’t take the edge off from constant breathing treatments, hospital visits, and coughing fits that nearly drowned her?

No, the table didn’t go silent because she opted to have a shot.

Jenn took the syringe and stuck the needle in the bottle of tequila, sucking out a good amount of the dark liquid. She lifted her shirt, stuck the needle into her stomach tube, and pressed down the plunger, injecting the liquor directly into her stomach.

My brother’s jaw dropped, and all our friends had various states of what-the-fuckery. I’m not sure of my reaction, but I don’t think any of us could quite believe she’d just done that.

She noticed everyone staring at her and shrugged. “What? It’s the same effect without the nasty ass taste.”

The entire table erupted into laughter. She had a point. We settled back into talking, a buzz letting Jenn relax. The rest of the night we ate, drank, and swam to beat the pressing summer night heat that can only be found in the south.

Jenn’s only complaint was later when she burped and it tasted like stale tequila.

The End Of Vacation

No one likes it when the vacation ends. At least not every aspect of it. I, however, was ready to come home. I love my parents, but there’s something about my own bed that just makes me happy–and my couches, and my own toilet seat. At the end of the day, I’m just more comfortable at my own home with my husband and my pups.

Speaking of pups. Storm has set herself back. Today, as we were loading the car to head home, she took off after a squirrel. She slipped on the some rocks and her feet twisted under her. So, now she’s back on bed rest. Maybe forever. I haven’t decided. I was so MAD and scared. Immediately, Storm knew she hurt herself. She didn’t continue after the squirrel. Instead she turned and came back to me. Her back was already had light spasms and I could tell she was scared. Hell, I was scared. We went the whole week with no problems and just as we’re getting ready to leave she hurts herself all over again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re back to square one. Hopefully she’ll heal up as quick as she did the first time. We almost had the swollen bulges down to a minimum, but they’ve reared back up. She has a laser treatment tomorrow, but as of now she’s back on bed rest. She’s not gonna like it, but the kid scared me to death AGAIN. She’s gonna be the death of me, I swear.

Anyway, tomorrow is back to school. Lots more writing and reading! I still have more edits and a new project I’m working on, but in two months, I’ll be out of school for the summer. HAZZUH. It’ll be nice to have a break. I’ve been going to school three years straight. I’ll still be doing the show and working on various projects, but it’ll be nice to have some free time during the day.

Maybe I’ll do most of work poolside, swim, and get a tan. It’s that time of year and I’ve missed my pool.

Of course this is if Storm has healed up.

Yes. I just paused this blog post to look over at her. That face is entirely too adorable, and right now breaking my heart because I know she’s in pain.

Sorry, I keep going back to that.

Anyways, I promised two awesome people a Query and First Chapter Critique.

AND THE WINNERS ARE!

Sidney T Blake

and

Kayla

Email me with your query and first chapter double spaced in a word doc to NatashaMRaulerson@gmail.com

Congrats guys!

My Brain Can’t Blog

I’ve been trying to write a post for the last week. Clearly, considering the last time stamp date, this has not happened. Nope, not at all. I have two partially written drafts behind the scenes. What I start, I can’t seem to finish in regards to blogging. I think it has to do with the frustration of the last week and not being able to focus on just one thing.

I understand Stitch’s feels here.

The #adorabledistraction thought it would be fun to scare the hell out of me. Two emergency vet visits are no fun. I cried from worst case scenarios. The least of my frustration was having to spend $1000. It’s a lot of money, but she’s worth it. I’ll pay what it takes. As a Dachshund she’s prone to back problems. The vet thinks it’s degenerative disc disease, which could either ease off, or leave my girl paralyzed. Right now we’re doing a regiment of pain killers and muscle relaxers with strict bed rest for the kid. It seems to be easing FINALLY so for that I’m thankful. At one point the poor girl had muscle spasms rippling through her lower back for over 15 minutes. That was the second emergency vet trip. The added meds they gave us at that point seem to be helping her through all this. Hopefully, with the relaxing and the bed rest and the laser treatments we’ll have her good to go in a few weeks.

The #AdorableDistraction recouping in her princess bed.

The #AdorableDistraction recouping in her princess bed.

Losing her scares me to death. I’ve had her since she was two months old and she’ll be ten this year. She’s my girl and I’m gonna do my best to keep her out of pain and healthy.

Aside from that, this week is midterms and I have two papers due.  Making sure I have all my ducks in a row for everything has not made things easier. Frustration can duly effect the writing process, but that’s okay. I’ve still managed edits for Redemption and to write more pages for the Renegade my new WIP. At least I’m still being productive and not be completely useless.

Sorry about that list bit of bitter. It kills me when the #adorabledistraction is in pain and I can’t do anything for her. It’s another frustration.

Then, on top of all that wonderful wonderfullness. I’m sick. It started last night, progressed through today. I’m hoping I nipped it enough that it doesn’t get bad and I can focus on the papers that are due and getting the rest of my work done, while stealing snuggles from the #adorabledistraction.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to make my brain blog again soon.

Things Are Good

It kind of scares me. Seriously, I’ve been busting my ass for the last two years trying to make something of my life, trying to achieve my dream. Dream isn’t obtained yet, but I’m on my way, and I have no inclination to give up. I’m getting closer, and that’s great. Things with the hubs are fantastic. My brother moved out, and while we loved having him live with us, it’s nice to have our own space again. I mean, some days I just wanna walk around in my underwear and that’s doable again.

The best part of this arrangement is, my office is no longer my bedroom. I actually have just AN OFFICE! Complete with all the luxuries and distractions a girl could want, including but not limited to:

  • A Television
  • Dancing Groot
  • A Couch To Read On
  • And Of Course – The #AdorableDistraction had her bed moved in next to the desk. I mean, it’s just her day bed. At night she sleeps on the four post, king size bed with me and the hubs, and somehow winds up making US move around HER. I do not know how this happens….

Needless to say, I love it. I can decorate how I want, fart if I need to, and write without the distractions of people walking in and out. I fully plan on getting a:

Seriously, that’s the sign I want. Not joking. Must find. It will go on the door. I HAVE A LOCK! Well, my bedroom had a lock as well, but ya know, hubs might need to change clothes or get to the laundry room.

Dear Designer who created the lay out of my apartment. THE WASHER AND DRYER SHOULD NOT GO IN THE MASTER BATHROOM!

So weird.

School is fantastic. I love FAU, my professors, and the classes I’m taking. I’m not overly fond of France Trollope and her view on The Domestic Manners of Americans, but hey you can’t love every book.

I got some wicked new ink!

Ink1 Ink2 Ink3 ink5Pretty epic, right? I love it! I go back on the 29th to get it finished. I had to postpone because I have a job interview, well a second job interview really, but I’m not going to go into that because I don’t want to jinx it.

😀

The point is, that because things are going so well, and I’m not used to it, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Maybe it’s because I’m off my meds. No, seriously, trying to pop out a mini me at some point. No anti anxiety meds anymore. This could very well just be my irrational brain making run in circles and be on the look out for the first bad thing to happen, which will then make me justified.

Which, of course it’s not justified. Not in the slightest. Bad things happen. Terrible things happen. Life happens. It’s all a huge circle and yes, the bad makes me appreciate the good more. I just feel like I’ve experienced more bad then good, so when all this awesome circles me, I’m terrified to reach for it because, what if it’s not tangible? What if it’s out of my grasp?

Yup, see that’s the anxiety talking.

So, I’m going to keep on focusing on the good, learning from the bad, and telling my anxiety to shut the hell up.

Have a Wildly Creative Day All! I got my CP group and then more organization to do for my office. I’ll toss up pics when its ready to go. 😀

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A little bit of Christmas Music to start you off.

I woke up, sneezing like bananas way too early this Christmas morning. In my house we have a rule. No waking everyone up till 7 a.m. Thus, I’ve decided to write my final blog post of 2014. It’s been one hell of a ride hasn’t it?

Over all, I have to say it’s been a great year. Sure, there’s been trials and tribulations, but what year passes that doesn’t have those? The trials and tribulations help shape and mold who we are. Recognizing the happy moments in between however, is what makes it all worth wild.

I found a little site called Agent Query Connect. Now, while I rarely frequent it anymore, without it, I would never have met some of the best people in the writing world. I found out about Pitch Wars through people on this site, and was given the courage (especially by my CP Tiffany Hofmann) to put my work out there. I didn’t get into Pitch Wars, but I made some amazing friends, CP’s, and from that, I’ve been able to gain enough confidence in my work to truly believe that one day I will be published.

Pitch Wars also helped me found Whiskey, Wine, & Writing, cohosted with Nikki Roberti. It’s been crazy fun, and in the New Year, we’re even having best selling adult and teen author, Rachel Caine on the show. It’s amazing to think how far a little WWW_profile imageshow came from talking about a contest, to now being a weekly show that has contributors and wonderful people in the writing world willing to be on.

It’s been so humbling to see how many people love the show, and there are so many people to thank for that, including but not limited to, Tiffany Hofmann who help me found the show, Nikki Roberti who is my permanent cohost, Brenda Drake for coming on the first night and helping us connect with the writing world, as well as our wonderful guests such as: Jenn Blackwood, Brighton Walsh, Rhonda Helms, Veronica Bartles, and so many more!

On top of it all, this chick right here, graduated with her Associates of Arts degree just a week ago. I have a focus in English and Creative Writing.wpid-wp-1419505845657.jpeg

In eleven days I start working on my Bachelors at FAU. I’ll be majoring in English with a minor in Film and Television. I honestly, can’t wait to start.

If nothing else, 2014 has showed me that dreams are obtainable. You just have to be willing to work hard for them. I’m still working to obtain mine, and I’m not giving up on them ever. Perseverance is a good lesson to learn.

Other people I want to acknowledge for being awesome are my CP group, EL Wicker, Diana Pinguicha, and Kathy Palm. These wonderful ladies have put up with my hectic schedule at the end of this year, and supported me like champs. Fantastic writers, strong women, and I love them for their honest input on my work.

As 7 a.m. draws closer, and I get maybe just a little bit giddy about seeing my husbands face when he opens his gifts this morning, I’m going to wrap this up, with a big ol’ thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me this year. I hope you have a Merry Christmas, and in the New Year your creativity sky rockets like a boss! Happy writing and have a wildly creative holiday season!