Hello, Dear Blog!

Yesterday I quit Facebook. Or was it two days ago? Three? One study said that 90% of people who quit Facebook are happy with their decision. And 1/3 return.

We all got lively on the Internet to discuss likeminded interests. That doesn’t really happen on Facebook. And we don’t discuss on Facebook; we make flash, one-sentence judgments, and we don’t post deep thoughts in one status update, either.

I’ve caught myself composing status updates in my head since I quit. And then I remember that there was a time, pre-Facebook, when I composed whole blog posts in my head.

Another thing I noticed is that when I was blogging, I read a book a day, I’d blog in the morning, write 2000 words, respond to blog comments, teach for 8 hours, and then respond to emails.


That kind of productivity just doesn’t happen with Facebook! And I remember thinking that blogging took up too much time… little did I know.

But the major reason I quit Facebook was because it made me unhappy. And I want to remember what my life was like before Facebook. I’ll miss connecting with friends and seeing their kids’ pictures, but what happened to us? We all used to post every day, or multiple times a week, long posts about writing and reading and literature and life.

With the death of Google Reader, I’ve lost many of my favorite blogs… and I’m pretty sure most of them aren’t blogging anymore. Sad smile So who knows if anyone will read this, but if you have a blog (particularly a writing one, or if you’re my friend), then please leave a link in the comments so I can visit!

Do you miss the blogging days? Does Facebook make you happy?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings |

YES. This. Damnit.


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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings |

New Blog, New Shoes :-)

I was late taking Padfoot on a walk today. It was, in his opinion, unpardonable. I now have no shoes, save an unmatched pair, which I’m declaring a new style.

I still luvs him. Smile We went to a Border Collie meetup, and I realized how much he’s grown since I last posted:


He looks so dejected there! He’s not, I swear:


I’ve been dropping everything lately to work 24/7, but it ends up with me so frazzled and burnt out, that I’m not sure this is the best strategy for getting the most done. So I’m going to try to do more writing. And so I’ll be starting a new blog in the next few weeks, answering self-publishing questions. I’ve already started, storing away all my email responses so I can make a better FAQs for my clients.

What self-publishing/formatting/design/copy editing questions do you have?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Ebook Formatting,Musings |

Loving and Dying

It’s so easy to take life for granted. I’m so lucky to have my asthma under control, and there are such great meds now that it’s a total non-issue, save once every year or two. And I’m so healthy now. I’m strong and I can do as much activity as I want. It’s a blessing every day, but it’s so easy to forget.

Yesterday I had an asthma attack, which is an interesting experience. When you’ve got minutes of oxygen between you and death, what’s important in life becomes crystal clear.

What it means to live, why live, and what’s important have been on my mind for a lot of my life. Death being a part of my life growing up, and the time I spent struggling to just live and be healthy in my twenties, not to mention asthma attacks in my thirties (and a concussion!) forcing me to stare death in the face, have all taught me that it all really comes down to love.

The article, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, has been making the rounds lately. When I’ve been around people who have died, I’ve noticed there’s a place of pure peace and pure love that they reach.

The only other time I’ve seen that kind of love and clarity is from mothers. There seems to be a period of time when they’re so swollen with love for their unborn or recently born baby, that they don’t have room for petty issues or anger or resentment. They know what’s important: they just LOVE.

Forgiveness is unnecessary. It’s like you reach a point where no matter what someone has done, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even register, not even as the tiniest breeze on the tip of your finger. You just reach a point where it’s all just acceptance and love.

(Somewhere between the panic and tears, ROFL…)

But in the daily grind of things, those big lessons we learn along the way of life are forgotten, and petty issues grow bigger, and we start keeping mental spreadsheets of giving and getting, of faults and grievances, and who did what or didn’t what.

In the end, you don’t care about any of that, or even about the love you’ve gotten; you only want to give more love.

Last night reminded me how lucky I am, and that I want to live—live, not just live—and that I want to love more. And life is too precious to even bother thinking about the small stuff, let alone sorting out whether you want to sweat it or not.

Also, most of the big stuff is actually quite small.

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings |

Win a Kindle Fire From Zoe Winters!

Thanks to Natasha for inviting me to her blog to pimp my contest!

I’ve been away from writing my Preternaturals series for awhile (was writing books for my other pen name). Since I’ve been back in Zoe-mode, I’ve released a side novella in the series that people can read without having read anything else by me yet (Dark Mercy), but the next full-length book in the series, The Catalyst, is coming soon.

Since it’s been awhile since I’ve deeply engaged with this series, I wanted to do something that would serve two different goals:

  1. Get readers who are already fans of my work re-engaged and immersed in the series so they are ready and psyched for the next book. (You know how you can read a book and love it but then it sort of fades a little in the background so future books don’t make you as rabid about having them until you remember how much you loved the other books? Yeah… that.)
  2. Bring on board new readers for the series.

I love Easter Eggs. (I promise this connects.) I don’t mean the colored eggs with the candy inside that the giant bunny (Let’s call him Harvey) delivers to small children to make them hyper. I mean the little things in a book or television series that are almost like inside jokes. Like, on Buffy The Vampire Slayer they were still mentioning Xander’s hyena possession in season seven. And that happened in season one.

So I decided I would host my own Easter Egg Hunt and reward readers for finding the Easter Eggs I’ve left for them in my books. The grand prize is a Kindle Fire! Additionally, I’ll be giving away signed copies of The Catalyst when it comes out (on the home stretch for that!).

For the contest, all my books are on deep discount (check the contest details page above for titles and buy links), to lower the barrier of contest entry for those who don’t already have all the books in the series. The sale will last through Easter Sunday, but you’ll have through midnight on April 15th to turn in your Easter eggs.

Even if you don’t want to hunt, now is a great opportunity to grab my books, or maybe even give one to a friend for an Easter gift, while they are all on extreme sale. (I can’t imagine another situation besides a contest requiring “reference materials” where I’d be crazy enough to discount all my work this deeply.)

Also, if you’re feeling awesome, you can tweet, blog, or Facebook the link to the contest page and get extra entries into the smaller prize giveaways. And let me know, of course. (But you have to hunt to win the Kindle Fire!)

Thanks for reading, and… may the odds be ever in your favor. (Sorry, I’m reading the Hunger Games… I totally couldn’t help that.)

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Books,Kindle Formatting | Tags: , ,

To Move or Not To Move

Yesterday, a neighbor asked me what I would do if I suddenly won $50,000 that day. I was totally stumped. And what was funny is that we walked for quite a while before I could think of something.

After shrugging and finally saying, “Nothing, really. I’m happy.”, I finally came up with paying bills, buying sperm, and saving money.

I keep thinking that I should move into a small house or apartment, but then I think why? I’m happy.

I have awesome neighbors here: a new age shop owner, a few travelers, a free-thinking minister, a PhD candidate, and a computer programmer—not to mention that Padfoot has several doggy friends here.

When I have a child, I want a big kitchen with a table and a living room, all in an open layout. Otherwise, I want to stay in my RV.

Maybe do some traveling, if gas prices come down. In fact, I could just up and move tomorrow, if I want. I like the idea of freedom and keeping my options open. Maybe I’ll leave next week!

When I tripped across this TEDtalk, Less Stuff, More Happiness, it just confirmed that I didn’t want to move into a house or apartment right now.

There is nothing in the whole world that has made me happier than losing my attachment to things. (I italicize it because I always crinkle my nose when I say that word.)

When I knew I wanted to move into an RV and travel, I started writing down everything I touched, so I would know what was really most important to me. As it turned out, the only things I used were what was in my purse, my computer bag, some kitchen stuff, and a few toiletries.

What would you do with $50,000, if you won it today? And where would you move, if you could move tomorrow? What would you take with you, if you had to fit it in a car trunk?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags:

The F Word

Today is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures.”

Growing up, I was tomboyish and determined to be as good as or better than any boy. In first grade, even, I remember racing some boy to the playground for some forgotten reason.

I was raised to put career first and that the worst thing in life was to end up “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.”

While I hold a bit of resentment for that brand of feminism—I fantasize about being in the kitchen with a passel of children tearing through the house, and it’s better for a woman’s career to do children first and then have her career—I believe women should have equal choice, equal pay (why hasn’t that happened yet?), equal respect, equal rights, and control of her own body.

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags:

I Have No Words

I’ve never shied away from politics on my blog, especially when I feel passionate about something. But… lately, I have no words. I’m just speechless, flabbergasted, stunned, horrified…

I just can’t believe this is the United States anymore. I can barely bring myself to look at the news.

This picture sums up my feelings:

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Politics |

Everyone Deserves That Bond!

This is awesome, and from a Republican!

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings,Politics |

Awwwww… it IS that simple!

I’ve been working nonstop lately; made myself sick this weekend, but that’s okay. Building a new workflow and testing and developing for Kindle Format 8 has been a ton of extra hours into the schedule lately, but I love it.

I sometimes need to shut down and go into my own little world, where it’s just me and the markup, or me and the edit, or me and the book I’m working on. If I slow down and focus, I love my job to pieces.

This little musing was prompted by a picture I came across at It made me smile, and since I haven’t had time to blog, I thought I’d post it:


I believe that’s absolutely true.

What do you think?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags:

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