Shiny, Happy People

I feel like I’m emerging from a fog. It’s been such a strange, depressing Spring. I am sooooo excited for the summer. I figure that I’m going to have the time of my life. This time next year, I’ll hopefully be pregnant, so I’m going to live it up this summer. I plan on going all out, trying lots of new activities, getting to know the area, and meeting lots of new people.

To kick off the summer, I got my very first manicure and pedicure. (Whew! The dry desert and walking seven miles a day has done a number on my feet!) Looookeeeee! Sparkly! Pretty!


The color totally didn’t come out in the photo from my cell phone. It’s a happy, sparkly red. Almost like a brick red with a bit of purple. I was going to go for a pretty baby pink, but then I saw the red.

I’m in SUCH a red mood.

I also got my feet done. My fourth toe is so ugly it’s adorable. (But then I find most of my body parts adorable. My Facebook friends know that I stare at my belly in the mirror when I want a giggle and a pick-me-up.)


If I’d been young when Tickle-Me Elmo had come out, I would’ve been a goner.

(No, you don’t get a picture of my belly.)

Some guy (who is a bit sore for me turning him down a couple times, sadly—I need to learn how to do that better) told me last weekend, “I thought you were going to be married and pregnant in a year.”

It’s really annoying. Why does everyone say the first bit when I only said the second? I’ve never said the first bit, only the second bit, but so many people add the second as an assumption. I will not live my life so that I’m waiting on someone else to realize my dreams. How ridiculous is that? I said I hoped to be pregnant in a year… and yes, I do want to provide my child with a father, and yes, I think a two-parent household is usually better for a child, but I’m getting sick of people assuming that the only way to have a child is to get married.

For a woman to have to wait for a man to do something she wants so much is silly. I’m old-fashioned in some ways, but not that way. I’ll make my own happiness.

It’s true that I’m moving a little slower than I hoped, but I’ll get there. So a summer of fun will be good, while I work lots to achieve my career and financial goals.

What are your summer plans?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

What Do You Do?

Other than work and write? Hobby sort of things? I’m looking for more to do—more social things, that is. Now that the last snowbird is about to leave, I have to make friends who are here year-round.

Thanks to Groupon and their awesome specials, (OMG, if you don’t know what it is, GO. Now. So not kidding. Really cheap events and restaurants and classes at 50%+ off.) I’ve got a full schedule this month:

  • Yoga Hula Hooping (CAN’T WAIT!!!)
  • Belly Dancing
  • Taekwondo
  • Flow Yoga
  • Taiko Drumming
  • Ashtanga Yoga
  • Volunteering

I’m so excited for the Taekwondo. I hope my foot holds up. Most of you were around when I did Taekwondo and know that it was my favorite activity EVER in my whole life. Seriously. LOVE it. I miss it like crazy. I know it’ll be different in a new town, new studio, but I’m still looking forward to it.

Although, I’m a little nervous, because I’m going to be majorly HEARTBROKEN if my foot goes nuts.

(Please send it healthy energy? Or prayers?)

It’ll be nice to do some working out that isn’t walking. I love my walks, but 7 miles a day is getting old. I’d like to mix it up some.

I’ve also found a lovely new cafe to work/write in. Problem is, I feel terribly guilty for abandoning Borders. Borders and I have been writing together for over ten years. And they’re in danger of going out of business! How can I even think of going somewhere else?! I need to support them!

Probably there will be plenty of time to go to a new cafe when Borders goes out of business. :-(

Besides, you guys have heard me wax poetic on Borders for years. :-) (Google has 69 search results from my old blog… I didn’t even try my new blog.)

Maybe I’ll just sneak away once or twice a week. :-)

So… what do you do? Classes? Fun? Working out?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

The Cuteness


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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures |

My Lucky Stars

Sometimes boring is fun. All I do is work and workout, lately, and I’m so happy. Almost every day, I wake up and think how lucky I am.

It could be the lizards. Reptiles are SO cool. I lived thirty-some years of my life without seeing these cute little critters dart around the ground, and they’re SUCH a kick.

I mean, LOOK AT THAT BELLY! Doesn’t it just BEG to be tickled?! Don’t you want to just take your finger and go, “Coochi-coochi-cooooooooo!” Hah!

It sort of blows my mind when I look around. I guess when you live in one environment for so long, to suddenly live in a new, completely different environment is a bit surreal. I mean… cacti?! How weird is that? There’s this one cactus in the RV Resort’s garden called an “Old Man Cactus,” and it has all this white, furry hair. It’s fascinating.

Doesn’t just looking at it make you want to laugh? It DOES look like an old man!!! Or wasn’t there a TV character, with a bunch of hair, called “It”? Or something like that? This cactus is an Old-Man-It!

Maybe it’s the sun. After living in a place that only gets sun ninety-odd days a year, getting sun over three hundred days a year is pretty fantastic.

My one neighbor wanted to stick a little solar light in the ground, and he had to use a DRILL. In the ground! ROFL! I wish I’d seen that!

My life has changed so much in the last year and a half. I’ve changed careers, built a new business… I never would’ve imagined in a million years that I’d be where I am today, doing what I’m doing today.

I just had to thank my lucky stars. :-)

What about you? What are your lucky stars?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags: ,

A Baby Lizard!!!!!!!

Did I show you this pic? Yes, if you’re on Facebook. If not, look how CUTE! Do you SEE HOW CUTE?!!!!

A baby horned lizard!!!

Here’s another view:

It got scared of my neighbor and ran straight to my feet. :-)

And here’s a view next to a nickel, for some size perspective. I cut out the middle (he wouldn’t stay next to the nickel), but it still gives you an accurate idea of the size.

I was trying to put a coin next to it for perspective purposes, like my genius biologist friend does, but the lizard kept running away from the coin, LOL.

In other words, his torso is only a little bigger than a nickel.

Such cuteness!!!!

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: My Adventures | Tags:

NOT Clumsy in Love

So I wrote the scene I was talking about the other day, and I love it. I’m not sure readers will love it, but… I do. Maybe I’ll have to include I-love-yous in my fiction more often.

Better yet, the scene made me fall in love with my characters.

I’ve found that the writing doesn’t write too well until I fall in love with my characters. And for some reason, I never truly fall in love with my characters until their vulnerable bits reveal themselves.

I’ve always found our vulnerable bits to be the most beautiful things about us humans. Who wants to see a photoshopped model when you can see a woman with wrinkles that each tell a story? Who wants to see the perfect ideal, when you can see a man with his character and personality apparent on his face and in his eyes?

The strange thing is that we humans work so hard to hide our vulnerable bits and cover our imperfections. I have so many readers who hide a part of themselves from their husbands, even, and it causes them so much misery.

I guess when we reveal our vulnerable bits, we risk rejection of our deepest self; and it hurts more then.

There’s just so much to be gained, though. Wouldn’t it be great to be loved and accepted for who we are deep down, instead of who we aren’t but feel the need to be?

I’ve always thought part of being a writer is loving human beings. Okay, so I don’t love every human being all the time, but we’re all in this mess together, making plenty of mistakes and doing goofy things.

And above all, most of us just want to make a good life surrounded by people we love and who love us.

What do you think?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Beautiful People,Musings |

Clumsy in Love

As I was writing the other day, I was thinking of how I’ve never felt that I (or should I say Pseudie?) wrote romance. (I know I posted on the old blog something to that effect.) I do, though. (I do? She does?) Er, we write erotic romance. But even after ten years writing in the genre, I pretty much feel like a big dork when it comes to lurve.

(See? I can’t even say it properly!)

Maybe a year ago, I read an article that polled readers to find out how important it was to them that the hero and heroine said “I love you” to each other. The verdict was that yes, it was important.

I’m all about giving the reader what they want, so in my next story, I had the hero tell the heroine that he loved her.

It sounded like incredibly bad acting! Do people in movies actually say I love you? I mean, they say things that mean that, and they do things that make it obvious, but… you know. The actual words can get kind of corny on the page, don’t you think?

Except for in Fiddler on the Roof. I’ve always found older couples to be incredibly romantic:

My favorite movie when I was younger was Remains of the Day. All that simmering, unspoken passion—great in fiction. There was a great quote in an opera I saw recently: “The joy of love that we dare not declare has thorns, but also has its sweetness.” (Strauss’s Capriccio)


And of course, Immortal Beloved. (Let me just start sobbing now.) Sad endings were so romantic when I was young, but now? They just suck. There’s enough of them in real life; I have no stomach for them in my fiction anymore.


In real life, I generally like the gooey stuff. (I watch Eclipse or Moonstruck at least once a month. THE BESTS!) I love it as much as the next person when someone says “I love you” to me.

But it never seems to ring true in my fiction.

I was sitting here and writing and feeling incredibly clumsy with writing love. That’d make a good title, don’t you think? Clumsy in Love. I should write a chick lit novel with that title. I could write what I know, LOL!

Or what I don’t know.

What’s your verdict on the whole I-love-you thing in fiction? Should the words be said? Do they ring true when you read them? How often do you say it to your partner? Do they really say the actual words in stories and movies? And what’s your number one romantic movie?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings,Writing Craft |

A Mother’s Indulgence

After my dad died when I was about ten, I used to spend lots of time over at my best friends’ houses while my mom worked. One thing that totally fascinated me, and still does, was my one friend’s mom’s Sunday Nap.

It was sacrosanct, which is saying something as she had THREE BOYS and a girl. As far as I remember, no one ever dared open her door to disturb her Sunday nap. (This was probably a hard-won achievement after years of training, but all I remember is that no one disturbed her during her Sunday nap.)

What fascinated me is that (as far as I knew), she never took a nap on another day. Just on Sundays.

For some weird reason, I got it into my head that when I grew up, I was going to have a Sunday Nap, too.

Sunday ended up being my busiest teaching day. I’d start at 8am and teach until 9:30 or 10pm. Usually, though, I’d have at least an hour free during the day, and I’d always take a nap.

A nap on Sunday is unlike a nap on any other day. It’s more relaxing. I don’t feel like I’m being lazy; I feel like it’s okay to have this indulgence. I always wake up smiling. My cats always curl up with me. It’s the best sleep of my week.

How about you? Do you nap? Do you nap on Sundays? Is Sunday napping a popular thing for mothers?

One thing for sure, mothers sure deserve it.

Happy Mother’s Day, you mothers!

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings |

A Cookie, a Cat, and a Crockpot

It’s been such a busy week, that tonight at 8:30 p.m. is the first time I’ve stopped working because I’m done for the night, instead of stopping work because I’ve passed out in exhaustion at 2 or 3 in the morning.

It’s a great thing I love my work. Smile

Now my brain is fried, and I’ve nothing to do, so I thought: Hey! Why don’t I share my Facebook statuses, since not all my blog readers are my Facebook friends!

So. Here are they:

May 7: When eating a cookie, I bite, then touch my tongue to the bite mark in order to pick up any stray crumbs so they don’t fall on the couch. Is this a normal technique? Or is this OCD?

May 5: So you remember that cat that used to visit me every night but stopped after I heard a catfight one night and I feared it’d died? It showed up last night!!! I was so happy to see it!!! If it comes back tonight, I’ll take pics for you.

May 3: You know if you take the pot out of the crockpot? My one cat is like: Best. Bed. EVER!

May 2: I love formatting technical manuals. Does that make me the only person in the world who loves technical manuals?

And finally a pic from one of my daily walks in the desert:


What’s your week been like?

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Musings | Tags: , ,

Who Are You?

When I’m in a good mood, people crack me up. Once people break into my inner circle, I tend to love every bit of them, even their less-than-desirable traits. I tend to find their quirks adorable. My friends generally can do no wrong.

(I do enjoy complaining about the faults of people outside that circle, though!)

I love people, although I find Charles M. Schulz’s quotation hilarious:

I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.

I made a status update on Twitter 109 days ago and no one remarked on it. Not a single retweet. No direct messages. So discouraging. I’d been rather proud of it, and I thought it was genius, and I was a little put out that it didn’t immediately make it into the national lexicon of Brilliant Maxims To Live By.

Apparently I am less brilliant than I thought. To quote myself:

Even virtues have faults.

But I think it sounds better like this:

Every virtue has its fault.

The longer I’ve been a writer, the more I find that growing as a writer involves only two things:

  1. Knowing myself.
  2. Knowing other people.

That’s it. It’s all about the character and plot, and writing those are about writing people. We are a bundle of virtues and faults and oft-contradicting philosophies.

But let’s take “faults.” Most faults aren’t really faults, you know? They’re flip sides of a person’s best qualities. (Anyone who’s been married for a long time knows this well.)

If you were to take a surgical knife and remove the bits you dislike in a person, you’d end up removing their best bits. People are package deals. You gotta appreciate them as they are.

For example, (I’ll use myself so as not to invade anyone else’s privacy, LOL.) I think I’m compassionate and understanding… but I’ll understand forever when I really should stop understanding and look out for myself. Or, let’s see… I’m very enthusiastic about life, but then I look on the bright side so much, and I stop seeing and thus don’t fix the dark side. I’m really good at changing and somewhat okay at swallowing my responsibility for my mess-ups (LOL!), but I also trend toward believing everything is my fault, even when it’s not.

In fiction, I love making my character’s best and strongest quality their fatal flaw. Totally. Awesome.

What are some of your best qualities, and what are their dark sides? Or what about your partner? Your friends? (Obviously I’m not asking you to identify the person, just notice the virtue and its dark side. Smile )

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Written by Natasha Fondren in: Beautiful People |

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