Tuesday, March 24, 2009

my monster and me.

A friend once told me he hated the word "blog". He said it was kind of an ugly word, and I kind of agree. Blog sounds like the name of a monster who lives in a swamp, don't you think? Blog wouldn't be the cute monster who is misunderstood. He would be the monster with corn dog breath and ooze dripping from his ears.

I tried calling my blog a journal, but I'm a traditionalist when it comes to journals. Journals should look more like a book (right?). So then I tried "blogaroo" and that sort of fit (in a cheesy way :). On the blogaroo of old, I regaled my long suffering friends with fascinating commentary on the books I was reading, the music I was listening to, the crazy man who walked into my house and put fresh dead chicken in the freezer (true story!), the stalker guineas on my sister's farm, and the general wackiness that was my world. It was a fun endeavor :) The best part of blogging *monster roars* is that, sometimes, people comment back. In those instances, it felt more like an ongoing conversation, which was kind of nice. When I wrote about something serious, I usually got one (or no) comments. Whenever I wrote about crazy farm birds or Saved by the Bell, the comments poured in. My friends are awesome like that.

I've decided to kick start the mayhem over here on blogger for a few key reasons. Reason the first is that a big part of my writing adventure, the Brio part, came to an end this spring. I started writing for Brio ten (!) years ago when I was in high school. The best part, from that point to this one, was "meeting" so many other girls who read Brio too. It sounds silly to say, I know, but it really felt like a big, loud, fun family. :) Since I still get emails from Brio readers, I thought this might be a cool way to keep the communication going. So if you're here via Brioworld, big hug my Brio friends! *hugs* And welcome :)

Reason the second is that I love my friends to pieces. Love them. They are sweet, funny, and crazy talented. Adventures with them are blog gold. (Bloggold would be a troll, maybe?) Blogging was just one more way to stay connected to them. I'm hoping they'll drop in over here too, even though it's a little bit pink.

And Reason the third is that it's just fun. If I could create a perfect day, it would consist of writing, reading, and talking to people I like. Blogging is a means of smashing all three of those things together.

So. All that talk about monsters and birds and Zack Morris was really just a means of getting to this point:

I'm glad you stopped by :)

In the way of introductions, I thought it might be fun to do a modified version of this meme I've seen floating around on Facebook. The survey on there has like 25 bits of random. For lengths sake, I'll stop at 15. Here goes:

1. My parents considered naming me Daisy.
2. My favorite kind of weather is cold and rainy (unless I have to drive in the rain ... then it is no good).
3. I can rattle off quotes from the movie "The Goonies" with frightening accuracy.
4. I heart bluegrass music. As I type this, I'm listening to the Avett Brothers sing 'Swept Away'.
5. I'm a chronic booknerd and love talking about books. (So if you have a good recommendation, fire away! :) I like fiction and non-fiction, though fiction has a slight edge :). My favorite genres are southern lit (particularly women's fiction) and YA but I'm game for (mostly) anything. My local library is a danger zone for me. Eventually they will cut me off, but till then, I press on!
6. I'm currently reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It is turning my mind inside out.
7. I have a new book coming out this spring. Wah! :) I'll tell you more it later.
8. I hate wearing shoes but it's kind of a cultural thing and tetanus is gross. So. I conform. Sigh.
9. I can bake great chocolate chip cookies.
10. Everything else I bake tastes like charred concrete. (I don't really know what charred concrete tastes like. This is just a hypothesis.)
11. I am only 4'11". But when I have to list my height, or tell people my height, I always say 5". I don't mind being short so I'm not sure why I round up. I guess I feel like I earn an extra inch?
12. I think ducks are kind of creepy.
13. I have a freckle on my lip.
14. I'm an extroverted introvert. I really like being around people, but I'm quite shy.
15. Bo Duke, from the original Dukes of Hazard series, was my first crush. Don't judge me. Or him. He was just a good ol' boy. Never meanin' no harm.

Don't hesitate to say hello in the comments (or toss out some random facts of your own)! I won't feel like I'm talking to myself that way. It gets lonely here in the swamp when it's just me and Blog ;)

Love (and swamp monsters),


  1. Hey Natalie! I'd love to post a comment. I love your writing! Here's a few things about me that have to do with your random comments:
    I heart bluegrass music too! My dad and I share that love in my family. We really like Alison Krauss and Union Station!
    I love historical fiction! Have you read Redeeming Love? It is totally a must-read!
    I love being random! haha what else can I say?
    I also love sleep, so I've gotta go now!

  2. Hey Rachael! You're the first comment! Woo :) Alison Krauss is fabulous. I've listened to her CD with Robert Plant over and over. And way to pick a book ... Redeeming Love is one of my favorite books too! Historical fiction is great. Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. I am very excited that you have a blog! I have been blogging for about a year, some serious and some just random stories, but most of my blog friends are the young moms at my church back home. I like to keep up with them and their kids whom I babysat before going off to college, but I am excited to read your posts now! I always loved your article in Brio - I have quite a few that I tore out and saved.

    And, being an English major, I have to agree with you on your number 5. One of my recent discoveries is from my Women in the Novel class: Evelina by Frances Burney.

  4. So excited to keep up with the blog! I read that you loved the rain and just knew I had to leave a comment! I'm laying here in bed, and the rain is pouring down, and my hair is still soaking wet from running inside from my car! Wish you were here to share a peanut butter and banana sandwich with! miss you!

  5. Hey girl, love your new blog! So are you giving up on Xanga completely? Sometimes I am tempted to do so...but I've been on there since 2005. That's a very serious commitment to throw under the bus IMO. :-P And then I think about starting another blog and cross-posting on Blogger or Wordpress...and my head starts to feel like it might explode. However, you new blog looks so fabulous...I might have to take the plunge. :-)

  6. Samantha - I can't wait to read your blog. One of the few things I miss about college (ha :) is having a lit class full of other people who wanted to talk about books (not that I ever talked ... I was always a smidge too shy :). Women in the Novel is so a class I would have jumped in on :) Thanks for the compliment too.

    Ruth - I haven't decided what to do with xanga. I think I'll keep it up at least so I can put something on there occasionally ... maybe? Being able to have some creative freedom with this one is certainly a perk :) Take the plunge and try it out! :) Let me know so I can link you over on the right.

  7. McCall - I wish I could hang out with you and eat peanut butter banana sandwiches. That would be one of the most exceptional rainy days ever! Miss you guys :)

  8. Eeeek! I did it. :-P Currently there's nothing posted, but the address is:


    I may try the cross-posting thing for a while...so look for posts in the coming days!

  9. Yo!! This is really good Natalie!! I'm really glad you decided to go for it! And I love your first post!! :D have a really blessed week!! love ya!

  10. 1. I could totally see you as a Daisy.
    2. "Hope is the thing with feathers..." I say that all the time. In my mind.
    3. No. 15 made me laugh out loud.
    4. Book Thief is on my shelf to be read next. But since there's presumably no kissing or fart jokes, I keep putting it off.
    5. I LOVE bluegrass. I'm not an experienced listener, just the givens like Krauss and Nickel Creek. But I used to take care of my g-ma, and when she was in this asst. living facility, these "good country boys" would come and play, and I would just sit there. With the old people. And be completely in tears for no reason. Something about that sound that just says things to your spirit you can't even understand. Okay, that was weirdly deep.
    6. I love THIS BLOG and cannot WAIT to read your book this spring. It's gonna be so fab!!!

  11. Hi friend! I'm so glad you're doing a blog! This way I can get into the mind of Natalie anytime I want! And, I must say, that Bo Duke was my first crush too! Where is he in the world? Is he single? Does he love Jesus? Wanna flip for him? ;) Love you girl!

  12. Hey Natalie!

    I love your little monster :) and i LOVE your writing! can't wait for your book to come out. You are quite the talented author.
    1. One of my childhood nicknames was "blue-eyed daisy"
    2. My parents almost named me Daniel, because according to the ultrasound, i was in fact, male. boy, (no pun intended) were they surprised! :)
    3. i have a pen and notebook fetish. i have about 7 new notebooks/journals in the cabinet in my room. (that's what happens when things go on clearance at Target.) I'm not even going to guess how many pens i have.
    4. as fun as facebook, twitter, skype and all that is, i have a deep love for the lost art of writing letters by hand, in the forgotten form of snail mail.
    5. i have an obsession with dental hygiene. i would probably trade brushing my teeth for a meal if i had to.
    6. This list of "randoms" could go one forever, but i'll stop here.

    :) <-- and i love that little smiley face oh so much.

  13. Hi, I discovered your blog through Jenny B Jones's and I've already decided to subscribe, you seem so cool.
    I LOVE the poem "Hope is the thing with feathers' by Dickinson.
    Oh, and I checked out the first chapter of your book on amazon, it seems pretty interesting.
    And I used to read Brio!

  14. So, I had an internal debate with myself yesterday over whether I'm an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert. I used to definitely be an extrovert, and for all intents and purposes, I am an extrovert, but I don't know if I would use that word to truly define me.

    I think I settled on introverted extrovert, though.

    I like that you're here :)

  15. Your mother JUST NOW told me about this blog...I will be a follower from now on :)

  16. Jenny - books with fart jokes and kissing move to the top of the pile on my nightstand too! :)

    SMiLE - Thanks for stopping by :)

    Amanda - I knew you loved Bo Duke. You are so cool, it was inevitable. I almost got to meet him, but decided against it. Once that life goal is met, I don't know what I would live for.

    Heather - loved your randoms. I like writing letters too. Sadly, my handwriting has moved into the slopzone over the years. :)

    WriterGrl93 - I'm so glad you popped over here :) Jenny's blog is a riot. I'm a Dickenson fan too. My other favorite poem is the one that starts "Glee the great storm is over...".

    Ashley - I straddle the introversion/extroversion line. On the actual test, I'm always barely one or the other. I think it kind of depends on the day. I just need alone time to re-charge, which is kind of the classic definition right? Maybe? I'm not a psychology person so I'm not sure. We should make up a new personality word.

    A - Thanks for stopping by!! :) Remember the 3D glasses I refused to recycle? They are still on my dresser. I have no clue what to do with them ... alas. :) We need to hang out soon. (Say hey to mom for me!)

  17. Yeah, that's the line. My determining factor is that while I need time alone to recharge, I get antsy if I'm not around people for long. I've never not been classified as an extrovert except in my mind.

  18. oh Natalie, I am so excited I found your blog!!! Your columns in Brio and your Want More? book were so incredibly encouraging in my walk with God for the past 8 years (I started reading Brio when I was 12 and am now 20). Often times your writing was the catalyst for a breakthrough in my understanding more of God's character and His incredible love! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you so much for writing, living, and loving the way you do. I can't wait to read your new book and of course now read your blog!!! :)

  19. Abby - Thanks for coming by the blog. That's fab that you grew up with Brio. I did too - and even before it branched off into the "beyond" part, I felt like there was always something in there that encouraged me too. Thanks also for such a sweet compliment :) I hope you'll come back around!

  20. i know its been like a year, but i found this blog and HAD to comment on it.

    here is a few random things:
    1. ive never been to disney world. :(
    2. my parents never thought of awsome names for me.
    3. i used to subscribe to brio, LOVED IT! "in step" was the highlight of every month! cried when brio stopped, the new susie magazine isn't really for me, it's nt the same as brio.
    4. im a shortie too! ive been 4'11" for like 2 years! im still growing, so now im 5' 1/2" the only problem with being short is my mom has to hem all of my pants!
    5. um.....ducks really arent creepy to me! i really don't like bees and wasps, and hornets, and yellow jackets... they are so scary they will come near you buzzing, and they are like right in your hair and you want to scream and run away but you don't want them t sting you, so scary.

    thats all i got now for my list. love your blog! i do think a blg monster would be cute! i would think of it to be sorta like the cookie monster.... i dont know, but a nice sute monster. :D LOL

  21. Anon, thanks so much for saying hello! Finding a comment here a year later made me extra happy :) I can SO relate to the pants issue! The good news is I don't really think about length while I'm shopping. I know I'll be asking my mom to hem them no matter what I buy. But it's certainly annoying sometimes :). And bees and wasps are freaky, no doubt. They're sneaky little suckers. I'm sorry to hear you don't like Susie Mag. I know the publication is new and changing every day. If you know specifically what it is about Brio you miss, it might be worth sending Susie an email. She loves feedback, especially from old Brio readers. I'm excited to see what the magazine becomes. Regardless, I'm glad you found your way to the blog :) Make yourself at home!

  22. I read and enjoyed Brio while my family was short terming on the mission field. It was my link to "home."(the USA)

  23. Thanks so much for sharing that, Lily! What a sweet thing to say. I love that Brio was your connection to home :) I can only imagine what an encouragement you, and your family, were to the people you ministered to.