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An Introduction to My Website and Blog

Updated: Feb 21

By: Natalie Jacobsen

collage of flowers, books, vintage images, and a polaroid of Natalie in black and white

Another day, another blog. Though my Tumblr and LiveJournal days are long behind me, resurrecting a place to ramble and share information on my life feels all too familiar; it's almost like walking the hallways of my old high school. But that's what Facebook is for these days, and I'm not interested in sharing my space with too many ghosts, but I digress.

As I take another step in becoming a published author, I decided it was high time to connect more deeply with my community, audience, readers -- all who make up my circle. So, welcome! Take a seat. Over here we have incense and candles lit. I'm not great with introductions, but I'll do my best to walk through my website and blog with you, and make your visit as cozy and worth your time as possible. You can imagine me sitting on the velvet green couch doing what I dread most: monologuing.

character from its always sunny standing in front of a collage board solving a mystery with a crazed look in his eyes

Please note, I have a minimum word count to hit in order to make this blog more effectively promoted and optimized for search engines. I am a feral girl meant to curl up on a moss bed in the woods, so allow me a moment to dig my roots in here and find my footing. It may take a bit.

Though I am releasing myself from the confines of a set schedule of blog posts, to grant me an ounce of flexibility in my ever-changing life, I do intend to provide regular updates and offer peeks into my projects and events. Across my website, I have gathered and listed a great deal of my works to-date, which will continually be updated (should I be so fortunate to find editors willing to let me write for their publications).

For now, you can find a series of published journalistic pieces here. Those works encapsulate the joys of my years as a reporter in Japan and the U.S., when I wrote about everything from civil rights to music, travel to education, and a whole lot more in between. A highlight of mine was travel to Ghana to study the origins of slavery in light of the Unite the Right rallies in Charlottesville. Another highlight would be suing the Governor of Virginia, and winning.

On my Books page, you can learn all about my upcoming debut, Ghost Train, a historical fiction set in 1877 Kyoto. Though the page only lists one book so far, that will be the best place to learn about my upcoming novels and works-in-progress (I do have lots more ideas!).

Some of you may know me as a photographer. And yes, while I still click away under pretty blossoms, much of my recent time is devoted to other endeavors. On my Photography page, you can peruse my older work, including weddings, magazine and CD album covers, television sets, travel, and more.

twenty house plants stacked up on shelves and a kitchen sink

A few others might know me for my plant collection. To gander at my beauties, follow me at this Instagram account, where I post a nauseating level of greenery and indoor gardening tips (if you're having "plant trouble," I can tell you right now it's probably spider mites).

While I long to be a full-time author, I do have a day job: as a marketer for a charity program within the Federal government. I help create and curate customized marketing content for a number of Departments and Agencies to fund-raise for thousands of charities who participate in our program. I know that sounds deeply fascinating, and like a borderline shadow operation (I promise it involves a lot more drafting social media content and Press Releases than anything else). If that piques your interest, you can check out my professional work and blogs here. One of my passions is being a changemaker, whether as a journalist or in my nonprofit communications, and that page has a wide range of resources for anyone interested in beginning their philanthropic legacy.

Now, if you're a recruiter and super impressed by my work, and so happen to have a job in mind that offers a competitive salary, please send me one of those fancy InMails via LinkedIn.

There is a place on my site for you to contact me, should you be a reader and interested in signed material or want to invite me to your virtual Book Club, or are an author looking for a blurb or have another general inquiry. Those prospects thrill me, and I would love to hear from you! If you have anything not-so-nice to say, you can send those comments here. My Amazon and GoodReads accounts to share your feedback and review of Ghost Train is coming soon, so be on the lookout for those links.

That should cover the basics of my website for now. And now that we are halfway through my word count requirements, I'll transition to previewing my Blog. There, you can expect to read posts about:

  • Ghost Train, and behind-the-scenes of writing and publishing

  • Folklore Friday posts

  • What I'm learning as a debut author

  • Tips for fellow and soon-to-be indie authors

  • Marketing strategy advice

  • Travel to and living in Japan

  • History versus Mythology of Japan

  • Writing techniques and exercises

  • Career updates and volunteer efforts

  • Steps to prepare for querying and releasing a book

  • Updates on my projects and works-in-progress

  • Interviews, podcasts, and more

One thing I may dabble in occasionally is sharing about Japanese cinema. Having studied those extensively in undergrad and watched hundreds -- if not thousands -- over the course of my life, I need an outlet of some kind to share the information I've absorbed over the years. And I love nothing more than subjecting my friends to topics that only I care about.

If you're another writer or interested in any of the above topics, I would love to consider a collaboration. Reach out to me here, and we can find a time to meet and brainstorm. For all readers and writers, stay tuned to hear about guest blogs and upcoming opportunities to write with me!

portugal ceramic photograph inside a polaroid

What will be kept to a minimum, in stark contrast to my Tumblr days, is my personal life. Though I will share writing-related updates, this website is not intended to be my diary. There won't be a lot of Deep Thinking here (I leave that to the cast of Love Island). Rather, you can see my goings-on through Instagram, and hear my daily thoughts on Threads. Here I will mostly keep to the above parameters, in attempt to curate a space devoted solely to my professional and creative work. I will make the exception only if Max ever makes that TikTok account I keep gently encouraging him to establish.

One thing you can count on is: everything on my site is written by me. There is no Chat-Whatever or AI-plug-in doing any of the copy and creative writing. Now, the editing is all done by Max, so if you see any grammatical mistakes, you can take it up with him directly.

While I can't promise to forego all outdated millennial catch-phrases (you can pry "slay queen!" out of my cold, dead hands), here are some things you will NEVER find on my website or in my blog:

  • Any skincare routines

  • Long-winded family recipes from that time they spent on the Oregon trail and needed to find egg substitutes

  • Job burnout and survival advice (if you know, plz share)

  • Quick money-making tips (if you know, plz share)

  • My political leanings and policy strategy ideas that will save democracy

  • Our years-old audition tape for The Amazing Race

  • Mental breakdowns over your favorite romantasy couple

  • Reaction to the latest drama in the writing community

  • Taylor Swift & Travis Kelce news

  • Toxic hustle boss girl TedTalks

  • PokemonGo Battle tactics

  • Recaps of that Seahawks game (we all know how it went)

Don't mind the occasional Seinfeld or 30 Rock reference. They're mostly harmless, and entirely for me.

There is also a semi-regular Newsletter. If you join my circle, you can receive blog posts, updates, and more right to your inbox. Fill out your email address here to subscribe. My Newsletter is meant to be lighthearted, informative, and to never drone for too long. We all have busy lives and full inboxes, and I appreciate anyone who makes room for me. Here is a preview of what you can look forward to in the Newsletter:

  • Latest Blog Posts

  • Folklore Friday teasers

  • ARC sign-up opportunities

  • How to order Ghost Train

  • Interview news, podcast links

  • Quick tips & advice in writing, marketing

  • Unreleased photos

  • Max & Nat's "NitPicks" (you'll have to sign up to learn about!)

vintage japanese art of two women walking in a lily garden

This is just the beginning! Both the Blog and Newsletter will evolve over time to reflect my current goals and interests. What I'm most excited about is welcoming you to my page, and looking ahead, together, to the wild unknown.

Wondering where to go next? Subscribe to my Newsletter then take a look at my portfolio!

Good news: at the end of this sentence, I will be one word over that aforementioned word count.

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