Being that Orthodox Lent is approaching (and Catholic Lent season has already started), I find myself contemplating the subject of Easter fasting.
Last year (2015) marked the third time that I completed the Easter fasting for Lent. For Christians, Lent refers to the period of 40 days prior to Easter, during which you restrict yourself from various pleasures—be they dietary and/or lifestyle—with the intent of purifying yourself and turning to God as we recall the ordeal Jesus went through for us. I find that it can serve as both an intense and rewarding learning experience, provided you approach it with the right set of mind (and isn’t that true of everything in life! 😉 )
Doing the actual fasting usually means not having any meat or dairy for that time period, which basically leaves you vegan. With that said, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that the various church specifics of Christian fasting can vary. For instance, the Catholic fasting may differ from the Orthodox fasting… and even the Orthodox churches themselves (Greek, Russian, etc.) may each do things their own way! For example, some allow fish 1-2 times during the Lent period; others say it’s ideal to do a total fast (aka no eating at all) on Good Friday, and maybe have some fruits and wine on Saturday… and so on, and so forth. So if things seem confusing—and inconsistent—on that front, it’s because they are!
The first Goodreads Giveaway for my short story collection “Twisted Reflections” has ended and the 12 winners announced! Books have been shipped out and are on their way 😀
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED! If you’ve added the book to your to-read shelf, you’ll be notified whenever there’s another giveaway. There’ll be another one soon for both national and international entrants 🙂
Want your own copy now? Get it here!
Happy 2016 everyone!
I’m excited to announce that my short story collection “Twisted Reflections” is now available!
There’ll also be a Goodreads giveaway for the book that starts Friday January 15th!! 🙂
Cheers to the new year and beyond!! ❤
Full disclosure: I’ve always felt it was cliché and exaggerated for people to think of the French and French culture as romantic. Naturally, as with everything else, that’s a term that’s subjective, but I think we tend to have a general idea of what that means. I mean, some things may be, but technically any culture can be seen that way depending on how you look at it. I often encounter people who want me to speak French (my first language) because they think it’s a beautiful language, and in a way, I guess it might be. But mostly—maybe because I don’t know what it’s like not to understand French—I am also somewhat puzzled by it. Maybe it’s the slight accent they’re referring to? I’ve noticed Americans can be quite keen on them (but once again, can also depend on the kind of accent you might have). And why do some languages fascinate us more than others? I’ve always wished I could speak Arabic because that’s a language no one would expect me to speak and mostly because it’s so… ancient. 🙂 (I’m a Capricorn with a penchant for dated thangs… 😉 )
As stated by a French Facebook group called AraMic TV, in about a day (technically even less if in Europe), Catholic church bells will be ringing in France for Middle East Christians. I appreciate this show of support, and truly wish the US churches—and other countries’ as well—would get ON IT stat and do the same!!
Check out the event page, although I note it is in French: https://www.facebook.com/lesclochesdeFrance
The map below shows the dioceses that are participating (in purple). The list is growing, which already includes other countries like Spain, Canada, Iceland, and Switzerland.
In the midst of writing some of my “Twisted Reflections” short stories based on my childhood growing up in Brussels, Belgium, it quickly got me thinking about the tunes that essentially made up the soundtrack of my earlier years.
After serious time spent down memory lane, what ensues is this list of 60 songs—mostly covering popular tunes (and sometimes older ones that made an impact) during my years spent in Brussels from 1985 – 1996.
These are a combination of tracks based on what I remember most and songs / artists I liked. Made up mostly of European and American musicians, I can now easily spot the significant dance influence… Haha, memories! 😀 Continue reading
So happy to announce that my official website is finally live at www.natachapavlov.com!!
My short story collection “Twisted Reflections” is now available! ❤ 😀 My cover art sketch was skillfully brought to life by artist Tatiana Kazakova (see also her Behance page).
Special thanks to LA Soundbox‘s Yoyo Bianchi for designing the site!