“Twisted Reflections” short story collection now available :)

Happy 2016 everyone!

I’m excited to announce that my short story collection “Twisted Reflections” is now available!

http://www.natachapavlov.com/twisted-reflections

There’ll also be a Goodreads giveaway for the book that starts Friday January 15th!! 🙂

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28459900-twisted-reflections

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Twisted Reflections by Natacha Pavlov

Twisted Reflections

by Natacha Pavlov

Giveaway ends February 14, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Cheers to the new year and beyond!! ❤

TR_NatachaPavlov

Why the French culture isn’t THAT romantic (assuming it is at all)

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… 😉 )

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On 8/15/15 in various parts of France, Catholic church bells to ring for Middle East Christians

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.

 

 

80s – 90s Soundtrack to my Belgian childhood

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

Launch of my official website

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!

“Delbedel” album by Saideh Eftekhari & Khatchadour Khatchadourian

Saideh Eftekhari and Khatchadour Khatchadourian have come together to deliver a breathtaking release appropriately titled “Delbedel” (which translates to “soul to soul”). The album is a soothing blend of Middle Eastern instrumental devotional pieces coupled with Armenian lyrics (sung by Khatchadour) and Farsi lyrics (sung by Saideh). Saideh and Khatchadour’s vocals are simply beautiful and compliment each other amazingly well, effortlessly sweeping you away to places far and wide.

The album download file includes a PDF with the lyrics as well as other album media. Get the album here: http://delbedel.bandcamp.com/album/delbedel

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To check out a previous interview with Khatchadour, click here.

To view Khatchadour’s two previous albums (available as free downloads), click below:

Arshaluys (2011)

Ascent (2013)

 Khatchadour Khatchadourian and Saideh Eftekhari:

khatchadour_khatchadourian_saideh_eftehkhari

 

Things I’m reminded of by watching ghost / paranormal shows

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved watching scary shows (one of my “Twisted Reflections” short stories touches on that). By this I mean anything with ghosts or even strange phenomenons (ie: like one with this guy who’d make it rain no matter where he went… yea!)

I’m all grown up now (or am I?! haha) and while I still enjoy watching such shows (thank you “Paranormal Witness” and “The Dead Files”), my spiritual views have obviously evolved, and as a result, so have my take on those types of events. And while there are different stories that qualify as paranormal, I’ve always been most interested in stories of disincarnate / unseen spirits–like ghosts–rather than UFOs, werewolves, strange creatures, etc.

ghostaliens

^Mmm. Never thought of that one!!

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Things guys do on dating sites that make it easy to ignore them

Online dating: love it, hate it, or perhaps somewhere in between? With the internet facilitating outreach to such a vast pool of people, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed… or not. Here are some things that make it ridiculously easy to weed out people from a perpetually-growing list of prospects. (Note: while my reference point is guys, I’m obviously well aware that women can do the same–and maybe even worse–things too! 😉 ).

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onlinedating

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New use for old nail polish: painting :)

I was about eight years old when I first got interested in nail polish. The culprit was a copper-red bottle that was my mother’s; its fiery color made even more fascinating by the fact that it’d come from the mystical-sounding place that was the pharmacy my father worked at in Jerusalem. Needless to say, the scenery couldn’t have been more different from the generally cloudy-skied Brussels neighborhood I grew up in. I liked the color so much I was convinced I’d want my nails to always, and only, be that one color. (Oh how things change!)

By then I’d already dabbled with painting–mostly with watercolors–had written my first poem at seven, and actively kept heartfelt diaries that included detailed classmate rosters and concise school field trip descriptions.

The years of tomboyishness and general disinterest in many ‘things feminine’ gradually faded, as my love of painting migrated to make-up art. A few years later still, and my nail polish collection was as varied and colorful as my make-up box’s. To be sure, there were different reasons for said re-emergences, but I’m definitely glad to have come across some helpful nail care blogs, such as one of my favorites The Polish Aholic.

So after years of acquiring nail polishes, I recently went through a stash and found quite a few old bottles–and by old I mean anywhere between 10-15 years old.

It may be that formulas have changed (which I imagine is the case), or perhaps that some brands make better nail polishes than others, because let’s just say a lot of these brands are not ones I’d buy today. Thankfully years of experimenting have led to product and ingredient knowledge that inevitably result in favorite brands. And though I was aware of great recycle programs such as Zoya’s Earth Day Nail Polish Exchange, for some reason I just kept them.

And then one day I had the idea to try painting with them. It’d been at least 12 years since I’d last painted something, so I thought why not give it a try? I’d recently purchased some small artist canvases and paints but their dullness upon drying left me longing for a shiny topcoat–and the dawning realization that perhaps I needed to paint with oils instead.

Anyhoo, I’ve done 3 paintings so far using old nail polishes, and I have to say, I’m quite glad I didn’t get rid of them. Of course it’s great to do so if you’re sure you don’t want them, but I’m also glad to have found a new use for them. I also like to challenge myself, since I paint specifically using only these old, and sometimes dried out ones. God knows I have enough colors to pretty much do any scenery with a range of colors, but so far I’m limiting myself to these 12, most of which are pinks. I use the nail polish’s brush and I’ve also tried using other paint brushes. However I’ve noticed some brushes may dry up and may not be suitable for the harshness of nail polish–it’s all in experimenting.

I love art and I love the art created using nail polish, so why not combine the two? I’m definitely hooked! Another random thought: would I be able to incorporate make-up in paintings as well? I suppose I could–ie: smudging, splattering, etc? But that’s a project for another day. 🙂

 

The first one: 

NatachaPavlov_nailpolishart1

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The second one:

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And the third one – my rendition of Matisse’s Femme au Chapeau

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