About Natalie

Natalie in mask

Wearing a mask, bruises, scars, and powerful words for an event where I asked everyone, “What if our emotional wounds and identities were worn on our skin?” The picture wasn’t posed, but I find it interesting you can see the word “Strong” on my right shoulder and my medical alert bracelet on my left wrist. By this point in the evening the mask had broken so I had to hold it on my face. It all captures who I am and want to be better than words could.

In self-defense and in defense of the innocent, cowardice is the only sin. ― Dean Koontz

Writing a self bio asks the question “Am I what I do, my relationships, or…what?” I don’t know who I am other than a child of God who feels His mercy every day. It’s a good life.

As for what I do, my reasons for living are:

  • My God and the Church. It’s like diving into an ocean—a sometimes-painful, beautiful adventure with no end.
  • My priceless, amazing son. Parenting as a single woman from basically day one has smoothed away—and revealed—more rough edges than anything else in my experience. I keep his life offline; he can decide in the future if he wants the world to know his stories and face.
  • Fighting for and listening to women who’ve been traumatized through:
  1. Finishing a book for millennial women recovering from trauma.
  2. Pursuing advanced training with R.A.D. self-defense.
  3. Volunteering with Chicago’s battle against human trafficking.
  4. Supporting Rape Victims Advocates.

Employment I am dedicated to the book industry and spent the past five years immersed in training, working, and studying under skilled artisans. Currently I work in the following areas:

  • Proofreader: I read every genre and length, from web articles to books (contracted only). I’ve worked on over 150 books and hundreds of articles (the longest word count to date: half of a 1.5 million word commentary). I will proofread and/or copy edit on hard copy, in Microsoft Word 2013 with track changes, and on Kindle (for ebooks).
  • Freelance editor: Substantive editing, copy editing, proofreading. Currently closed to new private clients. Contact me for waiting list or referrals to other editors.
  • Bibliography/notes producer: Creation and editing of bibliographies and note systems for books, theses, and dissertations according to Chicago/Turabian style.
  • Indexer: Subject and Scripture indexing for contracted books.
  • Writer: Current emphasis in nonfiction for Millennial women. Articles by assignment. Book details being finalized.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute
  • Post-bacc Editing Certificate from the University of Chicago’s Graham School
  • Craftsman in the Christian Writers Guild (original program = four years of continuous training)


Adventures to Have (always in progress)

Unique experiences

  • Live in Alaska (2006)
  • Backpack Western Europe with my son
  • Writer’s residency at Oxford
  • Writer’s residency on Amtrak (self-subsidized)
  • Have my family’s life documented in photos in albums (current as of 2014)
  • Live with a military family (2005-06)
  • Live on a naval base overseas (2005)
  • Be an Air Force wife (2007-08)
  • Teach English in another country (China, 2004)
  • Explore old gold mines in Nevada (2006)
  • Explore caves and WWII underground military base in Okinawa, Japan (2005)

Hope to Accomplish (in no particular order)

  • Regain my blocked memories of 2002-12
  • Become skilled at aerial ballet
  • Learn pole dancing (the beautiful kind)
  • Take class at the Joffrey Ballet Company school
  • Publish a book with a well-respected traditional publishing house
  • Improve aim in knife throwing
  • Take a R.A.D. class (2014)
  • Become a R.A.D. instructor
  • Become a rape victim advocate with RVA
  • For one night, sleep until I wake up on my own
  • Teach my son to read (2014)
  • Share a mutually desired kiss with a man with no strings attached

Set foot on all seven continents

  • Europe (1998)
  • Africa (1998)
  • Asia (2005, 2006)
  • North America
  • South America
  • Australia
  • Antarctica

Live overseas

  • Live in Japan (2005)
  • Live in Europe
  • Live in Africa

Visit other countries

  • Canada (1998)
  • Switzerland  (1998)
  • Morocco (1998)
  • China (2004)
  • Japan (2005)
  • Israel (2006)
  • Mexico (2010)
  • Germany
  • France
  • Austria
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • India
  • Egypt
  • New Zealand
  • Uganda
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Iceland

Ride a horse in as many countries and unique settings as possible

  • United States (many places, 1985-2014)
  • Interlaken, Switzerland (in the Alps, 1998)
  • Beijing, China (on the Great Wall, 2004)
  • Cozumel, Mexico (on the beach, 2010)
  • Argentina
  • France
  • Ireland

Visit Orthodox churches all over the world

  • Jerusalem, Israel (2006)
  • Galilee, Israel (2006)
  • Midwest US (2008-09)
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Greece
  • Egypt


They say no land remains to be discovered, no continent is left unexplored. But the whole world is out there, waiting, just waiting for me. I want to do things–I want to walk the rain-soaked streets of London, and drink mint tea in Casablanca. I want to wander the wastelands of the Gobi desert and see a yak. I think my life’s ambition is to see a yak. I want to bargain for trinkets in an Arab market in some distant, dusty land. There’s so much. But, most of all, I want to do things that will mean something.― Lisa Ann Sandell

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