Natalie Rose, CA

Critically Acclaimed Writer

Natalie grew up in the desert, but moved to New York City as soon as she was able. She spent most of her twenties producing films and commercials and using her savings to travel the world. She ended up in Guatemala, where she began writing about the foods, people, and cultures she encountered on her travels. She returned to the States in 2014 to pursue writing. Natalie studied storytelling at the Salt Institute in Portland, Maine, and holds an MFA in creative writing from Northern Arizona University. She is an aspiring Spanish-speaker and salsa maker. Her work has appeared on Gothamist, Word Riot, The Acentos Review, The Latin Kitchen, and more. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

As a Story Terrace writer, Natalie interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.


When the chicken bus hit me, I was looking at a sign. A four-way stop sign. My scooter hummed underneath me as I waited my turn and cruised in the intersection. The last thing I remember is the streamers, fluttering like butterflies in the breeze, each color of the rainbow highlighted by the brilliant Guatemalan sun.

A sign, or rather a series of signs, had brought me to Guatemala and I had loved every moment of it, but lately the haunting volcanoes and black-sand beaches seemed more like places to hide than places to rest and recuperate. And that was the point of being in Guatemala: rest and recuperation from a messy life in New York. I wanted to sightsee, reset the life compass a bit. For a while it had worked.

But after a year it seemed like I partied as much as I had in New York, ran around scatterbrained and aimless, just like in New York, and still had the demons from New York. No amount of tequila could shield me from them. For months I’d felt it was time to go back to pick up the pieces.

Sitting in bed the night before, the twinkling lights of my beloved Guatemalan puebla outside and the summer rain just starting to ping the windows, I asked for a sign again. I wrote on my hand:

Dear Universe, please send me a sign.
Querido Universo, por favor envíame un mensaje.

The world came back into focus and I was face up on the pavement; the same streamers from seconds earlier were now still, as if all the air seemed to have disappeared. I sat up. My scooter was pushed up against the curb. Behind me I could hear someone yelling at me in Spanish. I turned and realized that the bus driver was yelling at me. I couldn’t understand him well, but many of the passengers on the bus were yelling right back at him, which made me think I wasn’t at fault.

In the shadow of the bus, I started testing limbs and ligaments for signs of injury, only to discover I had none. The only damage to my scooter was cosmetic. We were fine. I figured this was as good of a sign as the universe was going to give.

I left for New York eight days later.

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