Photos by Justin Donie, 2004 and 2014. Illustrations by Andrei Lialin in collaboration with Anna (then 7 y.o.), 2011.

My blog In the Writer's Closet was mentioned and featured in a few other blogs and web sites, 
here are some links:

Dana of Dana Loves Fashion and Music featured my blog in her Wabisabi: The Real Beauty Project (May 2015).

Joni of Artful Closet wrote about our meet-up: She Follows Her Heart (May 2015).

My Roots

I was born and raised in Siberia, in a family of kind and loving people, Nadezhda and Mikhail Lialin. My Mom researched our family history and as a result wrote a dramatic story of a small village in Siberia where she was born. Her research was published in newspapers in Russia, and you can find it on her web site ANGARA. TATARKA (in the Russian language).  I have an older brother, Andrei Lialin, who is an engineer by trade and an artist by heart. Andrei is the amazing illustrator of my fairy tales. Andrei is also a gifted master carver who created a unique collection of boxes and other art objects made out of birch bark (beresta) - you can find his artwork at ANDREI LIALIN ART. I have a Master's Degree in Russian Language and Literature and worked as a proofreader for a large regional newspaper for a few years before I moved to the USA in 2002. Since I moved, I raised a beautiful family, created and managed a small family business, and continued writing. I wrote stories, poetry and articles which were published both online and in print, in Russia and the USA (some of my writing you can find on my page on a national server HERE, in the Russian language).

New Home
Creating a Community Where There Was None

In The Writer's Closet is a blog I started as I turned 40 and, coincidentally, turned a new page of my life. I realized then that while I was busy creating a community and helping others to raise their children with love of our heritage, Russian language and culture, I completely neglected myself. In the new-to-us land where many immigrants live feeling disconnected and at times lost, without their families and old friends they left back home, I started building a community, with the enormous help and support of my American husband and Russian friend. Essentially, it was an attempt to create a large extended family for all of us here... a big, beautiful and daring dream which I was carrying for a few years as my daughter was growing. These intense years of volunteered, dedicated community work left me feeling exhausted and, to my huge surprise, lonely. And that was exactly what I saw when I looked in the mirror as I turned 40 - a compassionate and hard working woman who was completely worn out, joyless and deeply sad. It took me a while to make the hard decision to leave my brain child, which I loved with all my heart and in which so much of my heart, trust and hard work, as well as my family resources were invested. At that point, our unique, truly one-of-a-kind Russian language school was established, and the community that I envisioned was built and stabilized. I documented the history of this creative process, as well as published my ideas of building a community, teaching children Russian as a second language, and my ideas of immigrants' harmonious integration into a new society and ultimately creating a well balanced multicultural community in my blog HERE, in the Russian language. Leaving my "baby" was one of the hardest decisions in my life. I felt heartbroken, empty and scared. I felt like I lost my wings, and at times like I would never get them back. But I knew that my work was completed, there was nothing else to give. It was time to leave my creation to those for whom it was meant - the Russian speaking families. It was up to them now to determine where they wanted to take this truly magical and sophisticated sailboat. And for me, it was time to heal, refocus and move on.

Staying True To Myself

As a beginning to the healing process which lead to a new, more balanced and healthy chapter of my life, In The Writer's Closet was established in the Fall of 2013. It brought together my curiosity about the world, exploring both what's around me and my own inner world, as well as my reborn interest in personal style and fashion, and, of course, writing which has been my love ever since I can remember (my first earned money was for articles I published in a local newspaper at the age of 12). It's been a very enjoyable, exciting and fulfilling journey ever since! I have been meeting amazing, dynamic, unique people from all around the world.

I live in a charming maritime neighborhood between the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, on the shore of beautiful Puget Sound, which is a part of the Salish Sea and essentially a fjord, a true natural wonder with which I feel a deep connection. I live here with Anna, my amazing daughter, and Justin, the true soul-mate and love of my life. I am happy to share my life with them and consider my whole international family, Justin, Anna, my parents and brother, a true treasure and the finest gift. I am who I am and where I am in life, in so many ways, thanks to them. I have big dreams and have been intensely working on becoming a writer, the best genuine writer I can be. I write in both Russian, my mother language, and English which I am teaching myself, so please forgive me a bumpy learning curve. I have tons of fun creating outfits and discovering new ways to explore creativity, drawing for one. This is by far the happiest period of my life when I feel freer than I've ever been before and the most connected to my inner self. At this point, I am not searching for my wings - I have found them. Now it's time to make them stronger and fly.

December 15, 2014

My dear Russian family. From left to right: Mama, Dedushka (Granddad), Babushka (Grandma), myself with my favorite doll, Uncle Seryozha, Aunt Lida, Uncle Kolya, Papa (Dad). Photo taken by my brother Andrei (then 9 or 10 y.o.). I am guessing 1977-78. 
Angara River, Siberia.

My beloved American family: Justin and Anna, Vashon Island, August 2011. 
Illustrations by Andrei Lialin in collaboration with Anna (then 7 y.o.), 2011.


Other blogs, sites and web pages I've created over the years:

my page on, in the Russian language, 2005-now

my page on, in Russian, 2008-now

my essay about traveling in Tawian, on, in Russian, 2001

my cooking blog, in Russian, 2009-now

my creating a Russian speaking community in USA as a part of an integrated multicultural community: language&culture school, family club, library story times, cultural celebrations, multicultural festivals, volunteering at public schools and other cultural and educational organizations in the greater Seattle area - all that I called Russian Family Cultural Center, 2009-2014.

My family's web sites

one-of-a-kind hand carved boxes and other art objects created out of birch bark by my talented brother Andrei. Now with a NEW slide show picturing work in progress and our working at festivals throughout the US! 2005-now

history of a small Siberian village written by my mother Nadezhda Lialina, our family history and my Mom's creative writing, 2011-now



  1. how accomplished you are, Natalia! I admire you so much!
    I love the photos, especially the older one of your Russian family!
    xx, Elle

    1. You are so very kind, Elle! I wanted to introduce myself the best I could at that time - for those who are interested to get to know me better. I will probably re-write this page some time soon.