lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Asian Invasion September 1, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Last Saturday we had a lovely, gorgeous, uneventful hike. And then the Asians came.

Now, don’t think I’m awful. It’s just a part of the season here in Denali. We start with Australians shouting “Oy, oy, oy!” at us and end with Asians of all sorts coming with or without translators with hilarious results. (more…)

 

To Light the Darkness August 30, 2014

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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It snowed last night here in Denali, Alaska. Only on the peaks of the mountains, but still, it is cold. Really cold. And really dark. Where we live and where we work are about a mile apart along the only major road that runs through this part of the state. So, walking home at night with tired truckers and tourists driving at you at seventy miles an hour (my husband just corrected me and said it was forty-five, but it’s really freakin’ fast either way) can be dangerous at the best of times. Now, in the pitch black, it’s worse. (more…)

 

The Land of the Midnight Rain August 27, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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The land of the midnight sun rain.

I love Alaska, and as my time here begins to wind down, I must take this chance to reflect upon the fantastic opportunity I’ve had to spend a summer in Denali.

It rained. It rained a lot. And then it seemed it was time for more rain. In fact, the people who work deep in the heart of the park had to be evacuated by helicopter because of the flooding. Every time I really want to do a hike, it rains.

But I did get a few good hikes in. The Savage River social trail nearly killed me. Flat top made me want to curl up and die. Cathedral Mountain gave me a close encounter with a caribou.

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And I got to see the Alpenglow on Mount McKinley on the solstice. (more…)

 

Merry Christmas! August 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Merry Christmas! And no, I haven’t lost my mind. I’m in Denali National Park, and today we are celebrating Christmas!

For those of you who aren’t national park junkies, Christmas is celebrated in parks across the country on August 25th.

You see, many years ago there was a terrible snowstorm in Yellowstone National Park. Visitors were stranded in the lodges and to pass the time, they gathered around the fire and told stories and sang songs. It felt so much like Christmas Eve that they all decided to celebrate Christmas the next morning on August 25th.

In my mind, I picture the guests raiding the kitchen to steal tinfoil to make ornaments, but I’m not sure how realistic that is, considering  either they were in a small lodge and probably didn’t have tinfoil or they were in a big commercial lodge and health regulations wouldn’t allow guests to set foot in the kitchen.

But tinfoil aside, that snowstorm created a beautiful tradition that continues to this day. It’s a time to celebrate the love and magic of the holidays with our park family. So, on this Christmas Day, take a moment to appreciate whatever natural beauty you can find. Even if it’s only a tree growing on a city sidewalk. Today, we celebrate life in nature. Merry Christmas!

 

*For an update on how pre-orders for The Tethering are going, please follow this link to the pre-order site.

 

Weathering the Storm August 23, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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There are times in life when you feel like you are stuck outside in the storm. That the wind and rain are battering you, and there is no escape. No safe haven, no warm bed to hide in. Just you and the storm, battling to see who can last the longest.

In some ways, I mean that as a metaphor for having my first novel up for preorder. But really I mean it literally. Being out in a storm and having nowhere to hide. When I was a young teenager, I went to a very fancy summer camp in Maine. There was no way my parents could afford to send my sister and me, so my father acted as the woodshop teacher in exchange for our camp tuition. There were all kinds of adventures and a million stories from that summer. But the one that seems most fitting right now is about the only tornado I ever heard of in my time in Maine. (more…)

 

Runaway Author August 20, 2014

Sorry for the late post, but honestly Preorder has just been too exciting to sit still! It’s going great! I mean, the build up to the link going live was a little awful. Not that anything went wrong. It’s just, what with the roller coaster of having lost two publishers to shady closures in the past year, I was terrified that at 11:59pm I would get an email saying “oops, your book isn’t going up.”

I may have had a small nervous breakdown. I tried to flee out our backdoor and into the Alaskan wilderness barefoot in my fleece bathrobe.

Escape!

This is where I tried to run away to. Looks welcoming, doesn’t it?

Once my husband convinced me if I was going to runaway I needed shoes, I put on one left foot snow boot and one left foot combat boot and tried to run away again. I don’t think my flight instincts have kicked in that badly since I decided I was going to get married in a closet because walking down the aisle no longer felt like a good idea.

But the link did go up! And more than 87 copies of The Tethering have already been Preordered!

I am very grateful that my husband didn’t let me run away into the wilderness. Because let’s face it, I don’t think I could have survived out there barefoot.

 

A Post Before the Post

Filed under: I Meant Well — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Hi everyone! Sorry that this post is so short, but I have an amazing story for you later. Right now, I’m in The Tethering Preorder land. In the meantime, check out my kickstarter video!

 

 

 
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