lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Boiled and Burned July 1, 2015

Filed under: I Meant Well — meganorussell @ 4:26 pm
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I have a confession to make. A few months ago I reached a new low. I’ve been avoiding telling you all the sad tale, but sometimes a good story is more important than pride.

So here it goes. I started a tiny kitchen fire while boiling water.

It’s okay to laugh. There was no permanent damage, and I didn’t get in trouble with my artistic director.

The husband had just finished making chicken for dinner, and while I was talking to my mother on the phone before we went to the theatre, I decided I wanted a cup of tea. Since there was no tea kettle in the cast house, I started to boil water in a sauce pan. I cleaned the kitchen a little and then washed my hands. I was using a paper towel to dry my hands and noticed a spot of chicken grease on the stove. Being a person who hates using paper towels since all I can picture is the soul of the poor trees screaming you lazy, earth-hating bum! at me every time I use one when there is a perfectly good hand towel in the room, I decided to assuage my guilt by wiping up the bit of grease on the stove. (more…)

 

Love is Love June 27, 2015

Here’s the thing. I’m a music theatre baby. More than half of my male friends are gay with a fair helping of lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgendered goodness sprinkled on top. I never knew when I was growing up that being gay was a weird thing. I thought it was like having green eyes or an outie belly button. Just another subtle difference between people. Not really a thing to be concerned about. Never an issue to be judged. I took me a long time to figure out why being gay would make you part of the dreaded other in modern society, and truth be told, I still really don’t get it.

Yesterday marked a huge leap forward in gay rights, helping America to take a step toward true equal rights. Equal rights meaning, yes, ALL of us are equal. It’s not just women or black people or gays or Muslims who get screwed every now and then. It’s all of us. How can you claim to be forced into the margins of society while you are pushing others there? If you’re a Muslim and feel persecuted for your religion, then you know what it’s like to be pushed aside. If you’re black and worry that the dreaded authority will never treat you as an equal, then you know what it’s like to fear attack. If you’re a woman who has been treated as less than because of how you were born, then you know what it’s like to fight the odds. And if you are a white man of whatever religion is popular today, then you know what it’s like to fight a stereotype.

So let’s all agree that at the core of every individual the fact that we are human is our most defining trait. We all deserve human rights.

I have gay friends who have been with their partners for years, and not one of them has ever complained that they wanted to get married in a specific church that wouldn’t allow it. They were terrified that if they or their partner had to go to the hospital, they wouldn’t be granted the same visiting rights as a straight married couple. That if something happened to them, their partner wouldn’t be able to inherit their joint property without a fight.

The desire to take care of the people you love is human. It’s not gay or straight. It has nothing to do with religion or what sex organs you were born with.

So if you and your God don’t agree with homosexuality, that’s your own deal. But I don’t think any scripture has ever said that we shouldn’t take care of the people we love. The bible preaches love. And love means being by someone’s side in their most joyful moments and through their most terrible pain.

Granting marriage equality isn’t going to change how gay people have sex. That’s been going on for thousands of years, and no ruling will ever change that. But the ruling of the Supreme Court will grant a lot of really amazing human beings the ability to protect the people they love. To ensure that, in sickness and in health, they can keep their partner by their side.

It’s not about sex. It’s about love. And love is a human right.

 

Stage Lights and more June 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — meganorussell @ 3:09 pm

Originally posted on :

I am thrilled to be joining Fiery Seas Publishing with my novella Nuttycracker Sweet! If I were to write out a baking recipe for Nuttycracker Sweet, I would have to say it’s one part snarky humor, one part stage lights, and one part romance.

I grew up dancing and am actually a professional actor by trade. My shoulders were too wide, my legs too short, and my hips too broad to be a professional ballet dancer, but I spent years in pointe class. Deliberately putting your body through that sort of strain takes a particular sort of crazy determination. My orthopedist always laughed, saying that the people who thought football players were tough and crazy had clearly never worked on dancers.

In a world with that much competition, passion, and drive, life suddenly becomes more intense. Your enemy is your mortal enemy. Your dance partner is literally the…

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Halving the Ham

It’s funny how every family has a certain peculiar way of doing something. Not everything. I mean we all put eggs on our PB&J right? Just kidding. That sounds heinous, and no one should ever eat that.

But things like how to put the lights on the Christmas tree. How laundry should be sorted. Or in the case of my family, how to cook a ham.

The first step to cooking a ham is to cut it in half. Then you prepare each half of the ham separately. I know. It says so in the family cookbook. It’s how we’ve done it for years. It’s how my great-grandmother made ham! It’s tradition!

Until my mother asked, Why? Why do we cut the ham in half? Is it about cooking time or flavor?

Nope.

My great-grandmother’s oven when she first got married was too small to fit a whole ham, so she cut it in half and cooked it that way.

It was practical. It got her family fed. But we all kept following those directions in the book for years, not knowing why, but simply because it was how things were supposed to be done. The ham hadn’t needed to be chopped in half in years.

So maybe we should all look at the ham in our lives. What are we doing without really knowing why? Or dream bigger and look at the whole world. What do we accept as unchangeable just because it’s always been done?

Who knows, maybe we’ll find out that we don’t have to cut the ham in half anymore.

 

Christmas Came Early June 22, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — meganorussell @ 8:16 pm

I am thrilled to announce that my novella, Nuttycracker Sweet, will be released by Fiery Seas Publishing this Christmas season!

I’ll be published with two different companies y’all! And in two different genres! The Tethering series is YA urban fantasy, and Nuttycracker Sweet is a romance novella. Or really a snarky, ballet-themed, romance novella. 


The plan was simple. Get to Portland, Maine, dance The Nutcracker, get a nice, fat paycheck and don’t murder your dance partner. And most definitely, do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him.

 

A snowy road trip strands Elle Grant in a tiny cabin better suited for serial killings than rehearsals for two professional ballet dancers. With no one but the incredibly talented, excruciatingly handsome, and notoriously terrible Zachary Benson and a few taxidermy woodland creatures for company, Elle’s Christmas plans are officially ruined. Can she and Zach learn to like each other enough to dance together? And can Elle get home without losing her heart to the Christmas Cavalier?


All those years in ballet class have finally paid off, I mean besides performing for a living, which is also important. But yay! My toes didn’t bleed for nothing!

Thank you all for reading my blog and supporting my insanity! I have two publishers!!! Ahhhh!

 

Welcome to Megan O’Russell

Filed under: Uncategorized — meganorussell @ 4:21 am

Originally posted on :

Welcome to our newest author, Megan O’Russell. We are so excited to have Megan with us and can’t wait to share her story with you.

Megan O'Russell Author Page

Nuttycracker Sweet

Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

December 2015

Blurb:

The plan was simple. Get to Portland, Maine, dance The Nutcracker, get a nice, fat paycheck and don’t murder your dance partner. And most definitely, do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him.

A snowy road trip strands Elle Grant in a tiny cabin better suited for serial killings than rehearsals for two professional ballet dancers. With no one but the incredibly talented, excruciatingly handsome, and notoriously terrible Zachary Benson and a few taxidermy woodland creatures for company, Elle’s Christmas plans are officially ruined. Can she and Zach learn to like each other enough to dance together? And can Elle get home without losing her heart to the Christmas Cavalier?

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My Dreams of Becoming a Crazy Cat Lady June 20, 2015

I have a deep-seeded desire to become a crazy cat lady. I like cats. In fact, I have even been known to love a few cats very much. But it’s not even so much my desire for a meowing ball of fur to cuddle that makes me want to be a crazy cat lady, as my curiosity of what I could get away with.

For example, what if I somehow manage to become a world famous author, but I had to bring my comfort cats with me to book signings?

I could keep my cats of leashes next to my signing table. Fans who could tell me the cats’ names could take pictures with the cats. If the store manager pissed me off, I could “accidentally” let the cats loose and watch the mayhem unfold. In this scenario, my cats have been trained to knock over new-smelling books.

Or what if I went to see a scary movie, and right in the most shocking moment, let the cats loose? (more…)

 

 
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