lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Raki for My Friends August 10, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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There are times in life when you have to push through in order to find something amazing.

The husband and I had a push through moment the night after our amazing hike of the Samaria Gorge.

We were hot. We were tired. We were in pain. We were dirty as hell. And we were hungry.

We got back to Chania, the nice little city where we were staying about an hour from the gorge.

It was like nine at night by then. As we limped our way back toward the hotel, we searched for food. Some restaurants were too nice for us to go in as filthy as we were. Some didn’t have any food allergy-ridden me could actually eat. The grocery store had no pre-made food to be found. It was rough.

I wanted to go to the old town, but it was a long walk away and we were so dirty.

We finally found a mom and pop place that didn’t have any food left, but they had some advice: just head toward old town and you’ll find something to eat.

It was one of those moments in travel when you have to choose between a Cliff Bar and Sleep or good food and fatigue.

We headed toward old town. That part of Chania is surrounded by an old stone wall, so we had to cut back to go over to loop down. It was a whole thing. We made it to old town, and the first thing we saw was a restaurant in the middle of the street.

Restaurant in Old Town

The owner came up to us with a menu (completely ignoring the massive amount of trail dust we were covered in). He told us there would be live music and that we should have some of his homemade raki.

—If you’ve never had raki, it’s like a less burning version of vodka—

We said we loved raki, so we’d have a look around and come back.

He blinked at us like we were crazy and said, “You like raki? Two shots of raki for my friends!” (more…)

 

Left Unsaid August 7, 2018

Fellow bloggers,

Do you ever start to write a blog and then erase it because you know about twelve people will be utterly certain you’re writing about them even though you’re not?
This is going to be one of those.

I get that everyone deals with stress in different ways. We all have coping mechanisms and twitches. Some people read, some run, some drink way too much wine, some people pretend nothing bad is happening.

But here’s the thing: acknowledging that your life isn’t perfect doesn’t make you a “negative person.” I will never understand people who think that acknowledging they chipped a tooth should be frowned upon by society because it isn’t cheerful, meme-based conversation.

Isn’t human communication supposed to be more than cat pictures?

I’m not saying that we should all spend every conversation fighting the good fight for human rights and equality, but if you only tell people the good things that are happening in your life, does anyone actually know who you are as a human? (more…)

 

Deafening Distraction August 3, 2018

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I’m a pretty epic multitasker. I think it comes from my elementary school days. According to my mother, that school district would take every new educational concept that had been rejected in California and use it on my school.

One of those grand ideas was an open floor plan for the school. We had rib-high walls separating the classrooms. Yep. Hundreds of small children. No real walls.

I learned to read while hearing the teacher next door teach math. I learned about science while kids fifteen feet from me sang songs about history. There was never ever quiet.

Silent reading time only meant our class wasn’t allowed to talk. The classrooms on either side of us were still going full tilt. (more…)

 

Danger: Move Quickly! August 1, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I am a pretty adventurous person and have a very low self-preservation instinct when it comes to hanging out in nature. Cliff edges don’t bother me, rushing water is totally fun. There are very few things that naturally occur on this earth that make me go “Nope!”

So the husband and I hiked the Samaria gorge this spring. It’s one of the longest gorges in Europe, and over the course of planning this trip the idea of doing the 10-ish mile hike became something of a pilgrimage. I’ve hiked so many beautiful places in the United States. If my goal is to be a citizen of the world, then I need to be a hiker of the world. It made a lot of sense in my head.

So, we ferried to Crete from Santorini specifically to do this hike.

US

The trail is all downhill (which is not actually as great as it sounds) and takes you past some truly breathtaking vistas. (more…)

 

The Sound in the Sight July 27, 2018

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I messed up my knee. Not a huge, end-of-the-world messed up my knee; more like a heels-on-shoes-shouldn’t-bend-that-way-oh-dear-God-why-is-my-foot-suctioned-to-the-floor kind of way.

Long story short (a first for me, I know), I ended up with a massive bone bruise in my knee and a lovely piece of rogue cartilage bungling up the joint. So, I’m stuck on crutches until the bruise heals and had to have a tiny little surgery to get the extra floaty bit removed.

The surgery wasn’t that bad, though it was really rude that they knocked me out mid-sentence without warning me it was coming. I was telling them very important things about visiting Alaska that they will never get to know.

The terror came in the post operation pain killers. (more…)

 

Tons of News! July 24, 2018

I have all the news!

No, literally, so much to talk about.

I have officially signed a six-book contract with Curiosity Quills Press that includes:

Book two in The Tale of Bryant Adams:

Featured Image -- 1918

Currently titled Seven Things Not to do When Everyone is Trying to Kill You, scheduled for release in April 2019.

Book two in The Chronicles of Maggie Trent:

The Girl Without Magic Cover

Currently titled The Girl Locked With Gold, scheduled for release in December 2019.

And… Drumroll Please!

Starting in 2020, The Tethering series will be rereleased!

I am so thrilled to have The Tethering going back out into the world, and to continue the adventures of Bryant Adams and Maggie Trent.

A huge thanks to all of you who have read my books and continue to come hang out on Life Beyond Exaggeration. It has been a pleasure to share the madness of being an author with all of you, and I am so excited to continue the journey.

 

The Meteora March July 17, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I love climbing things. There’s something about using your own two legs to hike up something that makes you feel accomplished and insubstantial all at the same time.

When we were in Greece not so very long ago, we decided to visit the beautiful monasteries of Meteora—

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—positioned on spires of stone. Monks moved up onto the rocks for seclusion. Some even going so far as to build themselves homes in the sides of rocks.

Of course the world being what it is, seclusion has been replaced by tourism, but the monasteries are amazing and well worth the visit.

The trick is you have to climb to most of them. And not like a flight or two of stairs. Like a lot, a LOT, of stairs.

Theoretically, you’re supposed to be able to hike between all of the monasteries and visit them in one day…we didn’t do that. (more…)