lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Peace in the Crime Program January 18, 2019

When troubled times find me, I have a very simple solution: watch a crime drama.

I’m completely serious. No matter how awful your day might seem, chances are you’re way better off than victim number two on Law and Order: SVU.

Picture this: you’ve had a long day at work, the grocery store you hit on the way home is flooded with jerks, you get an email as you walk through the door telling you to do more work that shouldn’t have anything to do with you, you try to settle in for the night and realize the washing machine is broken and making all your clothes worse off than when you put them in to be cleaned.

Instead of sitting down with a glass and thinking that the world is pooping on your head, pour that same glass of wine, turn on Criminal Minds, and watch the Behavioral Analysis Unit track serial killers. Even though you’ve had a bad day, if your day has not involved entrails, murder, or the FBI, you’re doing pretty darn well.

So, next time you feel like curling up and crying because it seems like the world is intent on yanking your pigtails, try watching some high quality programing about people who are way worse off than you.

The perspective shift can be a real life saver.

 

The Phoenix and the Dumpster Fire January 13, 2019

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 2:38 pm
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Between the holidays and some…interesting changes in my publishing life, I’m sorry I haven’t been over here to blog very much.

The publishing story basically goes like this: my career turned into a giant dumpster fire in about three weeks. I’m not going to go into detail because it’s boring and no one really cares, but within a span of three weeks I parted ways with both of my publishers, leaving thirteen books without homes.

Yeah, Happy New Year to me. I won’t lie and say it wasn’t a massive blow. As many problems as I had with my publishers, there is security in a contract. In knowing that someone wants to release your work.

But, rather than wallow in the dumpster fire of my books’ being pulled from the market, I have decided to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the trash.

I will be (re)releasing all thirteen projects in 2019 along with some other great extras and awesome stories.

The schedule of it all looks insane, but I can do it. And the readers who have been asking for book three in The Tethering series for years (like literally three years people have been asking for The Dragon Unbound) will finally get to read the end of Jacob and Emilia’s story.

All four books in the Girl of Glass series will be released by the end of May. Maggie Trent won’t have to wait eighteen months between each of her adventures. Bryant Adams can run around Manhattan without being on a yearlong waiting list for cover art.

And speaking of cover art, Nuttycracker Sweet is going to get a fancy new look for Christmas 2019. AND here’s the first look at the new Girl of Glass cover art! (more…)

 

A Year in Review January 4, 2019

The New Year has come, and I can’t say that I’m really sad to see 2018 go. My mother taught me at a very young age that you shouldn’t wish your life away. As much you might wish that this week were over and the next one could start, you’re never going to get the week you’re currently living back. The same goes with years.

2018 was a rough one, from being in a very…negative environment, to unexpected knee surgery, a few health setbacks, and losing a publisher, it’s been a bumpy ride from basically the beginning. Every time I was sure things were going to get better, something else came up to bite me in the butt.

There were some great things, of course. I got to visit some amazing places on tour.

Cages or Wings

I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Greece and Italy. (more…)

 

Life is a Group Project December 18, 2018

You know how in school group projects were the worst?

I’ve come to the realization that life is just one massive group project. Hear me out, okay?

I have a high standard that I’ve set for myself. I know what my job is, how it is expected to be done, the level of professionalism that should be maintained. Normally, things just sail smoothly along, all of us, like adult ducks, cruising down the stream of life.

But then some duck who doesn’t feel the need to maintain the dignity of the duck population gives up on smooth swimming and starts flailing their wings around like they’ve never swum before in their life. All the mature ducks are getting splashed, the young ducks think it’s funny, and you realize you’ve spent your whole ducking life working hard under the assumption that the other ducks in your stream also cared to maintain the dignity of the swimming party.

But not all ducks are created equal, and no matter how much of your life you dedicate to keeping the dignity of the ducks in order, one dumb duck ruins the whole damn thing for everyone.

Even if we splash away from the duck metaphor to the greater problems of the world, we still have the group project problem. (more…)

 

A New Beginning December 14, 2018

I have the unfortunate duty of announcing that the Girl of Glass series is going on a temporary hiatus.

I found out this week that the publisher for the Girl of Glass series will be shuttering its doors. The eBooks for Girl of Glass and Boy of Blood have already been pulled from retailers. On the plus side, the publisher seems to be handling the closure in a responsible manner. I have been promised a reversion of rights letter.

With that document, I will have the ability to re-release Girl of Glass on my own. Rather than shop the series out to new publishers, a process that could delay the continuation of the series for years, I have chosen to take the project into my own hands.

If all the paperwork goes well, Girl of Glass and Boy of Blood will be back in circulation this spring with book three in the series, Night of Never, coming out this summer.

I’m looking forward to this exciting new adventure in publishing, and I hope you will join me as Nola ventures back out into the world.

Thank you as ever for your support.

P.S. Don’t forget to hang on to your old copies of Girl of Glass. Those covers will not be reprinted, so who knows? The books could be collectors’ items someday.

 

A Little “Nighttide” Music December 11, 2018

I adore my husband. If you’ve visited this blog before, that much is probably clear.

Aside from our co-dependence as humans, we also work together as performers and have been known to collaborate on fun projects. Together, we created the music for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical and Princess Camp: The Musical.

Most recently, I decided to write a short story that includes music. Weird, I know. But think of it this way: there are books where people bake pies, and at the back of the book the author puts in the recipe for the pie you saw the characters baking. Only in this story there is no pie, there’s songs. And for those who are musically-inclined, there’s sheet music available to go with the songs.

Why, you may ask? Because I love collaborating on music with the husband, and no one would want to eat any pie I created the recipe for.

Will everyone who reads the story be interested in the sheet music, or be able to read or play music? Not at all. And the story doesn’t hinge on being able to hum the melody.

I just really like insider extras, and music is something unique I can offer my readers.

The story is titled Song of Nighttide and is available for free download here.

Meganorlowskiru_ebook (3).jpg

And as for our little song, please enjoy this clip of the husband’s performance.

 

 

A Fear of Bones December 7, 2018

Right now I’m reading The Hero of Ages book three in the Mistborn series. They’ve been talking a lot about animal bones, and it’s creeping me out.

See, my mother was an archeologist, and when I was little, she still collected animal bones. Like a lot of them. I sort of knew she had bones somewhere in the house, but it wasn’t a thing we ever really talked about. She just picked up bones when she found them, and they disappeared.

In hindsight, I probably should have asked where the bones were going, but I was little and still having trouble with the concept of ownership and permanence.

One day, my mom told me to go to the attic and get something. Our house had a huge attic, like bigger than most apartments in Manhattan. The door to the attic was one of three on the wall of one room. Me, being a little kid, didn’t know which door went to the attic, so I just decided to try opening one.

I chose poorly. (more…)