lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Lessons I Wish I’d Learned February 15, 2019

I can sew on a button. I can almost manage to do my taxes on my own. I’ve consistently worked in my chosen field since leaving college. There are areas I’m lacking that could improve if I really wanted to put the effort into learning.

Like how to change a tire. How to cook. How to clean up the desktop of my computer so I can actually find files when I need them.

But there are some topics in which the information is so spread out across so many different resources, it’s hard to figure out what the actual best practice is.

Let’s look at it at a base level. If you’re going on a trip to Disney World and you want to know what the best order to ride the rides is in order to avoid the worst of the lines: If you Google it, you’re going to get twelve different answers. Of course, if there were one definitive answer, it would be out of date as soon as everyone read the list and started flocking to the same places in the same order. (more…)

 

World Weary February 8, 2019

I love traveling. I love seeing new places and trying new things. One of my primary aims in life is to become a true citizen of the world, so any chance I have to see a new slice of humanity is amazing to me. But with seeing so many things, it becomes harder to be amazed.

It’s like when you’re traveling around Europe and you’ve just walked into your twelfth cathedral and it sort of looks a lot like the last eleven cathedrals. You wander around, look at all the windows, and wonder when you’re going to get to eat lunch.

Then you’re eating your brie, and you think about how so many people would love to have the opportunity to walk through the building you just visited. You feel a little grateful for having seen it, but also still a bit like you really don’t want to visit cathedral number thirteen even though you’ve already purchased the ticket. (more…)

 

The Talented Eye Roll February 1, 2019

I love Ireland, I love Irish music, and I love Guinness.

Guinness at Raglan Road in Disney Springs

I would love to hop on a plane right now and run away to Ireland for a little escape, I don’t care how mucky the weather might be. Unfortunately, adult things like having a job meant I couldn’t go to Ireland for my day off this week, so the husband and I did the next best thing and went to Raglan Road in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney).

I love Raglan Road. There’s Irish step dancers during the dinner hours and amazing live music at night. The husband and I curled up at our corner table with our pints. The band was great—lead singer, guitar, bass, drums, and fiddle. The fiddle player was definitely the stand out performer of the act.

She was this tall, lanky woman who looked so far in the zone when she played you weren’t really sure if she was an android or not. They way her fingers moved was just amazing. And then they got to The Rattlin’ Bog. (more…)

 

The Trouble with Taxes January 25, 2019

I have never claimed to be the best at adulting. There are several areas of basic skills that I’ve never mastered. I’m a hazard in the kitchen, I don’t know anything about cars, and the only way I know to fix household appliances is to call a repairman.

I am, however, used to being smart enough to understand things. My brain is currently failing me.

For the past several years, I’ve done taxes for the husband and me. Not exactly the most glamorous chore, but I liked getting everything done. Each year, things got a bit tougher. We started getting 1099s, we had more specialty acting deductions. But I muddled through, with a ton of help from the husband, who was tasked with tracking receipts.

Then I arrived at this year’s taxes. I knew the code had changed, so I started doing a bit of research… and fell down a black hole of doom. Most of the tax write offs actors used to have—classes, show makeup, dance shoes—were gone. I had figured that much out just by listening to my fellows freak out about how to pay for everything if it wasn’t going to be a write off. But then I got stuck on one simple question, how does standard meal allowance, or M&IE (federal meals and incidental expense) work now? (more…)

 

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
Tags: , , , , , ,

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…)