lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Attack of the Pretty People March 27, 2017

I have a fear of makeup stores. Yes, I’ve worked in makeup before. Yes, I wear a pound-and-a-half of makeup for shows eight (or more) times a week. Yes, it’s just a store and I shouldn’t fear human interaction. But I can’t help it; I’m terrified of makeup stores.

There’s something about walking into the bright lights that show every flaw in your pores, and then the heads of the pretty people in black swivel toward you like they can scent easy prey. They descend like hyenas, telling you how they can fix the bags under your eyes, or the wrinkles you’ve never even noticed on your forehead, and you just want to scream, “All I need is eyeliner!”

I needed white shimmer eyeshadow for a show a few months ago, and I put off finding any for weeks. The concept of facing the black-clad pretty people was too much for me. Lucky for me I have a friend who is an awesome professional makeup artist. Really, she’s amazing, and you need to see her work. So I asked her to tell me what to ask the pretty people for. She laughed and said she could do me one better; all I had to do was go into the tiny Bare Minerals specialty store and ask for snowflake. So I did.

I walked right into that tiny store, and when a lady who looked like an elf asked me what I wanted, I said, “Snowflake!” a little too loudly to be considered socially acceptable. She asked if I wanted anything else and I said, “Just snowflake!”

And she put it in a bag, and I gave her money and got to leave. It was like a freakin’ miracle!

But then I broke my blush and my dark eyeshadow last week! (more…)

 

The Trouble with Trampolines March 22, 2017

Once upon a time when I was a bright-eyed youth, I worked for a summer stock theatre that performed all their shows in the round. For non-theatre folks, that means that the audience is on all four sides of the stage. We did somewhere around seven shows in twelve weeks or something crazy like that, and one of the shows was the musical Swing!

I love Swing! It’s a great show. Just a bunch of happy, dancing frivolity. I will say it’s an ambitious endeavor for a summer stock. That many dance numbers to put together in a two-week rehearsal process with the entire cast currently performing another show? Not really the ideal situation.

But it was fine. Nobody died. (A few close calls, but we all survived.) And in all this super intense work, they even decided to do a trampoline number.

It was a normal swing number, except we were bouncing off our trampolines and throwing ourselves at our dance partners. It was pretty terrifying. (more…)

 

Flying With Footwear February 27, 2017

I went to college halfway across the country, so I was always flying back and forth to school. As a dance major, I would always pack a carryon with all my dance shoes and leave less important things like clean underwear to fend for themselves in checked baggage.

It was always fine, and since my checked bags usually arrived three days late, a pretty great system. Until it wasn’t.

I was flying back to school after a summer of theatre and had my tap shoes in my little rolly bag. I popped it up on the conveyor belt and sent it through the X-ray. For the first time in my life, the guy at the end pulled my bag aside, saying there was something suspicious they needed to examine. Fine, whatever. I don’t mind being searched if it keeps people safe.

The man grabbed out my tap shoes and sent them back through the X-ray. They were super fancy tap shoes, so under the tap was a thin layer of metal to create better resonance. But this man didn’t know anything about tap tone quality; he just thought my beloved and expensive shoes were a threat.

He reached under his counter and pulled out a screwdriver to unscrew my taps and check beneath them! (more…)

 

An Awkward Kiss February 13, 2017

When I was in college as a dance major, I had to take two semesters of acting. It didn’t bother me. I was totally comfortable with it. I had done plays and Shakespeare before, unlike a lot of the dance majors, so it was a fun class for me. Trying new techniques, doing great scene work, kissing random guys.

Okay, so the kissing bit was weird. And not because I was already dating my now husband at the time. We’re both performers, it sort of comes with the territory. Like taking your clothes off in front of other people, and running around in your underpants for money. The class kissing was weird because not all the kissers were good.

There was this one guy, who was very sweet, and I would feel bad writing about him except, well, who knows they’re a bad kisser? How would he ever figure out I was blogging about his inability to press his lips to another humans in an appealing fashion?

Anyway, he wasn’t like a no-lip, where you can feel the teeth through the skin. He wasn’t even a squelchy pecker who made awkward sounds while attacking chicken-style. He was a face swallower. (more…)

 

The Perfect Theme February 6, 2017

I have the pleasure of currently living with roommates I like. I don’t mean to say that I don’t usually like my roommates or even that liking my roommates is a rarity. What is rare is having roommates who like the same TV shows as you enough to binge watch as a group. Like we’ve done with West World… and Sherlock.

And in this binging I have discovered something. Theme music is everything.

I love Game of Thrones. I love the theme music of Game of Thrones. When I plan to watch the show with friends, I automatically start singing the theme song, and with the musical theatre crowd in which I am so deeply ingrained, you can expect the counterpart and harmonies to be there as well.

We all fell in love with West World after one episode, and when we talked about watching the next one, none of us could hum the theme. We knew there were creepy piano hands and a horse, but not really what the notes were. (more…)

 

Missing the World December 9, 2016

If you had to leave the world, what would you miss the most? Not your friends and family (they can come with you); you have to leave the world itself. Fields and streams, mountains and oceans, even blizzards and thunderstorms must be left behind.

Would you miss the scent of salt coming off the ocean? Maybe the victorious feeling of summiting a mountain? Maybe it’s busy streets and rock concerts that you would pine for.

Nola Kent grew up without any of those things. Kept safe from the dangers of a failing world behind glass walls. (more…)

 

The Privilege of Compassion December 6, 2016

My new YA mid-apocalyptic sci-fi Girl of Glass is now available in eBook and paperback!

If you’re a person who reads, you’ve probably read a dystopian novel. From Hunger Games to Divergent, Lord of the Flies to Maze Runner we’ve seen plagues, corrupt governments, and all sorts of suffering as the world crumbles. But we always seem to look up from the bottom.

The stories of the end of our world are told from the point of view of the bottom. Those who suffer, starve, and bleed. Who fight for every scrap of food and wonder each night if they’ll live to see morning. The ones who the tumbling governments have chosen to abuse or experiment on.

But what would the end of order look like from the top? If you were one of the chosen one percent who were meant to survive, how would you view the decaying world?

Would you be like the rich in the Capital of Panem, seeing the poor as little more than animals that can be killed for entertainment? Would you be a doctor and create a terrible maze to study the ill?

Magnolia Kent can’t stand to see either of those terrible things happen.

girl-of-glass-coverTwo worlds…one glass wall…no turning back.

The human race has been divided. The chosen few live in the safety of the domes, watching through their glass walls as those left on the outside suffer and die. But desperation has brought invention, and new drugs have given the outsiders the strength to roam the poisoned night unafraid – but it comes at a price.

Seventeen-year-old Nola Kent has spent her life in the domes, being trained to protect her little piece of the world that has been chosen to survive. The mission of the domes is to preserve the human race, not to help the sick and starving. But when outsider Kieran Wynne begs for Nola’s help in saving an innocent life, she is drawn into a world of darkness and danger. The suffering on the other side of the glass is beyond anything Nola had imagined, and turning her back on the outside world to return to the safety of the domes may be more than she can stand. Even when her home is threatened by the very people Nola wants to help.

Now Available:         Amazon         Barnes & Noble         iBooks         Kobo

 

Looking at a dystopian world from the point of view of privileged compassion is what began the story of Girl of Glass. What are the moral implications of the survivors? How much pain can you ignore and still call yourself human? But compassion is costly, and when the world is being driven into darkness, touching the shadows comes at a terrible price. Those are the choices Nola Kent has to make.

What would you choose? How much suffering would you be able to watch if you knew you could stay safely away from it? Could you lose the compassion that defines us as humans in order to preserve the human race?

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Girl of Glass by Megan O'Russell

Girl of Glass

by Megan O’Russell

Giveaway ends December 16, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway