lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Authorless-ness January 16, 2018

In case you missed it, my latest book, The Girl Without Magic was released last week.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say how grateful I am and how lucky I am to have such a wonderful publisher, and how thrilling it is to have people read my words.

All of that is true, but this is Life Beyond Exaggeration, not my author website, so here’s the messy part of it.

Being an author isn’t always fun. I actually thought about it, and if I gave up writing, I could get masters degree. I would have time to do the school work and time to earn the money to pay my tuition. If I didn’t write, I could be a really great ukulele player, have a six pack, have watched everything on Netflix everyone tells me I should watch. There is so much I could do with my time and my life if I just stopped writing! It’s maddening!

And that’s what I spent my joyous release day thinking about. In a burrito of blankets. Binging on cool ranch Doritos. There were a lot of things that led to this highly attractive moment.

Amazon being screwy and not posting the book for many hours so I was panicking that it would never go up.

Important people not answering my emails when I needed them to.

People in my non-author life treating my writing like a side hobby that should hold no sway over my schedule and should be dismissed when it becomes inconvenient for them.

The never-ending self doubt because no one will read my books and, even if they do, won’t leave a good review.

Then I decided. I was done. No more writing. Fulfill the commitments I currently have contracts for and then be done. (more…)

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You Have Chosen… Poorly October 3, 2017

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 12:40 pm
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I’m going to combine three stories into one. Maybe a little because it’ll be more interesting and I can create an allegory of doom, maybe a little so I don’t get in trouble.

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Once upon a time, I received an email. Basically the email read: Whatever people told you you’ve done well, they were wrong. We found someone better. A new shiny toy that we like much more than we like you. I know that you’ve worked for us and you trusted us, but we’re going to screw you over for no apparent reason. Mostly because our nuggets have been tweaked, and we’ve lost all sense of right in the world.

The funny part is the email came more than a year after the battle had been won. The contract had been signed. The reviews had been given. I’d already won.

But the email sender still felt the need to reject a hard-earned triumph, even at the cost of their own business. (more…)

 

The Ferns of Blarney July 13, 2017

Most of you have probably heard of the Blarney Stone. If you haven’t, here’s the short of it. There’s a stone in Blarney Castle, and if you kiss it, which is way harder than it sounds, btw, you’ll be blessed with the gift of eloquence.

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Naturally, when planning our Ireland expedition, we decided we had to swing by Blarney Castle. Yes, I have heard all the awful stories of locals doing terrible things to the stone at night. But if I’m going to start the zombie apocalypse, I’d just assume get the monster germs that end the world doing something memorable.

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We had planned to be at Blarney Castle for like an hour. Get in, kiss the stone, and leave. Honestly when we saw the price of admission to the castle grounds I rolled my eyes a bit. It was quite a bit of money to kiss a stone. But then they gave us a map of the Blarney Castle Grounds, and it all made sense. (more…)

 

Profiling the Viewer June 12, 2017

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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I think I may be watching too much Criminal Minds.

For those who aren’t familiar with Criminal Minds, it’s about a group of FBI agents who hunt serial killers. So each episode is about the worst of the worst humanity can provide.

Why am I binge watching a show where you know people are going to die and not from zombies or beheadings? The husband and I have been doing a ton of unpacking and cleaning, and it’s a great show to have on in the background. Honestly, whoever makes their sound track is a genius. The music always tells you when it’s really important that you look at the screen. The music swells…and then there’s a severed head. Super easy to just sort-of pay attention to. And I love watching crime shows because no matter how stressed and downtrodden I feel, I am still way better off than that girl on the slab who had all her blood removed.

But here’s where I think I’ve been watching too much and think I might need to switch to Care Bears. (more…)

 

Month of Madness May 22, 2017

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life,What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 5:30 pm
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Well… I’m back!

It’s been a hell of a… month? More than that?

Let’s do a recap.

Closed a show in Florida and flew out to Ireland.

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Had an amazing two weeks exploring the country. Saw some beautiful places, met some awesome people, cracked my husband’s phone screen. All in all a great trip! (Don’t worry, there are plenty of Emerald Isle stories I’ll be sharing!)

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Got back to the U.S. just in time to run to my mom’s old house to help with some repairs and sorting to prep for sale! We tried to replace a faucet and ended up replacing a counter, we built a railing, and we watched the angry old-men packers box all sorts of things they weren’t supposed to touch.

 

 

2A50CA89-3326-48F8-AB57-3EFB46839883.JPGThen we got keys to the new house! Bought some plants, had the stuff moved in, and jumped into rehearsals for a show the husband and I wrote the music and lyrics for and are in!

Day off meant a break to clear out our storage unit, which is really hard when you bought the fancy non-break-in-able lock but don’t have your key. It all worked out in the end, and all of our stuff is finally under one roof. We’ve even started framing and hanging almost ten years of collected art!

There was a bit of editing and signing of a book contract thrown into that mix as well. But mostly it was just a month of madness. But now I’m having my first proper day off, sitting on my couch, typing a blog, and having coffee from my coffee maker.

It was a rough and wonderful road, and I am so glad to be back with you all! I can’t wait to tell you about my run in with a raven in Killarney!

 

The Snorkeling Sickness March 11, 2017

My husband and I aren’t usually seasick people. We’ve ridden on boats from canoes to cruise ships and neither of us has ever gotten ill. Until we went snorkeling a few weeks ago.

It was our first double day off since September, so we treated ourselves to a little trip to Key West. We rode the catamaran down. That was great! I read the whole way, my husband played his video game. We spent the evening exploring and woke up the next morning ready for a snorkeling adventure!

That’s where the problems began. We left to hotel too early for their breakfast and had to find food on the docks. My husband, feeling adventurous, chose a Cuban breakfast sandwich with pulled pork and chorizo. Then we got on the boat. Everything was still fine, but since it was a little choppy, they decided to take us to the soft coral instead of the actual barrier reef. Still super cool. I’d never snorkeled with soft coral before.

Then we got into the water, and I learned something very important: soft coral doesn’t hold down sand. It was like trying to swim through a sand storm. (more…)

 

A Hypoallergenic Bubble December 1, 2016

I have allergies. All my life I’ve had allergies. Ragweed, foods, dust, I’m allergic to all of it. It is my destiny.

But a few months ago I went to a new allergist, and she decided to do a blood test. Results came back. On a scale of 1-20, I’m only allergic to trees and that only reads at a four… Lies. Lies and medical deception.

Fast forward to last week when I go back to the allergist because I’ve had four sinus infections in the last year. She tells me to go off all allergy meds for five days before the appointment. It was the longest five days ever. Drippy eyes, runny nose, crackly voice. All things that are super great to deal with while performing a big dance review.

Anywho, I go to the office and the doctor says she really doesn’t know what to do with me because I don’t have many allergies.

(Cue cold-eyed stare of death from me.) (more…)