lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The End of the Story August 26, 2019

It is the end of a long and rocky era. The final book in The Tethering series has been published!

The amount of work it took to get The Tethering series from the first scribbles in a notebook to four published books was…painfully monumental.

Though, I will have to say, seeing the charts as The Tethering goes out to thousands of readers definitely makes the tears worthwhile.

The Tethering by Megan O'Russell

When I started writing The Tethering, I was literally writing in a notebook. I was super pleased if I could scrawl out a few pages a day. I would write the scene I wanted to write instead of forcing myself to go in chronological order. I had no idea that head hopping was a thing, let alone a problem. I didn’t know that being an indie author was an option. And I didn’t know if anyone besides my husband and my mother would ever want to read anything I had written.

Now over 60,000 people have downloaded my books.

That is completely insane to me.

I love writing. I love hanging out with my characters and my keyboard. I love being a part of the author community, which is so genuinely supportive it’s a little insane sometimes.

I won’t lie and say it’s all sunshine and roses. The husband and I have had to make a lot of hard choices to fit the massive amount of work my career as an author brings into our lives. I work, like, fourteen hours a day most of the time, and things that I really like to do (like blogging here) have fallen by the wayside.

Building a dream takes a lot of work, and I’m in it for the long haul. From the scribbled notebooks to answering emails from readers, things have changed a lot. But at the heart of it all, and whatever the format may be, I love storytelling. And that is exactly how I have the privilege of spending my time.

 

Worth the Work July 26, 2019

This year has been a lot.

It started with separating from both of my publishers, which was a really tough thing to deal with. But being on my own gave me the push I needed to dive into Indie Author life.

And I dove in deep. These are the proofs of all the books I’ve published/republished so far in 2019.

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I haven’t been getting a ton of sleep. I actually haven’t been doing much of anything but working. All the working.

But this past Tuesday, book three in The Tethering series, The Dragon Unbound, was released. Readers have been waiting for this book for four years. The amount of time I spent in college, people have been waiting for this book. (more…)

 

Bad Beer June 11, 2019

Have you ever wondered if you really suck at something, but everyone around you is just too nice to tell you?

The husband and I recently went to a brewery we had never visited before. Visiting local breweries is something we like to do when we travel. You get to taste new beers, support the local economy, and you don’t have to pack anything in your suitcase when you move on. It’s great.

So, we go to this brewery that had decent ratings online and each order a flight of beer.

It was, without a doubt, the worst craft brew I have ever had in my life. The husband and I were playing backgammon while we drank our nasty beer, and when I suggested another round, he nigh on shouted “No!” I had to explain I meant the game, not the beer.

Here’s the thing. It was a nice-looking tasting room. With fancy seating and purse hooks under the bar. Someone had clearly put a ton of money into the place. Which means they think they’re making good beer.

It was not good beer! (more…)

 

Santa Did It May 31, 2019

The condo I’m currently living in as a part of my cast housing is for sale. A few days ago, we had some potential buyers come through. They looked at the banisters, checked the layout, and then on the way out, they decided to ask the husband and I about our jobs at the theatre.

Since the husband and I are both actors, we get people asking about what shows we’re doing and what our lives are like very frequently. We always offer a little tidbit about our current show and how great it is that we get to travel together so often. Usually, we get responses along the lines of you must really love your job or wow, that’s so exciting! This time what we got was a little weird.

The woman told us that she liked theater, murder mysteries in particular, because she had at one point gone to a murder mystery and knew who the killer was. She was very proud of herself because no one else had come close to guessing the killer was, in fact, Santa Claus.

Now, I’m not sure what sort of murder mystery casts Santa Claus as the killer. I hope it was seasonal. If not, I have some serious questions about the sanity of the author. She said everyone in her party was mad at her for accusing Santa Claus of murder. (more…)

 

In a Mood May 24, 2019

I am in a mood as I write for all of you.

I won’t deny the stress of going Indie Author and basically becoming a small business owner has been a lot, but then today…I just can’t with today.

See, about three years ago, while the husband and I were in Alaska, we received a recall notice on the driver’s side airbag in our car. Apparently, they had a tendency to shoot shrapnel when deployed. Shrapnel is generally considered a bad thing, so my sister was super nice and arranged to have our car towed (since it couldn’t be driven because…shrapnel) to the dealership to be fixed.

The tow dude for the dealer messed up the back axel of our car. Of course, we didn’t realize until it was too late to really prove it was the dealer, so we paid to have it fixed ourselves. Though, to be honest, we still have a weird hum in the back of the car to this day.

Recently, we got another recall notice. This time, the passenger side airbag was going to shoot shrapnel…awesome.

But it was the passenger side, so I drove the car to the dealership today to be fixed.

Dealership dude looked up my VIN number and said, “You had this car fixed a few years ago.”

And I said, “Yes, but that was the driver side airbag.”

He shook his head. “Nope they fixed both.”

I started to get excited like I might get to go home and not have to chill in their waiting room for two hours.

I asked if I can go home, and he said no.

Because when they fixed BOTH the airbags in my car, they put in the same exact model of airbags they had pulled out for shooting shrapnel in the first place.

Cue flames shooting up the sides of Megan’s face. (more…)

 

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…)

 

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.