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…)

 

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.

 

Life Lessons in the Small Print October 26, 2018

There are certain things people don’t remember to teach you. Like don’t put the lash glue on your eye, put it on the lashes. Turkeys and chickens are not the same. Don’t give birds soda.

All kinds of little life lessons we have to stumble through as a right of passage on our path to true competency.

One lesson I had to learn the hard way was about sunscreen.

I was probably fourteen, so still a respectable age to be this dumb, and I was going to the ocean on a summer camp trip. The plan was to spend the whole day on the beach, including a picnic lunch. We had been woken up at some ungodly hour to be put on a bus and had all fallen right back to sleep. The counselors woke us back up when we were about five minutes from the ocean and told us to put on our sun screen now, then take only our beach towels off the bus since they were taking care of water and lunch.

I was young and dumb and followed their instructions. I slathered on my sun screen, left everything but my towel behind, and as soon as the bus stopped I ran right for the ocean. I kicked my shoes off and dove right on in.

Sounds like an idyllic scene from a movie, right? (more…)

 

A Varied Penguin October 16, 2018

Life is full of variation. A life in the theatre is no different.

For those of you who don’t know, performing is my day job. Super weird, I know, but being on stage is how I make money to eat and pay for health insurance. I love performing, and I would never give it up.

Right now, I’m performing in an awesome production of 42nd Street, which is a total dream show for me. Aside from the tap shoes and sparkles, I get to tell a story about theatre eight times a week, which is really amazing.

42nd Street Musical Costumes

Also, because money is a good thing, I’m in a children’s production of Madagascar. Where I play a penguin, and a lemur, and sing about steak.

Penguins of Madagascar Live on Stage

(more…)

 

Achievement Unlocked September 25, 2018

We all have dreams. Publishing a book, going to Paris… getting to see a bear up close in the wild. And sometimes, if we’re really lucky, we get to live out those dreams.

I won the bucket list lottery in Homer, Alaska.

View of Homer from Kachemak Bay State Park
I’ve seen bears in Denali National Park before. I’ve seen them pretty close from inside the bus and have stumbled upon a few in closer quarters while hiking. But I’ve always been a few hundred yards away.

Sidebar: A few hundred yards is as close as you should ever be to a bear. Even that distance can spook the bear, and then there’s bluff charges and the potential for pain and (very rarely) death. Bears are, in fact, wild animals that could eat your face and should be respected and treated as such.

But I’ve heard so many stories about hikers rounding a bend and there being a giant bear up ahead, and I’ve always felt a little left out. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours hiking in bear country and I’ve never had an “Oops, sorry Mr. Bear, I didn’t mean to scare you” experience. Probably because I follow the rules and do everything the park rangers say you should, but still, if everyone else gets to be sleeping in their hammock and wake up to a bear strolling by, why can’t I?

When the husband and I went to Homer, I said I wanted to see a black bear. My husband said, “No.” But after much debating, we ended up taking a boat out to Kachemak Bay State Park. (more…)