lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Anger Advice March 31, 2018

Once upon a time a long time ago, I was sent to counseling. Well… anger management, really.

Hear me out, okay?

I was in a very bad situation in college. Basically, there were some unhealthy expectations placed on students, and I’m not good at complacency when being told to just grin and bear it. It got to the point where I was given an ultimatum, and I told a high-ranking academic official to go f**k himself. For the record, he deserved it.

So, I got sent to anger management. There was a very fancy building on campus I had never visited before. And, after filling out a lot of paper work, I was sent in to see a very nice lady. She asked me why I was there, and I told her the whole story. From scales and straight A’s to calculus and pointe shoes. By the time I had finished, the hour was basically up, and she said I had every right to be angry. I just needed to use politer terms to express my anger than “go f**k yourself.”

And I still had to go back. Once a week for the rest of the academic year. Things I continued to learn: Don’t swear at the people who can make you go to counseling. More important things I learned: Angry isn’t always a bad thing. There are times in life where it’s good to be angry. (more…)

 

The Dastardly Dragon March 27, 2018

My fear of seeing films based on books started several years ago with the horrible movie adaptation of Eragon.

I love the book series. Not just because Christopher Paolini was incredibly young to have been published on such a huge scale. The books are really great. Coming of age stories get me right in the heart, dragons are awesome, and epic adventures bring me joy.

When I heard there was going to be a movie, I was the happiest. I wanted to see Saphira fly. I wanted to meet Roran. I was stoked.

My husband is an Eragon fan too, so we were sitting in our theatre seats like kids on their way to Disney World. This was going to be the best movie series since Harry Potter. There was a couple sitting next to us, and they asked us what the movie was about—they didn’t know anything about the books—and we gave them a spoiler-free rendition of how their lives were about to be changed.

The movie started, the egg was discovered, Saphira flew into the air and in a flash of light became a full grown dragon. Gone was the coming of age story I had grown to love, and it was all downhill from there. What followed was a bunch of poorly strewn together plot line with sketchy CGI.

The husband leaned over to the couple we’d met and whispered our apologies. (more…)

 

A Wrinkle in Summer March 23, 2018

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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The summer after my senior year of high school was terrible. After spending a million hours a week dancing in preparation for college auditions, I ended up with two stress fractures in my shin. I was condemned to three months on crutches. Worse than just crutches, with orders to move as little as possible to rest my other, slightly less damaged shin.

My sister took some time off to stay with me and literally sit on me on the few occasions I tried to get to the bathroom unassisted. The only things that saved me were Dawson’s Creek reruns and Madeline L’Engle.

The local library had her full set of books, and I tore through all of them. And not just the Wrinkle in Time series. I got to be good friends with the Austins and the O’Keefes too. There was something about her writing style that was so simple and so mythical. You were never talked down to, but you knew everything that was happening. From visiting ice caps to traveling to strange planes, I always knew I could count on Madeline L’Engle for an amazing adventure.

To this day when people ask who my favorite authors are, Madeline L’Engle is always on the list.

But…I still haven’t seen the new movie. I’m just too scared. (more…)

 

No Laughing Matter March 20, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I have this horrible habit of laughing at the wrong times. It’s my stress reaction. I don’t laugh at really horrible things, just normal things that you’re supposed to show polite sympathy for.

Someone’s puking. I laugh. Something breaks. I laugh. Someone forgets all their lines on stage and freezes like a deer in headlights. I’ll be the super professional actor giggling like a crazy person in the corner.

I guess I’ve always been a stress laugher, but the first real instance I remember was when the guy I was not dating (you know how that goes) in high school ran out of gas while driving me home. (more…)

 

The Terror of the Seas March 16, 2018

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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About manatees.

No really, I have a story about sea cows.

Following the yellow brick road led me back to sunny Florida. I love Florida. It’s one of my favorite states. There are beaches and Disney, and with my Pluto obsession, it’s a really great place for me.

I’ve performed down in Florida often enough that I’ve forced my mother to visit me several times. I always try to have some kind of adventure with her when she comes to visit and once I decided that we should go swim with the manatees.

I’ll set the scene for you. My husband, sister, mother, and I don our wetsuits to commune with the gentle sea cows. It was a chilly winter morning. The canal wasn’t too crowded. There were a few manatees munching on sea grass.

The company that we went with is one of the few grandfathered in to allow interaction with the manatees, so getting to swim with them is a really special experience. You get to rub their bellies, which they really love. It should have been a beautiful memory to cherish for years to come. (more…)

 

The Knees VS The Heart March 6, 2018

It’s official. I’m old.

Not that old, but too old to do things like this:

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Recently, touring with The Wizard of Oz delivered the husband and me to Saint Louis, and, of course, we had to take a trip to the City Museum.

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The place is amazing. It’s like an adult got day drunk, stumbled by a kids’ park, and was like, “Damn. Kids have all the fun. I’m going to build something better where adults can climb stuff. And there’s going to be a bar inside the jungle gyms. No! Multiple bars. Yeah.” (more…)

 

A Taste Test February 23, 2018

It’s taste testing time.

No, sadly I don’t have virtual cookies to share, because that would be awesome. I’ve books.

I took the plunge and set up an Instafreebie account! Now you can download samples from The Girl Without Magic, Girl of Glass, and How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days!

It’s like a free sample of bourbon chicken at the mall. Come on, try a little. You know you’ll like it.

But in all seriousness, I’m really excited to try a new platform for reaching out to readers. Sometimes being an author is like screaming into the void, and any chance you have at connecting to other readers and even fellow authors is so amazing. It makes you feel less like a crazy person glued to your laptop and more like a human being telling stories as a way of contributing to society.

So please check out the links, grab your taste test, and if you have a moment, share with your friends.

After all, who doesn’t like free?

Girl of Glass: https://instafreebie.com/free/eJs9j
The Girl Without Magic: https://instafreebie.com/free/1QAlp
How I Magically Messed Up My Life…: https://instafreebie.com/free/t8BEH

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