lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Turning a Corner May 2, 2019

I know it’s been a while, and I really am sorry.

Basically, maintaining my author work while choreographing and being in one show and then jumping right into rehearsals for another ate all my available brain cells.

Night of Never was released two weeks ago, and Son of Sun comes out next week, so it’s been a wild ride. It’s been a storm of editing, writing, and making big life decisions.

There’s a story that I’d love to tell you all, but I can’t because airing your grievances on a blog is unprofessional and immature, and I’m good enough at adulting to know that it would bite me in the butt.

So here’s a much longer story.

When I was in college, I was never what my professors wanted me to be. I was smart enough that they needed my GPA, driven enough that I always had theatre work, but they always placed me at the bottom of the list of those they deemed worthy of success.

I’ve spent my adult life as a female in musical theatre. I’ve been lucky enough to work a hell of a lot more than most and have had the pleasure of working for companies that I genuinely enjoy. Even still, as an actor, let alone a female actor, it is regularly implied (and sometimes outright stated) that you are disposable. If you’re lucky enough to have work, then you should take what you’re given because there are hundreds of other people who want to be sitting at your dressing room station. (more…)

 

Voices from the Void March 20, 2019

Writing can be a very lonely pursuit. Even though I’m in constant contact with other authors, editors, cover artists. Answering emails, messaging on Twitter, responding to Facebook posts. It still sort of feels like your tossing your baby into the void.

It takes me between 1-3 months to write a book. That’s just the actual typing the word count portion of the process. The planning beforehand and editing after take a whole lot longer. Take all that time and multiply it by the number of books in a series. All those hours of plotting, writing, polishing, then you just toss this book baby out into the cold cruel world of the internet and hope its wings are strong enough to fly.

But even if the book is doing well, there’s still this constant fear of the void.

Now that I’ve gone Indie, I can see the download numbers for Girl of Glass. I can track the daily data down to what country the downloads are coming from. Thousands of people have downloaded Girl of Glass since its release less than a month ago. Like…multiple thousands.

But I don’t know if any of them have actually read the book. I don’t know if they’ve fallen in love with Nola’s giant heart. I don’t know if they think Jeremy or Kieran is a better match for her. I just don’t know!

And it’s maddening. (more…)

 

A Personal Proposal March 9, 2019

At the theatre company I work for most often, we do a thing called a Curtain Speech. Basically, before the show starts, a couple of actors go out on stage, read a list of birthdays and anniversaries, talk about upcoming shows, and warn people against the evils of taking pictures during the show.

I’ve done a lot of curtain speeches, mostly because they don’t scare me and I don’t really mind doing the work. But there is one curtain speech that will forever live in infamy.

I was sitting backstage at my dressing room station when, of all people, the lighting guy came backstage to tell me there was a very special curtain speech announcement. He handed me a paper and told me to read it after the anniversaries.

I looked at the paper, thinking it was going to be like a retirement celebration or something, but the card said (something along the lines of):

“And Charlotte, Richard wants to know if you’ll marry him.”

What?! (more…)

 

When the Free Book Beguiles February 25, 2019

Being an actor/author isn’t always the easiest path. There is so much rejection and self-doubt there are times when it just doesn’t feel like it’s worth trying to tell your story.

And then you upload your rerelease of a book onto Amazon and reach number three in your category without even promoting the book.

thumbnail_image (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…)

 

World Weary February 8, 2019

I love traveling. I love seeing new places and trying new things. One of my primary aims in life is to become a true citizen of the world, so any chance I have to see a new slice of humanity is amazing to me. But with seeing so many things, it becomes harder to be amazed.

It’s like when you’re traveling around Europe and you’ve just walked into your twelfth cathedral and it sort of looks a lot like the last eleven cathedrals. You wander around, look at all the windows, and wonder when you’re going to get to eat lunch.

Then you’re eating your brie, and you think about how so many people would love to have the opportunity to walk through the building you just visited. You feel a little grateful for having seen it, but also still a bit like you really don’t want to visit cathedral number thirteen even though you’ve already purchased the ticket. (more…)

 

The Talented Eye Roll February 1, 2019

I love Ireland, I love Irish music, and I love Guinness.

Guinness at Raglan Road in Disney Springs

I would love to hop on a plane right now and run away to Ireland for a little escape, I don’t care how mucky the weather might be. Unfortunately, adult things like having a job meant I couldn’t go to Ireland for my day off this week, so the husband and I did the next best thing and went to Raglan Road in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney).

I love Raglan Road. There’s Irish step dancers during the dinner hours and amazing live music at night. The husband and I curled up at our corner table with our pints. The band was great—lead singer, guitar, bass, drums, and fiddle. The fiddle player was definitely the stand out performer of the act.

She was this tall, lanky woman who looked so far in the zone when she played you weren’t really sure if she was an android or not. They way her fingers moved was just amazing. And then they got to The Rattlin’ Bog. (more…)