lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Life is a Group Project December 18, 2018

You know how in school group projects were the worst?

I’ve come to the realization that life is just one massive group project. Hear me out, okay?

I have a high standard that I’ve set for myself. I know what my job is, how it is expected to be done, the level of professionalism that should be maintained. Normally, things just sail smoothly along, all of us, like adult ducks, cruising down the stream of life.

But then some duck who doesn’t feel the need to maintain the dignity of the duck population gives up on smooth swimming and starts flailing their wings around like they’ve never swum before in their life. All the mature ducks are getting splashed, the young ducks think it’s funny, and you realize you’ve spent your whole ducking life working hard under the assumption that the other ducks in your stream also cared to maintain the dignity of the swimming party.

But not all ducks are created equal, and no matter how much of your life you dedicate to keeping the dignity of the ducks in order, one dumb duck ruins the whole damn thing for everyone.

Even if we splash away from the duck metaphor to the greater problems of the world, we still have the group project problem. (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.

 

A Little “Nighttide” Music December 11, 2018

I adore my husband. If you’ve visited this blog before, that much is probably clear.

Aside from our co-dependence as humans, we also work together as performers and have been known to collaborate on fun projects. Together, we created the music for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical and Princess Camp: The Musical.

Most recently, I decided to write a short story that includes music. Weird, I know. But think of it this way: there are books where people bake pies, and at the back of the book the author puts in the recipe for the pie you saw the characters baking. Only in this story there is no pie, there’s songs. And for those who are musically-inclined, there’s sheet music available to go with the songs.

Why, you may ask? Because I love collaborating on music with the husband, and no one would want to eat any pie I created the recipe for.

Will everyone who reads the story be interested in the sheet music, or be able to read or play music? Not at all. And the story doesn’t hinge on being able to hum the melody.

I just really like insider extras, and music is something unique I can offer my readers.

The story is titled Song of Nighttide and is available for free download here.

Meganorlowskiru_ebook (3).jpg

And as for our little song, please enjoy this clip of the husband’s performance.

 

 

A Fear of Bones December 7, 2018

Right now I’m reading The Hero of Ages book three in the Mistborn series. They’ve been talking a lot about animal bones, and it’s creeping me out.

See, my mother was an archeologist, and when I was little, she still collected animal bones. Like a lot of them. I sort of knew she had bones somewhere in the house, but it wasn’t a thing we ever really talked about. She just picked up bones when she found them, and they disappeared.

In hindsight, I probably should have asked where the bones were going, but I was little and still having trouble with the concept of ownership and permanence.

One day, my mom told me to go to the attic and get something. Our house had a huge attic, like bigger than most apartments in Manhattan. The door to the attic was one of three on the wall of one room. Me, being a little kid, didn’t know which door went to the attic, so I just decided to try opening one.

I chose poorly. (more…)

 

A Tale of Two Understudies December 4, 2018

Today, I offer you a tale of two understudies. Well, really it’s the story of two different leads who had to call out of shows. The leads were from two different titular-character driven productions. By that, I mean the show was about one character, and the rest of us were just there to dance around behind them.

The first who had to call out was a man. His voice went kaput, and he had to call out for a day. He was a great guy who knew how hard the job of his understudy was going to be. Rather than throw a tantrum about his understudy going on, he did everything he could to help his understudy succeed. Right down to being on vocal rest in the wings during the show to make sure all of the understudy’s quick changes went well. At the end of the performance, people congratulated the understudy on doing an amazing job. But they also thanked the lead for being such a gracious and wonderful person to help his understudy get through the show.

The second to call out was a woman. She waffled about calling out for several days, giving her understudy several mid-show heart attacks, then finally called out. (more…)

 

The Patience Game November 30, 2018

I’m not a patient person. It’s not my thing. You tell me we’re going to go to Disney world, and I want to go right now. You tell me you bought me a present, and I want it right now!

I tell you this so you’ll understand how very proud of me you should be.

This year, the husband and I went to Greece and Italy. While we were in Italy, we went to one of my favorite places in the world: the Ponte Vecchio.

The bridge is entirely covered in high-end jewelry stores. In fact, it’s illegal for a non-jewelry store to be on the bridge. It has something to do with royalty not wanting stinky things like butchers and tanneries on their commute, so they banned everything but gold and the tradition stuck.

It’s the coolest place of commercialism I’ve ever seen. The storefronts look like jewelry boxes, and when they open in the morning, it’s like something out of a fairytale.

Anyway, the husband and I visited the Ponte Vecchio, and I found a pair of earrings I really, really wanted. Gorgeous little hoops with rose gold on the outside and white gold on the inside. They were so amazing and more than I could excuse spending on a travel gift to myself.

But our ten-year wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of December. (more…)

 

A “Real” Job November 27, 2018

I’m an actor and an author. Those are the two things I do with my life. They are both horribly time consuming, desperately competitive, bound to shatter your heart, and I would never give up either of them.

But a lot of people don’t consider either to be a real job.

I’m an adult. Not like just out of college and think I’m a grown up. I am actually a full-fledged adult who likes to gripe at youths who aren’t concerned with being politically active. But some people still somehow think that I’m going to outgrow these strange pursuits and choose something sensible to do with my life.

My favorite comments include:

  • If you keep practicing, you could really be an actor someday.

Counter balanced by

  • You’re so talented, have you considered acting professionally?

 

There’s also the gems of (accompanied by thoughts like):

  • So what do you do for money?
    I sacrifice goats to the gods. Would you like to come to the next ceremony?
  • What are you going to do—you know—when you’re old?
    Be a cooler person than you.
  • You should be on Broadway. Why don’t you live in New York?
    I like disposable income and hate the smell of pee on the sidewalk.
  • Don’t you want to do something more with your life?
    I tell stories and make people happy. I may not be curing cancer, but escape and joy are important, dammit.

(more…)