lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Christmas in Exeter Street December 28, 2016

Happy very late Christmas! I hope yours was wonderful!

Mine was rather like Christmas in Exeter Street. If you’ve never heard of it, you should read it. The book is about this house where everyone ends up for Christmas. Some by design, some by accident. But Father Christmas brings gifts to them all, and they have a great holiday. There ends up being eighteen children in the house, and poor Father Christmas has to count on his toes to be sure he’s left gifts for them all. The homeless baby is especially hard to find since she’s sleeping in the kitchen sink. No, really, that’s where they put her.

Reading Christmas in Exeter Street was a tradition when I was little. There’s a two page illustration that shows everyone sleeping in the house. There are men on mantle pieces, a pastor and his wife in the tub, it’s great. My sister and I would go through and count all the people to make sure there really were eighteen children for Father Christmas to bring gifts to. We still count to this day, like the picture might somehow change.

Going back to the book as an adult, there are some very strange things child me didn’t notice. (more…)

 

Christmas Adventure December 23, 2015

Telling children that your fate in the Christmas play is to have been burned alive is bad. Really bad. But let me tell you how I came close to that crowning moment of inappropriate-for-children glory.

It was a few summers ago when I was playing Maleficent in a children’s theatre production of Sleeping Beauty. I had the whole Disney-style costumes complete with the horns. I became a dragon and had a terrible death scene on stage. I mean, you have to do it up right for kids’ shows.

With the theatre company I work for you do a Q&A after every show. One day a child asked what my horns were made of. I answered in the most clear and child friendly way I could think of.

“You know how inside of your teddy bear there’s fluffy white stuffing? Well, that’s what my horns are made of.”

The children were horrified, thinking that I had somehow snuck into their homes and gutted their beloved teddy bears. I only meant that they were light and fluffy. I didn’t say it was teddy bear guts. But it didn’t matter. I was a teddy bear killer. (more…)

 

The Cricket on the Hearth December 16, 2015

Hello everyone! It’s time once again for Chris’s Corner.

Last night, Megan and I put in our DVD of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer for a little holiday cheer in the midst of what has been a hectic month of preparing to move out of our cast housing in Florida and go on our trip to Thailand to then come back to Florida to move into different cast housing. Oy. It’s been quite the month. Anyway, when we put in the DVD, a movie started playing that we had never heard of. It was called The Cricket on the Hearth, which was a cartoon movie “suggested” by the Charles Dickens story.

We were intrigued. We sat down on our bed and began the magical adventure of a new-old movie. Until it was no longer an adventure, but an acid trip (never done it, just assuming) bent on breaking our Christmas spirit. For those of you who do not know the movie, I’ll say SPOILER here and advise you not read beyond the “read more” feature of this post. (more…)

 

From Ballet to Books December 8, 2015

It’s happened! It’s finally happened! All those years of ballet classes finally paid off!

My Christmas novella has finally arrived!

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The plan was simple. Get to Portland, dance The Nutcracker, and don’t murder your dance partner. And most definitely, do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him.

A snowy road trip strands Elle Grant in a tiny cabin better suited for serial killings than rehearsals for two professional ballet dancers. With no one but the incredibly talented, excruciatingly handsome, and notoriously terrible Zachary Benson and a few taxidermy woodland creatures for company, Elle’s Christmas plans are officially ruined. Can she and Zach learn to like each other enough to dance together? And can Elle get home without losing her heart to the Christmas Cavalier?

 

When I was just a wee little thing who thought that ballet was the best thing ever and hadn’t yet realized the my turnout and bust size would negate me from ever being a ballerina, I harassed my mother until she put me in dance lessons.

MeganDancer

And now look! That awkward, little, turned-in child is a musical theatre actor and writes about ballet dancers, which hurts a lot less than actually putting on pointe shoes! Winning!

Please check out Nuttycracker Sweet this holiday season! Make the dreams of the little girl with the giant bangs come true!

Nuttycracker Sweet on Amazon
Nuttycracker Sweet on Barnes and Noble.com

 

A Tree to Love for Me November 30, 2015

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Since I grew up in an inn, Christmas for us usually began way before Thanksgiving. Decorations for the inn went up Thanksgiving weekend, and Christmas programs started shortly thereafter. It even got to the point that the local Christmas tree farmer knew that the season had begun when my mother showed up wanting a Christmas tree.

But of course they didn’t have any Christmas trees cut and ready yet. So they would load my mother into their truck and drive her back into the farm until she saw a tree she liked. Then they would stop, and if she was with a nice person they would cut the tree for her, if not, she would take a handsaw to the tree herself.

A tree for the hallway, tons of evergreen bows for the mantels and big windows. Ribbons and valances galore. It was quite a feat to get the inn ready for Christmas. By the time we got to set up our personal Christmas tree three days before actual Christmas, it felt like we had been living in a Christmas vortex for our whole lives. (more…)

 

Christmas Ornaments November 29, 2015

Guys. It’s Christmas. Santa has driven his sleigh past Macy’s, and it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

I love all of it! I will hang lights from everything that holds still! I have already begun wrapping presents and am freaking out that I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping!

And I have the best idea ever for Christmas decorations! Since the husband and I travel a lot for work, (and are Disney obsessed) we have lots of pins and patches from our adventures. But I’ve never really found much of anything to do with them but store them in a box and find them whenever I try and clean my room and then pack them back up again.

But then I had the most amazing idea ever. I am going to make all the pins and patches into simple Christmas ornaments. Then my Christmas tree will be a memory tree.

Here is the first ornament, featuring Pluto of course.

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It’s simple, and hopefully I’ll refine the style as I go. But I can still remove the pin from the felt if I want to change how I’m making the ornaments.

Now every year when I decorate my tree, I can remember all my adventures!

Yay Christmas!!!! I love Christmas!!!!!

Christmas!!!!

 

Nuttycracker Sweet November 24, 2015

 

You guys! This is the promo material that my publisher just sent out for my new novella Nuttycracker Sweet! I’m so excited to get this out there! All the exclamation points!!!!

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Book Trailer Link: https://youtu.be/JtCwOu8QT58

Nuttycracker Sweet by Megan O’Russell
Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC
December 8, 2015

Pointe shoes, tutus, and a snowy road trip with the man she hates. What could possibly go wrong?

The plan was simple. Get to Portland, dance The Nutcracker, and don’t murder your dance partner. And most definitely, do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him.

A snowy road trip strands Elle Grant in a tiny cabin better suited for serial killings than rehearsals for two professional ballet dancers. With no one but the incredibly talented, excruciatingly handsome, and notoriously terrible Zachary Benson and a few taxidermy woodland creatures for company, Elle’s Christmas plans are officially ruined. Can she and Zach learn to like each other enough to dance together? And can Elle get home without losing her heart to the Christmas Cavalier?
About the Author:

Megan is thrilled to be working with Fiery Seas Publishing! Her other published works include Young Adult fantasy novels The Tethering and The Siren’s Realm. Megan is also a featured author in the Athena’s Daughters 2 anthology of women in speculative fiction.

Megan is a professional performer who travels the country living out a thousand lives on stage. Her wonderful husband and frequent dance partner is always by her side.

For more information on Megan’s books, you can visit her website at meganorussell.com
Social Media:

Twitter (Megan O’Russell’s Author Twitter)

Twitter (LifeBeyondExaggeration)

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