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…)

 

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…)

 

The Trouble with Taxes January 25, 2019

I have never claimed to be the best at adulting. There are several areas of basic skills that I’ve never mastered. I’m a hazard in the kitchen, I don’t know anything about cars, and the only way I know to fix household appliances is to call a repairman.

I am, however, used to being smart enough to understand things. My brain is currently failing me.

For the past several years, I’ve done taxes for the husband and me. Not exactly the most glamorous chore, but I liked getting everything done. Each year, things got a bit tougher. We started getting 1099s, we had more specialty acting deductions. But I muddled through, with a ton of help from the husband, who was tasked with tracking receipts.

Then I arrived at this year’s taxes. I knew the code had changed, so I started doing a bit of research… and fell down a black hole of doom. Most of the tax write offs actors used to have—classes, show makeup, dance shoes—were gone. I had figured that much out just by listening to my fellows freak out about how to pay for everything if it wasn’t going to be a write off. But then I got stuck on one simple question, how does standard meal allowance, or M&IE (federal meals and incidental expense) work now? (more…)

 

The Phoenix and the Dumpster Fire January 13, 2019

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 2:38 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

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…)