lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

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 Of course, if there were one definitive answer, it would be out of date as soon as everyone read the list and started flocking to the same places in the same order.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 End is Nigh March 29, 2016

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 3:14 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have a confession to make. I’m a terrible blogger. I’ve been getting distracted, missing posts, and now I’m going to make excuses for it.

First, I went to Thailand, and here is a beautiful picture by means of apology for that time away.

IMG_2457

And then I came back all inspired to work on new books and projects and to a new publishing contract. I have stories that aren’t true buzzing through my head, and they’ve led me away from the stories that are too amazing to need exaggeration.

But I do have good news that is currently giving me a nervous breakdown. I’ve almost finished writing the first draft of the final book in The Tethering series.

Take that in for a second. Almost completely finished writing the fourth and final book in The Tethering series. Close to writing the final words about Jacob Evans and Emilia Gray. Blood has been shed, and loved ones have been buried. Battles are happening, and once they’re over, the books will be, too. There will be no more stories to be written. No more kisses to be stolen. It’ll be done. The characters will either be dead or left to soldier on out of reach of my laptop. (more…)

 

Tiny Thai Undies February 10, 2016

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“You need big boy size.” This is something I heard while shopping for pants after my luggage was lost in Thailand. I laughed about it. After all, I’m not an incredibly large guy, but I’m by no means tiny. That was day 1 in Thailand. I should have known that I was in for a hard couple of weeks.

I went to a night bazaar on night 2 to buy some underwear because as resourceful as I am, I just couldn’t see myself making do with one pair of underwear for the entirety of our trip. I found some Calvin Klein knockoffs and asked for the largest size.

The ones they handed me looked like they were meant for teenage boys, but they were the best I could find. I should have waited. For the next three nights I endured the absolute worst chaffing of my life. And on top of that, the dye on the underwear was rubbing off on hotel sheets (and my thighs… no, but seriously) in the middle of the night. That can’t be good for you!

We finally made it to the fancy mall that Megan has told you all about, which I walked through in my clown pants, and found a package of two pairs of really fancy underwear for about $20 (oy). They were still a little small but much better than what I had.

The point of this post. Never pack all of your underwear in one place. Especially if you’re traveling to Asia and need “big boy size” clothes.

 

Long-tails in the Night February 8, 2016

I feel like with all the blogs I’ve posted about the great Thailand adventure so far, you’re all going to get the impression that Thailand is just one big city. It’s not, not even a little bit. In fact, my favorite parts of the trip were far outside of Bangkok.

The husband and I were lucky enough to stay on a private beach in Ko Phangan for a few days.

IMG_1267

The views were absolutely breathtaking, and I spent a fair amount of time reading and plotting out new stories while lying in this hammock.

IMG_2438

The days were long, the naps epic, and the shower freezing. If I were ever to be lucky enough to be the sort of full time writer that had publishers breathing down her neck to complete the next bestseller, I would run away to Bottle Beach and write in a ridiculously inexpensive paradise. Seriously, breakfast was less than two bucks, and the room was $17 a night.

But getting to paradise was not quite so easy. (more…)

 

Thailand – The Land of Judgey Side-Eye February 6, 2016

The husband and I aren’t rich. I mean, we have fun and travel, and life is beautiful. But there is a certain level of fanciness that I am neither accustomed to nor comfortable with.

Almost everything in Thailand (apart from the things at the one mall that was crazy fancy) — food, transport, and massages — is all super cheap. It’s a twelve hour time difference between where we live and Thailand and takes more than twenty four hours to get there, so the Husband decided to book us fancy jet lag massages. It wasn’t too much per person, and the guidebook recommended this really cool spa. So off we went.

The husband’s bag had, of course, been lost on the plane, so he was wearing an outfit made of clothes from street vendors and looked rather like a clown. I was wearing nice-ish clothes, at least nice for a backpacker. When we got to the hotel, the doorman promptly stopped us and asked if we needed anything. We said we had spa appointments, and he let us in with a judgmental side eye. In the hotel lobby was a string quartet. Yep. A real string quartet. We had to walk through the super fancy restaurant to get to the private boat to take us across the river to the spa. (more…)

 

Excruciating Extravagance February 3, 2016

Last post was about the strangeness of being in a store in the Beijing Airport where they didn’t seem to be afraid of people stealing things.

But then I got to Bangkok, and it was very, very different.

Please don’t think I’m saying that Bangkok is filled with thieves or anything. In fact, most of the people I met were lovely. Apart from one person masquerading as Tourism Police — the people who are supposed to protect tourists from scams, not arrest the tourists — and some cab drivers who like to price the fares exorbitantly for tourists, everyone was really lovely.

And Bangkok was beautiful.

IMG_8745

At least the historic district. When you took the train out of the city or even went a little off the beaten path, you could see people living in shacks without windows. Some by the train tracks, some literally on stilts over the river. Now, I’m not deluded enough to think that poverty isn’t a problem in America. It most certainly is. But seeing people living with piles of trash outside their doors in homes that were falling down…. It was startling. And very, very sad. (more…)

 

The Adventurer Returns January 29, 2016

I’m back!

I know it’s been forever, and I have literally been on the other side of the world. But I am back, and boy do I have some stories to tell!

First of all, Thailand was amazing!

IMG_8703

 

I wouldn’t call it much of a vacation. Except for the two days I spent in this hammock binging on the entire Maze Runner series.

IMG_1269

 

More like an expedition. Where you lost most of your supplies and got heat stroke. Sort of like your ox dying and getting dysentery, but with this as a view.

IMG_9148

 

Seeing another culture so vastly different from the one I have lived with my whole life was amazing.

IMG_8955

And I can’t wait to share all my stories with you.

I’m road tripping down to Florida with my husband to start rehearsals for a show I am thoroughly excited about, but I will be posting regularly from now on. And to make up for my absence, I leave you with this video of my husband being dragged up onstage by a Thai drag queen. And yes, they are dancing to Hava Nagila.

Enjoy!