lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Adventures in Authoring May 4, 2018

As I type this blog, I am sitting on my tour bus seat with my computer perched on my lap. (Don’t tell my chiropractor). During the seven months of tour, this seat has been my bed, my office, my sofa, my kitchen.

The thing is, if I didn’t have a writing career, if I were just being a full time actor and living a leisurely tour life, I would have so much time to read and play. But I have an author career to maintain. I wouldn’t want to change a thing. Smashing all my time into writing when I’m not eating and sleeping is a worth the sacrifice.

Generally, I wake up, crawl my way onto the bus, and sleep through quiet hours. Then it’s time for lunch, during which I work on managing my social media accounts. Afternoon on the bus is writing and editing time. Get to the hotel at 3:30-ish, work/swim if there’s a pool, scrounge for dinner. Get on the bus to go to the venue at 5:15-ish. Get to the theatre, cram writing work in between meetings, sound check, and the show. Get back to the hotel at 10:45-ish. Work until about 2am. Go to bed. Start the whole process over bright an early the next morning.

There are times where variations happen. If we’re in a city for more than a day, I can sneak away for a few hours if there’s a hiking trail available. If there’s a really great brewery, I’ll sacrifice a bit of my word count to sample the local brews. But really it’s a lot of time pushing through to get things done.

But it’s worth it because by the end of this tour I will have
Released two books:

Boy of Blood (Girl of Glass, #2)

The Girl Without Magic (The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, #1)

Edited one project to turn in: (more…)

 

The Crete Blockade May 1, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I present you all with a mystery.

The husband and I are currently putting the finishing touches on our trip to Greece and Italy. Because that’s what you do as soon as you finish living on a bus for seven months: you go travel more.

Things were going really well as far as trip planning, but then we got an email cancelling our flight from Crete to Venice. Which is weird. I mean, I’ve had flights changed, or been merged onto a later flight. But they just canceled. Sent an email saying, “Oops, you’re on your own to get off of Crete.” (more…)

 

Of Bus and Mud April 6, 2018

I was lucky enough to go on a walk on a sunny morning in London, Ontario. The walk was muddy, winding, and there was a moment about an hour in when we weren’t really sure if we knew where we were or if we would make it back to the tour bus in time.

That’s the thing about being on a national tour of a show. Your time is never your own. Everything you do is dictated by the next bus call. Getting up in the morning to get to the bus, using your two precious hours at the hotel before you have to get back on the bus, hurrying after the show to make it back to the bus to get back to the hotel to start the process all over again. You start considering time as only the length between you and your next bus call. There’s not room for much else.

There was a moment when the husband and I were sinking in the mud where I sincerely asked if we were going to make it back in time for pending bus call. His response, “I think so?” (more…)

 

Life Lessons with Megan February 16, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 12:51 pm
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Right now, in my current state of life, I am living on a tour bus (traveling through Texas with no A.C. at the moment) working on a ton of book projects, trying to figure out what my post-tour life is going to look like, and dealing with all the real life things that being an adult requires. It’s crazy, and exhausting, and can be absolutely amazing.

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And can leave you scrambling to find a battery-powered fan for when the bus gets too hot for your weak little Lupus lungs to handle.

But in general, it’s all workable. Day to day, sleeping under a bus seat, answering a ton of emails, writing a new book, trying to be a good friend and relation, it can be done.

Here’s the thing. (Please imagine me pulling my soapbox out of my suitcase)

You may not take out your trauma, drama, bad day, or illness on other people. You can’t.

You can ask for help. You can ask for understanding. You cannot use others as a scapegoat, emotional punching bag, or vomit sack for your own problems. (more…)

 

Decorated Detroit December 4, 2017

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 1:30 pm
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In traveling for the Wizard of Oz tour, we get to go to some really great places and some places that…aren’t on the radar for must-visit destinations.

Recently, we visited Detroit. The only things I knew about Detroit were that cars got made there and that the economic slumps hit it very hard. While both those things are true, nobody ever mentioned how awesome Detroit is!

The husband and I wandered out of our hotel, just looking to stretch our legs, and we found a huge amount of outdoor art that led us to a Christmas wonderland!

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They had blow-up igloos with table tennis and hot chocolate, a tent decked out to be a ski lodge, and an ice skating under a giant Christmas tree!

So what did these wise actors do on their precious day off? We went ice skating! (more…)

 

A Travel Tale (Rated PG-13) May 6, 2015

This past Monday, I travelled back to Denali! In honor of sleeping in an airport and riding for 6 hours in a packed twelve-passenger van, I’d like to tell you about the time my tour bus got pulled over by Border Patrol.

Gather children, and listen to this fine tale of possible illicit substances and mild racial profiling. (more…)

 

United We Stand. Divided We Itch. January 20, 2014

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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The National Tour I did was not the most high end of tours. We traveled to a lot of small towns and were frequently the only professional show the town would see all year. They would get a grant to bring us in, and even if the houses weren’t filled, the people in the seats were so grateful.

The downside of traveling to these small towns was that there wasn’t always a nice hotel near the theatre. Sometimes there was only one hotel, and it was scary. A frequent phrase was “this hotel looks (or smells) a little murdery.” (more…)