Erin Lausten

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Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

Not my typical Post

Posted by erinlausten on October 29, 2015

I’ve seen a lot of people talking about invisible illness lately. Of course, in this social media firestorm we live in, everyone seems to be holding up their particular concerns like an ocean of picket signs. Perhaps I have only zeroed in on this particular discussion because it is something which concerns me as well. I’m not waving my sign and saying “Hey Notice Me! I AM HURTING TOO”. Not really. Though it is nice that I now have better words to use when discussing the issues with those close to me. But, what I am getting from the societal discussions is a recognition within myself that what I feel is real. And I’m not alone.
I’m struggling. I have been for quite some time. And I have done just about everything I can to dress it up, fight it, ignore it, and cry about it. I’m tired. So I’m not going to do any of that anymore.
I have depression. I have anxiety. I have chronic pain. I’m overweight. I am struggling with addiction to smoking. And my stress levels are uncontrolled.

Well, hello there. You too?

Here is an interesting thought one of my students brought to my attention. There is this misconception that in order to write, especially the good stuff, you must be a drunk, mentally unstable, chain smoking genius. Well, I am no genius, maybe that’s why it doesn’t work for me. All the other stuff really puts a kink in my writing process. No, I’m not a drunk. Thankfully that vice isn’t one I’ve acquired, but the others have been a constant battle. And I am so exhausted battling those demons, there just isn’t much left for my characters.
Due to this, my writing has slowed down. But I’m crawling up that particularly deep ravine and finding joy in life while finding ways to manage my illnesses. It’s a wonderful thing to see light in your life again. Even as you stand panting on the edge of that cliff, hoping you don’t fall back in.
One thing I can tell you about these experiences and writing–It sure gives me a lot to write about and new perspectives to complicate the lives of my characters. Life as a writer isn’t just sitting on your butt and writing words. It’s living life. It’s struggling. It’s watching the world around you spin in and out of control. It’s taking all the colors, dark, bright, muted, and brilliant and placing them on paper.
Am I ready to take my recent struggles and put them on paper, into the mouths of my characters? I don’t know. I honestly have no idea how this will go. I’m still struggling with my depression and anxiety. I’m still hurting every day. But I am learning to roll with it.
Soon, I’ll be back to torturing my characters with all the things a crazy life can throw at them.

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Spaceship!!!

Posted by erinlausten on September 10, 2015

Yes, Benny is my favorite. If I must choose just one insane, walking plastic man of joy, I will pick a rabid astronaut every time. Why do I bring this up? Because I was stranded in my house with a sick 7 year old and a husband recovering from open heart surgery. (I will let you guess which one gave me more puppy dog eyes and requests for snacks or juice.)

I took solace in the Lego Movie. Thank you Lego for providing a no-brainer gift for whatever instance requires it; where my son is concerned. Thank you Lego for grabbing pop culture by the throat and demanding we hand over our money. Please, take it. Take my money. I had a quiet two hours (or however long that movie is) and a perfect representation of my mood in Benny.

Can I build it now? Now? Now?

I have this same voice in my head at all times. New ideas are throwing shoes, banging drums, and doing cartwheels in my brain. Imagine about twenty Benny’s jumping in your head. Sure, it might indicate a chemical imbalance, but I’m not going to tell my therapist about this, are you?

Anyway… So the point of this heretofore pointless post: Deadbeat is out. And the great thing about Deadbeat is that I got rid of a good forty Bennys in that one. I had so much fun writing the story and not just because well, hello… Vampires? But because these ridiculous scenes kept popping in my head and I actually had a place to put them.

As you jump in and run through this one, send me a note, throw in a comment, or just send a telegram (no more of those? Hmm), Smoke signal (oh, culturally insensitive, but I’m part… yeh, nevermind), carrier pigeon? (No? What do you mean they’re all dead??).

Ok, I don’t care how you tell me, but I do want to know what your favorite scene is. I’m dying to know… mwhoohahaha, get it? Dying. A book about vampires? No? Sigh, ok. I’ll stop.

Cheers!

Erin

Posted in character development | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Gnarly but Worth It!

Posted by erinlausten on May 13, 2015

Life loves Chaos! But that is where we grow and how adventures come about, so I’ll take it.

We have all experienced the increase in demands on our time, our brain-power or our attention. While I have been experiencing all three recently I am also taking every opportunity to write! Because I need to. Because it makes the rest of it worth it. Because there is a back-up in the express lane of my imagination which will only get worse if I don’t. I will always take the opportunities big or small to write and remind myself that the tortoise won the race.

Now, I know you all have been patiently waiting for Deadbeat. It is >this< close to the release. Yet since you’ve been so patient, I am going to give you a sneak-peek. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter:

“You are so not staying here.” He turned pathetic, sappy eyes on her and she blanched. “No! That worked once. Not again, I am not that stupid!”
Clarence shuffled his feet, touching his nose in obvious discomfort. “Come on Meg, I don’t have anywhere else to go.”
“No.”
“I’ll be quiet. You won’t even notice me. I’ll even clean!”
The man had never cleaned a room in his life. Megan gritted her teeth and her words came out in a hushed growl. “You left twenty dead rats in the air ducts.”
“Ungh. I did?”
He looked so genuinely confused and contrite Megan deflated. With skin like brittle bleached parchment and stringy hair, he was the portrait of the permanently down and out. It was happening. Last time he’d left, she swore she wouldn’t fall for his sappy sucker punches. Self-preservation required strength and an unyielding commitment to her decisions. She deserved her solitude. Wallowing in her misery alone was her right, and no matter how bad he looked or how obviously down and out he seemed, she was not obligated one bit to help.

He wiped his hand against his nose and the blood smeared across his cheek. But it wasn’t gross–well it was gross–but it was also…sad. Damn it, she was going to fall for it again. She said, “How did you survive the last hundred years?”

See you all next week with an update.

Cheers!

Posted in Excerpt, plotting, publishing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Noodle Armed but Pumping

Posted by erinlausten on March 16, 2015

Life continues to move forward at a fast pace. I love it! I know it may not seem that way from the gaps in this blog. Or maybe it does. Either way, let me catch you all up on the most exciting items.
I am currently writing the third book in the Viator Legacy series and once again becoming engulfed in these dynamic characters. I can’t wait to share this one with you. Unfortunately, I have to finish it first!
Speaking of the Viator Legacy – tomorrow, March 17th, is the last day to purchase Unforeseen for $0.99. Get your copy and leave me feedback. Good reviews are great and not so good reviews are even better! I can only improve for you if I know what I am missing.
Now to end this post with some really exciting news!

Cibola’s Revenge will be offered digitally through Arizona Libraries via BiblioBoard Library. This is an awesome opportunity. I am very excited not just to be a part of this but also that libraries are becoming more open to digital editions as well as indie authors.

I hope you are all doing well and I can’t wait to make some more announcements soon.

Cheers!

Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Announcement and Sale!

Posted by erinlausten on December 17, 2014

Season’s Greetings to all my Readers and Friends!

After a honestly brutal heart to heart with my editor and betas I decided that I could not release Deadbeat just yet. You all deserve my best and that is exactly what I am going to give you.

I want to thank you for your continued support and patience. This story got away from me. This universe has so many unique personalities and they all want my attention. To be honest, they distracted me with how fun each one is.

In the meantime, to make up for the delay AND give everyone an opportunity to submit an honest review of my first book, I am lowering the price. From TODAY, December 17th, until January 31st you can purchase the digital version of Unexpected : A Viator Legacy Novel for only $0.99. This price is available on Smashwords, (for Kobo, Nook, iBook, PDF, etc.) and Amazon (for Kindle.)

This weekend I am baking cookies, decorating and spending time with my family. I hope you all are enjoying this Holiday Season with the people you love.

Happy Chanukkah, Blessed Yule, Happy Kwanzaa, and Merry Christmas!!XmasGingerbread

Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

We’re in a relationship – Surprise!

Posted by erinlausten on September 5, 2013

Writing is about relationships.

Ultimately the biggest relationship is established between the story and the reader. However, beyond that there are relationships between the narrator and the characters, characters with other characters, the characters with their situations and the characters with their environment. Each of these aspects creates a unique perspective. For the author, the challenge comes in presenting these perspectives effectively in unique and authentic voices.

People are people. And there are so many different kinds of people. An author is only one person, with their own personality, worldview and perspective. Some of the greatest stories present that perspective in an engaging and dynamic voice. This drives the reader to absorb the story and experience as something new and fabulous.

But within a story, an author must also present perspectives that may not be their own, as illustrated by their various characters. The most talented writers can create characters with vastly different perspectives that build a story arc which is both believable and fascinating. We want authenticity in our stories, and authenticity relies on a world that mimics our own. No one person sees the world exactly the same.

So how does the writer do it? Not without some serious work.

It is easy for all of us to become insolated. It is more comfortable to surround ourselves with like-minded people. We strengthen our confidence in our own worldview by accepting those things we like and disregarding those we do not. We watch the news we like, read the websites that justify our feelings, and discuss politics with others in our political party.

Things get interesting when we break beyond the safety of our perspective and seek out those that think differently or even directly contradict our ideas. Even more difficult is stepping away from what we know and believe to try to understand the thoughts and worldview of another in a way that is objective and not qualitative. The question is not to see if the person is right, but to be able to see how that person may react to any given situation.

When an author can create a unique personality with opinions, belief, history and experience so vastly different from themselves, it is an amazing feat. It is one that I strive for with varying degrees of success.

So, why is this on my mind today?

I have gone beyond my comfort zone in my latest manuscript and I have learned so much. In general I have limited my characters with control over the story’s perspectives. In the Viator novels, I have had two characters with points of view that the reader is privy to. In other stories, I have limited it to one. But in the latest Cibola novel, I have five active points of view. Is it overkill? Possibly. But I have been able to explore the motivations, philosophies, needs and desires of five extremely different personalities. Some are dark while others are optimistic. Some navigate the world with morals that leave me uncomfortable and others have personal challenges I do not have myself.

As I draw near the completion of the first draft, I am struck by how vivid the relationships between these characters have become. I have seen growth and challenges I could not have seen otherwise. They have taught me so much and I find I am looking forward to the end, when I can step away for a while, then return to look on these fascinating people with a new eye.

This is why I write. This is the magic of stories. How fabulous.

Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Cooking In Your Underwear Is Not Recommended

Posted by erinlausten on August 10, 2011

If you have ever cooked a multi-course meal you will understand that inevitably there will come a time when each of the dishes need your attention at precisely the same time. Managing multiple irons on the fire with only two hands means ultimately something will get burned, and that usually means you. Timing is a bitch, making sure each comes out perfect AND warm for the meal is an art and requires constant monitoring.

This is where I am with my writing at the moment. I have six short stories and two novels in various states of readiness, all clamoring for my attention. Unfortunately, this has meant my attention has been focused away from you, and I am truly sorry. So I am doing what any good cook does and have called for help. 

A couple days ago William Kendall sent out a challenge to answer a few simple questions about Underwear. Yes. Underwear. I could answer them myself, but honestly, I think about underwear for about two seconds of my day, and usually it is comprised of running around the house trying to remember where I put the clean ones. Not exactly riveting blog material. So I have asked Hailey MacIntyre, the protagonist of my upcoming novel Unexpected, to answer them for me. Please be kind to her, this is her first public appearance and she’s still a little preoccupied with current changes in her life.

But before I leave her to you, please, one bit of advice. Don’t cook in your underwear. Really. It’s bad. Especially bacon. I have seen it go very, very wrong.

Hi! My name is Hailey and I am happy to be here today. (Not really, my boss insisted. She has these dreams that I will become some kind of overnight star and is insisting that I go out and “market” myself. She has rocks in her brain as far as I am concerned.)

Anyway, she asked me to introduce myself, give a little background information and then to simply answer a few questions from William. She said it would be easy. “Just give them a smile and wave” Right. I don’t remember this being in the contract, but whatever.

Alright, so some background about me. I was born and raised in Southern California with my Aunt. I work in cubicle hell in the marketing department of a corporation that I could seriously flip the bird to at any moment. If I have to see one more inter-office memo about people stealing food from the fridge I may bring in a sledge and solve the problem myself. Right (she’s glaring at me, so I must be digressing—again.)

I’m going to keep this short. So, my employment has recently changed. Turns out my dead-beat Dad (the one I never thought existed and seriously, I wish he’d stayed that way) did some freaky shit to my DNA (apparently he’s some genius, but really, he’s just a dick) and now, not only do I have the ability to travel through time, but I am freakishly advanced. At least that’s what my viator boyfriend tells me. Ok, so he isn’t really my boyfriend. We’ve been too busy running away from my crazy dad and his nasty goons. Add on the fact that I can’t control my time jumps yet and you can see how romance is a little hard to get around to. But a girl can hope.

Alright, so on to the questions from William. Who is this William anyway? Ok, she’s glaring at me again, so I’ll just drop it. He better not be one of those freakish twists you put in your stories though. I am really tired of the… yeh, right, I’ll shut up.

1. What do you call your underwear/undergarments? Do you have any commonly used nicknames for them?

Well, some of my girlfriends call them chonies, but really, they’re just underwear. Unless they’re in a bunch, then they’re panties.

Erin, psst. Underwear? Really?

2. Have you ever had that supposedly common dream of being in a crowded place in only your underwear?

Have I ever what? Um, no, never.

3. What is the worst thing you can think of to make underwear out of?

Seriously? Erin, I thought this was an interview. What is with the underwear questions? Right, ok, I’ll just answer the questions. The worst thing I can think to make underwear out of. Aluminum foil I guess. That would suck.

4. If you were a pair of panties, what colour would you be?

What?? Are you kidding me? And what’s with that spelling? Who spells it that way? The British? Oh, right, sorry. Ok, fine. But I want you to know I am answering these under duress. Weren’t you able to get a legitimate interview? Who is this guy anyway?

Grr. Fine. You’re the boss. Alright if I were a pair of panties I would be black, with pockets, to conceal the gun I plan to shoot my author with.

5. Have you ever thrown your underwear at a rock star or other celebrity? If so, which one(s)? If not, which one(s) WOULD you throw your underwear at, given the opportunity?

Um, ok, yeh, so that I have done. I’m not proud of it. It was a dare from my best friend Jason. It was at a Green Day concert. And honestly, I can’t remember if I actually threw it on stage or just out at the mosh pit. I was a little, um, drunk. He won’t let me live that one down.

6. You’re out of clean underwear. What do you do?

I am so not answering this one. No. You answer it. No. I don’t care. You can throw me in a pit of vipers in Book 2. I don’t care. Next Question.

7. Are you old enough to remember Underroos? If so, did you have any? Which ones?

Are those diapers for kangaroos? I don’t know. Next Question.

8. If you could have any message printed on your underwear, what would it be?

Erin Lausten Sucks. I’m trade marking it. I’ll have it up on café press pretty soon so everyone can show you that you suck. Who does this to their characters? Really? What happened to nice interviews? You know the kind that ask: What inspired you? Who’s your hero? Seriously.

9. How many bloggers does it take to put panties on a goat?

What kind of sick bastard are you? That’s it. I’m done. Interview over. Erin, I am not talking to you for a week. I’d rather get chased by crazy time travelers, nazis and pirates.

What do you mean you can make that happen???

 

Are you interested in knowing the minute my books are available? Send me an email at erinlaustenauthor@gmail.comand I will put you on the list. I promise not to spam you with a constant barrage of sales pitches. I’ll only send information when something new is out.
You can also keep tabs on my progress at my Facebook fan page and on Twitter.

Posted in character development, Time-Travel, Viator, writing | Tagged: , , , , | 19 Comments »