Book Release, “Fifty Days to Sunrise”

1 copy

BOOK RELEASE

AND        I’VE MOVED ONLINE HOMES

As of today you’ll find me at www.CristineEastin.com.

Please visit and sign up for my occasional spam-free newsletter. Also, if you want to continue to follow my blog, please sign up for it on the new site. I look forward to seeing you there.

Fifty Days to Sunrise is a novel of grief, family and friends, and God’s healing love.

Her life is a love story, but then…What’s a woman to do when her husband dies three thousand miles from home? Scream, cry—or run.

It’s 2003, a year and a half after her husband’s death. Fifty-three years old and alone, Lissa Maguire’s seething with grief. She has to cope, but makes a self-destructive mess of it.

Lissa’s parents ask her to spend the summer in small-town Gifford, Minnesota, helping them move to an apartment. Cleaning out the attic of her childhood home, Lissa discovers her old diaries, and her potholed road to healing begins. But when an old friend turns up, she’s confused.

Her life in shreds, Lissa desperately needs to find peace. She even wonders if God has abandoned her.

Healing a broken heart is a lot to ask–it hurts.

I hope you order Fifty Days to Sunrise, and I hope you’re blessed by it.

www.CristineEastin.com

http://www.amazon.com/Fifty-Days-Sunrise-Cristine-Eastin/dp/1505481260/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424280613&sr=8-1&keywords=fifty+days+to+sunrise

Categories: Christianity, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Countdown to Publication!

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 3.18.21 PM

The book cover is in process!

The days are counting down to the day I’ll actually push the “Publish” button.

Several weeks ago I made the decision to publish indie. Since then there has been a cascade of decisions and steps to take. My mentors in this process have been on a Facebook group, Christian Indie Authors.

I’ll also be setting up a new website—www.CristineEastin.com—where this blog will live. Stay tuned for that.

If any of you are wanna be authors— DO IT! It’s never been easier or more fun. That book you’ve been wanting to write for your kids—do it! A family recipe book—do it! The next Great American Novel—do it! With Amazon’s print-on-demand CreateSpace, you can print five copies for family or thousands may buy your book.

I have no idea if I’ll sell 50 or 5,000 books. I’m excited to see where this goes. I hope you’re one of my traveling companions.

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A Sister is a Good Thing to Have

Maddening as they might be, a sister is a good thing to have. I should know, I’ve got one.

What’s a sister good for?

When we were young she was good for picking on, or, shame on me, for ignoring.

Now that we’re adults, I’ve found my sister to be a lot more useful. She’s good for lots of talk on the phone—she lives a thousand miles away.

She’s good for an honest opinion. Me, “What do you think of the new title for my book?” Her, “I don’t get it.”

She’s tops for creative ideas with fabric and other such. Bless her heart, she put up with me and made my wedding dress!

Keeping the family history alive too. Though sometimes we have different memories or perspectives on family events, it’s good to reminisce.

A sister is good for looking out for each other. We care deeply—that irrational blood bond—and we’ll always know that.

We just got to spend a few days together with the brothers-in-law, and it was amusing. Whereas I was usually the lead dog on family hikes, being the oldest, this time little sister was often in the lead and checking back with me to see if I was freaking out over the terrain, especially the series of ladders up a 35 foot canyon wall. (Not as bad as I feared.)

My sister has taught/is teaching me patience. After all, we didn’t choose each other. She was born into our family of four: Mom, Dad, little brother, and me. She was plopped into a crib in the heat of Texas, and I didn’t have a thing to say about it. Her arrival must have been quite a shock since it wasn’t long after that my parents pulled up stakes and moved back North. But, seriously, she must look stupefied at me sometimes and really have to put on her patient hat.

Everybody’s written about sisters. But nobody’s written about my sister—my unique sister.

My sister sent this card to me.

Thanks, Lisa! I love you too!

Categories: Psychology | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Expectations of Spitting Dinosaurs

images“That wasn’t as cool as I thought it’d be.”

My grandson had expected the dinosaurs to spit at him. The ad promised there would be spitting dinosaurs.  But he had his cities confused—not at this particular exhibit.

Expectations. They can ruin our day.

Unmet expectations are bad enough—unacknowledged expectations can create a real ball of knots.

Let’s say a couple has the same argument over and over (who among us hasn’t?), and neither knows they’re working off different unacknowledged, unexpressed expectations. He expects she’ll go back to work after the kids are in school—why not?, his mother did. She expects he’ll do half the housework—her father did. Can you hear the arguments?

We run full blast, smashing up against our expectations, only to be disappointed. It’s no fun. If we have expectations that are met, well, we just think of that as things going along quite nicely, thank you.

Disappointments? Like the song says, “I just pick myself up and get back in the race.” That’s life.

But imagine running a race with poor eyesight—or, insight, as we say in psychology—learning to see inside oneself. Introspection. Self-awareness.

Back to my grandson. He got over his dinosaur disappointment in as long as it took to bounce to the next thing, which was ice cream.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Psychology | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

“Love and Respect”

Reuben, Reuben, I’ve been thinkin’ 
What a grand world this would be 
If the men were all transported 
Far beyond the Northern Sea! 

Then Reuben comes back with his rebuttal to Rachel. And round and round they go. Truly–where they’ll stop nobody knows!

This children’s song has been around since 1871, training us in the war of the sexes. I learned it in grade school and sang it with great fervor.

This war is exhausting, depleting, diminishing.

Did God really make us to go two by two, men and women together (stop, don’t start arguing here, that’s not my topic) to eternally be at war with each other? I think not. God made us that two-by-two way. And remember, He doesn’t make mistakes.

Ephesians 5:33 “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

This scripture is the foundation text for “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

Eggerichs says we get on the Crazy Cycle and don’t (won’t) get off. Without love from him, she reacts without respect. Without respect from her, he reacts without love.

Then the kicker—somebody has to break the cycle—change thinking and behavior. (See a previous post, “A Little More Couple Psychology.”

“But…but…,” we say. No buts. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Change anything in a relationship dynamic and you’ve got change. It may get worse before it gets better, as you pick up those spilled apples, but don’t quit if the change is in the direction you want to go.

Peaceable Kingdom

Categories: Christianity, Psychology | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Dr. Eastin’s Harley Pothole Theory

At the Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dr. Eastin’s Harley Pothole Theory was born when, my first ride on my brand new 1200 Custom Sportster, I hit a pothole—a big one—smacked it so hard I thought I cracked the rim on the spoked wheel. The thing was, I was out in the country, no other vehicle in sight for half a mile in any direction.

Why did I hit it? It’s not that I didn’t see it! Reason: I was trying to avoid hitting the pothole, but I LOOKED AT IT TOO LONG!

When I took the Department of Transportation class to get my motorcycle license, I learned about this phenomenon. We go where we look, where we focus our attention. Therefore, when riding a motorcycle, one has to change one’s focus every so many seconds, or our body follows our focus, where we have our mind and our eyes. So to avoid hitting an obstacle, don’t look at it too long!

This was a great metaphor to pass along to my psychotherapy clients, since I’m constantly helping them THINK in more productive or deserved ways to drive BEHAVIOR that works better for them. Hence, Dr. Eastin’s Harley Pothole Theory.

One client said, “Of course, why do you think so many drunks cross the centerline and hit the oncoming car? They’re trying to avoid it and staring at it!” Another client, a pilot, told me it’s called TARGET FIXATION.

So, on a motorcycle, what you look at is where you go. (Don’t I know!)

And in life, what you think is how you behave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Psychology | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Wisconsinites Crazy from Weather

Water: Sometimes Ya Love It, Sometimes Ya Hate it!

Water: Sometimes Ya Love It, Sometimes Ya Hate it!

It’s true: we Wisconsinites are at serious risk of going crazy due to our weather. I’m surprised we don’t crack from temperature changes, or crack up from weather mood swings.

For instance, picture last night, April 13th, my husband and I are frantically shopvaccing rainwater out of a hole in the basement drain system—haul five gallon buckets to the window—climb out the window—dump the water in the middle of the lawn to avoid it draining back into our apparently faulty drain tile system—and back again. And again, and again—till 3 a.m.

So, the Rain of the Century that left us with an inch of water in our basement a year ago seems to have been repeated rather quickly. Only this time we were able to keep ahead of it and avoided huge carpet pieces laid out on the driveway to dry.

Then—this morning, April 14th, we wake up to snow on the ground. Aside from during ski season, that was the happiest I’ve ever been to see snow. No rain—no flood in the basement.

It’s a Wisconsinite’s birthright to complain about the weather—it’s obligatory. Even if I wasn’t born in Wisconsin, I’ve certainly been grafted in after 36 years. Anyway, it’s in my Minnesota genes. I remember back when we had “real winters” in Minnesota and some 100˚ temps in summer in the early 1970s. So I can complain about the weather like a pro.

How does this fit with the theme of my blog, “…because you can’t pour from an empty pitcher”? Because I got my complaints about the weather out of my system, for today. My pitcher nearly ranneth over!

Thanks for listening. :-)

 

 

 

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UW Writer’s Institute Conference Aftermath

April 4-6, 2014 Madison, Wisconsin

April 4-6, 2014
Madison, Wisconsin

Attending my first writer’s conference was mind-blowing. We conferees soaked up all things writing for three days till near saturation. Hours, and hours, and hours of  writers and writing. Networking, making new writer friends, meeting accomplished authors, learning, and more learning. Getting inspired.

So the cosmos-splitting boom heard over South Central Wisconsin last weekend was the sound of hundreds of writers’ brains exploding. (The collective groan heard late Saturday night was when the Wisconsin Badgers lost their Final Four basketball game by one point!) But that brain blowup feels so good. Challenged. Encouraged. Armed to write better.

For me, writing a novel has been like learning to play the Celtic harp—if I’d known how difficult it is, I might never have started. But then I’d have missed out on great joy. (Hmm, there’s a metaphor in there somewhere, something to do with children.)

 

UW Writer’s Institute Conference

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We Are God’s Artwork, His Artists

A friend gave me the book, A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman.

The term art is painted with broad strokes. Freeman’s scripture-based premise is that we are God’s image-bearers, his artwork, and as such, it’s our task, our privilege, our terror, to find and live the individual artistry God has placed in each of us for His glory and the benefit of others. Everyone—even Dorothy, “the meek and small,” as she describes herself to Oz, The Great and Terrible—is God’s artist.

I’ve just started the book, but here’s a sentence that stopped me in my thought-tracks:

We’re desperately afraid of desire, terrified that if we consider for too long what we most deeply want, we will be confused about which desires come from us, which ones come from God, and how to tell the difference.

Bull’s-eye!

Daring to dream is God-given. And not following those dreams might be a waste of one’s purpose at best and disobedient at worst!

This same friend once said, “Are we going to be accountable for our unopened gifts?” Hmm.

I’ve known that God made me me for a reason: allowed me to develop certain interests, skills, and passions. Freeman gives us a gentle nudge, or kick in the pants, in the direction of doing something about it.

All right then—ready, set, GROW.

Categories: Christianity, Psychology, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Scotland, Scotland, Scotland

If a picture says 1,000 words, then this is a 3,000-word essay on Scotland.

Enjoy.

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle

A field of cairns in the Highlands.

A field of cairns in the Highlands. My wee rock is in there somewhere.

Carbost, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Loch Harport at Carbost, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Categories: Photography, Travel | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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