Friday, August 9, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Happier with author Lynn Crandall

Chat with romantic suspense author 
Lynn Crandall today at the Book Boost!

I always considered myself a glass-half full kind of person. I don't know why, other than that's the preferred personality type in our society, it seemed to me. No matter what, see the rainbow in all things, is a common message.

But…I was wrong about myself. I saw myself as a happy person, one who makes lemonade out of lemons, when in truth, I was more like Eeyore, the little grey donkey in the Winnie the Pooh books who lived in a part of the Hundred Acre Wood that was called Eeyore's Gloomy Place. Like Eeyore, I was a person who almost expected the worst things to happen. The worst was inevitable. I thought I had evidence of that truth. If I planned a trip to the lake, it was likely to rain. If I wanted the contractors working on the garage to show up and complete the project on time I was engaging in wishful thinking, setting myself up for disappointment. I was happy, but a realist, I told myself. If I expected to be disappointed by something or someone, it was only because I was a realist. Better to see the truth than to be disappointed with reality.

Boy, that sounds so gloomy. And so not the truth for me anymore.

I think what we focus on is what we experience. I may have been conditioned from childhood and young adult experiences to set my bar low for happiness, but that was a defense that I no longer needed or wanted.

When I began writing my eyes opened up to the simple but amazing things around me. I started seeing that people on the whole are pleasant and interesting, and if they're having a bad day it's just a part of life, not something that proves the world is an unhappy place. I smiled first and the world around me shifted into something far more pleasant and full of possibilities. I could change my outlook and my experiences. Anything was possible. All these revelations taught me that I could be fundamentally happy, blissful, accepting whatever came my way. I could contain disappointment and unhappiness in a different way that let it pass, not take up residence in me. As writing introduced me to a deeper connection with things that stimulated my senses, my mind, and my heart, I felt gratitude. Happiness happened a lot more often.

According the Secret Society of Happy People website, there are a number of things we can do to boost our happiness quotient. Two pretty easy ways they list are to engage in life in meaningful ways and surround yourself with happy people because happiness is contagious.

Another way to create happiness is to take a look at what's causing sorrow or helplessness or any number of inner beliefs that shape life experiences. It naturally leads to dispelling misconceptions that create unhappiness.

In my early years of writing, I wrote a short story about a character who felt defeated. To her, the sun was always shining somewhere else. In the space of the short story, though, the character faced her inner context in which she framed her life experiences. She realizes her thoughts were making her see life through a perspective of helplessness and despair, when all around her were wonderful and supportive things. She was missing all that good stuff with her attitude, so she opened to change and made happiness happen.

Changing a personality bent doesn’t happen overnight. For we Eeyore's of the world, it takes trust and believing that we can contain more joy, it's safe and it's possible, and available to us all.

A Note from the Book Boost:  I hear you, Lynn.  Thanks for the insightful post.  I'm still a little bit more on the "realist to avoid disappointment" side.  I know that there is still a chance that I'll be disappointed either way, but I feel better prepared this way.  I envy the changes you've made, though.  Good for you!


Uncovering secrets and exposing truth are all in a day’s work for private investigator Sterling Aegar. But when her latest case threatens to reveal her own buried feelings for an old love, Sterling runs for cover.

A body in the bathtub and pleas from a jilted wife to find her wayward husband mean a welcome break from the usual humdrum cases Sterling and her sister, Lacey, are called to investigate. But when Sterling’s old flame, Detective Ben Kirby, walks into the murder scene, she feels her world spin out of control. Danger from thugs and murderers poses no greater threat than the peril she’d suffer if she lets daredevil Ben get too close.

Seeing Sterling for the first time in two years is for Ben like drinking in a healing tonic. He could never forget the way it felt to run his hands over her delicious curves or the way she touched his soul. She remains the one person who can make the emptiness in his gut go away. Finding the murderer is his job, but protecting Sterling from seriously dangerous people is his mission.

As the case unfolds, Sterling and Ben not only solve the murder and locate the missing husband, they confront secrets that set them each free from a painful past.


It’s no use, Sterling fumed. Her brain refused to work. She sorted through the case files at her office, willing her emotions to stop tormenting her as she recuperated from a long, sleepless night. The benign sounds of Michelle keyboarding in the outer office did little to interrupt the mindless emotional turmoil of last night’s restlessness.

In the darkness, thoughts of Ben and how it used to be, what she’d done to him, replayed unrestricted by the distractions of daylight. And now, in the light of day, the thoughts, haughty and determined, challenged her sanity, coaxing her to give them room to do their work.

It troubled her that the warning flags were up again. What were they trying to say? Were they warning her of a big problem with the case? Or were they trying to tell her to beware of involvement with Ben? It could lead to more pain, and she knew it.

Two years ago she’d told him it was over. Loving him had been so easy, but then the fear welled too greatly inside of her. With Nicholas’s death, she’d realized more than ever that a heart open to love was also a heart vulnerable to excruciating pain and insurmountable loss.

Silly girl. You’d actually believed in a happily ever after. The breakup had been difficult, but she’d only done what she needed to survive. And even when Ben had finally accepted that they weren’t going to be together, endorsing her decision to quit police work was quite another matter, something he’d railed against with all his usual unrestrained gusto.

But Sterling knew in time she’d get over Ben. And fortunately she didn’t need his permission to make a life as a private investigator. He didn’t even have to like it.

To make sure no one would get close enough to leave her hurt and broken like her mother, she’d made a life for herself invested in independence. She’d dated a few times, but quickly questioned, what was the point? She had friends and companionship, and she didn’t want anything more. Lacey liked to point out that Sterling’s single-minded devotion to her profession was her own way of building walls against the world. Maybe so. Maybe no one would get in. Especially not Ben Kirby. It didn’t have to make sense to be right for her.

Sterling dropped her forehead into the heels of her hands. If only life hadn’t cruelly smashed them up against each other again. If only Ben would stop forcing her into a corner where she questioned her decisions.

Want More Lynn?

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Lynn said...

Thank you for hosting me!

RT Wolfe said...

Way to go, Lynn, and best wishes to you!
-R.T. Wolfe

HiDee said...

Great post, Lynn! I can definitely relate. Good luck with your writing!