Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What does your laughter say about you?


By Cristine Eastin

Title: Telltale Laughter
A person’s laughter says a lot about them:
  • Linda shields her mouth with her fingers. She's self-conscious about her teeth.
  • Faye laughs through taut lips, and she rarely cuts loose with a big laugh. She's uptight.
  • Don throws his head back and gives out a hearty guffaw. He thinks life's a hoot.
  • Phil rarely laughs at all. Just a smile and a bemused, "Huh." He's got heavy emotional baggage and doesn't want to call attention to himself.
  • Brad titters. He's nervous and unassertive, and his words don't seem appropriate to his laugh. His smile is a deflection for the upset he feels.
  • And Nancy laughs so hard, tears run down her cheeks, and her face turns a shade of radish. She enjoys laughing with friends and isn't the least bit self-conscious.
See what I mean? When I write my novel
Cristine Eastsin
characters, or when I'm working with my psychotherapy clients, laughter gives clues as to what they're about. (The truth is, I notice people everywhere. My psychotherapy meter isn't always running, but I can't switch off my brain.)
We don't know what's in a person's head, but laughter language helps us guess at understanding her, helps us relate to him—laugh with them.
Laughter can be a sort of personal signature. My dad's laugh was distinctive, I guess. I didn't notice because it was so familiar, but it's one of the things my husband fondly remembers and imitates about my dad.
Then there was the teen girl in Barnes and Noble—I swear this is true—who had a laugh like machine gun fire. And she shot frequent volleys. Otherwise, she looked normal, so I wonder how in the world she developed a rat-a-tat-tat laugh. Fodder for a writer to put that character together.
Laughter is a universal language. What will you be saying the next time you laugh? What did your friend say? What will the character you write say with her laugh?
Book Description: “Fifty Days to Sunrise"

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.

Author Bio

Cristine Eastin, PhD is a psychotherapist when at the office, but she’s also a wife, stepmother, and grandma. 

Cris has two grown stepchildren, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren; her husband, Dave, is a psychologist. The family includes two rescue cats and an Australian shepherd.

Raised in Minnesota, Cris is a grafted in Wisconsinite with a heart of woods and water.

She keeps busy collecting hobbies. For instance, in winter she’s on the ski slopes, and in summer she might be kayaking. And in between she’d love to be visiting Scotland or England.

Cris works, lives, and writes by the motto “…because you can’t pour from an empty pitcher.”

Member of American Christian Fiction Writers.