Who’s that Girl?

Fresh and young. This is who I think I am.

Quitting her career in yoga,       
has left Lauren craving for some guidance on who she really is.
And she’s in for a surprise.

This is how it’s going to be.
A new start. A new me.
And a different way to write: On my offline computer which is two decades old.
But my God does this feel good.

I often compare the different stages of my life, my emotional states, to feeling sick. Right before you throw up it’s the worst of the worst.
But then after you vomit you feel so relieved and you think:
“That was it already?”
Or maybe if you’re more poetic you prefer the saying:
The darkest hour is right before the dawn.

My darkest hour was indeed before the dawn, although it’s been two weeks now. My decision to quit my business was followed by 48 hours of disintegration. Like Brad Pitt’s transformation in Interview with the Vampire:
He fell into a state that was somewhere between a psychotic delirium, and coming down from crack. Before he was reborn a vampire.
And before I was reborn a writer.
More beautiful, stronger, and living on different things.
That’s how I was reborn, all fresh and new.
Just that Brad Pitt seemed to be more stable!
“That’s because in reality we move in and out of seeing the vision of our new life,” my coach Sara said. “Sometimes it’s foggy.”

But the weirdest thing is forgetting to tap into it.
ALL you have to do to feel better is see the future: Just to lift your head and look straight ahead.
Yet instead I’ve been looking down a lot lately.

Although it’s not all negative. It seems to be my way of letting go of the old, and preparing for the new alike. I do this by going through all my stuff, and my archives in particular.
Even the admin I’ve neglected since July, which was when I realized reorganizing my business was not going to be as smooth as I thought it would be. And that maybe I didn’t want any of it, anymore.
That messy box of archived admin, that had been accumulating for the last months, was suddenly appealing to go through. And I’ve also cleared out my yoga stuff.
Everything that was part of my past, my job, my identity.

I even realized my initial love for yoga, which started in 1998, was never going to come back. It was just a dream that quitting teaching would magically turn back the clock and restore yoga to what I perceived it to be, before I took an official training.
After twenty years yoga had died on me.
I got inspired to start cycling. Which was actually my form of exercise pre-yoga, as well as pre-gym.
From my 12th to my 18th I cycled to school. Two forty minute bike rides. And it kept me a small size 6.
The only reason I started gaining weight in my late teens was because I started doing fitness. It was all muscle.
So now I’m taking hour long bike rides.

I told my coach Sara that I feel sadder about losing my business, than about losing yoga. And she specified that it was the freedom teaching yoga had brought me. It had allowed me ample time to write.
Now there were two ways in which I could continue being a writer:
Either I could get a real job.
And this would discharge me from creating content, being active on social media, selling books, promoting myself. I could focus fully on creative writing, and didn’t have to do any of the business stuff.
I could invest that time I would normally spend with an employer, running my own business. And start making money as a writer.
I was definitely all for option 2. At the very least, before I would assume I couldn’t make a living from writing books.

Sara made a suggestion.
And she did it as if it was something I could be taking the wrong way. Like a lewd, indecent proposal.
“In order to hold this vision, some people – and I have no idea if this speaks to you – but they make like a collage. Of where they want to go.”
“You mean a vision board!”  I yelled.
Sara was not too keen on using that word but yes. A vision board.
“I’ll be right back Sara!”  I shouted at our Zoom connection as I rushed out of my study. I came back with my vision board, that I had in my bed room. I had refreshed it a few days ago.

Eager to show her that I had been very active, I started to explain all the things on it.
Such as a daily schedule which included sleeping in;
An hour of soothing archiving and sorting through clippings;
Daily housekeeping which I found the most powerful mindset work imaginable. I actually used the words “mental spa”!
And the schedule contained second breakfast.
“I think every schedule should include second breakfast,” I said to Sara. “It’s probably the most important meal of the day. Mine is French toast.”

I was still dreaming of how beautiful life is, if you can have daily French toast at ten. (eggy bread in UK English, and wentelteefjes in Dutch) when Sara said she now understood even better why I didn’t have a desire to learn how to write.
Nor a desire to read, in order to become a better writer.
She had already explained to me that there were so many types of writers. From marketing writers to text book writers. So that it was a broad term.
But I told her, that although I knew that, I was still shocked by how many writers, who I did or had considered like-minded souls, were concerned with learning how to write.

I was of the opinion that a real writer needed to UNLEARN, undo, to go back to the ultimate basics of keeping life as simple as possible.
Not cram your mind with what others think, have written, or anything.
I was a firm believer in uneducating yourself, and taking in as little writing or opinions of others as you could. It baffled me that every writer I knew, seemed to disagree!
They were all keen to get approved by readers, publishers, critics. And they spent their lives getting better at the skill of writing.
Yet I was a hundred percent convinced I was right.
And I would never change my mind.

A writer’s job was to not pay attention to anything but their inner world. Where my mind now drifted back to how sweet life was when your second breakfast consisted of French toast.
“I have mine with lots of sugar and cinnamon, Sara,” I brought the conversation back to what really made me tick. Apparently even talking about learning how to write drained me.
“They’re so good! And I bake them in real butter. Lots of it.”

Sara smiled and she tried to bring my attention back to what she had discovered on my vision board. Next to my ideal day, it contained a poster I had created that said Sleep yourself thin;
A collage of photos of me, or that inspired me, all taken in London.
And it held two A4 laminated posters, both with the header “365 days”, and each had about ten photos of Sharon Stone, playing the stunning and most likely murderous Catherine Tramell, in Basic Instinct 2.

Mysterious and not to be trusted. This is who I really am.

Basic Instinct 2 was also filmed in London,” I told Sara, explaining the connection between all the photos. “Three people saw that movie. Including me.”
And then I started telling Sara that the entirely fictional character of novelist Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct 1 and 2, was my writer idol. Because she was just soo wicked!
And well dressed.

“She’s so mysterious!”  I yelled. “And she can NOT be trusted, Sara!”
As if Sara would run into Catherine on her way to the grocery store.

Sara kept pointing at my board.
“That’s not a typical writer’s board,” she said.
Which surprised me. I had never thought about it like that. I didn’t even know what a typical writer’s board would look like..
“There are no people there sitting at their desks. Typing.”
Sara was right. There weren’t.

And in over a decade, I had never owned any vision board that contained those things. Nor had my vision board ever had pictures of real life writers, nor any pictures of books. Nothing like that. I agreed with Sara that it was indeed odd that my vision board didn’t hold anything related to writing.
“You’re more like a performance artist,” Sara said. “That’s why you need to be alone and why you spend so much time cleaning your house and sorting through all your things.
You need to clear the way, so that you can be in that energy of being mysterious.
The energy of being that person.”

What Sara was telling me was that I had never quit my yoga studio to set up my career in writing.
But to become intriguing, fascinating, and Someone Who Cannot Be Trusted.
More beautiful.

And living on different things.

An unexamined life is not worth living

Who’s that Girl is the twenty-eight chapter from Project M. 

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spotlight on:
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verzameld werk Engels en Nederlands

Een meisje vrijt met een jongen en een homoseksuele man. Naast het overweldigende verlangen, is ze zich hyperbewust van de risico’s. Zal haar lust het winnen van de angst?
Zo opent het magnum opus van LS Harteveld.
Na de coming of age novelle Mango, duik je in het dagboek van een yoga docent. En hier blijken de fictieve karakters uit Mango bestaande personen.
Benjamin keert zelfs boek na boek weer terug. Maar wat is de waarheid?
En wie is Benjamin?
Het laatste boek gaat over haar affaire met een getrouwde man die ze Mr. Big noemt.
Waardoor de vraag rijst; Is hij Benjamin?
Heeft LS Harteveld haar muze in bescherming genomen en zijn identiteit veranderd? Of heeft ze een nieuwe liefde gevonden? Een vrouw leunt over een tafel. Ze is naakt, op haar blinddoek na.
Haar minnaar rekt haar grenzen op tot het uiterste van wat nog passend is, in dit spel der geesten. Misschien gaat hij eroverheen, dat blijft in het midden. Maar 25 jaar na de eerste scene, is één ding duidelijk;
de lust heeft gewonnen.

Levering in Nederland

De goedkoopste manier om mijn werk te kopen is via de uitgeverij – 
In verband met problemen met de pakjesdiensten én mijn eigen postbus,
kan ik helaas geen boeken meer opsturen.

Maar ik heb ze nog wel.
Je kunt hier beneden de beschrijvingen lezen of mijn boeken
bekijken via de webwinkel en daarna bestellen via mail:
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Hieronder het oeuvre en de prijzen.
alle boeken zijn handzaam A5, behalve Het Boek Benjamin, dat is groot studieboek formaat (soft cover) dat je open moet leggen.

Het Boek Benjamin €45
Verzameld werk boek 1 t/m 8
Beschrijving boven, losse boeken beneden. 

1. Mango, een novelle  €15
Seksuele safari, van de jaren 80 tot de zero’s.
Een stoer, technisch meisje groeit op met alleen een moeder, in de roerige jaren 80. Roken is nog van alle leeftijden, drinken idem, en seks ook zolang je bestand bent tegen voorlichtingsfolders over aids waarbij het woord AIDS in bloedspatten is geschreven.

Dat blijkt helaas teveel van ‘t goede.
Vermengd met een verleden in Afrika, en een overleden vader, ontwikkelt deze arrogante tiener een angststoornis waar geen psycholoog haar bij kan helpen. Maar ze blijft aangetrokken tot mooie jongens en homoseksuele mannen.

2. Dutch American Diary (2008-2009) €15
Yoga teacher Lauren is in love with two men; One cunning wizard and one half her age.
 The affair was secret so Lauren called him; He Who Must Not Be Named. After the dark wizard in the Harry Potter series. She tried to get over this American but after a year she only has her mistakes to show for. Including dating an Israeli spy and a Buddhist photographer.

Now her wizard obsession is back full throttle and the next disaster has already emerged;  an attractive yoga student. Young enough to be her son.
Faced with nothing but diabolic choices, Lauren confides in her best friend; the warm and friendly Lara. Despite having the same nationality as He Who Must Not Be Named, and working at the same office coven, Lara seems to lack his foul nature.
Or does she?
Once you’ve read Dutch American Diary? You’ll never ever in your life make the mistake of messing with a yoga teacher. 
~Dutch American Diary part 1

3. 22 Erotische Verhalen €15
Literaire pornografie in de geest van Anais Nin en Isabel Allende.
Ze komen en gaan; de kleurrijke personages in deze dromerige erotische wereld, waar ze je één verhaal lang deelgenoot maken van hun diepste verlangen en hun ergste pijn. Die vaker wel dan niet op magische wijze met elkaar verbonden blijken.

Grenzen worden genegeerd, lusten gebotvierd, wonden geheeld.
Sinds Anais Nin heeft geen schrijver zo onbevreesd het grijze gebied durven te betreden tussen het verbodene, het gruwelijke en het goddelijke. De lezer krijgt naast onversneden liefde en zinderende ontknopingen, ook een spiegel voorgehouden die je laat zien wat er zich afspeelt in de donkerste delen van je ziel. 

 4. LS Diary (2012-2013) €10
About three dark men and Lauren getting naked on stage. Not necessarily together.
 Being dark, smart, and handsome, a Dutch writer bears the characteristics Lauren only knows  too well. He looks exactly like her male muse and unwanted protagonist in the majority of her writing.

A published writer and sought-after talk show guest, the Dutch writer has succeeded where blogger Lauren is failing year after year. After year. She feels the weight of her unpublished manuscripts, and her failed attempts to become a writer. To make matters worse she already has one ill-natured stalker. As if the liabilities of being famous have preceded its benefits.
Lauren gets her shit together prioritizing her work, ignoring men, sex and stalkers. But will it work?  Star struck Lauren meets the celebrity in real life, and soon enough her supposedly highly efficient sex-free life includes a naked guest appearance on stage, a blow-job in a parking garage and a seven month relationship.
~LS Diary can be read as standalone or as Dutch American Diary part 2

5. De Candystop (2013) €10
Waar de Nederlandse literatuur tot stilstand komt door een Marokkaanse lekkernij.
Getergd door een rits onduidelijke medische klachten, besluit Lauren geen suiker meer te eten, geen Chardonnay meer te nemen, en geen latte macchiato’s meer te drinken.

Na een paar weken is ze zo apathisch dat ze zelfs vergeet te masturberen.
Tot een jonge Marokkaanse god op tv verschijnt die tegen Lauren zegt;
“LauRRRen! WakkeRRR woRRRden! Ik ben ook schRRRijveRRR en ik heb ook een leuk leven!”
Dat is zo. Sam doet de vier s’en. Hij schrijft, hij sport, hij sekst en hij slaapt.
Ineens weet Lauren nog steeds niet waar het naartoe moet met haar leven, maar ze is wel klaarwakker. Zeker als ze erachter komt, dat Sam binnen een week een optreden geeft bij haar om de hoek.
Sam doet haar denken aan een verboden relatie met haar leerling, iets waar ze gemengde gevoelens over heeft. Sam wil die best met haar onderzoeken, maar hij vraag een prijs…

6. Bedtime Stories (2014) €15
Facing her demons and her muse, Lauren’s sexual history gets its worthy finale.
Lauren is corresponding with Elliot, but somewhere between The Netherlands and Vegas, things have stranded. To get their project back on track Lauren resorts to strong measures: making the whole damn thing public.

Sharing eight months of her life, Lauren’s third diary reintroduces all popular characters, such as writer Rafael and his legendary mythical counterpart Benjamin. Young writer Sam and his ghost twin Valentino.
Closing the Dutch American Diary trilogy, the 1991 story lines are finally tied together. With an extremely satisfying ending. Although not in a way anyone saw coming.
 ~LS Diary can be read as standalone or as Dutch American Diary part 3

7. Mirage (2014) €5
Giving you a little dessert, with all gorgeous writers from previous books.
Lauren, the former hedonistic cougar, is home bound, mothering her little ones, sick with worry and about to get dumped by her lover. Together with autumn setting in, Lauren needs her annual Cute Writer Fix more than ever. And this year there’s five of them.
Including a lunch date with the most famous author of the Netherlands; her youth love Henry.
~Mirage can be read as standalone or as the epilogue to the Dutch American Diary trilogy.

8. Big, diaries & erotica (2015-2016)  €20
The crown to Lauren’s life; a secret affair with her Biggie.
Ten years and ten lovers have taught Lauren two things.

One: single life is a disaster.
And two: men suck at anal sex.
So when Mr.Big comes along and succeeds where all the others have failed, Lauren is euphoric. She immediately picks up her pen to write about it, and her first story is indeed called “The Biggie”, about his flawless performance.  
For two years Lauren documents her secret affair with the married business man. She writes about their explosive encounters, her unwavering love, and her powerful insights. Gradually, Lauren changes. From an scarred single, to a woman totally owning her worth and her true nature. Ten years after ending her relationship in order to explore love and sex in all their forms, Lauren Harteveld becomes the ultimate mistress.

los verkrijgbaar, niet in Het Boek Benjamin:

Witte Tijgerin €5
Gids voor solitaire vrouwen die een geweldig seksleven willen en plenty energie.
Een Witte Tijgerin is een alleenstaande, onafhankelijke vrouw. Haar contact met mannen is erop gericht dat ze er energie van krijgt. Stel je voor! Nooit meer gehannes met beginnende relaties die het toch nét niet zijn. Nooit meer die morning-after backlash. Geïnspireerd op het klassieke Taoïstische werk De Witte Tijgerin van Hsi Lai, onthult deze gids;
– hoe je de touwtjes in handen houdt
– hoe je je liefdesleven gebruikt voor je plezier
– hoe je met seks je jeugdigheid herstelt.
Hij zal niet kunnen wachten om weer met je af te spreken! 


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