Today, I’m featuring romance author Diana Duncan. Her piece is really moving and can make you think. She gives the best advice I’ve heard in a while and I for one believe I’ll be following it. Hope you enjoy. Don’t forget to comment.
Starting out as a newbie writer, I gleaned my most valuable piece of advice from an online “how to” article. I wish I could remember who the author was, but I’ll never forget what she said: “Don’t hoard the good stuff.”
Taking that to heart, I have poured every emotion, every twist, every creative fiber of my being into every single story…as if it were my only book. My final book.
Because you just never know.
When my best friend’s mother-in-law “Mary” died several years ago, it fell to my friend to clean out Mary’s house. What she found was shocking, and horribly sad. Literally hundreds of Christmas, birthday and Mother’s Day gifts – brand new appliances, brightly-colored quilts, beautiful warm sweaters…all sitting, untouched, in boxes. For decades, Mary had been “making do,” using stained, faded bedding and tablecloths, and half-broken appliances, and wearing ragged clothing marred by holes.
She’d been hoarding the good stuff.
And after Mary died, all her lovely things were given away to others to use.
That was a huge wake-up call for me. Because while I never hesitated to pour my very best into my writing, I’d been short-changing myself in so many other ways. Waiting for “someday.”
My mom’s emergency open-heart surgery the following summer hammered home the point. It was a scary, stressful time and we nearly lost her, but thanks to God’s grace and an amazing surgical team, she pulled through.
And I was totally done waiting for “someday.”
I now use my best dishes, tablecloths and flatware any old time I feel like it, even if we’re just having mac & cheese. I scrunch up “decorative” pillows and toss ‘em on the floor and lay on ‘em to play video games with my daughter. I wear the prettiest outfits from my closet to the grocery store if I want. I try not to worry about how much I weigh, instead focusing on health and a positive mental image. I crank up the music and dance in the middle of the day. Vacuuming can wait another few hours until I finish the new bestseller I’ve been looking forward to reading for months.
But more than that, I now tell my mom that I love her every day. And my step-dad, daughters, son-in-law and husband. I call my sisters more often. I tell my best friend how smart and talented she is and how much I admire her. I stop writing and go out to lunch with my husband on his day off, pause while cooking dinner to give my kids random hugs or kiss my hubby. I strive to be slow to take offense and quick to forgive.
I wasn’t holding back any of the good stuff, in any area of my life. Not anymore.
Then I got the phone call from the Emergency Room that nobody ever wants to receive. The car that my husband and daughter were riding in was slammed – hard – by a drunk driver. Again, thanks be to God, they’re both okay. Even thinking about the horrible realization that I could have lost them both still makes me physically sick.
But I also had the peace of knowing, deep down, that I’d freely given them everything in my heart. I wouldn’t have regrets about love left unsaid, hugs not given, forgiveness not granted.
What’s hidden in the back of your closet, tucked away, carefully wrapped in tissue? What are you saving for “someday?”
What are you depriving yourself of – special things you could be using, wonderful feelings you could be experiencing, right here, right now?
Fling open that door! Liberate your dreams, your hopes, your love, and yeah, even your grudges and your fears. Make today your own personal Independence Day.
Get out your good stuff. Live every moment. And enjoy it to the fullest.
Which is why I recently wrote “Deal with the Devil,” the first book in my “Devilish Devlins” series featuring a family of wonderfully wicked Irish heroes. Times are hard right now, and I wanted something that would make readers laugh. Something that would make them forget the all the bad for a while and just enjoy themselves.
The idea came to me years ago when my daughter was three. She was quite a “handful,” and from the moment she could talk, always spoke her mind. We were in the park signing up for swim lessons, and as we finally reached the registration table—with a long, long line behind us—she took one look at the bald man sitting there, and announced clearly and loudly to the entire crowd. “Some men don’t wear hair.”
Luckily, he had a great sense of humor, and just chuckled.
I went home, took three Ibuprofen, then called my mom and groaned, “Thank God she isn’t twins.”
But what if she had been? My imagination took off from there, and created a fun, sexy, contemporary romance featuring a smoking hot Irish hero, an introverted heroine who doesn’t want children…and the naughty twins who coax her out of her shell and teach her that life is incomplete without love and laughter.
Visit Diana Duncan at her website: where she features hunks in kilts and other fun stuff.
“Devil May Care,” the second book in the “Devilish Devlins” series will be released at the end of November.
When her dreams of becoming a ballerina were quashed by early-onset klutziness, Diana Duncan took up the safer vocation of writing. Her first thrilling masterpiece—written in orange crayon—was titled “Perky the Kitten,” and became an instant bestseller with her grandparents.
Her childhood growing up as a military brat gave her ability to leap into a conversation with anyone, anywhere, anytime…and she always discovers a new friend in the process. This gift of gab perfectly equipped her for a career that involves making stuff up.
Di is famous for using seven words when one will do. She wields smart-assery like a samurai sword, and will be the first to volunteer in a catastrophe. Of course, she was probably the one who caused the catastrophe. She’s fiercely loyal to her friends and family…but in the event of the upcoming zombie apocalypse, she won’t hesitate to use them as human shields.
She loves her job as an author, and claims writing is the most fun she’s ever had while wearing her sock monkey pajamas. She also enjoys gardening, cooking, and adopting abandoned curbside furniture to refurbish into treasures.
Diana published six books for Silhouette Romantic Suspense before recently going rogue with indie publishing.