Friday, July 12, 2013

LIFE IS A JOURNEY—WITHOUT A ROAD MAP!


It's my pleasure to welcome back romance author, Diana Duncan. It's been a while since I've had the pleasure of her company here. I will admit she was one of my early facebook buddies that gave me so much support when I first started my blog four years ago. I have her to thank for my hunk file—I have it on the best authority that all romance writers must have one for inspiration. Needless to say, I am very inspired.  J 
Diana's topic is on conquering fear when life throws you a major detour and appreciating the small things in life.

I confess, I’m terribly directionally challenged. I’ve been shopping at the same grocery store for over 20 years, but turn me around in there, and I can still get lost!

I’m not very good at decoding maps, either. They read like ancient hieroglyphics to my backwards brain. And the snotty GPS lady and I had an hostile parting of the ways after I followed her command to turn onto a one-way street going the wrong direction! I need specific, explicit instructions, and don’t tell me any of that bewildering north, south, east, west stuff…I need to know: “Turn left just past McDonald’s, go until you see Burger King, then make a right. If you get to Dairy Queen, you’ve gone too far. My house is the 3rd one on the block on the left-hand side and it’s green with white trim.”

Then maybe, maybe, I can find my destination. At least within 2 tries. J

So when life diverts me onto an unexpected detour, I’m lost and confused.

And wow, last summer, I not only got diverted onto a detour, I got totally run off the road!

I’d been feeling tired and having a lot of heartburn for some time, several years in fact, but had attributed many of my symptoms to getting older, hormone changes, etc.—all the usual denial tactics we use to avoid believing we’re really sick. I was popping over-the-counter antacids like M&M’s and “coping.” Until without warning, I suddenly ended up at the doctor’s office unable to keep any food down and so exhausted, Hubby had to help me walk.

After several months and a whole lot of very unpleasant and obscenely expensive tests—and still unable to eat—I was diagnosed with a (scarily common) stomach bacteria that had eventually overrun my system with acid, which had turned the inside of my stomach into raw hamburger and caused 75% of my esophagus to erode. I had to take 2 super strong antibiotics, along with a bagful of other drugs for an extended period of time—all of which had miserable side effects like anxiety and insomnia and fatigue.

By the grace of God, I found an incredible acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist, who weaned me off all the damaging medications and provided me with natural supplements and a diet that would help my stomach and esophagus heal. I also found an online support forum for people with my condition, which encouraged me and made me feel like less of a freak for taking so much time to heal.

It’s been a year now, and I am finally beginning to have more good days than bad, with setbacks here and there in between.

I learned a lot during my illness:
  • Planning is futile, because every day brings what it brings, and to survive, you need to roll with the painful punches.
  • Biggest lesson I learned was to let go of the constant fear that gnawed at me. It served no purpose, except to hold me back from recovery.
  • Trust that I was in God’s hands—His plan would turn out better than mine in the long run.
  • Take delight in the smallest of pleasures—being able to eat, snuggling with my dog, watching finches at my birdfeeders.
  • Celebrate progress—getting strong enough to walk out into my backyard, being able to read again, getting back to my writing.

I’d started writing my 11th book before I got sick, titled Big Bad Wolfe, and was a little over halfway through it when I became too ill to write. The hero in the book is emotionally damaged from childhood abuse, and ironically, his story is about his journey toward healing.

Several months ago when I was finally able to begin writing again for short periods, helping Zane complete his journey became a personal mission for me. His faltering progress toward healing—two steps forward, one step back, and one day at a time—was the same as my own. Zane’s struggle mirrored my struggle in so many ways, and he will always hold a special place in my heart.

Just like Zane, I was broken down to the lowest point in my life…and just like him; I learned not to take anything, or anyone, for granted. To keep the faith, believe in hope, and appreciate the joy in tiny, everyday miracles.


My wish for you is that you take nothing for granted…and recognize each blessing in your life, no matter how small, as gifts to enjoy every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

BUY: AMAZON AND B&N
FBI Special Agent Zane Wolfe fears nothing...
                   
Except fatherhood. 

So suddenly discovering he's the father of a five-year-old son terrifies him.
Jillian Ramsay has had temporary custody of her best friend’s little boy since his mother recently died. As the assistant director of a school for disadvantaged children, she recognizes Zane is a survivor of childhood abuse. While Jillian understands Zane's trepidation, she also sees that behind his protective walls, her Big Bad Wolfe is good-hear ted and caring. She’s in a desperate fight for custody against the child’s vicious uncle…and she needs Zane to face his fears—just long enough to help her win permanent custody of his son.
Zane's ready to turn tail and run for the first time in his life. Until sinister motives behind the death of his son’s mother put both the boy and Jillian in danger. As Zane works with Jillian to secure his son's future, keeping his barricades intact becomes far more difficult than he imagined.

Because while Jillian might not huff and puff, her patience and tenderness are chipping away at his walls.
He’ll do anything to protect his son…including temporarily marrying Jillian. EXCERPT

 The Big Bad Wolfe fears nothing.

                                 Except failing those he loves.

                                                                                                                                             


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.

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.

Join her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. F
eel free to stop by and ogle her kilted hunks on her website 




5 comments:

Jo said...

Sounds as though you had a rotten time, anything else goes wrong, go to a doctor immediately. Thanks for sharing your story.

Karen Walker said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helped me very much because I was just diagnosed with some health issues that have me scared. Good luck with your writing and your health and your back. Hi Sia!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

God's plan always works out better than ours. Just keep trusting him and fighting to move forward.

Yolanda Renee said...

I can read a map, but put me out in the world without one and I'm lost. Since I'm technically challenged too, no GPS.

Also I'm directionally challenged, and the proof is getting lost on a walk that was meant to last 30 minutes and turned into 3 hours, with half the county out searching. All I had to do was keep going right, and somehow I made a left. You can't imagine the darkness of the night when there are no stars and no moon and no street lights! Pitch black and scarier than hell / without the light from the fires! :)

My hubby had a similar stomach bug, hand thought the cure was almost worst than the problem but he's doing much better too. Keep the faith, and good luck with your book!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia and Diana .. I love map reading .. but don't read the map I've just posted about - looks like a London Underground tube map - but is of the Lake District Fells - I love the creativity ..

However Diana's illness and her desire to overcome rings out loud and clear .. and I'm so pleased you are on the mend and long may that continue. This sounds like an alarm bell .. that if we start feeling 'odd' we really need to check out what's going on before it become serious ..

cheers to you both .. Hilary