GUEST POST ~ Dear Diary by Holly Day ~ #Excerpt #GuestPost

Hello, everyone! Thank you, lovely Addison, for allowing me to come back 😘 Last month, when I was here, we were celebrating Bookstore Romance Day. This month, our focus is on diaries.

On September 22nd every year, it’s Dear Diary Day. The day was created to celebrate the way diaries help us sort our thoughts and document our lives.

The oldest diaries still around are from the Middle Eastern and East Asian cultures. The earliest surviving diary belonged to Abu Ali ibn al-Banna whose diary is from the 11th century. He was an author and a scholar from Baghdad, and they don’t have all diaries, but parts of them.

But while Abu Ali ibn al-Banna’s diary is the oldest still around, they know Emperor Marcus Aurelius kept a diary, so we’re talking around 200 A.D.

Dear Diary probably isn’t something that will be preserved for later generations. I doubt they’ll sit 2000 years from now and wonder about this poor chap who battles depression and spills coffee all over the love interest.

At best, it could help future generations understand how mentally unstable we were in this day and age. At worst, they think we’re all dependent on caffeine and lock ourselves in bathrooms to cry.

If you’ve read any of my stories, you probably know that I normally write in third person, and I prefer dual pov. I have stories that only have one character’s point of view, but most often I write both sides. It’s for my sake. I feel like I’m only telling half the story when I only do one pov, and writing first person most often makes me physically ill.

I feel trapped, and most tools I use to describe the world don’t work in first person, so I mostly sit there staring at the words I’ve written and have no idea how to get the story to move forward.

I think it’s a personality thing. If I write in first person, I want the character to make sense in a way I think a person should make sense, and I’m a down-to-earth person with a fair bit of suspicion. I would never meet a person I don’t know somewhere. I would never enter a spooky-looking building late at night. I would never take that phone call. I would never hook up with a stranger. I would never think I could solve a crime. I would never snoop around in someone’s house. I would never do most of the things that make a story move forward. So when I write an I, that I won’t do any of those things either. And before we know it, we’re trapped in a story that’s going nowhere 😆

I find it much easier to make up crazy people – and stories need crazy people – when I can watch them from above.

Surprisingly enough, despite a diary being a super narrow way to tell a story, I loved writing Dear Diary. It was a fun challenge because when you write a diary, you’re retelling your day, and I had to really think about what you’d put in a diary. You don’t retell everything, you don’t always explain what you mean, and you don’t always show yourself from your best side.

As a teen, I always wrote a diary. Always. It helped me think, and it gave me comfort to let the words pour out of me. Then when hubby was a UN soldier and was out of the country for months on end, I wrote letters to him instead. He became my diary and every night before bed, I wrote him a letter. Then with kids and animals and work, I was too tired. And now I’m writing stories instead. I find writing fiction just as therapeutic as writing a diary. You’re trying to make sense of the world, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the real world or a world filled with dragons and vampires, the emotions are the same, and putting them into words helps sort them.


Dear Diary,

My therapist wants me to write a diary to help me manage my depression. I have no idea how it’ll work, but I didn’t have the energy to argue with her.

All I want is for life to go back to the way it was before I walked in on Christopher and Jason. Or maybe not because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive Christopher for cheating on me in our bed, but I want to function as I did before that moment. Before I lost everything.

Do you remember Lars Olsen from school? I do my best to stay away, but it’s like he’s magnetic and pulls me in every time I see him. I shouldn’t be dating. I don’t want to force my crazy on anyone, but he’s asked me to dinner. He deserves a sane partner, so it would be unfair to go, wouldn’t it?

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Contemporary Gay Romance: 9,219 words

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Friday, September 16th

Dear Diary,

Twice in one day, I know! Don’t tell Janet. I’m still claiming you don’t help me, and you don’t since you don’t respond, but oh my God!

When I got there, a panic attack built—the sense of doom, my heart racing, hands shaking. You know the deal. I tried Janet’s breathe in a square thing. Stood there pressed against the wall and breathed in and out while following the sides of an imaginary square.

I don’t know if it worked. Maybe. While I was doing it, my phone buzzed. Had I been gone for real; I wouldn’t have noticed.

Lars asked what I was doing, and I told him. I told him. I typed I was standing pressed against the wall inside the restaurant and breathed in a square to stave off a panic attack.

I swear, no more than two minutes later, Lars crossed the threshold. He looked deliciously disheveled, as if he’d rushed out of the shower to come and save me. He’s way out of my league, but he walked in, checked all nooks and crannies, until he found me hiding in the shadows. Then he smiled. His entire face lit up, and my heart somersaulted. Silly, I know. I don’t have the energy for school-boy crushes.

I was trying to tell him I was insane, and he should run away while he had the chance. He only chuckled, took my hand, and dragged me over to the dickhead and the others.

The dickhead had already had a few drinks and was loud and rosy-cheeked. He talked about how important it was to meet outside the office and to have strong workplace relationships, and other things he’d most likely read in an article somewhere. I don’t know if he was trying to impress Lars or if he wants to sleep with one of the bitches. I, for one, don’t want to meet outside the office. I’m exhausted all the time; I don’t have the energy for fake smiles and feigned interest in the others and their spouses and children.

I’m getting sidetracked! The dickhead and his ambitions aren’t important. What’s important is that Lars stayed with me. The others were drooling all over him. I don’t blame them. They don’t know there were a couple of years where his arms were far too long for his body. He’s grown into them now, and it’s hard not to drool.

After Christopher, I didn’t think I’d ever look at another man again, but I have to admit there are butterflies in my chest whenever my phone buzzes. Pathetic since it can’t ever be. Lars is nice and normal; he can’t be with a loon like me. Sigh.

I have to distance myself from him. It’s for his own good. He’ll understand.

1. Lars saving me.

2. Lars doing all the talking, so I didn’t have to.

3. Lars looking all cute and insecure when he said goodbye outside the restaurant.

4. My breakfast coffee.

Should I have kissed him? I wanted to, but I need to protect him from me as he protected me from them.

About Holly Day

According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.

Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.

Connect with Holly on social media

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