If I Had One Year Left to Live, I Would…

A Time to Die Blog HopFor the last week or so, I’ve been helping Nadine Brandes launch her first novel, A Time to Die. Being on a book launch team is fun, and you bet I’ve been taking notes for when my own time comes. A Time to Die is a dystopian fantasy releasing September 23.

In Nadine’s storyworld, everyone knows how long they have to live. A countdown clock shows it in stark numbers. The book drives one to ask, as the heroine must, With only one year left to live, what would I do? For me, the answer came immediately.

I’d stop worrying about money.

Let’s face it: I’m a freelance editor. That ain’t the path to fame and fortune. It’s barely the path to gas and groceries. Most of the time there is too much month at the end of the money, and that means I often draw on savings.

Thank you, God, that I am able to do so. But most of those savings were meant for retirement. I wasn’t “supposed” to have tapped them for another 25 or 30 years. So right now, I pinch every penny, because I don’t know when (if) the employment situation here will improve. Those savings are meant to last the rest of my life. According to the Social Security Administration, that could be another 37 years. I’m gonna be in trouble.

One Year LeftBut if that money only has to last one more year, I can stop worrying. I no longer have to make a small amount of money last a really long time. It only has to last a year. I can take the balance, divide it by twelve, and there’s my monthly budget.

Not that I could change my lifestyle drastically. I wouldn’t jet off to Europe. But I would take a trip to California without needing Dad to buy the ticket with his frequent flyer miles, like I did this year.

When my friends organize a get-together at a restaurant, I’d say “Sure!” instead of “sorry, I can’t this time.”

When my son writes from college that he needs money, instead of interrogating him to find out how little would be enough to scrape by till next semester, I’d send him a grand and not quibble.

When the church takes up a collection for some special project or other, I’d write a big ol’ check without mentally calculating what I have to give up in the future to allow for that expenditure today.

Instead of buying the cheapest green tea and honey on the shelf, I’d switch back to my favorite pricey name-brand green tea and the organic honey.

I’d quit freelancing and just write books.

Freed from the need to make more money, I could focus on doing what I was made for.


How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

A Time To DieParvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall—her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.author nadine brandes

Connect with author Nadine Brandes on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

Enter Nadine’s Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win
a signed book and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Visit the other stops in the A Time to Die Blog Hop

9.03.14 – Nadine Brandes
9.08.14 – Ashlee Willis
9.11.14 – Caitlin Schesser
9.15.14 – Jennette Mbewe
9.17.14 – Heather Fitzgerald
9.19.14 – Kristen Stieffel
9.22.14 – Rebekah Gyger
9.25.14 – Lydia Thomas
9.26.14 – Ashley Olson
9.27.14 – Angel Roman
9.28.14 – Rosalie Valentine
9.29.14 – Aubrei Crooke-Adams
9.30.14 – Sarah Grimm
10.01.14 – Jon Del Arroz
10.02.14 – Amy Brandes
10.04.14 – Kathrese McKee
10.07.14 – Karen DeBlieck
10.09.14 – Bethany Jennings
10.10.14 – Angie Brashear
10.13.14 – Adam Collings
10.15.14 – Bree Courtney
10.20.14 – Gretchen Engel
10.24.14 – JC Morrows
10.30.14 – Lisa Gedfries


About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

3 comments on “If I Had One Year Left to Live, I Would…

  1. WOW — something to think about. You did a great job. When I was in my twenties, I was told I had two years to live — Almost 50 years later, I’m still here 🙂

  2. I find the concept intriguing. It makes my own mind go where it hasn ‘t often. And that is an interesting journey. I sense an enjoyment reading this book.

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