How To Make Guacamole With Office Supplies with Diana Lloyd

You can find Diana Lloyd’s About An Earl on sale now! Find out where to get it here.


In the days before the internet, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was a legal secretary at a large well-known company. The name of which I cannot disclose because I signed an NDA, and those suckers are litigious. 

One day after a particularly profitable court victory, the senior attorney declared we would celebrate with an in-office party. A potluck. What this meant is that all the secretaries would do all the work and all the attorneys would get to eat. 

This company could well have afforded to have taken the entire department out on a cruise for lobster and champagne, but the senior attorney chose chaos.

At this point in my story, I’d like to remind you that as a writer, every part of my life is plot fodder. The good, the bad, and the chaos. If a certain amount of class struggle makes its way into my fiction writing, it starts here with an avocado.

Someone in the office, I forget who, decided our celebration would be a taco bar. A list magically appeared on the breakroom wall assigning foodstuff to each secretary. I was assigned tortilla shells and tortilla chips. Easy peasy.

I happened to work for the senior counsel and my office was just outside of his. In deference to my boss’s elevated position, my office was not a cubicle, it had real walls and a door but no windows. On the morning of the potluck one of the junior attorneys, his name happened to be Bob, walked into my office and plopped an avocado on my desk.

“Here,” he announced proudly. “One of the girls will know what to do with this.” Times were different then but not different enough that a junior attorney could get away with calling the support staff ‘girls.’ 

That fool expected me to whip up some guacamole using nothing but an avocado and office supplies. I should have laughed in his face. I didn’t. It was all I could do to govern my own face.

Our department break room wasn’t a kitchen. It had a coffee maker, a fridge, and a sink. We didn’t even have a microwave. I briefly considered attempting to peel and mash the avocado but the plastic spork available wasn’t going to be up to the job.

I delegated the avocado to the next secretary down the organization chart. She laughed. Together we carried it to the next secretary. She laughed. We gathered in my office, shut the door, and discussed our next move.

Bob the attorney was a whiney weasel of a man. We all knew he’d make a big stink because he’d contributed an avocado. Lacking a sharp knife, we peeled the damn thing with a letter opener and mashed it with a date stamper. 

Next, we added two packets of ketchup found in the bottom of someone’s purse and stirred it up with an unsharpened pencil. Someone suggested a splash of coffee creamer to dilute the blue ink from the stamper so in it went. We briefly considered rat poison, but cooler heads prevailed.

We didn’t even have a bowl, we put Bob’s guac in a shallow dish someone used for paperclips. It was served alongside everything else, but all the secretaries knew not to eat any of it.

As soon as the attorneys arrived for the feast, Bob started bragging about how he thought of the best addition – guacamole. All the secretaries smiled and nodded. If he wanted all the credit, we would be more than happy to give it to him.

Because of that avocado and Bob’s sexism, the day was marked with small acts of mutiny. Innocent little mistakes that no one could be fired for. Cold taco meat. Warm punch. Unplugged printer. Wilted lettuce. Secretaries suddenly too busy to make up a plate and bring it to their attorneys or plates that were—whoops—dropped. The world’s worst guacamole. The threat of food poisoning. Little inconveniences. 

It was miserable. For the attorneys. As for the secretaries, we may have starved that day, but it was worth it. After that they had celebrations catered.

To write historical romance is to explore the roles of the haves and the have-nots. My life experiences with misogyny and mutiny give me a perspective that I hope ultimately shines through as optimism for true love. My characters work hard, make mistakes, question themselves, recalibrate, and are willing to do what it takes for their happily ever after.

In my books, someone is always forced to make guacamole with office supplies. Metaphorically.

An outsider at her first English ball, Jewel is fascinated with the beautiful dresses and lovely dancing, but she’s vowed to save the Earl of Winchcombe from her cousin’s marriage trap. At first glimpse of the handsome lord, her heart beats faster. As they plan to thwart her cousin’s machinations, she discovers a kindred spirit in Oliver—even if he’s a peer and she’s a lowly colonist. Caught kissing the earl, the ball ends in disaster and Jewel’s displeased uncle whisks her away to Scotland.

Lord Scar, as the ton calls Oliver, would rather be anywhere than at a godforsaken masquerade ball, and when he learns from the free-spirited colonist about the nefarious marriage plan, he grudgingly accepts her help. Jewel intrigues him and sets his heart racing. Yet, when the ball is over and the mask is off—Oliver curses the scar that will send her screaming away.

When her uncle banishes her, Oliver comes to her rescue by offering Jewel his hand in marriage. She agrees, despite his disfigurement. But what’s a beastly lord like him to do with such a beautiful wife—especially when he discovers she’s delightfully saucy?

ABOUT AN EARL is now on SALE! Find out where to get it here.

About the Author

Diana Lloyd, mother of gingers, first of her name, is a stay-at-home wife, a hockey mom, and writer of stories with kissing in them. Diana defends her writing time like a rabid goalie while simultaneously volunteering for things she doesn’t really have time for. Diana is a member of Hearts Through History chapter of Romance Writers of America and was a 2017 RWA Golden Heart Finalist. Her Regency romp, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BARON, the first book in the “What Happens In the Ballroom” series, is scheduled for publication in July 2018.

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