I have a quiet place to write. This has not always been true. Last fall, new people moved into one side of the duplex next door. Sorry to say, their six-month tenure was a time of insecurity and stress on our street. And noise.
I had extended my hand in welcome as the new tenants were moving their furniture. A few days later, I think it was Christmas Day, they had an altercation with family members. Obscene language was shouted and screamed from front porch to the car in the driveway for several minutes. Startling. Offensive. Scary.
Soon, the other neighbors and I had the appropriate police contact number on our speed dial and were hitting it frequently, at all times of the day and night, because of similar incidents disturbing our peace. I heard drug deals gone bad outside my dining room window and encountered the troubled tenants in various conditions altered by drugs and alcohol. Items began disappearing from outside people’s houses. I hesitated to have my grandchildren come and visit.
We banded together, working with our neighborhood organization and the law enforcement officer assigned to our area. We persisted in our efforts until the tenants were evicted. Once again, our street was pleasant and safe. And quiet.
This restoration of peace coincided with my return to writing as a full-time job on July 1. For the year previous, I had taught special education at a cyber high school, Provost Academy South Carolina. That was a year with a steep learning curve for me and challenges unique from all my other experiences in public education. ‘Twas a great adventure, but my major disappointment was that the professional demands were not compatible with serious writing. Evenings, weekends and summer break were largely taken up with school commitments. The progress I had hoped to make on book three of my Sunday by Sunday series was impossible. I was pleased, therefore, not to renew my contract so that I could pursue my passion.
And so, I write now, not only with quiet around me but also within. What a lucky duck I am to have this opportunity! Deeply grateful, I am determined to reach my goal, always, I hope, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The agony and ecstasy of the writing life are, well, agonizing and ecstatic at times, though mostly in between those two extremes—in other words, lifelike. So, here I be in my office, at least five days a week, hard at work composing and revising, serene and thankful, despite the challenges. Yeehaw!