Deborah Anderson

In 2000, Deborah Anderson left the medical field to care for her elderly mother. Soon after, she began writing. Her articles have appeared in Cross Times, Focus on the Family, Sisters in the Lord, Riders and Reapers, Rainbow Faith, FaithWriters’ Books, FaithWriters’ Magazine, and the bulletins for Dayspring Foursquare Church. She is a member of TWV, ACFW, CWG, and FCW and is currently working on her first novel. Married 28 years, Deborah and her husband enjoy country living in the Midwest. She also spends her time rescuing cats, reading novels, and taking nature walks. You can contact Deborah at DAnderson955 [at] aol [dot] com.

I Will Not Be Moved

I think everyone needs a good place to write. Don’t you? It could be on a kitchen table, a coffee table, a desk in a spare bedroom, or a spot in an old oak tree outside. Okay, maybe the tree thing is a bit much. Carving a novel into the bark would take a long time. A writer would end up as old as Methuselah before finishing. The main thing is to have somewhere to write. I used to have such a spot—until my husband moved me.

Now, when I say the man “moved” me, I don’t mean that he carried me off on wings of love like a hero in a romance novel during a delicious plot twist. Nay, nay, the precious little lamb chop transported me to another home altogether, which completely changed everything.

Did I mention that I don’t like change? It makes me majorly snarky, when I’m mildly snarky on a good day to begin with. I mean, the house we were moving into was beautiful, but I wanted to stay in my old home. I know, I know. What woman in her right mind wouldn’t want a new house? Well, I’ve never claimed to be in my right mind, so there’s the answer.

Before the move took place, I walked around in a funk. You’ve heard the old cliché about someone’s lip dragging on the ground, haven’t you? When a middle-aged woman (moi) behaves in this manner, it’s not pretty.

My husband attempted to encourage me. “Hey, remember that book you got at the library, the one about those famous authors, with pictures of their homes?”

I cocked my head and narrowed my eyes, wondering what advice was coming this time. “Yeah . . .”

“Our new house will inspire you. You know, you could write your breakout novel there. Besides, you need a professional office.”

I peeled my bottom lip up off the floor. “You really think so?”

“Yes, I do. Everything will be fine, honey.”

I thought about the book he mentioned. My jaw had gone slack when I saw the pictures of the authors’ homes on its pages. According to my husband, this slack-jawed response usually only happens when I’m sleeping and sucking in the drapes and/or blinds off the walls. Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad after all.

Somewhat enthused, I chose the room for my office, a room all to myself. Can you imagine? I’d always used a small desk in the living room, while my elderly mother, who is a little hard of hearing, watched a blaring television in the background. On many of those days, I wanted to shout things that weren’t so Christian.

Moving day finally arrived. I hung my favorite pictures and arranged my desk and filing cabinet just as I had them at home. Like I said, I don’t like change.

I pulled the drapes open and eyed the view. Bushes of honeysuckle stood like soldiers across the edge of the property. A huge oak tree waved its hundred-year-old branches at me. The owls called, the birds chirped, and the deer roamed. It was paradise, I tell you.

Sitting at my computer, I bubbled with excitement. Maybe I would write my novel here—right in this room. My husband was probably right. (You know, I’m really getting tired of admitting that.) As I sat in front of my computer, though, nothing happened. Zip. Nada. Zero.

Moments later, I realized Mom had the television blaring downstairs. No wonder. “Honey,” I hollered to my husband, since I wasn’t going to yell at my mother, “would you please turn down the TV? I can’t concentrate.”

I turned my attention back to my computer, and I suddenly felt restless. I can’t explain it really, but whatever it was unnerved me, which is a short trip for me anyway.

Drumming my fingers on my desk, I swiveled in my chair. My toes tapped a jig on the hardwood floor. Then it struck me. Perhaps I needed to move the furniture around. So I did.

A few weeks later, still tapping my fingers and toes, another thought came to mind. Maybe I’m in the wrong room. The other bedroom does have a better view of the property. I lugged my office furniture down the hall, set everything in place, and smiled. Yes, this would be perfect.

I sat down at my desk, fingers poised and ready, and typed a few pages. Then I froze up again. What on earth?

My husband came home from work soon after. His voice carried from my old office. “Deb? Where are you?”

I cupped my hand around my mouth and hollered. “Back here.”

He appeared in the doorway, shaking his head.

I folded my arms. “What?”

“Didn’t you want the other room for your office?”

“I did, but I couldn’t write in there.”

Several days later, I rearranged the furniture in my second office. It didn’t help, so I dragged my office furniture back to the room where I had first set up my office. I must admit, I was growing tired at this point. When you-know-who came upstairs and found me, he said, “What are you doing now?”

I held up my hand. “Don’t say another word.”

He eyed me and proceeded with caution. “It doesn’t matter what room you write in, Deb.” He pointed his finger at his chest. “The gift you have is in here.”

You’re telling me this now? “You’re the one who said I needed a new office.”

“I said that to help you. You have to write wherever you’re comfortable. Just give it time. Everything will be fine.”

How many times had he said those words? A parrot came to mind. Everything will be fine. Everything will be fine. I wanted to smack the bird off his perch. I didn’t know where I was comfortable at anymore.

He stepped forward and hugged me. “You just don’t like change.”

How dare he show love at a time like this? I couldn’t stay mad at him when he was being kind. Even worse, I knew he was right.

A few nights later, as I sat in bed watching TV, I grabbed my laptop to check my e-mail. Afterward, I opened my Word program. Do you know what happened? Glory hallelujah, I began to write.

I guess I had it in me the whole time. In the midst of all the changes, I had simply lost my way. You probably knew this all along, though, didn’t you? My husband knew. Again.

Anyway, he and I recently set up our offices in the same room. I really didn’t crave the solitary confinement as I had originally thought. After everything that’s happened over the past few years, I may need isolation, but at least I’ll be writing. That’s the main thing. Don’t you think?