In my previous blog, I discussed a relocation from Virginia to South Carolina in 2005. The reasons for the move seemed fully justified by the time we arrived. We had a new house large enough to accommodate the grandchildren we anticipated one day. And a yard that required enough attention to keep us from having any spare time. We soon had a circle of friends ten times larger than the circle we left behind.
In the years before the move, my desire to return to South Carolina grew greater. The Citadel network here is as strong and as tightly knit as the VMI network is in Virginia. And then there was Pat Conroy, my Citadel classmate, teammate, and writing mentor who lived here and urged us to come. Shortly after we arrived, Pat gave me a history of Beaufort County. His inscription said, “Beaufort people, then and now. Loved by me, then and now and forever. Welcome home.”
And I did feel at home. Pat’s reference to “Beaufort people” is an acknowledgement of the long, rich history my family shares with this area. It was yet another reason to return.
I brought that thumb drive with me, the one containing four or five chapters of a novel in progress to be called Jury of One. But the presence of both the thumb drive and me together in the same town at the same time didn't necessarily mean one would impact the other. Not until COVID did I decide the time had come to resurrect my abandoned Judge Borders and the other cast of characters in the book.
Naturally, since twenty years had now passed since the idea for the novel first struck, I had some concerns that it might be dated beyond repair. In one sitting I read the five chapters with as objective an eye as I could manage. To my surprise and pleasure, the beginning of the story held up, so there was nothing to do but finish it.
In my next blog, I'll discuss some of the challenges in the writing process as well as some additional distractions awaiting me here. Just like that cheap suit in your closet, it follows you no matter where you go.