Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Lockdown by Shannon Moore Redmon

Sirens blared through the hallways. Not the typical shrill indicating a fire or burned popcorn in the employee lounge. This alarm was different. The police chief’s voice boomed through our community college speakers.

“This is not a drill. Find shelter in a locked classroom and do not come out until further notice.”

My colleagues and I stared at one another for a moment before jumping into active shooter protocol. We remained calm despite the wide-awake concern inhabiting everyone’s eyes. None of us dreamed we’d wake up, sip our coffee, drive to work and find our lives threatened. We planned to carry out our normal activities during a normal class day. Instead, we found ourselves on “lockdown” and unable to exit the premises due to shots fired near the campus.

Amazing what goes through a person’s mind and body when danger rips away our created safety nets. Heightened senses detect anything out of the norm, like every pop and thump echoing through the hallway. Is it gunfire? Fear trembles through our extremities as we lock the doors in haste to keep everyone safe. Students push desks and chairs against the door, then quiet their cellphones like they’ve been taught in the S.E.L.F. video we play every semester. Different scenarios race through our minds, searching for the best solution in case this nightmare becomes real life.

Then we wait.

Thankfully, our scenario ended well with no loss of life and the shots fired came from a neighborhood adjacent to our school. Our lockdown was a precaution to keep everyone safe and other than being a bit shaken by all the disruption, we survived with a new respect for our campus and city police who performed their jobs with skill.

Perhaps others of us have had more traumatic moments in life. These aren’t meant to be forgotten or pushed aside. Our jobs as writers is to transform those experiences into stories that can inspire, educate and transform the lives of our readers. We mustn't just slap words on a page in hopes of being published. Because we have a great responsibility to those who take the time to read our work.

Our job is to communicate every truthful emotion and persuade our audience to experience the story.

My hope is that you'll never find yourself in “lockdown” or any life-threatening scenario, but instead will be able to experience them from the safety of your net wherever it may hang.

We found ourselves on “lockdown” and unable to exit the premises due to shots fired near the campus. @shannon_redmon @MaryAFelkins #amwriting #wisdom #SeriouslyWrite

A writer’s job is to communicate every truthful emotion and persuade our audience to experience the story. @shannon_redmon @MaryAFelkins #amwriting #wisdom #SeriouslyWrite

Shannon Redmon remembers the first grown up book she checked out from the neighborhood book mobile. A Victoria Holt novel with romance, intrigue, dashing gentlemen and ballroom parties captivated her attention. For her mother, the silence must have been a pleasant break from non-stop teenage chatter, but for Shannon, those stories whipped up a desire and passion for writing.
There’s nothing better than the power of a captivating novel, a moving song or zeal for a performance that punches souls with awe. A rainbow displayed after a horrific storm or expansive views on a mountaintop bring nuggets of joy into our lives. Shannon hopes her stories immerse readers into that same kind of amazement, encouraging faith, hope and love, guiding our hearts to the One who created us all.

Shannon’s writing has been published in Spark magazine, Splickety magazine, the Lightning Blog, The Horse of My Dreams compilation book, and the Seriously Write blog. Her stories have been selected as a semi-finalist and finalist of the ACFW Genesis Contest and won first place in the Foundation’s Awards. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. The StoryMoore Blog is named in memory of her father, Donald Eugene Moore.

Connect with Shannon:
FB: https://www.facebook.com/shannon.redmon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shannon_redmon @shannon_redmon
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonredmon/