The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 9:56 am Thursday, August 31, 2017


By Linda Barnette

In Renegade Writers Guild, one of our prompts was to write about how we were either different or the same as one of our parents. I was fortunate to have two very loving and supportive parents, and this essay is in no way meant to distract from my sweet mother. However, I am definitely my father’s daughter in more ways than one!

“Slick” Hartley, my dad, was tall, thin, and had blue eyes and sandy-colored hair. I was his only child, and although I understand that he wanted a boy, when I was born with red hair, all was right in his world.

He was an excellent teacher. He taught me to read by reading to me daily. He taught me to love God by reading the Bible and praying daily. He taught me to respect all people by doing it himself. When I was in high school, he taught me geography because I did not understand it in class. He was highly intelligent, and in another era, would have gone to college and been a professional person.

When I was in high school, he won a seat on the Mocksville Town Board, a position that he held for 14 years or seven terms. During that time I realized the importance of public service to others and also his devotion to it.  He did not seem to mind the many hours that he spent talking to constituents on the phone. It never mattered to him whether he was talking to an important person or just a regular Joe; they were all the same to him.

He was also a charter member of the Mocksville Lions Club and was passionate about helping people in our area access glasses and other services. He spent many Saturdays with other Lions building ramps for people who were handicapped. I never really understood the scope of his good deeds until his death in 1985 when Gordon Tomlinson, the editor of the Enterprise at that time, wrote an impressive editorial about him and the things he did.

Now that I am older than he was when he passed on to glory, and I can verify that youth is indeed wasted on the young.  I can only hope that he knew how much I admired him.  I think he would have been proud of my service on the Davie County Board of Education and my written genealogy of his family.

“Back to School Supplies”

By Julie Terry Cartner

New back packs,

The most important purchase,

Color and style choices mulled over and discussed,

packed, brimming with fresh supplies.

New pencil pouch filled with vibrant markers,

Freshly sharpened pencils emanating with that smell,

That beautiful wood/graphite scent

That only comes at the beginning of the year.

Pens – two or three – blue or black, no red please,

And pink erasers, still soft and flexible, not yet eroded by a year of mistakes.

A ruler – how long will that last before it becomes the casualty of a fencing match gone wrong?

And don’t forget the compass and the protractor, glue or glue sticks, and colored pencils.

Then the notebooks – a three ring binder with loose leaf paper and dividers,

Spiral notebooks, purple, orange and blue, and one composition book for journaling.

Don’t forget the classroom needs – tissues, hand sanitizer, paper towels and Clorox wipes.

Finally the second most important supply, the lunch box,

Quite possibly the gate-way to eternal popularity.

Oh, and don’t forget the water bottle!

The back pack gets heavier,

The wallet gets lighter,

But, most importantly,

The thrill of excitement in the child’s eyes

That comes from pristine supplies

And the start of a new school year.

“Beautiful Moments”

By Kevin F. Wishon

One day in Texas, while driving back from work, I decided to explore a nearby town. Working six days a week left little time for sightseeing, so I enjoyed the scenery as I slowly cruised through downtown looking at shops and buildings many dating back to the 1800s. After satisfying my curiosity about the town and its history, I drove to the interstate highway that would take me back to Dallas. As I approached an intersection, the traffic light turned red, so I stopped and waited. The signal light took several minutes to change because this particular intersection was heavily traveled. As I sat waiting, I noticed something interesting occurring on a corner next to me. Under a few trees, people were coming and going with their children to a riding ring with five ponies.

The ground was dusty and dry where these ponies had trotted in a circle countless times as kids took their turn riding these beautiful animals. Careful and calm, the small horses seemed undisturbed by the noise of the traffic around them. Each animal’s coat shined in the blazing sun along with their thick, beautiful manes, proving they were well groomed. As I continued to wait and watch, the children that had been riding dismounted, and another group of children took their places in the saddles. I realized what a treat this must have been for them.

This ride wasn’t some molded plastic horse on a quarter carousel; in their minds as this was the genuine experience. As each child tugged at the reigns and gripped the pony’s sides with their heels, I realized, it was the children’s imaginations fulfilling this experience for them. The excitement of children who had anxiously waited and finally enjoyed the ride was evident in their eyes. Also, their excitement and joy were infectious to all around them. Eventually, the signal light turned green, so I turned the corner and drove on towards Dallas.

So, why did this scene captivate me? More than two decades later, I’m convinced it was the attitude and imagination of these children that impressed me. My first experience with a pony was to watch a family member being thrown off, so I never tried to ride. I let fear hold me back from enjoying what those children had gladly embraced.

Nevertheless, at that moment, I felt those children had the right frame of mind. They never let fear or a simplified version of this ride bother them. As far as they were concerned, they were on the open plains riding free as the wind. Today, I can’t help but feel envious of them and wonder if I shouldn’t change my attitude toward things I consider to be challenging or even mundane in life.

“The Power of Jesus”

By Stephanie Dean

Recently I faced a difficult personal situation. Sometimes it’s just human to want to open a closed door once again and take one more look back to see if something has changed. Nothing had. I was looking for change. I was looking for evidence of God’s work. There was none. As if I hadn’t already seen it for myself with my own eyes, I prayed for God to prove it to me. He did and in no uncertain terms. He answered my prayer with the clarity of crystal. The truth was difficult to face. Allowing God to impose his will over mine wasn’t easy as I relinquished my desires. Giving up my hopes, and shutting the door permanently was painful. Clearly, what I wanted was not what God wanted for me. I prayed God would take the pain away.

Then I came up with a good plan and called upon a psychology theory. I would recondition my thoughts. Whenever I recollected painful thoughts, I would quickly refocus those thoughts and instead, envision the face of Jesus. After a couple of days focusing on Jesus, both the conflict and pain were completely lifted, and my prayer answered. Of course, I realized that it wasn’t the psychology or the reconditioning theory that had produced a feeling of peacefulness. The answer to my prayers was nothing less than the power of Jesus. I had, in fact, been calling upon His power, and He lifted that burden totally off of me. I share this with you in hopes that if you carry a burden today, each time you feel worry, fear or pain, try to focus on the face of the Lord and be a witness to the power He has over your situation.