The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 9:56 am Thursday, December 6, 2018

“The Passage of Time”

By Linda Barnette

I was so happy to be able to attend the Community Thanksgiving Service at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday, November 18.  Although there have been community Thanksgiving services through the years, this one was a real first.  The new Mocksville Ministerial Alliance now includes eight churches:  First Baptist, First Methodist, First Presbyterian, Holy Cross Lutheran, New Jerusalem Apostolic, Second Presbyterian. St Francis of Assisi Catholic, and St. John AME Zion.  The group is intentionally diverse, and other churches are welcome to join.

The music was uplifting because of the many voices singing together. Singers from several of the 8 local congregations participated and sang with gusto.  The old saying, “the more the merrier” comes to mind here. And the handbell choir of First Presbyterian lived up to its name “Bells of Praise.”

Seven of the pastors in the association participated in the program, from the welcome to the benediction.  I was moved by the Rev. Nettye Ijames-Barber walking slowly to the front of the church and telling us to go out and serve the Lord.

What struck me most was how much things have changed since I was a child growing up here in Mocksville.  In my day everything was separate; the churches did not mix; neither did the races.  Even as a child I wondered why and felt that it was not good. I am pleased now that all of God’s children can work together and worship together.  Many things are possible because of the passage of time and the goodwill of people.  I believe that Almighty God Himself smiled Sunday evening!!

My hope is that the alliance continues to grow and sets an example for other communities in the area.

“Strange Footwear”

By N. R. Tucker

“What is this?” A slow smile spread across Olivier Pelletier’s face. He glanced at Claude’s baffled expression before his eyes returned to his friend’s feet.

“But, of course, you know.” Claude De Lyon moved to step around his friend.

“Just because Louis de Grand sports heels on his shoes does not mean you should.” Olivier tried but failed to hide his mirth. King Louis XIV was a mere five feet four inches tall. He used both wigs and heels to make himself taller and could appear nearly seven feet tall depending on what combination he used. Making fun of the King was not good for long life, but poking fun of a friend was an entirely different matter.

Claude frowned but didn’t chide Olivier. It would be a waste of time. “I am not the only man to follow our king. Your brother, Nicolas, has added a heel.”

“Nicolas will do anything to gain an edge on horseback. He says the heel secures his foot in the stirrup.” Olivier shook his head. Unlike King Louis XIV, Nicolas did not need the added height, but his eldest brother would do anything to improve his seat on a horse and win a bet.

A few weeks later Olivier ran into Renee Pelletier, Claude’s sister, and a woman he admired greatly. Olivier held out his arm. “Allow me to walk you to your destination.”

“That would be pleasant,” Renee smiled, showing off the dimples Olivier loved.

Watching the street to make sure her path was unencumbered, Olivier noticed her new footwear and height. It occurred to him that the added height put her lips closer to his. Perhaps there was something to be said for the heel. “Have you joined this obsession with elevated footwear?”

Renee batted her eyelashes at Olivier. “Not for the height. For the protection from the filth in the street.”

And thus, sixteenth century France heralded the beginning of the high heel craze.

As time went on, men and women continued to heighten the heels on their shoes. Eventually, men lowered their heels to what is now considered normal. By the eighteenth century, women wore shoes elevated to three inches. This became known as the French heel.


By Julie Terry Cartner

Libby had always been the quiet one, the timid one, the one who maybe wanted to be more adventurous, but was always a little scared. She disliked correction more than she relished excitement. Her sister, Annie, on the other hand, was the brave one, the one who delighted in adventure more than she feared displeasing her parents. As such, Annie had more fun, but also more time outs. Despite their differences, the sisters were close, and Annie always protected her little sister.

They lived in an old farmhouse with one really intriguing aspect. A child could venture into the closet in her older brother’s room and crawl into her mother’s closet through a small door, where she might find all kinds of treasures, including the hidden Christmas presents. Annie had discovered that fact several years ago but had not told her sister, not until she was old enough to have questioned, and been given a truthful answer about Santa Claus. Annie liked to push boundaries, but she wasn’t mean, and she fiercely protected her younger sister’s innocence.

That was, until that year. Upon sneaking into her mother’s closet via the “secret” entrance while their mother was outside hanging out laundry, Annie discovered two beautiful dolls, clearly intended for Christmas presents for the two girls. They were similar, but one had blonde hair and blue eyes, matching Annie’s coloring, and the other had chestnut hair and blue eyes, matching Libby’s. The blonde was wearing a frilly pink dress, and the brunette was wearing an equally adorned blue dress. Thrilled with the beautiful dolls, Annie couldn’t wait to see her sister’s reaction.

Running to the playroom, Annie whispered, “Libby come with me. I’ve got to show you something!” Grasping her sister’s hand, Annie pulled Libby upstairs. “Hurry,” she encouraged, leading Libby into the closet. “I found our Christmas presents. Do you want to see them?”

Libby hesitated, worry creasing her brow. She desperately wanted to know, but equally didn’t want to get caught. “Okay,” she said hesitantly, following her sister into the recesses of the closet.

Annie then led Libby through the hidden door and showed her the beautiful dolls. “I’m sure they’re for us. I get the one in the pink dress. You can have the blue one.”

Entranced, Libby looked at the two dolls with their sparkling blue eyes and carefully designed features. “Oooh, they’re beautiful,” she said, longing to touch the dolls’ soft cheeks and play with their shining curls, “but I want the pink one. You know I love pink the best!”

“I know,” answered Annie reasonably, but the one in the pink dress matches my hair, and the one in the blue dress matches yours.”

“I guess.” Libby, as usual, deferred to her older sister but was not completely convinced.

That night, the girls’ parents took them to see Santa Claus at a local Christmas party. As always, Annie went first and told Santa in a loud, clear voice exactly what she wanted for Christmas, knowing her parents were listening and taking notes. Libby followed, more shyly, and spoke just above a whisper. She listed a few things, and then in a brave voice, she said, “I want a doll, but not that one with the blue dress!”

“Nearer to Thee”

By Stephanie Williams Dean

I don’t know what kind of year you’ve had, but this one has certainly been a stressful one for me. Life’s been tough for many of us, no doubt. My friend told me she’s not celebrating Christmas this year. No tree. No decorations. No Christmas dinner and no big family get-together.  She’s been dealing with a tragic circumstance in her family, and it’s not going to get better. The big “C” has infiltrated her family’s healthy, safe, and secure world and is having its way this holiday – like the devil who seeks to confuse, ruin, and destroy.

But, all should not be lost. We are abundantly blessed and must seek to discover the blessings of any tragedy. It may be difficult to conceptualize anything good from bad circumstances, but there’s a blessing there, if ever so tiny, although I’d be willing to bet, there are a few big ones if we’d just allow ourselves a few moments to consider the possibility.

There’s no better time to grow closer to the Lord.  There is no better time to renew the Holy Spirit within than the Christmas season. Turn your worries over and allow His will to supersede. The season’s a time for fervent bible study followed by evenings of beautiful music, and magnificent ceremonies and services that glorify our Lord. Holiday parties help us stay connected to supportive friends and just as important, the season’s a time to draw closer to your family.

My Christmas Day will be a little bit different this year. Not giving the devil a strong hold on my day, I’m cutting back on gifts, adding more quality time with family, cooking a wonderful meal, and planning some Table Talk after gift opening. Table Talk is a game where each family member draws a card from a stack, and the card has a personal question on it. The game promotes personal closeness as well as lots of belly laughs. Don’t consider giving up on Christmas this year. Draw nearer to Thee.