The Last Prayer

Before I get into the crux of my article today, I have a confession I would like to make. I know that I am a grandfather and well into the stage of being a senior citizen. Nevertheless, in spite of these undeniable truths, when it comes to Christmas with all of its stories, myths, songs, and magical allure, I am still a child at heart. The coming of my two grandchildren have heightened and heated the spirit of Christmas in me more than anything that has transpired in my life in a long time. I almost can’t wait to watch my little granddaughter (who is almost two years old) come to my house and watch the lights and ornaments on my tree. Though I am opposed to the over merchandising of Christmas (especially how many of the merchants and stores have contributed to the campaign to let the Christmas season swallow up the season of Thanksgiving), I am a diehard Christmas-season enthusiast who loves all of the traditional tales, trappings, and things that are uniquely Christmas. However, as excited and anticipatory as I am about the swiftly approaching season of Christmas, I am a firm believer in the season of Thanksgiving and what it means to this nation.
Apart from being one of the few uniquely American holidays in origin, the story of the first Thanksgiving is a classic saga of how God sustained these Englishmen during extreme and very difficult times during their first winter in the New World. It is a time that illustrates how the joint cooperation of the new arrivals and the Native Americans were mutually beneficial and (arguably) spared the Englishman from total destruction and saved many of the indigenous people in the process. So, while I am looking forward to the Christmas season with great expectation, I will remain reverential to God for the celebration of Thanksgiving and how He sustained the Pilgrims during the time leading up to the first Thanksgiving.
Right here, I would like to share with you some good news and things that are presently transpiring in regard to my literary career. Unbeknown to most of you who read my articles in The Dillon Herald, before I ever wrote my first article, nonfiction religious book, or autobiographical book (Growing Old in Newtown), I began my writing career composing fictional skits and plays when I was a junior in high school. Then as a freshman in college, I wrote a play called The Children of Ebony that made an impact in our locale and beyond through a theatrical troupe comprised of students from Dillon High School back in 1972. So, my first passion concerning writing was fiction. As stated, I am presently in negotiation with a publishing company about the terms of agreement regarding a 299-page novel that I wrote about five years ago. We are excited about the potential of this being my first novel to be published. Also, The Dillon Herald has agreed to do something that newspapers and magazines used to commonly do years ago. They would publish the works of writers (both fiction and nonfiction) in a series format. I will commence this novel in The Dillon Herald in my column the first Thursday in December. Though it could take longer than I anticipated, due to the fact that every literary work (whether fiction or nonfiction) takes upon a life of its own. To a great degree, this work can control the author’s ideas, storyline, and what is written from chapter to chapter even when there is an outline of topics for each chapter. If it is left up to me, I would like to be finished with the story before April 2023. So, remember beginning in December we will be presenting a weekly series entitled The Last Prayer.
Once again, I want to thank Miss Betsy Finklea and The Dillon Herald for even considering and allowing me to take on this somewhat unprecedented challenge and to reverse the clock to do something that is exceptional.
To the best of my knowledge presenting a literary series in a weekly newspaper is not commonly practiced today. One thing is for certain, whether it flops or becomes a runaway bestseller, those of you who read my weekly column will be able to say, “I read it in The Dillon Herald first!”

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