Tag Archives: just a season

HAPPY NEW YEAR: Thank You For Your Support

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The year of our lord 2016 has arrived which comes with our new year’s resolutions. Last year was a very bad year regarding justice, civil rights, and what I would describe as a war on black people. My wish for the new year is the same prayer black people have been praying for nearly four-hundred years; STOP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE AND TREAT US FAIR.

Lately, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy New Year and to express, humbly, my sincerest appreciation to all of my friends and everyone who follow’s THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES. This is also to include everyone who reads my words and to all who share my thoughts with others through social media platforms.

THANK YOU!!!

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Thought Provoking Perspectives is designed to be a potent source of empowering knowledge to broaden the information base with those who share my passion for the written word.

Let me offer a personal thought:

“I firmly believe education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair… You only have a minute. Sixty seconds in it. Didn’t choose it, can’t refuse it, it’s up to you to use it. It’s just a tiny little minute but an eternity in it! You can change the world but first you must change your mind.” @JohnTWills

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A MUST READ!!! copy


An Excerpt From The Novel “Just a Season”

1Just A Season is a stand-alone story rich in the history and will take you on an awe-inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora. A reviewer compared this novel to a contemporary “Roots” in the oral African tradition of a time when America was changing forever. Another reviewer said, this novel has the emotion of “The Color Purple”. I want to share this particular excerpt from “Just a Season” that I hope it will enlighten, empower, motivate, and touch your heart.

Today we live in a world where there is no Granddaddy to share that precious wisdom necessary to guide our young men and women into adulthood. I was fortunate, maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me.

These lessons learned became the foundation of my very being…

         “Granddaddy’s Lessons” from “Just a Season”

“Granddaddy would say if you really hear me, not just listen to me, you will inherit life’s goodness. I would hear him talk about things like “God bless the child that’s got his own.” He constantly reminded me that everything that ever existed came from a just single thought, and if you can think it, you can figure out how to do it just put your mind to it.

I would also constantly hear that a man must be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the circumstances. “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you will have to do, but when the time comes, do it.” Granddaddy drove home the point, the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he’s learned.

Granddaddy would also say you will always have an enemy. Your enemy is anyone who attempts to sabotage the assignment God has for your life. Your enemy is anybody who may resent you doing positive things and will be unhappy because of your success. These people will attempt to kill the faith that God has breathed within you.

They would rather discuss your past than your future because they don’t want you to have one. Your enemy should not be feared. He would say it is important to understand that this person usually will be close to you. He would tell me to use them as bridges, not barricades. Therefore, it is wise to make peace with your enemy.

“Just remember these things I say to you.” I certainly could not count all of these things, as it seemed like a million or more that I was supposed to remember. However, he asked me to remember above all else that there is no such thing as luck. The harder you work at something the luckier you get. I would tell him that I was lucky, maybe because I had won a ballgame or something. He would smile and tell me luck is only preparation meeting opportunity. Life is all about survival and if you are to survive – never bring a knife to a gunfight. This would be just as foolish as using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. Then he asked me to remember that it is not the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog.

Granddaddy’s words had so much power, although it would often require some thinking on my part to figure out what he was talking about, or what the moral of the story was supposed to be. It may have taken awhile, but I usually figured it out. For example, always take the road less traveled, make your own path, but be sure to leave a trail for others to follow. Life’s road is often hard; just make sure you travel it wisely. If you have a thousand miles to go, you must start the journey with the first step. During many of these lessons, he would remind me not to let your worries get the best of you.

Sometimes he would use humor. For example, he would say something like “Moses started out as a basket case.” Although most often he assured me that hard times will come and when they come, do not drown in your tears; always swim in your blessings. He would tell me he had seen so much and heard even more, in particular, those stories from his early life when dreadful atrocities were done to Negroes. Some of the stories included acts of violence such as lynchings, burnings, and beatings. He would make a point to explain that the people who did these things believed they were acting in the best interest of society.

He would tell me about things he witnessed over time, that many of these atrocities were erased from the memory of society regardless how horrible the event was. Society’s reasoning would make you think their action was right, fair, and justified. Granddaddy would add, if history could erase that which he had witnessed and known to be true, how can you trust anything history told as truth? He would emphasize that I should never, never believe it because nothing is as it seems.

I would marvel at his wisdom. He would tell me to always set my aim higher than the ground. Shoot for the stars because if you miss you will only land on the ground and that will be where everybody else will be. When he would tell me this, he would always add, please remember you are not finished because you are defeated. You are only finished if you give up. He would usually include a reminder. Always remember who you are and where you came from. Never think you are too big because you can be on top of the world today, and the world can be on top of you tomorrow.

I think Granddaddy had the foresight to see that I could do common things in life in an uncommon way, that I could command the attention of the world around me. Granddaddy impressed upon me that change is a strange thing. Everyone talks about it, but no one ever tries to affect it. It will take courage and perseverance to reach your place of success. Just remember that life -is not a rehearsal. It is real, and it is you who will create your destiny don’t wait for it to come to you. He would say, can’t is not a word. Never use it because it implies failure. It is also smart to stay away from those who do use it.

He would tell me that I was an important creation, that God gave a special gift to me for the purpose of changing the world around me. It may be hard sometimes, you may not understand, you may have self-doubt or hesitation, but never quit. God gave it to you so use it wisely. He would add often times something biblical during his teaching, or so I thought, like to whom much is given, much is expected. It is because we needed you that God sent you. That statement profoundly gave me a sense of responsibility that I was duty-bound to carry throughout my life.

Granddaddy’s inspiration, courage, and motivation still humble me, and I’m filled with gratitude that his example profoundly enriched my soul. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear Granddaddy’s gentle voice reciting words once spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “Fear not for I am with you.”

And that is a Thought Provoking Perspective from a loving Grandfather…

Praise for Just a Season

This Must Read Novel can be purchased @ AMAZON


Granddaddy’s Lessons

just a season book cover.One of the books I’ve published speaks to a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle. “Legacy – A New Season” is a stand-alone story rich in the history of the African American Diaspora. It is the sequel and the continuation of the novel “Just a Season”.

This long awaited saga to the epic novel “Just a Season” will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever. I wanted to share this particular excerpt from “Just a Season” that I hope it will enlighten, empower, motivate, and touch your heart.

Today we live in a world where there is no Granddaddy to share that precious wisdom necessary to guide our young men and women into adulthood. I was fortunate or maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me.

These lessons formed the foundation of my very being…

Excerpt from “Just a Season”

“Granddaddy would say if you really hear me, not just listen to me, you will inherit life’s goodness. I would hear him talk about things like “God bless the child that’s got his own.” He constantly reminded me that everything that ever existed came from a just-single thought, and if you can think it, you can figure out how to do it just put your mind to it.

I would also constantly hear that a man must be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the circumstances. “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you will have to do, but when the time comes, do it.” Granddaddy drove home the point, the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he’s learned.

Granddaddy would also say you will always have an enemy. Your enemy is anyone who attempts to sabotage the assignment God has for your life. Your enemy is anybody who may resent you doing positive things and will be unhappy because of your success. These people will attempt to kill the faith that God has breathed within you.

They would rather discuss your past than your future because they don’t want you to have one. Your enemy should not be feared. He would say it is important to understand that this person usually will be close to you. He would tell me to use them as bridges, not barricades. Therefore, it is wise to make peace with your enemy.

“Just remember these things I say to you.” I certainly could not count all of these things, as it seemed like a million or more that I was supposed to remember. However, he asked me to remember above all else that there is no such thing as luck. The harder you work at something the luckier you get. I would tell him that I was lucky, maybe because I had won a ballgame or something. He would smile and tell me luck is only preparation meeting opportunity. Life is all about survival and if you are to survive – never bring a knife to a gunfight. This would be just as foolish as using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. Then he asked me to remember that it is not the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog.

Granddaddy’s words had so much power, although it would often require some thinking on my part to figure out what he was talking about, or what the moral of the story was supposed to be. It may have taken awhile but I usually figured it out. For example, always take the road less traveled, make your own path, but be sure to leave a trail for others to follow. Life’s road is often hard; just make sure you travel it wisely. If you have a thousand miles to go, you must start the journey with the first step. During many of these lessons, he would remind me not to let your worries get the best of you.

Sometimes he would use humor. For example, he would say something like “Moses started out as a basket case.” Although most often he assured me that hard times will come and when they come, do not drown in your tears; always swim in your blessings. He would tell me he had seen so much and heard even more, in particular those stories from his early life when dreadful atrocities were done to Negroes. Some of the stories included acts of violence such as lynchings, burnings, and beatings. He would make a point to explain that the people who did these things believed they were acting in the best interest of society.

He would tell me about things he witnessed over time, that many of these atrocities were erased from the memory of society regardless how horrible the event was. Society’s reasoning would make you think their action was right, fair, and justified. Granddaddy would add, if history could erase that which he had witnessed and known to be true, how can you trust anything history told as truth? He would emphasize that I should never, never believe it, because nothing is as it seems.

I would marvel at his wisdom. He would tell me to always set my aim higher than the ground. Shoot for the stars because if you miss you will only land on the ground and that will be where everybody else will be. When he would tell me this, he would always add, please remember you are not finished because you are defeated. You are only finished if you give up. He would usually include a reminder. Always remember who you are and where you came from. Never think you are too big because you can be on top of the world today and the world can be on top of you tomorrow.

I think Granddaddy had the foresight to see that I could do common things in life in an uncommon way, that I could command the attention of the world around me. Granddaddy impressed upon me that change is a strange thing. Everyone talks about it but no one ever tries to affect it. It will take courage and perseverance to reach your place of success. Just remember that life -is not a rehearsal. It is real and it is you who will create your destiny don’t wait for it to come to you. He would say, can’t is not a word. Never use it because it implies failure. It is also smart to stay away from those who do use it.

He would tell me that I was an important creation, that God gave a special gift to me for the purpose of changing the world around me. It may be hard sometimes, you may not understand, you may have self-doubt or hesitation, but never quit. God gave it to you so use it wisely. He would add often times something biblical during his teaching, or so I thought, like to whom much is given, much is expected. It is because we needed you that God sent you. That statement profoundly gave me a sense of responsibility that I was duty-bound to carry throughout my life.

Granddaddy’s inspiration, courage, and motivation still humble me, and I’m filled with gratitude that his example profoundly enriched my soul. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear Granddaddy’s gentle voice reciting words once spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “Fear not for I am with you.”

And that is a Thought Provoking Perspective from a loving Grandfather…

Praise for Just a Season

This Must Read Novel can be purchased through AMAZON

All Rights Reservedbook 1

www.johntwills.com


The Snake

sMy Granddaddy would tell me fascinating stories designed to develop and guide me into manhood. In fact, he would specifically use the phrase: “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you may have to do but when the time comes, you do it.” I heard this that even today it brings a warm smile – “when I have to do it”. He said it so often throughout my youth that to me it was more like a commandment.

I loved Granddaddy more than life itself. I knew, even then, his teachings were an inspired declaration of his celestial will or more simply put – his vision that shaped my destiny defining my purpose. Pop’s would teach me lessons, often times, like an Aesop Fables to make me think and it was my job to figure out the moral of the story.

This is my favorite:

The way the story was told to me, Granddaddy’s friend, Mr. Bob whose job was to offer a prayer every Sunday morning at church during the service prior to the preacher’s sermon, a job he had held for years. Sunday was a special day for the community, and for him to have a position where he would have the attention of everyone was a big deal. More accurately stated it was a platform for him to perform. He would have been a great entertainer.

Mr. Bob would walk to church every Sunday morning, rain or shine, from his home. The trip was several miles up and down hills and around curves, and he would be dressed in his best suit for the morning service. During the walk he would practice his part for the service, the prayer, with the intention of making it a show complete with screams and tears. This show would sometimes last thirty minutes. There were many Sundays one would wonder how one man could have so much to ask of the Lord and maybe say, please, let somebody else get a blessing.

On his way to church this particular Sunday, Mr. Bob came across an injured snake. In what he perceived as divine intervention, God said to him, help this poor creature. He realized he did not have a prayer for that day’s service, so he thought, wow, if I help the snake I can pray for us to have the strength to help all of God’s creatures. Since the snake is the lowliest of all creatures, this would really inspire the congregation and hopefully give them the encouragement to do the same at least until next Sunday’s message. So he picked up the badly injured snake and placed him in a safe place until he could return from church.

With great energy, and now inspired, Mr. Bob went on his way. He planned and practiced his prayer as he marched on to church. After he arrived and exchanged a few greetings, the service began with a joyful noise, as they say, meaning full of song. Then it was his turn to pray. He began to pray with a powerful tone, full of emotion. He asked God to give each person within the sound of his voice the strength to reach out and help all God’s creatures, from the loving dove to the lowly snake. His message had many in the tiny church standing with shouts of Amen. He felt he had done his job as he closed, asking God to bless the church and said Amen. In his usual style this took about a half hour.

To his surprise, the pastor also chose a sermon nearly identical to his message which took about another hour and a half, talking about helping all of God’s creatures. What a great day it was, Mr. Bob thought. Normally after the service ended everyone hung around and fellowshipped as it was one of the few chances they had to socialize. Mr. Bob would not hang around on this day – he had a mission and left church in a hurry. He rushed back to the spot where his injured snake was placed hoping it would still be there. He was very excited when he arrived to find it was where he left it. He put his snake in a burlap bag he had gotten from the church and took the snake home.

Over the next several weeks Mr. Bob cared for this creature, desperately trying to save the snake and nursing it back to health. About three weeks later he thought it was time to take his snake back to where he found it, thinking it was well enough to be set free. The following Sunday, he put on his best suit and started his journey to church with snake in hand. As he arrived at the spot where he had found it, he thought, what a wonderful thing he had done. He was sure to receive God’s blessing for this act of kindness.

He rubbed the snake gently and said goodbye. However, when he reached into the bag to grab it, suddenly the snake raised his head and bit him. Then bit him again and again. Mr. Bob cried out, “Why would you bite me after all I’ve done for you? My God why?” I guess he was expecting an answer from God, but none came. He repeated his cry once more. Then the snake stuck his head out of the bag and said, “I am a snake and that’s what we do.”After hearing this story over and over again, I finally figured out what it meant. It was a lesson that would prove to be invaluable.

Be careful in your dealings with people because people, just like the snake, will hurt you – that’s what they do. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Just a Season Excerptjust a season large book cover © 2009 All Rights Reserved

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Legacy – A New Season is Coming!!!

It’s been several years since “Just a Season” and it’s time to move on. Generations have and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope.

It’s been said that there are no words that have not been spoken and no stories that have never been told but there are some that you cannot forget! “Legacy – A New Season” is the perfect compliment to that statement. It is the sequel and the continuation of “Just a Season” and a stand-alone story rich in history on a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle.

This long awaited suga to the epic novel “Just a Season” will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever.

COMING SOON!!!

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I would like to thank the great Woody Woods for the background music.

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PRELUDE

If you were to reexamine the time in which you’ve lived, you will come to know that the reason we live is to die. The question then becomes what happens between the years of one’s birth and death. This is without question a quandary that each of us will face. In the novel I referred to this specific period of earthly existence as the dash that will be placed on our final marker between the beginning and end dates of life’s journey. This period of time can only be characterized as a journey because this tiny little dash represents the whole of your life.

It’s been said, there are no words that have not been spoken and there are no stories that have never been told, but there are some you will not forget! Legacy – A New Season is that story. It chronicles what has been called a contemporary “Roots” with a reviewer saying “this is the stuff movies are made of… I have not read anything that so succinctly chronicles an African American story.” Another reviewer said, “Not since The Color Purple have I read a book that evoked such emotions… transports the reader directly into the life and struggles of the main characters…”

I am honored to have been chosen to channel such an epic saga. With that said, I am reminded of a powerful statement once made during a sermon by my childhood pastor – Reverend Cole. He said, “Unless and until you suffer enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny”. I’ve pondered that profound statement my entire life and it continues to deeply impact my life.

It could very well be because I lost my only son that I have come to embrace this message so profoundly. There have been a number of reflections from those early days at Friendly Church that continue to touch my spirit. Specifically: “Why Jesus wept?” As the story goes, Jesus was so moved as he witnessed the pain of Mary and Martha weeping for the loss of his dear friend, Lazarus, that he also wept. Today, I understand that emotion because I have felt such pain. This might explain why I was chosen as the vehicle to share such a powerful story that will surely live far beyond the season I’ve been given.

Just a Season is a historical narrative that began with a grief-stricken father visiting the gravesite of his beloved son who was killed in a tragic automobile accident. A dreadful moment no loving parent should ever have to face. The story begins with the main character, John Wells, asking himself a philosophical question as he views his late son’s final marker. “If the tiny dash placed on my marker were to tell my life’s story, what would it say?”

What emerged from the pages is a legacy of true benevolence and grace that I believe is destined to be become a literary classic. This luminous story is a riveting portrait into the life of an African American man who, in the midst of pain and loss, journeys back in time to reexamine all the important people, events, circumstances, and intellectual fervor that contributed to the richness of his life. Moreover, the main character relives all of the significant events affecting the African American Diaspora, over a fifty-year period, providing a perspective of reality to the unfolding history.

As the story ends, as if in the blink of an eye, John reflects upon life’s journey realizeing that it is very interesting how we come into the world crying while all around us are smiling. Then we leave the world smiling while everybody around us weeps. This thought causes him to recall another powerful sermon Reverend Cole gave explaining this phenomenon in the simplest of terms. The Good Reverend said, “This period of existence we call life in the final analysis is “Just a Season.

Then with a deep sigh realizing that the story must end, as stories do, he leaves the cemetery slowly walking past his loved ones resting for eternity; pausing briefly to look back in the direction of his son’s resting place and say, “I will always love you.

As he nears the crest of the hill walking into the abyss of time, pausing at his grandfather’s resting place, seemingly unable to take the next step. With tears flowing down his face, he gently touches the headstone of his grandfather and quietly asks him “to look after my son”. At that moment, he fondly recalls the last thing his grandfather said; “life is not just a race you run. It is a relay. It is now your responsibility to pass the baton.” Somehow, John finds the strength to look toward the heavens saying softly that “I have to be Granddaddy now. I just hope my grandson will love me as much as I loved you. More importantly, I must make sure that he tells his grandchildren about me.

It’s been several years since receiving the epiphany leading me to tell the story of this man’s epic journey that many have wondered if it was a true story, miracle, a blessing, or simply a fairy tale. I will only say “Just a Season” is a must-read story that reflects the audacity of hope, pain, and struggle of a people that will most assuredly touch every emotion as you travel through time, as you relive a life through the eyes of an African American man living in America.

In the end, John sorrowfully leaves the cemetery at Friendly Church that day feeling as if God has forsaken him. But his conviction is strong in faith and he knows that faith is the instrument to believe true what is not seen. With all the strength within, he refuses to drown in his tears; rather he is committed to swim in his blessings because God has not forsaken him and the wonders of life spoke loudly. Blessed are those who believe and have not seen which is tomorrow and tomorrow holds his Legacy and A New Season…

John T. Wills

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COMING SOON!!!

It has been several years since “Just a Season”, and it’s time to move on. Generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope. Since receiving the epiphany that lead me to tell the story of this man’s epic journey that many have wondered if it was a true story, miracle, a blessing, or simply a fairy tale. It’s time for “Legacy – A New Season”.

This long awaited squeal to the epic novel Just a Season takes you on an awe-inspiriting journey through African-American history, as told by a grandfather to his grandson at a time when America changed forever. At the end of the story, “Just a Season”, the character leaves the cemetery at Friendly Church with tears in his eyes walking into the abyss of time feeling as if God had forsaken him. But he is strong in faith and knows that faith is the instrument to believe true what is not seen.

John refuses to drown in his tears rather being committed to swim in his blessings. He has come to understand that the wonders of life speak loudly. Blessed are those who believe and have not seen, which is tomorrow and tomorrow holds the promise of all things. “Legacy – A New Season” is the continuation and a stand-alone story rich with history and the evolution of a new season.

And now the Season Continues…

PRELUDE

If you were to reexamine the time in which you’ve lived, you will come to know that the reason we live is to die. The question then becomes what happens between the years of one’s birth and death? This is without question a quandary that everyone must face. In my epic debut novel “Just a Season”, I referred to this specific period of earthly existence as the “Dash” that will be placed on our final marker holding the story of life’s journey. This period of time can only be characterized as a journey because the tiny little dash that separates those years represents the whole of a person’s life.

I can recall a powerful statement once made during a sermon by my childhood pastor Reverend Cole. He said, “Unless and until you suffer enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny”. I’ve pondered that remark many times along with other reflections of those valuable lessons learned during those early Sunday school days at Friendly Church.

As powerful as that statement is the most profound lesson I’ve learned by far was “why Jesus wept?” As the story goes, Jesus was so moved as he witnessed the pain of Mary and Martha weeping for the loss of his friend, Lazarus, that he wept. Today, I understand that emotion because I have felt such pain. This might explain why I was chosen to be the vehicle to share such an emotionally powerful story that will live far beyond the season I’ve been given.

The novel “Just a Season” is a historical narrative that began with a grief-stricken father visiting the gravesite of his beloved son who was killed in a tragic automobile accident. A moment no loving parent should ever have to face. As the story begins, the main character John asks a philosophical question as he views his late son’s final marker. “If the tiny dash placed on my marker were to tell my life’s story, what would it say?”

What emerged from the pages was a legacy of true benevolence and grace that I believe is destined to be become a true literary classic. This luminous story is a riveting portrait into the life of an African American man who, in the midst of pain and loss, journeys back in time to reexamine all the important people, events, circumstances, and intellectual fervor that contributed to the richness of his life.

“LEGACY-A New Season”

It has been several years since Just a Season, and it’s time to move on. Generations have come and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope. It’s been said that there are no words that have not been spoken and there are no stories that have not been told but there are some you cannot forget.

“Legacy” – A New Season is the continuation and a stand-alone story rich with history and the evolution of a new season. This long awaited squeal to the epic novel Just a Season takes you on an awe-inspiriting journey through African-American history, as told by a grandfather to his grandson at a time when America changed forever.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JOHN T. WILLS author of the epic novel “Just a Season”, the John T. Wills Chronicles information portal, and Producer/Host of the Book Tree Radio Show. John has earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, been a professor, a businessman, past officer of several college, business, and community boards, volunteer and a friend to many. Regardless of the worldly titles given, John prefers to be called a man.

Any accolades the author may have received are attributed to the teachings and solid foundation of a loving grandfather. This great man of great wisdom assertively implanted the concept that knowledge is power, which developed into the understanding that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. This philosophy planted the seeds that cultivated a life, which is “Just a Season” that has now given rise to “Legacy – A New Season”.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: 5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… John T. Wills, author of Just a Season

Just a Season is a luminous story into the life of a man who, in the midst of pain and loss, journeys back in time to re-examine all the important people, circumstances and intellectual fervor that contributed to the richness of his life.

This fictional narrative begins with a grief-stricken father visiting the grave site of his beloved son who was killed in a tragic accident – a moment that he and no other loving parent should ever have to face. As he sadly gazes at his son’s headstone and reads what is inscribed there, the dates 1981 – 2001 bring about an illuminating discovery.

The tiny dash that separates the years of one’s birth and death represents the whole of a person’s life. If this tiny dash were to tell his life’s story, what would it say? In Just a Season, the dash of this man’s life is revealed. What emerges from the pages of this book is a legacy of true benevolence and grace.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Just a Season?

John T. Wills: The novel Just a Season was born out of a dreadful horror. From it, I was seeking to achieve a far-reaching noble purpose associated with the book’s success. About five years ago, I lost my only son due to a tragic automobile accident.

It was, without question, the worst thing imaginable for my wife and I, and certainly my darkest hour. Adding to the terrible sadness of this situation, my son’s death occurred on his son’s first birthday. Elijah, my grandson, is now six years old.

From this nightmare, I have come to understand that adversity can either destroy you or develop you. Having said that, my salvation was to take this lemon and make lemonade.

The primary purpose of the book was to use it as a vehicle to passionately empower, inspire, educate, enlighten and ultimately cause the reader to re-examine the content of their “Dash”. In our season of life, “We only have a minute, didn’t choose it, can’t refuse it, it is up to you to use it – it is just a tiny little minute, but an eternity in it”. We change the world, but we must first change ourselves.

Life is precious, regardless of the circumstances we might face. All of us endure mountains, milestones and valleys as well as the multitude of events and changes that occurred over time affecting what we know as life. Through this story, I hope the reader can understand they can overcome life’s challenges.

This is a story of tenderness, discipline, honor and love delicately shared with readers in a way that says this life, though brief, is significant. So hold it in highest regard for the “Dash” is our legacy to love ones, indeed to the world, which we are blessed to share, albeit, for Just a Season.

JP: What sets Just a Season apart from other books in the same genre?

JT: It’s been said that there are no words that have not been spoken, and there are no stories that have not been told. But there are some that you will not forget. Just a Season is one of those stories.

I can recall a powerful statement once made during a sermon by my childhood pastor Reverend Cole. He said, “Unless and until you suffer enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny finding your purpose.”

This powerful statement came to me as an epiphany during my time of adversity. You see, the title was predestined as the inspiration that speaks to a religious knowledge or understanding of life’s meaning – a life is Just a Season.

Having said, I believe this story was written by someone greater than myself. I was merely the vehicle to bring this great story to the hearts and minds of other souls. Just a Season is not a story you will simply read. Rather, it is a story that you will live. It is not HIS-story; it is our story that captures the journey of living with all the issues of a life witnessed through the eyes of an African-American man spanning decades.

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Just a Season getting out to the public?

JT: I think I am a colorful writer and try to paint a visual picture with my words. I’m sure living through Jim Crow, segregation, integration and whatever you call the current system we live in today has colored my writing. Particularly, while writing Just a Season with respect to it being a historical narrative covering those things of significance to African-American people experienced over the past fifty years.

One of my reviewers said, “Not since The Color Purple” has she read anything so emotionally powerful. Another compared it to Roots, saying it is the stuff movies are made of. So in that sense, I feel more comfortable with a historical narrative or historical fiction that I call “fact-tion” because it allows me to add my personal interpretation.

Success is subjective at best, meaning it is determined from within. Otherwise, it is not then it is just a fleeting fantasy. As far as keys: mission, dedication, purpose and a desire to increase the equity within my “Dash”.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Just a Season?

JT: I have probably considered myself a writer or maybe a storyteller all of my life as I have been writing for many years. However, I did not have an interest in publishing anything mainly because I did not have the time due to work, family, and all of the things that involved living, which consumes our lives.

So when the inspiration appeared, or circumstance, the story simply flowed from my being as if it was destiny. From the first word to the shelf, it took about nine months with me doing everything. To include writing, editing, cover design, webpage and making all the necessary agreements required to bring this phenomenal novel to the public.

I wrote this book because I believed it was a story that had to be told.

JP: What’s next for John T. Wills?

JT: I have a new project, which is the sequel to Just a Season titled Legacy. It’s ready to be released in the very near future. I have planted clues within Just a Season, setting up the continuation of it. On that note, I will only say that it will be thought-provoking, compelling, powerful and also a must read.

I’m also working on a story called Brownsville that resurrects the ghosts and richness of those segregated communities that existed as a result of Jim Crow that are now reduced to footnotes in the annals of time. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power and education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. This philosophy planted the seeds that cultivated a life, which is Just a Season.

I would like to suggest and invite anyone reading this interview to visit my blog – “Thought Provoking Perspectives” as it will offer information and commentary that will educate and inspire…

http://www.justaseason.com/
http://www.myspace.com/justaseason
http://www.twitter.com/johntwills
FaceBook – John T. Wills
http://justaseason.blogspot.com/
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