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Almost through the darkness of winter

It’s spring … oh, okay, maybe not yet. But it’s definitely time for spring, if you measure the length and severity of this winter. Just talk to anyone from Boston or Montreal, and you’ll see in their shell-shocked, still frozen eyeballs how badly we all need the season to get here. In fact, if you listen closely, you’ll probably hear the whispered chant: “6:45 P.M. March 20–if I can just make it to 6:45 P.M. March 20 …”???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

That’s the official time that spring begins in Eastern Daylight Time.

It’s been a hard and long winter and we all deserve the rebirth and rejuvenation we associate with this season. The English definition of “spring” is to pounce, to leap, to jump into activity. Water bubbling up from the ground is called: a spring.

So let’s pounce. Let’s bounce off the bleakness and cold of a severe winter and get into action.

For me and for mom that will mean looking forward to marketing and talking about our latest book: Violet Fate. It’s our favorite so far, but it came out during the worst winter of our life. We experienced the kind of loss that stops all action and all desire to plan the future—we lost my father, her husband.

As we were driving this week to pick up his last effects, we talked about what we are feeling now. We are still reeling, but we want to move forward again. And one of the feelings we recognize, when it comes to getting published is astonishment: who could have imagined just a few years ago that mom and I would have three books out and three more in action. Who would have thought that my sister Allyn would be a successful children’s book author with even more books in action than us or that she would inspire us to pursue this dream? Who could have imagined that mom and I would ever be called a “mother/daughter writing duo,” would appear on television, would give talks all over Northern Virginia? Who could have predicted Mom and I and Allyn would sweat together through the ups and downs of getting published.

We had to put our talks with Applebee’s about an official launch on hold to get through the loss of this winter. But we’re talking to them again, and we’re going to make it happen with one change: it will be a book party—a celebration of the surprises life has in store. Some of those surprises may include sub-zero weather and mounds of snow … and soul-wrenching grief. But others will start with what inevitably happens in spring: a seed germinates, spreads its tiny sprout through the nourishment of the soil where it’s placed, sticks its little head through to the sunshine, and if give enough food: grows into plants and finally flowers.

 

Genilee Swope Parente

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Spring cleaning

The long, dark cold of winter is mostly behind us, and many of us are beginning the process of cleaning out drawers and closets, un-clumping the dirt that’s packed so we can plant gardens and airing out everything that got so stale over the winter.

In Spring, we begin to see the world differently, starting with the very first moment we smell that the breezes have miraculously changed—instead of heavy and dank, the air is light and fragrant. In Spring, it feels like we are throwing off the cloak of age—that extra few years that winter added to our burden. Spring gives us the urge to step out of that

cloak and move—to take walks and get down on our knees to play in dirt. To live a different life: eat healthy and fresh and sleep with our windows open so we can let in the new breezes. It’s light already when we hop out of bed, and it stays lighter longer so that our work day doesn’t start and end in darkness. We feel like we have more hours and more energy even though nothing has really changed.

Spring gives us the urge for renewal. We may never get around to painting that spare room and turning into a guest haven, but when Spring comes, we think about it. We are sick and tired of the grays of winter, especially in those years (like this one), when the gray was never broken up by the white of snow. So we look around and see our home or our office with fresh eyes, anxious to create something new in celebration of the end of sameness.

SpringCleaning1

As writers, we can take that feeling of renewal to our writing. We can shake the cobwebs out of something we’ve done and take a dust rag to the

 words. We can un-clump our writer’s block and plant the seeds of a new project. We can open the windows of our brain and let the creativity waft into our souls.

Spring is rebirth—wet earthiness and warm happiness. Let’s plant an idea and see it grow.

–Genilee Swope Parente

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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