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Heavenly Speculation



When someone close to you dies, it triggers thoughts of whether you believe in heaven and what it would be like. I have not believed in pearly gates and streets paved in gold since I was a young child, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think there’s a heaven. I just don’t need precious gems and fancy streets around for all of eternity.

I have this other idea in mind; I want my heavenly reward to be the ability to time travel. I’ll admit I’m a sci-fi fan, but I’m not really thinking in terms of H.G. Wells—I don’t think we can actually physically be there or change what’s already happened. My idea of a good time after death would be the ability to go back and forth through periods in my life to experience again the joys and sorrows. We forget so much of what happens to us, and I suppose if we could travel this way, we’d discover how much we embellish the good times and brick up the bad to protect ourselves.  But if you’ve already lived your life and you can’t do anything about it, wouldn’t it be fun to just be an observer and remember the details? My idea wouldn’t stop with our own lives—that wouldn’t take all of eternity. We might also have the ability to go back into previous lives, or if reincarnation does not exist, to previous eras of time to study how they dressed and acted or what really happened during certain historical events.

No one ever accused me of being a conventional thinker, and that’s just fine with me.

I do think my idea of heaven is based partly on the fact I consider myself an observer. I have spent all of my life watching things happen, then recording them. It’s worked well in my pursuit of a career because it’s what journalists, authors and photographers do, three of the jobs I’ve spent the most time loving. I’ve always known I was not the individual that was going to organize the best event or campaign ever, make a million bucks, make a huge impact on society or give myself completely to a particular cause. I’m just here to see what happens and put it down on paper.

Come to think of it, I may have received this trait from my dad, the newspaper editor. So if my theory holds true about heaven, that means daddy is zipping around history right now, having a wonderful time.

Genilee Swope Parente

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Stepping it Up



One reality prospective authors need to face is that getting published is not winning a sweepstakes. No one is going to show up at your door with a giant check, flash you a brilliant smile, shake your hand and shout: Congratulations, you’re a winner!

Getting published is a series of steps. If you can keep your momentum, the steps go upward—working towards bigger and better goals and often getting easier as you climb. Some of those steps are major ones: my sister, children’s book author Allyn Stotz (, took a giant hop up this week: she saw her second book, Kailee Finds Magic IN Words, in final form—ready for press. I know that seeing the heroin of her first book, The Pea in Peanut Butter, come to life again on the pages and knowing people will soon hold her creation in their admiring hands has to be a wonderful feeling: in this case, it’s enough of a leap up to carry her past some challenges to come.

I took a big step this week, too, though it wasn’t that golden glow event of seeing my name on a printed page. My step was that I submitted our first draft of Fate of the Violet Eyes, book three of the Sam Osborne series, to our publisher. That means for just a moment, I can sit back, take a deep breath, and realize I’ve done all I could to make this book better than the last two. Having been through this twice already, it also means that I can finally let the experts at Spectacle Publishing Media Group, tell me how to make it even greater.

While it’s vital to our sanity as authors for us to acknowledge and feel our accomplishments—pat ourselves on the back for the steps we overcome, Allyn, as well as Mom and I, will not rest long in this heaven. That’s because as authors of more than one book, we know there are many steps ahead, even after the book is in print. The hardest part about becoming an author is the reality that getting to the point where your book populates the crowded lists on Amazon and Barnes & Noble is much easier than what comes next: getting someone to notice it. And having tracked the blogs of several major writers, I know that, unless you’re James Patterson, you have to direct and participate in how well your book goes over. You have to force yourself to become what you may not be: a marketer. And I bet even Mr. Patterson sometimes dreads putting on a suit or combing his hair to give a speech, an interview or to make a video to post on his official website. We are writers―our art is creation of stories and the alignment of words in such a way that we lead readers down a path we want them to travel. The reality is that, even if you’re shy, you have to believe in your own work enough to want others to feel what you felt when you were creating it.

My intention in saying this is not to throw water in prospective author’s face. While Allyn, Mom and I have been learning how tough it is, we’ve also seen the rewards. Every time you lift a foot and climb up another step, you gain a little strength; you make the next stage of the climb a little easier because you have one thing going for you that you didn’t have before. Whenever you need it, you can turn and gaze back down the staircase and see yourself on that first little stair. You can remember that you are climbing towards your dream—which is a brave step not many people do in their lives. You can feel what it’s like to have recognized what you want enough to have built the staircase in the first place.

Genilee Swope Parente


Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


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