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My Island Girl

When to use a pseudonym:

1. When a famous romance writer has the same name as you.

2.  When you are about to publish a romance novel and someone famous already has your name and fame.

3.  When you’re trying to flog a literary fiction novel using your own name.

4.  When you’re trying to flog a literary fiction novel and a famous romance writer already has your name and fame.

5.  When you’re a middle-grade fiction writer who also writes romance.

6. When you are a teacher and all your students know you write middle grade fiction and you don’t want them to read the steamy parts.

7.  When your co-author thinks you’re working on the rewrites of middle grade fiction book number three and you’re slacking off doing rewrites on a romance novel that will cause you total humiliation if your students read it at Writers Club tomorrow.

Lucky we writers have huge egos and don’t care what anyone thinks, except the famous author with the famous name the same as yours, and the co-author who is also older brother and is bossy, and a gaggle of students who are gunna snigger when I walk around the playground for the next two hundred years.

Publish and be damned…

Melinda Hammond

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My new SCBWI magazine arrived today and my twelve year old immediately started taking pics with her photo apps (about a dozen of them)…my question is how can we, as writers of middle grade fiction, not pay attention to what excites our audience?

In my case, as I continue to put together my Instruction Manual For Young Writers, I’m being forced by my daughter to consider the visual appeal of writing for young readers. What can you and I learn as writers from an app addicted young generation??

imageWell, the first thing for me is to learn how to use all the apps😇😇🐥…but don’t worry, my twelve year old has promised us a guest post to teach us the basics.

Hmmm…and I thought I was the teacher in this family…

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Adding to yesterday’s post, I found this article by Scott Atkinson in my Writer’s Digest Writer’s Yearbook, 2015…

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It seems that this is the time of year writers take stock (if the blog posts hitting my inbox are anything to go by) – what worked in 2014, what didn’t, and how to change one’s writing habits to increase the chances of success in 2015.

Leo Babauta over at http://www.zenhabits.net suggests ‘5 Ideas to Create an Amazing 2015′ which is worth a look, and his twelve month Sea Change course is a challenge I just can’t refuse. For $10 a month I get to complete the following Sea Change modules:

1. Meditation

2. Healthy Eating

3. Decluttering

4. Exercise

5. Unprocrastination

6. Learning/studying

7. Debt reduction

8. Quitting a bad habit

9. A good start

10. Gratitude

11. Creating

12. Letting go

Somehow, methinks the Art of Failing Well and my monthly $10 expenditure may have some cosmic link…but at least I don’t have to hand over my beautiful new ‘Ring For Chocolate’ Christmas present till August😇

 

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Over at http://www.brainpickings.org there’s a great article by Maria Popova, ‘Fixed vs Growth: The two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives’, that not only gives writers permission to fail but refers to failing as a positive way forward to greater achievement. For anyone setting goals for 2015 it’s worth a look. I particularly liked the idea of failing forward at this time of year when we’re all busy telling ourselves that 2015 will be better, that we will write more, publish more, sell more…I love the idea of setting my goals right up there in the stratosphere and then failing spectacularly. It might even make a good story…Happy New to all our family, friends, and followers. Thank you all for a great 2014 and we look forward to writing, publishing and selling at least a dozen Cracker & Gilly Mysteries in 2015…and a special message for my co-author and partner in crime who is wagging it in Hong Kong, 2014 was the year of our infamy while 2015 will be the year riches reign down upon our heads…

🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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I retrieved my beautiful old typewriter from a friend today and, alas, it’s in dire need of rejuvenation. I bought it when my grandfather was alive and he repaired it for me so it broke my heart to see it in such a sad state. But I know, with a bit of love and care and time, it can be fixed.

It’s the end of another year and time to reflect, evaluate and make plans for the new year…Chris Guillebeau has a great series of posts titled, ‘2014 Annual Review: Looking Forward to 2015′ at http://www.chrisguillebeau.com and it made me think.

Our plans for 2014 were simple, publish our middle grade Cracker & Gilly Mysteries and build a platform for our http://www.growingupwriting.com followers.

We achieved this with two novels written, published and launched. We even have our third mystery ready for early 2015. And then there’s the non-fiction book in the writing stages. We have our first Youtube clip, How to Build A Billy Cart, which has a steady and growing following, with more coming in 2015. And we have a marketing strategy for 2015.

Did it happen as quickly as we wanted?? No!! But we are in a great place to greet the new year…how about you??? Is your writing progressing as quickly as you’d like or are your goals more ambitious than your dreams?

There’s nothing wrong with dreams, I say…

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Let 2015 bring rejuvenation to your writing…and we look forward to sharing many more pics of our beautiful old Remington as we write our way into another year of hopes and dreams and promises…

My bother and I wrote a middle grade novel, Dirt Busters, as part of a mystery series but it’s the youtube video I had made, How To Build A Billy-cart, that’s driving sales…why?

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