500 Followers, A Milestone Post

Since it’s conception in 2013, this blog has had many purposes, many milestones, many birthdays. It is the one safe place; the one continuous space, where I can write freely and know my words will not only be seen but appreciated.

I just wanted to say thanks, to old and new followers – you make it worth posting. I know I am a bit of a sporadic blogger, but my work/life balance leaves something to be desired. I really appreciate the loyalty.

Thank you all so much for the love and support, and I hope we will be seeing more of each other soon.

Love, Mel ❤

Work Out The Demons (InstaPoetry)

Excuse the typo on the second to last line! :/ – Mel x

Saying Farewell to my Pseudonym

The blog-fans among you will know that I have removed my pseudonym, Melody Carter, from the Internet. She’s gone now. *RIP fictional version of myself*

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I’ve waved goodbye to her website, her Facebook page, and her Twitter. I’ve exported all her churlish attempts at Children’s Fiction or bizarre tries at Adult Writing. She isn’t working well for my writing career, so, like the proverbial rose – she had to be dead-headed.

(Although the design for that website was pretty awesome, so I may have to move the typography over to another site… we will see!)

I found Melody Carter no longer had a place or standing in my writing portfolio; she had become just an extra tab on my social media to ignore and avoid during the low moments.

Any writer can tell you that this is not a fun career choice by any means – particularly as there is no money in it. So it becomes hard to justify your meager efforts when you are spread so thin across your many pen names.

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Instead, (if rather late in the day) I have decided to solely write under my own name; no pseudonyms or pretenses. Just little me and my little words on my little books.

I hope you can all get behind me on this, and as you have all been such lovely readers; I am sure you will be.

I’ll be back soon with some news about my upcoming novel, Finding Jennifer, but for now; I’m off to drink tea and ponder over Chapter 12.

Graduation | 1 Year Later

12015242_10153531992797488_4467283861848174181_oA year ago to the date, the Creative and Professional Writing BA (Hons) Class of 2015, graduated.

We were nervous and stressed and our robes were trying to strangle us. We had rogue family members randomly popping up to take pictures, and we spent our time either losing our friends in the crowd or readjusting our gowns.

We had spent three years stuck in cupboard seminar rooms, only 11 people in our year at any one time, freezing cold and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Lectures were nearly always followed by alcohol, in the true spirit of sticking to the writing cliches, a tipsy wobble home to do our assignments. Quick nap or dinner and you were ready for  a night out.

It is safe to say that university was one of the most turbulent, stressful, broke, enlightening and friendship-filled eras of my life. I do not regret a single second – including the time I got so drunk that I had to go to class wearing sunglasses in the middle of December… yep… pathetic is the word you are looking for, my friend!

It is the time after university, after you’ve graduated that nobody prepares you for, not really. You are of course advised to get a job in your studied profession, but that doesn’t work for most students. We end up behind bars or retail or office jobs, slugging the 9-5 with everybody else.

You tend to lose your confidence, your passion, you lose motivation for your talents. As a writer and graduate of Creative and Professional Writing, it was never going to be easy to get a job, let-a-lone a career in creative writing. So instead, I did some writing projects and got a full time retail job, thinking it wouldn’t be a distraction. Oh boy, how wrong was I!

I have barely written anything for my current novel – compared to what I planned to write anyway –  and my poetry has all but resorted to a quick Instagram post every week. I am struggling to write, read and do anything creative.

But that is my fault. I spent three years training for this year, training myself for my future career goals, and I am wasting that. It has taken me a year to realise that I am not the writer I was whilst at university, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t be.

It’s time to get back into not only my writing, but also my studies. I’m going to go back to my studies and get my Masters degree (hopefully) in Creative Writing and go from Melissa Holden, BA to Melissa Holden, BA MA. Time to pull my socks up and get back out there!

Indie Pride Day 2016 | #IndieBooksBeSeen

indiebooksbeseen logoOn July 1st 2016, Indie Authors from around the world will be covering social media with pictures of us holding up our books with the hashtags #IndiePrideDay and #IndieBooksBeSeen.

Last year thousands participated, and our Indie Pride Day trended for three days on Twitter; generating over 25,000 tweets. This year, we believe we can do even better!

We are about to make history as the biggest online showcase of Indie Authors and titles ever, and we all hope that you’ll support us on our #IndiePrideDay.

Just like last year, some authors will also be offering book discounts and giveaways – so keep an eye out for the Indie Pride hashtags; you might just end up with a new book to add to your shelf. indie pride 2016

Tell every Indie Author that you know to mark their calendars for July 1st! If you are not an Indie Author (but support us), please post a picture of some indie books that you may have on your bookshelves – or you’ve added to your To-Read list!

Remember on July 1st, when you see the Instagram posts, Facebook statuses, Tweets and #hashtags – spread the love and show your support for the Indie Authors. Every single Like and Double Tap helps the cause!

#IndiePrideDay and #IndieBooksBeSeen are about proving we’re more than just a hashtag: we’re a revolution to the publishing industry, and to readers and authors around the world. Spread the bookworm love and support for #IndieBooksBeSeen on Friday July 1st 2016.

Keep an eye out on my social media and this website, as I am doing my own giveaway! Details will be released on July 1st 2016 for 24 hours. Good luck!

A Writer’s Muse: Myth or Must-Have?

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For as long as their have been story-tellers, there has been the idea of muses. Originally, – in Greek and Roman mythology – they are the nine goddesses (daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne) who presided over the arts and sciences; helping to inspire and create. download

In the ‘good old days’ of Shakespeare, and later the Romantics; ‘muse’ was an everyday term for writers, poets and playwrights alike. It’s well known that crafty old Will would take a lover in town, leaving his doting old wife clueless in the country. (Personally, I hope she got her own back and slept with a hot gardener, but that’s another article!).

So we must assume that other Romantics, such as Byron, Keats, and other stuffy poets that Lit Professors love to chorus on about, must have had muses – or a girl who they sweet talked for a few months before moving on to the next innocent maiden (or servant boy).

However, in the age of selfies, Tinder and Instagram filters, how can we claim to have muses, when the whole social media aspect of our lives is to present a perfect, prettier version of ourselves?

We’ve all been there: you meet someone online and think they’re cute, then you meet them in person and they either look nothing like their picture – or they are a complete and utter bore!  No inspiration found there, then. social-media-marketing-image

As a writer myself, there was a time where I too considered muses to be a thing of myth, or at least only of writing history. But recently, my mind has been changed. Having said that, I would like to clarify a few things.

Muses have changed to suit the 21st century. They are no longer scantily-clad girls or gleaming muscle-men in torn white shirts. They are the everyday people. Our friends, our colleagues, the random faces we encounter everyday.

We absorb so much information through our phones, that sometimes we forget to stop and just look. Look at the dozens of faces that walk past us every single day. They are our muses. That character that appeared out of nowhere in your story? You walked past her on your way to work. That suspicious baddie on page 109 of your new novel? He’s that rude guy who served you in the supermarket.

Our brains are beautiful,  creative, chaotic entities – but they don’t create people out of thin air. Just like our dreams, they pull features, words, accents, gait, height, weight, patterns – all from the passersby you womble past every single day.

So, fellow writers, wanna-be playwrights, and hopeless romantics that name yourself poets: go and find your muse! Maybe you already know them. Maybe you saw them in the cue today. And maybe they just walked past you whilst you had your head buried in a screen. Go find your muse. Go and be inspired.

 

Dear Me: The World Has Changed

Dear Me,

You grew up thinking the world was a certain way. That intellect and creativity were flaws and things to be hidden. You grew up knowing how to stretch money. You grew up thinking girls were wrong.

You were wrong. The world doesn’t just exist of your past.  It’s fragile, and constantly changing: but it’s beautiful.

A crazy-amazing world built for people who want to change. People who want to progress. People who have learned from their mistakes.

Because, guess what?

You’re alive in the 21st century, where Girl Power isn’t the Spice Girls. Where we have better paid jobs and where intellectual role models are aspired to almost as much as glamour models. Where girls can be just as strong as boys. And where creativity is encouraged.

Dear Me… The world grew up too. Enjoy it.