Monthly Archives: July 2014

Unicorn Jones (and other pen names)

This year I self-published my first two books. After much deliberation about which pen name to use, I made a last minute decision to use my real name, M.L. Millard. (M.L. because sadly, I believe that some men are less likely to pick up a book with a woman’s name on it. OOH! that would be a cool sociological experiment. Same book cover, one with a man’s name, one with a woman’s, hidden camera in the bookstore.)

Anyway, yesterday I received an email from someone in my writer’s club who thought I was a new member. She said my name sounded familiar, but what with the facts that 1) I sent the club members mass emails announcing each of my books 2) I chaired the club’s poetry contest last year 3) I won a contest in the club the year before 4) I have published in the club’s anthology, and 5) I frequently comment on the club’s Facebook posts, I would have hoped that upon seeing my name, she would have immediately known who I was, and what I had written. After all, if my own group of 300 people who LOVE books doesn’t know who I am, how on earth will the rest of the world remember me?

That’s when I regretted not using a pen name. Now, I feel it’s too late for me, so I’m giving YOU my discarded list of pen names (plus some new ones) in case you are at a loss for what to use. Unless your name happens to be more memorable than mine, maybe Jack Wordmeister or Bernadette Bunz, you might want to peruse it.

Harry K. Potter – You’ll benefit from Harry Potter’s name recognition without, I think, breaking any rules.

Bunny Day, or Bonnie Day – both sound like “good idea” in French!

Unicorn Jones – It just sounds cool. Especially for books aimed at sassy middle grade girls.

Paige Turner – Must be a real page-turner, right?

J.P. Rowling – Maybe they’ll think you’re related. Or maybe very out-of-the-loop grandparents will think “Ooh, the Harry Potter author!” and buy it for their grandkids.

Kent Clark – Who can NOT think of Superman?

Kirk T. James – for sci fi

Belle Lovesby – for romance, or Sundance Cassidy for western romance

Ivy Stanford – for scholarly (I.V. if you’re worried about selling to men.)

Name your genre, and I’ll name YOU! A feat that I could not, it seems, accomplish for myself. Find “Seeking First His Kingdom” and “When I Grow Up,” both on Amazon. Not by I.M. Awesome or Brock Obama, but by plain old M.L. Millard.

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Dear England, 7-4-14

Dear England,

It’s the anniversary of our breakup, and as always, I can’t help but think of you. I’m wearing my red, white, and blue shirt, and I suppose if I’d really wanted to forget you, I would have chosen other colors. But I guess, deep down, I wanted to keep the memory of what we had alive. Because we had some great things about our relationship, didn’t we? We liked the same food, the same parties – I guess I just wanted to feel more like your equal, and you just couldn’t see that.

We should have seen it coming. All the signs were there. The angry letters, the fights. I don’t know, maybe long distance relationships are impossible. Maybe our relationship was doomed from the moment I boarded that boat.

I haven’t dated since, you know. I know it might look like I have a sugar daddy thing going with that one guy, but really, it was just a loan. I’m paying him back. (Don’t laugh – I’m serious!) And your ex, Canada, and I are seen together a lot, I know, but we’re just friends.

In the past, I’d celebrate July fourth by thanking God I was free of you. Independent. But it’s funny how time changes things. Now when we see each other at the Olympics or something, it’s you I root for if I’m not in the competition. And you know if anyone ever picks on you, I’ve got your back. Don’t get me wrong, I want to stay single. I’ve never been happier. But I want you to know that I’ve come to a place where I sincerely want the best for you, and I hold a special place for you in my heart.

Your friend,

America

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