Melissa MacVicar –Author

Are You There Judy? It’s me, Melissa.



I haven’t needed Judy Blume in a long time. Not since I wanted to know…well…about stuff that Judy wrote about. In fact, I was just Facebook messaging with my bestie from fifth grade, Amy, and reminiscing about our fun times, one of which involved reading Forever and talking about the love scenes.

Now that I have my own Young Adult book coming out, I find myself thinking about Judy again. I have been wondering about her and how her books were received back in the seventies. This is not because I think my book will be as good as Judy’s were. Good God no! Nor do I expect wild fame and success like she had. If only right? No, I have been thinking about Judy because I’ve been on the receiving end of a few vague, disapproving questions about my writing. People wondering if my book is going to be racy? Wondering if that’s going to be weird, and if that’s somehow inappropriate because of my roles as a teacher and mother? Hmm, I wonder… Maybe it is. Maybe I should have shut myself down and never taken up the pen again. In fact, disapproval was one of the things that shut me down the first time so maybe I should have stuck with that plan. It’s too late now though. The book is in its final stages, taking shape as we speak out there in bookland. Eek! I’m beyond the point of no return.

So I visited Judy’s site. I remembered that she wrote some of her books at the request of her daughter who wanted more realistic Young Adult stories. And when I went there, I was so very pleased to find a whole tab devoted to censorship! Imagine that! I clicked and it was like it was written just for me. Judy still knew just what I wanted and needed to hear in this new time of self doubt and wonder. I think the part that touched me the most was the following:

“Ideas. Censors don’t want children exposed to ideas different from their own. If every individual with an agenda had his/her way, the shelves in the school library would be close to empty. I wish the censors could read the letters kids write.

Dear Judy,
I don’t know where I stand in the world. I don’t know who I am.
That’s why I read, to find myself.
Elizabeth, age 13

But it’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.”

Seriously, did she write that just for me? I admit that it felt like she did and it gave me as much solace as Margaret and her talks with God did back in the day. Judy, coming through for me again—coming through in the clutch. Gosh, I love that woman.

Here is the link if you want to check it out in full.

Thanks for reading!

Author: Melissa MacVicar

Melissa was born and mostly raised on Nantucket Island, and she currently lives there with her husband and two teenage children. When not being a wife and mother and teaching writing to seventh graders, she enjoys binge watching shows like Big Little Lies, House of Cards, and Outlander. Despite the rumors to the contrary, she does not actually wish she was a teenager again, nor does she see ghosts like the main character in her first novel, Ever Near. She does, however, love to hear from readers so send her a message on social media or at her email: Twitter: @MelissaMacVicar Facebook: Melissa MacVicar Instagram: melissa.macvicar

16 thoughts on “Are You There Judy? It’s me, Melissa.

  1. Awesome, thought-provoking post, Melissa. I’m off to check out the Judy Blume site. Ah the memories.
    Congrats and good luck with Ever Near. I look forward to reading 🙂

  2. Just the right timing to read that from the wonderful Ms. Blume. Write what you need to write, Melissa, because there are people who need to read it.

  3. I know this isn’t attached to the #JudyBlumeProject, but it should be! So empowering and it honors exactly what Judy stood and stands for so well.
    Very best of luck on your book, Melissa, and I hope you will consider adding your voice to our little project, honoring the iconic author, because this is precisely what she’s done for us all.

    Here’s the link to the BlogHer feature, should you care to check it out:

  4. Have I mentioned how proud I am of you? Sometimes the story just HAS to be written.

  5. Of all the writers out there, Judy Blume has influenced me the most. Not only in my writing (my first novel, a YA was written with Forever loosely in mind), but my introduction to sex as well. Forever was the first book I read that detailed the sexual act in such a thoughtful and realistic way. I dreamed of having a relationship like that, and eventually I did. And then there was Wifey! haha. Wow, was that an education.

    We writers are always somewhat influenced by the trends or spouted dictates of agents of what they want or don’t want. The beautiful thing about self-pubbing in this day and age is that even if we write a book from our heart, a book we had no choice but to write, and it gets rejected by everyone, there is an opportunity for it to find an audience.

  6. You are a mother, a teacher, and a writer. They are not synonymous, nor should they be. While one may influence the other, one should not stop you from being the other. Write from the heart and never be ashamed of one word you put on that page.

    You are a wonderful writer and I am honored to call you a friend. Don’t let anyone put you down. Remember “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. *hugs*

  7. Well, said, Tina. Be proud, Melissa! Love that Eleanor Roosevelt quote.

  8. I am so tired of cliche’ and formulaic and boring books. I think weird, racy, and inappropriate is wonderful. You’re telling the truth, a truth, and that’s what matters. Judy would be proud.

  9. The cliche of don’t follow trends is true. It’s amazing how often we censor ourselves – worrying if we should write this or that because of our job or because we have kids etc. The thing is – maybe having those roles is *more* reason for authors to write books that don’t fit the quiet ‘acceptable’ mould. Who else would really *get* that audience and understand what they need than people who are around that age group on a regular basis? So I say whoot whoot! I hope your book *is* racy and weird. We need more different YA out there!

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