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The Thing I’ve Been Waiting to Tell You

I don’t really know how to begin this post, so I’m just going to say it:

The twins got a book deal.

Last fall, they pitched an idea for their book and got interest.  They wrote a book proposal and sample chapters and shopped it.  And a publisher picked up the book and signed them.  We have a cover.  We have about 2/3rd of the book in a semi-finished state.

That’s how they spent their summer.

It will be in bookstores this spring, but the publisher (because it is a programming book) is releasing the e-book in chunks as part of their early access program, and today it is 50% off if you use the code dotd083016au after clicking on that link.

Do you remember back when I started this blog they were weaning off of bottles?  Then we graduated to toddler beds and gave up binkies and had imaginary friends and… The point is that they’ve been growing up here, but they haven’t really been growing up here.  I’ve always been very careful to give them their space and let them tell their own story to the world.

We’ve asked them over and over again if they’re ready to be online.  If they understood what publishing a book meant; that they would have an online presence.  And they kept reassuring us that they felt good about this.  That they were okay being out there for something good like a book.  So we gave our blessing, and I’ve been helping manage their book schedule, typing their chapters for them (they speak them into a recorder, and I type them while they’re at school), and helping edit.

I am so insanely proud of them.  They have matured so much.  Sure, the ChickieNob still includes a high heel emoji on the emails she sends me when there are chapter notes to review, but the girl is researching and writing and putting her heart into the art in the book.  The Wolvog still laughs hysterically every time we’re recording, but he’s putting in hours and hours of work programming the games.  Together, they are an amazing team, and I feel so lucky that I get a front row seat to watch them problem solve and create.

Their book teaches other kids as well as adults (or anyone who wants to get into game making) how to design and code arcade games.  There are seven games in the book based on popular games from the 80s including Astrosmash, Super Mario Bros, and Pitfall.  The heart of the book is eight computer science concepts, which are presented over and over again, so the reader walks away knowing about variables, loops, and conditional statements.

Could I have imagined this when they were little preemies in the NICU?  No.  (Well, maybe, I mean both parents are writers.)  But that’s sort of the point of life.  You never know where decisions will take you.

I’m glad they found one of many passions early on.  I’m glad adults gave them the opportunity to write a book and that they truly understand the ins and outs of the publishing world; that it isn’t all sunshine and roses but a lot of really hard, sometimes frustrating, work.

So… if you have a kid in your life, or if you want to learn how to program games yourself, go over and get early access to their book.  (The code is dotd083016au.)  Or mark down April 2017 for the bookstore release.  Actually, who am I kidding?  Do you really think I’m not going to remind you a dozen times between now and then?

While we haven’t started tweeting over there yet, we will quite soon if you want to follow @Retromakers, which is our group account.  And we’re setting up a website, and I’ll post that URL when it’s done.  Lots of fun things ahead.


1 Cristy { 08.30.16 at 7:33 am }

Whoa and Wow!!!! Mel, this is huge!!!! And impressive. You have a lot of reason to be proud. And I can’t wait to see the release!

2 katherinea12 { 08.30.16 at 7:41 am }

Huge congratulations to all – a major accomplishment and very exciting! Looking forward to seeing the release.

3 Nicoleandmaggie { 08.30.16 at 7:53 am }

Wow! And it sounds like something my DC1 would enjoy too.

4 Denise { 08.30.16 at 8:10 am }


5 Beth { 08.30.16 at 8:12 am }

Amazing. As a preemie mom and generally very emotional person these days, this made me cry. From a stranger in the Midwest, heartfelt and HUGE congratulations to all.

6 Charlotte { 08.30.16 at 8:15 am }

OMG Mel!!! This is SO amazing! Congratulations to them both…and to you. I mean…just WOW. What absolutely amazing kids you are raising…and it is truly a marker of just how great a Mom you are. Just mind-blowing!

7 torthuil { 08.30.16 at 9:15 am }

How wonderful! So much to be proud of as a family!

8 Noemi { 08.30.16 at 9:41 am }

So very cool! Congratulations to all of you!

9 Jen@FrugalSteppingStones { 08.30.16 at 10:18 am }

Holy crap that’s exciting! I’ll have to get one for the boy. He’s made it through Kodu and is working on a program about how to write Minecraft Mods with Java.

10 Laurel Regan, CZT { 08.30.16 at 10:31 am }

That is so thrilling – congratulations to all of you! What an amazing accomplishment. Love it!

11 KeAnne { 08.30.16 at 10:48 am }

Holy crap!! That’s amazing!!!! Congrats to them and you all! WOW!

12 Kasey { 08.30.16 at 10:49 am }

This is so amazing! Congrats to all three of you.

13 HereWeGoAJen { 08.30.16 at 10:58 am }

I’m so proud of them! They were so small and now they are so grown up!

14 Lori Lavender Luz { 08.30.16 at 11:20 am }

So very proud of all of you. Fantastic!

15 xykademiqz { 08.30.16 at 11:33 am }

This is awesome! I am totally blown away!


16 a { 08.30.16 at 11:38 am }

How awesome! Congratulations to you all!

17 jjiraffe { 08.30.16 at 12:00 pm }

This is very very cool. Congrats!

18 Tigger { 08.30.16 at 1:53 pm }

OMG Mel, this is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Your kids are amazeballs, you and Josh are awesome possums for supporting them, and I am seriously literally dancing in my chair at this. Good for them for getting published already!!

19 M. { 08.30.16 at 1:54 pm }

Wow wow wow Mel! Ridiculously awesome. Congrats to you all!

20 Kristin { 08.30.16 at 2:33 pm }

WOW…this is huge. Congrats to your kiddos and kudos to yรกll fro supporting them.

21 Aislinn { 08.30.16 at 4:30 pm }

This is amazing! Congratulations to the both of them, you’re both amazing parents to support them in everything they do.

22 Mel { 08.30.16 at 5:45 pm }

This is so cool! Just ordered a copy for my 8 year old son who really wants to learn to code video games. He will be thrilled! I skimmed through the first chapter and it looks great. Tell your kids congratulations, and they have a reader waiting. Also, it was a happy surprise to see their names instead of Wolvog and ChickieNob. ๐Ÿ™‚

23 loribeth { 08.30.16 at 9:48 pm }

Oh wow, Mel, that’s amazing!! What an accomplishment! Congratulations to them both! ๐Ÿ™‚ — it has been fun “watching” them grow up through your blog, almost from the very start. ๐Ÿ™‚

24 Risa { 08.30.16 at 10:53 pm }

That’s… incredible. Just incredible. So many congratulations to them!

25 em | illustr8d { 08.30.16 at 10:53 pm }

I’ve worked with premies and I LOVE this. It makes me soooo happy.

Well done to the twins, what a great thing. Everyone should be so proud. I’m even proud and I don’t know them at all! ๐Ÿ™‚

26 Jessica { 08.30.16 at 11:08 pm }

Congratulations to the whole family. You especially, Mel. ๐Ÿ™‚

27 Cassie Dash { 08.30.16 at 11:15 pm }

This is such amazing news, Mel! Congrats to them — and to you! You are doing an amazing job of helping them to become the people they are meant to be. I can’t wait to see all they accomplish in the future! xo

28 StacieT { 08.31.16 at 12:31 am }

How exciting! Congratulations!

29 JustHeather { 08.31.16 at 3:06 am }

This is awesome Mel! Congrats to you all.
I’m not sure the link is bringing me to the correct place anymore. The books I saw/see aren’t what I was expecting.

30 A. { 08.31.16 at 9:38 am }

AHHHH, congrats to the twins! (And to you, Proud Mommy.) I imagine this is the bittersweet wonder of motherhood: to watch these people that you’ve made grow and act upon the world independently ๐Ÿ™‚

31 Deathstar { 08.31.16 at 12:17 pm }

THAT IS AMAZING! Well done, kids! And oh, yeah MOM! Yay!!!

32 Karen E Cohen { 08.31.16 at 2:04 pm }

Mel, that’s just swell. I know you are very proud of them and I’m proud of you for helping to guide them through this milestone. You are all amazing.

33 Karen { 08.31.16 at 7:58 pm }

Oh my gosh. That’s awesome! And even better – my kid wants to learn how to program and this is totally what he needs.

This is great. So great. Congratulations to them!!! And holy cow, how is it that they are old enough for this? Where did the time go?

34 Justine { 08.31.16 at 8:32 pm }

So, so amazing! Congratulations to the twins, and to you, for giving them the gifts of inspiration and curiosity, and the courage to write!

35 Middle Girl { 09.01.16 at 8:04 am }

Squeeee . . how awesome is this / that? VERY. Congratulations

36 dubliner in deutschland { 09.01.16 at 10:01 am }

Wow that’s really impressive, what a talented family ๐Ÿ™‚

37 Jamie { 09.01.16 at 12:02 pm }

Congratulations for the twins! Big undertaking and great to have you as a support! A family of writers. ๐Ÿ™‚

38 Jess { 09.01.16 at 2:16 pm }

What amazing news! I mean, amazing but also not entirely surprising since they’ve been White House correspondents and have the best encouragers ever as parents. Congratulations to the ChickieNob and Wolvog! Such a cool idea, too. I can imagine how surreal it is to think of them hanging on in the NICU and now they are collaborating on a book of their own. ๐Ÿ™‚

39 Nonsequiturchica { 09.01.16 at 2:34 pm }

Wow congrats! That is amazing!

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