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A Passionate Love Affair with Words: A Response to Marilyn's Challenge

Updated on March 4, 2015

And Here Is the Challenge

Words: The Writer's Resource

“I'm always amazed how each writer takes the same words and creates a completely different story. Some educate, others enchant and a few entertain. Which category is most authentic for you?

This challenge is to write about how you value, use and create your finished piece using our common denominator - words.”

It seems, to me, that we have two separate questions asked by Marilyn. How do we value words, and how do we use words to create a finished piece. I may be wrong about that, but that is the assumption I’m going to use in accepting this challenge.

A writer emerges from loneliness
A writer emerges from loneliness | Source

The Value of Words

“Loneliness is the coat you wear,

A deep shade of blue is always there.”

There have been times in my life when loneliness and I were best friends. I embraced it as any of us would a dear friend. It provided comfort from fear and distrust, a difficult concept to grasp unless you’ve been there.

To make up for lack of companionship, I always had books. The loner and his tomes, safely tucked away, sheltered from harm….that was me. Socially, for sure, this was an unhealthy situation, and yet it was the situation I needed to survive and eventually thrive.

I learned about life through books. I learned about love and nurturing, trust and friendship, empathy and compassion, through books, and through books I found the courage to place the books aside and actually live life.

The Mockingbird taught me about integrity and equality. Superman taught me about truth, justice and the American way. I traveled to far-off lands with Kipling, learned of long-dead dynasties through Michener, and fantasized with Verne. I visited the Bridge of San Luis Rey. Learned about the Heart of the Matter, and rode with an Old Man as he sailed the Sea. Brave New Worlds opened before me, lessons were learned on an Animal Farm, and preconceptions were discovered and eventually Gone with the Wind.

I loved it all…learned from it all…had my thirst quenched by it all….and eventually found the courage, through books, to become one with life. I tore down my walls and walked bravely into that world I read about, and in so doing found the secrets that had remained hidden for so many years.

Today I do for others what others did for me. I give them the gift of words, and by doing so I continue a legacy that is so very important for society. I am a writer, proud of my craft, learning daily to listen to my muse and follow her guidance. Some day there will be a lonely boy, or girl, and they will discover my dust-covered books on a shelf, and they will read those books and find companions that will pass the time with them on lonely nights when sleep is absent, and perhaps, if I have done my job correctly, they, too, will leave their rooms, go out into the world, and discover the joy of living.

And fifty years later a writer is born
And fifty years later a writer is born | Source

The Use of Words to Create a Finished Piece

Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.


Meg Rosoff

I am an artist. That may sound grandiose, but it is how I feel.

With a stroke of my pen I bring a scene to life.

With a stroke of my imagination I transport readers into a new world. I invite them to visit, explore and experience. I raise their temperature, chill them to the bone, reduce them to tears and elevate them to new levels of joy. I mix and match random verbs, nouns, adverbs and adjectives, and from that randomness I magically transform the inanimate to life.

I attack the senses with letters. The arrows from my quiver can sting, rebuke, chastise, praise, energize and congratulate. I can find commonality with all of my readers by sharing experiences that we all comprehend, and in so doing bridge the gap of our differences.

If I have done my job correctly I will entertain, inspire and force the reader to contemplate the intricacies of life. I can establish rhythm and take the readers on a break-neck ride of a lifetime, or change the rhythm and gear down for a leisurely excursion through the tranquil valleys of their psyche.

My brush strokes consist of over one-hundred thousand colors, and my job is to blend them together to create a painting unlike any other ever seen, and when that moment comes, when the creation has been completed, I experience a high that leaves me craving the next hit, and the next, and the next, because writing, for me, is addictive, and at the same time I’m the pusher, the dealer, the man who gives you your fix, the man who injects wonder into your veins and leaves you in a paradise of words.

There are no shortcuts to brilliance and I must always remember that. If it were easy then everyone could do what I do, and then the miraculous would become the mundane, I must build my stories upon a solid foundation. I must make sure the frame work rises from the foundation square and true, and a weather-proof roof tops it all. It must be insulated and ready for the harsh winters, and when the heat of summer arrives the air must flow freely and provide comfort.

I am the maker of tapestries, the seamstress, the weaver, the single-minded artisan creating works that will stand the test of time.

I am a writer.

I am an artist.

And I am blessed.

Thank You Marilyn

I loved this challenge, and I invite all of you to take part. Share with us your thoughts about words. Through your reflections we will all gain support and strength, inspiration and comfort, and after the last word has been written about this challenge, we will all be able to recline and find peace, knowing that we are not alone on this quest and the quest truly is worth all the sacrifice.

Today I am not lonely. Today I walk among my peers and I celebrate the magic that is life, but before I learned to take those first tentative steps, I read words. Writers from previous ages taught me through their words. Writers lifted me up, showed me the way, and gently pushed me out into that world and not-so-gently demanded that I partake in the bounty.

And thank God they did!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Love this challenge and part of the reason, I joined a new weekly linkup as a host, because it is just one word given that I have to write my thoughts and paint a new picture each week. Truly so much fun and definitely keeps me on my toes! Happy Wednesday, Bill ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Janine. It sounds challenging and fun. Thanks for sharing that and for always being here. Happy Wednesday my friend.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      You truly are an artist, billy. You open worlds with your words. If you chose an artist's brush instead of a pen, I would have filled my home with your work. Up, beautiful and awesome.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this is a beautiful response to the challenge. Your words are full of color and passion. When I was young my nose was stuck in a book if I wasn't climbing trees, riding bikes, or my skateboard. I loved the escape of reading words that allowed my imagination to picture the landscape, laugh, cry, gasp, and dread reading the last word on the last page. I hungered for more and would often pick up another book as soon as I finished the one I was reading. The fact that my words may have the same effect, is truly exciting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, Pop, you have me blushing. Thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is exciting, Sha, and I hope every writer feels that way. If not, why do it? Writing should make us sweat, and cry, and laugh....I can't imagine writing if I didn't give those gifts to my readers.

      Thank you for your kind words. Happy Wednesday to you!

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      I really enjoyed reading your response to this challenge Billy. It is a lovely reminder to me of my own early response to words as a child. You have inspired me to take up this challenge. I hope I can do as well as you have done.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I know you will do quite well with this challenge. Writing is tapping into shared experiences and feelings. It doesn't surprise me at all that you felt the same way as a child.

      I look forward to your answer of this challenge. Thank you!

      bill

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill, you are a painter of words. I love the way you weave your passion for writing into your love affair with words. The thought of someone dusting off an old book a hundred years from now and reading one's words is exciting, but cautions us to get it right. This is a daunting task that I want to achieve in my lifetime. Thank you. Voted up and away..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby. Your kind words make me soar. I know you will achieve it, and I know because you want to do so. Writing is passion and you, my friend, are passionate.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You have bravely taken on a this great challenge and in such confident way.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      The written word is lonely, and without real meaning. The spoken word is less lonely as it has more attributes such as tone, inflection, pronunciation, activity, or passivity, and when paired with a visual of the speaker the word has depth, and context.

      Writing a story of fiction must fill in all those verbal and visual clues to portray how that word, and the words around it will generate the context for those words as applied to the story, and the characters.

      That is why a good writer is an artist, and the canvas is painting a picture with the mere word. Take the lyrics in an old song. The words alone could be sung a million ways, but the one way that made that song a hit worked.

      I can't sing, or play a musical instrument, so when I try to sing the song the lyrics don't help me remember the sound that made it work. The words and stories in songs are rather simple, but lining them up with the music and the tones is where the artist makes it work.

      I am even worse at Art, as I took mechanical drawing because it had instruments that could create meaningful pictures

      The point is that the raw materials are only as good as the person that molds it into a work of art. Every language has idioms that have a deeper meaning than the raw words. It is a culture reference that brings a specific and yet very different meaning to common words.

      As an aside to common words, there is also the use of technical words. The idea for technical words is to shortcut long descriptions about repetitive items. The problem is that over the years many people don't really understand the true meaning of the shortcut, so they throw these words around thinking that everyone has the same understanding of them. This can lead to serious communication problems.

      This all leads back to your original example, that not every one can be an artist, a writer that can use the words to paint their masterpiece using words alone.

      I am back with the long comments.

      lol

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great response to Marilyn's challenge.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Beautiful, Bill. You have done it so well. You clearly mentioned how the words take birth and then transform into thoughts, feelings, then sentences and stories, etc. Thanks for sharing all this. Voted up and beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, DDE! I hope my passion for writing shows through this.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Brad, I've missed the long comments, so welcome home. LOL

      I was listening to a professional singer the other day critique an amateur, and he told her that she wasn't conveying the feeling of the lyrics while she sang. I think that's what you are saying. Lyrics are only words unless they are song with feeling...interpreted correctly.

      That's what I try to do...that's what any god writer should try to do.

      Thanks my friend

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry. I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Venkatachari M. I try to show my passion in all of my work. This is a craft that needs to be treated with respect.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      What you say about books is spot on.

      We lose ourselves in the innuendos and straightforward language that we find as we turn each new page.

      Time has no meaning for me when I am lost in a book.

      Surely someone will one day find inspiration from your words and find the courage to become a better version of herself or himself.

      No matter how many times I visit, I am always delighted that I did. A refuge where I can re-energize.....thanks Bill

      Many Angels are anxiously headed your way ps

      Voted up up and away shared g+ and Hallelujah!!! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      You certainly paint a picture of writing and using the words that guide us to write more. It goes without saying the more we read the more we are able to write. You certainly do help us spread our wings...the flying is more or less up to us.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, my life changed forever the first time I picked up a book and started reading. It was probably "The Hardy Boys" but it was a magical world for me and I knew I wanted to write like that. The rest, as they say, is history. :)

      Keep those angels flying my friend. We can all use their message.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary. You ain't bad yourself. LOL I agree that the more we read the more we are able to write. I wonder if all writers feel the same? I'd be amazed if they don't.

      Have a wonderful day my friend.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      It is interesting how we managed to feel and hear the words come together inside us--and how different we are in that pursuit--that is the wonderful thing about writing

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It truly is, Audrey. I am grateful every day for whatever talent I have. This is a gift I will not squander.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Your love of reading and writing is so clear. Writing is a beautiful and wonderful way to communicate, collaborate and forge bonds with our fellow folks.

      You do that well Bill and this hub just reinforced that fact.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      " To create a painting unlike any other ever seen." You have done than in this article and many time previously. I continually admire your word creations.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, you are very gracious and I thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! I don't know how this writing process really works, but I'm sure glad I'm a part of it.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Words are powerful, beautiful and have great impact on lives for the better when used correctly. We can use our words to build up or tear down. I choose to build up!

      I love reading and being taken away to other worlds. Isn't it great to go on an adventure to anywhere we like without leaving our home!

      You have lived up to the challenge here, Bill! Well done.

      Peace and blessings always

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      You are a true artist Bill, and your brush is your pen (or keyboard). You have created a masterpiece here. I love it, great response to a great challenge.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. I love the comments on this one, and yours is one of the best. Choose to build up...very true my friend.

      blessings today and always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I appreciate your kind words very much. Thank you, sir!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A truly great piece of writing. I just love words.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, useful, interesting, and beautiful. This post brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of my gratitude to the many novelists who gave me the escapism I needed in my youth.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Yes, you are indeed an artist, bill. You weave, you build and you inspire. Love the house analogy.

      We both know how akin our approach to writing is and I agree totally that it's addictive; I was only saying that very thing to my daughter an hour or so ago.

      Wonderful piece, full of the vitality for which you are well known. If anyone who reads this is not inspired, then heaven help them! Not only are you a writer but a brilliant one to boot.

      Off to see 'Wicked' with same daughter; it's her early birthday present as she's likely to be in labour or up to her eyes in nappies when her birthday arrives! I love the theatre so we'll have a great afternoon.

      Hope your day's good too, bill!

      Ann

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Writing and art are both means of communication. Writing can also be considered an art form. Your journey is a bit different than my own but I think we share the need to communicate.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      You are truly an artist; always painting with your words! I grew up reading every book I could get my hands on. We were poor, but my parents managed to buy me good books!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Eric, and I thank you! Let's keep writing them, buddy, and spread some word appreciation across the internet.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bravo, Brian! If I touched your emotions then I did my job as a writer. Thank you, sir!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thank you so much, my friend. I happen to be a big fan of yours, not only because of your writing ability, but also because of your passion for the craft.

      Up to her eyes in nappies? Never heard that, but you had me laughing out loud at the phrase.

      Have a brilliant day!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dahoglund, we do indeed share that same need. I respect any writer who does have that need. Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, it sounds to me as though your parents had their priorities straight. I love that you were poor and loved books....many of us can relate to your story. Thank you for sharing.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      This is beautiful, Bill. I tell people I'm an artist, too, because writing IS art. Anyone who cannot comprehend that doesn't appreciate what words can accomplish. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Writing can be mechanical and deliberate or artful and inspired. Yours was the latter.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kailey! Keep telling people you are an artist because, well, you are. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm very grateful, Flourish! Wishing you a fantastic weekend, my friend.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Thank you, Bill, for opening your soul, and letting us see who you really are! You are amazing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Denise. I'm just a guy....living life as best I can...and hoping others can relate to the struggles and the triumphs. :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Perhaps I should've said diapers!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That I would have understood, Ann. :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      'There are no shortcuts to brilliance' - William aka Billybuc Holland

      And brilliant it is, Bill, this masterfully crafted Hub. Simply stunning! An exquisite response to Marilyn's challenge.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      You are a true artist and your words paint pictures of wisdom. You spread knowledge and help out so many writers through your work, a true master of the pen!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Manatita. I appreciate greatly your kindness.

      blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, I am humbled by your words. Thank you so very much.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “My brush strokes consist of over one-hundred thousand colors, and my job is to blend them together to create a painting unlike any other ever seen, and when that moment comes, when the creation has been completed, I experience a high that leaves me craving the next hit, and the next, and the next, because writing, for me, is addictive, and at the same time I’m the pusher, the dealer, the man who gives you your fix, the man who injects wonder into your veins and leaves you in a paradise of words.” And you do this so well! All I can say is, “Wow!” I realize that it took years for you to fine that pen and your voice to give it life; but I still think great writing is hardwired into your DNA. It just took a while for it to surface. Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, you are kindness personified. Thank you so much. I'm not sure why it lay dormant in me for so long, but I'm sure glad it finally erupted. :) As you probably can tell, I love writing. :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've shared some very interesting ideas in this hub, Bill. You certainly do have a passionate love affair with words!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      you do piaint with words Billybuc, and may I say you handled this challenge with ease... superman has nothing on you... :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia! I am passionate about writing, and I want to share that passion with others.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Believe me, Frank, I have my kryptonite just like everyone else, but thank you, sir!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 2 years ago

      Loved this piece Bill, so full of vigour and verve. Thank you for sharing!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I went through the same thing that you did, as an outcast. I enriched my life with words, collecting stamps, and writing, even then. The beauty is, with all this practice, I am finally starting to get somewhere. And somewhere is grander and more beautiful than what I read or ever dreamed.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, that's beautiful. Thanks for sharing that. Power to the outcasts of the world. Among our group are some very talented human beings.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Dear Bill, what is a challenge if not each of your Hub-article, daring a reader to comment and soon before I would formulate a sentence to write it, my limitless imagination leaves me speechless. You “ rebuke, chastise, praise, energize, congratulate…’ you deliver a sermon without pleading “can I get Amen “ given it to you anyway in a form where the lonely hungry soul consumes with appetite life sustaining need. What a blessing when the words are not coming back void. . .We do believe in power of the words changing the world for better.

      Voted up,beautiful.

      Good night my friend, be ever blessed.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, that is one of the nicest comments I've ever received. I am humbled by your words and honored. Thank you so very much.

      blessings always to you and yours

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      ...a rule of reciprocative law,

      my friend its only an echo...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michael my friend.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      Thanks so much for introducing me to another challenge. It seems as if I am always playing catch up with what is going on. Hopefully, I can take a stab at this one. Your response is beautiful...

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kim and you are very welcome. Good luck and I look forward to reading yours.

      bill

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Another awesome hub, Bill!

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