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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 138

Updated on February 20, 2017

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

It’s been a week of nursery rhymes and school songs for me. I have no idea why, but it’s been a long time since I understood the workings of my brain. Anyway, this song just popped into my head . . . “round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round . . . “ What an annoying song that is, right?

Let’s do the Mailbag and you can hum that song while we do so. How many of you, at this moment, are terrified that song will be playing in your head the rest of the day? LOL My gift to you!

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room! | Source

Writing Reviews

From Mary: “This makes a perfect segue for my next question. This week I received an email from an online writing group where I write occasionally. This was for a job to write a short book review. The author wanted people to buy the book, write a review and then she would give a refund of the price paid for the book. This was in my opinion, a better way of getting a review than just asking for a false one, which many people do these days. Plus I also feel the added sales would help her with the Amazon algorithms . I didn't take her up on the offer but would like your feedback on this way to get sales (although in essence the book is being given away) and a way to achieve more reviews.”

Mary, thanks for sharing that with us. I’d never heard of that approach to marketing, but it’s really rather clever, isn’t it? It’s not asking for positive reviews . . . in no way does the offer even hint at reciprocation of positive reviews . . . yes, I actually like this approach.

What do I think about it? I’m all for guerrilla marketing, and it seems to me that this falls under that category. Writers need to get creative about marketing. Why in the world do you think I’m doing coloring books right now? LOL

Anyway, just great! Thanks for sharing!

MORE ABOUT NIUME

Also from Mary: “One last thing, regarding Niume, I saw a similar thing happen with Bubblews a few years ago. People didn't spend more than a few seconds on a page and as such the figures became skewed. This led to the authors becoming unhappy thinking they should be earning more and eventually it just collapsed. Although the idea of social blogging is a good one, people abuse it and just do as little as possible to get their name seen and hope someone will return the favor and click on one of their pages.”

Mary, we have more about NIUME below, but let me just say that I really don’t have a problem with NIUME setting a particular length of time to count as a view. I can definitely see it from their standpoint, and the point you made is a good one. NIUME is a business, and I think sometimes writers forget that very basic point. NIUME, HubPages, they are businesses, and businesses do what they do to make money.

So don’t be surprised when they change the rules in order to make more money.

What constitutes a "view" on NIUME?
What constitutes a "view" on NIUME? | Source

VOICE

From LetsTalk: “My interest gets piqued, Bill, when you write about voice. When I read your words, I can hear your voice and feel like I know you. I suspect many other readers feel the same and that's why you have a large following. How did you develop your voice or did you always have it? Thanks for another great mailbag.”

LetsTalk, thank you for the compliment. It’s kind of a tough question to answer since I wasn’t really aware of my voice for several years until one day someone mentioned that it was unique and distinctive. Imagine my surprise!

That leads me to believe that voice, at least for me, is something that developed over time. It is a product of having read thousands of books. It is a product of being ultra-impressed with several very influential writers. It is a product of listening to some magnificent speeches during the 60s, the use of repetitive phrases being one such example, and being impressed by some wonderful storytellers, like Will Rogers and Pete Seger.

Looking at my writing today, I can see all of those influences in it, but I wasn’t aware of it as I first developed into a writer, if that makes any sense.

NIUME RESPONDS ABOUT VIEWS

“UPDATE: a blog post was recently released by the NIUME staff, and in that post they explained that every time an article is opened, the mere act of opening it counts it as one view. There is no “duration of time” requirement. I just wanted to give you that update. For those who say their views have plummeted, I have no answer, but according to NIUME it is none of their doing.”

I just received that blog post yesterday and thought I would share it with you. I just haven’t spent that much time on NIUME, so I’m not sure about the sudden drop in views that some writers have reported. The NIUME staff swears it is nothing they have intentionally done.

Do I believe that claim? I have no reason to believe it and no reason to disbelieve it.

Sorry I can’t be more help on this.

My hardest critic is . . . me!
My hardest critic is . . . me! | Source

Very entertaining talk about creativity

Missing Muse

From Robert: “Can you help me? My muse is missing and I can’t seem to find her. Where should I look?”

Robert, this may seem counterintuitive, but call off the search. Tell the authorities that it was all a false alarm, that your muse is simply taking a much-needed vacation, and there is nothing to worry about.

And then take that advice to the bank and deposit it!

You can’t force creative writing, Robert, so don’t bother trying. Go live life and allow your muse to return to you when she’s damned good and ready. Take the “missing” posters down and get her face off of the milk cartons. Your muse isn’t missing; she just doesn’t feel like working right now.

SELF-INFLICTED PRESSURE

From Lawrence: “What about that for a question though, do you think we put too much pressure on ourselves 'hoping that others will LOVE what we write?' I mean I know we want them to enjoy it, but do you think there's pressure there, and what can we do about it?”

Lawrence, I would be amazed if most writers don’t feel that kind of pressure. I know I do, and my goodness, it can drive me nuts at times . . . and what kind of unrealistic expectation is that? Of course, I can only speak for myself but for sure, I know I put way too much pressure on myself when writing.

I’ll be interested in what others say about this one. Thanks for the great question.

Anything Else I Can Do for You?

No? Well then I’ll take my leave and get back to my coloring book. Have a superb week of writing, all of you, and I’ll catch you down the road of life. Thanks so much for stopping by.

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I love that...be your muse in your next life. Wouldn't that be fun?

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 8 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, your response to the missing muse question is right on. The beauty of the muse is she's governed by creativity and freedom of spirit. She's free to do what she wants, when she wants, IF she wants. She's probably the only part of life that can't be forced into anything. She's a free spirit and works on her terms. I think I want to be a muse in my next life! :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, you are well ahead of me. No one asks if my next chapter is finished. LOL You better get busy writing to please your audience.

      blessings always

      bill

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      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Thanks for the reply, and for the assurance I'm not the only one with the 'self pressure'

      Now for an amusing one in that line, we've got my 80 year old mother visiting at the moment, and some bright spark decided to teach her how to use Facebook (even how to find my articles there!)

      Now, as soon as I get home at night, I get asked if the next installment of 'Coyote' is finished?

      Ah well, at least she's enjoying it.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, it was a fun process, but I'm ready to resume writing my novel now. I just needed a short break, thank you!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 9 months ago from South Africa

      Interesting questions and answers, as always. I am sure you are enjoying the coloring book you are busy creating, Bill. It's kind of a break, isn't it? Yes, our Muse has a will of her own. She doesn't ask permission to go on a holiday :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love her, too, Mel, and your description of her is right on! As for NIUME, I just don't have the time to devote to it. I probably shouldn't have even started there.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo! You are never late to the Mail Room. Enjoy your weekend!

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      Jo Miller 9 months ago from Tennessee

      I love coming here to catch up on your conversations with other writers even though I am usually a few days late in doing so. Have a wonderful day out selling your coloring books or something.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 9 months ago from San Diego California

      I dabbled briefly in Niume, but the interface annoyed me and I abandoned the site completely after the phone app completely deleted one of my posts.

      I think the muse is always in there. Sometimes you have to force that b**ch out by just writing jibberish until sometimes meaningful emerges. What's difficult for me is getting that Muse to stay within neat word count boundaries. She's a rambling girl. She plays around a lot. I still love her.

      Great work.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, i'm 68 and I feel the same way. Then my creaking bones tell me it's all in my mind. LOL Thanks a bunch, my friend, and an early Happy Birthday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, Ann!

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      Ann Carr 9 months ago from SW England

      Thanks!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 9 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thank you for another informative mailbag. As you see I am a bit behind this week. As usual I just keep on writing, believing, hoping and dreaming. There is nothing else I can do since come next week on March 1 I will have walked this earth for 60 years and I still have to wrap my mind around that fact because yesterday I was still ready to grab my books and head for high school. Hope the coming weekend is great for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Just trying to keep up with you, Ann, so have a Tremendous Thursday, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on NIUME, Nell. As for the coloring book, I write it and convert real photos to coloring pages. It's fun and it's different.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 9 months ago from England

      First of all, yep, thanks...the wheels on the bus...LOL! your coloring book sounds interesting? reading it, coloring or are you writing it? as for niume, I do write on there, but it does feel like bubblews to me so I don't tend to hang around it much to be honest, just hope some people read it like I read theirs. Great advice as always!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 9 months ago from SW England

      Yes, bill, we 'ise' and you 'ize'; just one of the confusing differences between the two!

      I like the 'top of the hat Tuesday'!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well signing up is a start, Bill! Bravo for that. :) Thanks, as always, for being here, and Happy Wednesday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, you made me laugh this morning, and I thank you for that gift. I heard your editor is a real hell on wheels, so good luck with him. LOL Great observation about NIUME...thank you for that.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, great observation about NIUME. I don't see the level of interaction there that I see here, but in all honesty I haven't made the same amount of effort that, so part of that blame falls on me.

      Anyway, good to see you, my friend. Peace and blessings to you always.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      Thanks Bill. Great questions and answers. I've been trying Niume myself lately and probably have about 30 Hubs there. Writers there, on average, seem meaner. The community spirit is not so great. Perhaps they can help Niume more by writing more than the few sentences I see sometimes. Two or three lines and a photograph, doesn't say much.

      Lawrence's question is interesting. My creative writing has always come fairly easily. Even so, I do like people to comment on them, like most writers and I do like the Hub to read well.

      I think that the greater thing is the love for the art. This is what makes us want to do so well. I want my every word to be meaningful, as I'm trying to serve; to create a special consciousness that has not been done before. Again, it is also useful to hear what others have to say about the piece.

      Pressure? Who knows? never thought of it this way. Love to Bev and the team.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 9 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I have a stack of birthday cards waiting to be opened but they just have to wait until I re-read your post. That's right. I always read the mailbag installments twice. Once to feed my never-ending curiosity and the second time to "polish my writing chops"

      Now, as far as Niume is concerned, it's been a fun site to write for. Great response to my posts, but most of all, I get to experiment with more ideas (shorter post requirements) and work on my photo skills.

      Thanks again Bill for another enlightening mailbag. Now if I can be excused - I have a book to write. (You'd love my editor).

      love,

      audrey

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 9 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Another great week for the mailbag. Thank you for following up with the post from Niume about views. I am a little closer having actually signed up on the site although I haven't posted anything yet. Have a gr at week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I like that, Ann and I am having a tantalizing Tuesday, thank you very much. Is that how you Brits spell that word, with an "s" instead of a "z"....I would flunk grammar in the Uk. :)

      Top of the hat Tuesday to you, my friend

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 9 months ago from SW England

      More new and interesting questions this week!

      The one about self-inflicted pressure - I do think we put too much pressure on ourselves because we want people to like what we write. My answer to that is that if I'm happy with what I write when I get back to it after a couple of days, then I might tweak it a bit but basically if others don't like it when I publish, then tough! I do of course listen to feedback and I like to progress so next time my own criteria will go up but the 'happy' premise will remain.

      Have a tantalising Tuesday, bill!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm going to address that, John, in the next Mailbag. I got some help from Christy at HP, so wait patiently and I'll have the "definitive" answer for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, Dora! I'm a bit skeptical, so I'll probably wait and see what Amazon does about it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, we've had the all-time February for wet, but nothing like you folks. Sheez, stay safe...supposedly spring is right around the corner.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I thought the same thing. It is clever but I'm not sure it is terribly ethical. LOL I have more faith in Amazon in this instance, but the writer might as well ride the wave while he can.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great approach, Flourish! I'm that way with new technology....I wait about a year until the dust settles and all the kinks have been worked out. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Alicia, and thank you for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Could be, Brian! Honestly, I have no idea on this one. It is strange that so many writers say their views dropped drastically. Seems like more than coincidence.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 9 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I saw that Niume blog post about their counting views. My memory is that it mentioned that going to an article is not counted as a view until the whole page has loaded. Of course that would be affected by how fast one's computer is, how fast one's Internet connection is, and the size and content of the article. The post says that this criterion for what constitutes a view is standard practice.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love your advice about the missing muse, Bill! Thanks for sharing it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 9 months ago from USA

      I enjoy being a late adopter of fads, technology, etc. and that would include any new websites because it gives others the chance to be the guinea pigs and I can benefit from their learnings. I never did the Bubblews thing and I'm hesitant about other sites at this point.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 9 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday while it's still Monday!

      Re: Review, then Refund. Clever? Yes. The author is obviously trying to get "verified purchase" reviews which are favored by sites such as Amazon. But then to turn around and refund the money? Is it still a "verified purchase?" In my opinion, no. I think this can be filed under gaming the system. I'm sure Amazon will get wise to the tactic if its use becomes widespread.

      Well, got to get back to applying some self-inflicted pressure to get some things done. Make it a great week!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 9 months ago from Fresno CA

      Hey Bill,

      Just checking in to say we haven't floated off yet but wow, are we WET. There is another storm bearing down on us that promises to last 4 more days. I would safely say the 6 year drought is officially over here in California. Luckily I don't live anywhere near the Oroville Dam that is threatening to break. Still, our streets are flooding and people have brought out their surf boards and water skis and are making fun of the seriousness of the situation. I have a bad feeling that food prices will skyrocket because the almond crop is going to be ruined (blossoms being knocked off by rain) and so much farm land is flooded or over saturated. Just wait and see. Thanks for getting my mind of the weather with the wheels of the bus anyway.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 9 months ago from The Caribbean

      I am especially interested in the first question since I have recently started on book reviews. There were two books I wanted as soon as I saw the titles, and on reading the reviews, I discovered the free books in exchange for reviews program. The publishers ask for honest reviews and positive reviews are not solicited. However, I have read reviews that are copies of other reviews so there is no way to tell if the second or third reviewer read the book.

      It is more likely that in the buy-the-book and get-refund plan, the buyer will want to read. It also promotes rapport between the review and the author which can also be helpful in the long run. Great plan!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will use it, MizB. I'm going to see if our friends in HP management have an answer to that one since I'm clueless.

      Happy Monday dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It does offer a break, Mary, but I'm chomping at the bit to resume my novels. Soon!

      Thanks for the question. Hope the answer was satisfactory.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And Larry, I am very grateful. Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a tough obstacle, Melissa, and you aren't alone in that feeling. As for the song, SO SORRY!!! LOL

      Happy Monday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Ruby, I hope it at least lasts for my lifetime. Forever would be nice, but I have to be realistic. LOL Thank you!

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      John Hansen 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Bill, in regard to Lawrence question about us putting pressure on ourselves to write stuff our readers will love, that is the bane of most writers. My greatest concern is where to put my writing and which audience I think it will suit best..HubPages or The Creative Exiles.

      MizB's comment about beginning to read a hub and then being distracted by other things before returning to finish it .. This happens to me a lot, and being on the other side of the world I admit to sometimes falling asleep as I receive notification of a new hub at maybe 2:00am and begin to read it before dozing off. I too would be interested to know if this affects scores or anything.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Remember, I told you that I would know your story among other writers, it's true. We all have a voice, only some are very distinctive. Thanks for another great mailbag. I hope it continues for ever!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 9 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I am now sitting at my desk humming an annoying little tune...I wonder why?! In regards to self-inflicted pressure, I can confidently say that this is very real and prevents many of us from even having the nerve to share our writing with anyone except our dearest PET friend.

      Have a great week!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 9 months ago from Oklahoma

      You always keep me coming back:-)

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      Mary Wickison 9 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your responses to my questions.

      Regarding the self-inflicted pressure, it is getting to the point where I don't want to allow a comment section on any of my hubs or websites.

      I almost would prefer to be writing anonymously and just look at Google analytics from time to time. I guess it sounds like it is time to step away from the keyboard before somebody gets hurts.

      Regarding your coloring books, I think that offers a wonderful break from writing.

      Have a great week.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 9 months ago

      A great mailbag today, Bill. I especially liked your answer about the muse. My humble opinion is that we should never force ourselves to write, contrary to the "teachers" who say we should write some everyday. The human body has to sleep, so let's give the old girl some sleepy time, shall we?

      Hey, what about those of use who open a hub start,, reading and then get busy and leave it open for a couple of hours before coming back and finishing it. Do you know if that affects scores. Use this in your next mailbag if you wish. Thanks, and have a good rest of the week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, greetings my friend, and it is nice to see you once again. Stay tuned. I'll tell you more about the coloring book next week. In the meantime, blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I think it's the damned holiday. They always take a chunk out of views...not that freelance writers ever get a holiday. :) Thanks as always, my friend....be in touch soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, the voice is remarkably easy to notice for writers we follow. I'm not surprised at all that your teacher discovered yours with a different name on it. LOL

      Always good to see you, my friend. I think of you often.

      Hugs and love heading your way

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Becky! It's always good to hear from you. As for your muse, I hope she returns shortly. She must have needed a prolonged vacation.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 9 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      I love that old song. When I read that, the image of my mom holding my sons on her lap and bouncing them, while singing that song popped into my head. My mom has been gone for over 10 years now, so those images do not pop in as often. Good memories.

      I loved your comment on 'voice'. I hear the voice in all the writers I follow and can tell when someone ghost writes for them. I have been reading an anthology of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar short stories. Some of them are written by Mercedes and a bunch were written by other famous writers. I do not need to look to see which, because the 'voice' shows through.

      As for the muse, mine has been missing for a while and I guess I need to go looking a little. I lost her while in the midst of moving. By the time I got moved, she had decided to go on a long trip. I guess I will go do some research on the subject I was working on, and see if that brings her back to me. I still know where I was going with that story, and maybe I will find her if I do research on the history of the area and time period.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 9 months ago from sunny Florida

      About voice....O dear, do I dare admit this? In college a roommate asked me to write her research paper for her....and I did. We both had the same journalism teacher. He recognized MY voice....it wasn't pretty....

      our voice is our voice, isn't it?

      Glad to see the mailbag is rolling on, like that proverbial bus whose wheels go round and round.

      Sorry am not here more often...miss your writings....Angels once again are headed your way ps

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 9 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Bill - I must have taken a wrong turn. Only five comments, usually there are 50 comments by the time I get here. I must be stalling. Oh, yeah, the blank page waits.

      My opinion on reviews is to give reviews any time you can. Amazon follows me around and removes most of mine.

      Writing pressure? Wishing to write something 'Good' I agree that anyone that is practicing their art feels that. There should be goals - that's why we practice.

      "several very influential writers" - anyone we may have heard of?

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting and entertaining mailbag, as always.

      Regarding that Niume post, I think clicks and page times are two different factors. They might be paying per click @certain rate and as per minimum page time @some different rates. I may be wrong, but it strikes to me like that because the analytics provide page view timings also in some cases.

      I am also curious to know about your coloring project (or may be hobby). What is that wonderful thing?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll answer this in next week's mailbag, Sally, but the quick answer is both ways. I'll go into more detail next week.

      Happy Monday to you despite the gray.

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw thanks, Janine. Now it's more like a Monday morning with you commenting. Enjoy the family day, my friend.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 9 months ago from New York, New York

      A bit of a delay for me on this PResident's Day having my husband a girls home today. But just wanted to stop int o read your Monday mailbag advice and say hi, too. Wishing you a lovely week ahead now and as always thank you, Bill!! :)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 9 months ago from Norfolk

      I am curious about the colouring book. Are the images drawings or photos converted using software and made into pages which one can colour? Happy Monday Billy, hope the sun comes out for you this week. Like me, I guess you could be getting fed up with the colour grey.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! Not so old, my friend. You certainly look younger than me.

      I need some sunshine. The chores are piling up outside, but I'm too stubborn to go out in the downpour to do them. :)

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      Linda Lum 9 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, a fun mailbag and a great beginning to what looks to be a wet and cold week. My friend, who is STRUGGLING to write that children's novel, asked me how to find the Muse when she goes missing. I told her exactly what you stated above (but not as eloquently).

      Well, the coffee has finished dripping and it's time for this old gal to get moving. I hope you have a wonderful week. Good luck with your new little brood of 99 and all that the good Lord sends in your direction this week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, it's a nice change of pace for sure. I find it relaxing and in its own way, a source of creativity...oops, I should have answered that in next week's Mailbag. LOL Hey, you were first. You beat Janine this week....congrats and thanks!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for a great way to start my writing week. We are darned lucky to have you.

      Tell me though. Is it more fun to do coloring books than most other writing? Do you think it would be good therapy for that which ails one?