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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 214

Updated on July 30, 2018

Greetings From the Heat

It’s all relative, you know.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are not accustomed to heat. This current stretch of days with temps in the 90’s is tough on us. Yes, my friends in Texas are laughing at that statement, but then they whine when it rains too much, or the temps dip into the 50’s, while we here in Olympia consider those to be the blessed norm, so there you have it.

So it’s a Friday morning, and the expected high temp today is ninety, our fifth in a row at ninety, and I’m scrambling to get my writing done before this garage turns into an oven. Then off to the farm I will go, to feed and water the birds, and of course sweat copious amounts of bodily fluids, all the while dreaming of a break in the heat wave and blessed September, when the Pacific Northwest will once again become the Climate Heaven we have grown to love.

Let’s get this show on the road and then go sweat!

Greetings from the Mail Room!
Greetings from the Mail Room! | Source

Work Ethic

From Eric: “Could you boil down your work/writing ethic. I know your father's and get it but I have trouble capturing yours.”

Gosh, Eric, I didn’t think you cared! Lol

I don’t know if any of my work ethic is attributable to biology. My biological parents and siblings all died young, and I know so little about them that I can’t attribute anything to them other than a fondness for alcohol which can be and was harmful to their health.

I learned from watching my father. I know that’s not fair to my mother, who worked hard for a couple decades, but my father was the hardest-working man I’ve ever seen. I would actually feel guilty watching him work, like I wasn’t doing enough to help out, you know?

Two other points: oftentimes I have been lucky enough to work jobs I absolutely loved. Teaching for sure was a labor of love, as is writing. I don’t mind working long hours if it is something I adore doing. The other thing is a strong sense of responsibility. When I had a young son it was my responsibility to do anything possible to support him and provide for him. Same thing in a marriage . . . if that means hard work then so be it. There is nothing wrong with hard work. I happen to think hard, honest work is good for my health. It keeps me active, it keeps me feeling accomplished, and it continues to feed my self-worth. I can’t imagine not working, to be honest with you, as long as it is work I enjoy.

One other thing: I am driven, and always have been, to prove myself to others. If I were to delve into the psychological aspects of that, it would be because of an inferiority complex, mine for as long as I remember, and hard work is one way of proving to myself, and to others, that I have value. Seems a little silly when I write it, after all of these years and all I’ve accomplished, but there you have it.

Anyway, Eric, that’s what comes to mind regarding your question.

My work ethic begins from this man, my father.
My work ethic begins from this man, my father. | Source

Changing Book Covers

From Mary: “I have a question for a future mailbag. Do you think that changing a book cover will generate more sales?”

Hmmm . . . interesting question, Mary, and a first!

Yes, people do judge books by their covers so yes, cover art is important. Without a doubt, if your book is in a bookstore or some other retail outlet, what that book looks like is very, very important. I suppose, to a lesser extent, it is also important for online sales since the cover is the first thing online book purchasers see and first impressions are always crucial.

The only question I have is this: how do you know you need a new cover? That’s the question that needs to be answered before you set out to change the cover. I suppose you can answer that question by taking some sort of informal poll. I don’t know how else you would accomplish it.

You might also do a little personal research. Take some successful books by successful authors in your genre, and lay those books on the floor so you can see them all at the same time. What do their covers have in common? What types of colors are dominant? How about the lettering? Are there similarities? Book covers from established publishers are designed using the latest market survey statistics, so you can bet their covers are the way they are for a reason. And since copying is great flattery, you might want to pattern your book covers after their book covers.

Just some random thoughts. Bottom line is this: don’t change your book covers simply because you are bored and have nothing better to do. If you are going to change a cover, you need a specific reason to do so; otherwise you are just tinkering for the sake of tinkering, and that falls under the category “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

None of these book covers have been changed. Perhaps it is something I should do.
None of these book covers have been changed. Perhaps it is something I should do. | Source

More on Changing Titles

From Geoff: “Do I understand correctly: if the URL is not changed, then changing the title of your article really doesn’t serve any purpose?”

Yes, Geoff, you understand me correctly. In the Google World, the URL is King! Changing your title might get you a few extra views on HubPages, but it will do nothing for you on Google unless that URL is also changed, and to do that you have to know your way around programming much better than I do. There are some YouTube videos which explain how to change URLs and I suggest you take a look at them.

Avoiding Know-It-All-It-Is

From Linda: “Some of your readers might be trying to write a self-help book, DIY, a Q&A column, or perhaps become the next "Dear Abby." How does one provide reliable information, instructions, or advice without coming across as preachy, opinionated, or know-it-all?”

For those of you who do not know Linda, she writes a weekly column on HP about cooking, a question an answer series somewhat similar to this series of mine. She also has a blog called The Creative Corner. The woman knows how to cook and she is quite knowledgeable about gardening, and I highly recommend both to all of you.

As for your question, Linda, I started this Mailbag series four years ago, and early on I stressed that it was, and is, a community site for writers to learn from each other. I made it known early on that I do not know everything there is to know about writing, and that I would be learning from readers’ comments just as they would learn from my responses. In that way I was hoping to negate any possibility of me coming off as a know-it-all, which was and still is a mild concern of mine.

The other thing I rely on is my followers knowing me as a person. I think I have established a certain amount of credibility over the years on HP. I also think I have allowed people to know enough about me so they will not feel I am a know-it-all. Credibility comes from experience but it also comes from personal trust, and both of those things come from time, hard work, and sincerity. People tend to trust me because they feel like they know me as a human being. The same will happen for you. I trust you and believe you because I have met you in person. You are very easy to trust and very easy to like, and my hope, for you, is that will translate into a bigger following over the years.

The Temperature Is Rising

It is time to shut this computer down for the day and head out into the heat for my alternative life of an urban farmer. I hope your day is cool and filled with spectacular, enriching events.

Thanks for spending part of your Monday with me.

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Climate is definitely changing, Devika....not a good thing at all, but a thing we must be prepared for.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Croatia had a heat wave in August and fruit trees didn't bare much this year. Not a good season for olives.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dee! I hope you are well, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Seems like a great deal to me, Lawrence. :) Thanks my friend.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      9 months ago

      Good reading for this evening. I especially like your thoughts on responsibility. It is a trait to be admired.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I'd swap our cold wet and miserable weather for temperatures in the nineties anyday!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Jo....how about I answer that in next week's Mailbag, just for the heck of it?

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      9 months ago from Tennessee

      This is not a writing question, Bill, but I noticed in your introduction here you mentioned heading off to the farm. I was under the assumption your farming activities were urban. Do you now have a farm? I would love to know more about that activity. I have read about how others do farming for years. Just one of my weird obsessions.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very cool, my friend.

      Have a great weekend, Zulma!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      9 months ago from United Kingdom

      Only for a second. We had a nice little chat.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Surprise, Zulma? I would be absolutely dumbstruck!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      9 months ago from United Kingdom

      Why thank you, Bill, that's sweet of you to say. I've only ever met one other person with my name. We were introduced by a mutual acquaintance and we both had the same look of surprise. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      They sure do with me, Zulma! I've said it before, but will repeat, I love your first name. You are the only Zulma I will ever know, and that is kinda cool!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I don't handle the heat like I once did. I wilt when it gets above eighty now. Sigh! Bring on September for sure.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Peg, and thanks for mentioning that. I'm not sure I want a book with Tom Cruise on the cover. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      We can't have it all, Manatita. Yep, shy by nature, but I can fake it and rise to the occasion when necessary.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, thanks for the information on computers and temperatures. It seems like I had heard that before, but had forgotten all about it. Again, thanks!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My goodness, Rajan, i would melt if I lived there. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is interesting, MizB, the thought that we have tons of rain. There are quite a few cities in the south and east which get more rain than we do. Meanwhile, we just had our hottest July on record. I'm not sure that's a record I want to embrace. :) Thanks, as always!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy, I don't know how you folks do it. Rest assured I will not be moving there and adding to your population problems. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Rinita! Stay warm and dry; better days are ahead for you.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      9 months ago from United Kingdom

      Good to hear, Bill. It's amazing how extreme temps can suck the life right out of you.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      9 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Another informative edition of the mailbag. We have had a rather hot and humid summer also and it's starting to wear on me. The humidity really sucks the energy out of me. Hate to wish summer away but bring on September and my favorite time of the year, fall.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Mary! Thank you very much!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, you could stay it. It is mostly Californians we only allow to visit. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cooler weather has arrived Zulma, and with it my motivation.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Stay dry, Pop.....thankfully the clouds have returned here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It finally did, Alyssa, thank the gods. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Stay warm, John! I hope that writing bug bites you soon again. Too much work makes John a dull boy, or so my grandmother would have said.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! I would not be able to live where you live, despite its beauty.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      9 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      I like your advice on covers and how to compare ours to the popular sellers. I've noticed, like on the Jack Reacher series books, that Lee Child (or his publishing house) altered the original cover to include a photo of the movie star who got the role. That also happened with the Gillian Flynn novels like "Gone Girl." Personally, I like the original covers better.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      9 months ago from london

      I have written a piece on the temperature here. It was crazy for a while. So I feel for you Bro.

      Hope you are ok when caring for the chickens. Keep drinking. I'll be in NY on the 15th, God's willing. So things may not be any better.

      So you are shy, eh? Well, I'm the opposite. But you do an awesome job here. I guess we can't have it all. Peace.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      9 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      Bill, I appreciate your articles and the information in answering our questions. Something you may not know is that my son is a computer tech. He has stressed many times to me about keeping my technology cool enough. When the temps get too high for them, computers will be damaged. He keeps telling me to run my air conditioner to keep my computer no warmer than 75-80 degrees. To save your computer, you might want to move it into the house when it gets too warm in your garage. It is cold sensitive also. That is lower than you would be comfortable in for too long. Electronics are persnickety things, and expensive to replace.

      Thankfully, my son keeps mine running well. I just make a phone call and he comes and fixes it, if I can't handle it. He built it and he can fix it.

      I live in southern AZ, but up on a plateau. It is running in the mid 90s now, but with fairly low humidity. The nightly lows are in the mid 60s. We moved here to escape the humidity in TN. I really hate humidity. I can handle a bit of heat though. Even during the monsoon season here, the humidity is negligible. We started the monsoon season a week or two ago, and it usually lasts about a month. It does cool down a little bit then. I am not crazy about rain, so I am in a good place for me.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      9 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      The temperature here is in the 80's at night and almost peaking in the mid 90's in the afternoon. Daytime temperature getting uncomfortable for the feathered beings, more so, as humidity is also in the mid-80's and rising. Surely a torrid time for the birds.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      9 months ago from Beautiful South

      Hi, Bill, better late than never. Sometimes life gets in the way (responsibilities, you know), and I haven't been on the computer in two days. Thinking about putting one of those responsibilities on the market though.

      I'm glad to see the question about the book cover. We are going to have to change the cover of this book I'm editing and rewriting (1) because it is a second edition, and (2) to get around a former copyright that my inexperienced author signed away. Here's the problem I'm running into with him. The 1st edition has an interesting B&W vintage photo on the cover that fits the subject matter, so the author keeps sending me boring irrelevant B&W photos. I think we need to go with something colorful and more exciting. I think you answered that question for me. I'll tell him.

      Ah, we got some respite this week. Our weather has been in the 80s, but tomorrow it goes back up to our normal 90s. Oh, well, we can't have it all. I had a friend who moved his family to Seattle, and they lasted two years. They couldn't get used to the climate, especially the rain. I don't know why, we average 51" a year here. I envy your climate, my friend.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Sorry, you are experiencing that kind of heat in the northwest. You are correct in thinking that it would seem like mild summer temperatures here in Houston where we have experienced "feel like" temperatures well into the 100s with real temperatures approaching the century mark. Looking forward to September! Your mailbags are always interesting to read.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      9 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your thoughts on the book cover question. It's interesting to hear not just your thoughts but your readers' as well.

      I think both you and Linda have a wonderful down to Earth style that is helpful and open.

      Hope your weather cools down for you.

      Have a great week.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      9 months ago from Oklahoma

      Here in OK where it's usually unbearable this time of year. Well, we've had a cold front. Got down to the low 70s last night.

      Me, I love the weather you guys usually get, but as I recall you saying in an article a few years back, I'm only allowed to visit, not stay, ;-)

      Hope you're doing well my friend. I'm keeping busy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, as always, thanks for the great comment. As for the cool weather coming our way, I'm afraid it always goes the opposite way. Darn it!!!!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Kristen! I can see the end of the heat in sight and it is beautiful!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you deserve a reward for all the effort it took to leave your comment. Thank you! I'm one of those mindless job lovers too. I love to paint...great job, an end goal in sight, great feeling of accomplishment when completed. I'm going to paint the chicken coops this Thursday and I'm actually excited about it. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Meatballs and pasta sound just fine to me, Mr. Happy! Feel free to ship some to me, thank you very much. As for your comment, I'm with you all the way on Big Egos. I can't get out of a room fast enough when faced with a Big Ego.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      9 months ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent. I hope that means cooler weather for you. We had a cloudburst this morning which our garden and my daughter's vegetables are truly grateful for. Have a comfortable day.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No, I got it Zulma! I plan on reading it this morning. :) Thank you and the clouds returned this morning. Yippee!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I am always happy I'm not in California. LOL Happy Tuesday, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's cloudy this morning, Linda, so you and I should be happy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nor do I, Chitrangada Sharan. Perhaps that is why spring and fall are my two favorite seasons.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't blame you, Venkatachari M. It seems to me that HP should have that capability.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      9 months ago

      I feel your pain, billy. I hate high heat, and that is what we have had. Then we have the rain. It is going to rain in New Jersey straight through to Saturday! Great mailbag!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      9 months ago from Ohio

      Great mailbag edition this week! I hope some cooler weather comes your way!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      9 months ago

      It is the wet season where I live, and it is continuously damp and cold, and will be for a couple of more months. I do envy your high temperatures right now, always preferred 'hotter' to 'colder'. Anyway, another helpful mailbag. I do get a lot out of these as well as from Linda's. So thank you both.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Bill, It was -3 c here this morning so we are experiencing the opposite of you at present. I am just about to prepare breakfast and get on with the day as it starts to warm up. Unfortunately, my work ethic seems to have plummeted since I left the farm and came to town. I need to get back outdoors more and create new food garden here etc and gradually build up the hen population again.

      On book covers, Linda commented on my hub The Devil's Halo this seemed to be a common theme at the moment, and it was a reminder to check this Mailbag out. Loved the questions and answers as always. Don't work too hard in the heat.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      9 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I'm in the Caribbean where it's always hot. I appreciate the fact that you schedule your writing for the cooler part of the day, suggesting a "no-excuse-for-not-writing" approach. Thanks for another good set of answers.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      9 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday! (Getting in while it's still Monday.)

      Re: Book Covers. Agree that you need to have a reason to change your book cover. As I am doing my audio books, I've had to either: 1) Create an audio cover and change the print and eBook versions to match; or, 2) Create an audio cover that's somewhat like the original. Because the audio book format is a large square and print/eBook covers are vertical rectangles, you can see the need for cover redoing.

      Couple that with the fact that if you create your print/eBook with Createspace/KDP, you can't use the same artwork because of the size and orientation issues. Plus, any free images you placed in your CS/KDP cover are not licensed for use on ACX/Audible. Ugh!

      One day I hope CS/KDP/ACX all join forces. So what I'm doing in the meantime is creating very simple, text-only type audio covers and "coordinate" with the print/eBook covers, though not exactly matching. It's just too much hassle to develop new custom print/eBook covers.

      Something we've got to start thinking about as new book formats emerge.

      It's been gorgeous, not too hot weather here in Chi-town lately. Hope some of it comes your way. Stay cool!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      9 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great mailbag as always my friend. Stay cool over there. A few more weeks of summer left and then we have fall weather.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      9 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Well Bill, I attempted to write a comment this morning and as I told you, it disappeared somewhere in the Ethernet. What a pity, as it was absolutely brilliant!

      Let’s try again. First, I really enjoyed this mailbag (and not just because you used one of my questions). Thank you for the shout-outs.

      On work ethic -- I don’t think work ethic is biological. I’m pretty sure it’s more nurture than nature. You sir are a very hard worker. I think your physical labor on the farm is good for both your body and your spirit. You are keeping in shape, but unlike other tasks you can actually SEE the results. I enjoy writing, but there’s no instant reward for 10,000 keystrokes. Maybe that’s why I like washing dishes. It’s a mindless activity, doesn’t take any real skill, but as soon as you’re done, TADA! (…oh gosh, right now you’re loading up your dishes and driving to my house, aren’t you?)

      Changing book covers – For sure the first thing that attracts me to a book is the cover. But it’s the synopsis that keeps me holding onto it. For every 10 books I pick up at the library, I’ll bet 9 go back on the shelf. By the way, some cooks/food bloggers are routinely contacted by one of the major magazines to provide feedback on cover design.

      I hope you find some shade, my friend. Run the sprinkler for the chickens and if you run through with them once in a while no one will know.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      9 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "I can’t imagine not working, to be honest with you, as long as it is work I enjoy." - Isn't Life work enough? On top of which, they say life is priceless. Therefore, working for an hourly wage, or a monthly wage puts a price on Life. So, I have trouble with the concept of working for a wage.

      I actually just had to quickly run downstairs. I have tomatoe sauce simmering and had to stir it. I'm making meat balls and pasta as well. That's work I can believe in.

      "Yes, people do judge books by their covers so yes, cover art is important." - I think if the cover maches the content, it can add to the overall experience of reading/having a certain book. I remember when I first held a copy of Hunter S. Thompson's ""Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". The illustration by Ralph Steadman was so wild I couldn't wait to dive in the book and every time I see the cover, memories from the book start flooding in. The content and the cover are brilliantly made for each other.

      "Credibility comes from experience but it also comes from personal trust, and both of those things come from time, hard work, and sincerity." - Here for me I would say "tone" is important. If I feel that the Ego is bursting out of any given author, I walk away. Big Egos put me off.

      Alrighty, You enjoy your day! I'm off to the meatballs and pasta.

      Cheers!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      9 months ago from United Kingdom

      I'm sorry you had such a miserable night. I know you're into living simply and all, but you really should invest in a small desk fan. I did and it was a life-saver. It simply makes sense.

      By the way, I posted Part 2 of my story last week. Would you be a dear and have a peek at it, please? I would be grateful. There's no rush. I thought maybe you just didn't get the email.

      Hope the weather cools soon.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      9 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Hope this Monday finds a little relief from the 90s...no matter how how it is, just be thankful you aren't in California! Eeks!

      Hope you have a great and productive week!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's good to read another edition of the Mailbag, Bill. I hate the heat that we're experiencing. Like you, I'm looking forward to cooler weather.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      9 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great set of questions and answers!

      The question about the ‘ know it all’ is particularly interesting.

      Regarding the heat—I really don’t like the extremes of any season, whether Summer or Winter. And the Indian Summer is quite famous.

      Thanks for sharing another useful installment!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Good Day, Bill. Here it is the night.

      Presently, our temperatures are the same as of yours due to the rainy season. But normally we have more than 100 F here in summers.

      A great mailbag, this one also, with good questions. Regarding changing the titles, I agree with you that there's no use changing them unless the URL also gets changed. And, that is not possible on HubPages. I am disgusted with it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shaloo! Hot is hot no matter where you are, and I don't like it. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! I agree with you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is a question, Eric, I would very much like to know the answer to. Thanks buddy! Linda...no way that woman will ever be a know-it-all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mike...100 degrees....we hit 95 yesterday and hardly anyone was out and about. It was eerily quiet.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! You just described my approach to a new book...glance at the cover and read the synopsis...it takes about thirty seconds to decide.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! I have always respected you, so your assurances make me feel good. As for your questions, they always get my mind to working double-time, and that's never a bad thing.

      Mind-bending Monday only because our minds are melting in the heat. We need clouds soon. The Pacific Northwest is burning, literally.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Zulma! I have worried about that from time to time. I think the joy of this series is we all learn from each other. I go over every single comment and always find pearls of wisdom.

      Cooler by Wednesday! I can hardly wait. Last night was miserable sleeping.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      9 months ago from India

      It's very hot here in North India during summer. But it seems to be nothing compared to the temperatures you mentioned. I am feeling blessed!!! And thanks for yet another informative mailbag. Already looking forward to the next!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      9 months ago from USA

      I encourage everyone to check out Linda’s cooking Q&A series and ask questions. She’s awesome!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Just a quick laugh - Linda acting like a Know-it-All is very funny. Humility is her middle name. If they still make hard cover.

      Thanks for your answer to my question. It made me remember that I went to "work" with my dad a bunch. He really liked what he did it never looked like work. I wonder how I can be adopted and yet share his genes ;-)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - Happy Monday. Looks like we will approach 100 degrees today, a little break from the heat wave here in southern California. It is always a pleasure to stop by and read the writers mailbag.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      9 months ago from UK

      It has been hot in the UK too recently. Although predictably, just as the schools broke up for summer vacation, the rains came. Your work ethic definitely resonates with me. A book cover is helpful to catch my eye, but it's the synopsis that's usually the deal-breaker in whether I read it or not.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Color me green with envy, William. I would figuratively kill for 72 right now.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I am very happy to hear that, Mary! Thank you my friend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      9 months ago from SW England

      It is important to give some kind of idea of who one is as a person; as you say, trust is vital and respect means that we are happy to take advice from that person.

      Question for the mailbag: How much do you think our personality comes over in our writing? I'm thinking mainly of fiction here, as non-fiction probably shows our colours more easily. Are the best writers able to hide their own thoughts and character, especially when writing something truly dark?

      I'm not sure that's possible but I'd like to know what you think, or have experienced.

      You have never, in my opinion, come over as preachy or a know-it-all, in all your writing here over the last seven/eight years. I think the humour and humility in your writing makes that impossible.

      A mind-bending Monday to you, bill!

      Ann

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      9 months ago from United Kingdom

      I feel you, Bill. Our temps have been in the 90s too. It finally broke on Friday with a much need thunderstorm. It's cooled off nicely and I'm enjoying a cool breeze.

      Just to set your mind at ease, I've never felt you came off as preachy or a know-it-all. You're sharing your own experiences as a writer and invite your readers to share their opinions. A know-it-all would never do that for fear of falling off his self-made pedestal.

      Enjoy the cool weather.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      9 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hope you enjoy the heat, Bill. I'll be thinking of you on this 72 degree Pennsylvania Monday. Thank you for another week of great answers, and thank you to those who asked the questions. As always, another informative mailbag.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      9 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I do believe in sharing your person because I learn from your mailbag not just the knowledge you share like on book covers this time but also the values you share when you write about these things. I find that more important and appreciate these lessons by trying to live up to them.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I appreciate you stopping by to say Hello, Stages...thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Janine! Thanks so much! Have fun on that family day.

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      Kathy Henderson 

      9 months ago from Pa

      Always a pleasure to spend time on your Hub. I have been neglecting my writing, new baby grand taking precident, however, it shows in my score so I must get busy. I struggle with editing as you know and writing in general. Nonetheless I love it!

      Blessings to you always

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      9 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, always happy to spend a bit of my Monday with you here. Got some work done a bit earlier as my husband is off on his "summer Mondays" now. So, was trying to get all done before he and the girls were up to enjoy a nice family day with all. But, of course, had to stop in to read your weekly mailbag and wish you a wonderful Monday and week ahead now, my friend :)

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