ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 216

Updated on August 13, 2018

Same Story, Different Week

I know it’s beginning to sound like an obsession, but the heat continues here in “once balmy” Olympia. We set the all-time record for hottest July, and August seems hell-bent on setting its own record.

So be it!

This weekend I stacked two cords of wood, spread two cubic yards of wood chips, and managed to keep all the critters alive while Bev went to Oregon to ride horses on the beach with a friend of hers.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Actually nothing if your name is Bev. It just goes to prove something I have known for quite some time: my wife is wiser than I am!

Shall we see what’s in the Mailbag this week?

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

FARMING?

From Jo: “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.”

Oh boy, a non-writing question!!!

There is no way, Jo, that we could afford to buy a farm. Bev’s son and his wife own ten acres about five miles from us, so we keep all of our chickens at their farm on about a quarter of an acre. We go out there daily to feed and water them, and to collect eggs. Here at our house, in the city, we keep our quail and eight hens for our own egg consumption.

It’s a nice solution to a problem, one which quite a few small-time urban farmers are doing. I was just talking to another young couple at the farmers market yesterday. They are going to lease a quarter-acre from a farmer and grow their produce on his farm They will be able to grow quite a bounty of crops on that quarter-acre using a hoop house; the price is very reasonable; any old way you look at it this is a win-win situation for all concerned.

And I suspect w will be seeing more and more of this in the future. There is actually a groundswell of interest and participation by young couples with regards to urban farming and small farming. We are seeing community gardens in most cities now, but we are also seeing creative solutions like cooperative farms and farm section leasing like I mentioned above. While the number of farms has decreased over the years, the number of small farms has actually increased, and that does this old heart good to hear.

SIMILES

From Zulma: “Similies instead of synonyms? What an excellent suggestion! I believe this is worthy of a hub. Or at least a mention in the mailbag.”

Zulma, I have no time for a hub on this topic, but I’ll be glad to weigh in with a few thoughts here.

Listen, anyone can use synonyms. It takes no talent at all to look up the synonyms for a particular word and choose one which strikes your fancy. I will even say there is nothing particularly wrong in doing so.

But how about going the extra mile as a writer? Instead of saying a young girl’s eyes were light blue, how about saying her eyes were like robin’s eggs? Yes, it takes a little more effort, but I think the result is much more satisfying for both the writer and the reader.

I even take it a step further. When I’m tired of sitting at the computer, but I still want to practice my craft, I will go outside and play with similes as I relax under a tree. Just look around, choose an object, imagine a synonym for that object, and then imagine a simile to take the place of the synonym. It may not be as much fun as playing Dungeons and Dragons, but it will be infinitely more beneficial to your writing skills.

Just sayin’…nothing against Dungeons and Dragons!

The bottom line: synonyms are okay, but do you just want your writing to be okay, or would you like to be recognized as a writer who expelled just a bit more effort?

Describe this using a simile!
Describe this using a simile! | Source

When to Stop Editing

From Zulma: “We all know how important it is to edit and tweak our writing till they're just right. Is there a mandatory point at which you should stop? Left to my own devices, I could edit my stories from now until the crack of doom and still be at it afterwards. How does one know when good enough really is good enough. I realise this is subjective and would really like to know how other people know when it's time to stop editing and start publishing?”

Yes, Zulma, this is completely subjective, and I suspect it is a problem all writers share, unless you are a writer who simply doesn’t care about quality, which you are not.

I limit myself to four re-writes/edits. That is a purely random number/limit I set for myself because, like you, I would be there at the crack of doom still tweaking. I can drive myself nutso doing those edits, so to avoid being institutionalized I set a limit of four and I stick with it. After four edits that baby is being delivered, ready or not, here she comes.

And I will be interested in hearing from others as well.

Touching Lives

From Rodric: “I am going to have to let go and let God... If it is good, it will touch lives. That is my biggest hope with my writings. Is it normal to have a writing philosophy like that? I don't want to make money only, I want to change someone's life. So far, I am not making money.”

Rodric, I sure hope it’s normal because that’s why I write.

I’ve said this many times before. I’m not here at HP to make money, so all of the site-tweaking they do, and all the suggestions they give me, are ignored by me. I simply don’t care about making money on HP. I’m here to be a part of a community of writers, and I’m here because it gives me a platform for my writing.

I write because I absolutely love writing. I write about social issues because I want to be heard and have a positive impact on people. Again, I simply don’t care about the money. I self-publish novels because I must write. I barely market them after I publish them. I don’t care about that part of the publishing side of things. If someone buys them great, but sales will never dictate how much I write in the future. When the love of writing is no longer there then I will hang up my cleats and step away from the ball field.

So I’m with you, my friend.

Let’s make a difference, what do you say?

Rebuild your articles to increase readership
Rebuild your articles to increase readership | Source

Too Many Published

From Rodric: “Bill, I have been going through all of my older articles and converting them to shorter 750 to 1250 words bit sizes. Ever since Eric made the observation on one of my articles that it was long. Reading what you mentioned about the suggested length of Hubpages articles, I went to work. It is fun, but I am publishing the material at like ten articles a day. I have changed the content and pictures, but will Hubpages flag me for putting out too many new materials? Is there such a rule?”

Rodric, I noticed all of those publications over the past few days. I didn’t know what you were up to, but I was in awe at your production in such massive numbers. Lol I feel better knowing you were just fine-tuning articles already written.

Is there a rule on HP about too many articles published? I know of no such rule. I’ve seen writers publish four, five poems in a single day in the past, with no negative outcome. In my opinion go for it until you hear from HP, but I can’t think of a single reason why they would be upset about that process . . . why would they be upset? You are improving your articles and thus doing your part in improving the quality of HP.

It’s Friday Morning and . . .

The clouds have appeared, and rain is forecast for tonight, and how very cool is that?

Thanks to you all who asked questions, and thanks to you all who commented on this installment of the Mailbag. Let’s do it again next week! Sound good to you?

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, we have all the equipment but not the time. LOL It's always something, isn't it?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! Greatly appreciated.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I learn so many things from the mailbag each time I visit it. Thank you so much.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Canning sounds like it would be fun, but I don't have the cash to get all that equipment. I'm thinking of making sauces, salsa and chutneys with the tomatoes, pickling some of the peppers and making rikas with the rest. If that's okay with our resident farmer, of course.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That's always the question, Zulma! Success in farming means more work, unfortunately. lol Next lesson...canning!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I do indeed, MIzB! It certainly gets under your skin and flows through your veins, if you are receptive. Big Red is a perfect name.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      My youngest daughter planted some tomato and pepper plants a few months ago. As our back garden contains clay, she planted everything in large pots. This week she harvested loads of beefsteak tomatoes, jalapeno and cayenne peppers. I thought it was pretty impressive for her first try at this.

      Now all that's left is to figure out what to do with this bumper crop. lol

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      4 weeks ago

      Great news, Bill! Our big red hen has started crowing! I'd named her Rhoda, but now he's "Big Red". He still looks like a she to me. Don't ya just love farming?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I could not agree more, Jo! It is a vital part of our history, and hopefully it will be a vital part of our future.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I always love hearing about cities and community gardens. I just think it is so important for a community.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      William, thanks for the support. If I could only find the time to follow-up on suggestions like yours,. It would be fun to do a farming Mailbag format...sigh!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a full bag for sure, Rodric. In the meantime, have a great weekend and thank you for your support.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It's an interesting question, Rinita. I've included it in the Mailbag for Monday, so stay tuned. Thanks for the question.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! I do think it helps to make a better writer. It is much too easy to fall into a comfortable habit and not stretch our abilities.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, nuance is lost on the HP Staff. I would love to know if they tinker with it again now that you changed it again. What a ridiculous folly that all is.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back, Devika, and thank you !

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I'll be by to read your latest very soon.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Lori! Love your take on Rodric's question, and I agree with you....and yes, I do believe similes,or metaphors, pack a much bigger punch.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      4 weeks ago from Tennessee

      I like to read articles and books about urban farming also, Bill. I am so pleased that more people are doing that. What the world needs, I am convinced, is more farmers.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Great questions and answers this week. I was also curious about your farming as I knew you had a site outside of your yard, but didn’t know the circumstances. The town I live in now has a community garden so this concept is definitely spreading. Have a great weekend.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      5 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      A non-writing question - I can see a new series of 200+ installments on farming. That would be amazing. Love the mailbag, Bill. Keep it coming!

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      5 weeks ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Rinita, that is a good question. I have the same one. Thanks for formulating it. I cannot wait for the next Mailbag to here what Bill has to say about it. You, Bill, are going to have quite a few questions this next time around. I might poke in and drop a few more off. Thanks for doing this Bill.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      5 weeks ago

      Interesting to learn about many things today. I would like to ask a question, Bill. Apologies if you have already covered this in any of your earlier mailbags, in which case, would appreciate if you could direct me to the right article.

      My question is - how does one effectively switch between writing styles? My own style is deeply influenced by English classics that I devour through most of my reading time. More passive voice, old language, and long sentences being some of the characteristics. When I write for myself, I am content with this style because it gives me a feeling of words freely flowing like an unbridled horse galloping through the woods. However, when I write for customers, or article sites, they usually prefer a contemporary approach with short sentences and catchy, modern words. When I switch to this style, I am never satisfied with my writing, even if they are. So I would appreciate if you have any wise words on how to switch between styles, and still turn out quality work.

      Thanks Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatahari M. I have indeed seen the process at work, so I'll let you know next Monday.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That is very nice of you, Lori! Thank you! I am a very lucky man.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, great story. I love that you do some work for the local DAR. You are the first person I've known that is associated with that organization. Carry on my friend!

      The heat is still here; we are in record-breaking territory now.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alyssa, and I wish you the same.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy...it's about time someone give me a simile for that....and it's a great one!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Peg...share cropping...I never thought of it like that, but you are correct. I like that connection with the past. Thank you!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      5 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Bill, I have a question or doubt.

      I want to know how they publish the books. Rather, to be specific, how do they print the books? Through ordinary printing press or any computerized techniques in operation? I hope you might have visited some printing establishments and so can answer my question. Thanks, in advance.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks again, Bill. I especially like the exercise on similes instead of synonyms. I can see how that can challenge and improve one's writing style.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 weeks ago from SW England

      I've now managed to get into my hub as they've finished their 'edit'! I've put it back to how it should be, though I did accept some of their changes. Have sent more emails but no response as yet.

      I would urge everyone to look carefully at any hub that has been edited by the HP team; they don't seem to understand some of the 'nuances' of language and, as I said, don't know much about English geography or phraseology.

      Still steaming!

      Ann

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You explained and I learned lots from your hubs. Have been busy with my summer job so hardly ever seen here. Will try to catch up on comments.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing that, Eman, and welcome to the Mailbag.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back Melissa! I hope you had a good time. Thanks for sharing your coffee break with me. I'll bring the donuts next time. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That would be frustrating, Venkatachari M. Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope you are well, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, after reading your rant, maybe I should pay closer attention to those HP edits they keep telling me about. I don't blame you at all for steaming over that. A writer's work is his/her passion; it seems like an invasion to change one's work without permission.

      Carry on! I'll be interested in a follow-up from you to see if you even got a response from HP.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great question, Rodric. I'll answer next Monday, but the short answer is there is no ethical concern at all in my opinion. Best wishes!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm not much for saving, Manatita...make it, spend it, do it all over again tomorrow. :) Peace my friend!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I like your exercise for playing with similes, Bill. I'm going to try that myself. I like the idea of the farm, too.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      5 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great topics here. I think in regards to the similes, I tread carefully about them as I don't want them to be cliche, but I think they pack a bigger punch. The editing question was an important one for me. And then Rodrics topic was a bingo for me. There are a lot of hacks out there pumping out stuff, looking for bucks. I'd rather make $0 and touch a life and I think good writers feel that way. I'm not talking about best selling authors because a lot of them are hacks if they've been doing it for decades. I won't name names. A true writer has something to say, and says it because he wants someone else to hear it and find value in it. Thanks to all who wrote in this week and always thanks to you Bill.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      5 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      I've only read your opening remarks so far. Before I go on reading I just want to say how refreshing and sweet to hear a man speak so well of his wife so often. Bev is real special I am quite sure. God bless you both.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 weeks ago

      Bill, thanks for the explanation of the "farm." I didn't realize you were using it in the literal sense and wondered how you accomplished so much in such a small urban backyard.

      I love your tip on similes. I try to use them occasionally, but sometimes it is difficult to come up with one. I have learned so much from being with our fellow writers. A funny story for you. I was doing some work for our local DAR chapter, and I wrote a really gushy letter to a government official. Our regent emailed me that she hated to admit it, but I was "a better writer than she is." She has just published a book. Anyway, I had to laugh at that because letter writing is one of my weakest points. My husband can't stand old lady gushy, so he thought it was amusing, too.

      Sounds like y'all took the brunt of the heat this summer. We've had high temps, too, but only one day of three digits. Right now we are getting your rain. My grass is too high, but we can't mow it. We may have to bail it if it ever dries out.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      5 weeks ago from Ohio

      Another excellent installment! I like your tip about similes. I will have to keep that in mind. Thanks, Bill! Have a great week!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Happy Monday, Bill. That photo looked like an explosion of peach sherbet was highlighting the approaching night sky.

      Hope your daytime temperatures cool down some. Those of us living in Houston always look forward to autumn and cooler weather.

      Your farming operation sounds great. Everyone benefits!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Bill, Happy Monday. I always enjoy hearing about your adventures with the birds and the farm. I also thought you had found some property and were expanding operations. Sounds like you're putting into action some of the tactics of the past with share cropping or shared acreage efforts.

      Glad to read that Rodric is happily rewriting hubs. Perhaps that will keep the powers that be busily occupied.

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      5 weeks ago from Egypt

      Thank you D. Holland for this useful article. I fully agree with you that money is not the main purpose of writing, but the dissemination of a positive idea or information that may have a positive impact on the lives of others is the nominal purpose and real gain of writing.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      5 weeks ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Just got back from a week of vacation and kind of floundering back at the work desk. Reading the weekly mailbag helps me get back into my routine (and makes for a really nice coffee break) so thank you!

      Hope it cools off just a little..Have a great and productive week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      See, Mary, your question about similes is a great example why this series keeps on keeping on...great question, one which must be asked whenever using a simile....answer coming in seven days!

      Have a great week...and the heat has returned here, darn it!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It sounds, Becky, that you are knee deep into gardening in Arizona. It's always interesting to me to hear about gardening/farming in other areas of the country, so thanks for sharing that, and good luck with Mother Nature.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are absolutely correct, Verlie, and I happen to like that approach more than the simile. It's always annoyed me, somewhat, to use the "like." :) Have a great week up north.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the reminder, Mike. I have to stack more of that wood today, and I'll need that incentive.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      A good suggestion, Liz, one I happen to agree with. Thank you for that...the heat is returning today . . . sigh!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And Linda, it's always good to share a piece of Monday with you....yes indeed, I am feeling the heat. When is October?????

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Not only ironic, Shaloo, but tragically ironic. Thank you for sharing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a good question, Eric, and a refresher on it in the Mailbag is a good idea. Stay tuned, stay cool, and stay healthy my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, I have to agree with you on that, no matter how self-serving it might seem. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Kristen, thanks as always for your suggestions, all good ones for sure. I hope you have a marvelous and productive week.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      5 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      This is a new thing for me. Hiring a small section of one's farm for your use. A good idea. Thanks for sharing this nice activity going on there.

      The synonym, simile information is also very interesting. Regarding editing, I am very weak, perhaps. Whenever I edit an article, HP sends me the same message. "Heads Up! Your article could be featured". Actually, it was featured but gets unfeatured after the edit. And, then, I keep on editing again and again.

      That's how it goes always with me.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 weeks ago from SW England

      The farm sounds great, bill. It's such a good idea for larger ones to let out some land for small-holdings. I'm not sure if that happens in Britain but I'd be surprised if it doesn't. I don't see much evidence of community farms here though, which is a shame.

      Similes are great and one can make up one's own so easily - that's why I enjoy playing with language.

      Talking of HP rules - you will be able to see, even across the pond, steam coming out of the top of my head and from my ears as I'm still trying to calm down after 2 days of HP still editing a hub of mine. They have so far completely messed up and I can't even get into the hub whilst they're doing so! I've emailed them but no answer as yet. They've completely changed the geography of Norfolk! What are they playing at? (That is not a question for your mailbag unless you want it to be!) It's so frustrating, I won't have much of my already short hair left if they take any longer.

      Great mailbag as always, bill.

      Hope your Monday is much more mellow than mine!

      Ann

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      5 weeks ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Talking about hot..., I am in Phoenix, AZ! It has been hell fire for weeks here--above 110! When I walk out of the house to the car my skin burns--and my skin is dark!

      You have the humid heat, which I think is worse, Bill. Thanks for the encourageament. This mailbag is another great one. The editing issues I have is that I finished my book finally after 15 edits. The book is 308 pages and I read it 15 time! It is my book and I am tired of it. I used a software program, Natural Reader to help me because I grew weary of listen to my own voice. If I didn't read it out loud I would have gone insane.

      I like your rule. I am going to set a rule of four edits and publish too. I think I might actually hate my book I have edited it so many times. All my test readers failed me in the end because, just like my articles, my book was too long. It was actually longer and I shave off 100 pages.

      So, thanks for the editing tips courtesy of Zulma.

      Now, I have taken you lead as I have read you Mailbags. I want to use comments from readers in my own series. Now, I am not trying to take your mailbag idea hook and sinker. I like the concept of using comments in articles. Is there some ethical concern I should consider while doing this? I am not using names and none of the comments in my first article are from within the last five years. Is it public domain since it is on a public forum? I would not use comments from other people's articles without get permission first out of respect. But is that even necessary because this is a public forum? Sorry for the long post and litany of questions. These are not introspective questions. I look forward to your advice.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 weeks ago from london

      The weather seems a problem for you Bro. Wrote a poem on Londons' heat wave, but had too much to do at that time. Hope the rain falls in Olympia.

      Grandpa reared chickens and baked bread. A nice little earner although he was more of a giver than a saver.

      Some interesting questions.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      5 weeks ago from Brazil

      A wonderful mixed bag of questions this week.

      Regarding farming, renting the land is a good idea for some people. When I was young, we had 80 acres and then a 20 acre farm. We leased the land out to someone who had time to farm it. Both my parents worked at full time jobs, and although a farm life sounds ideal, it is difficult to make ends meet.

      Regarding similies, how do you know your audience will understand it? Nowadays, especially for online writers, the audience is international and people may not have the same frame of reference.

      I'm pleased you've had a change of weather. Have a great week.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      5 weeks ago from Hereford, AZ

      I really enjoyed this today. I have 4 aces, out in the middle of the desert. I use raised beds to grow my vegetables and herbs, because the dirt is really not much good for it. Also the rabbits are always trying to steal the veggies. I only have 2 4x4 beds going so far, and some stacking pots for the herbs. I am working on getting more beds, but they are expensive. My son has put fencing around them, and we have netting over those, to keep the birds out. I am putting a fence across part of the back so I can keep some goats in there. Mostly the goats are to keep me from having to mow the weeds and desert grass. Not nice grass, just prickly grass with wide leaves. It gets knee high in about a week when the rains are here. It has rained torentially here, every afternoon for 2 weeks.

      My son planted a rose garden for me, shortly after I moved here 4 1/2 years ago. They are doing beautifully, and I have blooms on every one of the bushes. I water them every other day, and the roots are deep. During the rains, I may not water them, depending on how much rain. He keeps them pruned for me, and his green thumb is deep green. I also mulch a lot and he applies a kelp fertilizer to them about once a month. He recently went to a friends house and found her roses buried in a bunch of thyme bushes. She wanted him to make her roses like mine, so he cut all the thyme off and pruned her rose bushes properly. Within 2 weeks, she has roses thick, and they are not trying to die on her. They were too crowded, and not pruned properly.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 weeks ago from Canada

      Good morning Bill, great mailbag. Happy the weather has cooled down too. I enjoyed the simile vs synonym conversation. From a poet's perspective why not take it one step further and drop the 'like'. Doing that can create a metaphor (I think) which is often more intriguing.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      5 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Bill - Horseback riding on the beach or stacking cords of firewood. That is a tough call. Both have their rewards. One immediate and one come winter.

      Someone raised a smile with the words, 'good enough for HP.'

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      The weather is back to normal in the UK now, which means lower temperatures and rain for when the school children are on holiday. I was interested in your simile/synonym comment. I guess I would go for similes more in creative writing and synpnyms in more factual stuff.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      5 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, "hell bent" and "the crack of doom" in the same Hub. I think you are beginning to feel the heat my friend. Good questions, especially from Rodric. I must hop over to find out what he's been up to.

      Thanks for another mailbag. Always a great way to begin the week.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      5 weeks ago from India

      The farming question and your answer was quite interesting. A farmer's life in your part is quite different from those in my country. Majority of the farmer's out here are struggling to make both ends meet and some states are battling with the problem of increasing farmer suicides. It's ironic that one who provides food for the community doesn't have enough food for himself and his family. Anyways, thanks for another interesting mailbag!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill this is another wonderful edition. That is really cool about the property sharing. It seems it has taken our nation quite a while to get back in home food growing gig. Seems like after the depression and war the tradition died off. The bad part is that the heat just took out the roses in my neighborhood.

      I was just working on a normal piece and the paragraph seemed wrong. Kind of like how and when to use commas. What is you best test for breaking it up into paragraphs?

      (I ended up taking the paragraph and moving to a different place ;-)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      5 weeks ago

      I agree your Bev is very wise, but then again so are you because you found her.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Deb! Thanks for the visit! Yes indeedy, one acre can produce a bounty for an entire neighborhood if managed properly...here's hoping farms continue to make a comeback.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, a job well-done by you. Happy Monday! Good enough...yes indeed. Just say those two words and publish the damned thing.

      We have your heat and evidently we aren't giving it back. Have a great, moderate summer day.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Enjoy the movie, Janine. I'll definitely watch it when it gets to cable tv. In the meantime, the 90s are returning today and tomorrow, so I'm preparing to be grumpy. lol

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 weeks ago from Iowa

      Hi Bill. Just stopping by to say good morning and hooray for the resurgence of small farms! I only have 1.1 acre (and about half of that is timber), but most days I feel like a farmer. It's pretty amazing how much food you can raise in a small space. Thanks for spreading the message, and have a great week.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      5 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great mailbag Bill as always. As for Zulma's questions on edits, she should edit it until she believes it's polished enough for HP or in her novels in general for a self-pub or traditional route. She should find crit partners, beta and sensitivity readers, join a local writing group or an online crit list or website for feedback. She could take a break and see them again with fresh eyes too. I'm still editing my mss---merely tweaking them as final revisions--since I have to fix the dreaded emotional depth in all of them again.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      I'm so proud of myself! I actually got into the Mailbag on a Monday and in the morning. So the week is starting good.

      Re: Stop Already When It Comes to Editing. I usually go with the advice from my favorite business philosopher, Seth Godin: "Art must ship." At some point, you just have to say that it's good enough (a topic which you addressed in one of your other recent posts), let the world see what you've done (even if not perfect), and move on to what's next.

      Sorry to hear you're having a hot summer in the NW. It's been a beautiful summer here in Chi-town for once. Some warm days, but overall nice, except for not much rain.

      Have a wonderful week!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Raining here in NY off and on since Saturday. Today just a very gloomy day. but making the most of it and going to see Christopher Robin with my girls and husband as he once again has Mondays off this summer. Hoping the rain cooled you all down a bit though. Also wishing you a wonderful week ahead and thanks as always for an awesome Monday mailbag edition, Bill :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)