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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 219

Updated on September 3, 2018

I Love This Time of Year

I know the calendar says it is still summer, but Mother Nature is definitely hinting at fall. The mornings are crisper now. I tuck the chickens into bed much earlier at night now. Evenings are comfortable as opposed to the stifling of two weeks ago. I wake up at six and it is more dark than light.

And my tummy suddenly has a craving for chili, a sure sign that summer is coming to an end.

And then it will be the holidays, and the snow, and always the rains, and then 2019 will be upon us.

Such is life!

I still find it all fascinating, after all these years. I still eagerly anticipate the changes which are approaching. I wonder what challenges I’ll face. I wonder about the victories which haven’t happened yet, and the defeats, and how will I handle it all.

But that is for tomorrow. Today we have a Mailbag to read.

Let’s do it to it like Sonny Pruitt!

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

Niche Blogging?

From Shaloo: “Valuable advice about blogging...Many bloggers including me are not much into promotion and this is indeed one big mistake. I have two blogs. One is specifically about astrology but the other one is where I post articles, poems, sketches and whatever catches my fancy. This year I have been reading a lot and most of my blog posts have been about books. Do you think I should focus on a particular niche rather than writing about so many different topics?”

Shaloo, I think you should write about whatever it is that interests you.

Having said that, there are two trains of thought regarding blogging, and they have to do with your purpose for blogging. Is your purpose to make money from your blog? If so then I think narrowing your focus is a good thing, which means seeking a particular niche . . . like your astrology blog.

If, however, your purpose is to simply blog as an outlet for your writing urges, then I say write about whatever moves you at the moment. If you have no concerns about making money or growing your audience, I say toss caution to the wind and just write. And who knows, that caution-less blog may become quite popular by accident. I’m sure if Will Rogers were alive today, and he had a weekly blog, it would be hard to say it was a niche blog, since he would probably just write about life and living . . . but I also suspect it would be quite popular because of his insights.

So do what makes you happy and fulfills your goals.

I have a niche blog about farming
I have a niche blog about farming | Source

Editing Software

From Melissa: “Recently, I bought a writing "bundle" which included several ebooks, webinars, etc but the main reason I purchased was because it included a year's subscription to prowritingaid. I was just curious if you had any familiarity with this software or others like it? I know this doesn't replace a human editor, but it certainly could help polish your work a bit before letting someone else get their hands on it! :)”

Well, Melissa, first of all, it’s good to get a question from you. It’s not so good that I actually had to do some research to answer your question, LOL, but I forgive you.

I had never heard of ProWritingAid until you mentioned it, so off I went in search of reviews and summaries. It turns out it is highly-respected editing software. Unlike some “spellcheck” software, ProWritingAid concentrates more on structure and style, and as such the designers of that software suggest you don’t use it until you have finished at least one draft of your short story or manuscrhpt.

The reviews I read are highly favorable. The designers of the software even mention that the writer should always have the final word in editing, and that ProWritingAid is only meant to be an aid. Writers must have enough confidence in their writing style to reject editing suggestions at times, and I liked that they said that.

All in all I found this to be a very useful piece of writing hardware, even though I’ve never used it. It’s pretty unusual for a product to be universally-liked and really, the only negative reviews I could find about this editing tool were reviews you can expect to find about any product . . . cost, confusion over downloading, blah, blah, and more blah, none of which I found to be valid.

Melissa, I think you’ve got a winner there!

Mailbag Videos

From Mary: “I have a question for you. I know that you do videos, have you thought of turning this mailbag into a series of short videos?”

Good God, Mary, how much free time do you think I have? LOL

Of course I’ve thought about it, but the reality is I barely have time to finish my outdoor projects before the fall rains arrive, and I have a novel to finish, and farmers market responsibilities to take care of, and on and on we go, where he’ll stop nobody knows.

I would love to do more videos. I would love to have a weekly podcast. I just don’t know what to sacrifice in order to do it all.

But thank you for the suggestion. Rest assured, it is on my to-do list.

It's Me!!!

Createspace Moves to Kdp

From Heidi: “BTW, did you see that Createspace is moving over to KDP? Got an alert from one of my self pub author pals. Here's the skinny on that: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GSJULX3WGP36HQ3R

“I'm not seeing any alerts on my CS account like my friend did, probably because I have all my books already on KDP. My friend only sells his print books on Amazon via CS and sells the eBook on his own. So I think that's why he got the alert. Might be something you want to throw into one of the upcoming Mailbags. I'm doing some more research on the issue and will probably dedicate one of my next podcasts to it. So stay tuned.”

I did get an alert on it, Heidi, and promptly went to my CreateSpace account and made the necessary changes in preparation. This is one of those things that fall under the category “Not Enough Time” to really learn about it and its ramifications. Chances are I won’t be doing much research on it at all because I am now taking a rather “hands-off” approach to my ebooks and printed book sales channels. In other words, my marketing efforts have fallen by the wayside because I’m just being pulled in too many directions right now. Instead of doing any research on what this all means, I’m going to wait until you write an article about it. I trust that you will do a bang-up job of researching it.

Audio Books

From Francis: “Do you know anything about converting your book to an audio book?”

Francis, I understand the process, but I’ve never done it and wouldn’t feel right giving advice on it. I do, however, know a writer on HP who is an expert in this sort of stuff. Say hello to Heidi. Check out here latest article on this topic. It is well-worth a stop-by at her site.

And More Me!

A Teaser

I’m getting very close (four more weeks) to returning to my latest novel which I started a year ago. Here is the prologue of that novel (The Magician’s Shadow) to help stimulate your desires.

“Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.”

He sang as he continued with his work. He considered it vitally important that a person enjoy his or her work. How boring it must be, he thought, factory workers who do the same thing, day in, day out, week after month after year, mind-numbing work, spirit-breaking work, and at the end of their fifty years they receive a plaque, a series of handshakes, and the heart attack follows shortly.

That would not be his fate, for greatness does not fade into oblivion.

It began, for him, shortly after his tenth birthday. A dream had come to him, and in that dream he was The Magician, not a magician as in a description of his craft, but The Magician, the greatest ever, a man of such incredible talent as to defy all laws of nature, to defy all logic, a man who could not be described by mere labels such as “illusionist, enchanter, or conjurer,” for how does one describe the impossible?

He stood on the shoreline and looked at his latest work of art. It was perfect in every way. The young girl was exquisitely staged. The authorities would come to the scene in a matter of hours. They would look for evidence. They would hold countless meetings where they would share theories. They would hold press conferences and assure the public that the case would be solved soon, but to themselves they would admit that they were stymied, completely in the dark, for how could such a thing have happened? And how could it happen three times?

They would call in other experts, and more theories would be postulated, and more meetings held, but still no answers would arrive, (for the impossible has no explanation), and then their greatest fears would be realized, fears of being helpless.

It was all perfect in every way, but he expected nothing less of himself.

He was, after all, The Magician!

The seasons change but the Mailbag remains the same
The seasons change but the Mailbag remains the same | Source

And That Is All for Another Week

And so the time has come, to raise the roof and have some fun . . . throw away the work to be done . . . let the music play on and on and on…..

I’m paraphrasing Lionel Richie, but the sentiment remains . . . it’s time to shut down for another week and go do whatever else we all do when we aren’t involved with writing.

I wish you all a brilliant week of being human.

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great help there, Kristen! Thanks so much for your input.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Zulma...talk to you soon!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      11 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great teaser at the end, Bill. Per Shaloo's questions, I've tried monetizing my book review blog. I've made money in the beginning. I never made another sale since then with Adsense. But I still keep up with it. Though my writing blog is a bit dormant (I plan to update my blog and FB author page this weekend hopefully), I don't monetize on that one. As for Melissa's question, I've used ProWritingAid in the past. Other self-editing sites I recommend are Editminion, Grammarly, Autocrit, and HemingwayApp--all have beta and premium memberships. I've tried them and used them all.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      11 months ago from United Kingdom

      No worries, Bill. I had a feeling I missed the cut-off point. Right, then, let's see what this week's instalment has to offer.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michael my friend. I wish I had the time to make more videos and audios....alas, time is in short supply lately. Perhaps when the farmers market comes to an end at the end of this month.

    • profile image

      Michael Milec 

      11 months ago

      Great questions, suitably great the answers, however above all I would like to listen to your talk show more and longer. There is much to learn some very special there in your presentation Bill Holland my friend.

      ( Some audio books might turn well among "certain" group of audience.)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I didn't forget about you, Zulma. I had already finished the Mailbag for this week, so I'll lead off next week's installment with this great question. Thanks my friend; have a great week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a bunch, Jo!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks always, Bill! Let's hope fall bring rewards and riches to us all.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      11 months ago from Tennessee

      Great questions. Great answers. Lots of good information here. I bookmarking this one. Thanks.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      11 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Another great week for the Mailbag. We are getting close to my favorite time of the year also. We have already had some cool days and nights.

      The Magician’s Shadow sound fascinating. Best of luck with that, I’m sure it will be a winner.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, thanks so much for your kind words. I hope i haven't lost the creative touch after so long away.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, I don't think that's a bad thing at all. :) When in doubt, go with your writing voice to be a niche of its own. :) Thanks for your thoughts my friend.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      11 months ago from Oklahoma

      The only problem with me and niche blogging is that I am not a niche.

      I don't say that to make s political statement or say, "Wow, aren't I amazing and dynamic!"

      It's simply true. I don't fit in a box. Sometimes I surely wish I did.

      Great read!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      11 months ago from london

      A brilliant piece! Your own brilliant writing helps to extract the juice. Yes, Autumn is coming and I fear the chill. What an amazing start to your piece towards the end. Much Love this weekend.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      11 months ago from United Kingdom

      Really good mailbag this week, Bill. Some of it went over my head but still good to know what goes on in the writing world.

      Question: When it comes to copyright, do you add a copyright notice to everything you write or just the stuff that comes out of your head. For example, if you've written an informative hub and you got your info from other sources do you copyright it? I'm not sure how to handle this. I copyright my creative writing because they are my own words, but I don't feel right doing that when the words came from somewhere else? I feel like I'm taking credit for something I didn't really do. Please guide me, Sensei.

      Oh and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Dora! My best wishes to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll do some research on that, Peg, but I may come up empty. Thanks so much!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, how do we ever get the "me" out of the picture so we can see clearly? That's been a struggle of mine for a long, long time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, always a pleasure my friend. Thank you for your thoughts...there is always a plan....I just might have to agree with that, buddy. The fact that, at times, I am blind, does not mean there is no path to see.

      My best to you

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing that interesting beginning from your novel. Good information also on ProWritingAid. Thanks to you and Melissa.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Rodric! I'm glad you finally got to use that expression...it's a good one!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron, and blessings to you always. I'll try not to let you down with the next Shadow.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna! I guess I'll have to check out ProWritingAid myself after all this hoopla about it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janda! Welcome back! Life has a habit of doing that, as we all find out sooner or later. Good to have you back.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rinita! It is a supernatural thriller.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      11 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Thanks for the heads-up on the conversion of CreateSpace to KDP. I need to get busy on that.

      I have a question which the Amazon folks couldn't answer. How do I tie my regular Amazon account (where I purchase stuff) to my Amazon Author Central where I sell my eBooks? They don't seem to recognize me as one and the same - purchaser and author. I even talked to a human being at Amazon about this without a remedy provided, so no worries if it's a no go.

      Hope you have a great week, Bill.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bill would you file this for mulling on your time line. He is 80+ My son and I (you know the little eight year old) are interviewing him. He is Dick and not Richard. His stories from St. Louis to Hue VN are astounding. Married Mary as a 7th grade sweet heart.

      How do I get "me" out of the picture - or my boy or whatever to focus well on this great patriot man? I feel it needs to be all about him and not me at all.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      11 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Bill, I await with bated breath the next Mailbag! Sorry, I always wanted to have a reason to use that expression. This is the first time that it seems to apply.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No worries, Sally.....my best wishes to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have no explanation, Sha! Truth be told, there are times it's scary for me as well. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alyssa, you are welcome at the Cook Kids' table any old time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Pamela! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and comment. Stay safe with those hurricanes and tropical storms taking aim on you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, as always, for your professional opinion, Heidi! It is valued and I do take to heart everything you say.

      Have a splendid Thursday!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      11 months ago from Texas

      Bill, I look forward to reading more of your Shadow series chapters. I also love your mailbag series and this one is one of your best IMHO, lots of info here. I know what you mean about lack of time, I have more written to continue my Buttercup story.

      Blessings my friend as usual.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      11 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "I wake up at six and it is more dark than light." - This is the part I am not excited about. I need light. In the short days of the Winter, I struggle for energy and hence, I hibernate most of the Winter. I would hibernate straight-through like bears, if I could but I can't lol

      "So do what makes you happy" - I agree. I sort of have to.

      "Writers must have enough confidence in their writing style to reject editing suggestions at times, and I liked that they said that." - That's good advice in my opinion. I will never let editing win over my choice in tone/style. I'm pretty stubborn on this point.

      You quit your job with no back up plan? Haha, sounds like something I'd do but then, there's always a plan. We just might not see it at the moment. Life goes on without our interpretation of it anyway. There's always a plan, somewhere out there lol

      "Here is the prologue of that novel (The Magician’s Shadow) to help stimulate your desires" - Gotta say, I do love your choice in words: "stimulate your desires". Very nice choice! See, I love words and the play which we can do with them. It's like playing with lego but these are words, not plastic little pieces of stuff. Like lego though, we create things with words and it always fascinates me to see what choices people make when picking words to use. We have a myriad of words (well, more than that but I just like that word so I put it there - most people in my opinion, would not really know that it was not used properly as I just used it) to use but only chose some. "Why", is the interesting part for me.

      Alrighty - I enjoyed your bit as always. Be well and have a fabulous Fall! : )

    • profile image

      Genna East 

      11 months ago

      Very helpful hub, Billy, thank you. That ProWritingAid SW sounds remarkable. Anything that can help us with the preliminary editing phase -- beyond the basic copy editing of typos and the overly prolific use of the comma -- is a definite plus. Oh, and I agree with you about the change of seasons...there's always promise in the air with each new time of the year.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 

      11 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

      Bill, I haven't been on HubPages much for the past year or so; life had gotten in my way. But now that I'm back on, I'm happy to check out your "Mailbag." You're always so encouraging to other writers! Thanks for being here!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      11 months ago

      Thank you for another interesting mailbag. All helpful answers with the videos as bonus. What would we ever do without your insights? The teaser to your new novel is intriguing. Is it fantasy, is it a crime thriller - well I guess I will have to wait for the book to find out. Thanks Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know what's happening, Flourish. I know you commented and I know I responded. An HP glitch I would guess.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Eman! Thanks so much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Linda! Glad you liked the info on ProWritingAid...thanks to Melissa for that one.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Rodric! Interesting question you posed. If you don't mind, I'll tackle it in next week's Mailbag. As you might suspect, I have strong opinions on that one.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      11 months ago from Norfolk

      Apologies Billy, I missed, must be the after-effects of my cataract op:)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Melissa! I'm glad you like that software, and having your opinion of it is helpful for many. As for the new novel, I'm excited to finally get with it again.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Miz B yes, those are my chicken coops...thank you! I'm with you on videos. I don't have the time to watch all the videos suggested to me, or rather I don't make the time...let's just say they are not high on my priority list.

      45 degrees this morning...fall is heading our way.

      Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I think it did, Sally. I remember answering it.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      11 months ago from Norfolk

      I also left a comment yesterday and don't think it registered:)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      11 months ago from USA

      I left a comment yesterday but had a funny feeling it wasn't registering so I'M BACK! If Shaloo enjoys one particular topic and seeks success from the Google gods, she should follow that niche as far and wide and she can push it and when she wants to take a break write on other topics too. Nothing says you can't have a primary and secondary niche that are very different.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      11 months ago from Central Florida

      I love your "Shadows" series, Bill. Admittedly, I'm one behind but I'll fix that. I look forward to your WIP once it's finished. You amaze me at how well you portray the dark characters in "Shadows". Your thought process is scary. You really get into these villains heads and produce fast paced, holy shit novels. For such a gentle person, that's beyond awesome.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      11 months ago from Ohio

      Your summary was everything! haha! I always want to come hang out and sit at the cool kids' table. :) Chili does sound amazing, although it's still 90+ degrees here in Ohio. Summer seems to be holding on tightly. Another excellent mailbag. I'm particularly interested in the editing software. I will have to look into that. Have a great week!!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      11 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I love autumn, but in northern FL it is not here yet. We must survive hurricane season first! October is the best month to travel up north in my opinion, but it is not happening for us this year. The beautiful colors of autumn and no snow make it my favorite time of the year.

      This is a very interesting array of topics, and I thoroughly enjoy reading the mailbag. I always learn something new. Thanks for fitting this into your vary busy life.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      11 months ago from Chicago Area

      G'morning! Late to the Mailbag. Puppy isn't doing too well with some allergy issues. So catching up today!

      Re: Thank You! First, thanks so much for including my comments and for referring to my recent post on audio books!

      Re: Createspace Moving to KDP. Like you, I'm taking a more hands off approach to this transition until I get more direction from the CS/KDP folks. All of my books are already on KDP in one form or another, and linked up on Amazon. So I'm not too worried, but will just monitor the situation. I'll share any insights I get along the way.

      Re: Videos? Podcast? Yes, as we've talked about, I think the Mailbag is perfect podcast fodder, whether you do that in video or audio. You could also consider doing both and just ripping the audio from the video to create the audio podcast. Yeah, I know... when you have time.

      Again, thank you so much for your friendship and support. Means a lot. Have a great day!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! You are appreciated my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Especially with me doing the video, Shaloo! lol Thanks so much for your comment.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary,and thank you for always having such good questions.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you William! I did have a nice day of writing and painting. Peace be with you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's all part of my plan to get you to buy it,Shannon! lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well done both of you, Ann and Shannon, and thank you for remembering my older stuff.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nope, you had it correct Shannon! I thought you were talking about someone else's writings.

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      11 months ago from Egypt

      Very informative videos. Thank you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      11 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The start of September still feels like summer to me, but I expect fall will appear soon. Thanks for sharing the information about ProWritingAid. The prologue of your novel is excellent.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      11 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I think that this was the best Mailbag yet. I jumped right into your video first and was reminded in your voice of everything that you have written about getting started as a freelance writer. I realize that I am not there yet, but I am plodding along.

      I also started using the editing software. I have used something like it before, but it is a dream! I used it on some of my articles and had my feelings hurt. I have so many sticky sentences--unnecessary words--that my reader gets disinterested. The software did not tell me this, I came to that conclusion. I edited my book 20 times whittling off one hundred pages. I apparently have a few things to say in as many words as possible.

      I am looking forward to your new book. I like the way you mentioned it. I do not have the presence of mind to know who to advertise my product. I fear that people will think that I am only befriending them to get a sale. Is it wrong to befriend a person to get a sale?

      Anyhow... This was amazing as usual. Oh, it will so great when you redo all of these mailbags as vlog entries!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      That is a great hook in the prologue Bill. Winter is around the corner, days getting shorter and cooler and the hellish weather almost out.

      Useful lessons in here. Thank you.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      11 months ago from India

      Thanks Bill for answering my question! Blogging has never been about money for me. I don't want to treat it like a job. And I like the mailbag the way it is. I am not sure a video mailbag would be as interesting as this one

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      11 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for including your videos, always good advice.

      I've not heard of ProWritingAid, but it sounds like I should check it out.

      Have a wonderful week.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      11 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! And Happy Labor Day! Thank you so much for looking into the software, I didn't mean to make you do so much research. :) I've had a lot of fun with it so far and it has already helped point out several bad habits I've developed. But, as you mentioned, they are just suggestions and you can definitely disregard any of them.

      I am so excited for your book! You know I'm a huge horror fan and this is shaping up to be ghastly! I am eagerly looking forward to this novel.

      Have a wonderful and productive week!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      11 months ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, I knew it! I recognized the beginning of the book from your short serial. I really liked that one. It wasn't get down dirty gritty that bothers me bone deep. I'll have to buy it to find out how the story ends.

      I have to say that I would not like for the mailbag to be turned into a video mailbag. Not that I wouldn't want to hear what you have to say, mind you, but I like to read at my own speed. I don't want to have to listen at the speaker's speed. I avoid a lot of videos that people post because I don't have 15 or more minutes to devote to a video that may or may not be beneficial. A reader can skim an article and go back and pick up its main points, but with a video, it's mostly all or none.

      Is that photo your chicken coops? Nicely done. I guess I'll have to write an article on my chickens. We've had some delights, some disappointments, and some heartbreaks with our feather babies.

      The weather hasn't started turning into fall here yet. Today is a cool 88, but it's mostly hovering around 93 and dry, I might add. The rain seems to go around my area. Have a good rest of the week, my friend.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      11 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You're better than UPS, Bill. They don't deliver on holidays. Faithful you are, my friend, and I thank you for it. Hope you had a good Labor Day.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      11 months ago from Texas

      Thanks, Ann! I do remember lots of random things about my friends. Even when it seems like I am not paying attention. I guess now we have even more inventive to get the book when he releases it. LOL

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      11 months ago from SW England

      I remember that previous one as well - I knew there was something familiar in the back of my mind! You see, some of us do pay attention! Well done, Shannon!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nice catch, Shannon! Yep, the first half of the new novel will be from that short story series, and then the second half will be the characters from the Shadow series of novels. Turns out you aren't losing your mind after all. :)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      11 months ago from Texas

      Okay. Whew! Not making things up in my head this time.....Hhahahaha......You titled the hub series "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Now BAM! You know, just because I needed to rhyme. Except that this piece you just shared above is from the killer's perspective and the series start you had here on HP was from the perspective of the detectives.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      11 months ago from Texas

      Oh gosh.....now I have to go see....Seems I remember you using that nursery rhyme to start off a murder mystery that you never finished and probably said we'd have to wait for a novel to see how it ends. Damn, can't remember the title. The one where the children were being murdered. Oh hell, maybe I'm just losing my mind again. LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you do, Ann, and I thank you!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      11 months ago from SW England

      I have no doubt that it will be stellar if you want it to be; I can sense the creativity will surpass all else. Just in case you think I'm being sarcastic, bill, I'm not, I mean it!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Ann, I can certainly try to persuade you on that matter. Stay tuned for my most persuasive argument. :) I can hardly wait for it myself. lol

      As for "The Magician's Shadow," that may be the end of that series. I have a burning desire to write a book that has been patiently waiting for me. It will be my opus and I want it to be stellar.

      Wishing you a brilliant Monday, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda. Truthfully, given a choice, I would take the cold over the heat we experienced this summer. As for the videos, thank you again. I have no clue why a terribly shy person would be comfortable doing a video, but I am.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! I know that the older I get the quicker I hurtle; not a good thing at all. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really appreciate that, Pop! For a loner, I'm always surprised how comfortable I am in front of a camera. Makes no sense to me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Chitrangada Sharan. I wish I had more time for more videos but alas, I don't.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, I can't imagine not having the change of seasons. I've had it all my life except for one year in Alaska. As for my new novel, what was posted on HP? I started this novel a year ago, so you have my curiosity piqued.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And I appreciate and respect that opinion, Sally! Thank you! I'm with you on the seasons and the love of nature; I'm also with you in dreading the dark days ahead.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      11 months ago from SW England

      Your excerpt from 'The Magician's Shadow' sent shivers up my spine. You've got me completely hooked already, though I'm not sure that I should dare to read it! Great piece of advertising, bill!

      Great mailbag too. I get the feeling that all the tech stuff involved in writing ebooks or publishing online is more and more daunting - I really don't feel able. Can you persuade me that I could do it? I've looked at CreateSpace but I was quite confused and that's supposed to be simple! What do you suggest?

      My thoughts go more and more to self-publishing as I feel I've exhausted HP, though I'm not going to give it up. I would like to push myself more to write 'outside the box', in other words, publish an actual book!

      Have a great Monday and a great week, bill!

      Ann

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      11 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, your introduction was quite philosophical this morning. I do not look forward to winter snow, ice, and freezing weather. The only good thing about winter is that spring is next (my favorite season of the year).

      I had not heard of ProWriting, but it sounds quite interesting. I'll look into it.

      I'm glad you included the videos. You have such a relaxed manner. You must have been an awesome teacher. Have a great day my friend. See you Wednesday.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      11 months ago from UK

      I was a little alarmed at the start of the article at how we are hurtling towards 2019. You give good and well-considered advice. We could all do with more hours in the day.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      11 months ago

      I too love your videos. You have a very relaxed style that's easy to listen to.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      11 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Happy Monday billybuc!

      Loved going through this mailbag. I agree with your answer to Shaloo’s question.

      Your videos are excellent and good tutorials, for those who want to become ‘good’ writers.

      Thanks for sharing the tips and suggestions! Have a wonderful day!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will, Mike, and I wish the same for you. Keep on eye on CS.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, buddy, you are far too kind, but I'll gladly accept the praise. Happy Labor Day to you; Go have some quality kid time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! It really is hard to believe summer is over with. Time does fly, my friend. Enjoy the remaining time, and thank you so much for stopping by on a busy Labor Day.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      11 months ago from Texas

      Changing seasons. I never expected to miss that so much, but the last several years I have found that I do miss experiencing a more defined change in the seasons. Fall here is very uneventful for me. The leaves are not so vibrant when they finally do change and I miss things like apple orchards and playing in the leaves.

      I have used the ProWritingAid a couple of times. I am considering signing up for it again because it can be helpful and I like it better than Grammarly.

      Last....I see your latest novel is a spin on something posted here on HP. Looking forward to reading it.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      11 months ago from Norfolk

      I noticed this morning that the leaves on the trees have begun to turn. Love nature, it never disappoints but I dread Winter and the dark days ahead.

      I tend to think that if someone is blogging about one subject it helps to become a 'specialist' in that subject, maybe have a couple of blogs but if one writes about various subjects I would keep them all together. Just my opinion.

      Have a terrific week Billy.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - Well, that was a rip-roaring, bang-up mailbag. Now, I have to go find out what CS is doing to my work. Have a good week.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Your video is the bestest of the bestest. "The flavor of Cajun food can only be reported with good Cajun words"

      Osmosis - right on! I like regional or time sensitive dialectics. Your moving west work was so awesome in that way. I do not remember the title but I remember the love for the black family.

      Perhaps osmosis does not have to come from a page, perhaps it can just come from a teacher who teaches to spread your wings.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      11 months ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I am still in disbelief that summer is pretty much over. Honestly, have mixed feelings as I truly am a fan of summer and all the season has to offer. While I do like Fall, I am not a fan at all of what comes next with winter. So that said, I am somewhat dreading that. Still, had to stip on by and wish you a wonderful Monday and week ahead now. Two more days of summer vacation until my kids return to a new school year on Wednesday. So, am going to enjoy what is left of it myself now ;)

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