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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 220

Updated on September 10, 2018

REFLECTIONS

Here’s a truth all you young whippersnappers can file away: the older you get, the more reflecting on life you do.

I never thought I would reach the age where everyone around me looked like a young whippersnapper!

But it’s true! And it happens to me on an almost constant basis. I go for a drive, run an errand, do a chore, watch the animals, look out the window, read the news, any and all of them are triggers for some deep reflection about life.

I missed so much of life when I was living as a young man. I truly could not see the depth of life around me. Now I do and to me, it’s the best show on earth. Don’t confuse this with melancholy because it isn’t. Most often it is a joyous occasion, reflecting on the love of a mother for her child, reflecting on childhood games I once knew which are still being played today, reflections on a man and his dog . . . it is an endless and lovely assault on the senses and an invasion of the heart.

I’m not fond of the physical changes happening to me as I approach seventy years on this planet, but I have so much more emotional and intellectual depth now compared to when I was young, and that I find beautiful.

Enough rambling . . . let’s do this thing called The Mailbag!

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room! | Source

Easy Self-Publishing

From Ann: “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?”

Ann, I think, at this point, you simply have a mental drawbridge which needs to be lowered. I mean this sincerely: If I can navigate that site, and I have fourteen times, then you can navigate that site.

I guess at this point I would suggest YouTube. There are a number of good tutorials on YouTube about CreateSpace and how to publish your first book. I wish I could be more helpful, but that’s about all I’ve got . . . oh, and that book I’ve recommended a number of times, which you might find at your local library . . . by Chris McMullen . . . “How To Self Publish on Amazon” . . . check that one out.

You can also send me an email and I’ll be happy to help you.

All published on CreateSpace by little old me.
All published on CreateSpace by little old me.

Friends for Sales

From Rodric: “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?”

Is it wrong? Sheez, Rodric, why don’t you ask a simpler question? Lol I did it for my very first novel, an extensive Facebook bombardment, sending out friend requests, bugging the hell out of people. The excitement of that first novel clouded my judgment, I’m afraid. I have not done it since. I publish a book now and mention it once or twice on Facebook and that is all. I just feel sleazy sending out friend requests when the only purpose is to sell something . . . like an Amway salesman . . . my apologies to Amway!!!!!

There are tons of other ways to self-promote which do not involve demeaning yourself or lowering your standards. J

Listening, Observing, Squirreling Away

From Linda: “Bill, it made me happy to be able to chat with you for a few minutes. You always say that you're shy. OK, I get that you don't want to stand up on a soapbox and preach, but you are not shy. You are definitely a people person. You obviously enjoy talking with people, and I sense that the writer in you is always listening, observing, recording. And that is the question. You are keenly aware of your surroundings and I'm sure you are squirreling away those tidbits for use in the next novel. How do you do that? I've been known to walk into a room and forget why I went there. How do you record the stimuli so that you can remember them later? And what about the "down" times when you are relaxing (under the tree listening to the chickens, or sleeping)? Do you keep a pad and pencil in your pocket or on the nightstand?”

Linda is referring to our last farmers market session last Wednesday. She and her lovely family came to the market and stopped by my stall to chat for a few minutes. It’s always a pleasure talking to you, dear friend. Thanks for making the time.

As for your question, I sure wish I had a good answer for you. No, I do not keep a pad and pencil on my person for such moments. My mind does all the work for me, and it is a subconscious thing. I have no better explanation than to say it’s just the way I’m wired. I’ll see a particularly poignant moment or scene, reflect briefly on it, and that momentary reflection is all it takes to imprint it in my brain for recall at another time.

I use to carry my camera around with me all the time, capturing moments, but I found I didn’t need it. Now, having said that, I turn seventy in October, and one of these years I am quite certain my little recall trick/method will not work as well, and then you’ll see this little old shriveled man shuffling around with a camera strapped; to his withering neck and a pencil clenched between his decaying teeth. Lol

And you are correct, I really do enjoy talking to people, but I truly am shy and it is quite often work for me to actually speak to a stranger.

I am surrounded by cool stories!
I am surrounded by cool stories! | Source

Getting Me out of It All

From Eric: “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.”

Eric, you just hit upon one of my most glaring faults . .. banishing the ego, the me, when I’m going about my day, no matter the task. When I was younger it was all about me . . . how will this affect me . . . what do I get out of this experience . . . will she make me happy . . . thankfully I’m better at being human today, but it is still a struggle at times, banishing Bill to the backroom so my humanity can step up on the stage.

I have no concrete suggestion for you, but I have every faith that you’ll be able to do it when the time comes to write about Dick.

However, I can give you this tip: writing in 3rd person is much better for that purpose than writing in 1st person.

Amazon Author Central

From Peg: “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.”

Oh, Peg, I’m going to fail you miserably here. I’ve tried to do the same thing and ended up declaring defeat. I have no idea at all, and I can’t find anything online which helps. Hopefully someone in comments will have something concrete for you and I. I’m very sorry but I’m clueless on this one.

Time for More Reflection

It’s Friday as I write this. My day is laid out in front of me. I write until ten-thirty on Friday, eat an early lunch, and then head out to the farm to do chores and feed the chickens. I will not have a pad and pencil with me, but many scenes will play out in front of me; some will seem meaningful and I’ll file them away for later use; some will go unnoticed, and I am poorer because of it.

Have a marvelous day! Be aware! Be receptive!

And do all things with love!

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Dee, for the early birthday wish! I'm not sure 70 is a reason to celebrate! lol

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 months ago

      First, Happy October Birthday! Lots of great information in the mailbag today.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good suggestion, Jo, one I forgot to mention. Thanks for that.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      9 months ago from Tennessee

      Great article as usual Bill, and such an inspiring way to start my day. My advice to Ann about learning something new and complicated would be to get a young person she knows to help. I always think I can figure those things out, but my old mind is so crowded learning something new sometimes seems overwhelming. So I ask for help.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Natalie it is an excellent point of view, my friend. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about personal reflections of the narrator; you are right on!

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      9 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Wow, Bill, this is one of my favorite Mail Bags so far and that's saying a lot! Regarding the reader who asked about taking himself out of the picture when writing about someone. I agree with what you both said about wanting or feeling the need to do that. Yet I think the opposite can also be true. When I am reading about someone amazing that someone else is writing about, I find that very often it is their personal reflections about and reactions to the person that makes the story resonate with me. We all touch each other in different ways and sometimes hearing about what is poignant to someone will greatly enhance an interview that may not be able to fully express the depth of what was being related otherwise. Unless they are narcissistic, people don't say, "Here's why I am so amazing, here is why what I did was so incredible." There is always a narrator who tells these stories and they are a character who colors the way what is told to them is presented. Otherwise, it will just be a series of facts, "So and so did this, then did that, then went off to war and came back and married his sweetheart etc." The viewpoint of the narrator is going to appear at some point, I think. Just another point of view. Thanks for another wonderful read.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thank you Nithya! I'm a bit surprised by my age as well. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that's something I've never owned, a hammock. Now that I say that, it seems a bit odd, doesn't it? lol Enjoy your weekend, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's all good, Manatita. Thanks so much, always, for your support and words from the heart.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      9 months ago from Dubai

      Another great mailbag, it is amazing how you capture moments and recollect them to incorporate into your writings without photos or pen and paper, amazing. I can’t believe your seventy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rodric, so sorry to hear about the operation. I hope it goes well/went well. Sending you positive vibes, my friend. Come back to us soon!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eric, for being here and for your friendship. I have no doubt Bev has been a huge influence on my life, and a life without love is no life at all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rinita, that is a very kind thing for you to say. Thank you so much for that declaration of respect. You touched my heart.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      9 months ago from Brazil

      Sorry for arriving late to the party.

      Not only do I enjoy your mailbag, I love the comments as well. You've kept the Hubpage community going here.

      I wish I had your memory that you mention in Linda's question. I should write more down .... now where did I leave that pen?

      I love the last bit about being aware and receptive, I find when I'm in the hammock, ideas come. It's a great vantage point for watching the wildlife around the front garden.

      I hope your week is going well.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      9 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      This is another informative and great article. I'm having a hard time reading it's because I'm having to use my phone since I am in the hospital right now. I tell you, when things happen they just continuously happen. So, thank you for answering my question I don't feel so bad about promoting my book in a few post here and there to interested parties. I'm getting prepared for a surgery now so I won't be as active for the next couple of weeks. The surgery is on my hand on my writing hand! It's a good thing they have this voice recognition software so technically I could be doing writing because I'm using that software right now to leave this comment.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is very sweet of you, Dora! Thanks so much,my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It truly is, MizB!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a month away, Ann, but thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, I am with you about computers and the automated word. I feel like a fish out of water trying to navigate through websites and online instructions. I always ask my wife to do it for me. For whatever reason she "get it," whereas I just add to my frustration.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes. I am a blessed man.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you do, Ann, just as we all appreciate you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alyssa! Bev and I are going up to the mountain for a private dinner.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I think I fall a bit short of photographic, but it's nice to dream. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad it worked out, MizB!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Isn't that the truth, Linda? Perfect description for a writer...like an old friend! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, it sounds like you have your hands full with that two year old. I think it is so cool that he loves gardening. That boy is a keeper for sure. :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      9 months ago from london

      I like the way that you ending these days. Inspirational message!

      For conquering shyness. Use a new age tape you like and spend 10 mins in silence morn and eve daily for 3 months without fail. You will definitely improve.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Just marvelous Bill. Thanks to all you have added to my life. Perhaps being a writer have have much to do with your life observations. Sure age, but maybe....

      I also think that Bev. has a calming effect on. And perhaps that love feeds your seeing the world through loving eyes.

      Great stuff for, an old preacher to think about.

      Thanks again.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      9 months ago

      Bill, my father would have turned 70 just yesterday, if he was still with us. I look up to you for all your life experiences and insights as much as I would have looked up to him. All the reflections you are going through as a result of so called aging are immensely beneficial to us, your next generation (whippersnappers? Lol).

      Anyway, hope you continue this amazing work in many more years to come, with or without the camera.

      Thanks Bill.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      9 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I vouch for your truth: "the depth of life around me . . . it’s the best show on earth." This is one of the major benefits of aging.

      Plus, the wisdom you exude in your answer is another great benefit for all of us. Thanks!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      9 months ago from Beautiful South

      Yes, I know, Bill. I've already thanked them. Isn't it wonderful to have the support of fellow writers here!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      9 months ago from SW England

      Oh yes, I forgot to say 'Happy Birthday' for whenever it is, bill! Hope you have a great day.

      Ann

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      9 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      I had a question some days ago and at the time, I remember thinking that it was a good question but now I forgot. So, must have not been that important I guess. Or, maybe I'll remember it.

      Regarding this comment: "I've looked at CreateSpace but I was quite confused and that's supposed to be simple", I very much sympathise with the writer. I do not like how-to websites. I just don't like computers much, other than listening to music, watching documentaries, or news clips and playing video-games once in a while.

      It is the lack of human interaction that I dislike about automated phones, or websites that You have to manouver yourself like You're in the middle of the jungle with no map ... I often find myself talking to the automated robot while waiting for a human to answer on the phone: "I just want a human, give me a Human ...". I really do not like interacting with robots and computers. Can You tell? Haha!!

      "I fear that people will think that I am only befriending them to get a sale." - Ohh man!! This person nailed it. I have had this happen to me in multiple occasions. People talking to me about this and that and after a few days, they mention their book and we keep talking. Then, I buy the book and give it a while and the person vanishes. And I more often than not liked their books too. I just wish they were honest about the whole thing from the beginning, instead of beating around the bush.

      Happy soon to have birthday! lol My father just turned seventy. I wish You health and luck! (As I wished my father.) All the best!

      "banishing the ego" - This is the problem that most of the 7.6 billion people on Earth have. Of course You have the Yogis, Gurus, Monks, Ascetics, Aghoras and such who have freed themselves from the chains of the Ego but there are not many such Beings.

      In my opinion, that is our quest in Life: to banish the Ego and like a caterpillar, we transform into the butterfly. Just my opinion.

      Alrighty, thank You again for your thoughts. Much appreciate it. Cheers!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mike! You saved me answering.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, John, you are a fountain of information today...I didn't know that about CreateSpace and checks...thanks for mentioning that for all of us.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Truth, Flourish!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I don't even have to answer that question; Mike has done so in the comments below. Just another reason why I love the Mailbag; most of the work is done for me. lol Rain and 65 today; fall has definitely arrived with gusto.

      Be well my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, thankfully, you and I both learned that valuable lesson. Thanks always for being here.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      9 months ago from SW England

      Heidi - thank you for the wise advice re CreateSpace changing. I will wait to see what happens.

      bill - thanks, I do appreciate you and all my other friends here.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Peg! Sorry I couldn't be more help.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't mind at all, Zulma! Truth be told, I'm not sure how many more years I'll have the strength. I'm getting tired, my friend, but I'm afraid of what happens when we stop being active.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Love your last line, Kristen...as long as anyone has a platform, that's all to it. Perfectly summed up.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Heidi! About Amazon Central, I've had the same problem. Unlike our friend, I just gave up trying. Oh well, I'm old, so I'm entitled to be impatient. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you are very welcome. There are several of us here who can help you muddle through should you want us. That's what friends are for!

      Wishing you a spectacular day!

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Fall has arrived, Melissa! I got caught in a downpour yesterday; that was my first clue that it was here. lol Thanks so much, my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, truthfully, I'm dim like that too on things like that. Even when I do understand it I don't do it. :) Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      William, I tried Amway for about six months and found out it was not a good fit for me, too....good to know I am not alone.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your thoughts, Eman! I appreciate you being here.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      9 months ago from Ohio

      Another great mailbag! It's hard to believe that you are going to be seventy! Do you have any special plans for your birthday? Have a wonderful week!!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      It's great to have a photographic memory at this age, and am I jealous Bill? Lol!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      9 months ago from Beautiful South

      Thank you mckbirdbks and Becky. I did just as you instructed, but a box labeled paragraph was not there. I clicked on all the unlabeled boxes and found one that did have the paragraph and tab setting information in it that worked.

      What was throwing me was that all Help files said to go to Design tab and click on paragraph spacing, which was there but did not work, and there was no tab adjustment feature in that box. It is frustrating for Word to have two settings, one labeled that doesn't work and one that was not labeled that does. I had already spent hours going through boxes and didn't know where else to look.Thanks again for your help.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There's always something new for me to think about in the Mailbag. I know I've said this before, but I appreciate the information that you share.

      I carry a small notebook and pen with me whenever I leave my home, even though I have my iPod with me as well. I find the notebook very useful for jotting down ideas. The combination of pen and paper is like an old friend for me.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      9 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      I always enjoy your letters and your answers. I am taking care of my 2 year old grandson, while his daddy works 2 jobs for the summer. That leaves me little time to do anything more than read sometimes. I take him out in the garden with me and he helps me weed and gather food from it. We have the makings of a new little gardener there. He even does pretty well at telling weeds from vegetable plants now. He is exceptional at watering and playing in the water and mud. Got to hose him down every day before he can come back into the house. That is his favorite part of the whole day. He loves to get hosed down at the end of his day.

      Doris James-MizBejabbers,To change the tab space in Word is fairly easy, if you know where to look for the adjustment. When you open Word, at the top of the first page is a line of adjustments. Go to the one marked "paragraphs". Click on that and at the bottom of that little drop screen, there is a place marked "Tabs". Click on Tabs, and adjust them to where you want them. They might not stay permanently changed, depending on your set up. But that is where you change the Tabs settings. Explore it and play with it, and if you do not want to keep any of the things you change, don't hit 'save when it asks you. I learned about Word, by playing with it, and if you do not hit save, it won't save changes. That will keep you from totally messing up your program.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Doris James-MizBejabbers - 'Word' home page - look for the word paragraph - just to the right is a drop down Arrow. At the bottom of the drop down page is the word 'Tab' Your adjustment can be made there.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Bill. Even without the questions and answers, I enjoy the mailbags. Your introductions are always an engaging read (as are the comments). Like some others here the major thing stopping me publishing more hard copy books is the formatting itself. Aso the fact that Create space won't pay commissions to an Australian bank account so you have to be paid by cheque (check) and I think they charge $8US per cheque so, unless you are making hundreds of sales, it's not viable.

      I wasn't able to link my author and purchasing account with Amazon either. I can relate to all the "getting older" comments too.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      9 months ago from USA

      If Amazon doesn't know how to merge accounts, there's little hope for the rest of us.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      9 months ago from Beautiful South

      Wonderful mailbag this week with some good answers, Bill. I'd forgotten the term "whippersnapper," thanks for reminding me. I have a question that should be aimed at a techie, but my author and I can't find an answer online. Or perhaps I should say that we can't get their answers to work on our computers, his is an HP and mine a Mac. Here comes the most stupid question of the day. How do you reset the tabs in Word? We need to shorten them from 5 down a space or two. There's got to be an answer somewhere that will work for one or the other of us. Thanks for any help.

      Yay, the temps have hit the 70s this week here. But when you live in a house with thick concrete walls covered with dirt, it's still hot as heck inside. AC is still working overtime. Have to go outside to cool off. Have a good week, my friend.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      9 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like the last reminder. Do all things with love. I enjoy reading the first part. I can relate to this. I remembered the struggle of my ealry years and they were all about me. These days, mse lf does not matter much so I can enjoy people, events, and things around me.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      9 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Bill, Another fine mailbag today as usual. Lots of interesting questions. You know, I'm sort of glad that my question didn't have an easy answer that I was missing. I doubt it will make all that much difference if my Amazon accounts are linked or not. But thanks for taking your time to investigate!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's good to know, Venkatachari M. Thanks so much for sharing your experience on Amazon with us.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      9 months ago from United Kingdom

      I do envy your life sometimes, Bill. Writing for a few hours, then spending time on the farm tending to the animals and crops. I occasionally wonder why I can't have this life. Then I realize I don't really have the strength to deal with the work involved in caring for flora and fauna. I'll just be happy with the cats and live vicariously through your stories and random ramblings. I hope you don't mind.

      Have a lovely week, Bill.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      9 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great mailbag, Bill. Sorry I've missed last week's mailbag and will go to that hub next. I'm like you, Bill. I'm shy in real life. But on social media, I'm fine. I wonder why. Per Rodric's question, there are various ways to self-promote via social media: Twitter, Amazon, shameless plug here on HP, a blog/domain, Pinterest. Book signings and handing out souvenirs like business cards and bookmarks, pens. As long as anyone has a platform, that's all to it.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      9 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag, Whippersnapper!

      Re: Easy Self Publishing. While the systems are easier than they ever have been in history, they are not that easy in many respects. I would say the most challenging is formatting for print. It always has been challenging and always will be, until the Amazonites figure out a way for authors to simply enter the text and the system formats it for us. I'm hoping that such a feature will be coming after the transition of Createspace to KDP. They already have the Kindle Create tool for eBooks.

      And on that note for the reader who's struggling, if you look at Createspace videos or tips, realize that this all could change in an instant during the move of CS to KDP. So it could be challenging right now no matter what. Unless it's crucial, I'm just holding off on publishing any print until the dust settles.

      Re: Sales Friends. I am totally opposed to "reaching out" to people on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. for the purpose of promoting my books in any way, whether that's "check out my book," or "join my launch team," or whatever nonsense if you don't already have a relationship with them. It's a tactic that'll burn bridges for the future.

      On a related note for authors, you should NOT be doing hard core promotion of your book or whatever through your Facebook personal profile! It is against Facebook's Terms of Service (although people still do it). Set up a business page! (It's free to do so.) Then invite your "friends" (your real friends) to "like" the page.

      True, the organic reach of FB business pages is low these days. But at least you are free to promote on that page as much as you wish.

      Re: Squirreling. I need pen and paper everywhere. I'm too easily distracted and forget stuff.

      Re: Author Central. I'm surprised people are having issues setting up an Author Central profile. Hmm. You should be able to log in or create an account with your regular Amazon credentials on Author Central, not Amazon. I'll be anxious to hear about developments on that.

      Thanks for the Mailbag, as always. Have a great week!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      9 months ago from SW England

      Thank you, bill, for answering my question. I feel deep-down that this is indeed a 'drawbridge' moment for me. And I'm scared!

      YouTube is a good idea; Arthur spends loads of time looking up 'how to' stuff regarding house and car at the moment, even though he knows just about all there is to know already! I guess I should take a leaf out of his book, and yours.

      I know what you mean about getting older. I find life a joy these days, though I do tend to think too much about things that go wrong. I make myself concentrate on the positives, of which there are plenty, thank goodness.

      Super mailbag once again, bill. Hope your week is super too and I promise you I'll get round to researching more about CreateSpace and reading that book.

      Ann

      P.S. to Mike - thank you for the offer of help on a cover design. I'm nowhere near that yet but I will bear your kind suggestion in mind. A.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      9 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I enjoyed the full mail bag today. Hope you are getting some of the lovely fall weather that we are getting (sunny and in the low 70s). Our apple trees and raspberries are starting to really produce, so this is always a reminder that the cooler weather is right around the corner here...wish fall lasted just a tad longer in these parts!

      Hope you have a wonderful and productive week!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - I also reflect, the thought usually goes something like, "How did you manage to get into this mess?" But that is something to explore another day.

      I like having a pen and piece of paper handy. I have jotted down many a good line from 'life.'

      I can help Ann with a cover design, if she is interested. Even formatting has become a lot easier since the early days.

      I don't get the reason to link a personal 'consumer' account with our author page, but I am dim like that.

      Another terrific mailbag.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      9 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      This is sleazy Bill here, Mr. Holland. I sold Amway for four years. It took me that long to figure out just how sleazy it is,- lol. I guess the good thing is I finally learned. Of course, there is much to learn from the Mailbag, so I thank you for that, Sir.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! My time for rose smelling is in the afternoons when I go out to the farm and tend to the chickens.

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      9 months ago from Egypt

      I liked reading this mailbag. Indeed, everything around us calls for meditation and deep thinking. Childhood days always the most beautiful days of life. Thank you.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very great questions and your answers, as always.

      Your reflections over aging and surroundings are quite interesting and anybody including me will be experiencing it the same way.

      The question regarding Amazon Author's Profile and Amazon Purchases account is quite a real problem experienced by me also. I too wanted to link both of them. But, it is not possible. Both are different platforms. Let us hope they may try to solve the problem at some future time by allowing to club both accounts.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Precious indeed, Verlie...precious indeed. Thank you my friend. I am always happy to see you stop by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you had me laughing out loud...cascaded down the other side...great line. And you can borrow my phrase any old time you want. What are friends for, right?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and I are similar, Bill, in that we don't need to write stuff down; it just sort of attaches to our brains in some wondrous fashion.

      Thanks my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cynthia, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and techniques with us. I appreciate you taking the time to do that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Be careful what you wish for, Pop! lol I'll see what I can do.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Bill. I must say I relate to your young whippersnapper statement as I just turned 72. There was a time I wouldn't talk about my age, but now I could care. I think a little perspective on the mustakes I made in the early years is not a bad thing. I really never thought of you as shy. I talk to everyone!

      I enjoyed all the questions and answers you provided as always. I hope you take some time to stop and smell the roses as it sounds like your days are full.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      9 months ago from Canada

      Morning Bill, your mailbag is heavily laden with great words and wisdom today. I'm thankful to have your insider views and info (and videos!) for future reference. A go to place for any writer in the online world. It is poignant that we miss seeing so much of what is happening around us in our youth, and how as we age moments become precious.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      9 months ago from Washington State, USA

      " an endless and lovely assault on the senses and an invasion of the heart." What a great phrase. I might have to borrow that sometime.

      Thank you for including my question and for your kind response. Your description of "old Bill" got me chuckling.

      I too feel that everyone around me is glancing up at the top of the mountain from the slope below, and I've cascaded down the other side. Even my dentist is young enough to be one of my kids!

      Perhaps the reflection (not nostalgia) comes from simply having more experiences on which to ponder? I love the place I am (spiritually). Now that I'm retired (kinda) there's more time to stop and smell the roses.

      Have a great week my friend.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      9 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. What an interesting installment of the Mailbag. I used to carry a pen and paper with me to jot down ideas for articles. I no longer do this as they are forever in my brain somewhere waiting to come out. I also feel like I have become more in-tune with my surroundings and the beauty of all the simple things in life. I definitely look at life much differently than when I was younger and I do find joy in the little things that I'm sure I missed.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      9 months ago from Georgia

      Hello Bill, I enjoyed your latest installment, as usual. I think that it goes with age that we can truly apprecaite the gift that we have been given because, alas, it comes with an expiration date. So the sky looks bluer, the birds sound more melodic, and each season bring its own beauty that is sometimes so achingly beautiful. I will say that I carry my camera nearly all the time and of course the phone makes it easy to capture images on the fly. I also carry pen and paper but too often fail to capture those fleeting thoughts or observations because I don't use them. I have been trying to "program" myself to use the recorder on the phone but I haven't been very successful. Your article just reinforces that it is something I need to do.

      Thanks for continuing to share such good info and insights.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      9 months ago

      I really enjoy your ramblings, and I wish you would do it more often.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome, Janis! I like your choice of words...seasoned....much better than "old" for me. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      God, Janine, they just got back to school, and here they are with a day off already??? What's happening to our public school system? lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Never semi-pointless, Shannon. We embrace the seemingly semi-pointless here at the Mail Room. lol Thanks, as always, for sharing.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 

      9 months ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Bill. Your opening reflections resonated with me. I'm there too, where I see and appreciate things differently. We miss a lot until we become "seasoned" enough to notice deeper meanings and experiences. Thanks for that, Bill. Continue to inspire and educate.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      9 months ago from New York, New York

      Finally made it here and sorry I am on the later side. My girls are off as the public school here are closed for the Jewish Holiday today and tomorrow now. So, working on this Monday. But alas on the slower side as I am working around them here with me. But still, I had to stop on in, say hi and read your words for wisdom this week. Happy Monday and wishing you a great week ahead, too!! :)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      9 months ago from Texas

      Actually, I find it very refreshing to reflect in life and to hear others remind me to do so. I was at work the other day watching the birds, as I often do. Lately, there's been a plethora of crickets everywhere. Tasty snacks and play for baby birds. But anyway, I watched a dove swoop down and scatter the blackbirds. I couldn't help but think about how beautiful life is. Light in the darkness metaphors.... All kinds of crap went through my mind. It did inspire a poem, though, that I've yet to publish. So that's my semi-pointless tale of the day. LOL

      Great read here, as always.

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