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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 233

Updated on December 3, 2018

I Don’t Have Time to Waste

At least once each day those words cross my mind: time is running out, Billy Boy; you don’t have time to waste.

I was told that as a young teen, at my grandmother’s funeral. Expressing sorrow to my dad, why do people have to die, that teenage angst type of mourning, he told me: “We are all dying, Bill. Living is the process of dying from the day you are born. There is no time to waste!”

And so, each day, I take a look at my mental “to-do” list and dive into it. I feel like a shark on some days, unable to stop because to stop is to die. Some of you understand that and applaud its wisdom. Some of you think I’ve lost my mind. LOL Either one is possible!

And so it is Friday morning, 7:56, and time for the Mailbag to be created for the 233rd consecutive week.

Thank you for joining me!

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room!

Updating Book Covers

From Mike: “OK here is a question I am curious what you think. I have wondered if updating the book covers of aging titles has any merit. I guess I could put that in the form of a question, but I think you get it.”

Mike, good question! I’ve noticed major publishing firms do that with some of their 2nd and 3rd run printings of a book, so obviously they feel it has merit, but I think that merit is greatly discounted when you are talking about Average Joes like you and me. Would it make any difference if we changed the book cover on Amazon? Would it increase our book sales one iota? I doubt it, but here’s my opinion on it: what do you have to lose by doing it? How can it possibly hurt sales, for you and I, to change the book cover?

I think it’s a good idea! If I had the time to devote to it, and cared just a little bit more about book sales, I would do it.

By the way, if any of you out there want a book cover done for you, Mike here does good work and has done all but two of my novels and novellas. Hit him up but I need to mention he does charge for his work.

Should I change them?
Should I change them?

SELF-EDITING

From Eric of course: “Long way around; How much self editing do you do first. I hate "bidding" against myself.”

Eric, bidding against yourself has to be better than betting against yourself, right?

I usually self-edit a book three times. I could do more. I could do less. The truth is I had to set a random limit on editing or I would worry a book to death and never publish the damned thing. So for me it is three times and publish!

With articles for HP the number is two, and really those edits are just run-throughs to check on spelling more than anything else.

I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, Eric, so I have had to train myself to accept less-than-perfect with my writings. Otherwise there would be nothing to read from me.

A Personal Struggle

From Bob: “I'm going to put you on the spot with this question, Bill. You know how my heart is in short fiction. I have been struggling for two years to write a novel. I hate the process. The story is worthy, and after all this time, I should finish it. But you and others have said before that there is no market for short fiction. Do I just bow to the fate of writing for the rest of my life, for I must, yet finding no audience for my work?”

His name is not really Bob; I changed it to protect the innocent, but the question is one many of us can relate to.

Bob is a short story writer. He loves writing short stories. He loves writing, period, but he really loves writing short stories. The problem is, there is not much of a market for short stories. Bob knew this going in, but I suspect, like many of us, he figured he would still attract a following and make a meager income by writing his stories.

That was not the reality and so our friend has a dilemma.

To me it is no dilemma. Bob really doesn’t need a writing income. He has a full-time job and his bills get paid every month. Writing is what he does for enjoyment and that, my friends, is the reason why I don’t think there is any dilemma. Bob is a very good writer. I’ve read quite a few of his short stories over the years, and they are entertaining and high quality.

In other words, Bob is doing what he enjoys doing, and he is entertaining others.

Why would he change?

Forget about that novel, Bob, and get busy on your next short story. I need a fix!

Unappealing Voice

From Rodric: “Here is another question for the next mailbag. How do you know if your voice is appealing enough? What if people hear your voice and it turns them off?”

I laughed when I first read this question, but then I realized it was a very valid question.

Where do we turn for an honest appraisal? Family won’t be brutally honest with us. Good friends won’t be. Even on HP, after seven years, I have yet to see one person say “I can’t stand your writing. Your voice really turns me off,” and yet there have been quite a few bad writers on HP over those seven years.

So where do you turn for brutal honesty?

If I didn’t have the money to pay an editor to give me an honest opinion, I think I would turn to online writer forums. There you can share writings and, on many forums, actually get an opinion not shaded by friendship. Just beware of this before you do it: make sure you really want brutal honesty!

That last sentence wasn’t aimed at you, Rodric, but a general statement for all. I was in this position once a couple years ago. An online friend asked me to read her manuscript, and she asked me to set aside our friendship and tell her like it is.

I did, and she no longer speaks to me!

Lesson learned for both of us.

And for the record, Rodric, your voice is not annoying.

A Side Note

So I was talking to Bev the other day, telling her about my latest novel, and I explained to her that I still didn’t have an ending for it despite the fact I’m halfway done with it. After she got over the shock of that news, she made a suggestion and you know what? It was perfect! She had the absolute perfect conclusion for the fifth book in the Shadow series, and I couldn’t be happier.

You just never know where inspiration will come from.

This lady is an inspiration to me!
This lady is an inspiration to me!

I Gotta Go; Time Is A’wastin’

I’m seventy for God’s sake. I wonder when I’ll determine that it’s all right to waste some time?

Maybe never!

If you want more discussions about writing, you can follow my blog if you have a hankering. Here is the link: https://artistrywithwords.com/

Let’s close with Dan Fogelberg’s “Along the Road”. . . it seems appropriate . . .

“Cursing the quest
Courting disaster
Measureless nights forebode
Moments of rest
Glimpses of laughter
Are treasured along the road.

Along the road
Your steps may tumble
Your thoughts may start to stray
But through it all a heart held humble
Levels and lights your way.”

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for searching, Mary! Listening to that voice is not easy to do. Trust, my friend. Your muse will not let you down.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I scrolled thourgh last Monday my notifications and I haven't seen this so I thought maybe that you've taken a break. But when I saw the one today and it was 234, then, I know there was a 233 so I went toy our prfile and found this. I'm glad I did. There are things here I would rather not miss. I know that what I am inside determines my voice and at various stages of my life, the voice changes. I need to listen to it more as many times I just ignore it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Li-Jen, thank you for your thoughts on a variety of topics. I'm with you on your opinions, and I sure don't want to crack my head. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are never late here, Heidi. Besides, I'm late in responding, so it evens out. :) Thanks for your thoughts on book covers. Very helpful! Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Li-Jen!

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      5 months ago

      Oh, and congratulations on receiving Hubbie awards!

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      5 months ago

      Hey Bill. I enjoyed article. You say time is running out but maybe it is because we are making it run out haha. Whoa, to do list..that is very disciplined and productive. I believe that there is always going to be the next great or best thing which makes the to do list endless so you don't have to worry and crack your head about not fulfilling them. Regarding the book covers, changing the title shows the willingness to let go just to make sales. I agree with you that Bob should just continue writing short stories. Even if we wrote a long novel, the quality may not be as good as the short story because there is a limit to our enjoyment and attention span as writers..in my opinion haha. He would probably make better sales for his short stories! Thanks for sharing!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 months ago from Chicago Area

      Well, speaking of time, I am so late to the Mailbag this week that it's almost next week. Catching up a bit this weekend. Doing a ton of work on the post-self publishing survey analysis. What a project!

      Also, re time, your "don't have time to waste" is my hubby's mantra these days. I think we're all feeling it.

      Re: Updating Book Covers. I've done a few updates on book covers. Most of the time it was prompted by some real need. For example, when I moved my first book from one self publishing platform over to Createspace/KDP. I was not allowed to use that cover anymore. So I created a new one.

      Also, I've done it to create a consistent look across platforms. When I created my audio books, I could not use the artwork that I had created on KDP/Createspace on ACX audio, even though they'll all Amazon. As well, the ACX platform requires a completely different configuration of art. So, again, another book cover update was required.

      Otherwise, I leave 'em alone.

      Re: Self Editing. Absolutely, yes, set a limit on number of edits! Otherwise you run into the "art must ship" perfectionist problem that Seth Godin talks about. You'll ALWAYS find something wrong with your work. If you're on the likes of KDP, it's easy to make the corrections or updates.

      Re: Your Unappealing Voice. I wasn't sure if we were talking about "voice" as in author style, or physical "voice." I'm presuming the latter. I just saw an article on The Guardian discussing research on why we hate the sound of our voice. Apparently, it's because we detect a whole bunch of emotional stuff about ourselves that we don't like. The struggle is real! But you get over it over time.

      Anyway, hope you're having a great December so far, and I'll hope to stop by in the Mailbag on time next week. Cheers!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I lean towards a belief in reincarnation, so we might both need a shrink. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bill I just wrote a piece and your comment made me go back to your (our) moving west and the Oregon trail story and the friendship of going North.

      Do you get the feeling of reincarnation or serious deja vu? It is beyond me to figure on it. I think I do not need to know the stuff about it. But do you get it or should I see a real shrink?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Rajan! Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great points about word choice when editing or simply when talking to people. Thank you for the reminder, Peg!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      So much truth in the lyrics of Dan Fogelberg's song. Thank you for bringing back to memory this lovely song.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Great advice on book covers and an important question from Mike. I've noticed that even best selling authors change their book covers as the book grows in popularity. Maybe they're onto something?

      I also liked your take on editing. Sad that your person actually did set their friendship aside when you were honest in your editing. I had a couple of uncomfortable experiences with an editor whose blunt, brutally frank and hurtful comments brought me to tears. I actually set aside my novel for months while I healed from the criticism. It seems that there is a vast difference between what you say and how you say it, for example, "What's wrong with you?" versus "What's troubling you?." After all, we are wordsmiths.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Live it to the fullest Shaloo! And thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Magic for sure, Rodric!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Eman! Thanks for being here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Keep at it, Dora, and I'll do the same. We both have wondrous things to do.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No apologies here at the Mailbag, Rodric. We are here to share and have questions asked. I love your enthusiasm and dedication to the craft. I'll help in any fashion possible.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      5 months ago from India

      Such a valuable advice from your father! Time is indeed running out and all we have is the present moment.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      5 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Apparently, after I put my comment on this hub of yours, Bill, all of my articles became featured! Wizard of Wisdom in Writing much!

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      5 months ago from Egypt

      But through it all a heart held humble... I liked the poem and enjoyed reading the article. Thank you, Mr. Holland.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for introducing Mike. I'm paying close attention now that I am approaching time to publish. I know that I'll miss my year-end deadline but I intend to keep at it. Like you say, time is running out. We're the same age.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      5 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Bill, you are a genius! You resolved my question in a way that I did not know I had a need to have answered. I was talking about my literal voice, but this answer gave what I was looking for exponentially.

      See, this is why you are the Wizard of Wisdom in Writing. I am tempted to make that my name for you from this point on, but I won't do that. Bill, your name, means that many of us anyway.

      Voice appeal is so important because that is how we get our audience. I know a few that I read whose voice was annoying. I had to stop reading their work because it rubbed me the wrong way. I think that the reason they annoyed me so much was not that their writing was poor but condescending. The sad truth about it is that we tend to hate the things in others that are true within. I have been working on not coming off condescending in my writing.

      I wrote an article several years ago where the commenter told me that my title sounded condescending. I changed it. I want to be the expert in my writing but not to the point where I make others who read feel unintelligent our jilted in any way.

      Okay, not to be a hog here, but I do have another question. I am trying to expand my writing past Hubpages. I have checked out several writing sites, looking for ANOTHER Hubpages! I, of course, cannot find one. What would you recommend as a way to expand?

      Another question: Each time I write an article in a series where I want to guide the reader to another article with a link at the end or in the beginning, my article is unfeatured on Hubpages. I wrote two articles yesterday that became featured when I removed the link. I have literally over 200 articles with links that are not unfeatured for the same reason. How do I keep my articles featured when they are part of a series? Do I need to recap each article previously and leave off the link or is there some other way? I am starting to believe it may be certain moderators who dislike linking because again, most articles are featured with the link.

      My apologies for the long comment. I am in the moment because these things are vividly active in my mind having happened minutes ago.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I don't know what it is about family and friends,and our writing,but your story is common.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I'm honored you took the time to comment when sick. Feel better, my friend, and I'll catch you down the road of life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Louise, it's nice of you to stop by. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Becky! what a great way to waste time...not so much a waste after all.Thanks for sharing that...lucky grandson you have!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. The older I get the faster time seems to pass, and the greater my urgency with getting things done. There is only so much time left and so much to do. As far as getting an honest opinion from family and friends, I don’t ask because I know very few if any actually read any of my hubs. Have a great week.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      5 months ago from Beautiful South

      Better late than never, I guess, Bill. I had a little bug this weekend and then kept an obligation on Monday morning. Monday afternoon the bug came back with a vengeance. So I'll leave a comment and go back to bed. I'm really with Bob. Short stories are my favorite write, but if HP is any indication, nobody wants to take the time to read them. That's why I've turned to flash fiction for HP. I haven't written a word in several years on that novel I started in 2007. Maybe someday, but I do know that time is running out because I'm older than you. It isn't laziness; I just can't find the time to do more research. How did I ever find time to work?

      I'm going back to bed. Hope you're having a better week than I am.

    • louise-barraco profile image

      Louise Barraco 

      5 months ago from Ontario

      This is very helpful not only in writing but life in general. I have recently begun writing a daily-to do list and it seems to be working. I haven't been on hubpages much in terms of commenting on others posts, honestly I haven't even edited my own much but I am going to get back to that, thanks for this post Bill hope you are well, I have had a few things go on but I am determined to be back now editing, posting and commenting instead of just posting and running as I like to call it. thanks for the post again Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alyssa! Yes, this has become a routine to me; it is just naturally a part of my Friday writing and Monday posting...just like eating lunch or taking an afternoon walk.

      Have a great day my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks as always, Chitrangada Sharan! You are a good friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I had wrestled with that ending for weeks; Bev saw it in five minutes. Sigh! LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! The longer I write, the more convinced I am that writers all come out of the same mold.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Flourish! I like the poll idea...as for that friend, I feel badly about it but shoot, she asked for brutal honesty. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Not just you, Manatita. I completely agree with that quote.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      5 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      I have given up on not wasting time. I am 60 now, and so busy that I found myself never having time to just sit down and watch the lizards and birds running around my little 4 acre yard. I have changed my schedule a little bit now. I will take my 3 year old grandson out in the yard, and we will sit and just see how many different animals and birds we can find. They are vastly amusing and I am mentally renewed when we get done. My grandson loves the little stories I tell him about what the animals and birds are doing and ends up giggling over them. My time wasting may help him build his knowledge about these animals, or just his imagination. Wasting an hour every day or two has also been very good for my blood pressure and stress levels. Something to think about. I babysit my grandson 5 days a week, while his single father works. That can be exhausting, so a little relaxation is necessary sometimes.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      5 months ago from Ohio

      Wow! 233 consecutive weeks! That is amazing! I suspect that it's become a nice routine for you. :) Inspiration can strike at anytime. How wonderful that Bev suggested the perfect ending to your story. :) I hope you have a great week! :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jason! I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, that wasn't even close to rambling, and I always appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is a nice compliment, Linda, after so many. Thank you and I hope your week is productive.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Stay warm, Melissa! My goodness, it's almost like spring here.....I would be happy with a little snow,key word being "little." :) Happy Monday my friend, and thank you.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      The first paragraph is full of wisdom for everyone. I remind myself almost every moment, that time is fleeting, time is fleeting—.

      Good to read your poetic expressions. Very nice.

      As always, a useful installment, with helpful questions and answers.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      It often amazes me how others can see an answer or solution clearly that we have been struggling with. Bev is an example. It happens to me a lot, Bill. Each year seems to be passing more quickly than the one before and so I wish I took writing seriously a lot earlier. Oh well, just have to keep on churning out the words and see what happens. Yes, we often say we welcome honest feedback, but sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for :) Great mailbag.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      5 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Your story of Bev, and the not wasting time, actually go together. You cannot rush the conclusion of a story. You must 'give it time' - it is not wasted time. Inspiration will come. From Bev, from another reading, from you walk, where ever... you must give your muse time to find the right answer to conclude the story. It has worked, for me, many times. Good Mailbag! Thanks, again, for what you do!! ;-)

    • manunulat profile image

      Jason M Quinapondan 

      5 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

      It's a mailbag filled with wisdom. I had a great read! Thanks Bill!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 months ago from USA

      Good answer to Bob. Do what you love regardless of the money if you can afford that luxury. So few people ask for actual feedback in terms of even a poll if they have lingering doubts about certain elements of their writing. I wish writers who fret about the quality of their work would put a poll up and let readers weigh in; it needs to include an option about not wanting to answer haha. I liked your account of your former friend who asked for feedback then could not take what she received from you. Keep writing, my friend!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 months ago from london

      Well, Bev is quite savvy, isn't she? Good on you two. A blending of special hearts and minds. Cool!

      Hope all goes well as usual and that the rest of your day is beautiful. Praise be!

      Quote: "Why waste time! Time is so precious with Love around." Just me, bro.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 months ago from Texas

      Excellent mailbag this week! Time wasting....some would say taking time to relax is wasting time- but I find that I just need to recharge all by myself alone sometimes.

      You're right that few people here give any sort of constructive criticism, although I know I have from time to time. Even to you. Of course, I also believe you to be someone who would talk to me if you took offense rather than leaving the way your so-called-friend did. Also, I suppose it all comes down to how the majority views the voice used, right? Or should I say how the target audience likes the style and voice used? See, and there you have my rambling voice. ;)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your Monday installments of the Mailbag are always interesting and informative. Thanks for yet another edition, Bill. I hope you have a good week.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      5 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! This first Monday in December finds me with fresh snow on the ground, frozen lakes, frozen toes and warm hearts. Can't help it, I'm one of those people who just loves this season of the year! Thanks as always for your timely mailbag. I look forward to it every week.

      I hope you have a productive and wonderful week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M! Let us not waste a moment of today, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a bunch, Mary! I think Rodric was referring to his written voice.

      Great question about criticism. My ego can get in the way when criticism is given; I suspect that is true for many writers. :0

      Have a fabulous week and I will see you next Monday.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      At least one, Linda, but not many more, if any. I have learned to live with that, my friend. I just keep on doing my thing no matter who reads it. :) Wishing you the best Monday possible.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      For God's sake, Mike, we definitely need to keep you off the streets. lol You are very welcome.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melt in your mouth Monday, Ann? That was your best to date, my friend.

      Yes, I love your idea about short stories with a theme. Why not? Who knows where success will come from?

      As for your granddaughter, no surprise there! She is related to you, after all!

      I can't top your goodbye eloquence, so I will simply wish you a brilliant Monday.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! It's nice to know I'm not the only one limited. :) We shall keep up the fight, my friend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting mailbag with some unique questions.

      Time is worthy and not to be wasted even for a minute. You are smart enough in this matter. Glad to know that you got a good ending tip from that great Lady Beverley for your novel.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      5 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Is Rodric referring to his written 'voice' or speaking voice? Wasn't it Rodric who was going to do voice overs of his articles with a view to doing his audio book?

      Regarding asking family, sometimes they are the worst critics, I find.

      Which leads me to a question. How do you know if a criticism of your writing is valid.

      Have a great week.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      5 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Your friend Bob should pick up a copy of "Different Seasons" by Stephen King. It's a collection of his short stories and by the way it did VERY well.

      I love that Bev had the solution. Perhaps she's been your Muse all along. So, you DO have at least one member of your family who reads what you write and listens to you. Lucky indeed.

      Another great one my friend. Catch you next Monday.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hello Bill - Thanks for the insight. You are right, not much I do will affect sales. For the most part I am happy with the book covers I created for my writing. All but one that is. Thanks for the mention that I also can generate a book cover graphic design. It keeps me off the streets.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! Truth be told, Bev inspires me most days. She is my living muse. :) Happy Monday to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate you, Nell! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Verlie! You have great taste in music.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very kind of you, Eric. I have a hard time with praise; I feel much better allowing Bev to receive it.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 months ago from New York, New York

      Always happy to join you for the Monday Mailbag edition. That said, love that Bev inspired the ending for your latest novel and truly made me smile reading this here today. Happy Monday now, my friend!! :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 months ago from SW England

      More lovely lyrics! I liked the tone of this mailbag - upbeat and fun (they always are, but I mean more so).

      Wasting time? You? You never stop so how on earth can you waste time? I'm sure you always use it wisely too.

      For that short story question: would it not work if one published a book on a theme and had short stories around that theme, with some sort of link like a character or a place? So it could be a novel in disguise... What do you think?

      I've only just had that idea and I think I might use it myself!! Where did it come from? My muse of course! Seriously, though, is it workable? Sort of an easy way to create chapters!

      I helped at my granddaughter's venture with her book on Saturday - she sold 11 at her school Christmas Fayre! I'm so proud, but then I would be wouldn't I? Here comes a best seller.....

      Have a museful, melt-in-the-mouth Monday, bill!

      Ann

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I relate to trying get everything done. I do not like my physical limitations as I can't do some things that were simple a few years ago. So, I focus on what I can accomplish.

      I enjoyed the mailbag questions as usual Bill. Have a good day.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 months ago from England

      Great advice as always Bill! have a great day!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 months ago from Canada

      Good morning Bill, nice to read your encouraging Monday missive, it's time not wasted. (grin) Nice song choice!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Once again a blast and a treasure to read. Hey, just a holler, you have brought me many many hours of pleasure and joy. I know that ain't much pay. But to me your writing is priceless and no small part of my writing thought process.

      But based on your "ending" help from Bev. Maybe I should be thanking her instead.

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