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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 244

Updated on February 20, 2019

Back to Normal

My truck is dug out of the snow, the roads are passable, and life is returning to normal here in Olympia. I gotta tell ya, that series of storms were whoppers. The city just basically shut down for an entire week. Now all those kids who were having fun in the snow are facing a summer vacation starting in July. Since I no longer teach school, I can’t really say I feel too sad for the little rug rats. LOL So cruel, Bill!

One good thing: I got caught up on a lot of indoor chores. There is always a silver lining if you look hard enough. Of course, I think I also gained about five pounds, so there’s that to consider too!

We have a big Mailbag today, so enough about our weather. Let’s do it to it like Sonny Pruitt!

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

Life’s Experiences

From Pamela: “I had the same thought that Peggy expressed. I wonder if most writers incorporate their life experiences in their first book. We certainly do that at least to some degree in our articles.”

Pamela, I obviously can’t speak for other writers, but for me, incorporating life experiences seem to happen in everything I write. By the way, “Resurrecting Tobias” was not my first novel. That designation goes to “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today,” and that, too, is oozing with my experiences. I just can’t help myself, Pamela.

A Farming Book?

From Mary: “I know you have your farm blog but have you written a book about farming or perhaps one with a setting on a farm? I'm sure you'd have lots to draw on.”

Mary, if I did that, it would have to be a book about what not to do on a farm, since I’ve made just about every mistake possible. Seriously, I just blunder along doing my thing. I should start a “Trip, Stumble, and Fall” forum, with me as the deserving chairman.

But what I lack in talent, or know-how, I more than make up for with a willingness to try and a dogged determination. I’m a big believer in dogged determination.

Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll actually give it some thought.

Hp Editing

From Peg: “Questions for you - How do you handle the ongoing "robust" editing (not just the snips) of our creative work on this site? Do you accept their changes, edit them or revert to your original text and photos? Do you see their cookie cutter format as an improvement? Do you think an editor should be authorized to add their own content to an author's work?”

Peg, I understand where this question is coming from. As a writer, our work is our offspring, and Momma don’t like anyone messin’ with her youngin’. I get it, I respect it, and I agree with it. I know people are upset when HP editors mess with their work, and I support their being upset . . . it’s just that I don’t care if they do it to my articles. I’ve got big issues to worry about and, for me, this doesn’t qualify as a big issue in my life. We choose the battles to fight in life, and this isn’t one of my choices. I’m too busy writing and raising chickens to worry about some HP editor snipping one of my Mailbags.

Since earnings seem to be up in recent months, I am going to assume that all that snipping is doing some good in views . . . but then I don’t have proof of that. Is it an improvement? I don’t know, Peg. I can see why others consider it an annoyance, and I can see why others are upset over it. I just consider it the cost of belonging to HP.

Backing up the Back-up

From Liz: “Do you also have your files backed up on a hard drive or some other device? I admire your filing system. I have good intentions which never quite come to pass.”

Liz, I’m horrible about this, so I’m not going to be of any help regarding hard drive backups. My wife is constantly reminding me to back up my work, especially now that my laptop is showing signs of giving up the ghost, but as of this writing I have not done it. Thanks for the kind words about my filing system, but I’m afraid my backup system is horrible.

COMPLACENCY

From Mary: “This mailbag spoke much to me. Complacency is my problem. You named it. Is it because I am not passionate enough or is it because I am too comfortable. My suspicion is that I push myself towards something I m not really passionate about.”

Gosh, Mary, I don’t have a clue. We human beings are complicated creatures. Maybe it shouldn’t be called complacency in your case. Take my wife for example . . . hard-working woman…extremely passionate about many things . . . but she gets hung-up on the follow through. If there are ten steps to completion, she is gang-busters for eight or nine of those steps, but then can’t quite finish it up. I don’t have a clue why that is. I know it bothers her at times, but I find her passion adorable and admirable.

I doubt seriously if you are complacent . . . maybe it is a passion thing. Maybe, if you find something that really rings your bells, you will see it through to the end. I’m sending you positive vibes.

My biggest influence!
My biggest influence!

My Influences

From Lori: “Hi Bill, hope you're staying warm. Bill, I'd like to know who are your favorite writers? What kind of books do you like to read? Which ones have influenced you the most as a writer? Also, when did you catch the writing bug? Like when did you first see that writing was something you liked to do? Have you had any education that's helped you be a better writer, other than the school of hard knocks?”

Sheez, Lori, thanks for the question. I find myself so boring at times. I’m always surprised anyone wants to know what I think, or what motivates me. I’m just a guy in Olympia, Washington, you know?

I’ve said this many times…Harper Lee is, by far, my favorite all-time writer. She is storytelling personified in my opinion. I love mysteries most, however, and my mystery influences were James Lee Burke, John D. MacDonald, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block.

I caught the writing bug as a sophomore in high school. Loved writing short stories back then, but then life got in my way and booze derailed my journey. Now I’m back!

I had a great education, private schools from K through college, but formal education does not make a good writer. Living life, paying attention to life, learning from life . . . pain, joy, agony, loss, ecstasy, these are the things that make a good writer . . . the ability to experience empathy . . . to show compassion . . . to notice nuances . . . these are the things that make a good writer.

From time to time I watch YouTube videos of Leo Buscagia giving lectures on my favorite topic . .. love! The man’s passion is infectious and that, too, makes a good writer.

Just random thoughts . . . thanks Lori!

Back to Nature

There is something awe-inspiring about Mother Nature when she unleashes her might. I mean, eighteen inches of snow in a weekend is pretty impressive. It makes you sit back, with jaw slack, and take a moment to just marvel at the majesty of it all.

I leave you with the lyrics of Dan Fogelberg in Wild Places:

“So many mountains before us, so many rivers to cross
Where is the wisdom to bring back the vision we've lost
Can we gaze with the wonder of children into the deafening night
Has it gotten so dark that we cannot remember the light

When you sleep on the ground with the stars in your face
You can feel the full length of the beauty and grace
In the wild places man is an unwelcome guest
But it's here that I'm found and it's here I feel blessed”

Have a great week!

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, I feel ya! We had the worst winter in thirty years, and I did a real happy dance the day it started melting. Hope, you know....on the horizon....sixty degrees tomorrow here. I have to believe the same will happen there...but I would still love to see that list. lol

      Hugs, Sis! Be safe and warm!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      4 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hey there Bro.....another of my sporadic visits. Just between you & me, I want you to know that I think I have "marveled" myself daffy at the "majesty" of all these mounds of snow and tons of icicles for as long as I possibly can without finally searching for a cliff to jump from. OK? Oh yeah...this has been THE winter of my discontent ...fer damned tootin! Used to love it. Forget that crap! Indoor work? Ha!! If you want I'll send you a masterful (if I may say so myself) list of things you can do indoors that I'm 100% positive no other human has ever thought of. Took me days to create but I'm using it as my guide until Spring! Period the END! I trust you get my DRIFT? (PUN most assuredly intended) Where;s the picture of your turds when I need them?? Love ya, Sis

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, thanks for that tip. I have never used it, but I'll check it out.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      4 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Glad you got through the storms in reasonable shape.

      Regarding 'backups' I find the best way is using Google Docs. It's pretty easy to use, you can password protect your files, and if you want a 'beta reader' to look over a file you can authorise them to make notes in the margins. Best of all, you can sync it to use on any device so it doesn't matter if the old laptop finally 'packs a sad' as everything is there!

      And its easier than Word to use!!

      I also think we writers can't help ourselves, we put our life experience on the pages we write!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Always,Ann!

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 months ago from SW England

      Quirk of nature suits me fine! Thanks, bill.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, my friend, I love what you said about back-ups. Vanity? Paranoia? You, certainly not vanity....let's just say a quirk of nature and leave it at that. :)

      Have a brilliant week, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna, and I have to admit, that situation would have annoyed me as well. Thanks for sharing that and Happy Monday to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Eman!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      4 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Bill. I have to agree with you and Peg regarding the edit-bots at HP. Do they help or harm? Well they can be annoying, certainly. From my own experience, the annoying bit occurred when they changed the copyright notice on The Encounter. They changed it from 'by Genna East and Mike Friedman' to 'by Genna East.' I was so mad. "Put it baaack!!!," I wrote in an email to them. It took two huffy and indignant emails from me, but they finally fixed their mistake. Such a delightful article, Bill. Happy Sunday.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 months ago from SW England

      As for HP editing, I sometimes agree with them but what really gets me annoyed, and I mean seething, is that they obviously don't proof read their own changes and they often misunderstand British English! That I find inexcusable. They've also made several geographical mistakes in my articles about British places - not difficult to look up the difference between Norwich and Norfolk!

      Back-ups? I'm paranoid about them because I'm terrified of losing my work. Does that mean I'm vain or just paranoid?!

      Great thoughts and advice as always, bill. Thanks.

      May Saturday's spirits guide you through!

      Ann

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      4 months ago from Egypt

      Thanks a lot, Mr. Holland, for these kind words and peace be with you always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And thank you, Eman, for sharing your experience and thoughts/wisdom. Peace be with you always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Lori! I appreciate you being here. Long live Harper Lee!

    • Emmy ali profile image

      Eman Abdallah Kamel 

      4 months ago from Egypt

      I enjoyed reading the first part of the article a lot. I usually love watching kids play anywhere. During our life in the UK, my children and my husband and absolutely I enjoyed the snow when we were living there for several years for the purpose of graduate studies. I think the kids' dream is always here in Egypt playing in the snow. Our life experiences continue with us for as long as we live. Thank you for this interesting and useful article as well.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Thanks for answering my questions. Harper Lee is one of my favorites as well. She had so many challenges writing that book but what's interesting is that a lot of it is close to her growing up years. The courthouse in the movie is the one her father (The Atticus in the story) worked in.

      For me, Pamela's question I would say absolutely but not in great detail and not in every story. Great mailbag.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that you are, Mary! That is fantastic!!!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the tip about Chromebook, Mel and for the very kind words.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you again Bill for your response. I had been travelling so I was late for this one. I love listening to Leo Buscaglia but I also appreciate your way of inserting the message of love in the mailbags. I think am getting clearer now on what really takes my passion and I'm so excited. Thank you.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 months ago from San Diego California

      I've liberated myself from hard drives altogether. I bought a Chromebook with my hub pages loot (about 200 bucks so that shows you how I'm raking it in here), so everything I do now gets saved to the cloud. I am gambling that no one is going to hack this unknown hack, so I think I'm safe.

      Your patience and humility in helping others astounds me. Keep up the great work.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an especially interesting edition of the Mailbag. Thanks for continuing to share your answers and suggestions each week, Bill. The Mailbag is always informative.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LIz, I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy a new laptop. This one has hung in there for nine years now, and every morning I'm surprised when it answers my call. :) Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for being here, Alyssa! The snow is just about gone now, thank the gods. It was a crippling mess in this area with all of our hills.

      Have a great Hump Day and beyond!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for catching that typo, Shannon! It is corrected. Now get some sleep!!!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 months ago from Texas

      I'm late this week....I should actually be asleep. I was so tired about an hour, but I was also determined to finish a post I was working on. Now that I have completed it I am wide awake.

      You're not just a guy from Olympia; you're an author With fans, I might add.

      By the way, you have a typo in the first paragraph. You wrote 'where' instead of 'were' in the second sentence.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 months ago from UK

      I hope your laptop lasts for a long time to come, because I would not like to think of you losing any of your writing due to technical issues. Maybe the days of pen and paper and typewriters had some advantages. It irritates me enough when a hub pages capsule malfunctions and I lose a few lines of text. .

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      5 months ago from Ohio

      Eighteen inches of snow? Wow! I think we're all ready for spring! Another great mailbag! I feel the same about HP editors... it's just the price of being on the platform. I always take it with a grain of salt, and add a dash of humor for my own enjoyment. I also am on Team Bill Writing A Book About Farming... even if it is what not to do. I'm sure you have plenty of wisdom to share! I hope you are staying warm and have an awesome week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy! Commas are interesting punctuation marks, are they not? Their use, in many ways, is random at best. I probably use them much more than I should, but I use them as pauses in thought, and probably only I understand that at times. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, Chitrangada Sharan. I really do appreciate you always stopping by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Go figure, right, John? Who knows best is the question. I understand what they are doing, and why they do it, but it's still messing with the creative process and thus will always be a touchy subject of discussion.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, me and foreign languages is a laughable topic. I'm just not wired that way. I enjoyed my four years of Latin, but I completely shut down trying to learn a "real language."

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, it's probably for the best that I really didn't take creative writing seriously until I had some sense of self-worth. I would have folded on the first negative review when I was younger. Now I just keep diving in the deep end, happy as long as my work meets my standards.

      Still chilly here but no more new snow. Stay dry, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, you had me laughing about the Greek Gods...not likely in my case. It did show a certain amount of grandiosity for the founding fathers of this city to compare themselves to the gods, don't you think? lol

      Thanks for the laughs and your rant about editing. Enjoy the heck out of your day.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I like your two cents, Zulma. I don't like words like complacency. We all travel to the beat of a different drummer. That is neither good nor bad; it just is.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you are smarter than I am about that external hard drive. I really do have to get with the program and start protecting myself.Thanks for the tip.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I'm a Libra, so no problems with complacency. :) As for backing up stuff, I'll make a concerted effort this next week, just to make you happy. :) Thanks as always for your input. It is invaluable for us all.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I agree with Mary that HP seems to have staying power which is a good thing. Sometimes I scratch my head over some of the edits, but it is their site, not ours. I now run my text through the edit site called Grammarly. The editors at HP do not always agree with what Grammarly suggests, particularly with the placement of commas, among other things.

      Glad to know you survived that massive snowstorm. Spring is coming! It is getting colorful in the Houston area with many of the azaleas starting to put on their annual show. The Azalea Trail is scheduled March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd this year. It is a glorious time of year!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your input, Devika....I appreciate you weighing in on HP

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rasma,and the same to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm so glad you think so, Dora! That's what I wanted when I started this.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I wish I could say I do that...thanks for the kick in the tush. I'll get on that this weekend. Have a great day...slow melt happening so that's good.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good point, Mary! HP still stands, which must say something about their management.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that, Linda....let's hope that future frisk is not invasive. lol Thank you for your kind words.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for sharing another valuable installment, with relatable questions. Your answers are helpful as always.

      Yes, I have also done a lot of editing recently, and hope the views to improve.

      Thanks for sharing this helpful article!

    • profile image

      DDE 

      5 months ago

      An excellent hub answers and questions in detail. Editing hubs is by Hub rules so got to respect that,

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      a very good mailbag, bill. I used to get a bit annoyed about HubPages editing. One of my hubs "How to Make the World's Best Scrambled Eggs" they recommended I delete a poem from it so it would be moved to a niche site.

      I refused to delete the poem but moved it to the end of the article/recipe hub. That still wasn't good enough so it didn't make the cut. Even though it is only languishing on HubPages it is my 3rd highest traffic article.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. What a great week for the mailbag. Overall I think the HP editing is a good thing. I suspect there are many writers here to whom English is not their first language and the editing can only help them. I know if I was trying to write articles in Italian I would be in big trouble. So, in that respect I think it’s good, although I do understand others frustration with the process. Have a great week.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      An awesome and inspirational mailbag. Hope you have a great new week.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 months ago from The Caribbean

      Your mailbag seems to fit more than writers. Underlying the questions are revelations of relatable real-life attitudes and issues. This is such an inspiring community forum.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      5 months ago from Beautiful South

      You really did have a great mailbag this week, Bill. So many questions, so little time. You had some from Pamela and Lori that made me think back about my writing past. I loved telling stories as a child, but when I was taking advanced comp. as a college freshman I compared the stories I wrote for class with those of some of the other students. Ad. comp. was a junior class. I realized that my stories were very shallow because I had been so sheltered by my parents. I stopped creative writing after that class and didn't try it again until I joined HP. I wonder if many writers have had that happen or did they trudge on until they could put a little meat in the stew, so to speak.

      Stay warm, my friend. We are going to get your moisture in the form of heavy rain deluges this week.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      5 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill!

      Wow, that's a lot of snow in a single weekend! Glad you were able to get that all shoveled out of the way...just imagine the fun when it all melts! :)

      For backup files, do you at least save a copy on your google drive or some other free storage space? Since so much is stored in the cloud, I think that should count as "back up", even if it is hard to keep track of it all.

      Have a great and productive week!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      5 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      I feel the same way here on our farm. Thank goodness for YouTube videos, we have learned so much from them.

      I have had articles subjected to the HP knife but they weren't creative writing, more how to articles. I found the edits acceptable and I feel if it is good for the site, then it is good for everyone.

      Having been on Squidoo, Bubblews, Niume, and seeing them all fold because of mismanagement, and low quality articles, I'm glad HP is keeping the bar high and implementing changes as needed.

      You have a great week.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      5 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "incorporating life experiences seem to happen in everything I write" - That is certainly the case for me. I am the person I know best though, so it is logical to write about "I". If I knew You best, I'd probably write about You but I don't.

      "dogged determination" - That is of big help in many circumstances in Life. I don;t know if I have a "dogged determination" but what I can do and have done many times is: keep getting up when getting knocked down and keep going. I don't know if that's determination, or stupidity sometimes but it is what it is.

      "it’s just that I don’t care if they do it to my articles" - You know what I got to say about HP editing? They're *#%^(*$ (@$#&*)%@!! Ya ... I mean, when You change things to the point that the tone of the piece changes then, You've ruined my work and that's not nice, to say the very least. @#^*&($ &*@$!

      Alrighty, suddenly I feel much better now. Haha!!

      "We human beings are complicated creatures" - Sigh ... Yes, You are so very right. You know, the other day, or week, recently either way, thinking about exactly this, I thought about how we should be born with an instruction manual. One about how to use this body, what Life is, how it works, etc. We're missing instructions. How are we supposed to do anything right, when we don't have a clue what "right" is (in the grand scheme of things)? We keep stumbling along.The blind leading the blind.

      "I’m just a guy in Olympia, Washington" - The only other time I ever heard of Olympia is in Greek Mythology. Are You one of the Greek Gods in disguise? lol : )

      Cool clip - I love photographs from Nature. Thanks for sharing and writing. Have an awesome week ahead!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      5 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I've never endured a "robust" edit by HP and, like a total body frisk by TSA, I can guarantee you that I would not look on it favorably.

      Love shines through in what you write. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      5 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill.

      Re: Complacency

      I read an article in Writer's Digest last week about what type of writer you are. It seems we fall into one of two camps: those who enjoy writing the story and those who enjoy finishing the story.

      The first group love creating characters and building worlds for them. They're a little sad when the story reaches its logical conclusion because fun time is over. The second group usually know how the story is going to end and work steadily to get to the finish line. They enjoy writing the story well enough but get more satisfaction from its completion.

      So maybe it's not a question of complacency or passion. Maybe it's just a matter of enjoying one part of the process more than the other. That's my two cents.

      Have a great day, Bill.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, my filing system is much like yours. I write all my articles, copy, etc. in Word. I have folders for HP, poetry, each client, my (now defunct) blog, etc. I like to insert notes to myself (directly into the draft) as to where to put photos and where to find them in my massive photo library. Then, when I'm ready to post, I simply selectively copy and paste into the CMS.

      As far as backing up files, I have an external hard drive plugged into my laptop. It's set to back up daily in the wee hours of the morning while I'm sleeping. This way, if my computer ever takes a dump, I won't lose my files.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 months ago from Chicago Area

      G'morning and glad you're digging out! We had more snow this AM, but with the sun out, it's already melting.

      Re: Farming Book. But you have your urban farming coloring book. That's a book in my book.

      Re: HP Editing... Or Any Editing. Gosh, if you're going to get all upset about what the HP folks do (which I've noticed to be minor), you will have a horrible time working with a real editor. HP editing is good emotional training for bigger editing efforts.

      Re: Backing Up. PLEASE consider getting one of the cloud backup services that automatically backs up your documents. Yes, automatically. It can be a life and time saver, even though there is a cost.

      Re: Complacency? Or just an Aries? I've noticed that those folks born until the sign of Aries are grand initiators. Follow through? Not so much. They're on to the next thing. :)

      Well, our power has been on and off all AM. Glad I had a chance to pop in while it's on. Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      William, it's probably a good thing I don't pay attention to the HP edits or I would be incensed! lol Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's the main point, Flourish. This is HPs site. We don't have to like what they are doing, but we do have to play by their rules. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! I'll check out that book if you recommend it. As for Buscaglia, he was a man I would have loved to have known.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well enjoy that holiday, Janine. I didn't even realize it was a holiday. lol As for vacations...kids around here will be going to school until July what with all the snow days off.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Shaloo...thank you for being a part of it all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I need Spring, Pop, and I need it NOW!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for that tip, Mike...never heard of it, but then I'm still a novice with the tech stuff.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww shucks, Eric, now I'm blushing. I'm just giving back that which was freely given to me, but thanks my friend. I feel the same way for all I receive from all of you.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 months ago from USA

      Regarding HP over editing, i think Peg may have been referring to a creative work rather than just a regular informational hub. In the end she needs to own and feel comfortable with what appears under her name. I’ve had various editors rewrite my bios and titles, add tables and text, etc., all in the name of improvement. Some of it was helpful and some of it was absolutely not. Remember whose account this is.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      5 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      A lot of good stuff in this one, Bill. I guess there's a price for everything, but 25% additional material? They tell me I should have three backups (not sure who "they" are). One, the computer itself. Two, an external hard drive. Three, online in case my external goes. Other than community (which I value), the only reason I put anything on HP is that I use it as my online backup. I realize something could happen with HP, but the community will keep me taking my chances. Have a great week, Bill.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Bill, this is another interesting mailbag. I appreciate the answer to my question and now I know the name of your first book. LOL.

      Leo Buscagia is a favorite of mine also, whether you have heard him talk or read his writings. He lifts me up! I also like to read mysteries and will check the couple of authors you listed that I haven't read. I am just finishing reading "I Am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes and I have truly enjoyed it. Recommended by my son, it is his book I believe.

      Glad the snow is melting. Have a good week!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 months ago from New York, New York

      Finally made it as I am on a delayed schedule with my husband and girls off for President's Day, plus my girls have the whole rest of the week off for Winter Break here. Although it seems more like spring break as we have had some warmer temps even in the 50s this past Saturday. Plus, unlike you haven't had a snow storm in ages mostly rain (even today). But still glad to hear you are digging out and hope the nasty weather is behind you all now. That said, had to stop in to wish you a Happy Monday and week ahead now :)

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      5 months ago from India

      Interesting set of questions-answers. And thanks for sharing the informative videos.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      5 months ago

      I have never been this cold in my life. I am lost too cold to write!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - "External Hard Drive" It takes a few seconds to install and does not die when the computer dies.

      I know I would take a hub down, if HP added 25%. That is unless it was 25% better when they were done.

      Glad your truck has been dug out.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      This mailbag is awesome. It is so cool to see you interchange with some of my best friends here. It is also so clear that you are such an inspiration to so many of us. Today I labelled you a "Guru". Last week it was a "Yogi". (sorry not up there with Yogi Berra yet, I do think your hard ball is now a softball)

      I have reckoned that a great thing about a good amount of snow is that when it lays upon our roof it actually helps the house stay warmer. I was on a high mountain once and the wind chill was just nasty bad. We dug into the snow and laid there because it was warmer. So much for 12,000 feet.

      I relate this cuz you warm up my heart by your love for others. Thanks dude.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, I don't blame you at all, Peg. 25% is a tad beyond editing; that's just messing with for the sake of messing with. Besides, who ever said that HP's editors are better writers than we are? Where's the proof of that?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Verlie, I guess I'm glad you missed out on the storm. lol It was certainly beautiful and inspirational.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello and Good Morning Bill, Thanks for your answer to my questions about the editing of our articles here. I can appreciate a good and thorough edit where my typos and grammatical errors are addressed. I'm even fine with reorganizing content to make it more visually appealing or logical. And I do like the fact that we can revert the changes to our original content with certain consequences. However, I still take exception when someone adds as much as 25% of their own content to my creative work. Again, thanks so much.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 months ago from Canada

      Morning Bill, I'm happy to see you survived the big snow. We just missed it here, but it's been cold. Thank for yet another great mailbag, seems to keep me on track with the possibility of writing, having these reminders every week, much appreciated.

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