ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 252

Updated on April 15, 2019

Blue Skies in the Morning

Blue skies in the morning, but they won’t be blue for long . . .

Sounds like some lyrics from a Country Western song, doesn’t it?

My baby’s gone and left me, for a guy with a song.

Welcome to my strange mind, folks, and welcome to The Mailbag!

I’m about to go into triage mode for the next twenty-four weeks. The farmers market season begins in two days, which means losing Wednesday, which means getting five days of writing completed in four days . . . triage!

So here we go! My comments will be a bit shorter for the next twenty-four weeks, my output a little bit less, and my presence here a little less noticeable. That’s just the way it goes, my friends. Priorities move to the top of the list; foo-foo moves down the list of life.

Let’s see what the mail has brought us today.

The Mail Room welcomes you!
The Mail Room welcomes you!

How Do You End It

From Paul: “Hey, Bill, you’ve got some experience writing novels. How do you know when you’ve arrived at the end of your novel? How do you know when to say ENOUGH and wrap it up?”

Paul, this seems like such a simple question, but oddly I don’t think it’s been asked before, which kind of blows me away. Congratulations on asking a question never before asked.

Every novel is basically a conflict of some sort, a conflict which builds until the climax. Once that climax arrives, and there has been some sort of resolution to that conflict, you have arrived at the end of your novel. I prefer to add one more chapter after the climax, to wrap up the novel in a calm manner, kind of like a deep breath after running a mile.

Now, having said that, there is no “one size fits all” in novel-writing; there are guidelines but that’s all they are, guidelines. You are the master of your ship, and you can steer it in any direction you see fit. I’ve seen novels, which are part of a series, end with a hint of what is to come in the next novel, and that is certainly acceptable. I’ve read novels which had no definitive ending, which really annoyed me, by the way, but again, that’s the option of the author. Just try not to annoy your readers or they may not come back.

I hope that helps. If you were looking for a definitive answer I’m afraid I might have disappointed you.

Looking for inspiration?
Looking for inspiration?

Flash Fiction Contests

From Trish: “Do you know of any flash fiction contests which are good ones to try out? I’ve got a few stories and I’d like to see how they stack up against competition.”

Trish, no I don’t. I mean, I can go online and find some in a heartbeat, as can you, but I don’t know which ones are better than others. Sorry, I’m no help on this one, other than to say the contests held by major publications like Writers Digest are always reliable. They are also highly competitive, so bring your A Game to the competition.

Maybe someone in the comments will have some suggestions.

Elusive Time

From Marilyn: “Bill, I just don’t seem to have the time to write. I have a small child, a husband, a part-time job, and not enough hours. Any suggestions?”

Marilyn, I’m going to say something to you, and I know it’s going to sound snippy, but it is also the truth as I know it: you have the time to write; you are just choosing not to use it for writing. You are sleeping with the time, or watching television with the time, or spending a bit too much time on Facebook with the time.

What I mean is this and please, don’t take offense: if writing is a real priority, you can find the time. If that means one less hour of sleep at night, so be it. If that means less television, so be it, and if that means no social media, so be it as well.

Earlier I mentioned that my writing week is going to be compressed down from five days to four; my workload will remain the same, but I will have one less day to do it in. I will have to find the time, because I have customers who are paying me to do work for them. And if I want to do creative writing, I have time to do it, and any excuse I use for not writing is just that, an excuse.

Cancer patients . . . clinically depressed people . . . they have excuses. The rest of us need to learn time-management and prioritize our to-do list. I know that doesn’t sound too terribly sympathetic, but it’s the way I was raised. I tried that line on my dad once, that I didn’t have time to get my chores done. You can imagine how well that excuse worked with him.

Looking for time to write?
Looking for time to write?

Looking for Authenticity

From Pete: “I’m a twenty-year old college student, just starting out in the writing business. I know I have a lot to learn, and I know I have to practice my craft, but my concern is authenticity. How do I write with an air of authenticity, like I’ve really experienced what I’m writing about? Does that make sense?”

Pete, I wrote once, in one of my novels, or in a short story, I don’t remember which, about a hanging tree I saw in New Iberia Parish, Louisiana. A black man had been hung from that tree ten years prior to my seeing it, and the locals simply referred to that tree as “the hanging tree.” Mind you, I never witnessed the hanging, but that tree had a profound effect on me, and I remember crying when I stood in its shadow.

You have two choices as a creative writer: you can either get out there and experience as much of life as possible in the time you have on this spinning orb, or you can call upon your five senses, your mind, and your heart, and use those things to “feel” a situation. The longer I live . . . the longer I am a writer . . . the more I realize two things: we humans all feel, and we are very, very similar to one another. I think in acting they call it method acting, the art of experiencing. Put yourself in a hypothetical situation and experience that situation in your mind and with your senses. You might be surprised how effective this is.

What would I feel if I saw a black man lynched? I don’t know, never having seen it, but I do know how I felt when I held my dying father, and I do know how I felt when I saw a mob beating a man on the streets of L.A. in 1969. That shit doesn’t go away, my friend, and it is always there for me to draw upon when I need it for a story or a novel.

Pete, it’s in you. Find it!

And you might want to read a couple books about method acting. I believe Lee Strasberg wrote a good one, as did that Russian dude whose name escapes me at the moment.

Back to the Country Song

I don’t know who that guy with a song was, but I do remember being dumped, several times, by women who wanted another man not named Bill, so I can relate to any song about heartbreak.

I’ll leave the rest of the lyrics to all of you. I’m not much of a songwriter or a poet.

Have a great day, unless you’ve made other plans.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! We are all still working on something as writers. Keep working on improvement and it will come.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      2 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Bill, thanks.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have to reread this one as there are important messages here for me. I especially appreciate your take on finding time to write and on authenticity. I'm still working on improving my capacity to experience.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Agreed, Miebakagh!

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      3 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I agreed. But I also think imagination should go along with the senses. Thank you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 weeks ago from SW England

      That's good, bill. At least I know it's not just me (or my ego again!).

      Joking aside, I know you often talk about using the senses in writing and you're so right. Therefore, the more senses you feel, the better the writing should be.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great reflections, Ann, and I'm in complete agreement with what you said about sensitivity and improved writing. The more I allow myself to feel, the better my work is....or so I think. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Miebakagh!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 weeks ago from SW England

      Superb advice in those last two answers, bill! The longer I live, the more I realise that experience is so valuable. Trouble is, I feel more sensitive too, which is good for writing, but not good for my emotions - I get too wrapped up in sorrows and bad things. I'm learning to 'think positive' and one of those positives is that my writing improves the more sensitive I become... I think!

      Ann

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Well noted, please.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing, Alyssa and yes, I do love the warmer temps and longer days....busy or not, I prefer warmer weather.

      Happy Easter to you and your family!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna. The problem with Post-its is they eventually fall off and then where are you?

      Happy Easter to you and yours, my friend.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      4 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hahahahaha! Your introductions always make me laugh or smile. I love this week's advice, especially about time. With age and experience, I've learned the lessons about prioritizing and making time for the things I want to do. It doesn't always work out the way I plan it and I still struggle with balancing everything, but I know when it's circumstances beyond my control or just me, making excuses. I also really love your tip about drawing on our experiences in writing, as well as getting out and actually experiencing life. Isn't it wonderful that the weather is warming up and spring activities are starting up again? I know that means busy season for you, and for us here as well, but I'm ready for constant warm temps, plenty of sunshine, and longer daylight hours. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! :)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      4 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Bill...good luck with your triage. :-)

      ..." there is no “one size fits all” in novel-writing; there are guidelines but that’s all they are, guidelines." Well said!

      And I've taken to carrying around a little paper notepad with a pencil slid between the rings to jot down thoughts that come to me in the middle of work, and elsewhere. (It beats scribbling ideas that pop into my head post-its, or on napkins at a diner or restaurant.)

      Excellent Mailbag edition, Bill, as usual. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, Sis, hugs heading your way. I'm sure the reasons for your hiatus are many, valid, and complicated. I would expect nothing less from my Sister. Just enjoy the hell out of life and when the words are ready, turn them loose and let them rip.

      Enjoy the hell out of your weekend, Sis! Love always!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bro....Today I'll just be thinking out loud, lest you mistake what I bring up, for a question. I've been somewhat concerned for a few months, exactly why my muse is taking a lengthy siesta. I have interrogated myself on numerous occasions, only to determine the reasons are many ,as well as complex.

      Thus, I must say I am somewhat comforted to read here that even you must make concessions now & then for needing to cut back, to accommodate real life activities. For me, realizing even "Mr.-multi-tasking-mucho-irons-in-the-fire-Bill" knows when to budget time & priorities, it must be OK! This is actually how it started out for me. What recently concerned me is wondering if I may have fallen into a rut.

      I'm leaving it all in the hands of Universal vibrations....hoping when the right time arrives, I'll feel a bit of a rumble. Sound silly? I hope not. With the warm season upon us, I'll relax to just SEE what happens. One thing I know for sure. My muse is very VERY independent! Can that be possible? Love to you all and may you & Bev & families have a warm & wonderful Easter. Sis

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that, Dora, and that is a great explanation why my Shadow series is a series. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It is human, Venkatachari M, and it is fascinating. Thank you for being a member of our community

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Rochelle! Bless you always, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nithya! It will all work out because, as you say, passion helps us find a way.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Bill! Those dang priorities. Well, at least I have practice with juggling. Have a great weekend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Verlie, I'm forgetting more often now, so I suspect I'll have a notebook shortly.

      As for foo foo with cupcake sprinkles, sounds pretty tasty to me. :)

      Happy Thursday my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, great questions and great advice. Thank you on both counts, and for your kind words. As for your questions, I'll tackle them on Monday,so stay turned. Again, thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, I guess I'm just not a sugar-coating kind of guy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I like that response, Miebakagh! Thank you and good day to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And thank you William!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janda for that flash fiction tip. Good to see you as always.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      The first question reminds of a quote I found recently: There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story. ―Frank Herbert

      Good questions and great advice from you as usual. Thanks.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting and entertaining mailbag starting and ending with reflections on that country song. Lyrics from old memories keep on coming on to our lips whether you want them or not. It's human.

      Thanks for one more nice edition of the mailbag series.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      I believe the Russian dude your thinking of is Konstantin Stanislavski, famed for his system of actor training and preparation. Lee Strasbourg's system of method acting is based on Stanislavski.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      4 weeks ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      Hi Sir Billy, I always enjoy reading your mailbag installments :) Interesting and I learn from them :) God bless you!!

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I am noting Nithya's advise here for my benefit. I hope others will likewise benefit.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 weeks ago from Dubai

      If we are passionate about writing, we will somehow find time for it. We have to plan ahead, chalk out a schedule and try to make it work for the best. You have a busy, busy schedule ahead. Good luck with the farmers market.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Great advice about managing our time to write. It really is all about priorities. Good luck with the farmers market and juggling your priorities.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      4 weeks ago from Canada

      Foo foo, and cupcake sprinkles, sprinkled onto your page this mailbag...whacky stuff Bill. A sense of freedom prevails, I hope, as you set sail on new adventures.

      I like what Mike has to say about finding time to write by carrying a notebook, and pen, and writing when the inspiration strikes. Sounds good to me. Those moments can be so fleeting, and easily forgot as life goes on. Cheers!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Linda! I would do the same but the puppy would eat the pad of paper.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      MIzB, thanks for your input. I make it a habit to always agree with you. lol That's what friends are for. :) Seriously, good opinion, and right on about that "writing every day" nonsense. I've come to see that as a ridiculous rule.

      Typical weather here, on again off again showers. At least it's not snowing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Heidi. I love your point about routine, and I totally agree with it and live by it. Without my routine I'm a runaway train.

      Snow and 70's in one week? Just shoot me!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Melissa, and Happy Tuesday to you. You are right, of course, about the extra daylight, but I'm so tired by five I can't take advantage of it. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy and Happy Easter to you and yours.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela. Oddly I don't have a problem with endings for my books, but that's because I have learned to trust my muse. She has never let me down.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great suggestion about the journal, Mike. Thanks for that....my schedule would be rough if I didn't love what I do, but I do,so there you go.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, Lori! Everything you said is true.....but....there's always a butt, isn't there? lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Kari! Good to hear from you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Always a pleasure, Kari. I hope you are well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! Wednesdays are going to be a challenge.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! I hate tough love, but sometimes......

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, George is still making music at that great Honkey Tonk in the sky.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! It was a blanket answer on my part, but sometimes the blanket doesn't fit the bed. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! The puppy is a handful for sure, but cuter than all get out.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Pop, and will do!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Tuesday to you Janine and thank you always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the input, John! I'll pass it along to Trish.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      The feeling is mutual, Eric. Keep playing those instruments, my friend,and thank you!

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I agreed with Mel.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      4 weeks ago from San Diego California

      Thanks for not sugar coating the mailbag and giving us a little tough love kick in the pants. Great stuff.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hello, Bill, the question about the beginning and ending a story is serious. Thanks for the answer. It is like as we say: water finds its own level. Good day to you.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      4 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Always something to learn here, Bill. The questions always get me thinking. And the answers - well, they always give me the answer. Thank you, my friend!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 weeks ago from UK

      Once again, thanks for your interesting and helpful input, Bill. How much of a role does planning play in the ending of a book? I used to think that the end or conclusion drew all the strands of a plot together.

      I sympathize a great deal with Marilyn. It is tough when there are never enough hours in the day. I picked up the habit from my early days at work of having a 'to do' list to prioritize what needed doing. I have carried on ever since. It is demoralizing when a lot gets transferred to the next day, but it helps to prioritize. It might be that at Marilyn's stage of life, setting aside a set time to write is impractical, but hopefully a time will come when she can. In the meantime how about keeping a notepad handy to jot down ideas and observations that might be of use when she has more time? That way Marilyn can feel that she is storing up ideas for writing in the future.

      I was interested in Pete's question. I know of a writing group that was taken to a bar to sit there and observe what was going on and then write about the characters they saw, developing a story around them. A lot of writing comes from observation of the life around us and from our experiences combined with research into areas we are not so familiar with. I am sure that at 20, Pete has a lot stored up in his memory bank to work with. How much would you say writing is based on personal experience and observation? How much depends on research?

      I hope this season goes well for you, Bill.

    • Janda Raker profile image

      Janda Raker 

      4 weeks ago from Amarillo, Texas

      Bill, your comments are right on, especially about our ability to carve out time to write if we REALLY want to. (And I'm quite guilty on that score.) To Trish, a really good place to go for info on contests for flash fiction is FlashFictionFlash-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Send a blank e-mail to that address, and Pamlyn Casto will respond and put you on the list to receive a monthly newsletter about all things short fiction, including contests for flash fiction.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      I keep a pad of paper and a pen on my nightstand. Sometimes just a phrase will come to me in the middle of the night, and I jot it down so that (1) I won't forget it, and (2) I can not worry about forgetting it and go back to sleep. Sometimes the best inspiration starts with just one thought.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, I know you are going to be one busy man with your farmers market, but I know that you will succeed with all your chores, including your writing. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to say a few words of encouragement to Marilyn. I've said 'em before, so this is just a repeat.

      You don't have to be sitting in front of a computer or have pen and paper in your hand to write. Some of my best work has been put together in my head when I was organizing dishes or folding laundry. In other words, when I was doing something mundane that I dislike doing. I let my mind go to get away from the mundane, or I turn my muse loose, in other words. When I get the story organized like I want it, then I find the time to go log it down. I can't think of anything more unproductive than sitting in front of a blank screen going, "duh, I can't think of anything to write." So don't find time to write. Do it when you are bored out of your skull. That's the best time for inspiration. Take that stupid rule, "a writer shall write something every day" and toss it out the window. Who wrote that, anyway? There, I got that off my chest.

      We keep fluctuating between 75 degrees and sunshine and 50 degrees and rain. Just busy dodging storms, I guess. I hope the storms miss you this week, my friend.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      4 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday!

      Re: Time. It's never about time, it's about priorities. I've also found that when I follow a routine, I find more time for everything I really want to do. As you noted, it's farmer's market season. And that means you'll have reprioritize your writing. But you will make it work.

      Well, we had snow all day yesterday. Lots is melted already and we'll be near 70 mid-week. Just spring in Chicago.

      Have a great week getting ready for farmer's market season!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      4 weeks ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! You are such a busy man...at least the days feel like they are getting longer with the extra daylight!

      Hope you have a fun and productive week! Good luck at the farmer's market!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Enjoy your farmer's market days and the spring weather. Happy Easter, Bill!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      When I was writing the short fiction story thid week I pondered over the ending as I thought my short story was getting a little long, and I had a rough idea of how I wanted it to end. I think the ending of a book would definitely take more thought.

      Good questions and answers as usual. Have a happy farmer's market day!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - Your new schedule sounds rough. I guess we are all doing what we have to do. I do not know how to weigh selling eggs against writing novels. You have to pay attention to what helps us survive.

      Marilyn might benefit from a journal where she can make notes and scribbles with stolen minutes. At least she can preserve some thoughts, ready for the free Saturday afternoon.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      I feel for Marilyn, raising a small child and working, then coming home to cook and clean is exhausting. I suspect that is a part of her challenge. I have been there. She needs her rest and writing instead of sleeping might possibly make it more difficult to do her daily responsibilities and write. And If she is watching TV or on social media, it is probably because she needs to decompress. However, I think you are right if she is doing those activities she may have time to write even if it's just a page. Bless you, Marilyn. You rock.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Just stopped by to say Happy Spring, Bill! Good luck at the farmers market.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 weeks ago from USA

      Great advice to Pete as well as to Marilyn about time management. Tough love from Bill.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      For a man with little time, you did a great job! I can relate about the country songs, that's my kind of music and I can be inspired to write something just by country lyrics. Oh George Jones, where art thou?

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      4 weeks ago from Brazil

      I'm pleased Marilyn asked that question because I feel it applies to many of us. It's also applicable to other avenues of life and not just writing.

      I think there are many deeper reasons but as you say, if it's important, make it a priority.

      Good luck with the kickoff of the market.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      4 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hi Bill, I'm just stopping in to learn a few things and to say hi.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Happy Monday Bill. This is always a great way (for me) to begin the week. I hope Marilyn takes the time to find the time to write. It CAN be done. As for the "Russian guy" maybe you're thinking of Chekhov?

      I hope you have a great week, writing, marketing, and taking care of that new puppy. Wow, a full plate I'd say.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      4 weeks ago

      Enjoy your new schedule. Changing it up is good for the body and the mind!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      4 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Had to stop in to wish you a very, Happy Monday and spring week ahead as finally starting to feel like spring here with temperatures climbing into the 60s and 70s. So, hoping your weather and week ahead is as awesome as you now, my friend :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Short but sweet this week Bill. I agree with your answer to Marilyn, that you have to find the time to write. If you are passionate about it you will substitute the time used for something else. As for Trish’s question. I don’t know of regular flash fiction contests. Author’s Publish magazine run some now and then...one of my flash fictions was runner up in one of them. There is no prize though other than being published in their newsletter. Nice job.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      You beguile me and regale me. I think I used those right?

      I have been listening to orchestra music lately. Such a synthesis and synergism. You are all that bro. Somehow you make orchestration in what you do.

      I don't know squat but I keep learning from you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

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

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

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