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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 257

Updated on May 20, 2019

It Will All Come Out in the Wash

That was one of those sayings from my mother when I was growing up . . . we all have them, right? Mothers are good at pulling out some words of wisdom which may, or may not, make any sense. This was my favorite from my mom. “Don’t worry, Bill, it will all come out in the wash.” I had some major concerns, and my mom wanted to talk about the laundry????


She’s dead, now, so no way can I ask her what she meant by that, but I’m going to guess it means “chill out, dude, what will happen will happen, and all the worrying in the world won’t change that fact.”

Do you remember any from your mother? If so, please share in the comment section. I would love to hear about them. You might find this quotation amusing:

“When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway.” Erma Bombeck That was my mom. I would hear that question and just shudder.

What say we get to the mail? It’s a light bag this week, so it won’t take long.

Welcome to the Mail Room
Welcome to the Mail Room

Work Schedule

From Mel: “Goo goo ga joob Walrus Bill. Question for you, which sounds more apropo now that you mentioned dropping out of the Farmers Market. I admire your work ethic and I want to know how you go about it. Do you adhere to a strict schedule in writing or do you wing it, writing when you have time. Could be overly intimate, but I would like to know how your daily schedule operates. Great work.”

Strict schedule all the way, Mel, and I AM THE WALRUS, thank you very much!

I write from 6:30-11:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. Monday through Wednesday I work on customer needs, making money to pay the bills. Thursday are for creative writing, novels, short stories, whatever, and Fridays are for billing customers, working on the Mailbag, and tying up loose ends.

The weekends are usually for the farm and other chores, but I will occasionally do some creative writing in the early morning, on Saturday or Sunday, if the weather is bad.

And that’s it! I can actually break it down to the hour if you want, but that just seems overly boring to me.

More on Points of View

From Shannon: “I just saw a writing challenge that challenged to use all of the points of view. Aren't her five? Though I can only think of three. I've also been instructed by general opinion that one POV per chapter, at least, of not the entire text is usually best. Supposed to be easier flow for the reader. I've seen excellent exceptions, however.”

Strictly speaking, Shannon, there are only three . . .first person, second person, and third person . . . but within the third person category there are three: third person limited, third person multiple, and third person Omniscient.

Do you want to know what those are? Third person limited means the narration is limited to only one person . . .he/she only knows what one character knows. Third person multiple means the narrator is privy to what multiple characters know, and third person Omniscient means the narrator knows what all characters know.

So there you go, Kokamo!

Maggie and her brother Tobias!
Maggie and her brother Tobias!

Maggie and Me

From Anonymous: “I noticed in your series of ‘Maggie’ articles that you will occasionally say ‘Maggie and me’ rather than the appropriate and correct ‘Maggie and I.’ Do you do that on purpose?”


Next question, please.

Seriously, yes, I will occasionally break the rules, but it almost always has to do with the specific case and the tone I’m trying to establish. Saying “Maggie and me” seems more endearing and laidback, like a walk in the country should feel like. Walking in the country, clearing my mind, reflecting on life, and enjoying my dog, those things just feel relaxed to me, so I chose to relax the rules of grammar and be a rule-breaker.

Nice catch on that one and no, I’m not senile yet. LOL

Another Excerpt, Anyone?

How would you like a sneak preview of the memoirs (And the Blind Shall See) I’m currently working on? This passage is something I wrote about my mother:

"She was love in the flesh for me, hugging me, kissing me, holding me in her lap, tucking me in at night, and constantly telling me she loved me and was proud of me. I truly don’t remember a single person disliking my mom. She volunteered at the church, baked goods for the poor, made dinners for the parish priests, comforted the sick, and treated all of my friends like they were her extended family.

She also hated Blacks, Japanese, Germans, Italians, and what she called Chinks, an all-encompassing term which included all Asians. The Bible was her guiding light unless, of course, it did not align with how she felt about that trailer-trash that moved in two blocks down. The weekly church sermons were food for her soul, she could recite a rosary with the best of them, and monthly confessions were events of great importance, but it all rang hollow when compared to some of her actions and words.

But I loved her! I loved them! They were the two that saw something in that blind, malnourished kid, and they were the two who engulfed him with love, so their shortcomings were largely ignored as I was growing up.

Do we, however, really ignore what we see and hear during our formative years? I don’t think so. I think we are sponges. Some of our surface absorbs better than other parts, but it is all taken in, sorted through, and either used or discarded. So it was for me. I can see a great deal of my mom and dad in me today, even though the DNA markers say that is impossible. There is also a great amount of them I have labeled as a bio-hazard and tossed away for good. And I have no problem with any of that. We are complicated creatures, we humans. I pray my son has discarded the worst of me. Otherwise he’ll be crippled for life, and I’ll be in the afterlife feeling guilty as all hell. At the same time, I now realize there is a great deal of good in me, and I would hope my son recognizes that fact as well. So I have no problem giving my parents a free pass on certain issues. In no way does that mean I condone their behavior, but I certainly do understand it since I, too, am riddled with imperfections."

It's all about me!
It's all about me!

Until Next Time

That’s all I’ve got for you today, so you’ll just have to find something else to do with your time. Thanks a bunch for stopping by. I love our little get-togethers each Monday, and I’m grateful for your friendship, each and every one of you.

Have a great weekend! Do something good for someone this week, please, and while you’re at it, do something nice for yourself. You deserve it! Time is short, folks. Give yourself a hug and the permission to be human.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


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