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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 278

Updated on October 20, 2019

The Touch

When I work in the garden I never wear gloves. I know, I know, I’m drying out my skin and yes, it is extremely hard to get my hands clean after a couple hours of digging in dirt, but to wear gloves seems like a sacrilege to me.

It all dates back to 1955 for me. I was seven, and our family took a car trip back to Iowa to see my grandparents.

Grandpa was a corn farmer. He loved the soil. He took me out in his fields one day, had me kneel down in the soil with him. He cupped his hands, sunk them in the soil, and held them up, a handful for me to smell.

“Smell that, Billy Boy? That soil is life. Farming starts with the soil. If I take care of the soil the soil will take care of me.”

“But Grandpa, how do you know if the soil is healthy?” I asked him.

“You gotta feel it, Billy. There’s a certain feel to healthy soil. That there’s why your grandfather doesn’t wear gloves. I need to feel the healthy in it all.”

If you have to ask me what that has to do with writing, you haven’t been paying close enough attention to these Mailbags.

How about you? Do you have any special memories of your grandparents you would like to share with us in the comment section? Or how about memories related to touch?

You think on that while I tackle the questions for this week.

Welcome to the Mail Room
Welcome to the Mail Room

Ghostwriting Credit

From Rinita: “I have another question about freelancing. If you ghostwrite articles for clients, how do you continue to build your portfolio to show your past work when you want to look for new clients? I could, of course, continue to write my own unpaid articles on my blog page, but what is the best way if someone asks for a portfolio of past articles written professionally? Any advice you could share would be most helpful. Thanks a ton and hope you have a great week”

This is a great question, Rinita, and a problem most ghostwriters run into.

Ghostwriting, by its very nature, is an anonymous pursuit. Clients do not want it known that they did not write their own content; they are oftentimes embarrassed to admit that fact. So how does a ghostwriter prove to potential clients that “they have game?”

There are three things you can do. First, you can include a Portfolio Permissions Clause in your contract with your customers. This clause gives you legal permission to share “author” status with potential customers and only potential customers. This will often be sufficient and satisfy past clients.

Two, you can post excerpts of past work without actually mentioning where that work came from or who you did that work for. Again, you should seek permission from clients before doing this.

And three, you can maintain a Client Testimonial Page on your website. On that page will be glowing reviews by people you have worked for in the past.

That should be enough to get you started and find you some new clients. Thanks for your question!.

My wife touching the grass...just because!
My wife touching the grass...just because!

Making Money Writing Travel

From Sarah: “I want to start writing articles about travel. Actually I’ve already started. My question is how do I make money doing this? There are already so many articles out there about traveling. I feel like my words will get lost in the vast internet.”

Sarah, here’s the real of it: you may NOT make money writing travel articles for exactly the reason you mentioned. The internet is flooded with travel articles, and food article, and craft articles, and…and…and…and

If that’s your excuse, don’t bother starting!

Ouch!

What can you write that nobody else can? That’s the first question I would consider if I were you. Look for an angle which has not been used yet. Become unique! Give readers something they have never had before. Sit down and think of an approach which will garner you views simply because of its uniqueness.

And then make damned sure you are a good enough writer to pull it off.

And then attack social media marketing like a blitzkrieg!

Seriously, I could go on and on. I think I wrote an article on how to write travel articles way back when. There is a ton to think about regarding making money on the internet, but you can start with the first two I gave you: find a unique approach and learn your craft. After that, start reading articles about marketing from people like Heidi Thorne, who is on HubPages. Her advice on marketing is pure gold.

Good luck!

Find uniqueness in travel and then write about it.
Find uniqueness in travel and then write about it.

The Quest

From Art: “What is your goal when you sit down to write? I guess it would be different for everyone, right? I’m just curious what it is for you.”

Art, I have two goals when I sit down to write HP articles or novels. One, I want to connect with people and two, I want to change people with my writing.

Writing is very personal for me. This is the way a painfully shy person (me) can communicate with others. This is how a retired teacher (me) can still teach. This is how a man overflowing with empathy (me) can connect with others who also feel.

I want to entertain you. I want to inform you. And I want to transform you.

On several occasions I have received emails telling me that my articles on alcoholism led to people getting treatment and finding quality sobriety. Do you have any idea how wonderful that is? My writings literally saved lives. I have tears in my eyes right now thinking about that.

I wrote an article about child abuse on an Indian reservation which led to a state investigation. That’s goosebump stuff for this writer. And countless times I have had people tell me my writing brought tears to their eyes, or made them realize that they are not alone in this world.

Gold mine!

Art, here’s what I think about writing goals: whatever your goal is in writing, sink your heart and soul into it. Do not do any of it half-assed. I don’t care if your gig is baking or your gig is car mechanics, write about it with passion and joy and a desire to inform. If you are just in it for the money, and there is nothing wrong with that, then be the best damned writer/marketer out there. Give people what they want, whether they know they want it or not. Lol

Best wishes!

Back to the Touch

When I first started dating my wife Bev, we would go for walks in the park, and she would always stop at each flower and touch it. Her fingers would lightly glide over the petals . . . the same thing with trees, hands gliding over the bark . . . and grasses and dirt and . . . Bev is a tactile learner, and it is a beautiful thing to watch. It’s just one more reason why I adore that woman. She gets it!

And I hope all of you will “get it” during this lifetime. It really is the only way to live.

The lyrics from some old song are coming to my mind: “Sometimes when we touch, the honesty’s too much . . . “

Wishing you all a brilliantly creative and satisfying week ahead. Please remember to do all things in love.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes they can, Lawrence, and you just told a dandy! Thank you!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      4 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I've often wondered why I just don't wear gloves when I'm planting or working in the garden, it just feels so wrong!

      My memories wouldn't be so much my Grandad but Dad's 'allotment' a veggie garden he hired for a few years (a leftover from feudal times) to grow our veggies.

      I remember growing my first veggies there, and having fun doing it, but it was many years later I got to grow my own.

      I agree, every writer can tell unique stories.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I can say the same about you, Ann! Thank you my friend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 weeks ago from SW England

      You make me smile!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Greatly relieved!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      8 weeks ago from SW England

      Top of the class!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann....done!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Zulma! lol

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      8 weeks ago from SW England

      Thanks, bill! You too! (You still haven't edited 'pedals' to 'petals'... I keep an eye on these things; it's the teacher in me, sorry!)

      Ann

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      8 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Wow. That sounds really useful. And much better than using it as a storage area for your mummified parent. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I'm so happy you didn't resist that. I would worry about you if you did. lol Touch...it is such a beautiful thing to do . . . it is so human!

      Happy Weekend, my friend! Wishing you the best.

      bill

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      8 weeks ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      An excellent mailbag that has everyone reliving memories of their grandparents.

      You've given excellent, and honest advice.

      Hope your week is going well.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      8 weeks ago from SW England

      This is brilliant, bill! Especially all the stuff about touch. I watch my now one-year-old grandson getting into everything, touching, thinking about it all, and it's a wondrous thing to see. I'm reliving the world all over again.

      I love it that Bev can glide her fingers over the pedals; how does she then see over the steering wheel? Sorry, couldn't resist it (last capsule)!

      Wishing you and yours a thrilling Thursday, bill!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, they are used to keep some vegetables,like potatoes, onions,and garlic, fresh for months until you are ready to eat them. The temp underground remains in the high forties, low fifties, so the veggies stay fresh.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      8 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Bill, you mentioned digging a root cellar in the backyard. Being a city girl, born and bred, I have ask what exactly is the purpose of a root cellar? They only root cellar I'm familiar with is the one where Norman Bates moved his Mom to in the movie 'Psycho'. I presume that is not the primary function of a root cellar.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that story, Sha! I love all stories like that one, the human connection, and how we are all so similar.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cynthia, that is a fascinating story about your grandpa. I wonder what his thinking was on that? I do love that story so thank you for sharing. As for you feeling crushed, I understand. My wife and I are in the process of shrinking and simplifying. I'll sure be happy when we finish.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dad was a wise man, Sis, so he must have had a reason. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nothing wrong at all, Dora, and I would be greatly disappointed if you stopped writing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is a beautiful memory, Becky! I love memories and stories like that one. People are so fascinating. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing those memories, Venkatachari M. I find memories like those keep me warm at night.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Pssssst....Bro.....1st stage of officially losing one's mind: THINKING we did something that we actually did not.....2nd one: Blaming your sister!...............LOLOLOLOLOLOL BTW, Mom & Dad loved me best!!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, I don't know what happened, but I know I responded to your comment. I just went back and read it and I remember writing. The gremlins got it! We know it wasn't my mistake. No way do I make a mistake! If there was a mistake made it was by you. hee-hee. I was always good at blaming you, remember? And Mom and Dad would always fall for it because I acted angelic around them.

      I loved those days, and I love you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, it warms my heart that you love my memory of Grandaddy. I actually wrote and posted a piece way back when I was an HP young 'un, in 2011. It's called "Cheyenne". I know we're not supposed to post links in the comments, so I won't, but I hope you take the time to read it. It goes into more detail of the trip I mentioned in my previous comment.

      To this day, one of our mutual Hubber friends, Mike (Mr. Archer) calls me Cheyenne after reading that post. I love that and love that he sees me as Grandaddy did.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 

      2 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Wow, Bill, this hub reached me on several levels. I enjoyed both of the videos with the advice from the speakers, and am taking to heart your passion for connecting with others as a most significant part of writing if your writer's goal is to make a difference in someone's life (whether they know it or not).

      I have a lot of stories about my grandparents because they were key people in my life as a child. My maternal grandfather used to drag scrap metal out to the farm where we lived, and heap it in a large pile in the granery area. My mother was very irritated by this stockpiling, and I understand a little better now that she saw it as an intrusion. Nothing ever happened with the scrap pile, other than it rusted out. I think Grandpa might have thought he could get a pile of money if he sold it, but I don't actually know that.

      I think this tidbit of life past has come to the fore because I am feeling a little crushed under the clutter of living in a house bigger than we need, but neither my husband nor I are willing to make a decision right now. I am older now than Grandpa was when he towed out the bed springs and farm implement parts to that moldering pile.

      Thank you for kindly spreading about so much encouragement with your Mailbag writings.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      Your answer under The Quest touches me deeply. Reminds me that there is nothing wrong about my need to write. Thanks for all the answers.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      2 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      My best memory is of my mom's mother. She was a teacher and very special. She had a knack for figuring out what would make a child want to learn. When she was retired and older, she had a heart attack and had to have someone stay with her for awhile.

      She stayed with her sister for a bit and then when I graduated high school, I went to stay with her, so she could go home. She had a big Victorian house with wide doorways which were easier for her to get through with her walker. My aunt had a Craftsman with narrower doorways.

      My aunt would come out and bring groceries to us and stay and visit for a bit. She brought a bottle of wine out and they hid it in the back of the pan cupboard. They would get it out to have a glass and would be tittering like a couple of naughty schoolgirls. I thought it was so endearing and cute. That was back when teacher had to behave perfectly and be so morally correct. I will always cherish that memory.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      My memories about the touch of the soil take me back to my childhood days. We used to lay on the grass and enjoy it while playing some field games that have become extinct now. And, we used to play hide and seek by going to pluck a leaf from a tree instead of counting numbers so that they hid in that time. The smell of grass, leaves, flowers used to be very pleasant. Even we sucked honey from some of those flowers during those days. Wonderful days were they. I miss it all. Thanks for reminding those moments.

      Each mailbag of yours is a great source of information and education to us all. Thanks and blessings.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell, and walking barefoot is one of life's great joys.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John! For you it was matchbox cars; for me it was tiny soldier figures. :) We had some great wars in our yard.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday/Tuesday, Melissa. I took me about twelve hours yesterday to realize it was a holiday. lol Enjoy your October week, my friend.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      2 months ago from England

      I always touch flowers, trees, grass and just about all of nature that I can get my hands on. I make my family laugh when I walk through the park barefoot! lol!

      Congratulations on your articles that have helped people. that's what its all about Bill. Great article as always.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      It is always a pleasure to read the mailbag each week. Your reasons for writing are what all writers should aspire to, I know I do, and Rinita’s question and your answers about ghostwriting credit very relevant. In regard to feeling the soil, as kids we always helped in the garden or played in the dirt constructing roads for our matchbox cars etc, these days many kids aren’t even allowed to get their hands dirty outside. It’s kind of sad.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, you and Bev would get along quite well. Touchers of the world, unite! lol As for those squirmy things, worms are fine, slugs are not!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nikki and blessings to you as well, I'm sorry you didn't know your grandparents. That is a real shame.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I will pass long your compliment to Bev and she will be quite pleased.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, I'm still laughing about the dammit doll. I have never heard that one. My grandparents had a can of change for card games too...great memories.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that story, Denise. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Blessings always!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm happy to hear it has changed, Mary! I think touch is so important for our development.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good suggestion, Flourish, and I thank you for it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, Bill! Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I wouldn't go outside if there were goathead burrs and fireants. Yikes! I think those are good reasons to be a tenderfoot. :) Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Peggy...root cellars were special...I think I want to build one in the backyard. Sounds like a dandy project!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      2 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Tuesday Bill! I was off the internet yesterday (always a nice break) so I didn't get a chance to read the mailbag till today. Now my whole week seems off... lol. I was always curious about how you could "sell" your work as a ghost writer to new clients, so thanks for those suggestions.

      Hope you have a great and productive week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Always a pleasure, Alyssa! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, I will tell Bev what you said. That will make her day. As for your kind words, well, you are a damned good sister and I love you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha I absolutely love that story about your Grandaddy. Thanks for sharing that one...what a great memory. And no, nothing special on my birthday...watched a couple movies and barely left my favorite chair. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill.

      My youngest daughter doesn't wear gloves either when she's gardening. Not sure if she likes the feel of the earth or just can't be bothered. I, on the other hand, do wear gloves because there are...things, squirmy things in the soil that I prefer not to touch. (shudder)

      I didn't know my grandparents so I'm afraid I got nothing for you there.

      Wow, I thought I was the only one who liked to touch flowers and such. Don't know why I do it, I just know I feel calmer for having done it.

      Kitties are nagging me for food. Catch you later, Bill.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      2 months ago from London

      Another great mailbag Bill!

      What a pretty picture of Bev, regarding the grandparents, mine died even before I was born. Couldn’t get to know them unfortunately, but that touch of soil I know as my parents used to do gardening for hours in our garden almost eveyday, taking old one out, putting new soil deep inside the plants with their hands.

      Lots to think for a good writing this week. A writer have an ability to change this world, and this is what all writers are amend to do, I think.

      Have a good week my friend!

      Many blessings to you and Bev.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I thought the answer to the first question was great. The entire edition of the Mailbag was interesting, as always. The photo of Bev is lovely.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      First, a very beautiful photo of Bev.

      I liked your answer to Art. Putting your heart and soul into whatever you write, and knowing your purpose is so important.

      I had two sets of grandparents. They were as opposite as could be except in two regards:

      1. They loved to play games. My maternal grandmother loved board games. My paternal grandparents loved cards. They had a massive coffee can full of change to gamble with and a dammit doll at the ready to beat senseless when they got frustrated. They drank a lot and my sisters and I found them very entertaining with their competitiveness and drunken banter. One of my aunts would snort when she laughed. Then we would laugh, then she would laugh and snort more.

      2. Both grandmothers loved to cook and when you were upset about something they fed you. Whacked your head, have a grilled cheese sandwich. Fight with your sister, have a danish slathered with butter and warmed in the oven.

      I just thought of another:

      3. Both grandfathers (and uncles) were obsessed with golf and football.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      2 months ago from Fresno CA

      Art is visual but some aspects are very tactile. Ceramics for one. As a little girl, I would sit at my grandmother's elbow watching her pinch off a little ball of porcelain clay and squish it between her fingers. In one smooth motion, she would roll the tortilla shape into a rosebud and continue to add petals until she was happy with the rose, cut it and place it onto the dress of a porcelain doll. Then she would make another and another. She didn't use loving talk with us very much but I felt the love she had for her craft and I carried on that love.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      It was only yesterday when I remembered my grandmother who brought me to school every day the first year I was in school. She never complained. I was not raised in a family who used touch much to show love. We were very reserved and it made it harder for me to express myself. Thankfully, that has changed now.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 months ago from USA

      I would encourage that aspiring travel writer just to go forth and do what she enjoys. Pay attention to the details and somehow set yourself apart. And don’t get discouraged. The rest will fall into place.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      2 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I watched the video of the travel writer telling us about his tips and couldn't agree more. Walk - Observe - Reflect. Great tips to go along with your reply. Have a great week.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 months ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, your writing really is a goldmine, and HP is a wonderful place to reach people.

      I was born on a farm (literally in the farmhouse at home), and I love feeling the soil, too. I do wear gloves now because at our place we never know when we will grab a blackberry vine or poison ivy. I loved to go barefoot until I lived in West Texas. Nobody goes barefoot there because of goathead burrs and 1/2-inch long ants with a bite that's worse than a wasp sting. Now we have fireants here that have kept me a tenderfoot. I get at least five or 10 bites a year anyway.

      So, keep up the good work and enjoy this wonderful fall weather, my friend.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Your grandfather loved the soil. So did mine. He always gardened and produced enough food to feed our family almost year-round. My mother and grandmother would preserve the foods by canning and freezing. We also had a root cellar off of the basement which kept the carrots and potatoes, etc. (buried in sand) good for a long period of time. I have written about my parents and grandparents making sauerkraut every year from his cabbage crop. Loved the smell of fermenting cabbage! Those are just a few of my fond memories. It is making me smile just thinking about those days. Thank you!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      2 months ago from Ohio

      Another great mailbag with lots to think about. Thank you, Bill! Have a wonderful week!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bro....We can all see that you certainly are a man who gets what he wants! You say, "I want to entertain you. I want to inform you. And I want to transform you." Well, by God, there isn't a single doubt, you do ALL of that and more!

      This is an especially lovely mailbag. I know this because it made me smile and lifted my spirits.....as I followed your suggestion and opened my memory bank to my grandparents (on both sides.) The first thing I am so grateful for, is that we were fortunate enough to have all 4 of our grandparents well into our late teens, when sadly, we lost the first one. Our other grandmother and 2 grandfathers blessed us with many more years. Honestly, my memory went wild, remembering so many special moments. Talk about being provided with a massive education? They were all so wise. Thank you for leading us there, Bill.

      Woooo-eeee....Beautiful photo of your precious wife. Please tell Bev that Paula says she's "One Sexy Mama!!" What a special couple you are!

      Love ya my bro, my friend....Sis

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 months ago from Central Florida

      What a fantastic mailbag this week, Bill!

      I used to wear gloves when I garden, but I don't anymore. Just yesterday I was trimming my bougainvillea and pulling weeds. The dirt gets under my fingernails, but it washes off!

      I have a very fond memory of my maternal grandfather. We traveled from Philly to Missouri to visit my grandparents one summer when Grandmama feigned a heart attack. (Mom swears she only did that to bring her ten kids, who were scattered all across the country, back together again!) She was fine, by the way.

      Anyway, one night I was sitting on the floor by Grandaddy's easy chair as he told me the story of the Indian spirit that walks the outer perimeter of their house each night to make sure all was honkey dory and everyone was safe from harm. I can still picture it in my mind. I couldn't have been more than eight. Grandaddy never called me Shauna or Sha; it was always Cheyenne. I loved that!

      I hope you had a relaxing birthday yesterday. Did you do anything special?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Truth, Eric! Touching wood is a pure pleasure...smelling wood is a pleasure...so many pleasure for us to experience. Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rinita and I do hope those suggestions work. Yes to touching...and hugging....so important.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh I love those memories, Ruby. That's a hoot about your grandfather making wine while your grandmother was gone. Way too funny!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great example, Linda. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks for mentioning Ray and for your kind words about my writing. Latex gloves, eh? I might try that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! I wonder if fish really do have good hearing? lol We were all told the same thing. Wouldn't it be funny if fish are deaf?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, good morning, and the same morning for both of us! This might be a record for you and I. lol Thanks so much for stopping by...go ahead and remain girly...I think that's just fine. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I look forward to reading about your grandfather memories. I know he was special to you, Janine.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chitrangada Sharon, and Happy Monday to you. I did have a wonderful birthday, thank you very much.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bill I wear gloves about half the time. 1st for protect them. Which goes into the 2nd, pulling weeds. I don't like to pull weeds. Weeds are people too. So I don't want to feel the destruction. OTOH wouldn't it be funny to plant a seed with gloves on? That whole idea has me giggling.

      My grandpa fed my mom during the depression from his soil. He wore gloves for carpentry but would take them off to "feel" the wood.

      When we would garden he would just pause, say not a word and breathe deep through his nose and smile. What a gift in that he gave me.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      2 months ago

      Thank you for answering my question. Not sure which one will work, but I will start trying them out. Helpful hub as usual. I admire your thoughts around touch, it is something we are losing. All we touch are our touchscreen based smartphones. Irony. Anyway, hope you have a great week.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I love it when you venture back in time to relate a memory. You asked for our memory's about our grandparents. I have a memory of my grandmother sitting in a chair, brushing her hair which reached the floor. It was never cut because she thought it was a sin. ( Bible ) I also have a memory of my grandfather making blackberry wine when my grandmother would be on a religious retreat somewhere. This he would never dare to do if she were there. They were nothing alike but they loved one another and was married over 60 years.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, a wonderful start to the week with your Mailbag. I wear disposable latex gloves when I work in the garden--they keep my hands clean but are thin enough that I can still feel the plants, grasp an individual weed, or sense the condition of the soil.

      Touching--it's just another way of loving. Like Eric's Sunday sermons, you always touch us with your writings that make us think or laugh or cry, and help us grow as writers.

      The question about travel writing and your response reminds me of Rachel Ray. She's EVERYWHERE now, but got her start doing a series called Europe on $30 a Day. She would visit a city and buy breakfast, lunch, dinner (and usually a snack), all for $30 a day. She found a unique niche and look at her now.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is absolutely a great article today as you wrote with so much passion. Most of the medical articles I write are to inform people about the topic and to make their lives better. I want to make a difference. Even my family research is done for the rest of my family to leave a kind of legacy. It is a good way to live!

      Now, my grandparents took me fishing when I was a child in a fishing boat. They taught me how to fish and I liked it. I remember one of the first days my grandfather said to me, "Pamela, the fish won't bite if you keep talking." So, I learned to be quiet and more patient as a child.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      2 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday Morning???? Well, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

      Re: Soil Test? I agree with your grandpa. Soil smells a certain way. And it changes through the year. But I draw the line on digging in it with my bare hands. I'm still girly, I guess, and have some sensitive skin. So no bare handed soil testing for me.

      Re: Ghostwriting Credit. Good advice there. Not being able to build a portfolio of MY work is the main reason I don't do it. They can hire me to post as a guest with a byline.

      Re: Making Money Writing Travel... or Anything. If you're going into blogging to make money, good luck! That era is over. People are still hammering away at this on sites like Patreon. But with the flood of free content everywhere on the internet, that's a hard sell.

      Re: Touching the Flowers. While I walk the dogs, I regularly touch my neighbors' flowers if they're close to the sidewalk. The echinacea in one yard has been getting some love from me for years. I wonder if they understand? I guess there's some science that says they do. So I'll keep doing it.

      Anyway, have a wonderful week ahead!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      2 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, Bill I love that memory you have of your grandfather and can't thank you enough for sharing here on this Monday with us. And yes I do have a few special memories of my own grandparents. But I will save those for another day on my blog where I may share more. But until that day, thanks for the story and your writing advice always. Happy Monday and week ahead now :)

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Happy Monday Bill! I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration yesterday.

      You have beautifully explained the importance of ‘touch.’ And Nature is the ultimate healer, whether it’s the flowers, the trees, the soil or the rivers.

      The question by Rinita and your answer is helpful.

      Thanks for sharing.

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