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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 281

Updated on November 4, 2019

Time Marches On

Halloween is in the rearview mirror, the first holiday sale has happened at WalMart, and now we set our sights on Thanksgiving. Where oh where does the time go, my friends?

At seventy-one I ask myself that question quite often.

Bev and I drove to my childhood hometown of Tacoma last weekend. Naturally I drove through my old neighborhood, and as luck would have it the woman who now owns my childhood home was outside pruning a bush when I parked our car. We got out and introduced ourselves. She was excited to meet the person who lived in that home first, dating back to 1953, and she invited us inside so I could see it.

What a mind blast! New windows and brighter paint, but the same old home . . . but so much smaller than I remembered it. LOL Either the house shrunk or I grew!

Anyway, time marches on.

Let’s do this Mailbag thing!

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

On Accident

From Linda: “Hi Bill - I have noticed that quite a few young people (under age 40) use the term "on accident" instead of "by accident" or "accidentally." Am I just a behind-the-times old fuddy duddy? Perhaps this is now correct but if so, when did it change and who authorized this? It's nails down the chalkboard for these old ears.”

Well, Linda, you may well be an old fuddy duddy, but your question is still interesting and a good one.

Oddly, there was a study done about this odd rearrangement of the phrase ”by accident.” Although “by accident,” or “accidentally,” are correct, they are declining in usage in favor of “on accident.” During this study, there was a Google search of both variations. The search included practically every book ever written, and the vast majority of the time, “by accident” appeared instead of its bastardization.

What the study also found is that people who were born before 1970 almost always, and we are talking close to 90%, say “by accident,” while those born after 1970 almost always say “on accident.”

Curious indeed! The bottom line: this is just one of those weird shifts in human customs that happen occasionally without any definitive reason.

Freelance Tip

From Robert: “One tip for a person just starting out as a freelance? Just one? Or a bonus and two?”

Just one? Don’t quit your day job. Freelancing was, at one time, a pretty good way to make some supplemental income. Today it is a tough gig for those starting out.

Just two? Diversify! Even if you find a client who is paying well and supplying you with a lot of work, go find more clients. Clients come and go; gigs come and go; if you diversify you will always have a steady stream of income coming in.

Good luck!

Emotions and Limits

From Ann: “A question: How do you manage to put on the page such things as the difficult memories and events? How do you 'organise' your emotions?

“Another question: Do you ever limit yourself to specific amounts of work a week or do you have to get it all down on 'paper' before the best ideas disappear (and I'm not talking memory loss here, just overload!)?”

Hello Ann! How do I organize my emotions? I’m not certain what you mean by that, but I will assume you meant what you said in the first sentence, so I’ll answer that question.

I spent a good portion of my life running from the truth and hiding from difficult memories. For me it is a matter of healing and survival. I won’t live lies any longer. I will face my pain head-on, because to do so means I am getting healthier. I don’t ever want to return to drinking again, so I must live a life of openness and honesty. Writing gives me the platform from which to do that. No one and no thing can hurt me as much as I hurt myself, so it’s all good when I tackle the tough stuff.

As for the memory loss question, for me it really is about a failing memory. I’m not talking dementia, but for sure I am slowly losing the ability to store information and then automatically recall it on demand. I do not limit myself to specific amounts of work per week. I write until I don’t want to write anymore, within a schedule I set, and those things I have not gotten to are jotted down on notes to myself so I remember to tackle them the next day. I have post-it notes all over my writing desk.

Angst can lead to some good writing
Angst can lead to some good writing

Writing and Not Publishing

From Eric: “Hey I cannot remember you addressing the issue of writing and not publishing. Is it OK to write just to yourself or for yourself? Do you do that?”

Eric, you’re a writer. You can do any damned thing you want to do with your creations. Do I ever do it? I’ve got a novel I started back in 2001 which has never seen the light of day. No one has ever seen it, and it will probably remain that way. The writing is poor, the storyline is weak, and I just hang onto it as a reminder of how far I’ve come.

Bare Your Soul

From Chris: “Here is a related question. In this Mailbag, you shared an excerpt from your memoirs—you bared your soul to us. Does your writing rise from that place? How has your writing changed as you have healed inside? These are personal questions, but you have already shared so much with us.”.

Hi Chris! It’s good to hear from you again, and thanks for the fascinating question.

My openness, and my willingness to share the darker shadows of my life, comes from a desire to live. I spent a good portion of my life hiding my feelings and my truths from others . . . for a variety of reasons. But the bottom line is this: if I am not truthful, and if I continue to hide who I really am, I will return to the bottle, and that is certain death for me.

Having said that I can state with certainty that a large portion of my writing comes from those dark shadows and the pain associated with them. But at the same time, my writing is slowly evolving. There is more hope in my message today. There is love in my message, and those two things are directly related to the change in me and my life since 2006. Today it is good to be alive, and I would hope that message shines through in much of my writing.

The Changing Voice

From Zulma: “Regarding the voice thing, you say you change yours depending on the genre, which I understand. But is it a total change or just another aspect of the same voice/style?”

Zulma, that question is Socrates-like! Perhaps you are trying to teach me something with your question? LOL

No, it is not a total change. People who spend time with me, talk to me in person, and get a full dose of my twisted, sarcastic, whimsical, cynical, and hopeful view of life can see my “base” voice in everything I write. I think that is unavoidable, don’t you? We can’t really disguise who we are in our writing, can we? It reminds me of that old joke . . . you can put a dress on a pig, but at the end of the day, that damned thing will still be rolling in the mud!

Happy November to you all!
Happy November to you all!

Time for Time to March Again

That’s a wrap for this week! Great questions and I thank you all for asking them . . . and I thank you all for stopping by. Saturday Bev and I are going to see that new movie “Harriet.” It should be a good one.

I wish, for all of you, a wonderful week ahead. Please, please, do all things with love. I’m counting on you all to make this world a better place.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      29 hours ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Li-Jen! Honesty is how I stay sober and alive. I only have two choices, and I choose life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      29 hours ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know about Linda, Sha, but I heard it!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      29 hours ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, that's just an ugly word...sounds ugly....

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      29 hours ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I'm not sure English is required for television personalities. lol It sure seems like many of them skipped that class in school.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      42 hours ago

      Hi Bill, I'm amused at the last part...at the end of the day, a pig is a pig. Good point about your voice base. At least we know it's not fraud. Nice to see your creativity in writing about the ordinary when you started the intro. Looks like I am born before 1970 in my heart since I also write by accident! Haha but I know where you're coming from. Inspiring to see you honestly talking about the past as it shows to anyone they can be healed. Thanks for sharing!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      45 hours ago from Central Florida

      Saw your comment, Linda. I ignore the word "unctuous". However, double negatives or double positives when spoke or written are like fingernails on the chalkboard. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

      Did you hear that?????

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      46 hours ago from Washington State, USA

      Here's a comment to Shauna (I hope she'll see this). Celebrity chefs toss about the word "unctuous" like it's a good thing. I means that something is fatty and greasy, not luxurious or rich (which is probably their intent).

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      46 hours ago from Central Florida

      I didn't reply to that part of your post, Bill. It's "by accident", not "on accident". By accident connotates per chance. "On accident" means something happened as the result of.... At least that's my take from someone who was born in 1957.

      Another phrase that irritates the hell out of me is when TV chefs/cooks say "reduce down" when referring to boiling a liquid to half its original volume. Does not reduce mean to lower? WTH? And they're on TV?! Making millions more than I?!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Me too, John! I was surprised by the results of that study since I've rarely heard "on accident."

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 days ago from Queensland Australia

      More good questions and answers, Bill. I must be well and truly behind the times because I can not recall ever seeing “on accident.” It will always be “by accident” for me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, I can't wrap my brain around snow right now. We are actually having the driest fall in 67 years here. The ski resort owners are starting to panic. :) Me, I'm just enjoying the sunshine while it lasts, my friend.

      Thank you for dissecting and commenting. Have a brilliant weekend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you, Zulma, and Bev does the same thing. Luckily we rarely remember the stories, so they are always at least partially new to us. lol Happy Thursday to you my loyal friend.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      4 days ago from Toronto, Canada

      "so much smaller than I remembered it. LOL Either the house shrunk or I grew!" I drove a few times in the last month by the public school I attended (just for one year) when I came from Romania. Wow ... it is tiny! Back then though, it felt big! I could literally get lost in it. Time changes everything.

      And since "Halloween is in the rearview mirror", I woke-up this morning with white stuff all over the ground outside. I looked away and looked back out the window: I wasn't day-dreaming as I often do. There's snow everywhere.

      I never heard "by accident" and I was not born before the 1970s. Sounds odd. I always go by sound. That's how I learned three languages and bits of other 3-4.

      "those things I have not gotten to are jotted down on notes to myself so I remember to tackle them the next day" - And this is how my life is actually written down on all sorts of bits of paper, notebooks, sides of pages on books I've read, etc. Haha!!

      “Hey I cannot remember you addressing the issue of writing and not publishing." - I'm a bit of a master at this. Been doing it for decades LOL

      "We can’t really disguise who we are in our writing, can we?" - I don't even try. I strive for: straight, clear and to the point. (One reason I can't do poetry.)

      Alrighty, 'twas fun as always! Be well - cheers!

      P.S. It's still snowing right now. Well, it started back up I guess. Merry Christmas!!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 days ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks, Bill. I have to admit I'm a little surprised the movie wasn't all that. You would have thought the Underground Railroad would have made for a great script and it's not like Hollywood is short on talented actors for this type of production. I guess I'll save myself some money and watch it on Netflix.

      No need for apologies, Bill. I've fallen into the 'old people' habit of repeating stories I've already told because I forgot I already told it. Clearly I either need to find a new audience or get new material. lol

      Enjoy your week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Duh....sorry, Zulma! It was a movie about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Pretty fascinating, a little short on acting...I'd give it a 7 out of 10. The lead actress was good, the supporting staff a bit less talented, and the script so-so.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 days ago from Olympia, WA

      That is wonderful, Devika. I'm glad that was a positive experience for you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I love that your sister was overwhelmed when she returned home. I understand completely.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      5 days ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill. The only reference is that you mentioned you were going to see a movie entitled 'Harriet' in your post above.

      I totally understand about the memory thing. I've taken to making to-do lists every day now I've gotten so absentminded in the last few years. I put down everything, even stuff that I should be part of a person's regular routine. I feel so productive going down the list and ticking off all the stuff I've done.

      At any rate, if you do see a good movie, please let us know.

      Enjoy your day.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks William! Where else can you find a smiling toilet?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Let's do it together, Venkatachari M. You start in Hyderabad and I'll start in Olympia.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 days ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I have visited my childhood home and people were impressed to see me. It was an emotional experience and enjoyed seeing the people I miss so much.Thanks for sharing your side of it.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      6 days ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      I haven't been back to my childhood home but my sister did. She was so overwhelmed, the woman opened the door to my sobbing sister.

      The ladies that live there have connected with her on Facebook and send her photos of changes to the house.

      A varied and interesting mailbag this week. Have a wonderful week.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      6 days ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Interesting mailbag this week, Bill, and much to think about. I'm a "by accident" guy myself. That would place before 1970 for sure. Thank you for bringing back the smiling toilet. I thought it was about time to appear again! Seriously, your picture of the autumn leaves is beautiful.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      6 days ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very nice to hear that you visited your childhood home by walking into it. It's a double pleasure to meet your owner of that period. I feel it ecstatic. Some years back, I visited my childhood place wandering through those streets and refreshing my memories. But, I couldn't step into that house afraid of new people.

      Your messages of spreading love and hope are very nice. Let's make the world a better place. That's great.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Bill. You are always here, dependable like the seasons, and I appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm preaching to the choir with you, Manatita. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Zulma! Harriet? Shoot, you lost me. Did I mention a Harriet? I swear, Zulma, my memory . . . or maybe you are making a reference, and I'm not bright enough to follow. Yes, that's probably it!

      Enjoy the heck out of your week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the kind words, Nikki! I wish I could slow down the rate of speed time is traveling, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. :) Blessings always kind lady.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I think that is true, Denise. I think it is unavoidable for one with a certain amount of experience.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      it was an interesting experience, Linda. Strange but I'm glad I did it. Funny, when I looked inside, I could see where all of our furniture once was...it was unsettling to see different furniture in different places.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi MizB! I hope you are feeling better and are fully recovered. I don't like to hear about friends and stroke, so stop it please. :) Cold here, too, and I'm afraid it's just getting started.

      Have a safe and lovely week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      HaHa...I wish I could, Flourish! If they would all just listen to you and I, we would all be better off, right?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! Here's hoping for an early spring.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, don't even get me started talking about Black Friday and shopping. We don't even give gifts anymore. I refuse to get caught up in that silliness, and Bev feels just as strongly about it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Lovely, Mary! Hope and love....pretty strong forces working for us.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      That is too funny, Peggy. I had a similar thought to the alleyway behind our home...we used to sled down that alley and think that was quite a thrill. I looked at it the other day and it was hardly a hill at all. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Seven hours! Sigh! Such a large world we live in, Ann, and yet so small. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I understand completely, PS. I used to write quite a bit about my alcoholism, but stopped suddenly when I feared I would become the "alcoholism writer." I'm so much more than that and yet it is part of who I am.

      Angels heading back atcha!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I do believe that to be true, Chris. Thanks for the great question.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting, Shannon! I find that stuff fascinating. So many factors go into the changing of a standard....and then sometimes it is just random, like one friend constantly nagging you to change....cool stuff!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      That is really interesting, Sha. I can certainly understand it. We love to cherish memories, and the thought of losing one, or having it altered, would be a major deterrent. Thanks for sharing that story.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 days ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. What a wonderful experience to be able to enter the home you grew up in. That was very nice of the current owners to invite you in. I love the picture of the street with the changing foliage. If that's near where you live it's a beautiful area. Have a great week.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      6 days ago from london

      'Do all things with Love' noted. Nice questions and immaculate answers. What else can I say? Continue, Bro. Peace.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 days ago from United Kingdom

      Yes, the busy holiday season has officially begun. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and three birthdays thrown into the mix, it is very busy in my household indeed. lol

      Thanks for the reply, Bill. I suspected as much.

      I've not heard of 'Harriet'. What's is about?

      Have a great day, Bill.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      6 days ago from London

      A tremendous one this week Bill!

      You’re indeed blessed to be a writer, and a good one. Happy November to you and Bev. Time is just rolling on & on, soon would be Christmas. And then another new year 2020. We are just blowing out with this speed of time.

      Have a good week and great movie time.

      Blessings!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      6 days ago from Fresno CA

      Wow, a lot of great questions this week. I bet your "voice" comes out no matter how you change it for the genre. Just like my "voice" comes out in my artwork even when I change from realism to cartoony for children's books.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I hope you have a happy November as well, Bill. I would love to visit the home that I lived in as a child. You were lucky that the women who owns your former home invited you indoors. That must have been a strange but very interesting experience.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      6 days ago from Beautiful South

      HI, Bill. Several good topics worth commenting on today. It really is funny how our childhood homes shrink after we grow up.

      "On accident" is just one example of the many changes I've noticed in our everyday language. However, English is a very dynamic language. If it were not, we would still be speaking "Auld English".

      I think we keep our voices but maybe modify them for the genre. Like women keep their hair, but just change colors to suit the mood. I like your pig in the mud example.

      Brrr. it's cold at night here. We had our first freeze one evening last weekend, but the days are still moderate, thank goodness. Have a good rest of the week, my friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 days ago from USA

      That’s great that you could revisit your childhood home and go inside. Having moved all over while growing up, I have on rare occasion gone to previous homes and stood outside On the sidewalk, sometimes taking photos but I never knocked and introduced myself.

      Regarding Linda’s question i have a pet peeve — the vernacular has seemed to change for saying one is excited about something. People say they are excited FOR it and it drives me nuts. Make them stop, Bill.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 days ago from Southern Illinois

      I, like you, can't believe how fast time is passing, soon it will be Christmas, then the snows, but we can always look for spring. My favorite time of year. Enjoy the movie. Until next time. Thank you.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      6 days ago from Pacific Northwest

      This was one of the best mailbags ever. I love the questions and your answers.

      Pain, as far as I'm concerned, is a prerequisite for writing. If your life is only zippidy doo da, or your everyday trials are relatively benign, you haven't much to write about. My problem is getting overloaded by emotions once in a while if the piece I am writing is coming from a dark place that the characters or the poem I am writing are experiencing. But that is where my best writing comes from.

      I am so envious you got to see your old childhood home. I go through my old neighborhoods in Tacoma and Fircrest once or twice and year and always hope to see someone outside so I can say hey. Not so far.

      Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is one celebratory holiday that doesn't rob the wallet and make us selfish. But isn't it interesting that people give thanks to God (at least we should be) on Thanksgiving for their many blessings, and the next day they are slugging it out with other consumers at Walmart over the latest fad item for Christmas.

      Blessings to you and Bev. Thank you for all you do for us.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 days ago from Ontario, Canada

      Will definitely heed the call to do all things with love. I can see what you shared happen in my own life. As I changed, my writing also took on more hope.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 days ago from Houston, Texas

      It is funny how our childhood memories of things like our homes are larger than reality. I had told my husband how we liked to slide down the side of a hill into what we called the pit on flattened boxes and sleds when we were little. That was quite a sizable hill in my memory. When he first saw it, he had the audacity to laugh. That former pit must have filled in through the years. Our family home had also shrunk in size. Ha!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 days ago from SW England

      Fortunately I'm not in the southern hemisphere; merely a large time difference. I think you're 7 hours behind us (in time only of course!).

      The illusion is certainly that and it's quite nice.

      Ann

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      7 days ago from sunny Florida

      Thanks for these answers. I nod and think how similar our writing 'process' is ...if that is the word. Most of what I write about is about the dark times that shaped who I am today. Writing here too proves to be cathartic as I try to wade through and make sense of the illness that seemingly stalks my loved ones. Please understand that I am fully aware that STUFF happens in all of our lives and for that reason we (including my loved ones) have that ever present desire to live today fully and not wallow in the fears of 'what may come.' O dear...it appears I have gotten carried away....have a lovely afternoon....Angels are headed your way this afternoon. ps

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      7 days ago from Kettering, Ohio through January, 2020

      Thank you, Bill, for the answer. It seems as though we develop as writers not only by honing our writing skills but also by growing emotionally throughout life.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      7 days ago from Texas

      I'm fascinated by that first question. It's funny to me (not haha funny but thought-provoking) that language evolves in written form just as much as it does in spoken form. Everything from slang to local colloquialisms can make a difference in the evolution of language. I thought maybe the difference between "on accident" and "by accident" was perhaps a regional thing until I read your intriguing answer. I have noticed other things like this lately, though. For instance "like I said" versus "as I said."

      Not really related, but this question reminded me of it. I once had a friend make fun of me for leaving the verb "to be" out of many of my sentences. We were both from the same state, but I never thought twice about it because it was just the way people around me spoke. No one had ever bothered to correct me until I was 19 and I never noticed I was doing it either. Come to think of it, I don't think it was necessarily incorrect. Either way, he bugged me about it so much that I am aware of when I do it now!

      Lot's of good questions this week, Bill! Pretty awesome that you got to see your childhood home, too, and extra special since you got to show it to Bev. Have a good week.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 days ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I think it's awesome you were able to step back inside your childhood home. Several years ago, my (natural) father flew me out to Sacramento, where he lived before he died this past December. He took me to the house we lived in in Atwater (California) when he and my mom were still married. We pulled up in front of the house, but I chickened out. I don't know why, but I did. Perhaps I didn't want to see the changes that occurred over the years; that I wanted to keep my childhood memories alive and untainted.

      Excellent mailbag this week. Love the foliage in your closing photo!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Evening time, Ann? I'll never get accustomed to the time difference. The internet gives us the illusion of two old friends sitting together at the same time in the same place. It really throws me off my game conversing with those in the Southern Hemisphere...not only different times but different seasons as well.

      It's all too much for this old man to wrap his brain around. :)

      Have a brilliant week, my friend

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 days ago from SW England

      Thank you, bill, for the answers to my questions. You have put my mind at rest. I too just write and jot down the bits I don't get round to - precisely because I'm scared I'll forget them and, of course, they're always good enough to note!!

      I've always said 'by accident' and 'on purpose'; my daughters got these mixed up when younger and I think that's perhaps why lots of people get it 'wrong' (from my point of view of course!). It doesn't seem so common here but I hear my grandchildren do it occasionally - they've probably got my voice ringing in their ears by now!

      Writing is good for the soul. It doesn't matter if we don't publish, unless we need to make a living from it. Practice also improves our writing so it's a win/win situation. I just can't ignore my muse. Publishing is something to 'get round to'!

      Always great to read your mailbags.

      I need to go and eat now (evening time) so have a munching Monday, bill!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm sure we did, Linda, although for the life of me I can't think of any that we said. If it drove them crazy they never told me, or I ignored them.:) Have a great week and thank you for the question.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! It was a very nostalgic trip back home, and Bev and I enjoyed every minute of it.

      Happy Monday and Happy November to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Alyssa, I didn't realize it until Linda asked the question, and I was definitely born before 1970. :) Happy Monday to you and thank you.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      7 days ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, thanks for answering my question. At least I know now that I'm not alone; it's a generational thing. I wonder what phrases you and I (our generation) use that drove our grandparents mad decades ago?

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 days ago from Sunny Florida

      I agree that time is going by too swiftly. I think it is so nice that you took Bev to your childhood neighborhood. My husband took me to his childhood neighborhood a few years ago and we really enjoyed it.

      You had a very diverse array of questions today that were very interesting. I will continue to say by accident, probably because I am getting old and was definitely born before 1970. I really like the question from Ann. Have a great week Bill!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      7 days ago from Ohio

      Sounds like a great weekend... what a treasure to be able to tour your childhood home! I'm guilty of saying "on accident." I didn't realize that was incorrect. Duly noted. :) Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 days ago from Olympia, WA

      And you are always appreciated, Janine! I can just imagine your house is a non-stop holiday express for the next fifty days....enjoy!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      7 days ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I love that you visited your childhood home and got to tour it with Bev recently. Sounds like quite the experience. Anyway, I cannot believe it is indeed November here already and we are heading right towards the holidays full steam ahead now. But always enjoy starting my week no matter what checking out your mailbag. So, thanks for that and more. Happy Monday now :)

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