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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 285

Updated on December 2, 2019

Frost on the Rotting Pumpkins

It’s downright cold this morning, twenty-two as I type this, and the woodstove is doing a fine job of heating our humble abode.

Of course, cold is relative. When I was in Akaichak, Alaska, it reached forty below zero, so anything warmer than that is WARM if you get my drift. Still, cold mornings like this are beautiful. The frost on the lawns and bushes and tree limbs, with the sun sparkling upon it, well, it’s just one of those free shows that Mother Nature gives us as a gift. All we have to do is be receptive to it all.

In Alaska you could actually see ice crystals floating in the air when it reached forty below. They called them “moon dogs” for whatever reason, and they were fascinating to see. Not so fascinating to breathe, I might add, but beautiful nonetheless.

There’s no reason for any of this rambling about the temperature. It’s just a writer’s mind on overdrive.

Shall we see what mail awaits us? The bag feels light this week, so it shouldn’t take long.

The Mail Room
The Mail Room

Professional Consistency on HP

From Eric: “What say you about professional consistency on HP. Tough deal with my sermons and Boy teacher stuff ---- years. I feel guilty when I am in the middle of a climb in the desert and miss it”

Eric, I have to admit, I’m not quite certain where you are going with this question. Do you mean being consistent with our postings? I do think it is important to post on a regular basis. I think it helps in establishing an audience and maintaining that audience. But if you aren’t concerned with “traffic,” I’m not sure consistency is terribly important.

First and foremost, I think writing should be enjoyable for the writer, and writing should be done when the writer feels like writing. There was a time, not that long ago, when I would feel guilty if I didn’t post an article each day on HP. Those days are long gone now. I have other interests and things I feel need my time, so two articles each week is about all I can commit to and feel good about . . . and I’m pretty sure all of you can relate to that. I never started writing out of a sense of responsibility. I started because my love for writing needed an outlet. Hopefully that never changes for me..

Publishing Dilemma

From Venkatachari M: “Do you mention that one can publish an e-book on Amazon and the paperback of the same book with another publisher without removing the e-book?”

This is a tricky one, Venkatachari M, a matter of publishing rights which can be pretty confusing. In fact, I’m not totally sure if what I’m about to tell you is correct. Thankfully, one of my online friends, Heidi, is a publishing and marketing guru, and I have no doubt she will weigh in on this question in the comment section, so check back in a day or two and look for her answer.

It is my belief that if you agree to Amazon’s exclusivity rights, you must publish your book only through Amazon. If you do not sign those rights away then you can publish an ebook through Amazon and a hard copy with another publisher.

Heidi, it is now time for you to weigh in with the actual facts, and thank you in advance.

Who owns the publishing rights?
Who owns the publishing rights?

Shadow Man

From Bryce: “I know you are currently working on your memoirs, but when can we expect the next ‘Shadow” novel?”

Bryce, it’s nice to know someone is actually anxiously awaiting my next novel. Thanks for that ego-boost. We all need one from time to time.

I should finish my memoir by January. Then it will be time for “Shadows Across the Pond,” which I’ve actually already started. I should be able to finish it by the summer of 2020, Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise,” as my dad used to say.

Here’s an excerpt from that new novel:

“There’s no I.D. on her, Baker. Just the note, which is why I called you.”

Detective Dawn Robie was standing in a field of knee-high scrub grass, about ten yards from the Deschutes River and three miles from downtown Olympia. We had worked together eight months earlier on the Houdini murders a.k.a. The Shadow Killings. She had earned my respect. I’m not sure how she felt about me.

We were looking down on a woman. She was naked. No way of knowing her age. The critters of the nearby forest had gotten to her first. There was coyote scat five feet away. The note had been stuffed in her private parts. “England swings like a pendulum do, Baker,” was the note in its entirety.

A gentle breeze from the North ruffled the grasses. It was warming up fast that morning, heading for a promised eighty degrees, about normal for early July in our parts. Robie’s long, auburn hair was in a bun, as was her norm. Her wire-rim glasses had slid down a bit on her nose, and small beads of perspiration dotted her forehead. She was probably one-twenty soaking wet, looking more like a librarian than a homicide dick, but librarians don’t have Glocks strapped to their hips, nor do they have case closure rates above ninety percent like the lady standing next to me.

“Note mean anything to you, Baker?”

“You mean other than the fact the murderer has poor taste in music?” I asked. “Roger Miller if I’m not mistaken, Nineteen-sixty-five, and I’m getting tired of this shit. If I had to guess, I’d say the Shadow Man is back at work. Bitron died last month, so this isn’t totally unexpected.”

Bitron, as in Anthony Bitron, the main Houdini in a group of magicians/killers, a man we finally neutralized and rendered harmless. His recent death meant that The Shadow Man would now free himself from the host body (Bitron) and find another body to use in an ongoing game of Cat n Mouse with yours truly.

It’s a bit complicated.

Robie stared at me. She knew just enough of the Shadow story to give me the benefit of the doubt.

“What’s with the England reference?” she asked.

“Remember? Bitron told us there were eleven other Shadow hunters around the globe, and my buddy Striker found evidence of similar Shadow activity in London, Lisbon, Paris, and eight other cities. I think the note is what highly-trained investigators call a clue. I do believe our newest Shadow Man, here in Olympia, is also telling us we are wanted in London.”

This is probably as good a time as any to explain to you how all this works.

I evidently come from a long line of Shadow killers. My old man was one, my grandfather was one, and back it goes, a family tree of men, and women, whose purpose was, and is, to fight an eternal battle against The Shadow Man. Believe me, I know how ridiculous this all sounds. The rules of this game are a bit nebulous, and I’m really still learning as I go (since my dad died before he could explain it all to me), but evidently the Shadow Man cannot kill me. I can die from natural causes, or get run over by a truck, but I cannot die at the hand of the Shadow Man, and I really can’t kill him. I can kill his host body, but once I’ve done that he just finds another host body and the game continues.

As I understand it, the sole purpose of the Shadow Man is to cause misery. He thrives on pain, feeds from it, washes in it, absolves himself in it, and he finds the greatest joy in killing friends and loved ones of mine. He can’t touch me, my wife Liz, or my friends Lyle and Striker, but everyone else is fair game.

Oh, and he can’t touch my baby girl Amber, six-weeks old and the heir-apparent to this bizarre struggle.

That should be enough information to get you up to speed.

The next in the series due out in May, 2020
The next in the series due out in May, 2020

Anything Else?

It’s a small bag of mail this week, so we might as well put a wrap on this one and move on. Thanks for the questions. Stay warm this week (you people in Florida, you know most of us hate you, right?). I will catch you all down the road of life.

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm happy to hear you will be publishing, Luis. Check back next week and I will give you a tip or two on how to do that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rochelle, and may God always bless you.

    • Luis G Asuncion profile image

      Luis G Asuncion 

      11 months ago from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines

      This is great to read. I am planning to have a ebook publishing as well as hardcopy publishing. However, I do not know how? Thanks for sharing, Bill.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      11 months ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      Interesting Sir billy :) Hope you are well :) take care and may God bless you !

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you are the party; thus, you could never be late for it. :)

      Sorry about the family bugs. Get well soon, all!

      The quick answer to your question is no. I don't hold out much hope for that, and I'd rather be writing than inquiring. Maybe I'll just get lucky and the right person will read a Shadow book by accident.

      Wishing you brilliant holiday season. Unusually mild here, hardly any rain,certainly no snow...the ski resorts are getting nervous.


    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That was my goal, Denise. LOL Chalk one up for me.

      Thank you my friend, and blessings alway

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kari! You remind me, I have to buy a new laptop. I'm missing three main keys and it is slow going when I type.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell, and Merry Christmas to you as well.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      11 months ago from SW England

      Late to the party this week, bill, sorry. Lots of bugs and viruses going round the family and I'm called to help up in Bristol. Back home now and everyone is better, thank goodness.

      I try to be consistent in my standard of writing but I'm not worried about constant output any more, though I do get withdrawal symptoms. I'm learning how to balance life with writing more without worrying!

      Your Shadow Man sounds intriguing - it has the making of a good film methinks. Have you ever approached any companies re turning your novels into films? Would you ever consider it?

      We have had cold, warm, rain and gale-force winds here, all in the week! I need some sunshine at least once a week and it's trying today but can't chase the wind away.

      Getting my head round Christmas preparations and hoping time is on my side from now on!

      Hope you're having a winning week, bill. Keep warm and cosy in your writing den!


    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      11 months ago from Fresno CA

      Well, now you've done it! I'm just going to have to buy your book so I can read the rest. I'm hooked.



    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 months ago from Ohio

      You make a good point, Bill, about writing because you want to. Wanting to write ensures we put our whole being into the story.

      My computer has been in the shop for a couple of weeks and the lack of writing makes my day less exciting.

      I love the book excerpt!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      11 months ago from England

      Great extract from your book, and yes you are right, we should write because we enjoy it. Have a happy Christmas Bill!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you all the way, Chris. Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Actually Liz, the UK and my state of Washington have pretty similar weather. I could spend a year there and feel quite at home...except for the accents. lol

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      11 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Bill, thanks for including that section of your work. Keep on writing and keep enjoying it. There is nothing more satisfying, in my view of life.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      11 months ago from UK

      Thanks for another interesting mail bag. I just don't have time to post articles as often as I would like. So I work on them when I can and post them when I am happy with them. Maybe I am too much of a perfectionist.

      Interesting comments about publishing.

      Thanks for the taster of your next novel. I am impressed with your output. A memoir and a novel due to be finished the same year!

      It gets cold in the UK too, also wet. I got drenched today.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I am humbled by your, Dora. Thank you so much, and Happy Weekend to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cozy and Rosy I shall stay, Nikki, and you do the same. Thank you always, my friend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      You're an inspiring example to us on this site. Thanks for sharing the initial stages of your work, and for all the other batches of empowerment you so willingly offer.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      11 months ago from London

      I liked the extract from 'Shadow Man', Bill. It seems quite interesting to read. Cliff-hanger is rolling out for certain. Would wait to read it over Kindle book-store.

      Good luck for the other novel too. Title is quite intriguing. Cold is gradually fastening its hoofs now. Stay cosy and rosy.

      Blessings to you and Bev, my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      DreamOn, I am always happy to see you pop up in the reader. Thank you! I meant to stop by your site and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, but now I don't remember if I did that. Well if I didn't, I'm sorry, and I want you to know how thankful I am for people like you in this crazy world...truly thankful.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      11 months ago

      I wrote my comment on my hub and then I came over to check you out. I had no way of knowing some of the things I mentioned in my comment were the same things you were talking about. Consistency in writing and the weather. Maybe just a coincidence. Do you think two writers can write without knowing about each other and their writings the same story? Anyone that would read both think that one person copied the other but it was not the case at all. Just two writers who are on the same wavelength. Well, I don't know if I can make my question any clearer. It is as deep as my snow. I wonder if there were any known court cases where this might of happened? I know it is possible for inventors to have similar inventions at the same time. I am throwing the same scenario in a writer's world. Once again I am never left unsatisfied and left empty. Only filled with more curiosity and excitement than before. Thank you for all that you do. I am so glad there are wonderful people like you. In a day we can find all that is wrong in society and in the world. Not too often we point out the good that grows so powerful that makes the bad look like a small pimple on someone's face. It is one sure pain but it doesn't last forever. Then again it comes back when we least expect it. Then it is an ultimate pain all over again. Have a wonderful day.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, Zulma. Having four to help out is always better than it is a fun activity filled with love for stuffing. :)

      Happy Hump Day my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I promise it will be on Kindle,Mary. Thank you for showing interest in it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you, Lori, it is exhilarating!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for always supporting me, Ruby,and for your friendship these many years.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, stay safe and hope for a warm front soon. In the meantime, I eagerly await the next chapter.



    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      11 months ago from United Kingdom

      Thanksgiving was very good, thank you, Bill.

      There were four of us this year to prepare all the food, so it was a breeze. We had enough leftover that I didn't have to cook all weekend. Now I'm back to foraging in the freezer to figure out what for dinner tonight. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.

      And now, on to Christmas! I do love the holidays.

      Take care, Bill.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      11 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      The Shadow Man intrigues me. I look forward to reading it. I wish I can write like that, getting the reader hooked by just sharing bits of the novel. But before the Shadow Man, the memoirs. I hope it will be on Kindle so I can get hold of it immediately.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      11 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      I don't mind this cold as long as the sun is still shining and the power is still on. I find it exhilarating.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      11 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Yesterday it rained all day, today it's cold and gloomy. Your new book sounds like a true thriller. Tomorrow I'm going to cut back my rose bushes. Life goes on, no matter what. Thanks again for helping us be better writers.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      11 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Five feet of snow in California? Yep! Consider that I stand at five feet, one, which is why I'm pretty much cabin bound. Oh, but it's beautiful!

      Keep an eye out for my next chapter as it's on the way. I'm so excited about all that I'm learning from you. I just may turn out to be a decent writer.

      I always look forward to the mailbag and the variety of questions that help to keep me informed.

      Love you, Bill


    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nithya! Intense is what I was after, so I'm happy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      See, everyone? I told you Heidi would straighten it all out for us! Thank you Heidi! It was a brain-twister which had me all befuddled. lol

      Happy Tuesday to you. Fifty and dry here, thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your attitude about writing, PS. Even if no one comes to read, it is out there. As long as it shows up in my feed, you can count on me being there, my friend, so keep writing for the both of us.

      Those angels are fantastic, are they not?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do appreciate that, Chitrangada Sharan. Consistency is important to me. It's nice that you recognize that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I did the same thing yesterday, Shannon. I'm not sure if I should worry about you or me or both of us. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't think it's an issue, Eric, and yes, we are always having fun.

      Those who know us will be the ones to buy our memoirs, and if they know us they know it's not fiction. We have done some crazy-assed stuff. Our friends and family know that....not fiction at all, so no issues at all, buddy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Devika. Thank you and Happy Holidays to you as well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Warm and dry for sure, Alyssa. One of the driest falls on record around these parts.

      I would have paid money to see you dancing around in short and flip flops. Seriously! lol

      And a brilliant week I shall have. Thank you, and you do the same.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sensei my butt, Zulma! LOL I'll have an answer for you Monday, my friend. Thanksgiving was a good one. I hope you enjoyed yours, UK style.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You can keep that winter, Bill. Or send it to England. They love it when we share. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, thank you! Heeby-jeebies is a great word, isn't it? I wonder where that came from? Oh well...5 ft of quality for sure...about ten feet worth if you ask me...maybe fifteen, but I'm kind of biased. :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      12 months ago from Dubai

      A small but interesting mailbag. I totally agree that the writer should enjoy the process of writing, that is when the best work comes through. The excerpt of the novel is intense, wishing you all success with your publishings.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      12 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Belated Mailbag Monday!

      Re: Publishing Dilemma. Yes, you can publish your eBook or print book on Amazon KDP and elsewhere since KDP is a nonexclusive arrangement. However, if you enroll your Kindle eBooks in KDP Select, you also agree to exclusively offer your Kindle ebook on Amazon/KDP/Kindle while it is enrolled in KDP Select.

      Enrollment in KDP Select is optional. However, many authors choose to make their Kindle eBooks exclusive to Amazon/KDP either temporarily (such as during a book launch to take advantage of Kindle Free eBook and Countdown Deal promos) or permanently (to get a share of the Global Fund or royalties for Kindle page reads).

      Hope that helps.

      Chilly here in the Windy City, too. But, hey, it's December.

      Have a great week!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      12 months ago from North Central Florida

      Stopping by to check on what is up with you and find the weather is up for discussion. It was 34 this morning which when I lived in South Dakota it was warm, relatively speaking. I laugh sometimes and ask: "Is speaking of the weather an 'old people' thing? Certainly that is not me, right? I do try to write more is good for the soul. Even if no one comes to read, I have it out there in the wind.

      Take care of you my friend. Angels once again are on the way ps

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Shorter mailbag or a longer one— You are so consistent and we all can see that. There is always something to learn from the question-answer series.

      Enjoyed going through this installment, as always.

      Thank you so much.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      12 months ago from Texas

      It seems that I read his and forgot to comment? Lemme just scratch a note in your mailbag that says "Shannon was here." LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You crack me up, MizB...daily drivelers! LOL I tend to agree with you on that. How can quality be attained with a daily posting? If it can, it is being done by someone infinitely more talented than me.

      Wishing for you a brilliant week ahead.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, you can have that snow. No need to share it with us at all. I will be perfectly happy if we don't have snow this year. :) Have a fantastic week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the question, Mr. Happy. You tossed me an easy one, there, and I'll answer it in Monday's mailbag. As for HP and exclusivity, it bothers me as well. We aren't talking about the works of Hemingway, for the love of God!!!

      Good luck shoveling that snow. Stay warm and safe.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Hey Bill are we having fun yet? I remember back when we published an article a day. That was fun for, what? About a year. I still do an article a day I just don't publish it here. (oops, not anywhere) And that brings me to my point of question.

      I make a few words on my legal pad and outline in my head. My memoirs would mostly just be in stories I have already written. I am sure you will have the same issues with much of your's. By that I mean "unbelievable".

      So in our memoirs how do we bring them to people? Three hours under a Maple tree watching our dog, cleaning our teethe with straw and gazing at and smelling things around us? Listen to the smallest cricket. Spending 3+ years gulping whiskey and getting way out there? People just think fiction.

      I am having issues with that.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      12 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      It is colder here now but writing must go on to entertain our readers. You are doing a fine job of that in sharing what you know best to inform us. Happy Holidays!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image


      12 months ago from Ohio

      Good morning, Bill! Alaska sounds beautiful! I used to work with a girl from there and I would always do a double take in the winter time.. she would wear gaucho pants and flip flops to work. Anytime I would ask about her fashion choices, she would explain that (for example) 10 degrees felt like summer to her. haha! I was reminded of her just last week when it felt like 50 outside. I proceeded to prance around in the sunshine in shorts, a sweatshirt, and flip flops. It felt like a cool summer morning after the bout of 20-30 degrees we had had. hahahaa! Anyway, another fantastic mailbag, per usual. I hope you are staying warm and dry up there. Have a brilliant week!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      12 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill.

      I find it amazing that you can work on two pieces at once. How do you switch gears and find the right frame of mind to do both these works justice? I can't do that. Tell us your secret, Sensei. Please.

      Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      12 months ago from Massachusetts

      Short, but always informative. Really enjoyed the excerpt from the next Shadow book. Winter has arrived here with a vengeance. Have a great week, Bill.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I had every intention of visiting your mailbag early this morning but somehow took a wrong turn and totally lost my way until now. You've had a few visitors but I'm glad that the door is still open.

      I'm glad that you have enough courage to allow your self-imposed writing schedule to evolve into something that is more manageable for you. Life happens, and those who follow (and love) you will be happy to see you always. I'm always for quality over quantity (that's why I'm only 5 ft tall).

      I was interested in the comment from Mr. Happy about exclusivity rights. One way to get around that is to write an introduction to your topic and then provide a link back to your article on Hub pages. (Oh gosh, I hope THEY aren't reading this!).

      Anxiously awaiting the memoir, however, The Shadow series is giving me the heeby-jeebies

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      12 months ago from Beautiful South

      Short and sweet, all right! But that's OK. We can't all do long (and boring). LOL, I agree with you about not feeling the need to publish every day on HP. In fact, I find that after awhile, the daily publishers are just publishing drivel because they aren't as brilliant as they think they are, and I stop reading them. They also clog up our feeds and notifications, and HP works kind of like Facebook. The last five are the ones who seem to have an exclusive on you. I've been thinking about unfollowing those daily drivelers for that reason.

      Sunny and in the 40s today. I can hardly wait for it to turn warmer. Seems like the cold weather brings out new pains in my spinal injury from that bus wreck. We are in Zone 8, but it's still too far north for me in wintertime. Have a good week, my friend.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      12 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! We apparently are going to have a very white holiday around these parts, since we got a foot of snow this weekend...ah well, it is beautiful to look at (from inside a nice warm house). I really enjoyed your excerpt and can't wait to read the next installment! Well, I guess I will be forced to wait a little while... lol

      Have a great and productive week!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      12 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "I think writing should be enjoyable for the writer, and writing should be done when the writer feels like writing." - So, I hear from proper writers, like professionals not amateurs as myself, that one needs to have a schedule for writing. I can write every day, although after some days I feel like I might be overstretching the topics (unless I was doing research papers) but I don't feel like writing at the same time, every day. Do You hold a schedule for writing and do You always feel like writing on that scheduled time? I'm not even talking about writer's block but just not feel like writing at that moment.

      Regarding "exclusivity rights", I find that a little frustrating. Hub-pages does that and so, if I put-up a post here, I cannot put that post up on another site, even though it's MY work!!! Haha!! I actually don't have much reason to care but I do 'cause it's my work and I feel like I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Maybe go and write it on the side of a wall. What do they care?

      Alrighty, keep us posted on that memoir. I'll pre-order that if available lol Memoirs for me are history and history I do love, even if it is someone's personal history. It's still history.

      Okay. Gotta shovel some snow (came again hard yesterday and a little today) and finish my potatoe-leak soup : )

      You enjoy your week. God's blessings and hope the creek don't rise on ya! lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you William! Mondays are always nicer when you visit the Mail Room.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      12 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Short and sweeet!!! No, that's not misspelled. No matter the size of the mailbag, I know I'll always find good stuff here. Thanks, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Vladimir, I hope you stick around. I know all about finding other interests, and losing passion for some. We follow our hearts, my friend. I understand.

      Thank you for stopping by. It is always a pleasure hearing from you. Take care!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No worries, Manatita. I can always find something to do. Perhaps a walk with Maggie is in order. :) Blessings always, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Flourish! Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, RoadMonkey. Thank you very much.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Val Karas 

      12 months ago from Canada

      I have been an oddball in more than one way on this site, so you won't be surprised that recently I deleted over 400 of my pieces -- mostly poems and hubs about politics and religion. All that's left is 55, which includes one single poem.

      In short, my writing enthusiasm is almost gone, since I got other interests to give my time to. (I used to do a lot of oil painting, and the time came to leave that too.).

      As for the "traffic", even when a lonely red triangle would appear, there was no evidence of a corresponding increase in views. Well, looks like God is not the only one who "works in mysterious ways".

      I deleted all that stuff for one simple reason -- with that low traffic (read: low interest), and since I was not making more than cents each month, neither was HP, so they are probably happy I did it.

      Of course, I will still be around -- now and then I will want to share some of my thoughts. And besides, you guys are a great bunch of big hearts and I want to stay in touch.

      As for winter -- well, I live in Canada, do I have to elaborate? All the best.

    • manatita44 profile image


      12 months ago from london

      Got me up to speed, all right. I'd miss Bitron for a while.

      Sorry it's such a short mail this week. But God knows you have more than enough to do. Enjoy the 'rest', ha ha.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      12 months ago from USA

      Your teaser for the Shadow book was a good one, Bill.

    • RoadMonkey profile image


      12 months ago

      Wow, I am really looking forward to the next set of Shadows.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, it sounds like you have your hands full with that grandson. Who needs writing when you have an active grandson to entertain and be entertained by? Have fun, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Mary! I was teaching there, for one year, and never again will I be that foolish.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hear you about research, Pamela. That is a bugaboo which trying to find consistency in writing. I think you do fine, by the way.

      Happy December to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh God, Susan, good luck and stay safe. No doubt about it, Florida sounds pretty good right about now.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I think, John, that's a topic we can all benefit from...consistency. Life has a way of upsetting our plans.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      This is the time of year, Janine,where we hear about the horrible weather everyone else is having while we just deal with frost. lol Have a great week and welcome back.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Sally! It's nice to see you in the Mail Room today. Thanks for your thoughts, and I hope to see more and more of you soon.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      12 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Although the mailbag is lighter than usual, it's still interesting. Consistency is not my strong point, especially on HP at the moment.

      Can I ask, why were you in Alaska? Were you teaching there?

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      12 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      It is 39 right now, but supposed to be up to 64 today. Good thing, because I am watching my grandson again today. I think I am going to take him to his uncle's today. He has goats wandering around his 5 acre plot, loose. He also has dogs and his yard looks like a campground. Interesting for a 4 year old to run around there. Love the climate here, even in the summer.

      I wrote a bit when I was on here, and enjoyed knowing my friends were writing consistently. I wrote when I had time. I was taking college classes online, and taking care of a disabled husband. I wrote when he was napping, which he did often. I moved again, lost all my notes (which never did show up), and got out of the habit. Never have picked it back up. I would like to get back to it, but probably won't. Life is too busy sometimes.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Apparently we will be in the 30s tonight, which is cold for us. It is a nice change and I don't mind.

      As for consistency, I am not. Sometimes it is one article a week and sometimes more. It takes time to do research for the type of articles I write, so it can be a time factor for me. Your new book sounds exciting and no doubt will be a success. Have a good week and stay warm!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Heading to Florida hopefully in January and I can't wait. The cold is already making me want to go into hibernation and it isn't even winter yet. Woke up today to a bone-chilling (cracking) 14 degrees Farenheight. Now to go outside and shovel the driveway so I can go out. Have a great day Bill, and try to stay warm.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I enjoyed the teaser from you novel Bill. As for consistency...I am trying my best with the Poems From the Porch series but been away so this week’s edition is running a little late. Hope it doesn’t get too cold for you.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      12 months ago from New York, New York

      Having just come back from Florida, I can attest that I love it down there when I am there. But yup on a cold Monday morning where we are expecting 3+ inches of snow today, not a fan right about now! That said, had to stop by and wish you a great week ahead now. Here is to staying warm as much as we can now ;)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      12 months ago from Norfolk

      'Professional consistency' oh dear that one really hit home. I admit I have been less than consistent of late as far too many things have taken first priority but here is hoping that I can get back to more of the same, sooner than later. Good to know that you are keeping warm Billy. Nothing like a fire to warm the cockles of the heart. Have a terrific week.


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