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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 287

Updated on December 16, 2019

Thanks to You All

This last week saw the end of life for my best friend of fifty-seven years, Frank. It was a death we knew was coming, a death I was prepared for, but still a tough pill to swallow. I just wanted to thank all of you who reached out to me with sympathy and love. Your kind gestures were greatly appreciated, and I love you all for taking the time to let me know you care.

Let’s move on to the mail. Life moves on and we should do the same.

The Mail Room
The Mail Room

Novel to Film

From Ann: “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?”

Thank you for that, Ann! The answer is no, I have not approached film companies and I doubt I will. It all goes back to the purposes behind my writing: I write because I have a passion for writing. I write as a means of communicating with all of you. I don’t seek affirmation in any manner. I don’t seek compensation for it. I’m a writer and I write, and that’s good enough for me.

Don’t get me wrong: if Quentin Tarantino approaches me and wants to adapt my novels to the big screen, I won’t turn his offer down, but I also won’t be contacting him.

I actually have a stepson who is encouraging me to write a screenplay of the Shadows series. He thinks it has a better chance of selling in that form, but I don’t know how to write a screenplay and I have no desire to learn how. LOL

Still, it’s nice to read your words, Ann. I think we all want, and need, a little affirmation from time to time.

The next great Thriller, in theaters soon!!!
The next great Thriller, in theaters soon!!!

How to Self Publish

From Luis: “This is great to read. I am planning to have a ebook publishing as well as hardcopy publishing. However, I do not know how?”

Well, Luis, you came to the right place. I am going to refer you to a book I have on my shelf, “A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon,” by Chris Mullen. It is my “go to” source for all things related to self-publishing. It will take you step-by-step through the formatting and printing options and even cover design. I highly recommend you pick up a used copy on ebay.

Grammar Check

From Devika: “Hi Bill great to hear of your Memoir. Just one question about grammar check please. What is the easiest way to grammar check?”

Devika, there are quite a few grammar-check programs available. I use none of them, but quite a few of my followers do, and perhaps they will recommend one in the comments below. I continually hear good things about Grammarly, but you certainly have others to choose from. Anyway, check the comments below for recommendations from people who have actually used those programs.

Following Others on Hp

From William: “Bill, If I'm going to follow someone on HP, I"m going to follow them. I do my best to read each article and comment, so my follow list is short. I'm finding it difficult to keep up with the few I do follow because of other commitments. I can't remember the last time you missed commenting on one of my pieces, and I thank you for that. So my question is this. How do you manage to keep up with the ones you follow and respond in such a personal way?”

William, truthfully, I have had to cut back greatly in the past couple of years, for the same reason you mentioned. Still, I’m determined to comment on hubs written by people who comment on my hubs. That is the criteria I go by: if you comment on mine, I’ll comment on yours. Yes, it takes time, but I’m not willing to deviate from that. HP is all about community for me. This is my writing family. In a very real sense, I’m a writer today because of the support and encouragement given to me early on, so now my job is to give support and encouragement in return.

I don’t have a ton of commitments which take a lot of time from my schedule. I’m semi-retired, so I have a degree of freedom many writers on HP do not have . . . that helps greatly! If I had a full-time job, like many of you do, there is no way I could devote as much time to comments on HP.

Creativity in Memoirs

From Zulma: “You mentioned that when writing your memoirs there's no creativity allowed. I'm not entirely certain I understand what you mean. You're writing about real events from your past, you don't have to make it up. I get that. However, writing about these events in a manner that invites us to read more surely involves some creativity, yes?”

Yes, Zulma, you caught me, as did several others who read my words. I was being a bit flippant when I wrote that; without a doubt there is a certain amount of creativity which goes into a memoir; certainly not like a novel but still, there is creativity for sure.

I can always count on you to keep me accountable, Zulma. LOL And I love that you do!

Taking Breaks

From Liz: “When you write for 4 hours, do you take regular breaks or do you plough on solidly? I find my concentration starts to go after a while. I was interested at your technique for switching gears. Often as I come to work again on a hub, I read through earlier paragraphs.”

I do take breaks, Liz, for the same reason primarily: my concentration is not what it once was. However, I also take breaks because it helps my creative process. There is something about stepping away from a story which allows my muse to become creative once again, like she needs a break for her juices to flow freely. A five minute walk in the backyard is usually all it takes.

Sometimes those who can see, don't see
Sometimes those who can see, don't see

My Memoir’s Title

From Bill: “Hi Bill. Congratulations on getting to the final edit of your memoir. I’m pretty sure you’ve answered this in the past, but I’ll ask anyway. Where did the title “And the Blind Shall See” come from, and what is the significance of the title. By the way, I love the title.”

Hi Bill! I was blind for the first nine months of my life. That’s the origin of the memoir title…but the deeper meaning is it took me a lifetime to actually see the truth about me and about life. You’ll have to read the memoir if you want any more information about it. LOL I promise you it is uplifting. I don’t kill a single person in it.

Rest in peace, Frank!
Rest in peace, Frank!

And Life Goes On

I love my life. I love the fact that so many of you cared enough to reach out to me during a tough week. Human connections are what it is all about . . . love is what it is all about. It just doesn’t get any more real than that, my friends.

In the words of Jesse Colin Young:

”Come on people now
smile on your brother
everybody get together
and try to love one another right now”

Have a great week ahead. I know I will.

Peace and blessings to you all!

Bill

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

working

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