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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 293

Updated on January 27, 2020

A New Laptop

I definitely need a new laptop. I just don’t have the money for one. My current one has served me now for ten years. It has three keys which are missing . . . the key cap broke off of them . . . the “e,” and “s,” and the “a.” Do you know how many words have e, s, or a in them? LOL

I could get mad about it, but what am I doing to do? Lemons to lemonade, my grandma was fond of saying. Quit your whining, my dad would say. Bottom line, having the key caps broken has forced me to slow down while typing, and slowing down has allowed me to concentrate more on what is being typed.

So in a weird way, this major annoyance turned out to be somewhat of a blessing.

But I’m still buying a new laptop in the spring. It’s not that much of a damned blessing. LOL

Let’s find out what’s in the mail today, shall we?

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

Memoir to Movie

From Linda: “Congratulations on your book. I'll be ordering a copy soon. Here's a question--if your memoir was turned into a movie, who would play the part of Bill?”

Linda, my HP good buddy Zulma suggests Tom Hanks for my part, and I try to never argue with Zulma, so I’m going with Hanks. I’m sure he would jump at the chance to play me, right?

“And the Blind Shall See,” coming to a theater near you soon.

My memoir
My memoir

More on Coaching

From William: “Bill, With your coaching service, do you include marketing, or do you just deal with the written word? I'm working on a manuscript I hope to complete by June that no doubt will need polishing, but my main problem is marketing.”

William, thanks for thinking of me. I have a degree in Marketing. I’ve owned businesses. I’m actually pretty good at it. And I hate it!!!!!

The answer is no, William, I do not offer marketing in my coaching service. I highly recommend Heidi Thorne, another HP writer and marketing guru. Her articles about marketing are invaluable and I think you’ll like her no-nonsense approach to marketing for writers. Heck, buddy, I just updated my profile on Amazon to include all of my books; it has been inaccurate now for about four years, so it’s obvious I don’t like marketing too much.

If you have specific questions about marketing your book, you can certainly drop me an email and I’ll be glad to answer as best I can at no charge . .. that’s what friends do, right?

I’m still adding clients to my coaching enterprise. I have four now and I’m looking for two more if you know of anyone.

Can Anyone Write a Novel?

From Sara: “I keep thinking about writing a novel, Bill, but I don’t know if I have the expertise to do it. What do you think? Should I try? Should I look for help from someone? Should I give up on this nonsense?”

The answers to your questions, Sara, are yes, yes, and no!

Anyone can write a novel. You sit down, you tell a story, and after about 70,000 words you are done.

Having said that, not everyone can write a good novel; writing a good novel requires an understanding of plot structure. It requires an understanding of pacing and voice. It requires the ability to make scenes and characters come alive. If you do not have that ability yes, you should look for help from someone if your goal is to write a truly good novel.

Hell no you shouldn’t give up on this notion. Writing is therapy and writing is storytelling. There is a rich tradition of writers writing just for the sake of writing. I love to sing. I’m never going to be good enough to win “The Voice,” but I still gain great satisfaction out of singing. Should I give it up? Of course not, and you should write that novel if that’s what you want to do, if for no other reason than it will please you to do so.

REGRETS

From Andrew: “I know you’ve written quite a few novels. Do you have any regrets about any of them? Would you rewrite any of them now to rectify those regrets?”

What an interesting question, Andrew, one which hits home with me. The answer is a resounding YES, and the book I would rewrite would be my first, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today.” That book was my first attempt at writing a novel, and it is very, very rough and at times poorly written. I absolutely love the story, and I love the characters I created, but I don’t like my writing style and voice in that book.

In fact, my wife Bev wants me to rewrite that novel, and what Bev wants Bev gets. It is third on my novel to-do list, and its sequel is #4, so if I live another three years you are liable to see the rewrite and the sequel published.

Thanks for asking and stay tuned!

Audio Books

From Peter: “I wrote a novel two years ago. I think I sold maybe twenty copies of it on Amazon. Now I’m thinking of making it an audio book. What are your thoughts on that? Is it worth my time to do so?”

I don’t know, Peter, is it?

It all comes down to the impetus and reason behind it, Peter. If you are going to make an audio book in hopes of humongous sales, I think you need to be slapped alongside the head with a good solid whack of reality. There are very few “overnight successes” in literature, and I mean “very few as in almost non-existent.” If your goal is to make money by making an audio book, I think you need to step back, have a stiff drink, and re-think it.

But if your goal is self-satisfaction, or to enjoy the spirit of adventure, or to dabble in something new just for the heck of it, then by all means get thee to a microphone. I’m all for it, and I think whimsy is a great reason for trying new things.

Audio books are gaining in popularity, as are podcasts. People are too busy these days to sit down and read a book. They want to be entertained “on the move.”

Let me put it another way: anyone getting into writing to make thousands of dollars has a screw loose. Anyone getting into writing for the pure joy of writing will always have my blessings and encouragement. The same is true of podcasts and audio books.

Welcome to my world!
Welcome to my world!

Mother Nature in the Pacific Northwest

Mother Nature evidently is not happy with us here in Olympia. She has unleashed the fire hose on us, non-stop rain, four days and counting. Weather like this is good for writing. It washes away all the excuses one has for not writing. You can’t go outside anyway, and there is only so much housecleaning one can do, so we might as well write.

So write I shall! Thanks to everyone for the questions this week. If you have a question for the Mailbag, you can include it down below in the comment section, or you can email it to me at holland1145@yahoo.com.

Have a brilliant week, all of you, and thank you for your friendship and support.

And to those who purchased my memoir, “And the Blind Shall See,” thank you from the bottom of my old heart.

2020 William D. Holland (aka bilybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't have a large family and circle of friends like you do, Ann. I suspect that has something to do with it.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      More than kinda, Zulma. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Always a pleasure hearing from you, Mary! Thank you!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 weeks ago from SW England

      But you obviously manage your time better than I do!

      Looking forward to your answer.

      Ann

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Wow, that's...kinda gross.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for this Bill. I was late coming to this but as always happy to learn and be motivated.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      What would I do without you, Zulma? More like a gizzard, me thinks.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very kind, Ann! I'll answer your question next week. As for how I manage it all, please note I do not post nearly as much as I once did on HP. Time is definitely not on my side, my apologies to the Rolling Stones. :)

      Have a brilliant week, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Meg! You probably can buy key caps. I'll have to look into it ASAP.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Bill, are you...a wizard?!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 weeks ago from SW England

      Sorry I missed this one, bill. No idea why!

      I think if I want to write that novel, or memoir, I shall have to lock myself away for weeks and even then I couldn't stay away from everyone all that time! What does it take to be of strong will to write a good portion each day and not lose friends or loved ones?!! I know we have to make them understand and I know it's setting a routine but I just can't do it with all the other stuff. Maybe I should just take an away break alone. Any thoughts?

      Your mailbag goes on and we all look forward to it because it's as fresh today as every other week before it. I don't know how you manage that, but you do.

      Brilliant!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Truth there, Zulma! It stopped yesterday...sunshine all day long. Almost scary!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I try, Sis...I try!

      love,

      Bro

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      3 weeks ago from Northern Ireland

      "E" is the most common letter in the English language. Cryptographers look for the commonest letter in a cypher, when trying to translate it and "e" and "t" were the most frequently used, with, I think, "a", "i", "n", "o" and "s" being equal 3rds. So it seems you have been typing a LOT of English words on your laptop! LOL. I thought you could buy key caps to replace those that go missing. I searched on Google and found a place that supplies missing laptop keys. Maybe that would give you a more comfortable writing experience.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Well, Bill, at least you can get a new laptop. How do you stop the rain and bring back the sun?

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      3 weeks ago from UpstateWestern,New York

      Psst, Sha! If you promise not to tell him I said so.......He's also the "Best all around Brother!!"

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I don't know what is bugging me more today, the missing keys or the 30th consecutive day of rain.

      Good luck with your keyboard problems, and Happy Saturday to you my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your kind words, Dora. I do believe if we stop learning we stop growing, and a poor attitude can derail growth very quickly.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Holy cow, Mel! You wrote two novels on your phone? I can't even comprehend how one would do that. Seriously, I can't wrap my brain around that feat. I marvel at how kids type so fast when texting with two thumbs. What's up with that????

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Bill, the 'D' on my keyboard is completely worn off and the 'A' is starting to go. However, I am used to the feel of this keyboard and I won't get a new one until this becomes completely unusable or my son gets fed up and gets me a new one as a gift. (My son is very tech-savvy and is determined to drag our household into the 21st century whether we like it or not. lol)

      Have a good weekend, Bill.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, the p and the brackets on my keyboard don't work either. Copying and pasting is a regular activity for me. I can relate to the hassle with damaged keys, but once again you inspire with your attitude of learning something positive from a negative situation. You also describe a writer's maturity in being honest about your previous work; you keep growing and that's a good thing.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 weeks ago from San Diego California

      You should get a cheapo Chromebook, like I did. It cost me less than 200 bucks, and I'm perfectly happy with it. Its Android-based operating system never freezes like Windows does. I don't need local storage, because I store everything in the cloud.

      I know what you mean about bad technology forcing you to slow down. Since I am away from home a lot, I use my phone for just about everything. I have written two novels, about 120,000 words apiece, using just one finger on my phone. Rewrites are easier on my laptop, but I deliberately use my phone for rough drafts now. The slow pace keeps my thoughts from racing away from me. I am currently working on a third.

      Once again, your article is an illuminating revelation into how other writers work.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are way too kind, Sha, but thank you. I just hang out with the cool kids who love to vote. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Blessings to you, Nikki,and thank you for your kindness.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are sweet, Lori! Thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Zulma...yes, please do dust off that short story and give it an updating. I would love to see it.

      Happy Thursday my friend!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Congrats on your win, Bill. You truly are the best all around Hubber, not to mention all around best human being!

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      3 weeks ago from London

      Congratulations, Bill on getting best hubber award. Truly deserved you are. I would get your memoir over kindle to read.

      And, Sara, a big Yes. Write, write and write.

      Blessings to you and Bev.

      Stay cosy and rosy, my friend.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      3 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      SARA, WRITE THAT NOVEL!!!

      Folks, I hired Bill as a writing coach and oh my, has he ever helped me. I know, a shameless plug with NO shame. Worth every penny and it is an unbelievable price. Thanks, Bill for all your help.

      My vote it Tom Hanks, George Clooney second.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      True, Bill, very true. Perfection, our blessing and our curse. lol

      This is the first time I've run across a short story in this magazine which left a bit to desired. I hope it was a one-off. On the bright side, it's made me want to dust off a short story I wrote about 9 years ago that might be right up their alley. It probably needs a massive rewrite but that's okay. At least, I can't do any worse than that writer.

      Thanks again, Bill. I'll catch you later.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma....a lack of pride in one's work??? As for the editor of the magazine, I would say their standards have slipped a bit, and that editor should be shown the door.

      I really don't know, my friend. I don't think "excellence" is defined the same way today as it was twenty, thirty years ago...and I don't know why that is but it saddens me.

      Buck up, my friend. At least you and I are perfect. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, no you did not send that link...please do, and thank you for always being here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That was funny, Rajan! No, I wouldn't have to act. Nice thought my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! No clearing yet; raining hard I'm afraid. I hope we don't send it to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Sha! Thanks a bunch! Typing like this is a challenge for sure. Maybe after we get our tax refund back I can buy a new one. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you, Bill. I'll be here all week.

      Seriously though, I had woken up about 20 minutes prior to writing that comment so I was just basically writing whatever came into my head. So, the take away here is to have at least 2 cups of coffee and engage brain before writing for the general public.

      On another topic, have you ever been delighted and disappointed by a piece of writing?

      I read a short story yesterday that had a good twist ending, but the details of the story itself were a letdown. For example, at the beginning of the story, the protag asks the reader if they have ever scorched their pachyderm. She then goes on to explain how she was baking a cake in the shape of a hippo, got distracted and it burned in the oven. Last time I checked, a pachyderm is an elephant, not a hippo. (Not sure why the editor didn't pick up on this.)

      Later on, I discovered errors that should not have occurred if the writer had done basic research. I'm not sure if he was lazy or sacrificed common sense for a cheap laugh.

      Now that I think about it, although the twist ending was good, I don't think it was actually realistic.

      What would possess a writer with an original take on an old story to write it in such a slipshod manner? And why would a respected magazine publish it?

      I don't understand the world anymore. Any insight from you would be sooooo appreciated.

      Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, Bill. You have a good day.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Some very interesting and unique questions in this mailbag. I enjoyed very much reading your fitting observations.

      Regarding writing a novel, I think you need not write a 70,000-word story. You can get that with as few as 30,000 words also like my novel that is published on KDP. So, one should not scared of thinking about 70,000 words.

      I would like to watch your movie when it gets into the theatres. I will be waiting eagerly.

      Now, I am thinking of whether I provided the link to my above-stated book that recently got published in December to you through email or not?

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      3 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      First off, congratulations on writing your memoir, Bill. I feel you'd be the best to play yourself in it if turned into a movie. Heck, you do not need to act, do you? lol. It is has been a rainy January here as well and a colder than usual month.

      Always a learning experience to read your mailbag. Thank you for keeping it going.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      3 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I think Tom Hanks would be perfect to play you. He is one of my favorite actors. I read a comment from Flourish below about just getting a keyboard and that seems like a great idea. Hope the weather clears, have a great week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I haven't started looking yet, Melissa. My current one is a Gateway. That will tell you how long it has been...Windows 7 for God's sake. lol I am sooo old!

      Have a super week my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I think so too, Shaloo....I wonder if he's available. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Bushra. Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a trial, RoadMonkey. It is teaching me patience and humility.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very kind, Chitrangada Sharan, and I appreciate you very much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are too funny, Zulma. You had me laughing out loud. Go eat some damned apples, will you? All you've accomplished so far is to make me hungry.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I will probably have to do that, Flourish. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It has definitely slowed me down, Linda, so I suppose that's a good thing. And the rain continues, thank you very much. lol Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Heidi. I will for sure send folks your way. And I appreciate you taking the time to read and review my memoir. Pretty personal thing, a memoir; not sure how I feel about a review. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I do think most writers and artists and musicians are introverts. Weird, me thinks!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll give Tom a call, Alyssa, and see if he has time to meet to discuss the role. lol Enjoy your week, my talented friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I don't know how you can type with the heads missing from the most used letters in the alphabet. I've worn the white off a few of mine, but know where to place my fingers to hit the write keys, thanks to my personal typing class in high school.

      Congrats on having your classroom more than half-full, Bill. Your students will come out better writers, thanks to you.

      Enjoy your week, my friend. Maybe you can blow some of your rain over John's way?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a bunch, Lora! I'm glad you find my words encouraging. I'm wishing, for you, brilliant week of successes.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I can't imagine living somewhere as dry as Queensland. I would know what to do if I wasn't dodging downpours. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Hopefully in the next couple months I'll be able to buy a new one, Ruby! Thanks for the commiseration.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr.Happy, I guess I could start making a canoe, but I would be afraid to test the finished product. The water is much too cold for swimming this time of year. :)

      Audio books...no thank you! I can't do it. My wife listens to them all the time. Me? Never!

      Have a loving week, my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Warm and dry ain't going to happen here, Miz B. I'm afraid we are four months away from that. Hopefully time truly flies.

      Thanks a bunch for the laptop suggestions. I'm going to do some searching for a good keyboard replacement.

      Have a drier week than us, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Pamela, for purchasing my book, and thanks for telling me about your laptop...misery loves company. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a bunch, Linda. I now plan the dog's walks around downpours. Such is life in the Pacific Northwest.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the question, William. This Mailbag couldn't go on without questions.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, I agree with everything you wrote. I'm going to go into this further in next week's mailbag, but suffice to say yes, there is no sense in beating a dead horse, a colorful saying of my dad's which always made me cringe.

      Blessings always

      bill

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      3 weeks ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday, err Tuesday, Bill! I've been taking quite a few Mondays off lately, and it throws my whole week off..but I'm NOT complaining about 4 day work weeks! :)

      What type of laptop are you looking at? Just curious, I've got my dell laptop for work but for personal use, I've been using a chromebook. You can't download software to a chromebook though, so I'm just curious as to what make/model/brand you are looking at?

      Hope you have a great and productive week!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      3 weeks ago from India

      Tom Hanks would really be a good choice

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Bushra Iqbal 

      3 weeks ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      Thank you for an informative and entertaining read!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      3 weeks ago

      I would find it difficult writing if I had to slow down for missing keys. If I have something to write, I hunch over the keyboard, never look at the screen and just type away with no regard for accuracy. Once the "getting it down" bit is over, THEN I edit, check spelling, grammar etc.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      3 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Another wonderful edition of the mailbag.

      The question by Sara, is relatable to me. You have shared some helpful tips and suggestions, which are motivating for the writers. The videos are also very helpful. Hope you buy your new laptop sooner.

      Congratulations once again for your memoir. Thanks for sharing this excellent installment.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      'When life gives you lemons...'

      That's all well and good and I like lemonade as much as the next person, but I asked for apples and by the Maker I will have my apples.

      Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, laptop. I realise good writing comes from within but a writer needs all the help they can get to get that story out. So go and get your apples, Bill. I mean laptop...yes, laptop...go get your laptop.

      You have a good day, Bill. I'm off in search of a snack. Apples, maybe.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 weeks ago from USA

      Hey, Bill, since you don’t have the money and it’s only the keyboard that’s messed up, why not plug in an external keyboard (CHEAP solution)? Just take your laptop to Best Buy since you probably don’t know what to ask for and talk to one of those young salespeople. It should be As low as $20-40 depending if you want wireless.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Typing on a keyboard with missing keys must be very awkward. I sympathize with your predicament, Bill. Good luck with dealing with the rain in Olympia.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      3 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday (still Monday)!

      Re: Coaching and Marketing. Aw, I'm honored with your shoutout! You and I both have the marketing thing going on. You'll be great at helping folks with strategy along with the writing thing. But, yeah, I've written and researched a ton on the marketing side of the self publishing equation. So if your coaching folks need some additional resources, send 'em over to my profile. Thank you!

      Re: Audio Books. Yes, just doing an audio book edition of a new or existing book isn't the ticket to more sales. I have, however, been surprised at how many audio books I have sold (more than my print and eBook editions combined last year). So I do encourage authors to consider audio editions due to changing reading habits. The downside is that if you're not going completely DIY (do it yourself - and I have a Udemy course on how to do it) with audio book production, you probably won't make your investment back quickly, if at all. As with everything in self publishing, experimentation and monitoring results is critical.

      I'm enjoying the memoir and hope to finish and review it soon. Have a beautiful week!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Once again an article that is Cock of the Walk.

      A deep contemplative question. Why do most writers hate marketing and sales? Are we generally introverts maybe?

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      3 weeks ago from Ohio

      I'm right there with you on the laptop. My keyboard is all messed up, but luckily it's also a touchscreen. Onscreen keyboard is my best friend when I use it. Despite this annoying flaw, I still love the laptop. Another wonderful mailbag edition. Side note, I'd love to see Tom Hanks play you in a movie adaptation. :) I hope the sun returns for you soon. Have a wonderful week!

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      3 weeks ago

      Great advice, Bill. You have to love writing for its own sake just like painting. You don't do it for the money, you do it for the joy and sense of accomplishment. And you may actually acquire some people who really enjoy your work and can you really ask for more than that? That is worth something in my humble opinion. Congratulations on your new book! You are an incentive to all of us. Thanks for your encouraging words. Good luck with your laptop.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, I fondly remember from my childhood having four or five days of continuous rain, and that’s the sad thing..I have to go back that far since it has happened. Oh, we have had a week where it has rained for maybe an hour each day but not almost continuous rain for consecutive days.

      I can sympathise with you about the laptop keys. My entire middle row “ASDFG.....” doesn’t work, so I did what MizB suggested and have an external keyboard plugged into a USB port. It is a bit cumbersome but works. From your questions this week It sounds like lot of people are contemplating writing novels. Good for them. Thanks for another interesting mail bag.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Just like always, I liked the questions and answers given this week. We are having weird weather here, bitter cold one day warmer the next. Today it's in the 40's. I am sorry about your computer. I had to buy a new one too. I got a HP at Walmart and I love it. My husband Ray has A $ 600.00 ASUS and has problems all the time. Have a great week.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      3 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Mother Nature evidently is not happy with us here in Olympia" - I cannot stop thinking of the Greek Gods every time You write "Olympia".

      "You can’t go outside anyway, and there is only so much housecleaning one can do, so we might as well write." - I cook on days like that. I love cooking though. Maybe I'll write about cooking one day ... been saying this to myself for years now LOL Who's gonna read my goat-head soup receipe though and how to eat the eyes from that said "goat head"? Or, how to cook goat brain, or pig brain for that matter? Ya ... maybe one day.

      On those audio books - I can't do it. I don't know why but I zone-out if someone else is reading out-loud and I find myself day-dreaming in my own world, having missed all that was said. I have to read the words myself, otherwise I just don't register them.

      I'm sitting here now trying to decipher why can I listen to a lecture just fine but when someone starts reading, I'm out! Even when authors do their own readings, I can't listen. It's weird. Not sure what it is.

      You can also use rainy days to make a canoe, to paddle through Olympia afterwards lol I'm just kidding. On a more serious note, I was actually invited to help build a birch bark canoe this coming June. I'll definitely write on that if the trip up north and canoe building lesson ends-up happening.

      Thanks for the piece of writing. Always good to hear what others think when it comes to writing (for me anyway). Cheers!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, I feel for you with those missing keys, but I have a couple of suggestions for you. If you can't afford a new laptop at this time, check out a new keyboard, or if you really want to be frugal, you can buy replacement keys for it. ReplacementLaptopKeys.com sells them online for a about 5 bucks each. You can google them, or I can email you the link. Or you can do what I did on my old 2010 Acer laptop when 5 or 6 keys had actually stopped functioning electronically. Buy a new keyboard and use it as an external device. I think it was about 30 bucks at the time, possibly a little more today.

      In the meantime, stay dry as you can. I lived with a wet hall floor all last week and the cats and I didn’t like it. It’s going to be 70 degrees today, and cold rain starts here tomorrow. Wishing you a warm dry week, my friend.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      What a variety of topics for today. first, I have an Apple laptop that is several years old and slow. In addition, I have a desktop that is even older and it has Windows 7, which I am told is outdated. I can't buy 2 computers or even one expensive one, so I have to figure something out I guess. Good luck with your computer situation.

      I have purchased your book but haven't started reading yet as I am about 3/4 through a book I like. You are next. I do not care for audio books, unless I am traveling. Driving in the car listening to an audio book is good.

      Tom Hanks would be great! He is one of my favorite actors. I hope the weather clears up for you and Bev. Have a good week Bill.

      I

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      3 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      "Writing without e-s-a, I did it." Bill, if my keyboard was that messed up I would totally lose my mind. Other than mine, you had really good questions this week. It's obvious you are moving lots of folks to spread their wings and fly.

      Have a great week my friend, and stay dry.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      3 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for taking my question, Bill. As always great answers to good questions. Thank you for being here for us, Mr. Holland.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      3 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Morning, Bill,

      Actually I see merit in rewrites, really I do. But isn't there such a thing as too much rewrite? My son wrote a sci-fi fantasy for young adults. I loved it. I bought it. Then he did a rewrite because someone suggested that it was "too long/fat" for the age group he was targeting. I disagreed because look at the Harry Potter books, but he did a rewrite and I bought them too (he broke up the original into a 4 book series). Then he did another rewrite because he got an agent and she suggested that he didn't get to the point/plot soon enough in the series and people were put off by that. So I bought the new rewrite edition of the series. Next someone suggested that there were too many characters and he wasn't getting to develop each enough to keep them all in. One character in the first chapter was for comic relief (I laughed and laughed) but he was told because that character didn't serve a purpose toward the plot he should be eliminated. I disagreed and then decided not to purchase the new rewrite series. Now he is telling me he is planning another rewrite. Isn't that overkill? At what point do you say you did the series justice and move on to the next series? I want to be supportive but this is too much! What do you think?

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, it was weird, you asking the same question in the same week. I don't know how hard it will be to completely rewrite a novel in a new voice. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! I'll call up Tom Hanks and see how he feels about playing the role of a nobody. lol Wishing you a brilliant Monday, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Well shoot, Manatita, I need some of that luck right about now. lol Pass along some good vibes, my friend.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      3 weeks ago from Texas

      Well, color me wrong, Bill. Funny that I asked a similar question as someone else without knowing you'd already just answered it. And I guessed wrong that you wouldn't literally rewrite a book. Although, I suppose it may not be as time-consuming as I imagined it might be when I said that, considering you already have the story told. Then again, I sometimes find rewriting to harder or take longer than just writing.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 weeks ago from UK

      Laptops can be a pain, but useful all the same. Mine is making a terrible noise when starting up, so I'm wondering how much longer it will go on.

      I like the idea of Tom Hanks playing you.

      I share your dislike of marketing and completely agree that Heidi sounds like the right person for the job.

      Your thoughts about writing novels are interesting as ever as is your potential rewrite of one of your own.

      Interesting comments about audiobooks too.

      I sympathise with your weather predicament. We have a lot of rain at times in the UK. Great for writing, not so good for dog walking though.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 weeks ago from london

      On a current side-note, I was given a computer today. Mine is probably more ancient than yours. I just hate to part with it, but some one offered me one out of the blue. All Parts intact! Isn't that amazing! Awesome, Bro

      P.S. Hope you find a great and good angel as well

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      We do indeed, Manatita, we do indeed. Like a fine wine, we improve over time.

      Blessings always

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 weeks ago from london

      Nice and sometimes deep questions. A good writer naturally gets better and better, so I can see why you have difficulties with your first book. Again, we tend to feel better when we do our best, don't we? Peace Bro.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It's an epidemic, Verlie! lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a bunch, Devika! I appreciate you!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      3 weeks ago from Canada

      I have no idea why my comment is appearing 3x in this thread. Looks like maybe I need a new laptop too!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Bill it shows you are not a quitter to continue to write on a keyboard with missing keys. I wish you the best in your endeavors.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It is funny in a way, Verlie, and I like that you see the humor in it. As long as I remind myself to slow down and allow my fingers to prance rather than lightly push, everything is okay. LOL Happy Monday to you, my friend.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      3 weeks ago from Canada

      Good morning Bill, I'm trying to imagine writing on a keyboard with keys missing. Wow, that's perseverance! Especially with all the writing you do. Could you take a photo? (of the keyboard?) I bet It could go viral. I know it's not funny, but in a way it really is. Sorry Bill. Hope you have a good week. And I hope you get that new laptop asap!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Hanging on, Janine...that about sums it up perfectly. I'm suddenly a very slow typist. lol Happy Monday my friend.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      3 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Wow to the weather. We had some crazy rain this weekend, but just Saturday afternoon to be honest. Otherwise just cool temperatures, but no snow even really. Not sure what to make of that. As for the laptop, I need one a new one too as my battery on MacBook needs to probably be replaced soon. So there is that. But hanging on as long as I can before I do that, as well. Happy Monday and here to a great week ahead now!! :)

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