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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 297

Updated on February 24, 2020

Good Day Sunshine

That’s what I have Alexa playing right now, “Good Day Sunshine” by the Beatles. “I was alone, I took a ride, I didn’t know what I would find there,” and everybody, sing with me, “Got to get you into my life!”

Turns out he was talking about hash or some other popular drug of the time. LOL And here I thought it was a feel-good love song meant for sunny days like today. It’s all about interpretation, right? I was looking at the painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. The artist said it was about nature screaming with anxiety and fear. I thought it was about mankind screaming. Shows you what I know, which isn’t much.

Oh well! I’m singing it and enjoying the hell out of it this Friday morning. Today is a day for singing and riding in a convertible with the top down and remembering that first kiss.

And today is a day for the Mailbag! Thanks for joining us. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section. We all learn about writing (and life) from each other, so anything you have to add is welcomed.

Let’s do this thing!

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!

Help for a Novice

From Richard: “Bill, I’m brand new to writing and I’m quite intimidated, not knowing just how to ‘kick start’ this endeavor. I’m still trying to figure out Hub Pages. I signed up using my laptop with Microsoft OS and thought Hub Pages was about the poorest looking website I’d ever seen. Since then I’ve started using an iPad and what a difference! Why is that?

“There was the mention of mail boxes in HP. Should I have that as well?

“Thanks for any help you have for a novice. Really love your writings.”

Richard, I don’t even know where to begin, but welcome to HP!

Seriously, I don’t have a clue about the Microsoft OS and iPad being of different quality. Anyone out there know what that is all about?

HP mailboxes? I know we can send emails to each other. Once you sign up you automatically have that capability. I think it’s called fan mail or something like that. There is a link you can click to send a message to anyone on HP. Go to their profile, I think, and you will see the link. And if you receive a message, a notification should appear in your email.

My recommendation: write a few articles and get your feet wet. Pay attention to what other established writers do. You really can’t go wrong if you follow the 1250 words, three photos, two videos rule of thumb for each article. And, by the way, your first article was very good!

Again, welcome!

Poetry and Rhythm

From Mary: “I have a question about reading poetry. I struggle with it because I am uncertain whether I have the rhythm correct. I feel, I would enjoy it more if knew I was reading it the way it was intended to be read.

“I know you have many readers who enjoy writing poems. What am I missing?”

Oh God, Mary, not a poetry question. LOL You can take my combined knowledge about poetry and it wouldn’t fill up a thimble. I always struggle with the same thing and I’m starting to believe it’s not my fault. Maybe I’m just reading some really bad poetry. I hope all the HP poets are laughing right now, because I’m mostly joking.

There are some very good poets on HP and I have no problem following their rhythm. I can’t say that about all poets, though, and that leads me to the aforementioned theory about quality. And I think the same can be said about those who write prose. A well-crafted story is much easier to follow than one done by a novice. A story flows and has rhythm, just like a poem does, and the flow happens smoothly in the hands of a good writer.

I’m going with that, Mary. There’s nothing wrong with you and me. It’s the poets who need to improve. LOL God I hope my poet friends know I’m joking right now.

Current Projects

From Bob: “What are you working on lately, Bill? What can we look forward to in the future?”

Well, Bob, hopefully I live long enough to do the following, in this order:

  • Finish my latest Shadow book, “Shadows Across the Pond.”
  • Write my 60’s novel about the loss of innocence
  • Re-write my first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today”
  • Write the sequel to that first novel
  • Write my second memoir about life with my dog Maggie

And somewhere in there kick-start my podcast career.

What are the odds I get all of that done?

How about all of you? What are your writing plans for the future? What are your goals? Share them in the comment section. I would love to know.

I'm around if you need me
I'm around if you need me

COACHING

From Angela: I’m curious, Bill, how is your coaching coming along? Any customers taking you up on that ridiculously-low price that you are charging?

Thanks, Angela, and yes, I have had six new students in February and I am now signing up for March. It’s going really well. It’s fun to work closely with a writer. I can give so much instruction through emails, and a month is quite a bit of time to fine-tune the work of any writer.

Anyone out there interested in signing up for March? Drop me an email at holland1145@yahoo.com and we’ll get you signed up.

Is Grammar Ever Wrong?

From Pete: "I find myself struggling at times with rules of grammar. I will write a sentence, which is grammatically correct, and yet it just doesn't feel correct to me. Does that happen to you? Is it possible that proper grammar can be wrong?"

Oh hell yes, Pete, all the time, my apologies to the brutal nuns who taught me in elementary school.

Here's the way I handle it: I run it through the Sound Test. Read the sentence out loud. If it sounds fine, go with it. If it sounds stilted or contrived, change it, and grammar be damned. Especially when writing dialogue: writing dialogue is a bit like having a "get out of jail free" card. You might as well enjoy it since you have it and make a jail break.

"Would you like to go out to eat with Bob and me?"

Grammar geeks will tell you that you should substitute "I" for "me" in that sentence. It has been debated for years. My take on it: which sounds better? To me, "me" works perfectly while "I" sounds stilted.

Have you ever split an infinitive? May the grammar gods curse you until your death for doing so, and yet I have done it often simply because it fits the flow of the story better than correct grammar.

Don't get hung up on this matter. Go with the flow!

Don't worry about being perfect!
Don't worry about being perfect!

Short One Today, but the Weather Is Gorgeous

I don’t mind shutting down early today if you don’t. We are all busy and there is no sense dragging this out if the supply of questions has dried up. Let’s all go forth and do some good today. What say you?

Thanks for joining us in the Mail Room today. If you have questions for next week, just include them in the comment section. Until then, I wish you all a brilliant week ahead, and blessings always.

Good day, sunshine!

2020 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 had no doubt, Lawrence, that you would stay busy during these times. I can't imagine anyone being bored these days, can you?

      Be safe and thanks for checking in.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I agree regarding the grammar rules, sometimes they just don't fit!

      I think that as writers, we need to be conscious of who is speaking, and change the way we write to fit the person, otherwise it just isn't true to character!

      As for me, at the moment, besides keeping the buses running and writing my prequel to Sting of the Scorpion I'm working on setting up a website.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's what I need in art, Peggy, a free pass. LOL

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      11 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I got a kick out of reading your introduction to this mailbag. I have often misinterpreted the meaning of songs, particularly some of those from the 1960s. As to art, especially abstract art, I think that we all get a free pass as to what is meant by it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back Mary! You have been missed.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am back after a few months of visiting so I'm ready to start work again. A list like yours will be helpful as well as sitting to work.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for stopping by, Rodric. If you decide you want coaching you can email me at holland1145@yahoo.com

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good information, Shannon! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and expertise. I know next to nothing about poetry, and I'll probably die that way...and that's okay, as long as I've got people like you around to educate me.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      12 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Oh how I miss reading the mailbag. I think I want to take you up on that coaching opportunity. I have much more to learn. This is the first I know of it! Been out of touch for the last few months.

      I am working on my fourth book. It will be call I, Refugee for the moment. I am finished with the 4th draft. I am looking for test readers --free ones! I plan to send it to Cedar Fort Publishing. If they reject me I plan to self-publish.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Check back Monday with the new Mailbag, Freddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are too sharp for me, Zulma, but we always knew that, didn't we? lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Bill! Thanks for dropping by, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! It's elementary....good one! lol You just can't go wrong with the Beatles,can you?

    • profile image

      Freddy 

      12 months ago

      I'm a Hubber here. Can you put out the question if everyone else's traffic is dipping like mine?

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      12 months ago from United Kingdom

      Aaaand...just that quick, we have moved on to The Young Rascals. :)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      12 months ago from Texas

      Hi Bill, have you dried out up there? No drowned chickens?

      I won't comment on the grammar since Shauna just shared the easy way I learned the I versus me thing. That's among the least confusing aspects of grammar to me! Years ago, when first learning Spanish, I learned how little I know about my own language when we had to learn thing slike past participles and such. I mean, how am I supposed to understand those parts of gramar in Spanish if If I don't even know what they hell they are in English? LOL. And one of my biggest writing vices is using passive voice.

      But....I do have something to say about the rhythm of poetry. I'm not an expert, but I do know that there are cues within the poetry itself that tell quite a bit about an author's intended rhythm. There is, of course, the rhythm that naturally occurs due to things like the number of syllables and which ones are stressed. And then there are also other clues such as where a comma or other punctuation is placed. People naturally pause slightly for a comma, for instance. Even the way a poem is broken into stanzas can provide clues to the intended flow.

      Okay.....I must go to bed now. I've been awake way too long. Enjoy that sunshine!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      12 months ago from Massachusetts

      You have enough projects there to keep you busy for quite awhile. I'm sure you'll complete all of them. Sunny days were made for Beatles songs, hope the nice weather continues.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      12 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, "would you like to go out to eat with Bob and me?" is correct grammar. I wrote an article on elementary ways to check your grammar.

      In the above sentence, remove Bob from the picture and you'll know which pronoun to use.

      Which is correct: Would you like to go out to eat with I? or Would you like to go out to eat with me?

      It's elementary! LOL

      I love your choice of song, no matter what the intended meaning was when The Beatles wrote it. As you say, it's all in each individual's interpretation. Isn't freedom wonderful?!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I love it when an old-timer returns. I so loved HP years ago; it was a much more friendly and enjoyable place. So let's hope you can breathe new life into our old hang-out site.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Long live good everything, Dora, and long live you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your input, Venkatachari M. You are correct about the video; as long as you use multiple capsules.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Linda! I hope you are having a great week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lora, bless you! Your story about that dog was beautiful, and I love the fact that you work with rescued dogs. Bravo my friend! You are rising quickly up the ladder of my favorite people on HP.

      We have two dogs and I adore them. I can't imagine life without their company and friendship. Again, bravo to you. I hope you are feeling better so you can tackle those books.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      12 months ago from Wales

      Oh how wonderful to be back and may I say once again thank you for being so inspiring my dear friend. As for goals of the future Mine is to get back to where I was on here where everyone said that my hubs bought sunshine to their cloudy days . When I used to take photos on our many explorations (which I still do) but with the added bonus of knowing that in a few days they would be combined with words from my inner being and shared with my hubfamily. This is what I have dearly missed but thank goodness many of you are still here. Thank you again for another gem Bill and you are indeed one very important factor of who and what makes hubpages so special.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dealing with a girl like you, Zulma, I have to be on my toes. :) Happy Hump Day!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well don't get hit by a St. Bernard, Ruby! lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Keep on keeping on, Sissy! At least you have a "family" fan club. My wife reads my stuff, but the kids can't be bothered...but I have my online family, so it's all good.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Heidi! That would be a fascinating book. I have no doubt the internet is changing our communication and language; the book would be a good read for sure.

      Happy Hump Day! See, you aren't the only one who is late.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chitrangada Sharan! Oddly I never ran into this problem,but I seem to be the exception to that particular rule on HP.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      12 months ago from United Kingdom

      As a fellow Beatlemaniac, Bill, you should have known better. (Guess what that's a call back to?)

      Enjoy your day.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      These reminders you share are valuable. I've had to rearrange sentences to prevent the editor from writing "Bob and I" when I know it should be "Bob and me." Long live GOOD grammar!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's been an entertaining mailbox today.

      I think two videos are not necessary for a good article. One is okay. You may add one extra capsule like a question or quiz, a table or a map, like that if it suits the topic.

      Your writing goals are great. I really do not keep any gaols. It's just upon my mood.

      I wish you a pleasant week.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You have some great plans for the future, Bill. Good luck!

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      12 months ago

      I really like your take on grammar! Spend most of your time creating a good story and then worry about the grammar. You can always look up the correct way to structure a sentence or use quotes so get into your story.

      My plans for the future include going back to a children's series that I started many years ago. I already completed outlines for the fifth and sixth books so it's just a matter of turning them into stories. I also have plans to write two books making a dog the central character. In one of the stories, the protaganist will be based on a fear dog that I fostered for two years who couldn't even walk on a leash because she had such mistrust of humans. She was part Carolina dog who is the oldest breed of dogs living in North America. They live as wild dogs in the savannas of Georgia and the Carolinas. Truly, they are fascinating dogs! She walked with a prance like a wolf and she could run like the wind! Ginny was a little diamond in the rough. She lived with me for two years and indeed at the end of that time, she finally learned to trust again and even learned to shake hands and dance! She loved to dance to Zorba the Greek. With her coat, a burnt orange and eyes like a deer, she was the most beautiful dog I'd ever seen and I've seen quite a few as I've rescued many from some very tragic situations. A dog that completely shut down in the shelter and was already scheduled for euthanasia, taught me that you should never come to a hasty judgement about anyone and that sometimes there's magic in those most shy and fearful and we just need to give them a chance. So, anyway those are some of my plans. After a long hiatus for health reasons, I'm hoping to finally get back on track! Thanks Bill for your excellent advice, once again, and encouraging us to get with it.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      12 months ago from Southern Illinois

      It's raining cats and dogs here again. I'm glad you had sunshine yesterday. Have a great week.

    • Sissy Wells profile image

      Sissy Wells 

      12 months ago from California

      Current projects and goals? Thank you for asking! For me, just to get something published. Often, I feel like those out-of-tune contestants on American Idol when Simon Cowell used to ask them why they chose to audition and the response was “because my family tells me that I can sing.” It is nice to have a family fan club but I would like to experience the thrill I hear writers talk about and really know if I can do this. Thank you Bill, and other veteran writers for your encouragement to not give up.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Leave it to you, Zulma, to catch me on those lyrics. That's what I get for being in a hurry. lol I noticed it a day later but just didn't take the time to change it. Naturally you called me out on it. :) Thanks my friend...later!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alyssa! Love your new profile pic.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Meg! We have some eager beavers here who jump all over grammar questions.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's a key to teaching effectively, Flourish. Either make it fun or make it interesting. Good luck with that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Donna! Thank you very much.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bushra! I appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I wish you luck with that memoir. I have no doubt it will be brilliant and your family will appreciate it. Best wishes to you and thank you always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I am having a very good day, Devika. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww shoot, Eric. Your boy wouldn't have fun in my classes...we always asked why when I taught a class.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are always appreciated here, Kari. Consider us the "Cheers" of HubPages, where everybody knows your name. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mizb, I had no doubt you would be weighing in on this one. I'm afraid I've forgotten quite a bit of the rules of grammar. Now I just trust in instincts as I flounder along. But I always have you to fall back on, my friend.

      Happy Tuesday to you under sunny Olympia skies.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      12 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Tuesday??? Okay, late again. Oh well.

      Re: Poetry and Rhythm. I push myself to read the poem of the day from PoetryFoundation.org (they're here in Chicago BTW). Like you, some of them have no obvious rhythm for me. It's as if the poet threw up on the page with some stream of consciousness outburst. Maybe that's the desired effect. But I'm guessing in some cases, it isn't.

      Re: Current Projects. Glad to see the Maggie book is at least on the list. :)

      Re: Grammar. Yep, grammar can be very wrong at times. We must never confuse grammar with communication. BTW, still reading this book titled, Because Internet, which is all about how the internet (note the small "i") is rewriting language. Fascinating.

      Anyway, hope your week is starting out good!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Hello Bill!

      Thanks for sharing another set of helpful questions and answers, in this mailbag.

      While reading Richard’s question, I was reminded of my earlier days of joining HubPages. It took me many hubs and repeated visits to the Learning centre of the Hubpages, to understand how it works. However, the rules have changed so many times, and would keep on changing, in future too.

      Thank you for your interesting answers. Have a good day.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      12 months ago from United Kingdom

      My goodness, Bill, you certainly are in a jolly mood. I get that way too when the sun's out. Your choice of lyrics after 'Good Day Sunshine' threw me, though, since they belong to 'Got to Get you Into My Life.' Eh, so what, as long as you're happy.

      Regarding your first novel, I've always felt like it needed a sequel, so I am glad it's on your 'To-Do' list.

      Another memoir starring Maggie and Toby. Joy!!!

      And finally, the reason 'me' in your query, "Would you like to go out to eat with Bob and me?" sounds better is because it is grammatically correct. Removing 'Bob and' and it's pretty obvious then that 'I' is incorrect. I do this kind of check in descriptive writing, but the rules go pretty much out the window when dialogue's involved. I like dialogue, it's so liberating.

      Catch you later, Bill.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      12 months ago from Ohio

      Another excellent mailbag! I'm with you on the grammar. Sometimes rules were made to be broken. ;) I'm glad you are enjoying some sunshine! Have a wonderful week!

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      12 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Oh well, I was going to chime in on the grammar debate but I see 3 hot shots have beaten me to it! Writing goals? I have 2 draft hubs at the minute, awaiting research and structure to fill them out.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      I always loved grammar class. I’m helping my niece with some grammar exercises online. There are some teacher websites that make games of grammar and vocabulary so it’s fun (or as fun as possible).

    • Donna-Rayne profile image

      Donna Rayne 

      12 months ago from Sparks, Nevada

      Great article Bill! I enjoyed it very much! Thanks for sharing!

      Donna Rayne

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Anya Ali 

      12 months ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      Informative and entertaining read - thank you!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      12 months ago from SW England

      Bill, the sentence ref 'dinner with Bob and me' is correct. How do you decide? By saying, 'Would you like to go out to dinner with Bob?' and 'Would you like to go out ..... with me?' 'Would you like to go..... with I? is not correct! It's all about breaking it down - subject and object - usually that makes it easier to see which is right.

      My writing plans? The memoir and my grandchildren's diaries for them to know more about themselves and about me along the way. I want them to appreciate family history.

      Almost 300, bill! Amazing!

      Ann

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      12 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Bill hope you having a good Monday, thank you for another useful hub.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      I liked this one.

      Gabe and I had the talk. Listen, follow instructions, obey your teachers regarding rules of writing.

      If something bugs you, tell me. But do not tell the teacher. Don't even ask why.

      Now let that boy boogie woogie with writing -- at home ;-)

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      12 months ago from Ohio

      Another great mail bag, Bill! I totally agree with you on grammar. I also think it is important to read it out loud. I also think the 1250 words, 3 photo, 2 video formula works quite well. As always, thank you, Bill, for doing this column.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      12 months ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, who are “the grammarians” who keep giving you false information? They definitely do not know formal English, or sometimes even good casual English, for that matter. Bill Holland is grammatically correct to say “with me,” and that is why it sounds better to you. “With” is a preposition and the object of a preposition is always in the objective case, “me, him, her,” not the subjective case “I, he, she”. “You” and “it” can be either objective or subjective, depending on use. In addition to having good English teachers who taught me that, my current source is the Harbrace Hedges Handbook. Even online dictionaries are elusive about this.

      Sometimes a sentence sounds stilted because it is WRONG. Yes, I do break rules and I do split infinitives if needed, but I don't go out of my way to be incorrect just because it sounds sophisticated to me like some of these ignorant yahoos are doing.

      FYI, Harbrace is a small inexpensive book, kind of like crib notes, which I find to be a quick grammar reference guide. It has a good index so you can find things quickly. My legal editor’s office uses it, so it is a professionally approved source. I recommend that anyone who needs to learn good grammar, or even editors like me (not like I) who need a quick reminder, buy one and keep it handy. That way you’ll be able to argue with all these self-appointed slang-slinging "grammarians" who don’t know formal English.

      (And Paula "Sis" has a good method. I was taught that one, too.) Thanks for letting me have my soapbox today. I do get emotional about grammar.

      I’m so glad you have sunshine. Ole Sol keeps trying to peek out in Arkansas today, too. Just hoping the temperature gets into the 50s.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great grammar lesson from a caustic brat of a sister. How was that for good grammar, Sis? LOL

      You know I love you, right? Not many people would put up with me the way you do.

      Have a great week. Enjoy the hell out of life, Sis, as I know you will.

      love,

      bro

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks always, Liz! I didn't know that about that song until about three years ago. For decades I just thought it was about the weather and meeting a girl. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell! Crank up that song and enjoy the Great Indoors! lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Melissa! Enjoy that weather while you have it. You guys are never out of the woods until May.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You have a great week too, Mary, and thanks for the great question.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Denise, and Happy Monday to you. I was having a hard time remembering days last week, so you are not alone.

      Blessings always

      bill

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Suzie 

      12 months ago from Carson City

      Hello dear Bro.....Your stamina makes me tired! Anyway, I had time to read today and I'm glad I did. I want to share a tidbit of a grammar lesson I was once given by a "self-proclaimed expert".....aren't we ALL?

      About and "me and/or I" issue. Here's what I was taught is the perfect solution. Repeat the sentence aloud, eliminating the OTHER party (just leaving in yourself) eg....Sentence: Mom made the cookies for only Pete & me." Most people would have a tendency to say it should be "Pete & I." BUT If you take Pete out of the sentence, we know it has to to be "me"...because we would not say, "Mom made the cookies for only I. Right? Although this seems to be a silly way to determine which to use....it's the easy way. What do you think?

      And by the way, Mr. Hot Shot Bro.....I admit I'm a mouthy brat...but I am not caustic........(I looked it up! Na na na na na) Mom said you should say only nice things about me.....even if you're lying!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shaloo! You say consistent, but it may be an obsession for me. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, I have nothing to add to your fine comment. I leave all that to the masters of poetry, like you. I just know what I like and what I don't, and marvel at the talent necessary to do a good job in any of the Arts.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      I've learnt something new today about that Beatles song!

      HP is a constant learning curve for me.

      I agree with you. Good poetry has a rhythm of its own.

      My goal is to write all the articles that I have gathered material for.

      Congratulations on your coaching success. I hope you pick up more students, as you deserve to.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Linda. Interpreting Eric would be a full-time job for several professionals, me thinks. lol Great week ahead, my friend. Enjoy that sun!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It works for me, Pamela. I know I make grammatical mistakes but I have a hard time working up much concern over it. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, that is a feel good story. I'm so glad your son is off the drugs and doing well. Hooray!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cheers to you, John, and thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy flow, Verlie, and Happy Monday to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Enjoy the music and the weather, Janine, and thank you!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      12 months ago from England

      I love that song! Unfortunately the weather over here doesn't match it! lol! Great advice as always Bill. Enjoy your day!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      12 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Glad you are enjoying some gorgeous weather also. Even though there might be a snow storm or something lurking in the future, this last weekend felt like spring and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Grammar be damned, especially in comments! :)

      Hope you have a fantasticly productive week!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      12 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for tackling my question about poetry. I'll be popping back to read your readers comments too. Thanks Manatita, for expanding on the answer.

      Have a great week.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      I have to say thanks for posting your Mailbag on FB. It reminds me it's Monday. Although how I forget is beyond me, but I do. It's the prompt I need to come read fun quips and ignoring of the grammar gods. Now go out with the dogs and have a good day!

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      12 months ago from India

      Interesting mailbag as always. I always admire the way you are so consistent with writing. These days I am finding it really hard to keep up with writing. I am regular at HP but my blogging has taken a backseat.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      12 months ago from london

      Yes, Bill.

      Perception is a big one and even creates enemies.

      I think of words like having 'energies.' So for the devout, fear is reverential, but for some of us, it's associated with the negative.

      You have covered the prose well, so who am I to mess with it? Poetry, though, is about styles and character; would make use of the mind or Heart or both.

      Some like romance, others like rhyme; some like Haiku and Sonnets, while still others like free-style to be more creative.

      Character comes in here as the mind or the Heart decides, or both. Some here have mature Hearts, yet the mind is dominant ... for different reasons.

      The Beatitudes or Psalms, requires a kind of childlike attitude, identification, harmony and oneness to be understood. Yet they are profound in their simplicity.

      They require 'feel' or the Heart's sweetness. The meta- physical is for the Heart's Light, but a lot of poetry, is by nature a mental approach. Useful also. Different strokes for different folks.

      Mary may know that esoteric poetry needs to be felt and not analised. They would stay in the psyche longer. Mental poetry is satisfying, brilliant, but they tend to lack the sublimity and loftiness of the psychic Heart -- that space within, where we can feel the music or melody of words. A lot here.

      You combine both mind and Heart in your work and that is why you are so awesome!

      "My Lord does not ask me for my mind's brilliance. He only asks me, for my Heart's radiance." - Sri Chinmoy.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Beauty is in the eye (and ear) of the beholder. I think the arts (and I include song and writing) are up to interpretation. What you see and hear and understand might not be what I see and hear (and goodness knows what Eric might come up with). But I don't think that one is right and the other wrong. We're both right. Right?

      Yes, you had a lightweight mailbag too but the questions and answers were good as always. I'm glad you had some sunshine to keep you entertained, and I'm looking forward to what Maggie and Toby have been up to.

      Have a great week my friend.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I really like that Beatles song and I had no idea it had anything to do with drugs. LOL

      As to the grammar example, "Would you like to go out to eat with Bob and me?" I was told to say the sentence and leave out the "with bob" then you know whether to use me or I. I don't know if that is grammatically dorrect.

      I enjoyed the article, Bill. I am glad your weather has improed. enjoy!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      12 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      Wonderful answers today. I love that song too, and I hate all the drugs. I have a kid that got caught up in them for awhile and I am so happy he got out of it. It took tough love a couple of times to get the point across to him. If he was doing drugs, he was not welcome at our home. If he was not doing drugs, he was very welcome. We even had him put in jail, for taking my husbands pain pills. Really tough on us, but that one worked. He put himself in solitary to clean up. He is drug free for 6 years now, and he is a great son.

      He is coming over on his days off and helping mom get the yard cleaned up, after winter. I can't get it done very well on my own. 4 acres is too much for this retiree. I ride the riding mower around, and he follows, throwing garbage in the trailer. He has hauled off 2 pickup loads already, and there is still some to go. Wind was rough out here.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Any day is a good day for the Beatles. Good mailbag, Bill, and hope the nice weather keeps up. Cheers.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      12 months ago from Canada

      Just going with the flow here. Happy Monday Bill!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      12 months ago from New York, New York

      Perfect Beatles song for this sunny and warmer Monday morning here today. And now I am so singing it!! That said, Happy Monday and week ahead now :)

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