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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #302

Updated on March 30, 2020

Happy End of March

A strange phenomenon I’ve noticed: the older I get, the faster time passes. How does that happen? It seems to defy known scientific laws, doesn’t it? And yet I know it to be true. LOL

And it’s not just for us old folks. When I was in school, summers always sped by quicker than school-year months. How odd!

Just random thoughts floating around in my head, but it is time to set them aside and deal with the Mailbag. We have a “ton” of questions awaiting my attention, so let’s get to it.

The Mail Room
The Mail Room

Your Daughter Wants to Be a What?

From Jackie: “My daughter is in high school, two years from college, and she tells me she wants to be a Journalism major and be a writer when she graduates. I’m excited for her, of course, but I’m also a bit nervous about her choice. Is there any money to be made in writing? Seriously? I can’t wrap my brain around her future. Help me to relax, please!”

Sorry, Jackie, I’m not a drug dealer!

A joke, folks! I told a funny!

Jackie, obviously you are a bit concerned, but I’m thrilled that your daughter wants to be a writer. Seriously, I think it is great when any kid follows a passion. Of course, she isn’t my daughter, so my opinion comes at no cost to me at all.

Sure she can make a living writing. As long as there are magazines there will be a need for writers. As long as there are online newspapers there will be a need for writers. I could go on and on. The market for professional writers is strong if you don’t consider those who write novels or non-fiction works, and the list of available jobs is as long as my arm.

I don’t believe the freelance market will dry up at all. I might also suggest, though you didn’t ask for it, that your daughter take a course or two in marketing. It certainly can’t hurt her to do so.

So relax, Jackie. Writing is a noble profession, one which can, and will, pay your daughter well if she works at it.

But if she tells you she wants to be a novelist, be afraid. Be very afraid! LOL

Product Writing

From Robert: “I actually write articles about different products, kind of like a review of products. My website does okay, but I want it to do better than okay. Do you have any suggestions?”

Robert, without seeing your website, or a sample of your articles, it’s a bit tough to answer that question. I will pass on some wisdom, though, that was given to me many years ago.

Remember this regarding marketing: people do not want to know the technical aspects of a product. Few are interested in how it is made or any of that “boring,” nuts and bolts stuff. They want to know what that product will do for them. They want to know how their lives will be improved by purchasing that product. This really is the key to all advertising: appealing to the customer’s basic needs in some way.

Take a look at your articles and ask yourself if you are giving your readers that information. I suspect you may not be doing it.

Articles about products will never grow old
Articles about products will never grow old

Blog Writing

From Charise: “What do you think is the most important thing to remember when writing a blog? I want to start a blog about being a teen mother, but I’m not sure what “angle” to take with it.”

Wow, Charise, what a great question. I know a lot of blog writers who should pay attention to my answer to your question. LOL Now everyone who has a blog that I’m following is wondering if I’m talking about their blog. You know that’s true, right? Well relax, I’m not talking about yours.

You can ask ten blog writers that question, Charise, and I’m willing to bet you will get at least five different answers. Keep that in mind because what I’m about to tell you is my opinion only.

First, determine who your target audience is and write to them.

Second, get personal!

Third, be a storyteller!

Fourth, remember that you can’t please everyone.

Fifth, be consistent and reliable!

If you need clarification of any of those points, ask for it in the comment section.

Help on a Children’s Book

From Denise: “Some great questions in this one. I have one. You see I think I need your help on becoming a better writer. I've never thought of myself as a writer. I'm an illustrator and never had any ambitions to be anything else. However, I got a story from my sister who refuses to do any of the writing. It's too good not to follow through with but I feel like my writing is just so lame. It has potential but it just lays there and snoozes. How much do you charge for your monthly tutoring again? Can you help with a children's book? It's different than novel writing because you aren't expected to write more than 500 to 1000 words but they have to be entertaining, contain an introduction to the character, deliver a conflict and then resolution in just those few words. I feel like I'm stumbling around in the dark. Help! I have all this time on my hands and just don't seem to be able to deliver the goods.”

Storytelling is storytelling is storytelling, Denise. You can quote me on that. Whether it is one of my “Shadow” novels or you writing to kids or Hemingway writing from Cuba, storytelling is storytelling is storytelling. I may not have experience with children’s books, but I have experience with storytelling. Hook up with me and we’ll chat a bit.

Travel Articles

From Liz: “I was especially interested in your comment about our writing being a distraction from the horror of this time as I have a dilemma. I recently returned from a trip abroad, just in time it now seems, and I have been working on a hotel article since. At a time when travel is out of the question is it appropriate to still be publishing travel articles? Or could they count as a welcome distraction? What do you think?”

Travel may be out of the question right now, Liz, but planning and daydreaming about traveling is definitely not out of the question. Besides, your travel articles are basically timeless. When you write about a resort in Genoa, that article will be valid today and valid in ten years, unless the resort burns down and no longer exists.

I say go for it and go for it with gusto. Now is the time to increase your writing, not decrease. When this social-distancing directive ends, people are going to flee their homes as quickly as possible, and you better believe they are planning their escapes right now.

If I wrote travel articles, I would be writing them as quickly as possible right now.

Travel articles will always have a market
Travel articles will always have a market

Alternate Endings

From Zulma: “I'd like to get your thoughts on alternate endings. After much determination, I finally finished a mammoth tome of fan fiction. For reasons I'm trying to fathom, the author gave us a choice of two endings, one happy, one sad. (They could both be happy or sad, I suppose, depending on how the readers felt about the characters.)

“This bugs me. Could the author truly not make up his/her mind how to end the story or is it just fan service. Maybe I'm just being picky but I like one ending, even if it's an open one.”

Zulma, it would not only bug me, it would annoy me to no end. There was a lot of that “crap” written during the Great Awakening of the Sixties, and it all annoyed me. I’m all for artistic freedom but dammit, a story needs an ending, and I don’t want to choose what that ending will be.

There used to be a series of children’s books published in the late Eighties. I don’t remember what they were called, but I know it gave you choices. The main character would have a decision to make, and you could choose the decision. Choose one way and turn to Page 18 and the story would continue from there. Choose another way and turn to Page 50 and the story took a different turn.

Annoying to the 10th degree for me!

And Now We’ve Run out of Time

Not only is it moving quickly, but now I’ve run out of it.

What’s a guy to do?

Until next week, I wish good health and happiness for all of you. Thanks for joining me this week. Rest assured I’ll have another installment for you next week, good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

And if you are looking for a writing coach, give me a shout-out at holland1145@yahoo.com. I work cheap for friends.

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Lora! Very nice to hear from you again. I hope this finds you healthy and safe. Thanks for taking the time to visit.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      7 weeks ago

      Wonderful mailbag, Bill. Storytelling is storytelling as you say, whether it's for children or adults. You have to make that story intriguing and want your reader to be excited about turning the next page to see what happens. I agree with you about alternate endings. Whether I like an ending or not, I just want the author to finish the story with one ending! Thanks Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your kind words, Li-Jen! Keep writing my friend, and be healthy.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      2 months ago

      Hi Bill, you are an inspiration in that you keep writing and we need that motivation to live during these times. Interesting question about the choice of ending. Good to see a variety of writers or bloggers over here. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It could very well be, Zulma. Let's just hope we aren't part of that reset. lol Happy Weekend my friend. We made it to another one.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 months ago from United Kingdom

      You don't suppose this is the universe's equivalent to pressing the reset button, do you? lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, it's my favorite place in the U.S. Misery loves company because I wanted to go there this spring too. :) Thank you and be safe, my friend.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      2 months ago from San Diego California

      Very cruel of you to post a picture of Old Faithful up there. My wife wanted me to take her to Yellowstone for her birthday in late May, now it looks like that might not happen. Shame on you, aggravating our isolation with photos of the great outdoors!

      You know I'm kidding. Sheltering in place is made better by the mailbag. Stay well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, it will be interesting to see, for sure. We are headed for seismic changes in the way we live, me thinks.

      Happy Thursday to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rochelle! I am safe and healthy,my friend, and I wish the same for you. Have you found your passion and goal?

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill.

      I wonder how many companies will carry on with teleworking. They might see it as more cost-effective and continue. Fewer cars on the road, better for the environment. But people are social creatures. Many may not do well working in isolation. I suppose we'll see.

      Good day to you.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      2 months ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      Thank you for being always thoughtful :) Recently I got an opportunity to work as a journalist but let that opportunity pass away as I wasn't really confident in my writing skills. Yes it's good to have a passion and a goal. Hope you are safe and healthy Sir Billy :) I think you are getting wiser with the passing of age. Take care and may God bless you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      "Choose Your Own Adventure" was the name of the series I was thinking about.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That doesn't sound familiar, Meg. Maybe I can find them today with a search. Thanks for sharing that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon...LOL!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      William, it really is a labor of love for me, but thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, you and I are on the "same page" regarding dual-ending books. I don't want to work while I'm reading.

      Safe so far, thanks! Hoping the same for you. Now we are fine; I have a lot of concerns about the future when they lift restrictions on the public. Should Bev go back to work? What if she goes back too early? Lots to think about.

      Stay safe and be happy, my friend.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      2 months ago

      Wikipedia has an article on "Secret Path" books or "choose your own adventure" which might be the books you were thinking of?

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      2 months ago from Texas

      Ok, then piss your reader

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      A pretty heavy mailbag this week, Bill. All good questions, and of course, all good answers. I know the mailbag takes time, so let me just say, how much I appreciate all you do - and I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels that way. Thank you, sir.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      2 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill. Hope all is well in your little corner of the world.

      For what it's worth, I say go ahead and write that travel article. I enjoy reading about other places even though I know I will never travel to them. It's informative and feeds the imagination. Double win.

      I remember those dual-ending books. I read a couple but quickly became frustrated at all the page flipping. I felt it disrupted the flow of the narrative.

      Have a great week and stay safe.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, 63? You're still a young pup! lol

      That furniture was crafted by a friend of ours here in Olympia. He's an artist/photographer by trade. Pretty talented guy.

      Be safe and well, my friend, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm happy to hear that, Rajan! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for that, MizB! Good information about writing as a career. As for planting, we are at least another two weeks away from that happening. The ground is saturated and it's still freezing at nights. Sigh!

      Be safe and healthy, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You can count on normalcy from me, Alyssa. Maybe a bit boring, but normalcy in spades. :) Happy Tuesday my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Dora! Thanks for the encouraging news about writing for a living.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Too funny, Mr. Happy! Archaeologist? Oh, I can only imagine your parents' response to that decision. About the same as my dad when I said I would love to be a writer.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I agree that the older I get, the more time seems to fly by. It's strange really. Some days seem to drag, but as a whole the years are zipping by so fast. How in the hell did I just turn 63????

      I love the photo of the rustic furniture and pottery farther up the page. Do you know who crafted the tables out of tree limbs? They are so creative and really appeal to me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Bill! I love it! Happy writing my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Which is so cliche, Shannon, that it would annoy me as well. lol Just give me an ending and I'll live with it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The voice of experience and reason has spoken. Thank you Heidi!

      Yes, self-isolation suits me quite well, thank you. I'm being very productive, thank you. :) And I hope the same for you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great perspective and insights, Meg! Thanks for sharing that. I wish I could think of the name of that series of books. Drove me bonkers! lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks a lot, Liz! I know a little bit about a lot of topics, master of none. lol Be safe!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No dragging of time at all, Peggy! It moves much too quickly, my friend.

      Thank you and Happy Tuesday to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good to hear, Denise! Remember, you are a storyteller, even when writing to kids.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! Me and the dogs walk daily so no worries. There is no way they let me forget. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I always appreciate your loyal following.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela. All is well in our neck of the woods. I hope the same for you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm happy to hear that, Mitara. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Your two cents are worth much more than that, Flourish. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell, and I wish the same to you.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      2 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Your responses to the different forms of writing are an educative experience. Thank you.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 months ago from Beautiful South

      Good evening, Bill, better late than never. What an interesting mailbag this week. Not your usual run-of-the-mill questions. My favorite is the one from Jackie, and being a journalist, I'm going to chime in. There are so many paying jobs for people with journalism degrees that you need not worry about her being able to work. But if you are concerned about her making money, steer her toward medical writing, like medical journals. Unless she lucks into a lucrative ad agency creative writing position, medical writers are usually higher paying jobs. Wish I'd known that and got some training in the medical profession years ago (she would need that). However, in the later years, my legal editing job wasn't too bad as far as salary goes, especially for little ole Arkansas. To be a legal writer, though, she would need a law degree. That, I don't have and didn't want. I preferred the editing and doing rewrites.

      I hope you and Bev, also your furred and feathered friends are well and enjoying this more moderate weather. We're about ready to set the plants outside. How about you?

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      2 months ago from Ohio

      What an amazing mailbag this week! So many nuggets of wisdom to take away, thank you! In these uncertain, chaotic times, it's nice to have a little slice of normality. :) Have a wonderful week my friend!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      For further consideration to Jackie's question, I'd like to offer that I have a close relative who makes a decent living as a writer. If the individual has the passion and the discipline to follow the tracks, add your encouragement.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      Well, I think I ate too much and it's preventing me from much thinking. May be a good thing, haha!!

      I like the different ending idea. I never read a book like that but I suppose it would be a little frustrating. Humans like certainty, huh?

      Travel articles I don't think are inappropriate at all. I was thinking today ... haha ... see, thinking can be a problem but anyway: are Wuhan jokes too soon? Haha!!

      "Your Daughter Wants to Be a What?" - That reminded me of my sister in highschool, telling my parents she wanted to be an archaeologist. Haha!! That went well, let me tell You ...

      Alrighty, I'm gonna stop here. I ate way too much. This quarantine can't go on like this much longer. I need activities outside. How long can one keep a wolf inside?

      Thanks for the writing. All the best!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      2 months ago from Massachusetts

      Another great mailbag, Bill. You inspired me to start a new travel hub today. People may not be traveling now, but when this crisis ends they will be itching to hit the road. Have a great week.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      2 months ago from Texas

      Yay for the mailbag to remind me that it's Monday! I've lost track of my days, for the most part.

      Whoever thought alternate endings were a good idea must've had a lot of time on their hands. I've read a couple of crappy endings that made me angry or disappointed, but I can never forget the one you read first. The only way I could see something like that working is if maybe the main character was dreaming or something and woke up to the "real" happy ending.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      2 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday, Coronavirus Edition No.????

      Re: Writing Career? Yes, dive into writing in college. But be more open to careers that involve writing, as opposed to a writing career. The former will offer more opportunities.

      Re: Product Writing. Ugh! The dreaded product review websites and blogs! I know, they can get a lot of hits while the product is new or hot. But these quickly become dated and can't gain traffic for the long haul unless you're constantly churning out material. Speaking from experience.

      Re: Travel Articles. I was just contacted by someone else via Facebook about starting a travel blog. I cannot imagine it right now. But, hey, whatever gets you through this. I think the real issue is what does the writer expect from writing travel articles now? If it's money from advertising, forget it. If it's just a personal and pleasant distraction, why not? Just don't get confused.

      At this point, I can barely remember the beginning of March. It has seemed like an inordinately long month. And, yes, humans do mark the passage of time differently than by the clock. Hope you're enjoying the hours of self-isolation this time offers. Stay well!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      2 months ago

      Another great mailbag. Funny, I used to love those "choose what happens next" books but I always went back and made sure I took every possible choice, otherwise I felt cheated by having bought a book where I couldn't read all of it. I was a management trainer for a number of years and we used to have "stories" like that (on printed cards) for managers to follow to make choices in different staffing situations. It was surprising how many managers would not talk to their staff about different situations in work and how much better that made situations if you gave the worker the chance to put their "side".

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Thanks for the advice and encouragement, Bill, which is always appreciated by so many of us. I am amazed at how many different strands and areas of writing you have covered in this mailbag. I admire the depth of your knowledge and your versatility.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      You always give good advice in this weekly installment of the mailbag. I agree with what you wrote to Liz about her hotel article. People will still wish to travel, and even if they never make it to the exact spot, it is still interesting to see and learn about it.

      As to time going faster these days, it sure seems like it at my age! It no longer drags as it did when I was a youth. Ha!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      2 months ago from Fresno CA

      Thanks for your advice. I'm working on my children's story and making lots of revisions. I don't know if it's better but it's different.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Well, I do not have a question, but it is so good to see people still planning and wanting to learn. Have a great week, stay safe and healthy. Don't forget to take that walk with Maggie and Toby.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      There are some interesting questions and articles in this article, Bill. I hope you have a productive and safe week.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      You gave some excellent advice, as always, on a good variety of topics today. I relate to your opening comments about how fast time flies as we age. LOL I hope you and Bev stay safe and healthy.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      2 months ago from South Africa

      Great advice,

      Thank you for sharing,

      Enjoyed the read

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 months ago from USA

      Because we write evergreen article ms ideally, don’t pay attention to a momentary blip in interest about travel. Just do it! That’s my two cents.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      2 months ago from England

      Great advice as always Bill, with some answers and questions I wouldn't even have thought of. Take care, and keep safe.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Verlie, I think I speak for many when I say we are all excited about your new offerings in April.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about collaboration. True words there.

      Be safe, my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Mary! I have trouble drawing stick figures. I have too much respect for art to even try. :)

      Happy Monday to you and thank you. Stay safe my friend.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      2 months ago from Canada

      Morning Bill, what a great mailbag today, awesome resource. I have an artist friend who's been hugely successful with illustrating Children's books. Collaborating with a known author has been the key for her. Hope you and your family, and all your readers are staying safe and well. April poetry month begins tomorrow, so you can guess what I'll be doing for the next 30 days. Cheers Bill!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika, and you stay safe and healthy as well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All great advice, Linda. Thanks for sharing that. For sure, the ability to communicate clearly is a talent which will never be out of style.

      Be safe my friend, and Happy Monday to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita, for your insights. I do understand the rationale for alternate endings. It's just not my cup of tea. :) But I'm a work in progress so perhaps my tastes will change in time.

      Blessings to you always, buddy!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      2 months ago from Brazil

      Fabulous questions this week.

      I've been flapping about like a loose sail in a gale recently. Your reminder about how to describe a product was what I needed to hear.

      Likewise, the blog information will help with work that is on my to do list.

      I'm the opposite of Denise, I have a story but my drawing skills are lacking.

      Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mike! I have my dad to thank for the humor. He was always able to laugh during tough times. I was a lucky kid!

      Be safe my friend, and thanks again for the kind words.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! We are doing well in our little virus-free zone of living. We will just hunker down and make the best of the situation. Best wishes and and good health to you and your extended family.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday Janine! Healthy and productive I can do. Stay safe my friend, and thanks for the visit.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Bill keep safe and take care. This is a nightmare that is going on and most people are not sued to staying home. I appreciate your inspiring hub.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I have some words of encouragement for Jackie. Being a writer can be more than writing for a newspaper or magazine. My younger daughter majored in Journalism and worked for 4 years at a daily paper. As you know that profession has changed but she still uses her ability to communicate by writing press releases, editing brochures, and preparing training manuals for the state agency she now works for. The ability to write clearly and well is needed by many employees, but hard to find. (I've seen examples of the things she's had to fix and it's horrifying).

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 months ago from london

      You're probably right about this two different endings thing, but it does bother a lot of people. Me rarely, but I have a very powerful poem, one of my favourites, that ends with despair. It is already a Sonnet but I added two lines that changed or gave hope to the ending. My character, really, as it has a sense of wanting to lift ... to elevate.

      Finally, I see poets going on stage with two different sets of poems sometimes. They have trouble deciding what to read and so they ask the audience to decide. Don't you ever get to the end of a work and leave it, but then feel a little sad about the ending?

      302 and counting. Ha ha. Stay safe Bro.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      2 months ago from Missouri

      I may not always comment on your Mailbag, but I do quite often read it and think about your insight. Bill, if not for you there would be far fewer authentic authors in the world. Thank you for your good sense, your great advice and most of all, for being there when we need you most. Oh, and your humor! We really need your humor right now! Take care Sir William.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 months ago from SW England

      I can't stand stories which have no definite end and nor do I want to choose. I want to be entertained with no effort!

      Lots of people love to travel vicariously and that is going to be the only way to do it at the moment. It's great to visit places from your front room, so your advice is spot on - do it now and do it copiously!

      May you and yours stay safe and well, bill!

      Ann

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      2 months ago from New York, New York

      Happy Monday, Bill and also wishing you a healthy, productive week ahead now, my friend!! :)

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