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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #303

Updated on April 6, 2020

A Cold Spring but Warm Hearts

We aren’t even close to planting a garden yet. Oh, we have the seeds and yes, we definitely have the time, but the soil is just too wet, and the temps keep dropping down to freezing at night. So far we have garlic and potatoes in the ground because, well, those two are pretty hardy and can handle some adverse conditions.

Pretty much like all of us these days.

I hope this finds you well and healthy and happy. There sure are a lot of new articles on HP lately. Amazing what happens when people have spare time on their hands.

As you know, every Monday the Mailbag arrives, a welcomed distraction from the daily news.

So let’s get to it!

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!

Really, a Memoir?

From Joel: “I know you have encouraged us, in the past, to write our memoirs, but I just can’t see anything in my life worth writing about. I’m thirty-three and I’ve lived a pretty boring life. What do you think of that?”

Joel, I think you are living with self-delusion.

What do you think of that? LOL

I just don’t buy it, Joel, or anyone else who thinks that. Human beings are fascinating creature. There are 7.5 billion of us, and we are all wired differently. That in itself makes you, and your story, unique. You have experienced hardships. We all have. You have had victories. We all have. You have bled and struggled and celebrated and laughed and mourned. We all have.

Your story is relatable to 7.5 billion people.

So write the damned thing and quit hiding behind the “my life is boring” excuse.

And, if you need help, I'm your man!

If I can write one, you can write one!
If I can write one, you can write one!

Hot Topics for Writers

From Cherise: “With the COVID-19 thing going on, what do you think will be popular writing topics in the months ahead? I’m thinking in terms of HP and going viral and all of that, how to rack up a big number of views?”

How-To article are always good, Cherise, and by the way, I love your name. It’s a musical name and it feels good saying it.

Back to your question….how to downsize…DIY repairs….how to plant a garden….how to save money around the house….how to keep kids occupied with fun activities….

In the months ahead, people are going to want to save money. They are going to take up new activities. They hopefully will become more self-efficient, and they will be looking for articles which can guide them.

Now is the time to write those articles. Get busy and you should see some supplemental income in a couple of months.

How to raise chickens!
How to raise chickens!

Jumping Between First and Third Person

From Andrea: “What do you think of alternating between first and third person when writing a novel? I’m thinking of that approach for my next novel, but I’ve never done it before and I wonder if it would be confusing to the readers.”

I’ve done it several times in several novels, Andrea, and I don’t think it’s confusing at all for the reader. If anything, it’s a bit of a challenge for the writer, who needs something like a split-personality to pull it off well. Lol

I’ve also seen it done quite well by some famous authors, so I’m pretty confident in telling you that you can do it.

Now Is the Time

From Megan: “I have no more excuses. With this social distancing, and with me home from work with all the time in the world, I can’t use the “I don’t have enough time” excuse for not writing a novel. I only have one question: how do you do it? Seriously, how do you start a novel? It all seems so overwhelming to me. I think you’ve said that you start with an opening chapter and the story just grows from there, but I think that sounds like witchcraft. HELP!”

Megan, I will never deny a damsel in distress. Help is on the way!

I think what you are referring to, Megan, is the act of overcoming the fear attached to doing the task. To anyone who has never done it, the idea of writing 75,000 words in a cohesive form is daunting. Many freeze and do not get beyond the idea. My suggestion to you, and to others who feel the way you do, is to break it down and swallow your bitter pill in small bites.

Consider this approach:

  1. Plan your story
  2. Build your characters
  3. Create a setting
  4. Decide upon the inciting incident
  5. Pinpoint key moments, or sparks

Each step is crucial, but taking it slowly, step by step, will get you through the door and safely down the path. Let’s take a brief look at each of these.

Plan your story – if you want to call this outlining, that’s fine, but you have to put down, on paper, some sort of story thread to follow. The original plan can be pretty basic, but it’s a good idea to jot down some sort of blueprint to follow.

Build your characters – this is fun! You get to create characters. Make them interesting. Write a character biography for each of the main ones.

Create a setting – where is this story taking place? Be specific and be detailed when doing this.

Decide upon the inciting incident – something must happen to propel the story forward and to make it interesting to the reader, some conflict which the main character will spend the rest of the book trying to overcome.

Pinpoint key moments, or sparks – The formula I use is 15,000 words per spark. Throughout the book, there must be things that happen which will keep the story moving forward.

That should be enough to get you started! Good luck! And if you need a writing coach, get in touch with me at hollan1145@yahoo.com. I work cheap for fellow writers.

Rest Assured, Spring Will Arrive

One day we will wake up and it will be seventy degrees and sunny, and our hearts will be lifted and we’ll rush outside to gather in that wonderful warmth. Until then, dream of better days and plan that garden!

I hope you all have a safe, happy, and love-filled week.

Bill

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rosina! I appreciate you stopping by with input.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      12 months ago

      What a positive and cheerful article! I especially liked the part where you gave advice on novel writing. Thanks for sharing, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Peggy! We are having beautiful weather in the 60's and enjoying it greatly. Happy Easter to you as well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo! Life hasn't changed much for me. It's nice having Bev home for an extended vacation.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I hope you are enjoying warmer spring weather now. Just wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy Easter!

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      12 months ago from Tennessee

      We've already had 70 degree weather here, Bill, and I've been outside working every day for weeks now. Takes my mind off the bleak news. Some days up here on our hill we can almost forget there's a pandemic.

      This was a great Mailbag. Chock full of good information.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much,Li-Jen! I appreciate you and I hope you are well, my friend.

    • profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      12 months ago

      Hi Bill, wow you explain thoroughly! Like your answers to Megan. You're right about memoirs. I'm sure even talking about ordinary things enthusiastically helps. And you gave a good reply for hot topics. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lora! Cactus? I don't think I've ever seen a cactus in bloom. Pictures, sure, but not in person. I'm a Northwest kind of boy, through and through. :) But the walk with the dogs, that I can get into any old time.

      Enjoy your quiet time, and be safe!

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      12 months ago

      Bill, I really liked your suggestions for breaking the novel down into 5 parts. I think writing the outline for the story is a good way to start even for a short story and also the inciting incident which propels the story forward is something that may get us over the inertia of writing a novel which can be quite a daunting task! And pinpointing key moments or sparks which will keep the reader engaged. Spring is here where I live and the cactus are in bloom. A great time to take the pooches for walks and look at the moon over the mountains... a good time for reflection and for getting those ideas out on paper. Best wishes to our writer in residence!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! I always appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I think that is a wonderful use of your time, Flourish! I love it! Great quality time with your nephew is a win-win for sure.

      Stay safe and Happy Upcoming Weekend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is too funny, Nell! Talk about the perfect straight line leading up to a joke. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I did not see it, Sha, but I'll check it out.

      Spring is here! Beautiful week ahead with mild temps and no rain. We are rocking it in the garden. :)

      Be safe my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, there is no friggin' way I'm outlining anything. I did far too much of that in grade school and high school. No thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Prateek! I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know what's up with HP, MizB! Some of my comments appear two days later???? Why is that, I ask?

      All is well here. It was chilly here until this week, but now we have brilliant sunshine and temps on the 60's, so no complaints at all.

      Stay safe, my friend the witch!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Wednesday Shannon! Sorry I'm so late in responding. Too much sunshine is my excuse. You have kids at home. If I did I wouldn't get any writing done. Good luck, stay safe, and be healthy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Bill! That's a huge plus if you ask me. lol Good luck,buddy, and thank you for taking the time to visit me.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      Very interesting questions and great advice. I always keep learning from your mailbags. Thank you.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      I liked the advice you gave regarding where and how to start. As with any large venture, some degree of planning and forethought is required. The pollen here is so heavy that I don’t dare spend too much time outside for fear that allergies may convince me I have something more sinister. I have unfortunately traded in wonderful napping for another method of coping, as I now have my nephew with us. My sister works with COVID-19 patients and poses to high a potential risk to him because he’s asthmatic. We are learning to knit, I’m teaching him vocabulary and working on improving his writing skills, we are baking, doing puzzles, etc.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      12 months ago from England

      Great advice as always Bill. We are lucky with the weather this side of the Pond. In the 70s all week, lovely time to sit outside and take time out. Seeing your chickens reminded me of something funny in my town this week! Someone took a photo of two chickens happily going for a walk down the middle of the road! and yes, the jokes came out. Why did the chicken, etc. LOL! you take care.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All is well here, Alyssa. So far Bev and I have managed to stay healthy and not get on each other's nerves too much. I hope you get a break in the weather soon. We have glorious sunshine and temps in the 60's, perfect gardening weather.

      Take care my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, your memoir would be fascinating. Please write it!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      We were out in the garden all day yesterday, Ruby,and it sure helped my mood.

      Happy Tuesday dear friend, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Too bad, Denise. How about I plant a plant in your honor? A small gesture of friendship from me to you.

      Blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that, Meg! I've never used one but I can see how effective it would be.Thanks for mentioning them.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I completely agree with you, Heidi, and I like your description of it.

      Happy Tuesday to you. Have a safe and productive week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It would indeed, Manatita! It would indeed!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. Great advice on memoirs. Cuckoo birds? You have cuckoo birds? That is so cool!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, you had a lot to say and it was all good stuff. Thanks for the tip on seeds and Amazon. I'll check it out, thank you very much. As for having someone else do my shopping, I can't see that happening for me. I have such weird tastes. I'm sure it would take forever to explain to someone all the weird stuff I look for. lol

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      12 months ago from Central Florida

      I hope the weather quits being fickle in your neck of the woods, Bill. Spring has officially sprung!

      This past Saturday (April 4th), Janet Reid's post was called "Memoir vs. Novel". Did you see that?

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      12 months ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      Of course, there are two approaches to novel writing, both of which have been used to great success by famous authors. The first approach involves meticulous planning, outlining, building characters in advance, etc. The second method is to wing it, to let the story tell itself as it goes along.

      Now because I am lazy and of limited attention span, I favor the second technique. But I have also been thinking lately that life is random, it is not something plotted out. Things sneak up behind us and kick our butts without warning. They steer our story in unexpected directions. Perhaps art should imitate life. Any thoughts on this? Great mailbag.

    • PrateekJain24 profile image

      Prateek Jain 

      12 months ago from Madhya Pradesh, India

      Wonderful article, I really like the information you shared. Thank you for sharing.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      12 months ago from Beautiful South

      Where have you been hiding, Bill? I went looking for your mailbag because I was worried that something had happened to you. I didn't get any notifications today, and when I went to the feed, the mailbag wasn't there either. What gives with HP?

      I especially liked your answer to Megan's question. I giggled when she said starting and writing a novel by your method sounded like witchcraft. But that's the way I write, long or short, so does that make me a witch? I've never been an outliner; even had to cheat on that in school. Write the story first, then go in and do the outline.

      I guess you could call it spring here with some days in the 80s, except that the nights are still so cool that we haven't put the tender plants outside yet. Aren't you having unusually cool weather for the upper Pacific costal states? Stay safe and be well, my friend.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      12 months ago from Texas

      Happy Monday, Bill! I hope that you and yours continue to stay healthy and happy. There's a lot of anxiety out there right now even for us introverts.

      I should have more time to write, right? But I'm not finding that I do. It' as a combination of procrastination and too much distraction by way of family. That, and work must go on even though I already work from home.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      12 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. I am home but working remotely, which means I have even less time than I had before as it seems to take twice as long to get my work done. With everyone home and online internet connections have slowed and my employer wasn’t really ready to have thousands of people working remotely so their servers are overloaded and slow. But at least I get to work in my pajamas if I so choose.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      12 months ago from Ohio

      Hello Bill! What a fantastic mailbag this week! Thank you for the topic suggestions. This is something I'm struggling with this month.. what to write about? You gave me a lot to consider! I also appreciate your wisdom and advice on point of view as well as the steps to writing a novel.

      I am just itching to get out in my garden.. but it's just too wet here right now and the temps also fluctuate from one extreme to the next. It's just too soon. I did, however, start my green peppers inside. Fingers crossed that they actually grow. ha!

      I hope you are all staying healthy and safe up there! Have a wonderful week!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Always great counsel, and on the memoir question I couldn't agree more; I can't even find an excuse. You talk to me, too. Thanks.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      12 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I am inclined to get depressed when anything unordinary happens, and boy this virus is as unordinary as it gets, but it is beautiful here today, 70 degrees. Soon I will plant some tomatoes and do a little bit of outside painting, so all is well in Southern Il. Take care, stay safe, be happy.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      I dream of a garden although I know it won't happen for me. This apartment is limiting and my husband doesn't like house plants or I'd fill the place with greenery. Oh well. Happy writing.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      12 months ago

      I love using mind maps to plan things out. I hang large blank sheets of paper from my noticeboard and add bits to it as I am passing or think of them. A novel, a holiday, a presentation, an academic article - mind maps can cover them all.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      12 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday... if it is indeed Monday. One day blending into the other.

      Anyway, I can't add anything more to this week's topics. I agree, though, that articles on saving money, keeping healthy, etc. will be hot topics for the balance of this year. Even if a lot of the lockdowns are lifted, it will not be an immediate return to "normal." In fact, I predict a new normal. It won't be recovery, it will be recalibration.

      Enjoy another week of self isolation!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      12 months ago from london

      Chuckle.

      I thought you are always with me in Spirit, bro. I was speaking of when the fear dissipates and our Hearts are dancing ... when our intuitive feel, is once more so full of joy, that we can hear the nightingales sing. Would be a metaphorical and virgin Spring, no? Lol.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Some good questions answered informatively, as always.

      I agree with your advice on Memoirs. Everyone has his own story to tell. And, there might be some or other useful point in everybody's life that might be beneficial to others.

      We are already in the Spring season here with the cuckoo birds singing merrily from the trees around.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      12 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      Bill, I don't have time to write, and scant time to comment right now. I have been trying to get my garden in for a week now. I have strawberry plants that I ordered and they came bare root. I stuck them in a pan with some water, and they greened right up. I have a great planter for them. It is a round aluminum bed with three layers and a sprinkler hear coming out of the top one. It will look great and it is the perfect time of the year for here.

      I also have 3 4x4 raised beds, and a bunch of big tubs to plant in. I have to get some potato starts, because the potatoes I bought to sprout in a bag, got eaten when my son moved in. He and his girlfriend broke up and he needed a quick place to go. Just in time for the lock down here and the run on the grocery stores. They are finally starting to have some food in the stores and I need to go get some more. Unfortunately, I am one of those with the breathing complication, that they tell you to stay home. Hard to have other people spend you money on groceries, even when they know how you shop. My daughter would be on the phone with me the whole time.

      Those who need plants and seeds, should go check out Amazon. I bought a pack of heirloom seeds and keep them in the freezer. They will last up to 10 years in the freezer. I store all seeds in the freezer now. The packaging also tells how to harvest your own seeds. I have been using out of that package and the harvested seeds for 3-4 years now. Now all I need are some fruit trees, and I will be set. I told my kids that I want fruit trees and maybe I will get some for Mother's Day. I even told them what kind I want.

      Those who have painful memoirs, should definitely write them, even if they don't publish them. It is an incredibly therapeutic thing to do. I cried a lot, but it helped getting them out and I don't feel so bogged down now.

      Much longer post then normal, but I guess I had a lot to say today.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Spring to you, William, and thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It has arrived, Manatita, with brilliant sunshine this morning and the promise of mild temperatures. I have a date with our garden set for a couple hours from now. :)

      Blessings always my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well best wishes to you, Shaloo. I,too, hope it all goes away soon.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! You are correct, social distancing becomes difficult when the weather improves. We have noticed that on our walks with the dogs.

      Good luck with that present and past tense dilemma. I'm sure you will work it out.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's probably good advice, Eric! lol I heard you were out traveling about. I hope it was restorative for you, buddy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I like that suggestion, Chitrangada Sharan...learn new skills. Bev and I were just talking about that yesterday.

      Be safe and happy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great advice, Randy, and that's something I need to do as well. Thanks for reminding me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Old seeds are always iffy, Peggy. Randy is right, order online and you are good to go.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome Ann! The sun has arrived, thank the gods, and warmer temps too. I'm heading out to the garden as soon as I respond to these comments.

      Wishing for you a lovel week of personal space living.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela. I just want people to stop thinking of their lives as "ordinary."

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday Linda! I haven't even looked at my HP traffic. Why depress myself? lol Have a safe and loving week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine and Happy Monday to you! It's easy being me if you know what you are doing. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I have work waiting for me in our garden as well. As soon as I finish up a couple writing things. The sunshine has arrived.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika! Wishing you wellness and safety as well, my friend.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      12 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Happy Spring, Bill, Thanks for another mailbag loaded with lots of goodies. It just keeps rolling along.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      12 months ago from london

      Yes, Bro.

      A lot more articles and some religious one too. You probably worry about one or two, right? Still, I always say that movement is better then standing still or stagnant, like a swamp.

      You are truly visionary in your response to Cherise. She may even want to include ' Inspiring words from those on the front line.' She can start gathering the info now.

      Spring will arrive, bro. I hold my glass of juice to you there. Cheers!

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      12 months ago from India

      On the contrary, I haven't written anything now that I am at home due to lockdown. I am reading, watching movies and spending quality time with family. Hope this ongoing situation ends soon like a bad dream!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      Plenty of food for thought this week, Bill. In the UK, the weather has got warmer, but this causes issues with too many people out and not keeping to social distancing. I often think writing a biography about someone else is easier than a memoir/autobiography. Everyone I know has an interesting story of their life.

      I appreciate you hub tips. I'm expecting a flurry of 'how to' articles.

      I noted with interest your thoughts on moving between 1st and 3rd person narrative. I was debating over moving between present and past tense descriptions today.

      Thanks for the great novel writing tips.

      Stay well and have a good week, Bill.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bill I think being out incommunicado in the Wilderness I missed the gold rush. LoL.

      I was thinking of writing a memoir but my lawyer told me to plead the 5th instead.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Happy Monday Bill, and thanks for this refreshing installment.

      Useful questions and helpful advice from you. You are right that people have more time, while staying at home. It's good to write more, and read more. It's also a good time to learn new skills.

      Thank you and take care.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      12 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Order online, Peggy. There's plenty of online seed and plant sites.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      You are correct in that people who are staying home will be searching for ideas on how to spend their time. Thus articles that may fill that gap will become popular.

      I had some old seeds that are obviously past their expiration date. Our temps are warm, and they have been watered sufficiently, and yet, nothing is coming up. I have been avoiding going to nurseries because of COVID-19. We may not have much growing in our little garden this year.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      12 months ago from SW England

      Yes, we have loads of time. I'm spending as much as possible outside - in my own space, I hasten to add. I also have lots of silly things to get done, stuff I've put to one side because it didn't seem a priority. Now there is plenty of time so priorities don't matter. I just get on with whatever I see in front of me!

      Great advice for the stages of a novel. Also great encouragement for all of us to start those memoirs. I dip in and out of mine - I have to be in the mood and feel quite thick-skinned as some can be difficult to re-live!

      I hope you get some sunshine and higher temperatures. I'd send you some of ours but I haven't mastered that yet...

      Keep safe and well, bill.

      Ann

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      The cold weather will pass into beautiful sping days as it always does. I like your advice for the steps in writing a book. The steps you listed are clear and sound easy.

      Writing a memoir would take a lot of self reflection. Writng one at age 33 sounds young but I could be wrong about that. I hope you have a good week, Bill. Stay safe and healthy.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Happy Monday Bill. Good advice on hot topics. My article on how to bake bread is taking off (again), but nothing else seems to be picking up any speed. My daughter said that everyone staying at home on their computers would be a good thing for page views, but not so much. I'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

      Stay well my friend.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      12 months ago from New York, New York

      Happy Monday, Bill and truly wishing you a very, healthy and happy week ahead. Thanks for always just being you!! ;)

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      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, Bill it is good to see a healthy flow of new articles on HubPages. If this current virus has any positives that is one..giving many people more time to write while they are stuck at home. Another good mailbag, especially the instructions on how to go about writing a novel.I've been spending a couple of hours each day getting the garden sorted and it's looking good.

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      Devika Primic 

      12 months ago

      Hi Bill you have informed me of yet another interesting and positive hub. Writing in so many ways has opened my mind to be hopeful an positive. I see that you have that here too. Spring is warm an the best time of year for me. Keep well and stay safe.

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