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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #305

Updated on April 20, 2020

Are We Having Fun Yet?

I was thinking the other day about how incredibly blessed I am. I make money doing something I love to do. I don’t have to alter my lifestyle because of the pandemic. I really have no financial concerns. I have good health and I am surrounded by love.

Not bad at all!

Of course I understand that people are suffering, but this is my truth and my story. I am blessed!

I wish, for all of you, peace of mind during these hard times.

And now, for your entertainment and edification, I give you The Mailbag!

The Mail Room
The Mail Room

How Is Boredom Possible?

From Ann: “So, I have a question: How would you 'jump-start' anyone who claims to be 'bored'? What fire and damnation could you aim at them in order that they never felt bored again?! It's just a fun question so you can ignore it if you like, bill. I just can't understand those who say it.’

Honestly, Ann, I don’t either. I still have a fond memory of me saying those words to my father one Saturday morning when I was maybe ten or eleven. He told me he was pretty sure he could help me with that problem, and then I spent the next six hours doing yardwork.

There was an online friend who recently posted those words on Facebook. She was bemoaning the fact that the parks and beaches were closed in her city, and she was bored to tears. Quite frankly I found her moaning to be a bit insulting and insensitive. I would imagine all of those people in the ICU’s and on ventilators would be happy to be bored right about now.

I don’t know what to say to make people enjoy life more. I look around me and I see opportunity. Others look around and see a dismal landscape. Maybe it’s just the way we were raised.

Boredom? What boredom?
Boredom? What boredom?

Problems With the Law

From Mr. Happy: “Ohh, I got a question!! As I was starring at the "publishing rights" sub-title, I remembered one of my long-standing questions about writing: say I am writing a story, article, memoir and there are matters of illegalities being written about ... could that be considered as "evidence" in a court of law?”

I have to say, Mr. Happy, this one has never been asked in over five years. Congratulations on your originality.

I’m just guessing but I would say yes, your writings could be used against you. When posted online they become public record. Since it comes from you, it can’t be argued that it is hearsay. My gut feeling on this is never write about illegalities you may have performed. Never! Ever! Let that sleeping dog lay undisturbed, if you get my drift.

This actually falls under two categories of legal evidence, namely documentary and digital.

Which Way to Go on New Book

Also from Ann: “I have another question, bill, on a subject you might have already dealt with. I have several short stories which I'm trying to put together, as well as my 'Take a Word..' series. Which do you think would work better? I have a feeling it would be the short stories but even then I'm not sure if there's a big enough market for them. I would like your esteemed advice please.”

Ann, I’m going to vote for a short story anthology instead of the “Take a Word” series. I just think there is a bigger market for short stories, and that is nothing more than a gut feeling.

Having said that, neither is likely to garner you much in the way of royalties. A collection of short stories written by Stephen King has sold quite well, but that’s only because he was a famous author prior to publishing his short stories. If he had been an unknown, his collection would have collected dust.

The “Take a Word” series is unique, which is a mark on the plus side of the ledger. It might sell reasonably well with the proper type of marketing, but I just think that’s a tough sell, you know? Of course, back in 1975, Gary Dahl made quite a bit of money selling pet rocks, so with the proper marketing campaign, at the absolute best time, anything is possible.

As you well know, Ann, it’s a bit like catching lightning in a bottle. It’s possible, but the odds are against it. Still, I think you should go ahead. It costs absolutely nothing to self-publish either of them, so why not? Then, if you are feeling extra energetic, you can dazzle us all with your marketing skills.

How Is Voice Created?

From Angela: “I’ve read articles by you, Bill, about establishing our voice as writers, and I understand what you are saying. I guess what I’m asking is where does our voice come from? What is the main contributor to our writing voice?”

It’s a fascinating question, Angela, and I’m pretty sure I could write about twenty-thousand words on this topic.

I think voice comes from many sources, and I think it is partially intentional and partially a product of the life we have lived. Allow me to explain.

I have written a number of novels in a series called “The Shadow Series.” They are dark novels. They have violence flowing through them. My voice in them is a bit macabre, to say the least. Part of that “voice” in those novels was simply invented by me. I purposely developed that style for those books, but the fascination with evil, which is the central theme of the books, came from having Ted Bundy, infamous serial killer, as our paperboy when I was growing up. I think that fact also added to the voice I created.

The best example of my writing voice is in this response. I write, naturally, in a conversational manner, like you and I are sitting at a table, visiting as old friends do. I am a storyteller, but I’m the type of storyteller best exemplified by an old man sitting on a porch step, whittling on a stick, talking to his grandson. But even that is partially-contrived. I “set out” to write this way, so how natural is that?

I guess what I’m saying is there is no single answer to that question. I think your “natural voice” will come in time, with continued writing practice, but I also think you can alter your voice to suit a particular novel or short story, and I think all manner of voices are affected by who we are and what we have experienced during our lives.

End of sermon!

I was watching a movie with Lake Bell in it. For those who don’t know, Lake Bell is a brilliant comedic actress and writer, and she currently stars in a television series “Bless This Mess.” The movie she was in was filmed five years earlier than the television series, but it was the same Lake Bell, same mannerisms and same way to deliver a line.

Her “voice” shines through in everything she does.

I’m sure that example relates to the question in some way.

Creating your voice is a journey
Creating your voice is a journey

Are You Bored Yet?

You better not be, or you’ll have to answer to me and Ann. LOL

Thanks a bunch for stopping by. Stay safe and stay healthy. If you need a writing coach, you know how to find me. I work cheap and I get results.

You can also find me on my writing blog “Artistry With Words.

Until next week, remember, do all things with love.

bill

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)’

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      6 hours ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      The short answer there is no, how can I feel bored with so much going on?

      Having said that the last few days have been a really rough ride with me fighting off Pneumonia and ending up in hospital hooked up to an IV (really do not recommend it!).

      Okay, that's my 'moan' over. The last few days have reminded me how wonderful life really is, and how even the mundane can hold a wonder!

      I'm sat here at my office window watching the rainfall, it's only a gentle drizzle, but I'm seeing the life it's giving to our lemon tree (a tree we use the fruit from extensively) and just marvelling at nature.

      To those who say they're bored I'd say stop, grab a coffee and go just watch the birds in the trees, you'll find a world bursting with life and vitality.

      Sorry for going on a bit here, but I think we're on the same wavelength in many ways.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Agree, Rajan, on all counts.Thank you sir and blessings to you always.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      You are one of the lucky ones to live life without worries even in a difficult time like today. God bless you and also others who are not so lucky. Stay safe and healthy, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I did enjoy it, Zulma, thanks. As for the salt, I'm all out or I would. :) Happy Weekend, my friend. Take care!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Jo, I think yes, we've paid our dues and yes, we deserve some good times.

      Enjoy, my friend, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that's a win-win, Mel! I alleviated your boredom just a bit, and you raised my view total by one. :) Thanks buddy!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Hey, Bill, kitty just scratched me. Wanna rub some salt into that wound as well. lol (I kid, I kid.)

      Hope you enjoyed your Rice-a-Roni. :D

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      4 weeks ago from Tennessee

      I'm with you, Bill. We sit here atop our hill in late afternoon, build a fire in our fire pit, and watch the sun go down behind the trees. I feel so happy and content--and then a little guilty when I think of all the suffering going on out there. But maybe we've done a little suffering in our day to get here.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      4 weeks ago from San Diego California

      Not quite as bored as I was when I started reading. Great work.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! It's always nice having you stop by. I hear you about boredom. I have so many projects and just not enough hours.

      Be safe and blessings to you

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are never late, William. You just function in a different time zone. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I did not know robins used the same tree, Mr. Happy. How interesting! Learned something new today. Now I want to go out and make friends with a robin. I'm feeling slightly jealous of you right now. :)

      Take care my friend, and stay safe.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I will do that, Zulma! I think I'll whip up a batch of Rice-a-Roni for tonight. :) chicken flavor is my favorite.

      Be well my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Venkatachari M. Take care of yourself, and blessings to you always.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you for sharing another wonderful installment.

      All your answers are helpful, as always.

      No, I never get bored. I always keep myself busy. There is so much to do.

      Thank you and take care.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! Stay safe and healthy on this rainy April day.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Jim, I appreciate you taking the time to read this and comment. Don't be a stranger, now!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Mine sure did, Nithya! I learned a valuable lesson that moment.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad you liked it, Shannon! Thank you, and my blessings are always here. You too, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that attitude, Devika. It will serve you well through your lifetime.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 weeks ago from UK

      Thanks for another great mailbag. Boredom is not something I relate to well. The opposite is usually true, even in lockdown, of too many items on my to do list.

      I read your comments about legal issues with writing with interest.

      I am looking forward to Ann's book of short stories.

      I am now thinking of where my voice comes from!

      Wishing you an interesting week and good health Bill.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      4 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Who has time to be bored, Bill? Life carries on at a horrendous pace regardless of what's happening around us. Some very interesting questions this week, and thank you for your wisdom in the replies. Of course, I'm late, but somehow I always get here.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      4 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      Ohh, it's the same pair of Robins for sure. The male and I had a moment the other day, literally starring at each other. I waved. Said "hi". He just looked but looked very intensly.

      When I put-out flowers in the front yard in the Spring, he's always a few feet away from me, hopping around looking for worms. He's basically using me to do the digging for his worms, haha!!

      Robins use the same nesting area/tree, returning to it year after year. I love it! Love their singing too, although it starts really early. Like 4am early and their Tree home is right by the rooms I mostly hang-out in so, weather in this room, or in my bedroom, I can hear them all the time.

      After really cold nights, I always look from them in the morning. It amazes me how resilient they are: these tiny little things. Winds were nearly blowing the house away yesterday. I was a little worried for them.

      Anyway, that's a bit of my Robin stories. Haha!!

      Have a good day and week-end ahead!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Wow, I haven't had Rice-a-Roni since I left the States. That's something else not available here, so trying jazz up rice is another cooking challenge for me.

      Have a lovely day, Bill, and keep staying safe.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      This one is a great mailbag, Bill.

      Some unique and good questions have been posted and you answered all very nicely.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've included some thought-provoking information in this edition of the mailbag, as always. I hope you have a productive week, Bill.

    • profile image

      Jim Robison 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Bill, I am brand new to HubPages, and this is my first comment to the first article I have read. If most of the articles are like yours, then I'm sure in for a treat. I like your explanation of voice especially. As a high school English teacher, I have my students develop their voice by writing freewrites. Your explanation and examples marry the ideas of voice and audience well. Thanks.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 weeks ago from Dubai

      A great “The Writer's Mailbag: Installment”. Parents have their ways to help overcome boredom! They have plenty of chores to handout. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      4 weeks ago from Texas

      I particularly like the question and answer about voice in this mailbag. Stay blessed!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Bill I like your suggestions of staying at home and getting out of boredom. I notice that people do get bored. I am occupied with cooking, walking, sitting chatting, reading, house cleaning and time for myself. Watching movies, writing and keeping in touch with my family.I try to keep busy and do not focus on not having anything to do rather than focus on what I need to do and for how long I should do it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again Aishatu Ali!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      No Hamburger Helper, Zulma! That's an emergency if you ask me. :) I have rediscovered Rice A Roni...love that stuff, and I'm not ashamed to say so. :)

      Happy Tuesday my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, thanks for losing sleep to read the Mail today. Much-appreciated. Man, you guys are having some seriously cold April weather. I'll blow hard in your direction and see if that helps. lol

      The robin info was very cool. When winter won't let go, it's nice to see a sign like that. How do you know it's the same robins? Curious! I wouldn't know one from another.

      Be well and be safe. Blessings always!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Aishatu Ali!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll take you a step further, Peggy, and say boredom is impossible in my life. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It might be ego, Bill, or it might be stupidity. Me, I hide behind the characters I create. Much safer that way.

      Happy Tuesday my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, it may be boring to some, but it's necessary to understand it as a writer. Me,I go the creative writing route, make up characters, and let the reader guess what is truth and what is fiction. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alyssa! I can't imagine you ever being bored. You strike me as a bundle of energy, a lot like my Bev.

      Take care and stay healthy

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It's just life as usual for this boy, Dora, all the while feeling gratitude because I can say that.

      Blessings to you always

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for stopping by, Mary. I know you have your hands full. Best wishes to you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks MizB! Yeah, I like that explanation too. We''ll go with yours.

      It won't be long before I start complaining about the heat, too. I'll never understand why people move to Arizona to retire. 110 degrees is not retirement, it's hell. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your attitude and positive energy today, Ruby! It is good to be alive and well, for sure, and every single morning I remind myself of that and give thanks.

      Be safe, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You summed it up perfectly, Lora! Thanks for that. I agree, certainly regarding my novels. Read one of my novels and it's a trip through my psyche. No wonder I write dark mysteries. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my God, Nell, that guy deserved to be in jail just for stupidity. lol You made my day with that one.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I do think it's still April, Heidi, but I wouldn't bet money on it. Like you I'm having a hard time keeping track of the days. I'm constantly looking at my watch for the date, like I'm suddenly senile. lol

      Thanks for weighing in. I can always count on you.

      Happy Tuesday my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That's a great example, Flourish! Many a politician has had a comment from thirty years prior come back to haunt them.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Denise! One advantage of writing fiction is I can say a lot of things under a character's name and not get punished for it. lol As long as I change the names to protect the guilty. :)

      Blessings always

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kyler! Good information about the legalities. As for boredom, I'm waiting for the next rainy day so I can clean out the garage. There's always something to do.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I would be honored, Ann! Any old time you need me.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I get it, Mike! It's hard for a real worker to put on the brakes and find ways to fill in time. i started working at 15 and found that to be very true. I've settled into a nice routine now, but it took some time to reach that point.

      Be safe my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I hate to admit this, but I don't know what she planted. My job was soil preparation. Her job was planting since she is the crop expert. I know there are beans, peas, onions, and cukes, but not sure about the rest....oh, lettuce too.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Becky. If your kids don't get bored, I suspect you played a big part in that happening. Well done, Mom!

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Aishatu Ali 

      4 weeks ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      Thanks - entertaining article!

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Aishatu Ali 

      4 weeks ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      Thanks - entertaining article!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill.

      Yeah, I don't get that boredom thing either. Maybe people have gotten so used to being entertained by others via TV and movies, that it doesn't occur to them that they are capable of entertaining themselves. Hopefully, the lockdown will encourage bored people to take up hobbies and discover talents they never knew they had.

      At the moment, I'm keeping myself amused by coming up with new and exciting things to do with hamburger. Hamburger Helper is not available here so it's all on me. lol

      Have a great day, Bill.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      4 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      How would you 'jump-start' anyone who claims to be 'bored'? - My grade 11 history teacher told us (the students) one day, that: "If You say You are bored that means You are a boring person. Only a boring person doesn't know what to do with their time."

      Thanks for answering my question. What about if one wrote under an alias? Like Soren Kierkegaard, writing under the pseudonym of Johannes di Silentio to some say, stay away from any backlash from the Catholic Institution. Hunter S. Thomson was Raul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Well, we all know he was but in the book he was Raul Duke, not Hunter S. Thompson.

      Ted Bundy for a paper-boy ... haha!! There's an odd one.

      "I think your “natural voice” will come in time" - I say: "Do it with passion." Anything: cooking, writing, talking, walking ... anything, just add passion and from Mr. Erik's piece the other day: love. Honesty helps too. Haha!!

      Okay, You added the love part too at the end. It's needed and it shows when it isn;t there, be that in writing, cooking, ... all that stuff I said before.

      Man ... I was going to go to bed early. It's now half past one. Not that I got anywhere to go but still.

      You have yourself a good one! Send some rays of sun this way, it's bloody cold over here. Ohh, You know what's cool? A pair of Robins just came back for like the 4th year I think, in the tree next to my room here. Never knew much about Robins till this pair came. With them coming back year after year though, I had to learn a little about them. They say Robins arriving is a signal of Spring. Sure hope so.

      Okay, enough of me. Thanks for the writing, answers to the questions and all the very best!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I had to laugh to myself, finding out how your dad "cured" your feeling of being bored when you were a child. That sounds like something that my dad might have done. Ha! I never have enough time in the day to get everything on my list accomplished. Thus, it would be hard to feel bored.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      My mother always tells me a little boring is good every now and then. I wouldn’t know as life always has something to offer. Interesting question about writing about illegal matters. I guess I’m not sure why anyone would want to incriminate themselves for the whole world to read. Have a great week, Bill.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      As to the serious side. Bill you and I laughed one time that my lawyer told me to plead the 5th instead of writing memoirs. But it is true. Even if the crime related is past a statute of limitations the data there in can still be used to impeach, admissions against interest and truth of the matter asserted. Prior inconsistent statements is another tool to get the writing into evidence. In this instance it may just be used but not for the truth, but perhaps no regard for the truth or you admit it.

      I am of course out of date on the matters but Federal Rules of Evidence Article IV lays out a bunch of examples -- And yes Canada would have the same theories. Some rulings date back to while we were under the king.

      Just some thoughts there. I know I know that it is boring ;-)

      I love to get all psycho and use my muse the schizoaffective disorder to change voices.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      4 weeks ago from Ohio

      Hahaha! I feel the same way about boredom. I've been staying busy with my normal activities, and also reliving a favorite TV series of mine. I wake up, filled with gratitude, that I'm still healthy, my family is healthy, and our lives haven't been disrupted too much. Right now, I'm getting ready to hang up my hummingbird feeders. Already! I'm anxiously awaiting to see my first hummingbird of the season. Have a wonderful week!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      "I don’t have to alter my lifestyle because of the pandemic." I can relate to that. I get all kinds of texts with suggestions for spare time activity. I don't need them. Thanks also for the answers to these questions which are right on target for me.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      4 weeks ago from Brazil

      With a to do list as long as my arm, I could never get bored. I seem to be accomplishing only small tasks at the moment but it's still a step in the right direction.

      We are in our rainy season and I can't believe how fast weeds can grow.

      Have a great week up there.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Nice mailbag today, Bill. It seems like all our parents had remedies for us when we were bored. I learned not to mention it to my mother.

      Good explanation of voice. We all have a natural voice, but sometimes it takes a little while for it to come through. I think what you were explaining is that we all have a voice, but we can alter the pitch and/or the tone depending on the subject matter. Yeah, I like that.

      Gorgeous day today with sunshine and close to 70, and closer to 80 tomorrow. It won't be long before my other half starts griping about the heat. Have a good safe rest of the week, my friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      I find myself full of energy. It is warm. the sun is shinning brightly and I love working in the yard, which I've been doing the last couple of days. I live in White County and we 0 Cvirus, still we are careful. I'm getting ready to put my Hummingbird feeder out and hopefully my friends will come back. It is just good to be alive and well. There are a lot of people around the world who are sick and hurting, giving to the foodbank is very important. Enjoyed the questions and your answers. Keep up the good work.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      4 weeks ago

      Loved your article today, Bill. I think your answer is spot on about our voice in writing and where it comes from. I hear that the first book an author writes, usually reflects a conflict the author dealt with while growing up. I think this is probably a pretty accurate statement. And if he continues to write, I think that not only does he develop a unique style of communicating with the reader but much of his voice does, indeed, come from his own unique experiences and what he has learned from these subjective experiences. After all, how can we separate our own psychologies from the stories that come from our own minds? You have given us much to think about! Thanks

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      4 weeks ago from England

      Thanks for a great write as always Bill, you always give me something to think about. As for the 'watch what you put that may be illegal' thing, I remember a guy on a quiz on TV. He wrote his memoirs, and mentioned the fact that he may have accidentally killed someone! Yep, you couldn't make it up! He lost his place on tv, and ended up in Jail! So yes, be very careful! Keep safe xx

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      4 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday... though I'm not sure what day it actually is. All melting together. We're still in April, right? Anyway...

      Re: Boredom? My junior HS English teacher said that "only boring people are bored." Amen.

      Re: I Fought the Law and... You Know. Please, for the love of God, don't publish anything that could be used against you in either a civil or criminal case. Worse is that some authors embellish their own or their real subjects' escapades, putting them in territory for even more legal trouble. Think before you ink because "to publish" means "to make public." And in the internet era, you can't take it back.

      Well, I'm not "bored at home" as many are. I'm trying to keep up. Have a great week and stay safe and well!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 weeks ago from USA

      What you write can always come back around. Just ask, for instance, political appointees and candidates. That should not necessarily deter you from writing what you want, but there may be consequences down the road.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Like your dad, when I mentioned boredom to my mom, I was given several hours of chores and learned my lesson that there were tons of things to keep me occupied if I only got off my keister to find them. Good advice today. Anything you say and write can be used against you. Words to live by.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Bored? Only on rainy days when I'm stuck inside without my daily walks!

      As for the writing about illegalities: There is no question it can, and will, be used against you in a court of law when relevant. However, it is important to realize that this evidence would be mainly circumstantial; in fact, most online writings that do not directly call for/condone illegal doings, and are about something you have done/plan to do, will be used in establishing a motive. How you respond to the line of questioning in your deposition, if it came to that point, is what would determine the usefulness or relevance of your writings as it concerns establishing motive.

      Outside of establishing motive, it has to coincide with actions having been taken, producing/leading to the finding of physical evidence directly linked to claims in the writing whether it be blatant or encoded within the writings, but there are many grey areas as well.

      A rough question from Mr. Happy, as always bringing complex thought to the table!

      Another great Mailbag!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 weeks ago from SW England

      I might be asking you for a little help as I haven't a clue, but we'll see how it goes!

      Ann

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      4 weeks ago from Missouri

      Bored? To some degree I am because I am a worker, used to working. Since age 11 I have worked at a paying job that required me to put in 40 hours or more a week during the months it was in operation. I do not know what to do after a month of being forced to stay at home. I read, write, watch movies, and cook (boy, am I cooking!!). I am tending my deck garden, grilling (more cooking!) and playing cards on my computer. We go for drives now and again, the occasional walk but there are still times my ever active mind wants more to do! Oh well, we shall endure! Take care Sir William and I will author a story soon about our salsa tomato plant named Groot, who came back from the grave and is doing well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Ann! John says publish them both, and John knows best!!!

      Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! Maybe one day you'll actually make it to #3. lol Boredom??? I do not comprehend.

      For God's sake yes, feed that cat. They can be stinkers if they think you are ignoring them. :)

      Be safe my friend, and blessings always!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rosina! It's good to hear from you again. Best wishes, stay safe, and be happy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Titi, and I suspect you are never boring.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Eric, what am I going to do with you?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday, Pamela, and thank you. I think the rewards are always sweeter when we take the risk.

      Be safe my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, the new reality of education is upon us. At least your girls have a former teacher as a mother. That is a huge advantage.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Ann! You do the same, my friend. I do think the short stories route is the best. Formatting it will be a snap, and once you've done that you can see yourself in print in a matter of days.

      Best wishes to you on this Bountiful Monday.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Susan, and Happy Monday to you! Enjoy your day, my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I don't understand the boredom thing, either. There's always something to do or see. All you have to do is get up off your ass, put one foot in front of the other and see where it leads you.

      I agree with you regarding writer's voice. Unless I'm creating and becoming a character, I write the way I speak when I'm having a conversation with a live body in front of me or in my ear.

      Short but sweet mailbag this week, Bill. Enjoy your week!

      BTW, what are you and Bev planting this year?

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      4 weeks ago from Hereford, AZ

      When my children were little, they would tell me they were bored. I instantly told them to find something to do. Read, play, ride their bikes, or I had some work for them to do, if they couldn't find something. They were no longer bored and found something. I never had that problem while they were in their teens. They were always doing something. They are in their 30s now and do not get bored. If they really can't find something, they do some work. They have all developed hobbies, and work on them, if nothing else. It is the way they were raised. They do not sit around being bored, they make something to do. Sometimes they even do work around their homes. On occasion, they come out to my house and do things on my list. I always have a list of things that need done, as the budget allows.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      I really enjoyed this mailbag, Bill. I couldn’t get bored if I tried. There is always something to do. It is bored people who are boring lol. I think Ann should publish both her short stories and the “Take a Word” series which I absolutely love. You are right about the correct marketing making or breaking it though. Have a great week.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, as soon as I wake up I have a to-do list in my head, plans for what I'd like to get accomplished during the day (of course, #1 is feeding the cat). I rarely get to Item #3 but that doesn't matter. The point is that I've always something to do, to strive for, and I can't for the life of me understand people who complain that they have nothing to do. Have they no hobbies? If not, then start one!

      Your advice to Ann was solid (of course). I think a collection of short stories would be great, and my first thought was that compilation by Stephen King.

      The topic of finding your voice is interesting to me. There's the aspect of writing with a specific tone (you have several, and one of them scares the bejabbers out of me). But writing dialog I guess is a subset of that. Some people have it nailed and others are almost cringe-inducing (Star Wars Attack of the Clones is an example).

      I hope you have a fantastic week. Keep doing what you're doing and stay safe.

    • Bella Helis Bella profile image

      Titi Helis 

      4 weeks ago from mason city

      Good morning Bill. very boring?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Boring!

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      4 weeks ago

      I found the fellow writers' questions in this episode quite interesting. Your answers helped me to understand better and educate me further, Bill. And best of all, I am not bored. I am busy writing for HP further parts of my story series, "Keily, the Bookworm". Hopefully, the storm around us would be over soon and we would see opportunities everywhere.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      Happy Monday, Bill!

      I hope your weather has improved as I really like Maggie and Tobias, who obviously need to be walked.

      I like your article today, as usual. I think you are right about Ann's questions as I always think "go for it" as you don't know the outcome if you don't try. I almost always feel like taking the risk.

      Have a great week, Bill by staying safe and healthy.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      4 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Love your outlook on all of this Bill and after having about two hours here of trying to set up my girls' homeschooling week with technology and Google Classroom giving me a headache I needed to read your words to help center me. So, thanks for that and Happy Monday now, my friend :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you for all those answers, bill! And I like the ending!

      I realise that short stories aren't going to make me much money, if any, but I kind of have a yearning to see them in print. I still have to decide how to group them but that will be the fun bit.

      It's windy here today, a cold north-easterly, but the sun is shining and I have a home and a family with love, so I'm happy. And I'm definitely NOT bored!

      Have a marvellous, musical, madcap Monday, bill!

      Ann

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      4 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      I very rarely get bored and for this, I am thankful especially during these tough times. Happy Monday, Bill!

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