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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #311

Updated on June 1, 2020

How’s It Going for All of You?

Are you all hanging in there? Everyone healthy and happy?

As I’ve mentioned before, I feel like I’m in an alternate universe. There’s all of this hardship swirling around us, but Bev and I are “business as usual” in our little corner of the world. It’s kind of a strange feeling, quite frankly. Our lives have barely been affected and yet we are aware that so many people are having a very tough time of it. Empathy and sympathy are about all I can offer.

Boeing, one of the stalwarts of our local economy, just announced they are laying off 12,000 workers by the end of 2020. That is unheard of in my lifetime here in the Pacific Northwest, and of course that will have the ripple effect and touch so many other parts of the economy.

Meanwhile Amazon is growing faster than Godzilla, which bothers me on a completely different level. I’m not a big fan of Jeff Bezos.

It’s all background for a writer. We are the storytellers of our generation and as such we are naturally touched by it all.

Let’s see what is on your mind this week.

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!

HP and Videos

From MizB: “Still pondering yours and Eric's conversation about HP not allowing just dialog. HP is so contradictory anyway, I wouldn't worry about it. They've snipped several videos from my articles. Now I wouldn't worry about that, but it irks me so to have waste spend time hunting videos. One was snipped without a reason, but another said it wasn't relevant to the article. Most of my articles don't have relevant videos, and its a real coccydynia to have to find something to put in to meet that requirement. I guess it would be better to just leave them out. What do you think? Personally, I rarely ever view videos in an article unless it's a how-to and I need more understanding.”

MizB, I think it’s one big online Google game, nothing more, nothing less.

I always include two videos. That seems to please the HP gods. I know some people watch them. I suspect most people don’t. But Google loves videos, so there you go.

As a writer it actually offends me to jump through these hoops. As a marketing student, I understand it completely. I’m torn between two lovers – LOL – who sang that song?

Me in a Novel

From Lora: “I have a question for you, Bill. Would you say there is a character in your novels that is like you in many ways? Do you think that writers subconsciously project themselves in the characters that they write about or aspects of themselves in characters that they write about in their stories? It seems that it would be almost natural to do this. And if so, is this character a protagonist in your novel(s) or do they play a more minor role? Wonderful mailbag this week. Take care.”

Lora, thanks for the question. Yes, I do think writers project certain aspects of themselves in their characters. I don’t know if it’s possible not to do that. As for your first question, the main character in “Resurrecting Tobias,” Tobias King, is me through and through and yes, that was on purpose. Now that I think about it, that seems a bit like ego run riot, doesn’t it? LOL But yes, Toby is Bill and Bill is Toby. Not all of the things Toby did in that novel were actually done by me, but the spirit of Toby lives on inside of me, and he is steered by the spirit of Bill.

But then the core of Bill is also in my first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today.”

It appears I love to write about myself. LOL

A part of me is in all of these
A part of me is in all of these

COACHING

From Adelle: “I think you mentioned once before that you hire out to coach writers. What do you charge for your services?”

Thanks for asking, Adelle! I charge $50 for a month for unlimited writing tutoring. I won’t edit for that money. That’s about my only stipulation. Even I have standards while I’m pimping my services.

Yes, I know, I’ve been told, that’s a ridiculously low price, but I do it to help others, so you’ll just have to accept the fact that I have an altruistic streak and be satisfied with it

SHADOWS

From Peter: “When can we expect your next “Shadows” novel? And how about an excerpt to wet our appetites?”

Wow, a fan!!!! How cool is that? “Shadows Across the Pond” will be finished by summer’s end, me thinks, so you can look for it, hopefully, in September. As for the excerpt, I never say no to a real fan, so here you go:

He thought about the first kill he had made for the Agency, the elimination of a British diplomat selling Crown secrets to the Russians. His handler had pulled him aside, the morning the hit was to take place, sat him down in a courtyard surrounded by tulips, the sun casting false warmth.

“The first hit will stay with you forever, Striker. It’s not the same as killing someone in combat, spraying shots five-hundred feet, disassociated, random, no personal connection at all to that. The first hit is personal. In this case you will touch them during the kill. Their blood will spill out upon you. Their eyes will look at yours and lose their light. No, not the same at all, mate!”

But his handler had been wrong. Striker slit the throat, looked into the eyes, felt the warm blood flow onto this arm, heard the gurgle of death, a man drowning in his own blood, felt the spasms, felt life ebb and depart, and then bought a coffee in a shop half-mile down a cobbled street, after discarding his shirt, of course, and never looked back. Resting heartbeat fifty-five before the kill, fifty-four after.

He was not wired like Baker. His friend was visited by the dead. Of that he was sure. Baker was a killer, but a killer with a conscience, dangerous baggage to carry with you, baggage which would one day, most likely, be Baker’s downfall. Striker would die. No avoiding that, he thought, but he wouldn’t die by being reckless, or by losing one second of reaction time because the weight of guilt had slowed him.

Maggie is waiting for a walk
Maggie is waiting for a walk

And on and on We Go

Always forward! Always observing! Always telling our stories for the world to read.

It’s a short one this week, but that’s fine. It just frees us up to write more, and I’ve got two dogs who are always demanding more walks and couldn’t care less about my writing career. If you ever start having ego problems, take them to your dogs. They will teach you about humility very quickly.

Just sayin’

The lockdown is slowly being lifted. Whatever our “new reality” is, we are about to find out. But really, if you think about it, change is happening constantly. We have all faced numerous “new realities,” and we’ve made it, and adjusted, and made it again. Humans are resilient!

So what’s another?

We can handle it!

Bring it on!

Have a great week! Be safe! Be kind to one another! And please, do all things with love.

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again Miebakagh!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I have no answer, Peggy! I still cant' figure out HP.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      2 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Bill/Peggy, I've learning with two video.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      After writing on this site for so long a time, I learned something new from reading this. I had no idea that HP likes 2 videos per hub. I use them if they fit the circumstances, but often there are none that apply. Many without videos make it into niche sites anyway. Live and learn!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      If it ain't broke, don't fix it, Denise. Ride your horse as far as it will take you. :)

      Blessings for you

      bill

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Well, I only put one video per hub, plus 3 callouts, (sometimes a poll), and about 5 photos. The HP gods seem to be okay with that. I've never had one cut yet but then there's always a first time. Great mailbag this week.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes we can, Nithya! Blessings and thanks to you always. Be well and safe!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the great comment, Greg. I like that...this is like a campfire. Some of us have been sharing conversations for a long time at that campfire. I always have those talks to look forward to, and that brings me peace.

      Take care buddy, and enjoy those bike rides this weekend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Brenda, I think we all need to prepare for the worst to happen. This virus is not going away, and as people relax on their precautions, things will turn for the worst. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt I am. :( Take care my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, if I ever sell my filming rights, you can rest assured I will tell the world of my good fortune. Thank you for always being here. Have a brilliant weekend.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      4 weeks ago from Dubai

      Another informative writer's mailbag installment. As you say we have faced many "new realities", we can get through another one.

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      4 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Bill - late to the party, here, but wanted to pass along my enjoyment of Monday's Mailbag, too. I not only learned about the numbers and content of your novels, the Boeing situation and rock-bottom pricing for writing coaching. I also learned about faff (I had already Googled coccydnia earlier in the week after encountering it in the comment Ann mentioned--what a great word!) and can't wait to figure out a way to use it in my own writing or in day-to-day conversation. I sifted through the comments rapidly because I wanted to be the one to say Mary MacGregor recorded "Torn Between Two Lovers." Uh...swing and a miss! Mr. Archer beat me to it.

      Here's what else I learned reading this week's mailbag: each installment is like a campfire: folks are eager to gather 'round, spend some time, share thoughts and ideas, do some give and take learning, engage in camaraderie, lament some HubPages irritants, push well wishes back and forth, hear about Maggie and Toby...great stuff all the way around, really.

      I'm still pondering the video thing, and I'm intrigued by the sneak peek videos you shared. Probably going shopping over on Amazon this morning...

      Thanks for another great edition, Bill. See you next week. Be well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Weird, Verlie! I have an author page and everything on Amazon. They are all under William D. Holland. I just looked. :) Thanks for ordering Tobias. I hope you like him as much as I do. :)

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      4 weeks ago from Washington Court House

      So glad to hear that you and your wife are doing things together and basically not affected by this Covid-19.

      I like to think I am, but I still hate not having places to go. A few restaurants have opened and I have enjoyed them...both outdoir dining and indoor.

      But most have not...so it is still take out.

      I dont know much about coach writing but it sounds like you enjoy helping others.

      I love the pic of Maggie waiting for a walk.

      Just when things are beginning to unlock here in my community a protestor has tested positive for Covid-19. So I look forward to hearing things being closed again soon once it starts to spread.

      Have a great week.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      4 weeks ago from Canada

      Hello again Bill, just wanted to let you know that today I ordered your book 'Resurrecting Tobias' in paperback from Amazon. Looking forward to it. I didn't see any of your other books listed. Where do you sell those?

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 weeks ago from UK

      It's good to hear that you are doing well, but still mindful of the hardship around you. I went to add a video I had taken myself to a recent article, but found it had to be an official online one, which was annoying.

      I was interested to read how you can see yourself in certain characters. As an English student I remember having to figure out what characters revealed about the author.

      I hope your coaching is going well.

      Thanks for sharing the excerpt. When will you be selling the filming rights?

      I appreciate your encouragement to us all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Melissa, my faithful fan! lol I do appreciate you so much for following the series. Striker is at his best in this new one.

      Happy Wednesday! Stay safe and be happy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for stopping by, Mary! It's always nice to see your smiling face pop up,.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You won't get one, Miebakagh! We've been complaining for years.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Pain in the butt, I say, Flourish. HP editors are simply justifying their pay, or so it seems to me. Who knows more about writing, the writers or the penny-pinchers in accounting?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I think you give people too much credit...lol

      Our cases are rising in our city, and they had stayed constant for a full week before restrictions were slightly lifted. People just don't get it. The virus isn't going to disappear simply because they are bored.

      Sheez! Why don't they listen to you and I?

      Happy Hump Day my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Maggie sends her love, Linda. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Lora, for the great question and follow-up comment. You take care too, my friend. I want all of my online friends to stay safe. We have a lot of life to still live.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm so happy to hear that, Devika. Thank you for the positive feedback. Be well, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chitrangada Sharan. You are always so supportive and positive. I love that about you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You do the same, Rajan! I personally think it is all about economics and making money. Lifting restrictions was necessary to get the economies up and running again. Not a good thing for the safety of people, but investors are happy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. It's hard to think anything is normal wearing a mask, yes? I personally despise them, but I can't argue their purpose.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      4 weeks ago from Minnesota

      Hey Bill, Happy Wednesday? Sorry I am so behind, but finally got a chance to read the mailbag. I really look forward to your next Shadow's book, so I appreciate the excerpt. Can't wait!

      Stay safe and take care. Have a productive week!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      I agree with you how resilient we are and this gives me hope. I know we will get over this. Looking forward to reading your next novel.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Too terrible. But why? HP owns its contributors some explaination.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 weeks ago from USA

      They are contradictory. They snipped several of my articles to add up to 15 links to other HP articles (some not even mine) then decided eventually it was an unhelpful thing. Problem was I adopted their practice and had to undo all the work myself, including theirs. This isn’t the only situation. Meh. Whatever.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      4 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent, Bill. Thanks for that.

      The government have started lifting some restrictions here so I ventured out to get some needed supplies. I saw many people ignoring the social distancing rule and spent a lot of time backing away from anyone who got too close. I got some frowns but, so what. My test results for COVID came back negative and I aim to stay that way. It will get a while before I go shopping again.

      I suspect the infection rate will rise again here as well if this keeps up. I understand people are antsy being cooped, but you would have thought if they wanted to avoid that again, they would following the guidelines. Maybe I give people too much credit when it comes to common sense.

      Hope you're having a good day, Bill.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm always happy to see a photo of Maggie. I hope you have a productive week, Bill.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      4 weeks ago

      I will have to check your books out, Bill, that you have mentioned here. It seems like it would be natural to model the spirit of a character after himself, the author. Who would you know better than yourself and all your idiosyncrasies? Your excerpt, “Shadows Across the Pond,” showed your great skill at creating the character of Striker. I must admit that it was so effective that it certainly gave me the willies! But what a suspenseful series. And I do agree with you, Bill. I think humans are all, in a sense, writing or editing our collective story as we go forward marching into time sort of collaborators in our new realities. The script changing constantly. I really enjoyed the mailbag this week! Take care.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great start to any writer's day to read your mailbag. It is filled with delight. I learn lots from your hubs and your challenges are shared in detail.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      All is well, Rinita, and the same to you. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And a big old you are welcome, buddy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Howdy Zulma! You will get the backstory on Striker that you want. That was one thing I wanted to do with this book. I think you'll enjoy it.

      As for school, I think kids will return in September, but the format will be changed drastically. Such is our new life.

      You take care and, as always, thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That was awhile ago, Lori, but thanks. I wanted to see how long I could grow it until it bugged the hell out of me. I found out. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great info on videos, Heidi, as always. I haven't done a video in probably three years. I should do more of that...should...should...should. Sigh!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And I thank you, William, as always!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Hope is about all we have right now, Manatita, but sometimes it's enough.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm so sorry to hear that, Bill! I hope you come out of it unscathed, my friend. This economy of ours is going to see it worse before it gets better, I'm afraid.l

      Best wishes to you, Bill!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It won't stop, Miebakagh, so I'm afraid you'll have to get accustomed to it. Such is life with HP.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      They have been busy of late, Mel, for sure. I see their emails telling me they are snipping one of mine, and I just send it to trash. I don't have the heart to see what they are doing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You do the same, Alyssa! It's always nice to hear from you. Stay safe!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are a kick, MizB! Maggie was taking a nap when that pic was taken. Lazy girl! As for the pandemic, I'm pretty much done with this "fun." We can move on to another challenge any old time the gods deem us worthy, don't you think? :)

      Seventy here...perfect for this boy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very kind, Pamela. Thank you so much for the very nice words about Tobias. Be safe and be happy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Good to hear from you, Miebakagh! You are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Meg! I'm happy to hear that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Ruby, they have opened here, with certain restrictions. We are lifting the iron curtain in our part of the U.S., but it could be slammed shut very quickly if the virus increases again.

      Be well my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Dora, I really do, and I feel the same about you, kind lady.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That's okay, Shannon. You gave me a good question via text and I'm on it. Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Perhaps I can do that, Sha, and thanks for the suggestions.

      Stay safe, my friend. I want you around for a long time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You should be worried, Ann. We are seeing a jump in infections here now. People think the virus suddenly packed its bags and left. Silly people!

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      We are seeing it now here, Verlie. The minute the restrictions were loosened, the infection rate rose quickly. This stuff is not going away anytime soon, my friend.

      Stay safe, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, I love that...tell Lucifer to turn the heat down. No kidding! It's a bit hot in our society right now. Time to turn down the setting a few degrees. Reminds me far too much of the 60's...burn, baby, burn! No, please don't!

      Blessings to you always!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      4 weeks ago

      Just wanted to say that's a cute picture of Maggie. Hope all is well.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Hello Bill!

      Your Monday installments are always refreshing and reassuring. Thank you for the reassurance, that some good things haven't changed, and hopefully the other things will also change soon, the sooner the better.

      The question by Lora is interesting and relatable and I liked your answer.

      Thank you once again.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Just a big old thanks for all this great learning.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      5 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill.

      The schools opened yesterday, but you would never have guessed it. Many parents are choosing to keep the kids at home so there wasn't the usual parade of children and parents making their way to the learning factory. Normality, whatever that ends up being, is going to take a while to achieve.

      I'm so looking forward to your next 'Shadows' instalment. I hope we'll get a bit more backstory about Striker. I wonder if someone like that is born or created. He mainly presents a cold-blooded killer and yet, in a few unguarded moments, we see a man with feelings like any other. Such an enigma.

      Have a great day, Bill.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      Corona cases and deaths still rising in certain countries but surprisingly lockdown is being lifted in a phased manner. Some theories doing the rounds in certain quarters that the death figures are manipulated to show more by vested interests. It's an unending puzzle.

      Stay safe, my friend!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      5 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Yes, Bill. We are hanging on in our little corners of the world witnessing so much of gloom all around there. The cases are still spiraling to their highs. But the lockdowns are being gradually relaxed to make it seem life is as usual, of course with our masks, sanitizers, and social distancing norms.

      The excerpt provided above from your Shadow series is great to read. It is going to be a very interesting and exciting story.

      Thanks for sharing and for the mailbag.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      5 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      I loved your first video. Are you looking hippie by choice or are you waiting for the barber to open? Either way, it looks good on you. God bless you and keep you in this crazy world we live in.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      Mailbag Monday again... if it is Monday.

      Re: Business as Usual. I see all the chaos happening in the news and on social media. But it's been pretty quiet in our area. Some concerns on the virus and protest fronts.Though, overall, pretty peaceful.

      I do think the media does sensationalize everything. So I try to limit my exposure to only reliable (as reliable as possible) sources.

      Re: Boeing, Boing. Of course, with Boeing HQ here in Chicago, this is a big story here, too. Can it get much worse for them? I hope they can get back on track one day.

      Re: HP and Videos. To date, I have 138 videos on my YouTube channel, most of which align with a blog post here on HP in some way. So I include my own videos in my HP posts where appropriate. I would suggest that others do the same by creating their own videos. Some people like to watch or listen to the content, as opposed to reading.

      BTW, HP's network site ToughNickel is the source for 62.3% of the external (off YouTube) views of my videos in the past month. That translates into about 21% of all my YouTube views in the past month.

      Re: Bargain Coaching. $50/month for writing coaching? That's a bargain! Probably worth more. Probably could be priced more. But hope you're getting something worthwhile from it in lieu of bigger bucks.

      Stay safe and well!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      5 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Some questions of a more personal nature included this week. Loved it all. Thank you, Mr. Holland!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 weeks ago from london

      Beautiful video and brilliant excerpt here. You aim to please, Bro. Yes, things are beginning to 'calm' down a little. Let us HOPE!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. The Boeing layoffs are and will continue to affect the company I work for as they are one of our largest customers. We have already been offered a voluntary separation package with further layoffs to follow. The ripple effect of this will go on and on and last years. The average number of people being screened through the TSA a year ago was over 2 million per day. Today it's about 300K. It will take along time for people to get comfortable with flying again.

      Loved the excerpt from your next "Shadows" novel. You do have a gift. Have a great week.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      5 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      This is too awful. HP own us writers some explainations. My last poem was snipped too much. This has got to stop. Thanks.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 weeks ago from San Diego California

      Business as usual here too. Covid has only made me busier. I agree with Miz B, HP is doing a lot of snipping lately, even changing my titles into meaningless mush. They're doing their best to take all creativity out of this platform.

      Thanks for the mailbag.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      5 weeks ago from Ohio

      Another fantastic mailbag! Have a wonderful week, Bill!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      5 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Good afternoon, Bill, I salute you for another short but neat mailbag. So you don't mind the videos. That's good, but then yours usually have relevance. I don't do a lot of how-tos, if any. I don't have experience with marketing, just 10 years copywriting experience, irrelevant in this time period. I also would like for you to explain the "pitching" process.

      I've had people tell me that I should write about my "exciting" life. To me it wasn't exciting; just annoying. I guess that's why I have no love for books written about the time period in which I live. I like futuristic fantasy or historic novels to take me away. But it looks like some of the pandemic thrillers have caught up with us. I'd rather just read about pandemics in fiction, not live them.

      That is an adorable Maggie sitting sitting on the back porch. No Toby today? It's a beautiful day in Arkansas. Have a great week, my friend.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      Happy Monday Bill. You did have a couple of interesting questions and I like reading a bit of your new novel that will come out in late summer. I imagine it would be just about impossible to not put some of yourself in a novel. I am not surprised that you and Tobias are the same person as I did read that good book. You are a gifted writer, Bill. Have a great week.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      5 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Bill, this is a nice piece. And thanks for revealing that writers can project themselves in their stories. I though that to be odd. I am safe and healthy. Many thanks.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      5 weeks ago

      Another great mailbag. Loved that excerpt from your new shadows book.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Bill, I have a question, when will the beauty shops open? I've cut my own hair twice. Also, I'm hankering for a good meal in a restaurant, but most of all, I want peace around the world. My muse took a hike, no desire to write. Happy you are still helping others be better writers. Thanks.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks especially for both the question and answer under "Me In a Novel." You're a great example for us writers to follow. Thanks!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 weeks ago from Texas

      A big online game. That's exactly what it feels like sometimes. Sorry, but I don't' have much of substance to add to the mailbag, your commentary or your work answering questions this week. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and answers, though. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 weeks ago from Central Florida

      I enjoyed the videos, Bill. I'd seen your "Resurrecting Tobias" promo before, but not the "Shadows Kill" video. As I was listening to you, I wondered if what you presented on YouTube would be similar to how you'd pitch your novel to an agent. Perhaps you can explain the (pitching) process to your readers?

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 weeks ago from SW England

      Really well thanks. Out in the sun and fresh breeze, gardening today. It's surreal but I'm worried about a second phase, seeing how many people were on the beach today, as we strolled along the prom keeping a more than adequate distance!

      Ann

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 weeks ago from Canada

      Morning Bill, what a treat to see your vids. Good work! Regarding the virus, I think it's best to not let your guard down. Keep doing social distancing and safe practises. It ain't over yet.

      Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That's right, Mike! Well done on Mary! And yes to catharsis. Writing is my release and a welcome one it is.

      Happy Monday to you, buddy! Brighter days are ahead, I believe.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      We all ache, me thinks, Linda. We need some normalcy, my friend. And we need more words like "faff." lol I love the Mailbag. I learn so much from so many talented people.

      Be well in Steilacoom!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, Ann, right? That's a great word MizB threw at us. I had to look it up too, and it is perfect. If I can remember how to spell it, I'll use it in one of my upcoming novels. :)

      I hope you are well, my friend. Have a wonderfully exciting week ahead.

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Time will tell for sure, Rosina! We are seeing an increase again in our area due to relaxing the restrictions. Hopefully the numbers will start to fall again soon. Take care!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! I hope your family is healthy and happy. Stay safe and best wishes to you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I guess I wasn't too sneaky with Tobias. lol I hope your week is a good one, my friend.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      5 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Our lives have barely been affected and yet we are aware that so many people are having a very tough time of it." - Funny how I just wrote about this lol

      "One was snipped without a reason, but another said it wasn't relevant to the article." - Videos have to be relevant to the article? I am sure I got all sorts of hip-hop videos, which HP workers have never listened too. They'd be scarred for life listening to Vinnie Paz's "Drag You to Hell" track, haha!! It's still there on an article on which it doesn't have anything to do with, unless You did enough acid and ate enough psilocybin mushrooms in your lifetime as I did.

      "As a writer it actually offends me to jump through these hoops." - And that is precisely why I do not jump through anyone's hoops, period. Also, wolves don't jump through hoops.

      It appears I love to write about myself. LOL - “If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.”― Michel de Montaigne. He also said something along the words that he wrote about himself a lot because he knew himself best. Makes sense in my mind. I don't know You. I know me.

      "We have all faced numerous “new realities,” and we’ve made it" - Well, "we've made it" ... many others have not.

      "Bring it on!" - Haha!! No, no, no. Don't bring anything on. We've had enough already. Have You seen the locust swarms that hit Africa this Spring? Well, they're in India and Pakistan now devastating crops. How are those protests going down there? I see cars burning, buildings burning, black people dying still, thirty years after Rodney King ... wtf ... helllo!!??

      Spice 1 has a track titled "Turn da heat down". It's like a decade old but here's the beginning:

      "Dear Lord, could You please tell Lucifer

      Turn the heat down, feeling the flames of hell

      Underneath my feet now, the block is hot

      I hear the street demons calling ..."

      All the best to everyone!

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      5 weeks ago from Missouri

      Mary MacGregor!! Yes,I am that old as well.

      I also put myself into my words, most often an alter ego, a submerged portion of my id. Not a super hero type, but a person who speaks as I wish I were free to do. In print, in "fiction" I have that freedom. It is cathartic to me to say things I feel deeply but cannot express for fear of reprisal, of being attacked. Ah, well.

      Take care Sir William and keep on keepin' on, as we used to say!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      5 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      I enjoyed the vocabulary lessons today. Ann added to the list with her "faff." I rarely put videos in my hub either, and when I do they seem to disappear from the ethers, so I end up with a broken link 6 months later.

      Aha, I knew you and Tobias were the same person.

      Have a safe week my friend. I had wished for a change from Covid-19 on the news, but not in this way. There is so much sadness in the world. My heart aches.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 weeks ago from SW England

      Another great one, bill! We all learn something each Monday.

      As for videos, I never put them in my hubs. I can't be bothered with the faff and I don't want to put my videos on youtube before I can download them into hubs. It's just too much annoyance! I write, I don't do techy stuff.

      I've also found a new word here (ref my latest article!) - coccydynia from MizB. I've looked it up and find that it's a polite way of saying something's a right pain in the bum. So thanks to MizB for that one!

      See what an education you give here, bill, whether you mean to or not!

      Have a marvellous Monday and a wicked week!

      Ann

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      5 weeks ago

      I loved this mailbag as always. Yes, the lockdown is beginning to relax in our area as well. Let's see what happens. I know we are all inquisitive in this case. Time will tell. Thanks for contributing this hub, Bill.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      5 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Thank you, Bill for your Monday mailbag and message of hope, too. Now more than ever we need hope in this country. So, appreciate your insight and help for this and more always. Wishing you a peaceful and good week ahead now.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      A short but sweet Mailbag this week Bill. Loved the excerpt from Shadows Across the Pond. Excellent stuff. I could tell there was a big part of Bill in Tobias too haha. Have a great week.

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