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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #318

Updated on July 20, 2020

The Porch Is All Done

I know you were waiting impatiently for an update on my porch-expansion task, so there’s your update. I’m all done with it. Once I kicked it into gear, it only took a few hours. Now all that’s left is to mix up some cement, pour it, and I’ll be done with that and I can move on to the next project on my list, whatever that might be.

I like projects. What I don’t like is deadlines. Deadlines seem to me to be the exact opposite of creativity. I understand the point of deadlines, but I think once you introduce a time limit to a project, you risk nipping the creative element in the bud. Just one man’s opinion.

Anyway, summer is moving along in this new reality of ours. We are seeing a spike in the virus again, in our state, after having a nice reduction of cases for about a month. They are talking about bringing back some restrictions again. I’m beginning to think this Coronavirus thing is going to be with us well into 2021. It’s going to be interesting to watch it all unfold from the comfort of the Mail Room.

Shall we?

The Mail Room
The Mail Room

Good Character to Bad Character

From Ann: “Do you ever create a character who's supposed to be good but ends up being a real baddy? Or vice versa?”

I had to give this some thought, Ann. I knew for a fact I hadn’t done that on purpose, but I was wondering if I somehow did it without really planning on doing it. But no, that has not happened to me. Almost all of my main characters, if not all, are flawed human beings, and that is on purpose. I don’t like perfect characters. I want them to struggle with morality. I want them to be sinners and saints, good and evil. I think that duplicity makes for some very interesting and memorable characters, don’t you?

This bad boy has doubled in size thanks to my mediocre skills.
This bad boy has doubled in size thanks to my mediocre skills.

The Doldrums

From Alyssa: “Thank you for sharing the origin of the dog days of summer. I'm hoping you reveal we're in the doldrums next week. I love that word, doldrums.”

I love explaining stuff like this, Alyssa, so thanks for asking. The doldrums is a word used by meteorologists and sailors. It refers to a band around the Earth five degrees north of, and five degrees south of, the Equator. In that “narrow” area, air commonly circulates up and down rather than north, south, east, or west. It rises and falls, and that movement of air creates practically no surface wind. Thus, that area is known by all sailors as an area where a wind-propelled ship might be stuck in calm water for weeks at a time – stuck in the doldrums.

Three Dog Night

From Pete: “Okay, Bill, you mentioned a three-dog night recently. Other than the rock band of the 60’s, what is the origin of that phrase?”

This is one of my favorites, Pete, so thanks for asking.

It is said that Australian Aborigines use this term to describe a particularly cold night. If it’s just chilly out, you take one dog to bed with you to stay warm. A bit colder out and you’ll need two dogs, and a frigid night is a three-dog night.

Momma told me not to come! And if I remember correctly, one of the band’s original members had a girlfriend at the time of the band’s formation, and she’s the one who suggested the name for the band. And the rest, as they say, is musical history.

INTROVERTS

From Dora: “Bill, do you know whether there's any correlation between introverts and writers? Is someone likely to write more because he talks less? Thinking of you, and I couldn't resist.”

Dora, I doubt if there have been any studies about this, but it’s a fascinating question nonetheless. I think it is quite natural and understandable that many writers are introverts. I read a couple articles about this, getting ready to answer your question, and this is what I found out:

  • Introverts are good listeners
  • Writing our thoughts is less intimidating than speaking them
  • Introverts are very aware of their surroundings; they are observers
  • Introverts love alone time and quiet, which is perfect for writing
  • Writing gives an introvert time to think before sharing thoughts
  • Introverts tend to be more empathetic
  • Reflection comes naturally to an introvert

Add it all together and you can come up with a rather convincing argument that it makes perfect sense that so many introverts are writers.

How Much Detail Is Enough?

From Chris: “Here is a question. I was recently writing a suspense story that took place in our current time. One character discovered a scientific process that was unimaginable. How fully should I describe this process which is actually impossible. It is a sci fi element within a suspense story.”

The only thing you didn’t mention, Chris, is whether this scientific process is really important to the story. If it is a key element in the story, then I believe you need to go into considerable detail. If it is something which really doesn’t affect the plot that much, I would hold back on giving too much detail. Scientific details can be confusing and distracting, so there needs to be a good reason for spending time on them.

Just my opinion, of course!

Why so Much Struggle?

From Geoff: “I’ve noticed in your novels that your characters are always struggling with good vs evil within themselves. Why do you spend so much time on this internal struggle?”

First, Geoff, the fact that you know that tells me you’ve read more than one of my novels, so for that I thank you.

Good vs evil – that is the primary struggle within us all, isn’t it? Humans are imperfect beings. We are always struggling with the angels of our better nature, aren’t we? God, I hope it’s not just me. LOL

Seriously, we see this daily on social media, or stories on the news. Man walks this moral tightrope daily. In religious jargon, we are all sinners. The question, then, is how much of a sinner we are at any given time? I want my characters to struggle with that question. I think it makes them much more believable, and I sure hope I’m correct in that belief.

The projects never end
The projects never end

More Projects

It’s time to go prepare for that cement mixing. By the way, I hate mixing cement. It’s a messy, time-consuming job. It’s one of those jobs I’ll only do when it’s absolutely necessary, so I’ll be happy when I finish this part of the porch project.

And then it’s on to the next, whatever that might be. Owning a home means an endless list of projects. I’m not great at any of it, but I’m determined and focused. I may not do any of these projects perfectly, but by God I’ll get them done and yes, I have my parents to thank for that.

I hope you all have a safe week. If you want to find me in the blogging world, you can find me at https://artistrywithwords.com/ or https://theartoflivingsimple.wordpress.com/. I would love to interact with you if you have time. And if you have a question for the Mailbag, leave it in the comment section below, or email me at holland1145@yahoo.com.

Blessings to you all!

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Look at you, Zulma, talking to me about good and evil. You know I love this topic and can't resist tossing this into next week's Mailbag.

      For me, this is all about Eli Baker and Striker, and I have to go with intent being the determining factor. We certainly can't judge them on their actions, can we? lol

      Shambala, not one of my favorite songs, but I did love Three Dog Night.

      Take care you!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      11 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill.

      What if you have a character who is basically good, but sometimes does bad things to achieve his honourable goals. Is it the intent behind the actions that deem the character good or evil?

      A few months back, my son finished a video game and they played 'Shambala' over the end credits. My son gave me an exasperated look when I started singing along because, yet again, here's another song Mom knows. What can I say? When you've been knocking around for nearly 6 decades you're gonna hear a lot of music. lol

      Take care, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mel! I would sing that song to my son when he was a toddler at bedtime...that and Blackbird by The Beatles. :) Good memories!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      12 months ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      I still remember my buddy Henry teaching me the words "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" at the first grade bus stop, so you know I'm down with Three Dog Night.

      Ditto with all the stuff on introverts. Still waters run deep, they say. Great mailbag.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! I'll be all done with that project tomorrow, and then on to the next. :) Happy Weekend to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's nice of you to say, Devika! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No wonder I like you, Lora, You're a fellow dog-lover. We have two dogs sleeping with us each night, and I find that very comforting. Dogs are the ultimate best friends, don't you think? :) Thanks for the question; answer coming Monday.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      12 months ago

      Hi Bill. I love the term, "Three Dog Night," especially now after you provided the meaning of the term. Most nights, I sleep with two dogs and sometimes three if I happen to be fostering one even when it's not cold. I would say that I meet the qualifications of an introvert too. Very interesting! My question for you is: What do enjoy most about writing fiction? You could probably write quite a lengthy answer to this question but maybe you could just provide us with the ones that you feel motivate you the most. And you did a splendid job on your porch by the way. Take Care!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      Good to know you are almost done with the porch extension work. The cement work is harder and messier no doubt. Great set of questions and the responses too. Have a great remaining week, my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      12 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Bill your research is thorough and you share to the point hubs. Direct from each question and inform us with a lot of interest in what you do. It is interesting to see your work stands out and you are on top of the list of writers here. I appreciate your information. Thank you

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And I appreciate you, Dora! Thank you, and may your day be filled with blessings.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Audrey! I was watching an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, and he said he's an introvert. Who would have guessed it. He said he has a great amount of trouble in a crowded setting, but one-on-one he's fine. I loved hearing that.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Our own little oasis, Linda. Thank you for the kind words. I hope this finds you well. Enjoy the summer weather.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      They truly do, Jo! We are spending a great amount of time on that porch now, and loving every minute of it.

      Thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy, those two dogs count on extra treats, and they know I'm the soft touch. I'll give them that pat on the head and make sure they know it's from you. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sha! Sorry I'm late. The porch...we still have to finish the cement mixing and pouring, but we should have that done this Saturday. It turned out all right, and it's sure nice having that extra room. Now Bev wants a hammock chair, and what Bev wants, Bev will get. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chitrangada Sharan. Decent is a good description of the porch. Not perfect but decent. I can live with that. As for my mind, I can't shut it off no matter how hard I try. lol Stay safe!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Flourish! The porch turned out better than I thought it would. It was probably all that help I got from Toby and Maggie. lol Long live the introverts of the world!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great answers, as usual. None more pleasing than your answer to my question on introverts. Thanks for doing the research and helping us make sense of who we really are, and why writing is so fulfilling. I appreciate you, Bill. Blessings!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      12 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I'm an introvert! I had no clue. I thought because I've spent my life as an entertainer I qualified as an extravert. I'm happy to discover this about myself. You've done a stellar job on that porch. Is there no end to your talents?

      Terrific mailbag!

      love

      audrey

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The porch looks great, Bill, especially with the two dogs on it! I think it would be a lovely place to relax.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      12 months ago from Tennessee

      I'm a porch sitter, so I'm eager to see the results of your work.

      Projects make pandemics a little more bearable, don't they.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      I look forward to learning something new each time I read your posts. Today it had to do with doldrums and a three dog night.

      It makes sense to me that many writers are probably more of an introvert than the opposite. You listed some excellent qualities that they possess.

      Your four-legged supervisors seem to appreciate the work you do on that porch project. Give them an extra pat on their heads, and perhaps an extra treat for their excellent work. (Smile)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, if the government would listen to me, we could be done with this in a month. Shut the whole country down for one month. Everyone must wear masks. Period! No choice in the matter, no freedom to do as you want, nothing. Total shutdown and we're done with it in one month.

      But what do I really know? lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Now it's too hot, MizB, which means it actually hit 90 yesterday. I'm already tired of it. lol

      James Michener...a couple of his novels put me to sleep. Way too much detail for this boy, which I'm sure sounds like a sacrilege, but there you go.

      Have a safe and happy week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Lori! Glad you liked the trivia. I learned that a few years ago while teaching a science class. Came across it while preparing a weather class.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Always my pleasure, Chris! Thanks for bringing it up.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Meg! Probably not evil, but interesting nonetheless. Thanks for sharing that. I might use it one day in a novel.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Those are fun facts, Pamela. Glad you enjoyed them. Thank you for finding the time to visit and comment.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brilliant indeed, Ann! I loved collecting eggs. Such a small and yet huge pleasure.

      As for projects yes, I have three which are partially done. I have to commit totally before I finish, and obviously I'm having trouble committing to those. lol

      Happy Hump Day, my friend. Stay safe!

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! Certainly not me..perfect, that is! I actually don't have any trouble talking to people one-on-one, but put me in a crowd and I've got major problems.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Alyssa. Bev helped me with the cement and it went quickly. We're only half-done with it; we'll finish it up this weekend. You mixing cement? I love it!

      Happy Wednesday my talented young friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mary! It is nice to have the extra porch room. Now Bev wants a hammock chair. lol

      Wishing you peace and happiness this week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Denise! I'm glad you enjoyed that. The girlfriend of one of the band members of Three Dog Night suggested the name.

      Blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, last night was a challenge physically. Our house go soooo hot. Amazingly I fell right asleep, but I was watching television in a puddle of sweat. Lovely image, eh?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks William! I think it's fun to find out about idioms and other odd sayings. Their origin always fill me with satisfaction.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I agree with you about contractors. You would think, in a competitive market, they would want to gain a better reputation, wouldn't you?

      Thank you for the kind words about my characters. They appreciate it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, we have to re-do our bathroom as well. I am not looking forward to that task. I would be more willing if I had some clue what I was doing.

      300,000 deaths is well within our reach in the U.S. We love to reach milestones in this country, and with our leadership I am confident we can hit half a million soon.

      Sigh and cry!

      Peace, my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, can you believe it's almost August? What are you guys doing about schooling this upcoming school year? I see California has cancelled. My guess is most major cities will. Anyway, good luck, and have a fantastic week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I love sitting out on the porch now and patting myself on the back for a job well-done.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, how do you really feel about summer? LOL I HATE SUMMER! All that was missing was putting it in caps. I could taste the venom.

      Have a great week, my friend, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bev and I had fun mixing the cement, Eric. I was laughing, thinking of Linda, while I did it. Just toss it and toss it and hope something good comes out of it.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      12 months ago from Central Florida

      Interesting information regarding introverts, Bill. I would venture to say many creatives are introverts. Think of the artists who spend time alone with the landscape and an easel or in their studios bringing their inner visions to life. Musicians who put their thoughts to song or melody while sitting on the porch or around a campfire, strumming the guitar or tickling the ivorys.

      I didn't know where the term three dog night came from. In fact, I didn't know it was anything but a band's name until the question was posed to you!

      Nice variety of topics this week, Bill. Can't wait to see your finished porch.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Hello Bill!

      This is another interesting one, and I liked going through. Your porch looks decent and inviting.

      Regarding your opening paragraph, I agree with you that there shouldn’t be any deadlines for the creative activities.

      The Introverts—Honestly, I can relate to all your points, mentioned above. As I sometimes say, the introverts may look quiet to the outside world, but their minds are always busy and active.

      Thank you for another engaging read. Take care.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      Look at that mighty porch! I see you have two supervisors overseeing your work, okaying every nail. They did a good job and so did you. In my opinion, extraversion is overrated. Extroverts are adored as the ideal but there is real value in the quiet side of life.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      12 months ago from Massachusetts

      Great information about doldrums and three-dog night. I had no idea. I do think this virus will be with us into 2021, which is a shame. It’s beginning to look like we’ll be going nowhere for quite a while. But, certainly everyone’s health is what matters most. Stay safe and have a great week. Porch looks great.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      12 months ago from Beautiful South

      Your porch looks nice, and I think the doggies are enjoying it too. Or else they are plotting an escape. My mom used to say she was “in the doldrums” which, with her, probably meant that she was bored and wanted to go somewhere. There is a lot of joking about “three cat nights” around our house during cold weather as Larry tells our two that he is considering getting another cat to join us keep us warm. Not that another is needed on our heated waterbed.

      I think sometimes there can be too much detail in a story. I was reading a scifi thriller a couple of years ago, and the writer was proud a little too proud of his fictional inventions. He went into intricate details (many times) about exactly how his imaginary machinery worked. I got so bored that every time he did this, I skipped pages of his painstakingly written details. Maybe a guy would have enjoyed it, a guy thing, you know. Maybe it depends on the subject matter and the reader.

      Have a good week and take advantage of this beautiful weather to walk the pooches, my friend.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      12 months ago from United States

      I love the trivia o doldrums and three dog night. I agree most writers are introverts It's their way of expressing themselves in a safe way. Great questions.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      12 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thanks for your thoughts on my question, Bill.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      12 months ago from Northern Ireland

      I don't know that I (personally) struggle with good and evil very much, however, I do know that I struggle with laziness and selfishness and "why can't I have my way" types of thoughts. These may or may not be good and evil but if I want to do something, I need to overcome these thoughts because (a) they are time wasters and (b) I use them to motivate myself to get something done.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      You had a number of diverse questions today, Bill. I am glad to know the definition of doldrums and about Three Dog Night. Thanks for all these good answers to today's questions.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      12 months ago from SW England

      My Arthur is like you - doesn't like deadlines. So, we have lots of projects which might get done sometime in the next few years, depending on creativity!!

      Thanks for answering my question. I find sometimes that someone I thought would be nasty turns out to function better in the story if he or she is nice and vice versa! I obviously don't sort out my characters well enough, or they just don't agree with me.

      Love the explanation of Three Dog Night - makes sense! I loved that group too.

      Enjoy your week and make the most of that creativity!

      Btw, the chickens are giving us 2/3 eggs each day, with the occasional day off - brilliant!

      Ann

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      12 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I always learn something when I read your mailbag. There's no shame in being an introvert. I would much rather write than talk, and about characters in a story, it's no fun writing about a flawless person, after all no ones perfect. Have a great week!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      12 months ago from Ohio

      Yes! Thank you for sharing the fun facts this week, Bill! Growing up I would help my dad with his construction business, and mixing cement was my favorite task. haha! I hope it goes quickly for you and the weather is comfortable. Have a wonderful week!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      12 months ago from Brazil

      Interesting information about Three Dog Night. I never gave its origin much thought. Now to find a trivia night quiz to use my new found knowledge.

      Your porch looks good and the dogs seem to approve.

      Have a great week up there.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rosina! I hope your week is brilliant!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      Another good mailbag. I appreciate the origin of three dog night. I didn't know that. You make learning new things fun. Good luck with the cement.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      12 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I do love your origin stories; I think you could do a whole blog series just on that...so many common expressions that we have no idea where they first originated from.

      Nice job on the porch! Summer is a great time for getting all these outdoor jobs taken care of and it always feels great to cross one of the list.

      Have a happy and productive week!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I thought this was a great mailbag, and then I read the comments. Hoo boy, now it's even a greater mailbag!

      From one introvert to another--you've nailed it. I would much rather write than talk. And that's exactly what I plan on doing today. It's gonna be a scorcher this week. Don't work too hard my friend.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      12 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thank you doe another Monday of wisdom and knowledge, Bill. And thank you for giving the meaning of those phrases. I remember hearing about how Three Dog Night was named. Interesting!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      This year was the dock, and last week, it was finally there. The problem with depending on contractors is you are at their mercy, so thank God your parents taught you.

      I love your characters because of the inner struggle. I can quickly identify with them. I think the characters are annoying when they are just good.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      12 months ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Once I kicked it into gear, it only took a few hours." - Same with that living-room window! Ya ... right. Haha!! Couldn't even figure out how to secure it in place because it had some weird clamps which had to be installed but a call to a contractor buddy helped-out. It's done now. I'm grateful.

      "Deadlines seem to me to be the exact opposite of creativity." - Have You turned-on a tv lately? We have all these shows about cooking, or renovating and the issue is always "time". It's like: if Life isn't stressful enough, put on a timer for everything You have to do and watch the fire-works go lol

      "I’m beginning to think this Coronavirus thing is going to be with us well into 2021." - Yes it will. Sadly, You guys are going to pass 300,000 deaths by years-end. Just shaking my head ...

      "I want them to struggle with morality." - I first read this as "I want them to struggle with mortality." Haha! I guess that could work.

      "I think that duplicity makes for some very interesting and memorable characters, don’t you?" - I'm getting a little tired of "duplicity", I think. Just on a personal note.

      "Writing our thoughts is less intimidating than speaking them" - I have no problem with speaking. I prefer writing because I can edit the words I use. I am a pain in the rear about words. I chose my words as carefully as possible. In speaking, that would be much harder and require some revision from time to time. Also, when speaking, I encourage people to ask questions if needed. That fragments the speaking, something which writing doesn't have to take into consideration.

      "God, I hope it’s not just me. LOL" - It's just You. Meanwhile, we're all sitting here wondering: what's going on there?! He's battling himself. Haha!! Don't mind me.

      "In religious jargon, we are all sinners." - I prefer to be specific here: Christians are born in sin. If I tell You that You are #$%^ed-up from birth then, You have to listen to me (the priest/institutionalized Christianity) to save You. I offer You, the sinner: Salvation. Isn't that a marvelous way to scare the living Being out of You and to get You to conform?

      Zoroastrianism doesn't tell You that You are born in sin. Buddhism doesn't tell You that You are born in sin. Hinduism doesn't tell You that You are born in sin. Christians ... sigh.

      "Owning a home means an endless list of projects." - Ya but You don't have to wait for the elevator: the one thing I love about not living in a building lol I don't like small crowded areas so, not having to be in elevators with other people is bliss lol

      I'm in a townhouse so, it's nice because we pay maintenance fees and this past week we got a new driveway put-in. If I were in a house, I'd have to put that driveway in myself. Same with the roof: had a new roof put-in a few years ago. I can do it but it's a pain. I'd rather pay maintenance fees and have it done.

      I got a whole master-bathroom to re-do upstairs. That's plenty of work for myself. The entire bathroom has to be gutted; re-install the drywall and window and on and on lol Why do people put a big window right where the bathtub is? Who takes a bath looking out the window? Meh ... anyway, I prefer to share the work-load with paid contractors.

      "by God I’ll get them done and yes, I have my parents to thank for that." - So, thanks to God because "by God I'll get them done", right? What do parents have to do with this? Just curious and being a pain with words as usual.

      Alrighty, You have yourself a great week ahead! Cheers!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      12 months ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I am with you on deadlines and not a fan either. It really does make me more anxious and not as productive by any means. That said, cannot believe how far into summer we are already and want time to slow down just a bit. That said have a wonderful Monday and great week ahead now ;)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Gondwana Land

      From one introvert to another, I have to agree with most of those bullet points. Good job on completing the porch too. Thanks for explaining “the doldrums” that was something I had never thought about and it was interesting. Nice mailbag this week.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      12 months ago from Chicago Area

      G'morning. It is morning. It is Monday. I'm in the Mailbag. Miraculous.

      Re: Projects and Ends. I'm also very project focused. It's why I do what I do and why I hate housework. It just never ends. And, yes, the pandemic won't be ending anytime soon.

      Re: Doldrums. I got 'em! Has happened every year that I have been in business for myself, regardless of the type of business I've been pursuing at the time. I could take the whole month of July and most of August off. I hate summer.

      Re: Introvert Writers? I would never call myself an introvert, although I do enjoy being alone when I work. I've heard that people who swing in both introvert and extrovert directions could be called ambiverts. Okay, that's me.

      I can now check the Mailbag off my Monday (yes, Monday) To Do list. Onward! Have a great week!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Wonderful today my good friend. I will use quickset mortar today on the chimney. Not as messy as mixing. Mixing cement reminds me of Linda -- please do not tell her, but it is like giant dough and if you don't get a blister you are doing it wrong.

      I am a mess. Your responses here remind me that I am a mess. Introverted, with a whole bunch of humanity thrown in. Maybe today I will get at least part of it right.I wonder how much of my life is Sci-Fi.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      12 months ago

      I know one renowned author, Sidney Sheldon by name who takes at least one or two of his characters from extremely bad to very good and vice versa. Nobody will ever suspect it.

      About Introverts and writing, I am an introvert and I love writing and all the analogies you showed between writing and introverts are applicable to me.

      I loved this mailbag. Wish you a great week.

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