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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #319

Updated on July 27, 2020

My Dogs

I gave Toby and Maggie a bath the other night. They hate baths. Maggie knows when it’s coming. As soon as I walk past her carrying towels she goes into hiding. Toby, he’s learning quickly, but so far not quick enough.

So, we all got soaked, and we all got clean, and when finished my two pooches went off sulking in distant corners, and I returned to Bev and watched some television.

Five minutes later Maggie came to me and put her head in my lap. She’s got human eyes, I swear. You look at them and you think you’re looking at a human being. It’s a bit unsettling. Anyway, she looked up at me, those human eyes telling me she forgave me and loved me, and by God I got tears in my eyes. And shortly after, Toby brought his ball to me, inviting me to play, and all was forgiven.

Love is like that, isn’t it? Love means forgiveness. Love means knowing that your loved one has your best interests at heart. Love is trust and understanding and never-ending.

Love is very cool!

I am bullish on love!

Let’s do this mail thing!

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!

INSPIRATION

From Audrey: “I've been wondering what inspired you to become a writer? If this question has already been featured then what has been the biggest challenge for you as a writer?”

I think I’ve mentioned this before, Audrey, but I don’t mind doing it again.

I was inspired to be a writer a long, long time ago, sophomore year in high school. My English teacher that year was Mister Jahner, and one day he gave an assignment for a short story. I wrote mine about a fight between two gladiators, and I remember the ending was pretty good for a fifteen-year old, actually fairly poignant.

Mister Jahner wrote a comment on that story, and the comment said he believed I had some writing talent and that I should pursue that talent. I’ve never forgotten that comment. For a shy kid with very little belief in himself, those kind words were like manna from heaven. And that was all the inspiration I needed. I held onto those words for decades and, finally, ten years ago I acted on his suggestion.

The biggest challenge? Convincing myself that I actually had enough talent to share my writing with the world. It was a huge step for me, joining HubPages. I was worried about how my work would be perceived. I was worried about rejection. I had to overcome that fear, and that was very hard for me to do.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Fifteen-hundred articles and countless novels later, here I am, loving the life of a writer.

Maggie and her human eyes.
Maggie and her human eyes.

Why Do I Enjoy Writing Fiction?

From Lora: “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!”

Thanks for the kind words about the porch, Lora! Not bad for an amateur DIY guy.

I am still that shy kid, sitting in my bedroom long ago, daydreaming and writing about worlds I never will experience. My imagination is on twenty-four-seven, every single day of the year. It’s always been like that. Writing fiction is a natural extension of that imagination. I can step outside of my introverted isolation and step into a world of my creation, a world I control, a world where love reigns supreme, where the bad guys get what’s coming to them, and the good guys finally find love and the rewards which come from living a righteous life.

Fiction gives me a chance to let the little guys win. It gives a voice to the downtrodden of life. In my world, the prostitutes and the abused and those recovering from addiction are finally given a chance to succeed. In my world, everyone has a voice and everyone is listened to. To borrow from John Lennon, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, and I write for the dreamers of the world.

Motivation? Knowing there are people out there who enjoy my novels and stories. It’s still amazing to me, that I can bring joy to people I’ve never met, through my words. It’s a gift I’ve been given, and it’s a gift I will continue to use until the day comes when I can’t do it any longer.

SHADOWS

From Lisa: “When can we expect your next Shadows book? I’m hooked on Striker.”

Lisa, I’ll be happy to let Striker know he has a huge fan. By the way, I’m hooked on Striker too, and this latest book, “Shadows Across the Pond,” features Striker quite a bit and gives us more insight into events which shaped my favorite character.

I’m on the last two chapters of the first writing right now, and then editing will begin. That will take about a month, so let’s say it will be completed by September. October at the latest.

Travel Articles

From Arthur: “I have this rather bizarre idea of writing travel articles, even though I have hardly ever traveled. Do you think that’s even possible to do? It seems, with all the information on the internet, that it would be possible to sound knowledgeable, you know?”

Actually, Arthur, as bizarre as that idea sounds, I’m going to blow a few people away by saying yes, I think it is quite possible to do. In fact, I wrote an article about this a few years ago, and in it I said I saw no reason why a person couldn’t do this.

There are tons of travel articles out there. Tons! What makes one travel writer stand out among that crowd is the creativity of the writing and the marketing of that writing. In other words, find a way to build a better mousetrap, and learn how to market that mousetrap, and it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference if you’ve traveled the world or only traveled around your block.

Some people may find that to be sacrilege, but I’ll go to my grave believing I’m correct. If I set my mind to it, if I was really motivated to write travel articles, I know I could do it. I would then launch a social media blizzard. I would work on a guerilla marketing campaign. I would keyword the hell out of Google. And I would succeed!

Or maybe I’m just full of b.s. and impossible dreams. Lol

Great market out there for talented travel writers.
Great market out there for talented travel writers.

Back to Love

One of the questions today came from Lora Hollings, a writer here on HP. She wrote a poem once about her father, and her love flows through that poem. Check it out here if you get a chance. Lora is also a huge animal lover, which automatically qualifies her to become a member of my “Favorite Writers Club.”

It’s all about love, my friends!

May your week be filled with love, and may you spend quality time sharing the love you receive.

Pax Vobiscum!

Questions for the Mailbag? Include them in the comments below, or email them to me at holland1145@yahoo.com.

Thanks a bunch! Stay safe, and hugs to those of you going through tough times. Lea, you are in my mind.

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

      Exactly, Lawrence! Google Maps is a great resource for many writers. I know I use it often.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      As one writer put it, "that's what Google Maps is for!"

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence! I most definitely believe you can do it. It takes a bit more work to pull it off convincingly, but it can be done. Now, if someone were to ask questions about it, you might stumble a bit. :)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Thats an interesting question, 'can a person become a travel writer without having actually travelled?"

      I wanted to disagree, but then thought I've never actually been to Iran, but I wrote about it in my first novel!

      The one I've just started is mostly in Eastern Europe, yet again never been there!

      So I suppose I'm wrong and you can!

      One book I read recently was set in Northern Mexico and you could feel what the town was like, but the writer said he'd never been there!

      Just a few thoughts for those who might want to disagree with you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back, Shyron! It's good to hear from you, and I love your nonsensical poems. Carry on with them any old time. You have at least one big fan. :) Stay cool and safe in Texas, my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      11 months ago from Texas

      Hello Bill, I love your mailbag, and I know what you mean by love in your pooch's eyes, my Chipper has love eyes also and he looks right into my eyes and sometimes I feel he can read my mind, sometimes I expect him to start talking but, right the words he can say are mom, num-num for his treats and out (anyone can understand this one.

      I know I have been MIA for a while not and need to get back into the swing of writing.

      I had questions but, when I start to write they evaporate

      like the tissue my dog just ate

      I think I should write them on a plate

      Then it will be my boyfriend who just ate

      Perhaps I should leave them at the gate

      But, the yoties (coyotes) can't wait

      All the building around me they just hate.

      Sorry about my nonsensical poem, sometimes I just think in rhyme.

      Blessings and hugs my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Jo! Thank you very much!

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      12 months ago from Tennessee

      Great tips, as usual, Bill. Very comforting to see you here week after week giving advice and offering inspiration.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree with your statement, Devika. Thank you and blessings to you always.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      12 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative and definitely all questions answered. Writers helping writers is the way to a great experience in writing and earning online.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for finding the time to drop by, Kristen. I hope this finds you healthy and happy.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      12 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hey Bill, I'm stopping by to say hi, though it's been awhile since I've been here. Great mailbag. I would love to be a stay at home travel writer someday--or do food and wine.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Seriously, Sha, I think I would leave that job to someone else. You could get hurt wrestling with a dog that big. lol You are a braver soul than I am. Working with our 65 pound dogs is tough enough.

      Thank you for loving me. It means a great deal to me, my friend.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      They really are, Linda, and I know they would love to meet you...hint, hint, hint.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That made me laugh, Meg, but it was also accurate. Thank you for the smile you gave me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, that was such a sweet thing for you to say. Thank you very much. I'm honored...I truly am. What's next? We just keep plugging along, doing what we love to do. Sound good to you?

      Thank you for joining me. I hope this finds you healthy and happy.

      Blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I haven't seen an article from you in awhile. I hope you are well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll pass on that offer, William. I did that once...just once...never again. lol Happy Wednesday to you, my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that it has become a habit for you, Chitrangada Sharan. Let's hope we both continue that habit for many years to come. Thank you my friend!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      12 months ago from Central Florida

      Interesting mailbag this week, Bill. The questions led us to more glimpses into the soul of the man we all know and love (yes, I'm talking about you!).

      Hearing you talk about bath time and the way your canine kids react took me back to when I was younger. We had a Great Dane when I was growing up. Usually, we'd put him on his leash and attach it to a clothesline and bathe him in the back yard. It made the job a piece of cake. But in the winter, when it was cold and snowy (New Jersey), we'd put him in the bathtub. Have you ever tried to turn a 175 lb., 3 1/2 ft. tall dog around in a bathtub? Not an easy task to say the least. Clean up was a bitch. Little black hairs in the tub and water all over the place! God, I loved that dog! Seriously.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the description of Maggie and Toby forgiving you. They sound like great dogs.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      12 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Dogs are real examples of unconditional love. If ever anybody asked me what that was, I would tell them to go and ask a dog!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      12 months ago from Fresno CA

      I love your mailbag days. I'm not sure why I read from top to bottom and don't skip a word, but your writing affects me that way. Some writers make me want to skip ahead but not you. Very homey, earthy, natural way of expressing yourself. It makes me feel like we are sitting on that porch of yours enjoying a cool lemonade and touching up the news of the day, month, year, you name it. My dad was like that. He'd sit on the front porch with the newspaper, cat (raunch he called him) in his lap, coffee cup close at hand, and then put it down to tell us what was important and what wasn't. It always opened up a cool discussion of topics, all before the day began. You are like another brother, taking up where dad left off. Sensitive, caring, yet a no-nonsense, type of guy. I like that. What's next on the agenda?

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your kind words, Venkatachari M. And thanks for mentioning that about the travel articles you wrote. I had no idea and I doubt anyone else did.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lora, any animal lover is a friend of mine. Loving animals shows character and compassion and all other manner of good attributes. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love what you wrote, Rajan! So very true, my friend. Thank you for that.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, if I were Larry, I would heed that warning. I have no doubt you would follow through on that threat. lol

      I don't know how you guys do it in that heat for as long as you do it. It was 95 here yesterday and all life stopped in Olympia. lol

      Happy week to you, MizB!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Heidi, for your perspective on the travel articles. Can you imagine, two or three years for the industry to regain its footings? What a strange world we live in. We are sold out of bicycles in Olympia...a new reality.

      95 yesterday here. I was a puddle of unhappy oozee.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you on both counts, Bill. As a writing exercise it would be a fun one, me thinks.

      Have a fantastic week, Bill!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I think it's an important lesson to remember...words have power, and they can be used to inspire.

      Blessings to you, my friend, during your sad, sad times.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! I doubt I would do it because for some reason it seems a bit underhanded, but I definitely think it is possible to do so convincingly.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Liz! Mind you, I would never try to write a travel article if I had not traveled, but it would be interesting to try. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Peggy! It's interesting, little moments which can mean so much later in life.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Alyssa! You do the same. Stay safe!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There you are, Shannon! Congratulations on beating HP at their own game. You wore them down with persistence.

      Wear a mask! For God's sake why wouldn't anyone? That's a scary story. Glad your family came through that okay. Damn people, get with the program so we can end this nightmare.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      12 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Bill. I agree with you about your dogs. My first great-granddaughter is a dog, Stevie, whose name I wanted to be changed. After meeting Stevie, I have come to love her very much. The relationship is similar to my human relationships.

      I love the video you included in travel writing. Like you, I believe that some of the great travel writers are those who have not stepped out of their corners. The key is their creative imagination and talent.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      12 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      If you have some extra time, I have some cats that need to be bathed. That is, if you don't mind scratches and bites - lol. Some interesting things of a more personal nature this week. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with us, Bill.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Hello Bill!

      Great set of questions and I enjoyed going through your answers.

      Regarding Audrey’s question and your response—Yes, a little bit of appreciation can lay down the foundation of a great future. We all need that affirmation from the people, who matter.

      The writer’s mailbag has become a habit, and I wish it continues forever.

      Thank you for sharing another engaging installment.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Bill, your English teacher was very kind and noble to point out to that hidden quality of a writer in you. Very few people provide that type of proper guidance by locating the hidden talents inside a student. You are really a greatly talented writer.

      Regarding travel articles, I also did write two travel articles, even though I didn't visit. One was written for a customer and the other one here on our HubPages.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      12 months ago

      Bill, it is no wonder that your books appeal to so many readers. You put your imagination to good use in creating wonderful characters and stories that people love to read about. I think people just naturally like to see the underdog, in the end, find happiness and what they’re looking for. I’m deeply honored to be a member of your “Favorite Writers Club.” And thanks for the thumbs up on my poem about my dad. Another thought provoking mailbag for both the mind and the soul! Keep safe and I hope it gets cooler there for you soon. A big hug to Maggie and Toby and I salute you for your love to them and to your generous nature.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      That you are a successful writer shows what a profound impact a single positive comment can have on a person. Positivity in life is most important and it is also important, therefore, that we choose people who spread positivity in life.

      A great set of questions and revealing answers. Thank you for this.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      12 months ago from Beautiful South

      I have to agree with Heidi on don't write as a traveler on someplace you've never been. Several years ago, I saw a hub on places to visit in Little Rock that interested me until I read it. It was so obvious that the writer had visited websites, lifted their photos and written about what he saw in the photos. One of his photos was on what we call the Old Mill (properly Pugh's Mill) in North Little Rock. Now this is one of the most unique places in the nation, not just in Arkansas, with all the log bridges and other log structures actually formed of concrete. It is the mill in the opening scenes of the movie "Gone With the Wind". This guy had labeled the photo as one of the river park photos. He probably didn't even know he was looking at concrete logs but thought it was petrified wood or something. So at least know what you are talking about if you plan to do something that foolish!

      Speaking of foolish, my poor Cici cat nearly itched herself to death for a week before I found out that Larry had used his highly scented man's body wash on her. We'd run out of kitty shampoo and she needed a bath. Poor thing. Even after a trip to the pet store for hypoallergenic shampoo and another bath, she's still scratching and howling. It may take a couple of baths for her relief. I promised her if he did that again, I'd bring in some poison ivy from the yard and put it in his underwear.

      It is dang hot here, but we are promised some relief starting Wednesday. I hope so. Keep safe and cool, my friend.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      12 months ago from Chicago Area

      Monday. Mailbag. I'm here and that's let's do this.

      Re: Dog Baths. Our fur kids just got bathed and groomed last week, too. Girl is pretty cooperative. Boy dog is traumatized. We have a groomer come in. But they get through it. And, of course, as soon as they're done, they have to run into the yard and roll around in the lawn. Oh well...

      Re: Armchair Travel Blogging. I think you can write about places you've never been. BUT (and as you can see it's a big but) it depends on your perspective. You can write "about" the place from the perspective of doing research, citing authoritative sources. Or write from a "places I want to go" viewpoint. You shouldn't write as someone who has firsthand experience, recommending travel to places you've never been. And you need to be clear about that with your readers. Otherwise you'll be seen as an imposter or liar. There are already too many fake Instagram travel "influencers" who are misleading their followers with their fake armchair travel photos and posts.

      But here's the other reason I wouldn't even recommend a travel blog now if you haven't already gained a reputation as an expert in that space. It's called coronavirus. From the business reports I've heard, there's speculation that travel won't resume to anywhere near normal levels until 2022 or even 2023. That's 2 to 3 years from now. The travel industry is in a crisis that it's never experienced in history. The airlines have been down in flights by up to 90%+ in recent months. And the travel restrictions and new regulations and procedures are in a state of daily flux. People are unlikely to be looking for travel information except as it relates to essential travel, safety protocols, etc.

      Okay, anti-travel blog rant over.

      A tad cooler here in Chi-town (like mid-80s). So we're gonna enjoy it. Have a great week!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      12 months ago from Massachusetts

      Don't you find it amazing that a simple comment from your teacher so many years ago could have such a profound impact on your life today? Regarding the travel article question I do believe I could write about a place I've never been to, but it's so much more fun to explore the world and then write about it. Have a great week.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      12 months ago from Brazil

      I like reading that it was one teacher who set the direction your life would go after all those years. It is amazing the power a few simple words can have.

      How different the world would be if all the bickering and pettiness was replaced with a few kind words.

      Have a wonderful week.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Writers who are not religious write religious articles. Writers who are not married write about marriage. Why can't writers who do not travel write about travel? I agree with your answer to the question on travel articles.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      12 months ago from UK

      Thanks for sharing from your own experiences, Bill. It's always interesting to hear about what inspired you to write, why you enjoy it and the latest news about your next book. Interesting thoughts too about travel writing. I agree, Lora justly deserves your recommendation. Have a great week, Bill.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Oh, I well remember those loving dog and even cat eyes looking at us with love. Your dog bath story resonates with many of us who have had similar experiences. I miss our furry babies.

      Kudos to your English teacher for putting you on the right path to authorship, and to HubPages for giving you an early platform.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      12 months ago from Ohio

      Another excellent mailbag! Have a wonderful week!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      12 months ago from Texas

      Well then.....let me try again.

      Great mailbag! You nearly brought me to tears with your intro, too.

      Something about how stories like yours are the reasons fantastic teachers want to become teachers in the first place. I was also first inspired to write by a teacher in 7th grade who encouraged me to write. Well into adulthood, actually. And then another teacher in high school who commented on my poetry.

      And the other paragraph I wrote is for everyone to wear a mask, and please don't complain. We were directly exposed to the coronavirus at the beginning of this month by someone who shortly afterward went into the hospital. He's now on a ventilator unless they can take him off today. He showed up at our home unexpectedly, but he was wearing a mask and we were all outside. Only chatted for ten to fifteen minutes and distanced. However, he did give a family member a brief hug when he first arrived. I believe the mask made the difference.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Drip, drip, drip, Linda! 'Nuf said indeed.

      Dripping with sweat today, I might add.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rosina! Happy week to you as well. Stay safe.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, both of our dogs are that size,,,,65-70 pounds. Too heavy for my lap, but they don't pay any attention to my suggestions. They still believe they are a good fit in my lap. lol

      What is it with dogs and baths? My dogs love water, run through puddles, splash at the beach, but get them near a bathtub and they are in no mood.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, I think it's time for you to get a new cat and dog. Just sayin', it seems you need to share all that love inside you with a four-legged friend.

      But what do I know?

      Happy Monday my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      95 here today too, Janine, but not at 10:15. Sheez, that's hotter than Hades, right? Bring on the Fall. lol We are never satisfied, are we?

      Happy Monday Janine!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Me too, Eric! People see right through my fiction.."Hey, didn't you do that too, Bill?" and then I have to fess up. Shh, don't tell anyone. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! I'm hoping that love thing starts spreading around the globe. We could all use much more of it in our daily lives. I think we all need to take a deep breath and chill out a bit.

      A hot one here today, my friend, much too hot, but all things shall pass in time.

      Happy Monday to ya!

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks as always for your thoughts, Flourish. I do think honesty is the best policy, but I have no doubt, if I were unscrupulous, that I could write one hell of a travel article.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, you started this mailbag with a soggy story, but honestly, it's dripping with love. 'Nuf said.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      12 months ago

      Today's mailbag was enjoyable full of fun, humor, love and interesting questions and answers. Thank you, Bill for a great mailbag. I hope you have a great week ahead.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      12 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      I had to laugh at the story about bathing your dogs. Most of the dogs I have had hate baths. My daughter's dog will give you a disgusted look and act like you are beating her, during the entire bath. My son and his dog are staying with me right now, and we have to make sure the bathroom door is tightly latched before we can take a shower. My daughter didn't once and he came in and got in the shower with her. We can't let him out when it is raining or it will be at least 2 hours to get him back in. He loves water, in any way, shape or form.

      He also has the habit of coming to you several times a day, and climbing into your lap to love on you. He is one of the neediest dogs I have ever known. He also has love eyes for us all the time. I have never seen him to display anything else for us, just for people he does not know or trust. They fear, when he is charging towards them from an acre away. They have been known to run, and he was behind a good fence. Did I mention he is a hunting dog and weighs 65 pounds and it is all muscle.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      12 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is another interesting mailbag and you will soon be publishing your next book. Considering your work on the porch, in the garden and cutting up all that wood for cooler temperatures I would say you have much to be grateful for, in addition to Bev, Magi and Toby.

      I have found as I get older that I really count my blessings, which I took for granted when I was young. I have such a loving family and I also love animals. I lost my dog a couple of years ago and my cat died a few months ago. That hurts as I was very attached to both.

      Have a good week, Bill!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      12 months ago from New York, New York

      Happy Monday, Bill!! We are having a heat wave here and it is 95 degrees already at 10:15. We also had my older daughter's graduation ceremony up at our local high school at 9 am as it was postponed for obvious reasons and finally had a socially distanced ceremony. But back at my desk for a bit before most likely going to celebrate with cake and special meal for my girl later today. Hoping you are enjoying your week so far and trying to stay cool, as well.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      What love? Love shove! I swear a big old cottonwood hugged me back the other day.

      Who said something like "Inspiration is 80% perspiration".

      I can't write fiction and post it on FB -- too many old friends write back that it isn't, that I really did that.

      A fun thing about my hallucinations is that I really did travel to all those places to write about ;-)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      12 months ago from SW England

      A dog's eyes can reduce even the hardest of us to tears, I believe. Irresistible!

      I suppose travel writing is being able to portray the landscape or area by really getting into it and passing on that feeling of 'belonging' - the best travel writer for that is Robert Macfarlane (I've mentioned him just a few times before!!), though I'm pretty sure he's visited the places about which he writes.

      All you need is love! We need more of that around the world, that's for sure.

      Have a melodious Monday, bill!

      Ann

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      That travel writer may be fine until s/he is asked what is their favorite local restaurant or their opinion of blah blah. Unless they have no problem fudging or outright lying they should probably come clean right up front that this is a place they are planning on going or whatever their twist is.

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