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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #321

Updated on August 10, 2020

It Rained Yesterday

I know, that doesn’t seem like a newsworthy statement, especially talking about Olympia, Washington, but it had been a few weeks and, well, it felt good. A couple hours of light rain - refreshing, you know?

I could smell it coming hours before. Why is that? Ozone, as a matter of fact, remembering an old science lesson. Fascinating, really, taking me back thousands of years, really, our ancestors, the ancient ones, they had that ability, smelling the rain, one with nature, they were, and it’s in our DNA if we just quiet down, slow down, and allow old lessons to wash over us.

And when it rains, a good summer rain, there’s a different smell to it, hard to describe, almost musky, you know, as water meets parched ground, releasing what? Again, science steps up to answer, water evaporates on warm ground, releasing all manner of scents for our pleasure, if we take the time to be pleased.

Just randomness on this Friday. Let’s find out what random questions you have for me this week.

The Mail Room!
The Mail Room!

From Technical to Creative

From Eric: “Through years of knowing you. Shucks over 8. I know you also write technical sales type stuff/ or some such for clients. Does one type of writing influence the other? I am writing a legal document with a real tough timeline from the criminal action to the autopsy. I keep telling myself it will make me a more disciplined writer. Am I fooling myself?”

It's actually a pretty interesting question, Eric, and I had to pause to think about it.

Other than the obvious answer, that all writing makes us a better writer, I can definitely see that writing SEO articles for companies is a continued lesson in organizing, and organization leads to discipline, does it not? The articles I write for real estate companies and hair salons and salvage yards must be informational and they must be enticing. It is my job to make my client’s product sound interesting and worth purchasing. Randomness and stream of consciousness writing will not accomplish those goals so yes, I must be a somewhat tethered, organized, and goal-oriented writer when I’m doing the content writing.

And I would think it is particularly true in your type of writing, Eric, so no, you are not fooling yourself. Not this time, at least.

Vulnerability in Characters

From Lora: “Now for my question. Do you think that excellent writers show a vulnerability in their characters that really makes for much more interesting characters that is often overlooked by writers who aren't as skilled? And what characters would you say in your stories show a vulnerability?”

Lora, I think if a writer does not create characters with layers, that writer is missing the boat. Human beings are complicated creatures. We are strong and we are vulnerable. We are loving but we have our moments of hatred. We are gentle and we are, in some instances, brutal. And we are capable of building people up and tearing them down with our actions and words. If that is not reflected in the main characters of a short story or novel, the author might as well not write that story or novel.

In my humble opinion!

I would hope that those who read my novels see that in my characters. Tobias King is strong and vulnerable, as is his best friend Pete. Eli Baker is a complex casserole of opposing character traits, and I love that about him. I want my main characters to struggle with the complexities of life, just like I do and just like most people do.

Great question, my friend. Thank you!

Every person in this photo is vulnerable; why would your characters be any different?
Every person in this photo is vulnerable; why would your characters be any different?

Prose to Poetry

From Rochelle: “I think good rhythm , flow and nuance are vital elements in good poetry. Which prompts a question: is there a dividing line between prose and poetry? The Steinbeck excerpt could be considered a poem, I think. Thanks for continuing to share your insight.”

This is a fascinating question, Rochelle.

You will be happy to know there is such a thing as Prose Poetry. It is poetry without the line breaks, but it takes advantage of standard poetry characteristics like metaphors and heightened imagery. During the 50’s almost every coffee shop in every big city had a prose poet at a microphone railing about society.

An example? Let’s look at Paradise Lost by John Milton:

“Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime

Advancing, sowed the earth with orient pearl,

When Adam waked, so customed; for his sleep

Was aery-light, from pure digestion bred,

And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound

Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,

Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song

Of birds on every bough; so much the more

His wonder was to find unwakened Eve

With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek,

As through unquiet rest: He, on his side

Leaning half raised, with looks of cordial love

Hung over her enamoured, and beheld

Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,

Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice

Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,

Her hand soft touching, whispered thus.”

Pretty cool, right?

Good and Evil

From Zulma: “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?”

Oh boy, a good or evil question. Thank you Zulma! I have been looking at this question in almost all of the books I’ve written. I absolutely love this question.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then shouldn’t evil be as well?

Let’s look at a situation which could very easily happen in today’s world: A man is arrested for child abuse. His wife knows he did it, his other children know he did it, and extended family members know he did it. He is out on bail awaiting trial, and while on bail, his oldest son shoots and kills the abuser.

Is the son evil? His intent was to find justice for his sister, who will probably be negatively affected by the trauma of the abuse for the rest of her life? The brother loved his sister, and he “showed” his love for her by killing his father.

The law says the son is guilty of murder, but is he evil? Or flip it over – is the son good for avenging his sister?

We see these moral questions daily on the news. Some of you may have experienced one of these moral crossroads during your life.

Life isn’t black and white, my friends, and questions of good and evil just emphasize that point, and those questions are the engines which propel my novels.

My favorite characters in my Shadow series, Eli Baker and Paul Striker are constant reminders of the evil in each of us, and the good in each of us.

Thanks for stoking my fire today, Zulma!

The River of Life flows through good and evil. How long we visit each is entirely up to us.
The River of Life flows through good and evil. How long we visit each is entirely up to us.

A Short One but I’m Okay With That

I have things to smell, so we can cut this short and allow me to go outside and sniff.

How about you? When was the last time you took a walk and allowed your senses to really absorb all that is around them? Try it! Go to a quiet park, sit on a bench, close your eyes and allow nature to do her thing. It’s a pretty cool experience!

Thanks for the questions this week! I will leave you with some more prose poetry, this from Amy Lowell in her poem “Bath”

The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air.
The sunshine pours in at the bath-room window and bores through the water in the bath-tub in lathes and planes of greenish-white. It cleaves the water into flaws like a jewel, and cracks it to bright light.
Little spots of sunshine lie on the surface of the water and dance, dance, and their reflections wobble deliciously over the ceiling; a stir of my finger sets them whirring, reeling. I move a foot and the planes of light in the water jar. I lie back and laugh, and let the green-white water, the sun-flawed beryl water, flow over me. The day is almost too bright to bear, the green water covers me from the too bright day. I will lie here awhile and play with the water and the sun spots. The sky is blue and high. A crow flaps by the window, and there is a whiff of tulips and narcissus in the air.”

Have a great week, stay safe, and remember to 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 

      10 days ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you, Lawrence. In the case of my characters in the Shadow series, my guys do what they gotta do, no regrets. lol

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      11 days ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Wow! Some great questions here, and some awesome answers, thank you.

      Zulmas question had me thinking about why I write? I think a good reason is that I can (we writers can) explore what would happen if good people got into bad situations, would they find the fortitude to put things right without breaking the law, or are there truly times when 'a man's got to do what a man's got to do?'

      Or what level of ruthlessness would it take to put a bad situation right?

      Just a thought.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You do the same, Zulma, my witchy friend!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      5 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Stirring the pot again, indeed. Must be my witchy nature. lol

      Have a fun weekend, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      All so very true, Mel! I appreciate that you see the wonders around you. It's the sign of a dreamer, and I like dreamers.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes it does, Miebakagh!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Zulma, stirring the pot again. lol Back goes the thinking cap; I'll have something for you in four days.

      Happy Thursday my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      A lovely thing for you to say, Dora. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, thank you! It has been some time since I saw something new from you. I hope you are well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a great question, Liz. I hope I have a great answer for you next Monday. :) Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Miebakagh!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      6 weeks ago from San Diego California

      I love your randomness. People walk by the same trees every day their entire lives and they don't know anything about them. People walk by the same singing birds their entire lives and they don't even notice them. I keep my nose in the air and my eyes in the sky too. There are wonders all around us, we don't have to go to a national park to experience them. Great work.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

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

      This specific mail bag has lots of interest.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for addressing my question, Bill.

      Do you think understanding plays a role in good v evil? Did the boy understand that his action would be considered evil or did he believe it would be considered good because of the intent? I suppose it would depend on the boy's maturity and capacity for reason.

      Have a good day, Bill.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Great questions and answers in this mailbag. The prose poetry at the end is like a rich dessert to a tasty meal. Thanks!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      6 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Hi, Bill. This one is an interesting mailbag with unique questions.

      I liked the Good and Evil question answered by you through some real day-to-day issues that we witness. I love this skill of yours.

      I enjoyed the prose poetry example also very much.

      Regarding sniffing of nature's fragrances, I remember it was a long gap of decades that I am deprived of that luck. It is not possible in big cities; even though I enjoy some sceneries of big trees with some flowers atop and fresh leaves around or during travels in cabs.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      6 weeks ago from UK

      I was interested in your comments about the impact other writing jobs might have on the way we write. On a broader scale, would you say too that past work experiences might also impact how we write. I recall being trained in time and task management at one time. How much of our past experiences impacts our writing?

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

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

      Bill, you're always welcommed. It is a wonderful relaxing mood. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      We are storytellers, Mary. That is a lesson I learned early one...writers tell stories, or at least they should. :) Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I could do that, Sha, if I can get Bev to stand still long enough to take my picture. That woman wears me out; she's like a hummingbird, you know? lol I didn't say that...fake news!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      God bless you, Rochelle. Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      One of my pet peeves, Eric, those damned absolutes. I can rail on this topic for quite a while, so stay tuned for next Monday.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Very kind words, Devika! Thank you very much!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad you liked it, Rajan! Thanks for stopping by, and stay safe, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, Linda! Have a great week, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, any weather that slow down the mowing of grass is good weather. lol As for poetry, I, too, find quite a bit of the HP poetry to be, shall I say, a bit weak in structure. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always a pleasure having you stop by, Lora. I hope this finds you healthy and happy. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I'm lost trying to write poetry, but I can, occasionally, touch upon prose poetry and feel pretty good about it. I'm afraid I was lost, in school, when poetry lessons were presented. Oh well!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That is nice of you, Denise. Thank you! Learning should be fun, and writing should be ultra fun, don't you think?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! The rain is gone, the sun is back, and all is well in my world. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Not only with characters, Chitrangada Sharan, but with real humans. I always try to remember we all act for a certain reason.

      Thank you for always being here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Miebakagh! Thank you for relaxing with me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Alyssa, I'm trying to envision you slowing down. Seems odd, to me. You are a doer and a person on the move...still, there is value in it, yes?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, Flourish, and in my books it is often very painful. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Greg! Yes about athletes. We love to put people on pedestals, expecting them to rise above us all and be perfect. Silly at best.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That's me, Shannon, Mr. Creepy!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Now the pressure is on me, Ann!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I hope your week is productive and safe.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      I admire your ability to choose the right lines from great literature, and Shauna is not the only one who loves what you included from Amy Lowell. I learn from your wise answers to the questions, but you always include a story, prose, or observations to make the experience even better. Thanks again.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I love the prose by Amy Lowell. Talk about painting a picture with words! By letting your senses do the walking, so to speak, even something as routine as taking a bath can become a canvas of brilliant color and awe.

      This may have been a short mailbag, but the questions were stellar. I could tell by your responses that your mind was quite stimulated by this week's queries.

      Have a great week, my friend!

      P.S. Just a thought: why don't you update your profile pic to feature Maggie and Toby by your side?

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      6 weeks ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      Thank you Sir billy for sharing another article with full of knowledge and words of wisdom to grow as a writer :) God bless you !!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Thank you for these great answers. I smelled a theme here; good/evil, prose/poetry and technical/creative. Like I said, I smelled it but could not put my finger on it :-)

      Do absolutes in writings bother you? "All people get angry" vs Most people have at least some anger issues? (and don't try the smarty pants one word answer "absolutely")

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Bill you have encouraged and helped us writers in all of your hubs. I learned lots from your work and admire that you have answered our questions. Your work is interesting, informative and most useful. Thank you

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

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

      Thanks for the explanation on prose poetry with examples. Some really great questions and revealing answers. The one on good or evil characters is brilliant. Thank you for your insights.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the quotations, Bill. This is an interesting article.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      6 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Fascinating questions this week, Bill. Good v. evil. Maybe the character is neither; maybe he/she is just human. Some people have a natural flare for poetic prose, and some write short and flat. I think most authors write somewhere in between, especially the good ones. I really dislike most of the writing that passes today as poetry. Much of it goes against every grain that I was taught back in school. We talk about breaking the rules of writing, and I'm very guilty of that. However, I don't think one should break rules when writing poetry. Only an exceptionally skilled poet can get away with it.

      We still haven't had more than a trace of rain here. I'm kind of glad because it slows down having to mow the grass. But I do miss the rain. We're back in the 90s again. Enjoy your rain, my friend.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      6 weeks ago

      Great answer to my question, Bill. We are all vulnerable and that's what makes characters more human and that is also what breathes life into a story! Art imitates life and life imitates art in this sense. Good versus evil makes for conflict in a story and that's what makes stories interesting. Hopefully, we will be driven more by good than by evil. Thanks for giving us more insight as writers into the art of writing and leaving us with this inspiring example of prose poetry. Have a wonderful day and week too!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      6 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      Well, we're getting our share of rain smell today. Finally! Pretty much drought conditions for the past couple weeks. Grass crunches under your feet when you walk on it. So I say rain on!

      Re: Prose vs. Poetry. I've read so many poems that would be better billed as prose. I think they break the lines when writing prose because they don't know how sell or classify short prose. There's not much market for it. Have you ever heard anyone say they're writing or want to read a prose book? I haven't. Saying you're writing a poetry book makes you a poet which sounds so arty, right? Not really.

      And the line breaks are often arbitrary and annoying. When poetry is read, those line breaks often disappear. So call it prose already.

      The debate continues. But I do try and read at least a poem a day to figure out this writing art form. With many, my only reaction is, "What the hell did I just read?"

      Anyway, have a great week!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      6 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      That was a beautiful quote from "Bath". Great mailbag today. I love these literary questions and answers. You make writing intellectual yet fun.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      The good versus evil is a fascinating question. I agree that life is not black or white. I think if there is not vulnerability in a character that it would be too one dimensional. I do like your answer to that question.

      I hope you get a walk but enjoy the rain as well. Have a great week, my friend.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Hello Bill!

      Glad to read another interesting installment from you.

      Excellent questions by fellow writers and wonderful answers by you.

      I liked your answer to the question by Lora. Human beings have different shades in their character, and it's good to create such characteristics, when writing stories.

      Thanks for sharing and wish you a wonderful day.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

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

      Hi Bill, poetry always relax me. I just returned from a funeral function with heavy mind. But the poems-paradise lost and the bath began to uplift my low mood. Even the rain, with its dusty scents brings a balming relief. Bill, thanks for a mail bag containing healing remedies!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      6 weeks ago from Ohio

      Every mailbag is wonderful, but I love this one for your reminder to slow down and take notice of the world around us. There's nothing like a good summer rain, I agree! I hope your week is filled with moments like this! :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 weeks ago from USA

      I especially like the good and evil question and answer. People do need to get what they have coming to them.

    • boxelderred profile image

      greg cain 

      6 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Bill - I can smell the rain a comin’ and I can feel it in my joints, as well. If the time is right I can sit and breathe and enjoy and ponder. These days the time is almost always right. That characters are human and humans have flaws that need to be shown and not hidden...that is a fantastic writing lesson and life lesson. I have marveled over the years at people’s dismay and genuine disappointment when they discover their sports hero has a tragic character flaw. I don’t know how or why they wrap the person all up with the player or athlete.

      Thanks for another informative edition of The Mailbag.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      6 weeks ago from Texas

      Interesting choice, Bill. LOL. How creepy of you. ;). I was thinking more along the lines of say, Maleficent.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 weeks ago from SW England

      I shall looking out for that word in your work!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Excellent mailbag this week, Bill. I also love the smells that come with rain, unfortunately there has been very little of that this summer. Love the sample of prose poetry. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I have noticed it, Linda. I was thinking that same thing this morning. A bit crisp this morning, and it's going to dip into the forties later this week. I love it!

      Have a fantastic week, Linda!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very kind, Peggy! Thank you for your kind words. I try to make characters complex like we all are.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs comes to mind. I like Hopkin's character in that movie, despite the fact he ate people. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      More than I did, Ann! Thanks for pointing it out.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, John! Great word that petrachor. I need to use it in a story.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you like it, Rosina! Thanks for stopping by. Be safe!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Patty, I will answer this question in length in next week's Mailbag, but the quick answer is I have several customers I have written for for years now, and they keep me quite busy and in spending money.

      Thank you for the question.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Nithya! Thanks for always being here. Be safe!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! Petrachor? Never heard of it, but I love the word. Now to find a way to use it in a story.

      Our evenings are cooling off quite nicely, and I'm happy for the relief. Bring on Fall!!!!

      Stay safe and be well, my friend.

      bill

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      6 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, what amazing questions this week. Obviously, you've got your followers really THINKING. (Sorry, I'm not shouting but I wish that bold type or red letters were available in Comments).

      Just two days ago, my husband sent me a text asking me to join him outside on the front porch. We just sat for a few minutes and I told him "it's not Summer anymore. I smell Autumn." And he agreed; there's a certain smell in the morning air with the change of the seasons. Have you noticed it?

      Stay safe my friend and have an enjoyable week.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I also learned the word 'petrichor' from reading John's Poems from the Porch series. So happy that you got to enjoy that unique scent, especially if your area needed the rain.

      The push and pull of characters displaying good and evil make for some excellent stories. You are a master at achieving that.

      Thanks for your examples of prose poetry. Enjoy your week and stay safe!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      6 weeks ago from Texas

      Haha...I like the way you started your conclusion. You have things to smell. So specifically to the point and different. I find the question of good and evil in characters very fascinating. Sometimes readers do find themselves sympathizing some with a character traditionally considered a villain through and through.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 weeks ago from SW England

      You're welcome John! At least I pay attention sometimes!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Good questions and answers. Loved the great examples of prose poetry too. Ann is on the ball with “petrachor,” and where she read it recently. Thanks for the mention, Ann. Enjoy the rain Bill.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      6 weeks ago

      I like the idea of both evil and good present in novel characters. And I especially enjoyed prose poetry examples. Thanks for a great mailbag. Have a good week ahead, Bill.

    • pattyfloren profile image

      Patty Florence 

      6 weeks ago from Illinois

      My question is probably a simple one. When you want to get technical in writing, are you hired, or you just write, like for hubpages?

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 weeks ago from Dubai

      Great questions and answers. I enjoyed the prose poetry, thank you for sharing.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 weeks ago from SW England

      I think I read in another hub recently that 'petrachor' is the smell made by the rain mixing with geosmin. Don't ask! It was from John Hansen's (jodah) poems from the porch 39.

      Question: Have you ever written, or thought about writing, a children's story? If so, what? If not, why not?! As you seem to turn yourself to just about any kind of writing, I thought that one might apply.

      It's a very melting Monday here - much too humid! Have a good one, bill!

      Ann

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