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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Eighty-Six

Updated on February 22, 2016

Feast or Famine

That’s how it goes sometimes in the Mail Room. Some weeks there are too many questions and then, occasionally, we’ll have a week, like this one, where it’s like pulling teeth trying to get a question asked.

Oh well!

We’ll answer the three that came in and then let all of you go back to your regularly scheduled activities.

CHILDREN’S EBOOK

From Phyllis: “I’ve got a problem maybe you can help me with. I’m writing a children’s book which will eventually become an eBook. When I’m done I’ll then get some illustrations done and then format it for an eBook. Actually, I have two problems.

“I can’t draw and I’m not rich. How can I find an illustrator who will work cheap? And second, is formatting an eBook with illustrations very hard to do? I’m worried I’ll get all done with my book and then not be able to download/format it.”

Never fear, Phyllis, Bill is here.

Most of us aren’t rich, so I feel your pain. I’ve got a few suggestions and I’m sure our readers will have more.

Second question first: No, it is not that difficult to format an eBook with illustrations. I suggest the first thing you do is buy a copy of the book shown at the right. It is very detailed and very easy to understand. Whenever I get ready to format an eBook I go to the library and pick up a copy of that book. It takes me step-by-step through the entire process in a manner ever I can understand and believe me, I’m basically brain-dead when it comes to formatting.

Now about finding illustrators…..there are quite a few among us here at HP. I suggest asking a question on HP or making it a forum topic. I think you’ll find someone very quickly that way. You might also call the local college or high school, ask for the art teacher and explain what you are looking for. The teacher might pick up the ball and incorporate it into a lesson plan, or she might know of a student who would like some professional credibility and would be willing to work cheap. Those two ideas came to me in about ten seconds. Let’s see what my readers say about it.

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room! | Source

More help on writing descriptions

Character Physical Descriptions

From Theo: “I’ve been reading your short stories and I’m impressed with the way you describe your characters physically. This is something I have great trouble doing. Do you have any tips?”

Well, Theo, I’ve got a lot of tips. How many do you want?

Here’s one I’ve done before. Go to a coffee shop with a tablet and pen. Study the people sitting in the shop. Write down as many physical characteristics as you can. Get detailed…small scars, big ears, thinning hair, narrow face, bulbous nose….go for the gusto with this, and do it for a number of people.

After you have done that, try describing those physical attributes in simile form. His nose looked like a mile of bad road. Her smile looked like the sun breaking through storm clouds. His ears looked like that old Disney character Dumbo.

I believe good writing is the result of a number of things. I believe good writers train themselves to be good writers through practice. I believe they observe better than the average person. I believe they read a great deal and are not afraid to borrow ideas and techniques from other writers.

Whenever I feel like my creativity has shriveled up, and I can’t possibly write a vivid description of a character or scene, I turn to my old mentor James Lee Burke. I read about ten pages of one of his novels and my mental block is cleared.

And yes, I use the same techniques for describing scenes and settings. We all have five senses….use those senses to help in describing a scene. What does your main character see? What do they smell, hear, feel and taste? Tell it in a way any reader can relate to and you’ll be successful.

Use one of these people for practice and describe them.
Use one of these people for practice and describe them. | Source

Back to Work

From Bob: “I know you recently went back to work. How has that affected your writing schedule? Are you maybe a little bitter that you can’t write as much as you once did? Maybe not bitter, per se, but frustrated, maybe?”

Well, Bob, it definitely has affected my writing schedule. I was out on the road this morning and didn’t start writing until eleven, so four hours of writing time were gone. Same thing will happen tomorrow. So yes, I’ve had to get realistic about what I can accomplish and what I can’t. I can still handle my work load for my freelance writing customers, and I can still have the same goals of two new books this year, but it will just take me longer to do it. That’s not to say I’ve given myself an excuse not to write. I won’t go down that path. It just means instead of working on the novels two hours each day now I have to settle for half-an-hour or maybe an hour.

As far as being frustrated or bitter, it’s all in your outlook. Getting out, calling on customers, those things are good for me. I’ve been in my writing studio non-stop for four years, and being isolated is not good for this recovering alcoholic. I find I’m loving being out and interacting with customers. It’s actually fun for me right now. Another thing is it gives me a chance to do some observing of people and places. I always have my camera with me, so I snap shots that might help me in describing scenes at some point, and if I see an interesting person I’ll snap a shot of them as well.

So right now, a couple months into it, I’m able to tell you this is a good thing and will ultimately help my writing. It definitely will help my bank account. LOL

Going back to work allows me to observe people and life
Going back to work allows me to observe people and life | Source

Last Minute Addition on Linking

From Colin: “Not sure if you've answered this one before, but I was wondering what you think about links to websites - more specifically, is it better (or more sensible) for writers to share links back to their own websites or to the likes of Amazon/Smashwords etc? “

Colin, this really is a first-time question and an interesting one. I’m in no way an expert at this, and perhaps our readers will have a more comprehensive and, dare I say, correct response.

I assume you are talking about a link to your book on Amazon, correct? My own opinion is it is always better to funnel readers to your own website. There you can have further links that will send them to Amazon if need be. It just makes sense, from a marketing point of view, to always send readers and Google searchers to your own writing website to increase traffic to that site.

Having said that, if someone in the comments tells me I’m wrong with that opinion, I won’t be a bit surprised. LOL

And That’s All We Have

A short one today but at least we got the mail out on time. Since I don’t much care about HP guidelines and earnings, it really doesn’t make much difference to me if I hit the magic 1,250 word limit.

And no, I haven’t heard anything else about the rumors of HP going out of business. I suspect, at this point, it is simply a rumor that took on a life of its own in the forums, but if it is true, I hope many of us can find a way to stay in touch on some other writing site. I’d hate to lose you all.

Have a great week of writing!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 16 months ago from New York, New York

      Bill, short or not always good to have your advice here and you know I never tire of it. Happy Monday and wishing you a great week ahead now, as always!!! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for always being here so quickly, Janine! Happy Monday, my friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This may be a short mailbag, but it's a goody. I took a lot from the questions and answers this week. I really think I need to work on my descriptions of characters apearances. I tend to neglect that a little I notice, but I will get better with practice. I'll keep this short in the hope it shows up as the first comment...there were none when I started writing. Damn, Janine beat me as always.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Just some info for Phyllis. Another hubber "Paintdrips" (Denise McGill) is a great artist and illustrator. Maybe contact her to see if she can illustrate your eBook and ask for her pricing.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 16 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks again Bill. As always, your have very practical tips and once again, emphasized that the whine about lack of time is just that, a whine. Am now off to the Path here in Toronto where there are lots of coffee shops and thousands of characters just flowing every minute...ad it is warm down here.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 16 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Bill, great questions and answers in your mailbag. Maybe someday I'll ask one of my own. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. BTW, thanks for friending me on Facebook last week. :-)

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 16 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      Practice practice practice. I could agree more, but I don't know how. Read read read. Most of my writing troughs, slumps, and blocks come from disengaging with other material, whether literary or academic, so your advice serves me well. Perhaps, someday, the sixth sense will appear...

      Glad to have these mailbags on Monday morning as a gentle kick in the ribs, or spark in the writing seat, to get me going,

      -E.G.A.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This really helped me about describing characters by using simile form. I learn so much from you. Thank you much.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 16 months ago from Europe

      Short but fun. Thanks for the loyal good old Monday mailbag, Bill! Have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I don't know how Janine does it, but she is quick Monday mornings. Thanks...we are always getting better with practice....such is the nature of our chosen craft, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very good John! Thanks for that!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sounds delightful, Aesta! Have a fun time observing and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's my pleasure, Kristen. Thanks for friending me as well. Have a wonderful Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eldon! I think most of us need a gentle kick in the ribs...so let's take it together and then start writing a masterpiece. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm very happy to hear that, Ruby! Thank you and Happy Monday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Buildreps. Thank you so much.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 16 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Enjoyable venture into the world of character descriptions, Bill, and great answers to the questions you receive. This was my favorite part, "I believe good writing is the result of a number of things. I believe good writers train themselves to be good writers through practice. I believe they observe better than the average person. I believe they read a great deal and are not afraid to borrow ideas and techniques from other writers."

      And quite possibly, they have better memories of their own experiences on which they draw.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 16 months ago from london

      Nice one! Very enjoyable! Fewer yes , but great questions. Excellent work!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Quite possibly, Peg! Thanks for adding that and I do agree.

      Thank you my friend. Have a great week of creating.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita and blessings to you always.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 16 months ago

      Bill, you inspire me, you really do!

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 16 months ago from Alberta

      Hey, Bill! It's lovely to see you're well. This writing advice is very helpful, especially the "go people watch" response you gave to Theo.

      I may be able to help fill out the question roster for next week. I'm writing a novel that, while not actually being a romance, has much of the trappings that people would associate with romance. The reason it's not a romance is that the main characters do not (and can never) love each other. This novel is going to be self-published. How could I make the actual genre clear to potential readers without bright bold text saying "It's not what it looks like" on the cover? Even if it's in the correct genre on the self-publishing website, I'm worried people may pass over it due to the conflicting genre elements.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 16 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, you managed to turn "only three questions" into a great mailbag (how do you do it?) I especially liked your answer about character physical descriptions and using phrases that will focus on all of our senses. I don't write about characters, but (as you know) I write a LOT about food. Even there descriptions are key--how something tastes is an obvious one, but you can also describe the color and texture (the sauce was silky and dark like a pool of molten chocolate), the aroma, even (sometimes) the sound of food--think about the crackle as you bite into a crisp buttery croissant.

      I think perhaps your job does more (for you) than provide a few more much-needed dollars in the bank. It gives you an opportunity to get out a observe more--I am pretty sure we will benefit from those observations.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pop! That means a lot to me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Molly, good to see you and thanks for a great question. I'll have an answer for you next week, my friend. Thanks again and best wishes on that novel.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Carb, I agree with everything you said. I mentioned the same thing in an article a couple years ago. Just because someone is writing an article about food or travel or sewing doesn't mean the basic elements of descriptive writing can't be utilized. Great point, my friend, and thank you.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 16 months ago from Northern California, USA

      Short, yes, but I sure learned a lot. And, I have to agree with you that it is always best to link back to your own website. That way, you control the reader's ultimate experience. You know exactly where that link leads and if your website leads the reader to another website, like Amazon, then you are in control of how they get there and where they land once they get there. It's all about control. Geez, I hope it is just a rumor about HubPages going out of business. I haven't heard any official announcements. Right now it's all rumors, like when Ted Cruz's team announced that Dr. Ben Carson left the presidential race.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 16 months ago from Central Florida

      I'm so far behind in my reading, I decided to start with the latest posts and work my way back. Even so, I don't know if I'll ever catch up.

      I haven't heard rumor that HP is going out of business. Does it have to do with the niche sites (which don't reference HP in the URLs)?

      I'm glad you're enjoying your job, Bill. I'm loving mine as well. I feel productive, appreciated and love the people contact. Three years of isolation was really affecting me. I guess it did so more than I thought. Lately, I've been spending my weekends on the hunt for artwork for my office, which means some days I don't even turn my computer on. Time to change up the Same Shit Different Day rut I'd gotten myself into.

      Anyway, I'll see you on the flip side. I'm not gone, just giving myself a little more freedom and diversity.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 16 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      A few thoughts about today's mailbag. In the question from Theo, I think that is a brilliant idea about people watching for inspiration. Regarding the similes though, how can we be sure they will be understood by the target audience and not sound like a cliche?I read so many metaphors and similes on the internet that I just don't get.

      Another question for a mailbag , if you deem it worthy.

      I was looking at a magazine's article submission page recently and their guidelines were strict. In essence they said unless you had had a best seller, using the traditional publishing route, don't bother submitting anything.

      My question is do you think that the arrogance in this is justified? I know publishers hold a lot of credibility. I also know there are some self published books which aren't great (your quail marketing book for example). How can people who self publish get that credibility? Is it only through sales, a strong online presence, or perseverance and perspiration?

      One more thing, while I've got your attention, when was 1200+ words on Hubpages the magic number? I thought it was 900 or did I miss the memo?

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 16 months ago from Alberta

      Hey, Mary.

      I can confirm that 1200+ words have been the magic number since 2015 since that is when I joined the site. It may have been around years before that. The recommendation is made in the "stellar hubs" checklist, which is at the top right corner of the hub editing interface.

      Hope this helps.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 16 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      There was some theory that there are only 7 original stories, and I don't know what they are, but if that is true, it sounds like a lot of repetition.

      If you take the squares on a checker or chess board, and put a dollar on the first square and doubled the value on each of the rest of the squares you would have.

      .......... exponential expression: 264

      264 = 18446744073709551616, that is to say 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 is read in English as:

      "eighteen quintillion, four hundred fourty-six quadrillion, seven hundred fourty-four trillion,

      seventy-four billion, seven hundred nine million, five hundred fifty-one thousand, six hundred sixteen."

      The point is that you can make a lot of difference just with the power of 2.

      Now it doesn't apply directly to the permutations, and combinations using words but there is a lot of room for differences in writing.

      Having said that, each generation seems to find a limited number of word recipes that are thinly disguised by different writers and writings.

      There are just so many different ways of describing common things in life. So now in the 21st century, there is a lot of existing material and chances of coming up with a unique and attractive style is complex.

      That probably accounts for why there are so many remakes in the movies, and there are far less movies than there are novels.

      The question now that I have made you dizzy is can you read a novel and categorize the style into a limited number of possibilities?

      For example, you see the sentence

      ..... It was a dark and stormy night.....

      You recognize it as being the work or style of some famous author.

      What are the styles of the 21st century, that set this century apart from all the rest. Or is there just an endless continuum for existing styles across the centuries?

      If I lost you, please use the Delete function Here! (:-)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic, sometimes shorter is sweeter. These were really great ones today. I have a question for you but I need to look into it before I can even ask it properly.

      Which reminds me to ask you. When you get stuck on a particular line or paragraph and it just isn't gelling right do you just keep going and come back to it or do you keep pounding until you get it right? Or is it a mix?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pretty much like that, Marlene. lol....Thanks for weighing in on the linking question. I was pretty sure that was the way to go but I always have some doubts about my opinion.

      Have a great week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Life is like that, Sha. Oftentimes, for me, I don't know what I need until I've thrashed around a bit. Eventually I figure it out. I do like being out among customers and the public...just as long as I still find time to write.

      Take care my friend and thank you for visiting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Mary! Great question about the magazine submission. I'll tackle that one next Monday. As for HP, that guideline has been with us awhile...check Molly's response below.

      I hope all is well in your little corner of Brazil. We hear a great deal about your country lately with the mosquito scare...I hope it hasn't affected you and loved ones.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Molly, it always helps me when someone agrees with me or confirms what I was saying. lol Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, believe it or not, I followed that perfectly. LOL I love your comments and questions, and this one about 21st Century styles is a very good one. Stay tuned and I just might have a decent answer next week.

      Thank you my friend....the numbers you quoted have my head spinning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, another great question. This seems to be a good day for questions. I'll have it for you in one week. Thanks as always, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I almost forgot about your first question about similes. I'll have that for you next week as well. Thank you!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 16 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Glad that you liked it.

      This is as close as I get to a writing exercise. :)

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 16 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Quality rather than quantity. I didn't 'notice' it was shorter. I've enjoyed the new variety of photos you've used on posts lately. Interesting scenes and people to work from. It is good for you to be out in the world. Enjoy, and make the most of it. ;-)

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Interesting and informative hub! I get to learn so much through this series of yours. Thanks!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 16 months ago

      Hi, Bill, I don't have much time today except to say that I read this one and I'm glad you found time to write it. It is interesting as always. Have a good rest of the week.

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 16 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Hey Bill, cheers for your answer to my 'links' question (and to MarleneB too). I reckon I already knew the right answer but just needed to hear it from someone who knows what they're talking about! And yes - having control over how readers get to Amazon etc is sensible as well as getting more folk to my website in the first place. Much appreciated. Great Mailbag, BTW, keep on truckin'.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 16 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Checking in for my Monday mailbag review. It may be short but pretty good questions I thought, and of course excellent answers. Browsing through the comments it looks like you have a few questions already for next week, which means same time next Monday. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You did well, Brad!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. As long as this old body holds up, I suspect I'll work. It's just something I enjoy doing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Swalia. Thank you for the visit and comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks MizB. I know all about shortage of time. I appreciate any time you can give me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Colin, I'm glad you found it helpful. Thanks for the question and have a great week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Same time next Monday for sure, Bill. Thanks for finding the time to visit. Much-appreciated. Enjoy this last week of February.

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      Melissa Propp 16 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! It's been such a crazy day I finally got a chance to read your mailbag. I can definitely relate to the outside work interfering with your writing time, but for me its more about just squeezing some writing time in around the full-time job. I don't get much done, but it is what it is! Keep plugging away and thanks for all your advice!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I'm glad my full-time work days are over. I don't think I could handle 40 hours per week. :) I appreciate you stopping by. Have a great week.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 16 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday, Bill!

      Wow, short is sometimes great. These few questions are really interesting and your answers/suggestions equally as useful and interesting. I love the Character Physical Descriptions questions. I have always loved watching people too. We can even note a lot from how they move about and interact with others, their posture and tons more.

      I'm happy you are out and about more nowadays. I think it is good for your soul and actually may increase your creative juices to get flowing even more so.

      Peace and blessings

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 16 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks again for sharing your helpful tips and ideas, Bill. I'm looking forward to next Monday's mailbag, as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. I've always enjoyed this type of work...merchandising grocery stores, driving around the city, meeting people, with the added bonus of this being a part-time gig so I still have time for writing....and Bev is my boss. LOL

      Blessings to you, dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Alicia. You are a gem for always being here.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 16 months ago from southern USA

      Sounds perfect, Bill, especially the boss with benefits : )

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I knew you would think that. LOL It's easy getting a bonus.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 16 months ago from Philippines

      Hello Mr. Billybuc, no matter what you are writing about, you always have this way of conveying good feelings and graciousness. I loved the tip about observing people in a cafe, and will definitely do that. Glad to hear that you are working again, but hope it won't interfere too much with your writing. And although this hub is short, oftentimes a little goes a very long way:). Best wishes, Mona

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 16 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Whether the mailbag is light or overflowing, it's always what it's supposed to be. I can only echo what others have said. Short and sweet, but completely filling. Thanks again, Mr. Holland.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The quality is valuable more than the quantity. You did well and I enjoyed reading.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mona! It's good to see you again, and I appreciate your very kind words. Have a wonderful week and blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Bill. I'll be by to see your latest very soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate it, DDE. Thank you very much.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 16 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I suppose that one way to make a deal with the illustrator of a children's story ebook would be to split expenses and income 50 50.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That might work too, Brian. Thanks for mentioning that. I'm just happy I never have to worry about such things. :)

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      The Stages Of ME 16 months ago

      Hi Bill,

      As always wonderful tips and advice, hope it is okay to ask this question here? You are so full of wisdom, so do you have tips on removing ads that may not be appealing to an individual hubber? Any help appreciated Thanks as always prayers and blessing to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, Stages, interesting question. Stay tuned and I'll see if I can find an answer for you. Thank you!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 16 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill.

      I love how you answered the "Character Physical Descriptions" question! I like to observe people, too. The first assignment for one of my Sociology classes in college was to observe people to see if a pattern could be found, so it was fun to do it for a different purpose. It's an unappreciated experience.

      The "Back to Work" question is one we both have to deal with. I like that you're so optimistic. I don't have much time to write at all, anymore, but being at work inspires me to write, all of the time. I just can't actually do it. So, I'm constantly writing notes to myself.

      Keep up your great work!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, keep writing those notes. The day will come when you'll have more time and/or more inspiration, and those notes will be a treasure chest of inspiration for you.

      Thank you for being here, my friend.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 16 months ago from New Delhi, India

      All useful questions and helpful answers from you. I found the Q-A of Phyllis very helpful.

      Thank you again!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 16 months ago from SW England

      Short and sweet! I'm never sure about links either. I'm always worried about breaking the rules of self-promotion!

      If HP does fold I'll just concentrate on my writing alone now that I've had valuable experience and feedback. But, like you, I'll stay in touch with good friends here.

      Very busy week, looking after grandchildren and completing on house purchase - hooray!

      Have a wonderful week yourself, bill!

      Ann :)

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill in addition to answering questions on writing, you also inspire me with your attitude towards life. You're a keeper.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you found it useful, ChitrangadaSharan...thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hooray for sure, Ann, and busy here as well. I just finished my outside job for the day and now I'm scrambling to catch up with writing. Thank you and have a wonderful week.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Dora! That is so very kind of you to say. I'm glad, my friend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton

      Even in your famine I find a feast.. again.. Phyllis question was valid and your answer helpful.. 86.. wow.. I hope it keeps on trucking Billybuc..:)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Still going strong, Frank. Thanks for finding the time to visit, my friend, and Happy Weekend to you.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 16 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Bill - Yet another exciting mail bag.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you sir!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

      It's good to stay connected to the real world with either a job or volunteer work. It keeps you current and wards off loneliness.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, it does all those things for sure. When I first read your comment I thought you said it wards off homelessness. LOL

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      Deb Hirt 16 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great topics that I learned from, as I do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Deb. Thank you for always being here.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Really good stuff here. One thing I do with descriptions (I don't get much time to sit with pen and paper) is set myself a task driving the bus to pick a passenger and see if I can come up with a one sentence description of them.

      You can use it not just for character descriptions but also for laying out a scene

      Good stuff here

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great stuff yourself, Lawrence. I like that "one sentence" description of your bus customers. Good idea, buddy.

      bill

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