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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Ninety-Two

Updated on April 4, 2016

And Away We Go!!!!!

Am I the only one who is old enough to remember Jackie Gleason? I don’t know why that phrase popped in my mind, but now I’ll hear his voice saying those four words all day long. Sigh!

So let’s get going! I’ve got a mini-farm that needs tending, so no more delay. There are questions that need answering and chickens that need feeding

And away we go!!!!!

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

More from Mary

Two More Questions from Mary: “Do you think that technology has made the role easier for a writer, or are we deluding ourselves? Of course it is easier to research and get a book published now but haven't we also flooded the market and created stress for ourselves with too many technological distractions.”

This, Mary, is a fascinating question, and no matter how I answer it, there are going to be other writers who disagree with me…and that’s fine.

I’ve actually thought about this very question from time to time. I’ll just give you my thoughts, knowing all along that I am as correct, or wrong, as anyone else who answers it.

I think all the technological choices we have do provide a distraction, at times, from the most important thing about writing, namely the writing itself. I’ve seen it happen over and over again with fellow writers. They are so busy with social media and trying various technological tools, and they forget to work on their craft. Mediocre is mediocre is mediocre, no matter how many technological tools you use. Our number one priority, as writers, should be to become better writers.

Of course technology has made it easier to do research, and it has also opened up markets we could only dream about twenty years ago. For those marketing specialists among us, technology has created so many avenues for us to follow, and that is all well and good….but….

If we are producing swill then technology can’t help us at all.

Bottom line: work on your craft first and quit putting the cart before the horse.

Go experience life!
Go experience life! | Source

BURNOUT

Also from Mary:

“Do you think a writer should lock themselves in a room with a pad of paper and a pencil to create anything of worth? Isn't burnout as a writer an increasing problem?”

Despite how old I am, I never knew Hemingway, nor did I know Steinbeck. I look at the volume of work they produced and it is obvious they worked long, hard days and nights producing their masterpieces of American literature…but…they also had incredibly interesting lives. Read their biographies and it becomes obvious very quickly that they believed in experiencing life as well as writing. In fact, either consciously or subconsciously, they believed that living a full life made them better writers.

I believe that as well. Living in a writing studio, hour after hour, day after day, makes this writer a very dull boy. I believe that my rich and full life has made me a richer and fuller writer. My suggestion to anyone considering becoming a writer is to get out and experience life to the fullest. Then you will have a treasure chest to draw from when you sit down and begin writing.

Again, just my opinion. No, not everyone can go to the Keys or Cuba and experience those cultures. Not everyone can live on Cannery Row and experience that way of life…..but we all can get out and experience our own unique story of life, and I think it’s crucial that we do.

Everything is fertile ground for a writer
Everything is fertile ground for a writer | Source

My non-fiction book about writing

WRITERHOLICS?

From Eric: “Hooray for another installment. What a joy these mailbags are. Just a personal question. Are you a writerholic? What I mean is do you find yourself always looking for that next writer fix? Sometimes I find myself being "not in the moment" because my mind is drifting off into something about writing something. I reckon that for me it is a bit of an escape. What say you?”

Another fascinating question. To a certain degree, I guess my answer is yes, I am a writerholic. My mind is always in writing mode, at least subconsciously. I will be enjoying a moment, like a walk in the park, and I’ll see a young mother playing with her toddler, and I’ll write a line in my head about that particular scene, or I’ll lock it in my mental vault and it will reappear in a story six months later. I do that all the time.

In fact, my wife recognizes those moments when they happen. She’ll look at me and say, “you’re writing a scene, aren’t you?” and she’ll be correct.

Quite often, too, I’ll have a notebook and pen with me, and I’ll just go out and jot down ideas, impressions, whatever…..all aimed at future stories.

That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy life or that my muse is constantly distracting me from doing other things. I enjoy the heck out of life, but I always know my muse is nearby and I’m feeding her with observations and impressions on a constant basis. Otherwise she can turn into a real nag.

Yep, I guess I am a writerholic!

Color Text

From MizB: “…..but would you or one of your readers please tell me how to color my text? I see text in red, green or blue (not linked) other colors, and I don't know how.”

Miz B, a word to the wise: never ask this writer a technological question. I’m the last person you should ask about Microsoft Word….so let me go do some research and then I’ll answer.

Okay, I’m back.

I only know how to do this with a document on Microsoft Word, so if you’re not using that then you need to wait until one of my readers tells you another system.

On Microsoft Word, highlight the section you want for a different color. Then go up to the tool bar above and you’ll find the symbol for “font color”…..a capital A on the tool bar….click on the small downwards arrow next to that A and the color palette will drop down…select the color you want for that section of your document and then click “save.”

And that’s all there is to it!

Four Questions Asked and Four Answered

That’s all there is today, friends, so there you go.

Let me combine one of Mary’s questions with MizB’s question and share a personal experience with you.

I’m in the process of learning how to create a podcast. Now for those of you who are young, and maybe some who are near my age, this may not seem like a big deal, but to this old fart it is a huge deal. That type of technology just confuses the hell out of me, so it takes me a very long time to learn how to do it.

It’s technology, and I see the value of it as a marketing tool for my writing career, but learning how to use it is painful for me….and probably takes me ten times longer than it would for someone who has little trouble understanding tech instructions.

So I’m going to keep trudging forward because, well, that’s what I do. I’m too stubborn to give up and I really want podcasts to be a part of my marketing plan, but I’m also going to be cussing a lot while I learn.

Have a great week of writing and living.

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

      No the only one who remembers Jackie Gleason or The Honeymooners and grew up watching the reruns with my dad, so loved the quote here and start to this edition. Also, loved your responses and advice, as usual, as well. Happy Monday, Bill!! :)

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

      Thank you so much, Janine! I hope spring returns to your neck of the woods soon. Happy Monday my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 16 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi billbuc when you talk about the use of modern technology in such a way it makes me think of how some people can't survive without it. I am good at it and enjoy learn too. You will come around with that. Interesting questions and did a great job answering these questions.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Good questions, even if they are few, Bill. Onward and upwards to Mail Bag 100. Have a great week.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      The more we depend on technology

      The harder it is our muse to see

      At least that is how it seems to me

      I need my muse to be independent of technology

      *

      *

      Thank you Bill for the wise answers.

      Blessings always my friend

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your input, DDE. Oh yes, I'll figure it out. I just wish it didn't take me so long to do so.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, John! 100 is in sight and I'm looking forward to that milestone.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 15 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for answering my questions. In fact, I am one who allows my mind to stray because of technology. I think I need to cut the plug off our router.

      I think Eric has the right idea about keeping a pen handy for inspirational moments when out and about. Alas, I often lose the combination to my mental vault when things are put there for safe keeping.

      I have another question for a future mailbag. This is regarding exercise for the writer. In an interview I watched with Janet Evanovich, she said she does daily pilates because she sits in front of a computer for long hours.

      I know your work on the farm and other jobs keep you busy but for other writers is there a good rule of thumb? Even in a place of employment people are given breaks to keep them mentally strong.

      It is easy to get caught up in writing and sit in the same position for a couple of hours or more. Do some people use a timer to avoid this?

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 15 months ago from Alton, Missouri

      Yes, I remember Jackie Gleason too although I was VERY young when he went off the air. My Dad said that I watched a show when I was 2 and six months later I told him the story line in detail. I guess that's the first indication that I would become a writer, huh?

      We writers are always writing or finding things to write about, that is certain. There are times when we do need to be locked up in that room getting those ideas out of the head before it busts. However, even when we are out and about, writing is still part of our persona. As I recently read on a tee shirt: Warning: Writer, what you say may be written in one of my stories!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 15 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      I like how you answered the Burnout question. It isn't about going on expensive trips. It's about experiences. Life offers new ones when we least expect it. Meeting new people, going to new places or going to old places with new people can bring the most fascinating new perspectives on things. That has certainly been going on in my life, lately. I haven't even had to spend extra money to do it!

      Your podcast sounds wonderful. I wish you the best with it. I'm looking forward to that, and next week's installment!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 15 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill - I now have the tune "That's a Plenty" stuck in my head and fear it will be there most of the day. Thanks a lot.

      I liked your comments about Hemingway and Steinbeck and the rich lives that they lived which, no doubt, added to the colorful stories they wrote. (However, Hemingway also had his demons--I wonder how much alcoholism or bipolar colored his work?).

      Keep working at the podcast concept. You are a brilliant person. This is something you want to do, and with that desire I know you can do it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Shyron, and Happy Monday to you. Blessings always, hugs and eternal thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that's something I had to learn....I become obsessed with writing to the detriment of my physical well-being. Great question....see you next week with the answer....and thank you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, I saw that same t-shirt....well, one like it, of course. Too funny and way too true. :) Good to see you...thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Kailey. I know you know how to make a podcast. I wish you were here to lend me a helping hand or at least a word of support as I stumble through this.

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      Melissa Propp 15 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I am so impressed that you are learning to do a podcast. Makes me wonder what the next technological frontier is going to be...Good luck with that venture, we will be watching/listening!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 15 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the questions and answers this week, especially the first three. They are things that I've thought about or that apply to my life. Thanks for yet another useful installment in this series, Bill.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 15 months ago from Fresno CA

      Great questions and answers. This is a very cool idea. How did you start it? Where do you send questions for this venue? Am I asking too many questions? I love your writing style. It's like I'm in your living room sipping a cool glass of tea with you while you talk. Inspiring.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 15 months ago

      You are not the only one who remembers Jackie Gleason. I am right there with you. Thanks for another interesting and useful installment.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 15 months ago from Fresno CA

      By the way I remember Jackie Gleason too. My father was a little on the rotund side and fancied himself "the great one" and did the whole leg action thing with the "away we go" line. It was a funny thing to see... but I was just a child at the time... okay... maybe I was a teen. I miss my dad's "away we go" more than Jackie's.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda. Now I've got that song stuck in my mind. Thanks a lot, friend!!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I need all the luck I can get, Melissa, so thank you! I'll let you know when it's ready to go.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, you are too kind. You can just ask the question in the comment section, or send me an email at holland1145@yahoo.com....and the idea....I'll tell you about it in next week's Mailbag.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Alicia. I love the interaction that this series gives us all.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Pop...and thank you for always being here. Happy Monday to you.

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 15 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      Your response to burnout was great. I think it's a balance, between sitting in the writer's coop, wherever that may be, and going out onto the world to draw from experience. That question reminds me of a friend's quote: "life, living, loving, is a thousand times more important than Art. But art's still about life, living, and loving." Art has the ability to reduce or expand our scope, and I think in your case, with these writer-responses, you fall into the latter category. Have a great Monday Bill, and adios!

      -E.G.A.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 15 months ago from United Kingdom

      Regarding Mary's question about technology, I think it's made it easier for us to rewrite and edit till it's just right. Cut and paste, rearrange sentences, paragraphs, even whole pages are a breeze now. What it hasn't done is make finding a subject and writing about it in an engaging way simpler. There are no shortcuts when it comes to that.

      Writerholic? I like that. So much better than workaholic. I also find myself writing little things about my observations. Sometimes I use them in my work, sometimes not. Still, it's a good way to source writing material.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 15 months ago from India

      You write so well in an engaging style that reading any of your hubs becomes a pleasant experience. This installment is also no exception. I like your often-repeated emphasis on refining the craft, i.e. writing. Bill, you're a great motivator and inspire the writing community. Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh for sure, Denise. I remember that too....thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great quote, Eldon, and perfect for this question. Thank you my friend...Happy Monday in Cooley!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All true, Zulma. I remember writing longhand and how tedious it was. The first time I typed on Word I was amazed with the ease...now I can't imagine not having it. :) I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, eh?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Harishprasad, I thank you for those kind words. I really appreciate them.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 15 months ago from USA

      I agree with your statement about living a full life. Sometimes you can also do that vicariously through people you know, getting to really know their stories and motivations. Truth is stranger than fiction.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Flourish. Thanks for mentioning that. Many of my stories are set in scenes I picture based on stories by my father.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 15 months ago from The Caribbean

      I like Mary's first questions. My thoughts are that technology is a great help, but it has also hurt good writers by making it easy for the Sanders and the Kasichs/Cruzes to get in the race and distract from the front runners. Sure, everybody needs a chance, but some people take advantage of the process by publishing substandard work, instead of taking the time and effort to improve.

      Guys, all the questions are good and Bill gives great answers.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 15 months ago from london

      Another nice one Bill. Yes, Podcast is one of the ways to go. There are so many new marketing tools out now! I'm hopeless at this, but wish you luck. Much Peace.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 15 months ago

      Mary’s questions and your answers this week were great. One can’t be expected to write with any understanding of life unless he/she has some experience with life.

      I’m so misunderstood, boo hoo…Thanks for answering my question, Bill, but that wasn’t the question, my bad, I didn’t make it clear. I’m trying to figure out how some hubbers are changing the color of their text on the hub in HP. I know how to do it in Word and Adobe, but those color changes don’t transfer to my Hub Page articles. I’ve scoured the Learning Center, but all I find are instructions on how to take and use “brilliant photos”, but nothing on “brilliant text.”

      I write with Word and then cut and paste my text into the capsules. I wonder if, and I don’t know how to do this, transferring with html would keep the colors? I may ask in their Q & A, but they really do get snippy and tell us to read their instructions first.

      Anyway have a good week. It’s beautiful here, ah choo!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, Dora! I love your metaphor on politics.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, I doubt you are as hopeless as I am, but it's nice to have company. LOL Thanks, brother, and peace be with you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm sorry MizB. I suspected that might be what you were asking. I was hoping it wasn't because I don't have a clue how to do it on HP...and I refuse to ask them anything. LOL Thanks for the question. Sorry I couldn't be of any help.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 15 months ago from Chicago Area

      Okay, I'll start out with "Baby, you're the greatest!" Yes, I remember Jackie Gleason... and the June Taylor dancers... and "Away We Go!" Was regular viewing in our house back in the day.

      Re: Tech. Agreed, see too many people worried about the tech. Tools change, talent doesn't.

      Re: Hermit Writers. Three words: Get out there! Writing is fueled by real life.

      Re: "Writer-holics." We need a support group, eh?

      Re: Podcasting. As I've mentioned elsewhere, it's the current "it" blogging platform due to its portability and listening on all types of mobile devices, including cars. I've been using the free open source Audacity program to record and edit. If I'm interviewing a guest for a podcast, I use FreeConference.com, pay the fee to record (only a few bucks) and then edit in Audacity. Let us know if you post any podcasts.

      Happy Monday!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 15 months ago from Hollister, MO

      I'm ten years older than you are, so yes, Jackie Gleason was certainly a big part of my life. Loved all your answers. I'll more comments to others, today. Need to take my daughter to the airport... ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Heidi. I'd forgotten about the June Taylor dancers...a flash from the past. As for podcasts, you make it sound so easy...just reading your comment about them sent shivers down my spine. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Talk about tech. savvy! I am the worst, but I'm trying to learn new things. I remember Gleason, a funny man indeed....

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 15 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like your emphasis on our work as a writer is to make our writing better. I am reminded of this each time I read this series and it prods me to keep working at my writing. Today, I am going out with my camera, pen and paper and let life inspire me.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 15 months ago from Massachusetts

      I'll show my age, yes I remember Jackie Gleason. The Honeymooners with Art Carney is still one of the funniest sitcoms ever in my book.

      That picture of Safeco Field brought back some great memories. About ten years ago we were there down in the left field corner during batting practice and one of the Mariners tossed a baseball to my daughter, a memorable moment.

      Another great week for the mailbag. The march to 100 continues. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill...I hope your daughter got off safe...I appreciate you always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm trying to learn too, Ruby, but it is slow going for this old mind. :) Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aesta, that sounds like the perfect way to spend a day. I hope it was enjoyable. :) Thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I haven't been to Safeco in four years and I miss it. Maybe I'll take Bev to a game this summer. She's never been there. I'm glad you had a great time when you visited. Next time you do we'll get together.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 15 months ago from Cape Cod

      Very informative and good thought food as usual. Best wishes for success with the podcast. It's a hot item today. I know when you do it, you will do it expertly.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 15 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Eric's question got me wondering how to be in the moment, present and aware, as a writer. A cop is alert for "what's amiss?" A photographer is alert for "what's the shot?" A hunter is alert for "where's the prey?" A driver is alert for "any need to brake or swerve?" A parent is alert for "is my child in danger, pain or mischief?" A fiction or drama writer is alert for elements of storytelling. What does he or she see that might advance a plot or reveal a character? "The cats had ripped open an arm of Brian's old easy chair in the living room, exposing a row of nails. Kayle, on sudden impulse just before heading out on errands, took a hammer and pounded the chair back together in a few seconds—something that Brian had been 'going to do' for days, thinking about doing it 'sometime soon' each time he snagged a pants leg on the nails."

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 15 months ago from southern USA

      "Pow, right in the kisser" and "To the moon, Alice!" LOL I sure do remember Jackie Gleason and loved watching.

      Bill, you certainly knocked these questions out of the park this Monday. What great insight you have provided. I agree 100% about the getting out and living your life to be a better writer. That is the key, I believe, the more we experience in this life, whether the good, the bad or the ugly, that is material for good writing.

      You'll be awesome doing a podcast. I said that last Monday, but my two attempts at commenting didn't take.

      Peace and blessings always

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 15 months ago

      ...It's a priceless reward found in your line written directly concerning my unconfessed secred, "but learning how to use it is painful for me….and probably takes me ten times longer than it would for someone who has little trouble understanding tech" ... See my friend I might be a laughing stock telling you that only in forurthquotercentury of my existence I began using ipad/computer - learnin -figuring out mostly on my own, having difficulty translating many terms not found in my native language... writing whole life- for myself- keeping intelegent conversation with self- never intended to publish for simple reason, there in my first life opportunities were just simply nonexistant for reaching the stars, you eminet writers have been born in... ( Can't continue)

      Peace and blessings.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 15 months ago from Europe

      Great questions and great answers. I recognize what you wrote about constructing phrases when you see something and how that might find its way to a phrase somewhere someday. Funny video you've included with this Indian guy explaining Americans how to write a novel. :) Have a great day, billybuc.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I appreciate it, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent, Brian, as all your comments are. I do think writers are "in the moment" more than those who are not writers. Whether we train ourselves to be, or we are naturally that way, the artists and writers I know are very attuned to the moment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it's good to see a comment from you not censored by HP. LOL

      "To the moon, Alice!" One of the great lines in tv history in my humble opinion.

      Thanks so much, dear friend, and Happy Tuesday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, you will always have my admiration. Not only did you move to a foreign land, you then set out to learn the language and now you are learning to write in a foreign language. Bravo to you, I say, and blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Festour! I will check out your site this morning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Buildreps, thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed that video. I got a laugh out of it too.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 15 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Been away for a while, so I'm playing catch-up. First stop on the list - the mailbag! As always, good questions and good answers, I was looking at a writer's website the other day and for Mary, he said the first and foremost thing to do in writing is to experience life. Basically, no experience = nothing to write about. She can take it for what's it's worth, but I tend to agree. Thanks again for the good stuff!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. It's good to see you back among us. Best wishes, my friend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 15 months ago from southern USA

      LOL Bill, yes, who would have ever thought that "Faith Reaper" had to be censored! And I keep thinking about it and I truly did not comment anything for HP to not approve HAHAHA

      Yes, I agree about that line too. I always felt bad for poor ole Ed Norton, yet I stilll laughed out loud.

      Hope your hump day is great tomorrow. Oops

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      Audrey Hunt 15 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I'm still a big fan of "The Honeymooners." :) And are you aware of Gleason's musical talent? His orchestra was known for it's smooth, sweet sound developed by Gleason.

      Anyhow, I agree big-time about writers living a full, rich and adventurous life. Go ahead and make plenty of mistakes and poor choices - it all makes for great material when writing stories and such.

      Yeah...you're the best my friend!

      Love,

      Audrey

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 15 months ago from Dubai

      Another great installment of question and answers. Waiting for your podcasts.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 15 months ago from United Kingdom

      Okay, I'm just going to ask. What is a podcast?

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 15 months ago from SW England

      You know how I love this series but it's just occurred to me (belatedly, but that's my age!) that it's a great insight into others' thoughts and difficulties too. It shows how we're all puzzling and working to improve at this art of writing. People's characters come out in their questions and it's all fascinating, like one big conversion of like-minded people at a friendly party! But that's your talent - you make each one of us feel welcome at the party.

      Busy, busy and life is interfering with the house improvements - but then it's all part of the merry-go-round and I love it all.

      Hope your wicked Wednesday is working out wonderfully well, bill!

      Ann :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton

      Mary's question was fantastic.. are we really feeling delusional? Good answer on your part.. wow getting closer to 100.. hey maybe you'll get a letter from the president...:) thanks for keeping this going Billybuc :) Frank

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 15 months ago

      Writerholic!!! Well, it's a good way of describing you considering the number of hubs you have published here...and your beautifully crafted stories!

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 15 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Your hub and your advice always starts the week off right. As you see I seem to be writing and thinking in rhyme. I have taken up the April Poetry Challenge of 30 poems in 30 days on my Wordpress blog and believe me I am starting to talk in rhyme as well.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. Sorry it took so long for me to get here...these outside jobs sure do take a lot of time. :) You? Censored? Still unbelievable!

      hugs,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, I did know that about Gleason. I grew up on that stuff.....and enjoyed it greatly.

      Thanks my dear friend

      love,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur! At the rate I'm going, you'll have a long wait for that podcast, but thank you!

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, think radio program. Same thing basically but online.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Ann, it's Thursday and I am woefully behind in comments, but I will keep my vow and respond to all of them...it just takes a little longer to do so.

      And you hit on the reason I love this series so much and why I'll keep it going...I think writers benefit from hearing these things from other writers...that's my hope, anyway.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I'm not holding my breath for that letter, but nice thought, buddy. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Swalia. It's taken a long time to write like this and it's wonderful to be appreciated.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, that's funny! Best of luck on that challenge...I know you'll do just fine.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 15 months ago from United Kingdom

      Ooo...an online radio programme. Are you just dipping your toe in the water or going for a full-on cannonball into the deep end?

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, if I follow my track record, it will be an icy plunge in frigid waters. LOL I have to learn it all first and then I'm going to try for one per week.

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      Ann Carr 15 months ago from SW England

      Yes, because it tells us we're not the only ones who have doubts and difficulties with this writing lark! That's why it's so successful.

      Keep on inspiring us all, bill!

      Ann

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 15 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      With your determination Bill, you will come to grips with the tech stuff, sooner than you think. Since it's here to stay, the likes of me and you, have to. Excellent questions put and a great answers.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 15 months ago from United Kingdom

      Cannonball it is then. I find there is no quicker way to learn something than when you're in a sink or swim situation. The key thing to remember is survive. If you've managed that then you can worry about making it look pretty later. Wishing you luck on this venture. I'm sure you'll be fine.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll try, Ann! We all need inspiration. This is one lonely gig at times. :)

      bill

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Rajan! We really have no choice but to learn it all, do we? :) Thanks my friend.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Zulma...cannonball it is! Thankfully we have some kids in our combined family, and they all owe us favors. :)

      Happy Weekend, my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago from Texas

      I had to come back to see

      What I thought I did not see

      Maybe it was to answer to your question

      That I do remember

      Ralph threatened to send Alice "to the moon"

      What kind of Honeymoon would that be

      Alice up there by herself

      *

      *

      Anyway have a nice day

      Blessings Always

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 15 months ago from Iowa

      Bill, as I return after a extended hiatus, I see you are Still hard at it!! My 3 questions are:

      1). How can you possibly be so Caring and Patient in both Time Spent and encouragement dispersed via your THOUSANDS of replies??

      2). Is there ever a time to Just realize that one's real problem is 'Failure to Launch" versus Writer's Block, loss of Muse, etc. etc.?

      3). And do you Really, after Thousands of words thrown out there, and Millions of Positive Accolades returned for said words---Truly have some days where you feel "This is one Lonely Gig"???

      Keep on Keepn" On Bill, every time I read some of your words, you provide, in some ways a few drops of water to My literary "Still deeply buried Seed of Expression"!

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      Deb Hirt 15 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, we definitely have to live. If not, there will only be a rapid and vaporous end to those stories.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, you are always so clever....thanks for the smile you created on this old, craggy face. :) Blessings always!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Allen, it's always good to hear from you. I hope you are well in Iowa. Thanks for the questions. I'll have to hold onto them until the following Monday...the Mailbag is full this week, but I promise to get to them soon.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Deb, and written like the true writer you are...rapid and vaporous....love that phrase!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 15 months ago from Wales

      One thing that doesn't change is how many comments I have to go through to get to that blank box ha!! I seem to be reading through mailbag backwards at the moment. Thoroughly enjoyed this one and managed to read whilst in work too. Great work and no need for me to say keep going haha.

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      Lawrence Hebb 15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Two challenging questions there. I think I'm with you on the 'writers studio' or out among the people thing.

      I know we probably can't go everywhere or do everything we write about but isn't writing about connecting with the emotions and trying to convey what it feels like in a situation? We do that by knowing what it's like to climb a mountain then remember "Shit, I don't like heights" (as you're looking over a two thousand foot sheer drop).

      As for colours with fonts I've used it a bit on some factual articles I've written but not a lot as it tends to distract (my view at least)

      Really enjoyed this hub.

      Sorry I'm a bit behind at the moment

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I really do appreciate you catching up on my work but it certainly isn't necessary. I'm just happy you are back among us.

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      Bill Holland 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, you are never late to the Mailbag. I just appreciate you taking the time to visit and share your thoughts...so thank you!

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      Shauna L Bowling 14 months ago from Central Florida

      I remember Jackie Gleason. I was a huge fan of The Honeymooners. I think it was on just before The Red Skelton Show. How's that for "old enough"?!

      I love your answers, Bill, especially with regard to technology. It's good and evil at the same time. It's great for research, but when you're trying to make it as a writer for hire, you find yourself signing up for every webinar on the planet. I learned a lot in the three years I tried to go it alone, but got very little paid writing done. By the time the webinars were over it was too late in the day to start fresh. Then there was the learning how to market. More webinars. Successful bloggers to follow. It becomes a vicious circle. There comes a time when you just have to say no and jump in. Unfortunately, in my case, I ran out of funds while learning all I could. By the time I realized I needed to shit or get off the pot, the only viable choice I had was to seek a steady paycheck to pay for the pot and the roof under which it sits.

      So, my advice to those who want to take a serious shot at making a living as a writer is, learn the basics but don't obsess over knowledge or you'll never have time to write. Or, if you're lucky enough to not have a mortgage or monthly rent due and can afford to spend time learning, pick one or two days a week - or half days - and devote the rest to perfecting your craft. And for God's sake, don't hole yourself up in your home office. Get out and smell the roses. Better yet, plant them, feed them, breathe fresh air and commune with nature and other humans. Otherwise, you'll drive yourself nuts and have nothing to show but failed attempts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, your advice is hard-earned and right on. Your comment reads like a primer for all would-be freelancers, filled with honesty, some of it hard to hear. Thank you for sharing your journey. I wish it had worked out for you, my friend.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 14 months ago from Iowa

      They looked so out of place, those two very tall and slender towers with their 3 huge aerodynamically blades.

      There they stood, as if they had been mistakenly situated high on that bluff West of our lake.

      The silhouettes of these 2 Wind Turbines formed against that grey and dreary sky was somehow a jump start for wordiness.

      The abnormally slow rotation of those blades against the almost insufficient for production wind, only added a supplement to my feelings of how my life was progressing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Allen, very, very nice...love the ending in particular, the metaphorical ponderings....well done!

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 14 months ago from Iowa

      Bill-"Too Kind U R To Me!

      You have, always 'at the ready', that Ultimate and Double Edged 'Sword of Literary Justice'!

      I find Great Solace and Feelings of Relief, as you have favored me once again, and chose the 'Golden and Forgiving' edge to respond to my feeble

      Ramblings, in direct opposition to what surely would have favored your World Class Qualification of Literay Excellence, andvquite rightly-command you to bring down with the Full force of Literay Truth- the swords' edge, exquisetly honed with the swiftness of Deadly Finallity, put to an end, the affront to our Dear Reader's sanity??

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Look at you, Allen, outdoing yourself again. :) You qualify for the Best Comment Ever category with this one.

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