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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment One-Hundred and Eleven

Updated on August 22, 2016

We’re Back!

Busy wouldn’t even begin to describe this past week, but busy and healthy, so all is well.

Thanks for returning to the Mail Room. If you are new then make yourself comfortable and learn from the veterans. If you are a veteran, thanks for always being here, and thanks to all who asked questions this week and in the past.

Let’s do it!

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

Two Tough Ones from Kailey

From Kailey: “As you know, my degree is in English, but I studied quite a bit of Sociology. Let's put it this way, I love both so much that if I was writing for an English class, I used Sociological theories and if I wrote for a Sociology class, I used literature analysis. Anyway, I am considering writing and publishing some work about Sociology on Amazon. Would it be wrong of me to do so, even if it was my minor?”

Kailey, this really is an easy one to answer. Of course it wouldn’t be wrong of you to do so. The question, and to me the only question that ever needs to be asked, is this: do you enjoy writing? If you enjoy writing about Sociology then for the love of the gods, do so. It may sell, it may not, but sales should never be the reason anyone writes. Writing is an Art and as such should be done for the love of Art. People who write simply to make money just don’t get it in my humble opinion, and I think it shows in their work.

So good luck!

“My next question is concerning citation and bibliography. Professors from both of my colleges had me use MLA, most of the time. Only on rare instances APA. Lately, I have seen Chicago style knowledge required under job listings. Do you think that if I were to publish educational material, I need to learn and use Chicago? Does it matter which one?”

If you are self-publishing, and I assume you are, then my recommendation is to write in the style you are comfortable with. It’s not going to make a damn bit of difference for self-publishing. However, if you are going to submit your work to a publisher, it will make a great deal of difference, so follow the recommendations after you research the matter….or email the publishers and ask them which they prefer/recommend. My own personal hunch is that MLA is fine for publishing of educational materials, but I’m willing to bet there is someone out there who will disagree with me and that’s fine.

Bottom line: whichever style you use, write well. Styles come and styles go with regards to popularity and requirements, but good writing will never fade away.

Climbing this mountain would be easier than being named a Master!
Climbing this mountain would be easier than being named a Master! | Source

Back to the Masters

From Zulma: “So, in essence, what you're saying is people like Hemingway, Steinbeck, Lee, et al just wanted to write the best story their talent was capable of producing. The fact their creations became modern classics and must-reads was a fortunate happenstance.”

Zulma, I believe that’s exactly what happened, with heavy emphasis on “fortunate.” I can’t speak for all writers of novels, but for me, my goal is to always produce the best work I’m capable of producing at that time. I’m not delusional. I would love to have a best-seller, but as an artist, my sole motivation on any given day is to tell a humdinger of a story.

Next question!

“Now, I'd like to ask if they were motivated to write their stories because they had something to say to the world? Did they feel there was an injustice that needed to be righted? A precious piece of wisdom that needed to be heard? Maybe spread some light-hearted tales to a weary population. All of these? None of these? Maybe this was their idea of fun.”

It’s an interesting question, Zulma. I have an answer, but it will be purely subjective and some may disagree.

Most good novels have an underlying message. I feel pretty safe in saying that. I always try to weave friendship, love, justice and sometimes the environment into my novels. Those things are important to me and I can’t imagine them not being in a book of mine. I am also fascinated in good vs evil, and whether people simply do evil things or is there really an entity of evil…..again, since that is important to me, it is only natural that it appears in many of my novels.

I’m pretty darned sure other writers do the same. Sure, writers are storytellers, but doesn’t it just make sense that what is important to them weave its way into the story? Or put it another way, doesn’t it make sense that they write a story around their social message?

And as an aside, I don’t think Steinbeck ever wrote something without a message in mind.

The Classics in School

Two From Mary: “When I was in school, we read Lord of The Flies, and my kids read To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet and others in English classes. Which if any, current books do you think will replace these in English lessons in the future? Or do you think these will still be tried and tested books, and schools will see no need to change?”

Mary, I’ve always wondered whose job it was to list the classics and determine which are classics and which aren’t. I swear, some of the “classics,” to me, are junk. LOL Maybe there is some ruling body out there that makes that designation, and maybe they have added recent books (in the last twenty years) to that list, but I’m not aware of that happening.

To me, the classics can withstand time, so the classics as we know them today will be classics in 100 years.

I wouldn’t even begin to list the great, newer books, which could make it to “classic” status. Again, what makes a classic? And who decides that? Obviously not me, because I can’t stand Shakespeare. LOL

Second question:

“Also what are your thoughts about students watching the films in class in lieu of reading it? With an overload of homework, reading can often take a backseat, especially for slower readers.”

I’ve changed over the years on this one, Mary. In the old days, when I first started out teaching, I abhorred the idea of kids watching classics on film rather than reading them. Today I’ve shifted 180 degrees for exactly the reason you gave. I would hope kids never stop reading, but I also understand the lack of time and emphasis on so many pursuits.

My only exception is sports. If kids aren’t reading so they have more time to practice their forehand, then shame on the parents.

The old fart in me, however, would say there was an overload of homework when I was in school, too, but we managed to read the classics and survive.

Take that all with a grain of salt.

Hundreds of possible voices
Hundreds of possible voices | Source

Experimenting with Voices

From Zulma again: “Hey, Bill. Got another question for you. At the moment, you’re experimenting with a new voice for 'When Angels Sing.' My question is do you think certain voices just naturally lend themselves well to certain genres. Also, with regard to 1st and 3rd person, do you think the same applies.”

I’m going to give a rather simple answer to this one, Zulma, and I’m sure someone is going to say I’m full of it. So be it.

I don’t think the genre makes any difference in determining first or third person. The determination whether to use first or third mainly has to do with how much personalization you want your main character to have, and how deeply you want to delve into his/her psyche. Anyway, that’s the decision-making factor for me.

But you also asked about voice which to me is slightly separated from person. Let’s take my experiment. I am writing, in “Angels,” a whimsical fantasy, so I changed my voice for that effort. The voice is much different than it was in the original novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today.” My voice is also much different for my “Shadow” series and the “Billy the Kid” series.

So yes, I think genre should be a factor in determining voice.

CHALLENGES

From Ann: “I have a question for your mailbag. I was reading some of my former hubs, especially the challenge stories, and it seems to me I respond better to challenges than to my own ideas! Why do you think that is? Does that happen to you? I feel that my writing at the moment does not live up to some of my old work; in fact, I find it difficult to believe that I wrote it! Do you have any thoughts on such phenomena?”

Ann, I tend to agree with you. I know, when I see a challenge, my imagination kicks into overdrive. It’s something new to try and I want to do the very best job I can….plus, oftentimes, it is a topic I never would have thought of myself, so that gives it a bit of intrigue for me. I really don’t have a specific reason why I think that is.

You also mentioned your older work is better than your newer work. I’ve felt that way often. I think we begin to feel our writing is stale after a time. I recently finished my fifth “Billy the Kid” novella and I was ready to vomit. Not that I thought it was bad, but I was just ready for a break from it. So I switched to my other series, the “Shadow” novels, and I instantly found my excitement again.

My suggestion, even though you never asked for it: stretch out and try something completely different. Challenge yourself…..or I’ll have to issue a challenge to wake up your muse. LOL

Thanks to All

Nice Mailbag this week with some great questions. Hopefully I’ll see all of you next week.

There were several more questions that wouldn’t fit in this Mailbag. Rest assured I will lead off with those next week.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) #greatestunknownauthor

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 10 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, always happy to see you here on Mondays with the mailbag and as always truly enjoy your responses. Happy Monday to you once again, Bill!! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Janine and thank you for joining me for 111 weeks in a row. That is what I call loyalty in a friend.

      Happy Monday to you, Janine!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      And the questions keep coming, Bill. I agree with Ann about challenges. Some of my favourite writing I feel has been in response to the challenges. It seems to really inspire when the prompt is chosen by someone else. As you say, maybe you put extra effort in because someone else has issued the challenge. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I feel the same way, John. Laughingly, I rarely accept challenges now because I'm so rushed for time. LOL Maybe I need to re-think that approach.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 10 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I love writing challenges. I wish more writers would offer more. It seems my imagination kicks in when I see the word challenge. Thanks again Bill.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Like Ruby, I am eagerly awaiting someone to issue a challenge.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 10 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! This was a nice full mailbag, always good to start off my week. So you aren't a huge Shakespeare fan either? Glad to know I'm not the only one, lol.

      Have a great week!

    • louise-barraco profile image

      Louise Barraco 10 months ago from Ontario

      Thanks for this bill very helpful

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 10 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      This hub is nigh the oldest hobbit in the shire. What an accomplishment! I'd like to see a challenge. I know you've got ideas (though I understand you're busy). I feel stale as a saltine cracker some days. A challenge would do me good.

      Anyway, good morning and good day. I think if you've got something to say, a voice congeals itself. We find characters. Character creation is like digging up a gravestone. Slowly the oil-lamp is lit, the desiccated figure fades into view, the grassblades grow wet with morning dew, and the skeletal character crawls out, unconscious, unearthed.

      :)

      Your expression is always straightforward, Bill. We appreciate that. Maybe that's why Shakespeare doesn't do much for you.

      We all look forward to Monday's Mail, so keep em comin'!

      Adios amigo,

      -E.G.A.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 10 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      Thank you for answering my questions. Your responses were thoughtful, and help me a lot!

      I loved your response to the one about messages in stories, as well. Whenever I heard fellow students trying to convince a teacher or professor that they were inventing messages that didn't exist it made it more obvious they don't know much about writing. Haha Like the line in "Dead Poets Society" goes, "We don't read and write poetry because it's cute." ;)

      Take care!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, I have to admit that sometimes on a Monday morning I could not care less about improving my writing and all that goes with it. I scoot on over here strictly because of you and your amazing attitude - it motivates me to be more upbeat. And despite my best intentions I learn something very useful also.

      Does inspiring others inspire you?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Ruby! I'm saving my efforts for the next challenge you offer up. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I must might have to join the next challenge, if anyone offers one soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, that would be putting it mildly. LOL I can't stand Shakespeare, and I'm so happy to hear you can't either. LOL Happy Monday my loyal friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      it's my pleasure, Louise. Thank you too!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheez, Eldon, now I'm thinking I need to be the one to issue the challenge. I'll put my thinking cap on.

      Thanks for touching on the voice discussion. It's always helpful to hear what you have to say.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Kailey. Thanks for the great questions, and for the reference to the "Dead Poets Society." Have a great week....fingers crossed.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you are much too kind, but thank you! The quick answer to your question is yes, but I'm going to toss it into next Monday's Mailbag because I have a longer answer.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Awesome. I love the commentary about who chooses the classics. When I was in high school they made us read Macbeth. I hated it. Everyone dies! How morbid! So when I homeschooled my own children I hand picked books I thought were uplifting and intriguing. They baulked over some but mostly it caused them to search out more literature on their own... and isn't that the intent of forcing children to read good literature anyway? After reading and performing with other homeschoolers, The Merchant of Venice, my #3 daughter read ALL the rest of Shakespeare's plays. Who could have seen that coming? Not me, certainly. I don't even care that much for Shakespeare, like you, and only included it to be well rounded in the literature I presented. Who knew?

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      This time, it is a great mailbag with all intelligent questions by our great Hubbers. And, Bill, you answered them so beautifully and perfectly that I am enlighted and happy to learn some nice things from this mailbag.

      I didn't know about MLA or APA till now. Now I researched on it and learnt a lot. During my school days, I was taught Wordsworth and Goldsmith's works and Shakespeare's Dramas.

      Ann's question about challenges is equally true with me also. I produced some good stuff here when I met with those challenges here. Otherwise, I am much indifferent and don't care.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Denise. Thanks for sharing that about homeschooling. One of the great advantages of homeschooling is the freedom to pick and choose the curriculum...well done, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, I'm very happy you found this so useful and informative. That's the whole purpose of the Mailbag, so I'm glad to get your feedback on it. Thank you sir, and I'll have a challenge for you later this week.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      That's good to know. Thank you.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 10 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday once again! You're right. Some good questions today.

      Re: Kaliey's Quandries.

      1) If Sociology is your thing, why wouldn't you write on that? But a bigger question is why do you want to write a book on it? Gain expert reputation? Teach a class with it?

      2) Which style (MLA, APA or Chicago) depends on the audience and its requirements or expectations. Writing a research work? What style does the audience typically use? Also remember that a research work that is self published may need to get permission to quote cited sources. The key here is "self published" which means it's a commercial venture and may not be protected by fair use. See an intellectual property attorney to confirm.

      Re: "Classics." Always wondered who "they" were who deemed the classics as "classics." Some books I truly slogged through just to get them done. Today, I might have a different perspective. I will say, though, that some of the classics are too mature (in topic or presentation) even for competent high school students.

      Good stuff, as always! Have a great week!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 10 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I read some classics on my own time from sixth grade onward—Dante, Dostoyevsky, Sherwood Anderson, and some more in the Viking Portable Library series that my dad had lying around, but I read many more Classic Comics / Classics Illustrated, the comicbooks series. They added a lot to my liberal education. So did, years later, Fractured Fairy Tales on BULLWINKLE So did movies, such as Marlon Brando in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Nowadays my eight-year-old grand nephew is showing such curiosity. His parents not only bring home armloads of library books that he picked out but also provide him with globes, world maps, movies, Legos, art supplies, and pets.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 10 months ago

      Your mailbags always give me food for thought. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, V enkatachari M, and thank you again!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What I love about the Mailbag is that I toss out my thoughts and then you come along and make me look brilliant. How cool is that? I'll have you watch my back in any battle, my friend.

      Thank you as always and Happy Monday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, your reference to Bullwinkle is a classic. One of the greatest cartoons every created, in my humble opinion. Thanks for making my day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I'm mighty glad to hear that, Pop! Thank you!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 10 months ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Always inspiring and helpful, I think your intro is imaginative and grabs the reader, which of course it is meant to do. Tip top.

      Graham.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 10 months ago from Brazil

      So pleased to see a full mailbag this week.

      Thanks for answering my questions, I often think I should read those 'school classics' again and see if they make any more sense to me.

      Regarding Zulma's question regarding motivation and moral to the story, I would feel let down if there wasn't one. Perhaps it is being raised in a Wonderful World of Disney culture, but gosh darn it I want a happy ending!

      Have a wonderful week.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 10 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      The 'underlying message' is an old chestnut. Chiefly American writers used this one to ensure the goodies won in the end and the baddies either repented, sobbing their little hearts out or met their maker in varying degrees of violence.

      British writers tend to be more ambiguous if they have messages. Evil might not win, but don't look over your shoulder. We like the goodies to win but, being pragmatists, we know it's not always possible or likely.

      Me? I have a sort of message in my ongoing saga, and that is "the history you've learned about the 'Conquest' probably doesn't go halfway to explain how it happened'. Plus there's some added mystery and input of my own confection blended in with what was chronicled.

      As to Ann, I would recommend a session with the daily nationals and locals (printed or online media) that's guaranteed to engender some new ideas. I keep referring to Conan Doyle, Dickens is worth a look-in as well as Hemingway insofar as they drew on personal experience for stories about their own time, possibly also drawing on outside influences. What goes on around you has to impact on your own world. There's so much that goes on currently, like IS terrorism, Zika, North Korea, elections, race riots, child abuse, mass migration...

      That phrase, "No man(woman) is an island". Use it to best effect.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 10 months ago

      Indeed a nice Mailbag this week my friend, exceeding beyond expectation mere questions and answers, as is being revealed between the lines the cosmic purpose of each writer supplementing reciprocal imagination expended in writing mission encouraged by the challenging effort.

      Blessing and peace with us.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 10 months ago from southern USA

      What a wonderful jam-packed Monday Mailbag, Bill!

      Yes, who are the "they" who decide the classics?

      I'm with you on the good verses evil playing out in novels, coupled with a message ...those are the best.

      Peace and blessings always

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your mailbag hubs are always interesting and informative and often thought provoking. Thank you once again, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Graham, my friend. You are always welcome here in the Mail Room! My best to you and yours.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I understand. I remember a couple movies from the 60s, in particular "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" that left me cheated with the sad ending.

      Anyway, thank you for the questions and for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, great analysis of different cultures, my friend. I had not thought of that regarding the different cultures and messages and how they are handle. Brilliant!

      So good to see you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, MIchael my friend, you said it much more eloquently than I. Are you sure you aren't native of this country? :)

      Blessings always!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And peace and blessings to you, Faith! You've got very good taste. The proof is you always show up here. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really do appreciate that, Alicia. I try, so thank you!

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      William Kovacic 10 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You certainly had a full mailbag this week, Bill. A lot of good questions with the usual good answers. Liked the video too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It was so full, Bill, I had to hold onto some questions for next week. Good to see, my friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

      I agree with the notion that great writers have an underlying message to share. That's why some of the quotes from their works stand out so much to us. Hemingway and his stronger at the broken places is especially resonant for me. He is brilliant.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 10 months ago from Massachusetts

      Good morning Bill. What a full mailbag this week with interesting questions and great answers. Glad to see the questions are rolling in. It's been a very busy summer here also, about to get even busier the next few weeks. Have a nice week.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 10 months ago from london

      All very good; all very interesting! Excellent work!! Love to the family.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      He is brilliant, Flourish, and his works will live on forever because of that brilliance. Thanks for that insight.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Bill, I hope you get a chance to stop and smell the lavender. LOL Enjoy the remainder of your summer and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again Manatita! I hang with excellent people.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 10 months ago from The Caribbean

      More great questions and answers. "Challenges" got my attention. Recently, I started on a piece of work suggested by one question someone asked me, and my Muse keeps pushing me in that direction; although I keep praying for energy to resume HP articles.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Dora, I hope that energy returns soon. You and your work are missed, my friend.

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      Shauna L Bowling 10 months ago from Central Florida

      I left a comment here last night, Bill. It seems to have disappeared!

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      Ann Carr 10 months ago from SW England

      Thanks for great answers to my questions, bill. I think you're right about stretching ourselves by outside prompts. Widening the field of expertise is a must, I think.

      'Classics' is an interesting one. I didn't used to like Shakespeare but now that I realise how much he enriched our language (even though I couldn't understand a word of it at the time!) I'm quite a fan. I think it's a mistake to teach him at secondary level, that's all. Students just aren't ready for him. Keep him for university study and then it would be fun!

      Great stuff here, as always. Just got back from a hectic week - the house is coming on but I still can't see the end! Enjoy the rest of your Thursday.

      Hope Bev's coming along well.

      Happy Thursday, bill!

      Ann

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      Dianna Mendez 10 months ago

      I agree some of those old classics, considered good reading by teachers, were poor reading. Great mail delivery today, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, that seems to happen quite often. I have no idea what HP's problem is, but I wish they would address it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Dee! It's always nice to know I'm not alone.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! Bev is doing much better, thank you! As for the classics...perhaps if they made Shakespeare required reading in college rather than high school, the students would have a better appreciation of his work......all I know is I sure don't. LOL

      bill

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 10 months ago

      Hey Billy

      Randy Godwin seems to be badmouthing you, your contest, and your family on the PO's Last Gasp. You might want to straighten him out.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. I'll go take a look.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks, Bill. I appreciate your taking the time to answer all those questions.

      When it comes to past work, I'm the opposite. I think my old stuff is garbage. Roughly 18 months ago, I wrote a 1000-word story that won 1st place in a competition. It has since been published in an anthology put together by our writers' group. I reread it a few weeks ago and wondered how anything so trite could have possibly won anything. I'm actually embarrassed by it. I'm in the midst of rewriting it and, without the word count restriction, it is a joy to discover traits I didn't know my characters had. This is what writing is all about.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Zulma. True words indeed. About one month after I publish a book, I know what I would do differently if I were to re-write it. Maybe in my next life I can have my cake and eat it too. :)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 9 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thought provoking as always and as always the week has run by and I haven't been able to catch it by the tail. Here's an interesting question - is it possible to write about a fictitious place you just make up and can you make it seem real to your readers?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting question, Rasma. You are number two on the list for next week's Mailbag. The one for tomorrow is full but I promise you are on the top of next week's. Thank you!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 9 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hi Bill,

      I have been reading many hubs, but not leaving comments due personal preoccupations (I became a grandfather at a rather young age of 48 imho hahaha). But I have always been there and learning from all hubbers, especially from you Bill. Today was no exception.

      There have been great answers to great questions. Kailey's and Zulma's questions were what I was going to ask in different contexts, but those great questions have gotten great response and they have helped me as well.

      Thank you, Bill.

      Best regards,

      Suhail

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Suhail, welcome back and congratulations! Wow, a grandparent before 50.....well, it will be nice to be young enough to enjoy your grandchild and play with him/her without your bones creaking. LOL

      blessings

      bill

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 9 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      My fingers are too tired to comment after such a long scroll :) What a force you are here in hubland! Just stick a nickle(are they still in use?) in the 'Holland' machine and boy, oh boy, does he deliver!

      Another informative and successful piece of mail, sitting on my desk (top) waiting to be read - my favorite and most rewarding event of the day.

      FYI - working furiously on a chapter to send to you along with my humble attempt to write my first flash fiction to meet your latest challenge.

      Have I told you lately that I love you? (Totally non-original.)

      Audrey

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It may be non-original, Audrey, but it is appreciated and brought a smile to my face. Thank you dear friend. I will patiently wait for that next chapter and in the meantime, I've got nickles to count up and deposit. LOL

      love,

      bill

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 9 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      "well, it will be nice to be young enough to enjoy your grandchild and play with him/her without your bones creaking. LOL"

      Hahaha. I hope it goes that way!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Best wishes, Suhail, and continued good health for all your loved ones.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton

      Happy Monday..on Friday!!! I really got a kick out of Zulma's question.. interesting.. I do enjoy these mail bag treats Billybuc.. thanks for keeping the mail rolling

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Frank! It's always good to see you, no matter which day you arrive. I'll leave the light on for ya for next week.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 9 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      With experience, I think the questions get better. Getting out into the world and experimenting with different things makes us much better as writers. Your lessons have paid off well, and you have taught us all so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, thank you so very much. Now I just have to figure out how to make some money. LOL

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Great stuff here. With Ann's question I realized why I've seemingly got two or three projects 'on the go!'

      As one begins to feel 'stuck' ideas for the other come up and I 'switch' but it's not me going 'nuts' but keeping me fresh!

      Sorry I haven't 'been around' much but the technology has been having a few problems and for a while HP wasn't letting us post comments from smartphones but that seems to be fixed now.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, thanks for hanging in there and persevering. Good to see you as always, my friend.

      bill

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