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

Updated on August 08, 2016

Happy August to You All

The summer is waning!

Those are sad words to many. To others, like me, they are simply words which mark another passage, one of many in my lifetime. I love the fall, so this passage does not bother me. I love my maturity, so that passage, into my elder years, does not bother me. I have many opportunities still awaiting me, so these passages allow me to reach those new destinations and experiences.

In other words, BRING IT ON!

I didn’t think I’d be able to finish this because my wife has been in the hospital all week and, well, things have been a bit hectic. But she’s on the mend, kind of, and I found some time (I think she wanted me out of her room for a little bit), so here we are. It will be a short one but I hope you find it worthwhile.

Let’s do this!

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

The Comma After But

From Buildreps: “You helped me out here on the usage of "and". Thanks for that because I was a little confused. I also noticed that you use a comma before "but". I noticed that many writers don't do that. The rules seem to be somewhat fuzzy. Maybe you can keep that as a question when you're somewhat short on questions?”

I have an answer for you but it comes with a qualifier. Read on to hopefully understand.

When a conjunction (and, or, but) separates two independent clauses, the comma is necessary before the conjunction. Independent clauses are also known as “stand alone clauses” because they are basically short “sentences” which meet all of the requirements of a sentence.

Example: He was a powerful Marine, but he was also a very weak, helpless, and ineffective husband. There are basically two sentences in that one sentence….”he was a powerful Marine” and “he was a weak, helpless, and ineffective husband.” Two independent clauses, thus the need for the comma before the conjunction “but.”

The only time this rule can be ignored is when the two independent clauses are very, very short. This is strictly for style purposes. Example: “He was a powerful Marine but he was also a weak husband.”

Are you confused yet?

PHOTO PROGRAMS FOR EBOOKS

From MizB: “I’ll ask a question you can answer in the next week's mailbag if you wish. I’ve suggested to the author of the ebook I’m editing that we use an ebook publishing program, and he likes the idea. The book is formatted for the hard copy that he’s already published, and I don’t think it is satisfactory for the ebook, especially because it contains a lot of old photos. In the publication process, a couple of them that contain two or three persons got stretched, and we have people with extra long heads. So, what program would you suggest that would do justice to old black and white photos? Thanks in advance, and I'll be eagerly awaiting your expertise.”

Leave it to my friend MizB to ask a question requiring some serious research. Thanks a lot, friend!!!!! LOL

I’ve got two for you to try and they are both strong in their ability to do justice to photos. They are KeeBook Creator and ReaderWork Standard. I’ve read good reviews about both of them, and I actually know a writer who has used KeeBook Creator and raves about it.

I have used neither so this is all word of mouth and the best I can do for you.

What do you imagine?
What do you imagine? | Source

Two from Rasma

From Rasma: “Does it really help for a writer to have a vivid imagination? Growing up as an only child I developed quite an imagination. When I write about something fictitious or real as I write I can picture everything I write about as if it were in front of me. In fact one of my all time favorite topics is the paranormal and there are times I even scare myself. This brings me to one last question - when you write do you place yourself in the setting you are writing about?”

Any writer of fiction understands those two questions, Rasma, and I’m sure quite a few of them are nodding their heads right now. I’ll even go this far: I can’t imagine writing fiction without a vivid imagination. How does one do that? For me, writing is a way of finally releasing all of those crazy scenarios I’ve concocted in my head over decades.

I once had a mentor tell me (because of my alcoholism) that the most dangerous real estate in the world is the six inches between my ears. LOL I will also say that the most productive real estate for a writer of fiction is that same six inches. I can walk down the street and look at normal, everyday scenes, and five stories will come to me while I walk two blocks. It is craziness and I love every minute of it.

As for your second question, the answer is most definitely YES! When my character Billy the Kid walks into an abandoned warehouse, I close my eyes and walk in there with him. Talk about vivid imaginations….I image the smell of piss and rat feces….I imagine the broken glass and syringes under my shoes…..the sounds of rats scurrying into the shadows…the sinister nature of those shadows…..and there are times I’ll actually shudder while imagining it all.

In other words, I’m there, baby, I’m there, and I have been there, so I’m drawing from some experience as well, and I could write an entire article about experiencing life and letting those experiences fuel your writing, but, well, maybe another time.

What do you imagine?
What do you imagine? | Source

Again with the Competition

From Mary: “You wrote last week that you don’t consider other writers to be your competition, and that sounds very altruistic but seriously, it doesn’t make sense to me. It seems that every book written which I don’t write is direct competition for the expendable income of readers. There are only so many dollars being spent on books, and the more books written, the more choices, and the more choices the less my chances are. So, do you want to reconsider your opinion about competition?”

No!

Next question, please!

Let me try to make this as clear as I possibly can. I consider other writers to be my brothers and sisters, and I wish them all well. If people don’t believe that I have no control over that.

And do you know what else I have no control over? The marketplace! I can’t control how many books are written and I can’t control how good those books are. I can’t control the disposable income of the millions of readers out there and I can’t control their tastes. The only thing I can control in this business is the quality of my writing and how I market my writing.

So my only jobs, then, are to be the best writer I can possibly be and to then be the best marketer I can possibly be.

Period, end of discussion, let’s move on!

I was raised to not make excuses, and it seems to me that once I go down that particular alley of “it’s hard to sell my books because of all the competition out there,” I’ve opened the gates to giving up, and I don’t have an ounce of “give up” in me.

My latest Billy the Kid Chronicle

More Next Week

If you like thrillers then you might like my latest in the Billy the Kid Chronicles, this one titled “Breathing Fire on a Cold Winter’s Day,” available through Amazon.

Thanks for the visit and I’ll see you all 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 7 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, Bill so not happy that summer is waning, but I do get it is just the way it is. But being that I am so not a fan of winter, I just can't help but feel the way I do. However, I just love that no matter the season, you are here to help us and give us your tried and true advice. Thanks for being just you and hoping that this Monday is treating you well so. Thinking of you and got my fingers crossed for a better week ahead now, too ;)

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 7 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      Hey Bill, I hope your wife has a timely recovery from whatever ails her. She's in my prayers (though I don't know Mrs. Holland's first name). Anyway, I'm always glad when Monday arrives. Your mail responses are a great way to start the day, and the week. Glad to see you've got e-books off the ground and running!

      Wishing you the best Bill, as always,

      -E.G.A.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 7 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Am I the first......well as I start this comment I am but usually by the time I finish it and click post, another has got in first. So I'll make it short...good mailbag, Bill. I was right, by the time I posted, Janine and Eldon beat me...damn )

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 7 months ago from San Diego California

      For a moment there I thought you were going to banish the comma from the English language, just like you exiled the semicolon a few weeks ago. I have had homeless semicolons knocking on my window since then, begging to be let back in. I am relieved I can still use the comma, though it might be troublesome to do it right.

      I hope your wife is doing better. Great work!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      I hope Bev is soon on the mend. Whew the grammar questions can get very very specific. I like your attitude about other writers as colleagues rather than competition. Styles, tastes and luck influence so much.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I like your comment about imagination, mine runs wild sometimes. I've been out of the loop because my laptop crashed, so I was unaware that Bev was sick. I hope she is better. Still love this mailbag series. Thank you...

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 7 months ago from New Jersey

      Rasma's question was great. When I was a kid, I wrote a scary story on the computer in the basement and felt terrified. I thought, "Am I crazy for doing this?" Then, you remember how Poe wrote about what he feared most.

      The competition question reminds me of how I'm sure most people in my age range are feeling about the job market. Personally, when I vent about having a degree without the job, I don't only think of myself. I consider all of us in the same boat. We are all smart and have something to offer. We all deserve well-paying careers that use our skills. To see other grads as competition would make me conceited. It's the same way I feel about other writers.

      I hope that Bev recovers soon. She's in my thoughts.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 7 months ago from Fresno CA

      So very sorry to hear your wife has been ill. I do hope she recovers soon.

      And once again, I love your competition answer. I would say that your third job is encouraging the other million or so writers out there to contribute their absolute best to the mix as well. And a good job you do at that third one, I might add. A technical deal to go along with MizB's question is about the stretching of images. It doesn't matter if they are old, new, black and white or full color. The editing software doesn't take note of any of that. Its only job is to fit the submitted data to the page parameters. This is one of the reasons that many publishers save the photos to add to the back of the book. They save them as a pdf file which basically is a file that saves it flat exactly as you set it up. It cannot move, stretch or divide. If you really wanted to photos to appear at the end of a particular chapter you could save the photo pdf and the chapters separate and load them separate so that they don't move when added to the program. It is when the photos are embedded into the text that they can suffer stretching. The same thing can happen when we artists try to submit images to magazine publishers embedded in text. The magazine publishers will make us save the text and images separate for this very reason. Hope that makes sense.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 7 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hope Bev is feeling better with each passing day, Bill . It's been a very educational morning. I was thinking along the same lines as Buildreps. Glad you cleared that up. Thanks for another useful mailbag!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 7 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Hope Bev continues to mend and is home soon. I prefer the fall also. All this heat and humidity wears on me. Have a great week.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 months ago

      I am wishing your lovely wife a speedy recovery.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 7 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill - The question from Rasma and your response were a great part of the mailbag today, that a writing needs to have a vivid imagination.

      I am in the midst of reading a fiction-based-on-fact story about the life of Ernest Hemingway. He wrote powerfully about running with the bulls in Spain, and did so by totally immersing himself into the story. He became the story and it became him--they were inseperable.

      Could he have accomplished the same writing without being there? I rather doubt it.

      So where am I going with this? Does a great writer need to fully experience (not simply imagine) that of which they write, or did Hemingway suffer from a lack of imagination?

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 7 months ago from Europe

      Thanks for answering my question. For native English speakers it might a dumb one. I've had some problems with the usage of "but" because it is in my native language exactly the opposite. You explained it perfectly well. Thanks for that. The other three questions were awesomely answered. I like to add to that one about competition that if you're the only writer in the world, you might have a much bigger problem...

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 7 months ago

      Thank you, good friend, Bill. I had no idea where to start researching for that type of ebook program. I’ll get on it and see what my author thinks.

      I usually dislike autumn because winter is just around the corner, but this summer has been so hot that I might reconsider. I really do dread dodging school traffic though, especially since a bridge over the Arkansas River is being replaced and thousands of us are going to have to find a new route to and from work.

      So sorry to hear that Bev is in the hospital, but it’s good that she’s on the mend. I hope it isn’t serious. Blessings to you both.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 7 months ago from Chicago Area

      Re: Competition. For a writer to presume he has "direct" competition is to presume he has identical offerings to other writers. Shopping for a book isn't the same as shopping at Walmart. And if, indeed, his product is identical to another writer, he's lost the game. He has become an undifferentiated commodity.

      But I will say that the competition question does have validity. I have found that the greatest competition for my business does not come from direct competitors (other writers), but from everything else my customers and readers can buy. This takes a great deal of market intelligence to combat. But that's what it's going to take in the market for readers' minds now and in the future.

      Have a great week!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm glad to hear that Bev is a bit better, Bill. Thanks for creating another interesting mailbag edition for us to read.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 7 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Bill,

      Oh, please take care of that sweet woman of yours Bill. I do hope she is feeling all the way well soon. I'm sorry to hear she is not well.

      It has been one of the hottest summers in years here and I am ready for Fall too without the humidity! I love October for it is the most pleasant of weather here, usually.

      A short, sweet, yet really good Mailbag once again. Love the imagination question.

      I hope you have a peaceful rest of the week.

      Hugs

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 7 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Much useful questions and answers. The comma after but is really an unknown fact for me. Thanks for the insight provided. Yes, it is a good fact that writers need to involve in vivid imagination and should move along with the characters. That is a fine lesson imparted. Very insightful mailbag. Thanks once again.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, I don't think I will ever get this punctuation deal down correctly. I just use them as I go with the flow of what I am thinking. If I want to break up something here or there, I just use them. I hope that does not piss off my readers too much.

      I have been in the hospital on emergency and planned visits many times. I have never felt anything but relief in getting there alive. I reckon I am like the high percentage of people who go to the hospital to get better and do. With that said, the doctors only do so much. It is your love that will heal your Bev. I am sending my love to join yours.

      Just a short question you might just answer here. Do you sometimes feel like "scoop" the old time investigative reporter when you write about the facts of your imagination?

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Bill

      I sure hope Bev is out of the hospital by the time you get to this. I continue my prayers for her.

      I gleaned so much from this "Writer's Mailbag." Each one is a treasure chest full of priceless information for a new writer such as myself. And you are pure gold!

      Thank you for sharing your expertise, experience and inspiration.

      Love and gratitude from me to you!

      Audrey

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 7 months ago from Oklahoma

      Spot on with your coordinate conjunction rules. One of the biggest things I try to emphasize is that contrary to popular belief, grammar is not a hard science, and therefore gets very fuzzy at times.

      If you never want to be wrong, always put a comma before conjunctions that connect 2 sentences, but stylistically, I personally prefer to leave them out when the sentences are short.

      Great read.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 7 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A well-advised hub on grammar. Always an educational hub from you.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 7 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      All good answers, as usual.

      To me one's imagination is like the TARDIS. Supposedly it's contained in one's brain, but it can travel galaxies and eons in an instant and turn a cloud into a castle. All creativity begins with imagining--with a mental image or sense impression suggestive of the end product or result. But imagination, while necessary, is not sufficient. Craft is needed to manifest the imagined.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 7 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      I enjoyed reading your take on the competition for today's writers in this media rich environment. Yes, it is tough to buy every book we might like to have and there are so many from which to choose.

      Sorry about Bev's illness and I understand the toll it has taken on you both. Still hoping and praying for her quick recovery and return to good health. Sometimes illness draws people closer. I know it did in the case of my hubby when he was ailing before surgery and afterward. All the best to you both.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Two days late, Janine, but I finally made it here to thank you for always being my support system. So thank you and Happy Wednesday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Eldon! I'll be heading to the hospital soon and hopefully there is good news.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, you almost made it first. Good try my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, I'm pretty sure I use the comma about twice as much as I really need it, but I love that little fella so much I can't say goodbye. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, thank you! She is feeling much better and should come home soon. As for the grammar questions, I hate them! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I would be a basket case if my computer crashed. You've handled it well, me thinks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for your thoughts on competition, Kailey. Just one more reason why I like you. As for Bev, she's having the best day since she got sick. Hopefully she will be coming home soon.

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 7 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Keeping you and Bev in my thoughts and prayers. Hope today comes with good news. Thanks for this week's Mailbag, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very helpful, Denise. Thanks for that information about the images. I hope MizB read this.

      Blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Bill, and yes, Bev is feeling good today. She may go home tonight.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Bill! They can keep the heat down south. I'm a 75 degree kind of guy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pop! I think I'll have her home real soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      it's an interesting question, Linda, and I'm going to give it a couple days of thought and have an answer for you on Monday. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, I'll be laughing about your competition insight the rest of the day. I've felt like that at times. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I'm with you on that weather. Hot and muggy wear me out very quickly and I get practically nothing done. Bring on the fall, this boy says!

      Thank you as always and Happy Thursday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, your answer is perfect. Just perfect! In all honesty, I don't think about my "competition" when I write. I am unique and that right there is my greatest asset as a writer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Alicia! All is well here. She might be home tonight.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith! If all goes well she will be released tonight or tomorrow at the latest. Crossing fingers!

      hugs and blessings, dear friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. Our punctuation rules must seem ridiculous to one who is not a native of the English language. I think you do remarkably well, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, thanks much. I love your theory on commas. In truth that's pretty much how I use them too.

      Scoop? I love it. I'm going to use that question in the Mailbag but yes, I do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! it's Thursday now and she might get out tonight. I appreciate your kindness.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! I've probably forgotten a great deal about the rules of grammar, but it's amazing how much of it stuck all these years. Still, I make quite a few mistakes, so these questions help me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, you are spot on. My wife has a much more active imagination than I do, but she has a problem translating that imagination into words on a page. Great points you make here, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, thank you! It is a reminder of our frailty, and also a reminder of the importance of love in our lives. The lessons were not lost on me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Today was good news, Babby, so thank you!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 7 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Just catching up. Thank you for your answers and now I know that my craziness is natural. That is what I really love about writing - I can leave this wild world for many moments at a time. Blessings to both you and Bev and I hope she'll be home soon.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

      "The only thing I can control in this business is the quality of my writing and how I market my writing." I share your views on this Bill. More good books only mean more good reading for me and everyone else.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 7 months ago from london

      Your very last answer is 'cool.' I like it. Won't dwell here, because I did touch on it last week.

      Buildreps is 'testing you out.' Ha ha. There is a creative workshop programme for writers and poets where I recite poetry. I refuse to attend at all times. They can be so limiting....so confining! Generally I avoid the commas after 'and' and sometimes after 'but.' Still, 'feel' or 'intuition' is so important!

      Some say the English use double inverted commas more (") and the Americans( ') but I see both being used successfully on either side. Anyway, for my creative spirit, the standard knowledge of usage of grammar is more than enough.

      The summer is waning Bro. I really like that. Does that mean you're getting younger? Bev is in the hospital, but August is a special month for birthdays.

      My Teacher, to me, one of the greatest luminaries or visionaries of the 20th and 21st century, was born on August 27th. God's willing, I will join the celebrations in NY next week.

      So sorry that I do not have this poem to share: I believe the poet called it 'Seemingly Less Beautiful.' Yet it was one of the most beautiful poems I've heard for a very long time. May you, your wife and family, continue to experience an array of positive vibrations and ever-increasing Delight.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 7 months ago from SW England

      Great stuff, bill, as ever!

      Sorry to hear that Bev has been unwell and I hope she is now well on the road to recovery. Please give her my best wishes.

      To continue the comma thing - it seems to me that this is the only area where American English is more complicated than ours! I can't get my head around those rules at all. We Brits are a simple lot; well I am anyway!

      From a simple Brit to a clever American, have a wonderful, if complicated, weekend!

      Ann :D

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      She is home now, Rasma, so thank you! Have a wonderful weekend of natural craziness. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Dora, and that's a win for all of us. Thanks for sharing that truth.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful comment, Manatita. Bev is now home and we are trying to find the old routine. It feels good to sit down at the computer and know a trip to the hospital will not be interrupting my thoughts.

      blessings my special friend, and love always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I will pass along your well-wishes. Bev is in the room next to me and that in itself makes today a wonderful day.

      Americans? Complicated? We can make a typhoon out of a glass of water! LOL

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 7 months ago from SW England

      I'm glad Bev is back home. What a difference that makes to both of you, I'm sure.

      Just been de-mothing my old Teddy who's rather sad at the moment. Thanks for the smile!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Ann!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 7 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, again, Bill!

      I'm not sure if you can answer these, but I would imagine that you could.

      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?

      My next questions are 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?

      Thank you for any advice!

      I hope Bev is home and doing well, now!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 7 months ago from United Kingdom

      I didn't want to believe that summer is receding but after a long drive yesterday, I see that it's true. The blackberries are in and the farm workers are harvesting the fields and orchards. Even the scent on the breezes is changing. Time to break out the apple pie recipe and go berry picking.

      (sigh)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, you are really stretching me with those questions. The Mailbag is full for tomorrow but I'll lead off next week with these two questions. Whew! I have my work cut out for me. LOL

      Have a great week and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Even on warm days here now, Zulma, the evenings cool off quickly, so thank the gods for that. I am not a lover of heat.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 7 months ago from United Kingdom

      Spring and summer here in England are just lovely. And I don't mean the tourist traps like London. I live in a rural area so I have the privilege of warm sun, sultry breezes, and the occasional thrilling thunderstorm. Knowing that it's coming to an end again always makes me sad. Winter's have always been hard on me; both weather wise and psychologically. At least there's Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to look forward too.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 7 months ago from sunny Florida

      Bill

      I read in one of your comments on another page that Bev has been ill. So sorry to hear that and I am hopeful that she is on the mend.

      Take care of both of you.

      Healing Angels are on the way ps

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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, take me at my word, you should never visit Olympia!!!!!

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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS! She is out of the hospital and on the mend. I appreciate your caring about her.

      blessings and hugs heading your way

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 7 months ago from United Kingdom

      Yes, I hear it's a tad damp there. lol

      I can't be without sunlight for too long. It really messes with my head. Happy Monday to you too.

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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Zulma!

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      Shauna L Bowling 7 months ago from Central Florida

      I don't see writers as competition either, Bill. After all, there are so many genres in the literary world and most readers have their preferred genre(s). Not only that, not all writers are good writers. To take it even further, each writer has a different voice and that's what adds variety to each genre. I don't only read Koontz, or King, or Johansen, or Grisham. Hell, I don't only read Holland or Baker, for that matter. Each writer worth reading has something unique to bring to the table. That's not competition. That's variety and, as a reader, I thank God for it! As a writer, I embrace the community and share in the joys of success on each and every level.

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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Perfectly stated, Sha, and I thank you for that. True words, each and every one of them.

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      Rolly A Chabot 7 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy:

      Writers are a community, normal everyday people carving out a niche where they can share with word and what is on their hearts.... well written as always Billy... Glad to hear Bev is on the mend...

      Hugs from Alberta

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      Dianna Mendez 7 months ago

      I needed the refresher on the comma and but. Thank you. Also, I was wondering how many times you went back and revised your first novel? Does it get easier to write without edits after time?

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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rolly! My main job with Bev is to make sure she doesn't overdo things now that she feels better, and that is proving to be a full-time job for me. LOL

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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the question, Dee. I'll try to squeeze it into tomorrow's mailbag.

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      Lawrence Hebb 6 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Sunday's my only day I get to sit and read some hubs at the moment, but what a treat when I do!

      I so loved what you said about the 'vivid imagination' I've got three books on the go at the moment as simply put otherwise my head would explode with what the 'muse' tells me.

      As for 'competition' well I'm too far away to be any serious competition for anyone, but I remember reading what Robert Kiyosaki said in one of his books that every month one trillion $ changes hands and all we are trying to do is get a little more of that $1 trillion to land and rest in our accounts!

      Great stuff here, and I know the auto-checker is telling me that the last sentence has bad grammar but I'm leaving it that way as while $1 trillion is lots of little $ there is only one of the 'trillion' and that makes it singular!

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      Bill Holland 6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I like what you said about the trillion dollars...great reminder of what we are facing.....as always, thanks for taking the time to visit me.

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