ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

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

Updated on July 18, 2016

And After a Short Break

Here we are again! Ta-Da!

No questions, no Mailbag…that’s how it works, and last week was an example. This week we barely have any questions….I’m beginning to see a trend here. My thanks to Mary for opening up a forum on HP, asking writers to contribute questions to the Mailbag; as of this writing, nobody responded with a question. Again, I’m beginning to see a trend here.

Maybe the Mailbag will cease to be a weekly event. Maybe monthly? Maybe it will go to that big scrap heap in the sky?

I guess we’ll find out. In the meantime, my thanks to those of you who did ask questions this week. Let’s get started!

I don't think it's possible for the three of us to write the same story in the same way
I don't think it's possible for the three of us to write the same story in the same way | Source

Need Help With Your Writing?

Not so Fresh Idea

From Ann: “I've got a question now though: What happens if you come up with an idea and a story and then find someone else has done almost the same already? Do you change the slant of yours or do you start totally afresh?”

I guess that’s possible, right? I mean, there are millions of writers out there, so coming up with the same basic storyline is certainly possible, although, to my knowledge, it’s never happened to me. That would be weird, right? I’m thinking out loud now, can you tell? LOL

I should have contacted Ann for clarification. Are you asking about the legal ramifications if this happened? Could someone sue you for plagiarism and so should you change your story? Or is this simply from a creative standpoint, because if it’s from a creative standpoint I say go for it regardless…..individual writers, even if they are writing about the same thing, will write in different styles with different rhythms and different voices….so I say GO FOR IT and let the chips fall where they will. I’m willing to bet I could do an experiment on HP and ask writers to write a story following exactly a storyline I give them, and I’d have ten completely different stories submitted.

The more I think about it, the more my answer is GO FOR IT!

Only one of these is non-fiction....for a very good reason.
Only one of these is non-fiction....for a very good reason. | Source

Non-fiction in My Future?

From Mary: “Question: Do you have another non-fiction book in the pipeline? Perhaps, raising quail or a cookbook with quail recipes (eggs and or meat).”

Mary, thank you! You are so good about asking questions, and supporting the Mailbag.

I’m laughing about this question. In the pipeline? That pipeline is so long, composed of novels I want to write, that I can’t imagine a non-fiction book shouldering its way into the pipeline.

Truth? I really don’t enjoy writing non-fiction. I wrote that one book on writing tips and got no thrill at all from writing it….certainly not like I feel when I write a novel and I’m really getting into that process.

Having said that, considering the horrible quality of “how to” books I’ve seen on Amazon, I almost feel compelled to write a quail book or an urban farming book, just to raise the standard a bit. I don’t say that with great ego. I say it because it’s true. There is a bunch of junk on Amazon now that every Tom, Dick and Harriet can self-publish. It’s almost an insult to the writing profession, and if that annoys some out there, too bad. I bought a book about raising bees on ebay, and it ended up being a self-published piece of junk, so excuse me for being a bit snippy regarding this topic.

But, the quick answer to your question….no, I really don’t see myself doing it…..but you should, about raising fish!

Stability in my life
Stability in my life | Source
More stability in my life
More stability in my life | Source

What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

From Eric: “Does the writing come from a certain stability in your life or does the writing give you a certain stability in life?”

What a fascinating question, Eric! I’ve thought about this question for two days now, and I’m still not sure about the answer.

I think it’s a combination of several factors for me. When I began seven years ago, it was just the right time and right place in my life. At that time I finally had three years of sobriety, so I was finally working with a clear mind. That seemed to unlock the creativity and allow it to flow freely.

At the same time I was financially free and able to quit working full-time, so that gave me the time I needed to just devote myself to writing. Also about that time I met Bev and discovered what real love is all about, so I had that stability going for me as well.

On the other hand, it really feels like writing is what I was meant to do, so writing gives me an anchor and purpose and thus, provides stability for me. I am an obsessive-compulsive person, and if I’m not drinking then I better be doing something constructive with my time, and writing is that something. I attack writing just like I once attacked drinking. I’m an all or nothing sort of guy….so writing definitely has provided stability for me….and it’s a lot better for my health.

So, the answer….a little of both, my friend.

This is what I think of pontificating boors
This is what I think of pontificating boors | Source

Boorish Writers

From Susan: “I went to a book reading by a local author in Pittsburg the other day, and I left after about fifteen minutes. The guy was boorish at best, trying to dazzle us with his huge vocabulary and just, in general, acting rather snooty. Have you found writers to be that way? It seems to me that more and more writers, especially the ones who have experienced some fame, act like they are a bit superior.”

Well, Susan, I have seen what you are talking about, but I wouldn’t say it’s the norm. Every once in awhile I’ll come across some author on PBS, or listen to one on NPR, and they will be like you described, using ten-dollar words when fifty-cent words would suffice, and acting all Elizabethan in their comments…..pretentious snobs, in other words….but….

Most writers I talk to, listen to or see are pretty ordinary in their public appearances. Quite a few of my favorite authors are “salt-of-the-earth” people, people I would totally enjoy having as next-door neighbors. So yes, I have seen it but no, I don’t think it is that common.

And I promise, if you meet me, it won’t be the norm for me…..of course, I’m not famous, either, so all bets are off if I win the Pulitzer for fiction. LOL

Maybe Next Week?

We’ll just have to see. Maybe you’ll see the Mailbag next week; maybe in two weeks; maybe in a month. It’s all up to the masses out there. As we used to say as kids, nobody knows what the Nose knows, so speak, Beak!

One note: I’m going to be recording my first podcast in a week or two….I was going to title it “The Writer’s Mailbag” but decided that was too confining, so it will most likely be named after my blog, “Artistry With Words.” Stay tuned!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 10 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, Bill just the fact that you are willing to help means the world to me and have to say thank you no matter how many questions you get here still. That said, I am on a bit of a delayed start this week coming off last week's vacation with settling back into a routine, but just had to stop in to say hi and wish you a wonderful week ahead here!!! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Welcome back, Janine! I appreciate you so very much. I'm glad you had a great time on vacation.

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 10 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      Hey Bill. 106! What an accomplishment! You chug along while I grab snacks at every possible pit-stop. I.e. your production verges, now, on the prolific. Not one piece, of which, lacks delight.

      In response to Ann: There's a great short story by Jorge Luis Borges entitled The Library of Babylon that addressed this issue.

      Your answer, Bill, fits snugly with his.

      In a Universe where every conceivable book exists, is there anything left to create? In the end the story centers (since the library is a labyrinth) around the abstract notion that one book may suffice for all. Various sects within the library spend eternity tracking down the infamous book, a rosetta stone, that encompasses all others. Finally, I think, Borges describes what you might attest to, Bill; that, sometimes we're given the story as a gift to impart. Perhaps it resembles another ('Simpsons did it!'), but the storyteller's act of creation is also an act of receiving. Our telling of the same truth will be varied.

      So Ann, Bill is right.

      Bill, you're right. :)

      Adios, and thanks (as always) for remaining a constant and continuous voice,

      -E.G.A.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Eldon, I so love it when I'm right, so thank you! LOL Your answer is much more eloquent than mine, so I'll step aside and tell Ann to read yours and skip mine, no matter how correct I am.....thanks my friend...now off to read your latest.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 10 months ago

      It's not the mailbag, it's the summer. You know, "summertime and the living is lazy, fish are jumping and the questions are few."

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 10 months ago from Europe

      I think too that many people are celebrating summer time or holiday. I'm won't be so sure it's the mailbag itself. We will see. For today I want to thank you for this evergreen! Have a great week.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 10 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Happy Monday to you. Thanks for answering my question. I suspected your writing to-do list was rather long.

      That was an interesting question about the need for stability when in a writer's life. In fact, I knew there was something missing as to why I couldn't stay on task. You may have just solved the puzzle for me.

      If the mailbag does slow, there are still many I haven't yet read as I was late arriving to the party. I will be sad to see the mail bag go but I look forward to the podcast.Will this podcast be part of a hub or accessed via your website?

      Have a great week up there.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You might be right, Pop.....hopefully you are right. Thanks for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Buildreps, and thank you for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Probably both, Mary. I'll be recording it this week and then I'll release it as both...that's the plan as of now.

      Anyway, thanks for your efforts and kindness, and Happy Monday to you.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 10 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Glad to see the mailbag back, although I really enjoyed last week's also. I've been on vacation and without access to internet for a while, but now I'm back to work and this mailbag always gives me something to look forward to...so if you go to monthly, I'll just have to stop coming into the office 3 of 4 Mondays--just kidding boss!

      :) Hope you have a great week!

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Great stuff as usual, entertaining, educational and life affirming.

      Let me get right to it. I am having a problem with colons and semi-colons. (shoot I don't even know if that is the correct way to write semicolons) At least we are not talking about my colon, thank God.

      Maybe it is because I have trouble separating thoughts in my head. I am not sure how to use these punctuations. Advise please.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      Yay, Mailbag! I really don't know what more I could add. Happy Monday, Bill.:D

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

      The large vocabulary issue can work both ways, being overt simple or overly hoighty-toity. Just keep it real. If real is smart with a good vocabulary then fine.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Another great mailbag, Bill. I really loved it. About the pretentious comment... I know I'm just an artist/illustrator and not really a writer. I just dabble to give my heart's blood some reason to exist, however, I tried to get in with a local writer's group recently and was turned away as not being "qualified" because I had not signed with some publishing company. I found them to be snooty and superior acting and really not worthy of my time. But at the same time I was disheartened. Do you find many writing clubs or organizations to be like that or were these guys just a rare occurrence? I'm personally hoping for rare occurrence because I find this writing community to be warm and engaging.

      Also I love your answer about the fresh idea. In my view, there is nothing new under the sun... only new and different points of view. I've been out on a plain aire painting expedition with a group of artists before (for the non-painter out there, that the French for painting in the open) and 5 of us are painting exactly the same thing but not one of the paintings turn out the same because we are all painting from a different heart, technique and view point. I'm sure it's the same with writing. Don't you think? Besides, how many times have you seen the same tragic Hamlet-type scenario come up over the years and no one really notices? Lion King, etc. If only Shakespeare could sue...

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 10 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Hi Bill! An engaging Mailbag. Writing everyday definitely is part of the structure of my life. If you're a writer; if that's the call on your life, writing probably is one of the major support beams holding your life in place. It's part of who you are and that's stability.

      Have a great week!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 10 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Maybe a break in the action from time to time, but I'm sure it's only temporary. We need the information you supply, so I'm quite glad to see these questions and answers this week. Thanks again for helping us along.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 10 months ago from Chicago Area

      Glad to see the Mailbag has returned! Though I can't speak for everyone, if you decide that it is in YOUR best interest to change the frequency, that's gonna be okay. Monthly might be easier for you to manage while you pursue other writing and work adventures.

      Re: Copycats. Hasn't it been said that there are only like six plot lines in the world? What each individual does with them makes each story unique. And, yes, that's for the courts to decide if a challenge occurs. This is such tricky territory!

      Re: No to Nonfiction. Well, I think you are an excellent writer of nonfiction, given your work (such as the Mailbag) on HP. But if it doesn't motivate you, forget it. We can all be excellent at things that aren't necessarily our passions. You have to make the choice.

      Re: Boorish Bores. Arrogant people bore me and make others feel uncomfortable. They usually attempt to appear superior because they feel inferior.

      Have a terrific week ahead!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Melissa, I hope you had a great vacation. What, by the way, is a vacation? I don't think I recognize that word. LOL Happy Monday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheez, Eric, you're asking me a grammar question??? Give me a break, will ya? I hate grammar.

      Okay, I'll give it a try...stay tuned, buddy, and thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That says it all, Zulma! Thank you and Happy Monday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No worries, with me, Flourish. People always seem to understand me with my average vocabulary. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, I totally agree with you about fresh ideas. I'm of the believe there are no new fresh ideas...just re-packaged ideas. Thanks for saying it in a way that makes me feel smarter. LOL

      As for your question about writer's groups, I'm going to post that in next week's Mailbag, so hang in there, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Babby, you just summed up my late adult life....this is my stability in a crazy world. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I agree, a break from time to time...only natural and only temporary. The Mailbag Lives On!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Heidi, don't hold back; how do you really feel about arrogant people? LOL...I literally laughed out loud at that comment. Thank you and Happy Monday my outspoken friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 10 months ago

      Bill, glad to see another mailbag. Regarding Ann’s question: I think I wrote once before that it happened to me, and I have not published my story on HP because I’m afraid someone will think I plagiarized the plot. I think it was in 2007, when I wrote a metaphysical 2,500-word story and never did anything with it. I didn’t want to publish it here on HP because I find short stories to be a wasted effort, and I’m saving my better ones for a book of short stories. I was thinking about turning it into flash fiction when Lo, and Behold, a very popular hubber, and one whom I like and respect, published a fiction with the very same plot, just a different time and a slightly different ending. Out of respect for her and a fear that I would be accused of stealing her plot, I will never publish a version of mine here even if my book never gets published, but still having proof that mine was written in 2007, I still plan to someday include it in my book.

      My story was entirely original to me, and there is no way this hubber could have seen it. So, maybe there is something to the theory that all stories and music are written on another plane and channeled to us mere humans LOL. Maybe another angel plagiarized my angel’s story and channeled it to her! Who knows?

      Anyway that’s the gospel truth, and I hope I’ve provided you a laugh for the day.

      Speaking of boorish, my more “cultured” coworkers threw around NPR and “all things considered” snobbery until I wanted to throw up. I finally said to them, “Those of us in commercial broadcasting looked down upon public broadcasters as broadcasting wannabees who couldn’t make it in commercial radio.” Do you think that hushed them up? Hell no! Cultural snobs will be cultural snobs.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 10 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Naming the podcast the same as the blog seems like a good idea, to me. Best for marketing it, as well. Best wishes! ;-)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Bill, It's great to hear you have a podcast ready to go. Well done. There's quality not quantity with the questions this week. In regard to making the mailbag monthly rather than weekly.. It does seem to be where it is leading. It is understandable that your regular readers will eventually run out of questions to ask. I know with my Cackleberry Farm series I decided to write it seasonally now instead of monthly, not from lack of interest, but frankly because I don't want to keep rehashing the same stuff. In regard to Ann's question. With my "Between the Floors" children's series, I knew I was inspired by something I read or saw on TV as a child. I had thought of publishing it, but someone who read it told me it was very similar to a certain story (provided name and author) and I didn't want to be accused of stealing someone else's story so it lingers here on HubPages.

      As for the quality of self-published books available on Amazon and elsewhere. I downloaded a couple of free "fiction" eBooks for a late night read..and they turned out to be total crap, littered with spelling errors and pathetic story lines. They would not get past the HP quality review even. Anyway, I look forward to the next mailbag whenever that may be.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, on the way to writing this, I noticed Eric's comment and now I don't really remember what I was going to say. I can't stop laughing!

      OK, I think I have control of myself now. I appreciate your words about stability. I guess I haven't found the perfect balance yet. I love to write, but there is also the garden, the quilting, art...and then my daughter. How to achieve that perfect balance? I always feel like I'm in an ADD flurry from one to the next, each getting a bit of my attention but nothing getting what it needs or deserves.

      And, speaking of writing...I can't wait until you pen that cookbook on using quail eggs!

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 10 months ago from Nibiru

      Writers mailbags are good pieces. Many writers will benefit from an experience and knowledgeable writer - billy Holland

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 10 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Eric: When in doubt, leave them out. When my reporters used them I'd ask them to rewrite the sentence by making more than one sentence. Then you didn't need them. They confuse readers. They confuse editors too!

      Hi Bill! It's been a while! I'm starting a new book that requires a lot of research so I'm not writing many new hubs. Hope to read more of yours when I'm on HP.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's good to see another edition of the mailbag, Bill. Both the questions and the answers were interesting. Even if you can't create a new edition every week, it would be nice to have one now and then.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very intelligent questions and answers here. It really grows our knowledge. I enjoy this mailbag with much interest. Nowadays I am reading some books also. I enjoyed one "Midnight Children" by Salman Rushdie. It was an interesting story. I have been advised to sit less at the computer (I used to sit for 6 hours) as I developed some pain in the left neck and left arm.

      I will be waiting for the next mailbag.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 10 months ago from Oklahoma

      The mailbag returns.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, that is weird about the other writer here on HP....I suppose it happens; I'm curious how often. Glad it hasn't happened to me. LOL As for boorish, there are quite a few of them out there who think their excrement don't stink. I'm here to tell them it does.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. If all goes well I'll record it Thursday, he said crossing his fingers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, thanks for sharing that about the Mailbag and quality of ebooks.....good suggestion on the Mailbag, and I've had the same thing happen to me when buying two ebooks...total crap!!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll tell you what, Linda....you pen that cookbook and mention me on the back cover. That will be good enough for me. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Clive. Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, so good to see you again,someone who was here when I started out.....semi-colons, I just leave them out all together. No need for them that I see.

      Good luck with that new book, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry...I was happy to dust it off and deliver it.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 10 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      I like the "What Came First" question. I see writing like stability, too. When I can't write, I think there's something off. I admire your ability to keep going, either way.

      I love hearing other's experiences with snobby writers. My advice is to run away! I think we all have moments when we write like that because we look up to authors from other centuries; however, the ones who do it constantly because they think it makes them sound intelligent are just as bad as the ones who simply can't write.

      Do you think any of those writers are naturally like that or that it's all made up? Sometimes, I worry that I'm being a bitch. What if they really do spend more time reading Shakespeare than anything else, and that's why they write like that?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, I admit it, I really do have a prejudice with people like that, and a low boiling point. I find them to be pretentious at best and downright annoying at worst. Maybe they do have a good reason for writing and speaking like that, but I don't want to hear the reason. i just want them to knock it off!!!! There, now you know, I'm a horrible person. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M. Thank you for being here once again. Good advice, by the way, moving away from the computer for awhile....it helps me to step away for ten or fifteen minute breaks each hour. Anyway, I hope you feel better.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 10 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I read every word and couldn't think of a question to ask, but someone else will I'm sure. You are so willing to help, and that's wonderful. See you next time.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 10 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      Here's a thought ...you may have covered all of the most important questions about writing here in your Mailbag series over time. However, these few here are really interesting questions.

      Hmm, I just thought of a couple of questions for you for the next Mailbag, possibly:

      How does writing change the writer? In other words, since you've realized you love to write and are passionately pursuing writing through novels, etc., how has writing changed you?

      Do you think the unconscious mind is a writer's best friend?

      Hope these questions aren't too odd for your next Mailbag.

      Peace and blessings for the rest of the week

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Alicia, and I think that's the route we'll be taking from here on. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm sure they will, Ruby. They have for over two years now so no reason to think they won't now. Thank you for trying and for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I'm laughing....no, the questions are not too odd. I've had a couple earlier that re-defined "odd." LOL Thank you and I'll have answers for you next Monday. Until then, have a superb week, and blessings to you always.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      I'm part of a writers' group that makes no distinction between published writers and newbies. We're all here to share our experiences, learn from one another and provide encouragement and honest critique when needed. I'm very happy to be a part of that. We did have one man whose talent for writing was equalled by his knack for grating on my nerves. He taught creative writing and is a published author so maybe that diet was too rich for his ego. Don't get me wrong. He is a good writer. It's his attitude that needs improving. He seemed patronizing to the women in the group and made of point of reminding the group there was an American (me) in their midst. He left the group about a year ago. He felt he had outgrown it and wanted to move on. Thank the Lord!.

      The funny part is that I wasn't the only one who thought he was a jerk. Most of the group did but put up with him because they felt that as a teacher of the craft, he could provide valuable advice. He didn't.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've known a few like that, Zulma. I can live my life quite comfortably if I never meet another one. LOL

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 10 months ago from london

      Great! Good to see you're back. Sorry I can't think of anything just yet, but I do enjoy your answers and explanations. VS Naipaul and also Salmon Rushdie are truly great writers with very differing styles. Good to hear the video. Best wishes.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita! It's good to be back, and we have a full mailbag for this coming Monday as well.

      Blessings always, my friend.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 10 months ago from San Diego California

      If I may step in and answer Eric's question; uninvited of course, I would say that writing gives me a certain stability in life. It gives me a purpose for living and goals that I would not otherwise have. If not for writing, I would simply be adrift in a hostile universe, existing rather than living. Don't get me wrong, the universe is still hostile, but writing takes me away from it for a while. It takes me into a happy place.

      I hope that we, your fans, can step it up and keep the mailbag going. Great work.

      P.S. I love Salman Rushdie. Both for his writing skills and what he stands for.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 10 months ago from Georgia

      I hope the Writer's Mailbag doesn't fall by the wayside. I enjoy it. I didn't realize that you were in need of questions. So here's a rather generic one because I am having trouble getting very stressed out about writing deadlines. That's why I enjoy HubPages so much...no writing deadlines. I can write whatever I want, whenever I want, and still earn money. Do you know of any other online sites. or offline situations, that allows for that kind of freedom, without deadlines, that still allows writers to earn money?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, great answer, and one I could have used for myself. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Karen, thanks, as always, for being here. A quick answer to your question is no. I will, however, expand on it in the Mailbag Monday.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 10 months ago from SW England

      Thank you, bill, and thank you, Eldon! Both answers are great and I agree; just wanted a second opinion. We're all unique and can put a different slant on anything. It must be annoying when you think you've had an original idea though! (I wasn't thinking about legal ramifications.)

      I too hope the mailbag continues. I'll try to ask some more obscure questions!

      Just got back from a few days' hard work on the house and can relax a little in the sunshine - yes we do have sunshine!!

      Have a fabulous Friday and a wicked weekend, bill!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Ann! Your sunshine and ours arrived at the same time. I'm going to use this morning cloudiness to get out and work on some building project before the heat of the day. Have a wonderful Friday my friend.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 10 months ago from SW England

      Good. Enjoy!

      I did add a question but it hasn't registered so here it is again: With reference to the pretentious writer, what would you say to someone like that if you came across one? I tend to think they're either insecure or just plain big-headed but how would you make them realise what they sound like? Call it a creative exercise!

      Ann

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton

      Maybe there may not be a mailbag every week.. But I'm still waiting on the postal service anyhow.. Tada! glad to see this one published...

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 10 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Always love checking out your mailbag posts just for inspiration and just in case I might have any questions. Hey, I was asked to write for NIUME a blogging platform that is getting a lot of attention lately. It is wonderful to see my blogs getting read and some of them also featured. Nice feeling indeed.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Ann! I'll squeeze it into the Mailbag for tomorrow.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thanks for waiting, Frank. There will be one tomorrow for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very nice, Rasma! Congratulations, my friend.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 10 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Nice hub as always. I must admit feeling guilty for not been writing a following chapter to the Self Employed Housewife. So many domestic hassles seem to give me a writers block. I like your title: Artistry With Words. go for it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nadine. Sometimes life just gets in the way, doesn't it? Best wishes to you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 10 months ago from The Caribbean

      I especially like the chicken-egg question and answer. It would be interesting to hear other author's take on that issue. Thanks for keeping us motivated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's my pleasure, Dora! I enjoy the Mailbag as much as everyone else. Thank you for being so loyal.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 10 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Interesting questions, though they may have gone down in number, and interesting answers. I just hope the mailbag keeps up its weekly appearance. Thanks Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so too, Rajan! Thank you my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 10 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The way you inform other writers and readers is interesting and impressive!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I do what I can and always wish I could do more.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 9 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I have certainly come to know a wonderful man, learned a great deal about writing, marketing, and so much more, I am just brimming with so much. You have taught me so much, Billy, I am eternally grateful. Each article of yours that I read, it puts me all the nearer to your actual life. There will always be a mailbag of sorts in some form.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is so very kind of you, Deb. Thank you so much, and best wishes to you as you proceed. I saw talent in you very early on, and I love it when I'm right. LOL

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 9 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, fiction is your genre. There's more freedom of creativity in characters and stories you/they create. You put your heart and soul into your characters. Not only do you share them with us, but in so doing, you share yourself.

      I prefer reading fiction over non-fiction and I know a lot of others do, too, so the market will never be closed. Keep 'em coming, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha and of course, you are correct. I really can't imagine making a living as a non-fiction writer. My spirit would be crushed. LOL

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Two years continuous is something to celebrate! Okay last week was a little hiccup, or maybe a re-setting the click but it's great to see the mailbag moving forward.

      I was thinking of Mary's question and had at least asked it in my mind even if not in actual writing!

      Actually I've had a few times when I started an idea, shelved it and six months or a year later find that idea in some big movie or book plot!

      That's why I thought 'stuff it' with 'Sting of the Scorpion' and wrote the book!

      Someone the other day told me they'd read a similar book recently, my reaction was "This ones MINE"

      Keep going bro

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, your reaction is exactly what mine would be. No one writes like I do....the plot may be similar, but there is no other writer like you.

      bill

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      I'm with you, Bill. If a writer is being truly creative, there will be plenty of differences in writings that might appear similar on the surface. There are just too many turns to take and twists to apply for two writers to end up with the same story.

      I did like your example of giving a storyline to several writers to see the differences that would emerge; a fun challenge with a bit of learning involved.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, Chris, I have been horrible about visiting your site. I'll be there shortly. Thanks for your thoughts on the plagiarism topic.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 8 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bill:

      Great points as always as we can become somewhat caught up in writing the same thing after a time. I know I am guilty of it. I think it important to sit on occasion and just let the mind wonder as we write, we may be surprised what lands on paper...

      Hugs from Alberta my friend...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Rolly....it can sound like blah, blah and more blah.....so give the mind a vacation of sorts and it will love us forever. :)

      hugs from Olympia

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 8 months ago from California

      Another great mailbag Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Audrey!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 4 months ago from Canada

      Your articles on writing are so insightful - i really miss being able to browse around and get caught up on all my favorites. Have to see how many I can hit today - make the most of my day off work, LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks once again, RedElf! Have a great day at work.

    Click to Rate This Article