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

Updated on August 29, 2016

Returns Are a Good Thing

For some reason my mind is on Christmas shopping and the inevitable returns after gift-opening. Somehow I tied that into all of you “returning” for another installment of the Mailbag.

See, folks, I’m just as strange as you always thought.

Let’s do it!

NUMBER OF EDITS

From Dee: “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?”

Dee, there seems to be two different questions to this one, and I’ve actually got two different ways to answer it.

The first question is easy. It took me three years to write “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today,” and today I can write a novel, start to finish, in about six months….so that part of writing a novel has gotten easier because I now know how to structure a novel and how to do dialogue and scenes better.

The editing process, however, hasn’t changed much over the years. It takes me however many edits it takes me to be satisfied with the product. Generally speaking, I’ll usually do about four edits/re-writes before I’m satisfied. The first time through I simply tell the basic story….no editing allowed. The second time through I fill in gaps and add some flourish. The third, fourth and possibly fifth times through are pure editing.

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

Pain and Writing

From Eric: “So we accept that you as a writer can portray a dark side. So much so that your darling Bev is not inclined to go there. But the writing is excellent and compelling. So I assume you lived some darkness. At this point and at this time, are you somewhat pleased that you did, in order to give you the juice to actually bring us there so we may experience it without the pain and damage?”

Eric, I truly believe writers must experience life in order to write about it convincingly. There is no way for me to accurately capture the pain of loss unless I’ve experienced it. No way to portray the joy of triumph without actually being there at some time.

It’s an odd thing to say I’m happy all the pain happened because it helped me to be a better writer, but I am. What came before made me who I am today. I am one of those people who needed pain to force change before I self-destructed. It’s the only way I was going to pay attention and alter my life. I needed to suffer….period, end of story.

Let me explain it this way. I showed no inclinations of being a writer up until 2001. That was about the time I was gearing up to self-destruct, and writing was an outlet for me because, quite frankly, I was incapable of voicing my pain….that went on until I almost died in 2006. Finally, after 2006, I was able to use writing as the communication outlet I needed, but in a positive way.

That’s the best I can do to answer your question in the affirmative.

HISTORICAL FICTION

From Dora: “Is there a name for fiction which includes real names and real facts? Or is this a question for the mailbag? I think this is a good way for the author to preserve information which has significance to him or her.”

I suppose, Dora, in a very broad sense, any novel that contains real names and real facts should be considered a historical fiction, but publishers don’t believe that to be the case. I would venture to guess a majority of fiction contains some truth, but it is still designated fiction, or mystery fiction, or thriller fiction, or romance fiction. If the majority of the book is about a particular event in history, like Bruce Catton’s Civil War trilogy, then it is considered historical fiction. In other words, a question to ask before labeling a book: is it centered around a historical event, or are the historical events simply background for the real story?

SYNDICATION

From Linda: “You made a comment (which you probably don't even remember making--you're forgiven) last week on one of my hubs. You said I should be a syndicated columnist. You wouldn't believe how much that has been in my thoughts (or at least on the back burner) this past week. My ultimate goal -- we're talking BUCKET LIST here -- is to publish a cookbook. But I don't think you can do that without being known. A newspaper column(s) might be the way to do that. So I ask you -- how does one promote themselves to a newspaper as a potential columnist? I've done a Google search and came up with not much of help.”

Well Linda, you definitely came to the right place.

I have a friend on HubPages named Deb Hirt. A couple years ago Deb started writing a weekly article on HP called “Life at Boomer Lake.” It is a wonderful series about observing the bird population of a lake in Oklahoma. You may have seen it. Anyway, Deb asked herself the same question.

The answer is the same for her and for you. Deb started small, locally. I forget the name of the newspaper she first approached, but lo and behold, they loved her articles and gave her a weekly column in a small Oklahoma newspaper.

You need to do the same thing and by small I do not mean the Tacoma News Tribune. Find an independent press newspaper, or an online newspaper for the region, and approach them with your food articles. Think small and work your way up the food chain….pun intended. The most important step is the first one. You have to get that first byline and then grow from there. Also, approach local magazines…the smaller the better. Go online and search for those publications, write a great query letter, and start the process.

It worked for Deb and it can work for you.

My inspiration
My inspiration | Source
More of my inspiration
More of my inspiration | Source

INSPIRATION

Again from Eric: “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?”

Eric, before they build that statue in my honor, know that there are many days when my attitude sucks. I am becoming, more and more, a curmudgeon in my old age, and Bev gets much of the credit in making sure I come back from the grumpies and return to the inspirational side of me. In other words, she won’t tolerate too much grumpiness.

But to answer your question yes, it inspires me very much. I will read a particularly touching comment and I’m in tears, and instantly I want to be a better man and inspire more change in people. I just read one such comment today from my “sister from another mother,” Paula. She had me in tears, dammit!

EGO OR JEST?

From Randy: “Hey, Billybuc, I recently saw a tagline at the end of one of your novels….#greatestunknownauthor. Is this an ego thing, or are you having fun with it?”

Randy, those who know me well know I don’t have much of an ego. In fact, I still have an inferiority complex, just not as bad as it once was. No, the tagline you are referring to is my fun way of saying I’ll never be famous but I would be happy just being the greatest unknown author. It’s my tongue-in-cheek goal, of sorts…..fame in not having fame. LOL I hope I make it.

It’s also, in all seriousness, a marketing ploy I’m trying. It may fall flat. It may work. It costs nothing to find out.

Amazon or Bust?

From Jeanie: “Bill, do you keep up with all the latest stuff on Amazon Publishing? There’s a new thing called FBA that’s making the rounds on Amazon. I just heard about it and wondered if you understand it?”

Well, from what I understand, Jeanie, FBA stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon,” and it’s a new (?) marketing program that is being pushed. There’s a free ebook about it and you can find that by Googling FBA. I think I’ll do the same, just for the heck of it, and we’ll both find out about it at the same time. I’ll meet you back here after I read it.

I’m back. I downloaded the ebook and here’s what they say in Chapter Two:

“What Is "Fulfillment By Amazon"? Fulfillment By Amazon – often abbreviated to "FBA" -- is a service that allows you to: 1. Gather and prepare the items that you want to sell 2. Enter the items into your Amazon.com seller's account 3. Ship the items to an Amazon fulfillment center 4. Sit back and wait for Amazon to sell your stuff for you Really, it's as simple as that! As the company strives to be the most advantageous online retail outlet for both buyers and sellers, Amazon has devised a system that allows everyday entrepreneurs access to nearly all of the selling features that make their website so popular. Why waste valuable hours stumbling through the process of maintaining a side business when the established experts have offered to do the majority of the work for you?”

I hope that helps a bit, Jeanie!

Anything Else?

I was going to lament the sad state of affairs of HP at this point, but why bother? I took one look at the voting categories for the Hubbies and threw up my hands in disgust. That should tell you what I think of HP.

But I’m not done. What’s up with all the newcomers who sign on as followers but don’t have any articles written and never make any comments on the hubs of others? How is that “following” someone? I don’t understand the motivation behind that, and I don’t understand HP allowing it.

There seems to be a great deal I don’t understand.

What I do know, for sure, is I’m always appreciative to those who stop by and pay me a visit. Thank you so much.

Now, sit your butt down, and write it off. Lighten the load, so to speak.

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

      I am with the majority in saying I look forward to Mondays and your motivation here. That said, I am so trying not to think about Christmas still though yet, but made me giggle all the same with your earlier comment. Happy Monday now to you, too!! :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, I am willing to bet you never envisaged 112 mailbags being published. The 2016 hubbies are a big disappointment, with most of the previous categories missing. If they had one for best series of hubs, your Writers' Mailbag would certainly win. Hope you have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! Your support has always meant so much to me. You define loyalty in your everyday actions and I, for one, greatly value loyalty.

      Happy Monday, Mom!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John and no, I never saw this coming. I didn't envision twelve of them, let alone an extra one-hundred.

      I'm blessed, buddy. I got hit with the luck wand somewhere along my travels.

      bill

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 10 months ago from Chicago Area

      G'morning!

      Re: Number of Edits. I never get done editing and/or proofreading since, sadly, I'm only human. Thank goodness I'm self published and can change things when I find something I really want to correct. But usually I do about 3-4 passes before anything goes live.

      Re: Amazon FBA. Yes, this does enable entrepreneurs to enter Amazon's massive marketplace. But it is a "service" of Amazon and, therefore, has a cost. I had a friend who sold her book via Amazon FBA and the costs were so high that her sales didn't even cover them. So she was going to pull it off Amazon and just sell it on her website. Understand the costs of the program and estimate your projected sales before leaping into any fulfillment program, Amazon or otherwise.

      BTW, I voted for you in the Hubbie Awards. Even if you don't get one, you're always in my HP Winners Circle.

      Have a great week ahead!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 10 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      Randy's question gave me a chuckle. After years of my own sarcasm being taken seriously, I know how others mistake it for horrible character traits.

      Your closing was on point. I'm mystified by new followers who turn out to have no Hubs, even if they have been on here for months or years. What's up with that? Suspicious!

      Take care, friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, thank you for the FBA information. I'm going to pass on the opportunity for exactly that reason, but it was good to hear from you...and thank you for the vote on the Hubbies....you have no idea how much I appreciate the support.

      Happy Monday my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Suspicious doesn't begin to cover it, Kailey, and I don't have a clue what's up with that b.s.

      Always good to see you, Kailey. I hope you are well....best of luck with your situation.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 10 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the explanation in answer to my question. Makes sense. The voting categories for the Hubbies also threw me for a loop. My guess (my hope) is that HP will find some other way to facilitate our participation.

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 10 months ago from The Desert

      Hi, Bill,

      I've stopped writing for and even checking HubPages for a while, since they started with the changes, and sadly, I missed quite a few of your Mailbags. I stopped by this morning, and I am already inspired. Thank you for keeping this up! It helps the rest of us more than you know (or I suspect you know and that's why you are still doing it :). Have a great week!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Another fabulous Monday morning. Thanks Bill. I sent some things to FBA (mostly used books) and Heidi is right, the cost doesn't make it a very viable "service" for the small business person. I find it easier and more reasonable to just keep my used books here at home and box them up as they sell myself.

      I love your advice for the columnist. That's valuable info for us all.

      As for the "followers without Hubs" I personally think they are spammers and looking to just post third-party websites on our articles eventually. They could even all be one person using different names, for all we know. The question is how HP allows it to go on. However if they made more restrictive hoops for the average writer to have to jump through, I may not have made it this far, so I really don't want the restrictions to increase necessarily. It's a balance.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 10 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thanks for another super installment Bill. About this years 'hubbies.' I don't like the new form. I don't have the time to go to each new site, read the hubs then pick one - or find the author and vote - or not. Way to time-consuming for me (I have a book to write.)

      As for the gazillions of new followers that plaster my mail - ha - what a joke! No hubs, no nothing. One day I had about 14 new followers. I tried to do the right thing and welcome each one and even follow a few. Then I smelled something fishy.

      Thank God there is one thing that remains stable and dependable on HP.

      Billbuc and his "I can't live without them" hubs.

      Thanks my friend.

      Audrey

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's a good hope, Dora, and I hope you are correct. Thank you so much for always being here and I'm glad my answer helped you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm very glad to hear that, Emese, and it's nice to see you back, even for just a brief visit. There are quite a few of us unhappy with HP, but for me, it's family here, so I'll stick it out and hopefully I'll see some positive changes soon. Again, thank you for the kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a balance for sure, Denise, one we are all navigating with care. I appreciate you being here, as always, and your views are valuable for all of us. Take care, my friend, and have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey. People like you are the reason I'm still haunting this site. No other reason at all. I find it sad, what it once was, what it is today, but oh well. Not much I can do about it other than remain a constant and hope things change.

      love,

      bill

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 10 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Sorry if this is a repeat, because I posted my comments a couple of hours ago and they don't seem to be appearing..and since you normally have a LOT more comments by this point in time, I'm guessing it happened to a lot of others! Here is the quick recap:

      Great mailbag as usual, wasn't aware of the FBA program, but it is hard to keep up with all that Amazon does...secondly, I am enjoying a 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited and I wasa very happy to get the chance to read your Shadows Kill series. They were both excellent! Hurry up and get the third book out, pretty please!

      My only other comment was to add that you need to add a link at the back of your first book, that takes us to Amazon to get book # 2. AND also to bug you about getting your amazon profile page created/updated because there are way too many William Holland imposters and it is actually quite hard to hunt down your books! If you updated your profile we can "follow" you and get all your updates. :)

      Ok, have a great week and if this is a duplicate of sorts, feel free to delete my comment!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 10 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Someone commented on an old hub of mine, ( four years old ) and I scrolled up and saw people that I miss so much. Where did they all go? I guess that's my question. I'm glad that you're still here, and I hope you give us another challenge. I did learn something today, I'm too quick to push the publish button. When I go back and read something I've written, I see that the story would've been better if I'd said this or that. I'm learning as I go and I love the journey. Thank you for all you do!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Melissa, first of all, thank you for reading the Shadow series. I really appreciate you doing that and your kind praise. The third in the series is going to be a shocker and I'm so looking forward to publishing it in October.

      Next, what's up with all these demands? LOL Do you think you're talking to a computer expert, young lady? What you are suggesting is like pulling teeth for this old man.

      Okay, okay, I'll go check it out this afternoon and see what I can accomplish.

      Thank you as always for visiting me on Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heck, Ruby, I'm that way with my novels. Six months after publishing one I think of something I should have included. LOL None of us are perfect, young lady.

      Where have they all gone? I don't know, Ruby, but I miss my old online friends. I feel like a voice in the wilderness.

      Glad you're here with me.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 10 months ago from london

      Ha ha.... I thought that someone would challenge you sooner or later on that 'greatest unknown writer' bit.

      As to Dora's comment, some fiction are based on real stories, people just play with names and places, embellishing a bit. It can also have consequences though (chuckle) Carry on, Bro. Another great Mailbag.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 10 months ago

      Good day, Bill. I think the local Dollar Store is gearing up for Christmas shoppers in early September. Won't be long! Thanks for answering my question on edits. It gives me comfort to know it's a layered process. FYI: I voted for you on the 2016 Hubber Awards, Most Helpful. I expect all HP writers already know you are all that!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Bill, I agree with you on those followers who have no hubs. Since I've been here for almost 2 years, I haven't followed any of those back, nor have I seen any action from them posting hubs over here. HP should have a policy about that. As for the editing, do you work with any editing software like Grammerly or editminion.com? Great mailbag!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Manatita. I'm a little surprised it took this long to challenge me on that tagline. LOL I know I would have challenged someone else.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Dee! I've had a great run with the Hubbies. It's nice to know I'm still somewhat relevant around here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Kristen. Good to hear you don't play that following game. I'm tired of these unfiltered scammers popping up. As for the editing no, I don't use any editing software. I'm a bit too old-fashioned for all that.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 10 months ago

      Dear billy,

      I am so relieved that you brought up the voting on HP. I looked and thought that I had slipped into an alternate universe. I have no idea what Hp is all about.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 10 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Pleased to see you brought up the Hubbie Awards ballot, Bill. As I'm banned from posting on the forums--they say I don't play well with others--I cannot speak my peace about the mistake HP's made this year. They've taken all of the fun and community spirit away from the contest and instead, is using it to promote the niche sites. I do not like this!

      I did leave a couple of comments on the HP blog, but I suppose one of their dogs--or mods--et 'em cause they never appeared. :P

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 10 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Hi Bill! I'm thinking of Christmas already too.

      Full Mailbag today, full of good advice. Don't know what to make of this year's "hubbies". The Mailbag is among the silver lining of hubs that many look forward to. Doesn't seem to have enough appropriate categories to say so. I agree with Audrey's dub, "Can't live without them hubs." It's true. You keep us writers alive, breathing and afloat. Thank You! Have a blessed week Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know, Pop, but whatever they are doing, in my humble opinion, is failing miserably.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's exactly what they are doing, Randy, and i'm with you on my displeasure. I never played well with others when I had to play by their rules only. I was more a free-for-all kind of guy.

      Thanks for dropping by. Keep the faith, buddy!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 10 months ago from Massachusetts

      Great mailbag Bill. This series never disappoints. I have also noticed the many newcomers with no published hubs and yet they are following hundreds of hubbers? I will usually ignore these. Not sure what the motivation is for this or what is to be gaind. Anyway, have a great week.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 10 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday Mailbag, Bill!

      Glad to see another mailbag full of questions. Lol you seem to have a love/hate relationship with HP. Change is always hard. "These times they are a changin'" ...

      I never follow anyone back who follows me without at least leaving me a comment on one of my hubs, so I know they have actually read something. However, even if they do leave a comment and I go to check out what they've written and do not care for their writing, of course I don't just follow them back because they followed me.

      I made that mistake when I first joined to follow everyone who followed me, but learned real quick to not do that unless I will actually enjoy reading. I just remembered being so thrilled someone actually followed me lol. Needless to say, my list has dwindled down over the years. I do know of one delightful man who just enjoys reading and he leaves great comments but doesn't write.

      As far as the Hubbies, I've just decided the best way for me to choose under all these niche sites is to just scroll down those I follow profile pages and when I see a hub I love and it is under a niche site, I will vote for my favorite hub by all. I do love all my followers and those I follow, so I want to show the love as broad as I can under this new voting categories.

      Peace and blessings

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for yet another mailbag hub, Bill. The hub is useful, as always, and so are the comments. It was interesting to learn about the FBA program, which I knew nothing about before I read this article.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 10 months ago from Europe

      That was an inspiring mailbag, Bill. Thank you!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 10 months ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Always the best there is from you. I checked out 'Deb' on Boomers and I am now following. Great stuff.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Babby, thank you so much. I do love the Mailbag. Christmas? We were in a store yesterday that had a Christmas display.....in August? Seems a bit early, doesn't it? LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! It's good to know I'm not the only one who gets those "follows" with no purpose whatsoever. Why doesn't HP monitor that sort of thing?

      Anyway, have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, thanks for the great comments. I have really backed off following people. I can't make heads or tails who is real and who is just a spam or a company. As for the Hubbies, I love your approach. Thanks for mentioning it.

      blessings and hugs always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I knew nothing about it either until the question, so we both learned. Thanks for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you Buildreps. I'll always be happy with "inspiring."

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Graham! You are always a pleasure and always welcome here. I appreciate you.

      bill

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, thank you so much for answering my question. I'm now busy learning all I can about creating a portfolio (it's not a folder filled with papers and photographs anymore). I hope you are having a great week, and I'll see you and Bev tomorrow.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Linda. Good luck on this ambitious undertaking. You are a good enough writer to pull this off; now you need to be a good enough marketing exec. :) See you tomorrow my friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

      I admire the encouragement and ideas that you give writers on how to realize their goals. There are so many naysayers even in our own families.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 10 months ago from San Diego California

      Is a writer ever done editing? F Scott Fitzgerald would edit his galley proofs as the book was supposed to be going to print. I'm sure you and I could tweak into infinity, and risk polishing the personality right out of something. At some point one has to say nuffs enuff.

      Your words make people smile, my friend. That's your mission and you have fulfilled it regardless of where this takes you.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Every week, I look forward to your mailbag and get much satisfied and enlightened with great stuff.

      Pain and writing, the inspirations behind writing, editing- publishing are all the different processes undergone by a writer.

      However, regarding historical fiction, I am not clear. Either it should be history or fiction. If I mix fiction with historical events, then it should be classified as fiction only in my opinion. Why call it as historical fiction?

      Regarding the HP awards this year, I also got unpleasant at the categories and I put the comment also on the thread immediately after viewing it.

      Anyway, hope you may find some place in any of those categories even now.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 10 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Lot of interesting questions and equally interesting answers! This series is a must read for everyone.

      Thanks again for this useful installment!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes there are, Flourish. Writing is a profession that seems to bring the worst out in some supporters...even family members.

      But we've always got each other. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, thank you! You just made me smile.

      And no, we are never done editing, but at some point, like you said, nuffs enuff!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks once again, Venkatachari M. I wish I had a satisfactory answer for you about historical fiction but I do not. Fiction is fiction...there is no denying that truth. In the old days there was only fiction and non-fiction, but over the years publishers felt the need to muddy the waters with all these classifications....a little like HP with all of their classifications. :)

      Blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you so much, ChitrangadaSharan. I greatly appreciate you.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 10 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Well, here I am again - late. But your advice is always accurate whatever day of the week I make it here. And now I see this, "What came before made me who I am today" - a philosopher, too! As usual, Bill, another great mailbag.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! Just call me the modern-day Will Rogers.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      I feel for you, Bill. I didn't even bother reading the email about the Hubbies; just deleted it. I just don't care anymore. I'm glad you're hanging about, though. That alone makes HP worthwhile. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, thanks, Zulma. That means a lot to me.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 10 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Another thought provoking mailbag. Yes. lots has changed here but as you see I am still remaining true however I am cleaning up my hubs and those that have been just gathering dust I am deleting so that I can breathe in them new life elsewhere. I was happy to find out that even though paying sites pay little it still does me good to see I can get recognized and get some cents out of my writing. I was very happy to see another site I have joined NIUMI starting to offer payment. So life goes on and perhaps if I keep on writing someday someway things will turn around.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 10 months ago

      Good article today, Bill. I don't read about the Hubbies either. Some of the best hubs never make it and some of the worst written ones seem to be repeat awards. Could there be some favorites here? Have a great rest of the week, what little there is of it.

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      Ann Carr 10 months ago from SW England

      I'm so late reading this but that seems to be the story of my life at the moment. I do know that every time I read your mailbag I end up smiling and feel in a better mood - even if I was in a good mood to start with, which I usually am. Now I'm rambling and splitting infinitives.

      All great advice and such different questions each time! How do we all do it? Teamwork of course and what a team we all are.

      Have a thunderous Thursday, a formidable Friday and a whacky weekend, bill!

      Ann :)

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

      FANtastic. Got here late. But you left the light on for me and I appreciate it. Funny thing here in the coastal desert where the temperatures only vary about 15 degrees between summer and winter -- we still rush to prepare the place for winter.

      I got a real live question for you. I am working on a project where it is my job to personalize a diseased person who was shot and killed by Federal Agents while unarmed. (yes the kind of stuff in the news) Can you give me something like 5 steps to make a person real to others and not just a statistic?

      You bring your characters right into my home. I know them and feel for them. Can you help me do it in real life

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

      Thank you Rasma! I took a look at NIUME and it looks interesting. I'll do more research on it, of course, but thanks for the tip.

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

      MizB, HP is a big disappointment for me. Happily I've met some great people here, so that makes up for it. And you are one of them. Thank you for your friendship.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you are never late to the Mail Room. As for that smile, you shared it with me with your thunderous Thursday....very, very funny!

      Have a great formidable Friday, my friend.

      bill

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

      I believe I can do that, Eric. Stay tuned. I'll have a few pointers for ya on Monday. Thanks for the kind words.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 10 months ago from SW England

      Thanks, bill!

      Ann

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 10 months ago from Western NC

      Syndication. Huh. Never really thought about that. Hmm...hmm...I can feel the wheels spinning in my nutty head (and it's making a lot of noise).

      In any case, I dunno...I wrote those two paranormal novels (still working on editing...holy moly, that's way more involved than the actual writing, me thinks) and I keep thinking, uh, I'm not sure I want to be known for that. Hence the idea of the pseudonym...but still...I had to go to some dark places to write up some of the scenes and it was kind of disturbing. That taught me that I need more uplifting subject matter to write about. LOL.

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

      My pleasure, Ann!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 10 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I find it interesting that you began writing once you fell rock bottom. It was the opposite for me. I wrote poetry for years, documenting the time, date, and what sparked the emotion. Most of my poems were written during the years that I was abusing myself with substances. I thought I was having a good time, but my poetry says otherwise. Nevertheless, it got me through. Now that I no longer do drugs, I pretty much don't write poetry anymore. I've ventured on to more creative endeavors (at least that's the way I see it). My writing is more creative now and is no longer an avenue to dump my woes.

      I'm really surprised at Linda's question to you. Linda, you have written recipes for leading food and women's magazines. The spin you put on your recipe articles is what makes you a writer I love to follow. Your resume is impressive. Follow Bill's advice, and be sure to mention the rags for whom you've written. You got it going on, Diva. Go out there like a true diva and don't take no for an answer!

      Great questions this week, Bill. I too am disgusted with the Hubbie Awards categories. I got tired of stewing over it and spoke my piece via the forums.

      Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, my friend!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 10 months ago from Brazil

      Another mailbag stuffed full of good advice and great questions. I especially liked the syndication advice and example you gave of Deb Hirt.

      Not only that, I love the way your other readers, Bravewarrior for example, have given even more oomph to Linda's question.

      I too was overwhelmed by the HP voting. So many sites and not the same format.

      I hope you have had a pleasant weekend.

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

      That's right Lil Sis, syndication! Who knows, right? The longer I live the more I realize I really don't know much about how this thing called life works. :)

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

      Sha, thanks so much for saying that to Linda. I think she is the best foodie writer out there and she needs to start letting people know it. Maybe, if she reads your comment, she will receive the push she needs.

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

      Thank you Mary! I am totally fed up with HP at the moment, and I need to cool down before I say things that will help no one.

      Thank you and Happy Monday to you!

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      Paula 10 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Did I read the words, "fed up?" Hell bro, I passed fed up months ago. Have since vacillated between angry & frustrated, flustered & annoyed, dazed & confused, depressed & giddy.

      I'm in a state of inertia, my muse packed up and has gone hiking without me. And I keep telling myself I'm just fine. I have no problems a little denial can't remedy. Have a Nice Labor Day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Labor Day Sis! I'm in the process of moving one of my old stories to the new site....it's languished on HP long enough.

      Denial? Can't live without it, Sis! LOL

      Happy Labor Day!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton

      112 for me now.. slowly catching up to the mailman, I like the historical question by MsDora.. and Eric's question too.. just never seem to tire from these questions.. awesome.. see you last week..as I try to catch up on all my favs...:)

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Hey Bill, just to let you know. The attorneys all signed off on what came of your advice and wisdom. Working on every detail of a 22 year old's life now. Can we sum up a man in just about 2 pages? Can we just start with a birth certificate and end with a death certificate and do justice?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, from my position in Olympia, it looks to me as though you are doing great work in catching up. Thanks so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for letting me know, Eric. To answer your question....I doubt it.

    • Joyce Fischer profile image

      Joyce A Fischer 10 months ago from Thailand

      Here's a question for next time. How do I get a pseudonym to show up in my Hubs instead of my legal name? I know I need to use my legal name to be paid, if that ever happens; but I am not thrilled at having it prominently displayed on everything I post.

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

      Joyce, great question...I suspect that ship has sailed, but I'll check regulations and let you know next Monday.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 10 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Actually, I have been a columnist for three years now, as well as being read worldwide on Google News. I also got a masters degree in ornithology to lend myself a little credibility and have occasionally had six hundred hits a day on articles related to photography or birding. It all depends on how far one wishes to go and I'm just getting started. Thanks for the plug!

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

      Well there you go, Deb, and I love that you are just getting started....LOVE IT!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      First of all no your visits haven't 'gone through the roof' it's me as I've been on the hub about four times today as each time I came to write a comment 'I for called away'

      Really great stuff here, I particularly enjoyed the "how long to write a book?" as today we were going through some old boxes and I found some half finished first drafts of novels I worked on then but was too 'worried' to finish from ten years ago!

      Great stuff

      Lawrence

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

      Great stuff in the comments too, Lawrence. Thanks for always adding your voice to the discussion.

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