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

Updated on October 17, 2016

I Love October

Not only is October my birthday month, but the weather starts turning for the worse in October, meaning there is more crummy weather, and crummy weather is a very handy excuse to write more….see, the perfect month!

So write I shall. We are in the middle of 72 hours of wind and rain here in Olympia, so my little writer’s heart is soaring. LOL

Let’s get started on the Mailbag, shall we? There are people out there waiting for whatever wisdom I can send their way…..so here goes!

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

Speedy Thoughts

From Eric: “I know that you use notes to capture your thoughts sometime. I have trouble with that as my mind races a little too fast. Got any advice.”

Sheez, Eric, what am I, the magic man?

I guess you could carry a tape recorder of some sort around with you, but that seems mighty cumbersome if you ask me. My advice…..don’t worry about it. If you’re out shopping and an idea comes to you, relax and let it silently enter your writer’s brain…..or if you’re with someone who won’t think you are crazy, share your idea with them and ask them to remind you of it when you get home…..or try word association to help you remember the idea…..or just forget about it completely and use fresh ideas when you are home…..it’s all good, my friend. Judging from your “sermons,” you aren’t having any problem coming up with ideas to write about, so carry on!

PLACE NAMES

From Bill:
“A question maybe for the mailbag - I recently finished a fictional series here on HP. I intentionally left the details of the setting vague. I used dates using days and months but no year. I used town and street names that can found in just about any state, but I did not mention the state. My thinking was that more people might be able to identify. Going back and rereading it, I'm not sure that was the best way to approach it. What are your thoughts?”

Bill, I’m not sure one way is better than the other. I understand your reasoning but I have no feeling if your reasoning is good or faulty. I use real settings, in real time, with real street names….and believe it or not, I do that for the same reason you mentioned….I want people to relate to a real place. So who is right and who is wrong? Neither of us, I believe.

I’ve read a bunch of novels by James Lee Burke, and almost all of them take place in New Orleans and the surrounding area. I can’t relate at all to New Orleans, but I still find the books fascinating.

In other words, good writing trumps all else.

Using real locations
Using real locations | Source

Zulma Pays Too Much Attention

From Zulma: “'When I was teaching school I issued that challenge to my students. I would have them name a topic and I had to “write” an opening paragraph within a minute. They never stumped me.'”

“I seem to recall you saying that you were not a creative sort till the last few years. That quote up there says otherwise. Would you care to comment. :)”

Zulma, I hate it when people start quoting me. It’s like they expect me to remember all the hogwash I’ve said over the years. LMAO

You’re right and you’re wrong, Zulma. My creativity started to surface nine years ago. I started writing my first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle,” about seven years ago. At that time I was still teaching school, so it all falls comfortably into the time frame I was talking about.

The other thing I might add…..writing introductions and opening paragraphs has always been easy for me. Forty years ago I had a knack for writing creative paragraphs, but because I thought it was impossible for me to write a complete novel, and because I was buried under the weight of being a father and husband and businessman, I never gave it another thought.

I had to reach a particular place in time for the creativity to finally surface and grow into what we see today.

So there you go!

ORGANIZING A NOVEL

From Tony: “I don’t understand how you organize a novel. The thought of writing 80,000 words in a coherent package seems akin to climbing Mt. Everest. What’s the secret?”

Tony, I would have agreed with you six years ago. Now I have five novels and five novellas, and it doesn’t seem so daunting after all.

If you are an outliner then outline first. Each spark in a novel should be able to carry a novel for about 20,000 words….so a full-length novel should have approximately four main sparks that propel it forward. Start by breaking down your outline to just those four sparks. You have a beginning and you have an end….what four events can get you from Point A to Point Z? Add those four sparks to your outline……then start thinking about subplots….little side stories that are related to the main story and add juice to it all….toss those into the outline….and then….

Start writing!

When I write a novel of 80,000 words, I’ll write the first rough draft without editing. It usually ends up being about 60,000 words. On my second draft, I add meat to the characters and the scenes….that is an additional 20,000 words….and then I start editing.

I understand that it sounds daunting, but if you just sit down and start writing, I’m sure you’ll find you can do 1,000 words without breaking a sweat….do that for eighty days and you have a novel.

There is no magic to it!

Can you describe this animal to a blind man?
Can you describe this animal to a blind man? | Source

The Skinny on Ellipses

From MizB: Actually, MizB didn’t have a question so much as a clarification about ellipses, but it is worth noting here.

An ellipse is a set of three dots, a space before and after each dot, and it signifies an omission. It is usually used in quotations where part of the quote is left out.

An ellipse can also be used to signify a trailing off of thought. “I tried to be a better father but . . . oh, never mind, it’s not important now.” And it can also be used to signify hesitation. “I tried to be a better father . . .it was difficult, you know . . . so many mistakes along the way . . . well, it is what it is, right?”

Quite frankly I misuse ellipses all the time, so I have something to work on now. And a word of caution: ellipses are easy to use as a crutch, so use sparingly. I’ve seen some writers lean on ellipses like they are semi-colons or exclamation points, overusing them at a ridiculous pace. Again, use them sparingly.

APPLE JUICE CHALLENGE

From Mary: “I have a question for a future mailbag. I was asked to describe the taste of something (cashew juice) and I believe, failed miserably. I have watched wine connoisseurs describe wine before and been amazed at either their sensitive palates or gift of the gab (not sure which). I once heard a UK wine buff describe a wine by saying, "I'm tasting strawberries, hay and a bit of gym shoe."

Just as an exercise, if someone had never tasted apples or apple juice, how would you describe it?”

Mary, that almost sounds like a challenge to me, one I can’t ignore. As a practical matter, I don’t think you could actually describe a “taste” you’ve never tasted . . . but the texture, the feeling of it in your mouth . . . now that’s something you could give a go to. I’m going to do apple sauce, just because . . .

Apple sauce:

“The consistency of cottage cheese, soft pebbles of sweetness, flowing over your tongue, a sweetness of the smile variety, offering not only nourishment, but an enjoyable experience as it slides down your throat, caresses your throat, and promises your throat more pleasure to come. It is the taste of summertime, of picnics, of warm rain showers on a July afternoon.”

That’s It for This Week

As always I am very grateful, not only for the great questions, but also for the faithful following of so many. The Mailbag sure doesn’t score well on HubPages, but from your comments it evidently serves a valuable purpose, so we’ll continue it and snub our noses at HP along the way.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) #greatestunknownauthor #shadowskill #shadowsoverinnocence

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 9 months ago from New York, New York

      Love your take on October and admit I am not a fan of rainy prolonged weather, but for writing you are so right that it helps in more ways than one. That said, another great installment of question and answers and also want to wish you a Happy Monday now!! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Janine, love it or hate it, we're stuck with it. LOL And you're stuck with me,evidently, and I'm very happy.

      Happy Monday my loyal friend.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 9 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I agree October is a great month, but maybe I'm biased because I also have a birthday! I love the fall colors but we are usually starting to get cold here and it is easier to settle in and get ready for winter. Of course, as luck would have it we are having unusually warm weather at the moment! But, I definitely am not complaining. MN winters can start in December, as far as I'm concerned.

      Have a great and productive week!

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 9 months ago from Norfolk

      Autumn is beginning to show her colours. I greet her with mixed emotions but dread the thought of the cold weather ahead. Anyway, I shall enjoy the leaves and also a bit of photography and try not to think that far ahead. You have a good week Billy.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 9 months ago from Oklahoma

      Personally I love a bit of "crummy" weather, but I'm guessing in OK we don't get as much as you.

      Another great mailbag!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 9 months ago from Fresno CA

      A very cool description of apple sauce. My compliments. I think I have a cup of summertime in the fridge right now. We here in the central valley of California are still having warm days but I feel cool breezes coming from the North especially in the mornings. Thanks for sending them my way! I commented last weeks mailbag but somehow it never posted. My bad. Maybe I failed to be sure of the post before I logged out... just giving you kuddos so it's all good. Have a blessed week.

      Denise

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 9 months ago from Chicago Area

      I'm with you and Larry! I LOVE "crummy" weather. Always am the most creative and relaxed when it's a mess outside.

      Re: Speed Inspiration. Many of my ideas burst into my brain at 2 AM. So I've gotten pretty good at jotting a couple of words on a notepad in the dark. I can usually piece it all together in the morning from that. But if I didn't do that, these ideas would be lost.

      BTW, are you on the Libra or Scorpio side with your October birthday? I think you have some of both. :) And if it's your birthday this week, I hope you're celebrating appropriately. Cheers!

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

      Melissa, if I lived in Minnesota, I would agree with you completely. Those winters can be long and brutal. Enjoy the warmth while you can, and good morning to you as well. Thank you!

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

      Sally, may you have a great week as well. Here it is nothing but rain, rain and more rain. I already long for just a pittance of warmth.

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

      Larry, I'm pretty sure you don't get much of our rain, but you do get tornadoes and I'll gladly pass on those. :)

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

      Thank you Denise. kudoes are always welcome....is that how you spell that word? LOL Have a great week and enjoy that warm weather while you can.

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

      Hi Heidi, I'm a Libra through and through....but then I don't know much about that sort of thing, so what do I know? :) It was a good birthday, celebrating the fact that I've somehow survived and, in fact, am thriving. I fooled everyone! LOL

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Another good mailbag, Bill. I particularly liked your description of apple juice. Well done.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 9 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I'm with you on the crummy weather. Usually by mid-August I am totally burned out on yard work, and there are so many other things that need my attention and have had to take a backseat. I like your description of applesauce; when I write a food hub I often try to interject some descriptions in the introduction to make my readers hungry. A wise person (I think it was you) said that in writing you should try to engage all of the senses. Describe not only the sights, but the sounds, the smells and (sometimes) even the taste. That pulls your reader into the story.

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

      LInda, that was definitely one of my wiser moments. LOL I'm so impressed that you took note of it. Thank you....although I love October, I could do with a break in the rain. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill, your description of apple sauce would make me want to taste it, even though I do not like it. I learned about the ellipse today. I learn something new every time I read your mailbag. Thank you for hanging in on HP.

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

      Thanks, John! I appreciate the support.

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

      I'm glad to hear that, Ruby! Thanks so much, and Happy Monday to you!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 9 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for sharing another wonderful installment ! As usual your mailbags are always helpful and we learn something new every time. I enjoyed reading about the reference to Apple sauce.

      Thanks and a very good day to you!

    • louise-barraco profile image

      Louise Barraco 9 months ago from Ontario

      This mailbag will help me with editing my novels and writing future ones thanks bill

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 9 months ago from South Africa

      Informative and very useful. I love this series!

      According to the grammar rules of my mother-tongue, Afrikaans, there would be no space before the elipse, only after. The dots should form part of the last word, like this...

      But this is not the only difference between English and Afrikaans grammar rules. For example a title, "Finance Manager" - or whatever title, the 1st letter of both/all words should be caps. While in Afrikaans only the 1s letter of the 1st word may be caps. "Finansiële bestuurder"...

      Thanks, billybuc! I am learning a lot from you :)

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

      And good day to you, Chitrangada Sharan, and thank you so much. If these are helping writers then I'm very happy.

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

      I'm so glad to hear that, Louise. Best wishes to you, and thank you!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 9 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks for taking my question, Bill. I appreciate it. The sun is shining and it's 74 degrees in Pennsylvania. The trees are full of color, and it's just beautiful. Is that a valid excuse not to write? Okay, I better get back to the keyboard, I guess.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 9 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I will never ignore the taste of applesauce again. After reading your delicious description I made my way to the kitchen. I enjoyed an experience with my little bowl of golden wonder allowing the taste and texture to linger on my grateful tongue. :)

      At my age there are few firsts to indulge in. This was a new one.

      love,

      audrey

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

      And I just learned something from you, Martie, so thank you for the English/Afrikaan grammar lesson.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 9 months ago

      My dear Bill, what a beautiful description of apple sauce. I probably would have said “tastes like chicken.”

      I’ve considered carrying my micro-recorder around because whenever I get an idea, the story, hub, whatever, starts to develop in my mind, and I write the perfect first and second paragraphs in my head. They vanish the moment I sit down to put them in writing, and the whole idea turns and moves in another direction. I never like the result as much as I did the original.

      I love rain, and I love the plants that must have lots of rain to grow big. Leaves are beginning to turn here in Central Arkansas, and the fabulous fall foliage tours will start attracting touristas $oon.

      Have a good week even if it’s crummy weather.

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

      Bill, that was a cruel thing for you to say. LOL We are in Day 4 of a non-stop rain event and I'm a bit waterlogged. :)

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

      Aww, thank you Audrey! Just a little something I tossed out for an example, but I'm happy you found value in it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Tastes like chicken! LOL MizB, that was seriously funny! Thanks for the chuckle and enjoy those fall colors. Ours are a bit slow to happen this year. Too darned wet!!!!!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 9 months ago from The Caribbean

      That apple sauce description is a testament to your supremacy over words. You're so talented.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 9 months ago from Massachusetts

      Apple sauce never sounded so good. That was actually amazing the way you described it. You definitely have the ability to translate a creative thought to magical words. Don't know how you do it? Anyway, another great week for the mailbag. Have a wonderful week.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday Mailbag, Bill!

      That's so funny about October there being so crummy because it is so lovely here. It is one of my favorite months because the horrendous humidity of summer has just about disappeared and one can actually breathe. It is a most perfect weather.

      If Eric has a cell phone, he can record on it or just do like I do and text himself a short note.

      We use ellipses a good bit in the legal field, well, sometimes when we need to cite a statute, etc. and we don't need to use the entire cite, we will start out with ellipses or end with them, depending.

      Do you know of anyone who has ever done any travel writing? I'm asking because I actually saw an interesting ad on that NIUME site about their needing travel writers. It peaked my interest and so I clicked on it. It sounds perfect for those who are retired or semi-retired as they pay you to go on trips and just write about your experiences wherever they send you off to travel. The trip is paid for in full and so it almost sounds too good to be true. I've always wanted to travel but I've been too busy working or don't have extra cash to travel. The only thing I'm not sure of is if you travel alone or can take someone. Have you or anyone you know tried this kind of adventurous writing/traveling? What are your thoughts? I'm just curious.

      Peace and blessings

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's always interesting to read about your writing experiences and ideas, Bill. Once again, thank you for sharing them.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      Thanks Bill.

      So the ellipses have popped up again. I've used them in my two books with quotes, just as Miz said. In poetry I use them mainly to pause, for emphasis and enhancement of the work.

      My next poem could be a dark one. It will be called either The Casket, or Love Remains on Duty ... just. The pause here - in context with the poem - is meant to heighten the energy or vibrancy of the story. If done well at the very end, it encourages a "Wow!" effect.

      So my question will be answered next week? (chuckle) Much Love.

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

      Dora, that is such a kind thing for you to say. Thank you so much.

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

      We all have strengths, Bill. I could never do a travel piece as well as you do....but thank you very much, and Happy Tuesday to you.

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

      Good morning Faith! Thanks for stopping by, and I'm jealous of your Octobers right about now.

      As for NIUME no, I haven't seen that, but I'll check on it, and include your question in the Mailbag. Maybe someone else knows something about it.

      Blessings always

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

      I agree with you, Alicia. That's one of the strengths of this series, I believe. Thank you for mentioning that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Manatita, did I miss a question of yours? Send it again, please. Darn it, I'm sorry. As for your next poem, I can't imagine you dark, but I'm looking forward to it.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 9 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Apple juice tastes like grape juice with a squeeze of lemon juice. I made that up with no basis in experience. Who can say it is not so, for me and maybe for almost everyone who tests the claim?

      Another taking notes question: Do you have a condensed, fast, custom shorthand way to note ideas or do you jot your ideas in complete thoughts and complete sentences?

      I have been trying to learn Tony Buzan's mind mapping way to take notes but am having difficulty getting the hang of leaving out most of the words in a thought--the linking words like prepositions, to be verbs, adverbs, and so on--and including only the concept words: apple fell head Newton conceived law gravity.

      I find it helps to put two dots .. (my short form of ellipses) in place of words I leave out as I take notes the mind mapping way of an idea, a meeting, a phone conversation, or whatever.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 9 months ago from Brazil

      Well it sounds like your description of applesauce has hit the spot with your readers.

      Thanks for that brilliant example. I knew you were up to that challenge.

      Hope your lousy weather continues for you. Here in my part of Brazil, it is 87 °F year round, no wonder I'm not as efficient as I should be .

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

      Blame it on the weather, Mary! That makes perfect sense to me. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, great question once again. I shall return with an answer in a few days. Thanks and enjoy your day.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      Oh! It was a funny or interesting one. I wanted to know why Your computer or Writer's Mailbag desk picture is so clean. I mean, you work so hard, no?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Got it....answer coming on Monday. LOL

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 9 months ago from Europe

      I agree with your opinion about October. It's a good month to draw inward again for writing and researching. And it is my month of birthday as well. As always, great mailbag. Thanks for the effort, Bill!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting questions and your replies, again. Now, I understood the purpose of using ellipses. Your examples are a great illustration of the significance and varied purposes of the usage. Applesauce description is quite amusing and good.

      October is a month of continuous festivals for us. The 10-day Dussehra festival and Diwali also falling in this month. One more thing added up for me. The death anniversary of my wife also falling during this month. We celebrated the 4th anniversary on 9th of this month. Winter also started now, here.

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

      Good people are born in October, Buildreps! LOL We are living proof.

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

      Blessings to you, Venkatachari M. May you find peace in October, my friend.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 9 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      I love Eric's question. I've become a fan of OneNote. I am sure there are better tools out there, but it's easy to understand. Anything that links the notes on my phone to my computer makes the writing process that less challenging!

      Your response to Tony sounds like my response to every fellow student who ever complained about how "impossible" essays are to write. LOL! Once there is an outline, writing anything is a breeze!

      MizB's question relates to my book, actually. During research, I find several huge worthwhile quotes I could use, but I don't think I want to include every line of each one of those quotes. So, I was going to use ellipses. I try to use them less, too. Thanks for the reminder!

      These questions really make me laugh, but not in a mocking way. They bring back memories! Mary's question takes me back to my food writing class in college. My professor was terribly into himself, making me roll my eyes all of the time. To earn a high grade, I would have to write the same way. I am sure I've mentioned him before. Haha

      Another fun read! I wish you well, friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Kailey, and I wish you well too. I love interacting with people through the Mailbag. It's the perfect form of communication for an introvert like me. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 9 months ago from United Kingdom

      Okay, well in the context of the timeline, that makes much more sense. So, like an oversized pair of shoes, you had to grow into your talent. You had to experience as much life as you could till muse deemed you were ready. I get it.

      I'm sorry, Bill. I didn't realize it was your birthday this month. Happy Belated Birthday.

      Your delectable description has caused me to schedule a trip to the butcher this afternoon. I fancy pork chops and apple sauce for dinner. Thanks. lol

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, Zulma. I'm not sure if I'm happy about being 68 or not, but it beats the alternative. :) Enjoy those chops and apple sauce. Now I'm hungry. LOL

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 9 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Time and time again I find some point in your mailbag that I hadn't considered and it helps me along. One such thing is about places and dates. I wrote a short story for Halloween some time ago. It caused a sensation and then just died it's natural death. Now I am reviving it and placing it on NIUME. I will see how it does. The reason I mention it is that I have chosen a fictitious name for a small town USA with no state mentioned but discovered that I needed to add some years for it to make sense. I sure hope I have figured it all out just right. Especially when it comes to a character who gets married - now I just couldn't let him get married too young, could I????

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

      Rasma, I don't know how many times I've fallen into that trap of my own making. LOL Especially when writing "Resurrecting Tobias," which has flashbacks throughout the entire book. Anyway, I do understand. Thank you and good luck.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 8 months ago from Central Florida

      I've never read a more interesting, creative description of how applesauce tastes, Bill. Next time I have some (great with fried pork chops) I'll have to pay attention to the texture. Comparing the texture to cottage cheese kind of threw me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      They are great with pork chops, aren't they, Sha? It's interesting how some foods just naturally embrace other foods.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Zulma's comment reminded me of a game we used to play in our squadron bar. Three minutes talking on any subject the group named.

      Three rules.

      1. Not allowed to name it

      2. Not allowed to use words like 'um' or 'err'

      3. No repeating!

      It used to be a lot of fun and the subjects were usually 'mundane things like 'a matchstick'

      How else do old soldiers have such good 'yarns to spin'

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Lawrence, and what a great game for any writer to play. Thanks for sharing that. I love it.

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I forgot to mention, penalty for 'not completing the mission?' buy a round of drinks!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course it was, Lawrence! I could have guessed that. LOL

      bill

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