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

Updated on December 01, 2016

Here We Go Again

Welcome back, my friends, and you truly are my friends. We’ve never met in person but I feel a real kinship to all of you. We share, not only the human bond, but also a similarity in the goals we seek. That, I believe, is at the core of the popularity of this series, and I have no doubt it will continue for as long as I’m able to keep typing.

So let’s begin. We’ve got some good questions and, hopefully, some good answers by yours truly.

LACK OF SUPPORT

From Pop: “Billy, why do you think family can be so unsupportive when it comes to writing?”

Pop, the answer to your question will forever be a mystery to me. I am clueless and I mean that in all honesty.

Perhaps it is impossible for our loved ones to see us in that light. They have always known us as fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, or grandparents. They have always known us as teachers or housewives, architects or office workers. They know we spend long hours pounding out prose and poetry, but they see it as nothing more than a hobby. I don’t want to say they don’t care about our pursuits even though, many times, it certainly feels that way. I just think they have a hard time rectifying the person they once knew with the person now before them, a black and white view that the person who has always been a brick layer can’t possibly now be a writer.

I’m babbling.

I don’t know!

I know it is true for me, and I would be dishonest if I said it doesn’t bother me, as I’m sure it bothers you.

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

Great Writers Are Great Readers

From Mel: “Here's a question for your mailbag from a mailman. Is there any writer in the history of writing who didn't start off as a reader first? Real writers are reading addicts first. They will scrounge around like crackheads for any printed material they can get their hands on, from the Reader's Digest to the Captain Crunch cereal box, if all else fails. I appreciate that you are encouraging the little ones to be readers first.”

Mel, I howled with laughter the first time I read your question. The line about crackheads is a classic description of an avid reader. Personally I can’t imagine a good writer not being an avid reader. It just doesn’t compute in my brain. I suppose it’s possible for a writer to not be a reader but again, I can’t imagine it. We do what we do because we love language. Most of us were readers early on. For me, personally, it was comic books followed by the Hardy Boys followed by the classics and now any novel I can get my hands on. I read for an hour, each night, before I go to bed, and that’s been my practice for as long as I can remember. Reading relaxes me. Reading takes my mind off the troubles of the day. It allows me to escape and it allows me to live vicariously through the words of others.

Writing without reading? Impossible, I say!

WHAT’S THE POINT?

From Eric: “I have a question. I have noticed lately that few hub articles seem to start out just assuming that we know the topic as well as they do. I read the beginning and go away because I cannot follow. Although on a couple I have gone to research and come back, which is tedious. I fear I do that so I want to know how to prevent doing that.”

Eric, I think that’s a very valid point, and I’ve noticed the same thing lately on HP. I don’t think the answer to your question is an easy one, and I think it depends on the subject matter.

If I were to attempt to write an article about, oh, I don’t know, nano-technology, it seems to me a little background concerning that topic would be necessary if my target audience is broad and all-inclusive. The average guy, or gal, reading about nano-technology for the first time is going to be confused unless I lay the groundwork early on. If, on the other hand, my target audience is technologically advanced, then it’s almost an insult to give a primer on that topic before getting into the meat of the discussion.

If, however, I’m writing about love, it seems to me I really don’t have to explain anything prior to making my main points.

For the record, I’ve never had trouble understanding your articles.

This guy is my editing software...an old-fashion model
This guy is my editing software...an old-fashion model | Source

NaNo

From Mary: “A question for a future mailbag, what are your thoughts on NaNoWriMo? Do you think it is over hyped nonsense or a good kick in the pants for lazy people?

“Are you aware of any figures of how many people go on to publish after that initial push? An editor, whose emails I subscribe to, says she is inundated with work in Dec & Jan when people have a lot of writing from participating in NaNoWriMo but not sure how to put it all together.”

Mary, I’ve flip-flopped on NaNoWriMo over the years. When I first heard about it I thought it was ridiculous trying to write an entire novel in a month, that all it promoted was inferior work. Now I am mellowing a bit, and I see its main value as being an incentive and a, as you say, kick in the butt for writers who otherwise might never try to write a novel. I do see value in that even though I’ve never needed such a similar incentive.

As for statistics regarding it no, I’ve never seen any. Let me go do some research. I’ll be right back.

Okay, I’m back. On the NaNo website, we are told that it has been around since 1999, and to date over 250 of those novels have been published by a traditional publishing company. Not the greatest success statistics but still, that’s over 250 novels we never would have read if not for NaNo, so there you go!

EDITING SOFTWARE

From Linda: “I read many blogs, Facebook posts, and (unfortunately) hubs that are seriously in need of an editorial review. The misspellings and grammatical errors make me cringe. You are one of the best writers I know, and I'm pretty sure you do your own editing, but not everyone has your skills and abilities. Do you have any experience with or opinions on the use of editing programs such as https://www.grammarly.com/. www.polishmywriting.com, or www.gingersoftware.com.”

Well, Linda, thank you for the very kind words. I’m with you all the way with regards to the number of hubs lately in dire need of editing. It’s amazing to me that writers would publish articles that have many misspellings and grammatical errors. How can writers build any credibility with their readers if their writing resembles the scribbling of a five-year old? I’ve said this before but it probably needs to be said many more times: if you are a writer trying to make money, you are your business and your writing is your product. Are you going to sell a quality product or are you going to sell junk?

As for editing yes, I do my own most of the time. I don’t have the money to pay for a professional editor and that’s just the real of my situation. Thank God Sister Mary Charles and her friends insisted that I understand how a sentence is constructed. I hated her for making me diagram so many times but now I pray for her immortal soul each night. I still make mistakes from time to time, and sometimes I’ll use incorrect grammar because it works better in a particular story I’m working on, but most times people don’t cringe when they read my writings.

Editing programs? I’ve never used one so gosh, my opinion really is worthless. I think they serve a purpose and are valuable, especially for those writers out there for whom English is a second language. I think English is an extremely difficult language, so there certainly is no shame in taking advantage of one of those editing programs.

I did check out several consumer-ratings sites and on all three WhiteSmoke was rated the best editing program for writers. It sells, by the way, for $79.99.

My editing machine
My editing machine | Source
I try to listen to knowledgeable writers like Janine Huldie
I try to listen to knowledgeable writers like Janine Huldie | Source

Writers Writing About Writing

From Rodric: “What is your opinion about writers who build their careers off of writing about writing and marketing it as a way for other writers who actually write about THINGS other than writing?”

Well, Rodric, I’ve done it, so my opinion better be a high one. LOL Seriously, there are some very knowledgeable people out there writing about writing, and some not-so-knowledgeable people writing about writing. In today’s online world, any Tom, Dick, or Harrietta can proclaim themselves to be experts in just about anything, so beware. The man you mentioned, Goins, is one of the good ones in my opinion, and his advice on blogging is “right on.”

AND IT’S A WRAP

Great questions, adequate answers, that’s what the Mailbag is all about. If you have a question for the next Mailbag, either include it below in the comment section, or email it to me at holland1145@yahoo.com.

Thanks to all!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) #greatestunknownauthor

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh I needed a laugh...at one time (in the Stone Ages), I could recite the entire back of a box of Frosted Flakes.

      This series is like a comfy blanket.

      Thanks for always being around, dear Bill. Happy Monday. Love, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday, dear friend, and I'm glad I could wrap you up in my blanket. Ooh, that sounded nasty now that I read it again. I didn't mean it that way.

      love,

      bill

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 months ago from New York, New York

      Aw, Bill I agree with the masses here that you are a fabulous writer and someone who I trust with writing advice. So, always as you know enjoy Mondays to get to read more of your stellar writing advice. By the way, loved that crack quote about reading as you know how much I love to read always. Also, did a double take with my pic above, thank you for that seriously. I can never say that enough though, my friend. Happy Monday now! :)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      LOL... I do understand, you sweet thang and am grateful you understand me. ;)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      I think you nailed it with the lack of support question. Family members see us in one light. They might begrudge us the honor of best soup maker or grillmeister but poet or short story writer? Huh. It was a long time before my family came to see me as someone who understood a lot about HR even though my competency was very highly regarded in the workplace and I was making just shy of six figures at the time doing it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it's always my pleasure giving back to my friends. That's what this is all about to me.

      Happy Monday, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria....always!

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I wrote something on Facebook yesterday, and my step-daughter shared it with her friends. That's a first after five years. LOL Maybe we just need to be more patient.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 4 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, really good questions this week (not just mine {{{wink wink}}}) and even better answers. I laughed at the thought of reading the back of a cereal box--anything! (Been there, done that). I have fallen away from reading and have no valid excuse for doing so. Thank you for another kick in the rear end. I'll get myself to the library today to rectify that problem.

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 4 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      Hey Bill, I hope all is well with you. To Rodric, I think every writer writes about writing to a degree. It may not appear on the page, but it appears cerebrally, or subtextually. Anyway, it's not merely the exercise of postmodernists, who/whatever they are. Bill, how do you manage such regularity? Writers' cranberry supplements? Tapioca typist? La-di-da, la-di-da, adios,

      -E.G.A.

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      Melissa Propp 4 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I officially tried the Nanowrimo one year and even though I didn't "win", it was a great experience. Some of us need a kick in the pants more than others...lol

      Hope you have a great week!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great one today, thank you and thank you for answering mine. I see the point you make about audience.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 4 months ago from Chicago Area

      G'morning!

      Re: Lack of Support. I'll refer to Jesus for this one who is reported to have said, "... no prophet is accepted in his hometown." Heck, even Jesus had issues with it!

      Re: Great Writers = Great Readers. Though there is the danger of falling into a comparison trap or losing originality by mimicking others, it is impossible to write without reading extensively. In fact, I would say that really great writers might even read more than they write. (HT to Mel for the humorous question!)

      Re: What's the Point? Agree that the better question is, "Who's the Audience?" Putting in the perfect amount of background material separates the good writers from the rest. Also, promoting an article to the right audience separates the good marketers from everyone else.

      Re: NaNoWriMo. Not being a novel writer, I've never participated. The track record of 250 novels published from this effort should be gauged by what percentage of the total submissions that is. On the site, it says that in 2015, there were 431,626 participants. That was for only 2015. Let's do the math. That 250 is a very, VERY small percentage of total submissions over time. So I hope that people do it to improve their skills or find personal fulfillment through it.

      Re: Writing on Writing. Guilty! I write on writing. But I think I have the chops to do so. However, I have also observed the opposite end of that spectrum. I'd say check the person's LinkedIn profile, website (I like the "experts" that don't even have a site), and social profiles for "social proof" of their qualifications.

      Have a great week!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Great questions and wonderful answers as always. I started reading children story magazines in my childhood and hearing classic epics of Ramayan and Mahabharat from my father. Then newspapers, magazines, novels. Now, I read everything over the internet according to my time. I also have this habit of reading all the rubbish on wrappers of any food pack.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      One of my favorite buildings in any city, Linda, the Public Library. Happy Hunting, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Too funny, Eldon! Cranberry supplements! LOL I'll be laughing over that one the rest of the day, and I thank you for it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Melissa, and therein lies its true value. Thanks for weighing in and Happy Monday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Eric. Your questions keep this series alive, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, one of the reasons I love this series so much is the anticipation of your response and then the actual response. Love your take on things so once again, thank you! Great comment, great points...everybody out there, LISTEN TO HEIDI!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, now you have me laughing. I thought I was the only one who read food packs. LOL Thank you, sir!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 4 months ago from Fresno CA

      I truly understand Pop's question about families and lack of support. I think in my family's case they wanted to "spare" me the heartache of failure. Sounds compassionate but at the heart of it they just didn't believe in me and probably never will. Still I was reading an article about Milton Glazier recently. For those who don't know him, he was the graphic designer that created the iconic "I heart New York" in 1977 and the still famous psychedelic Bob Dylan Poster in 1967, among other things. He will soon be 88 and was asked some really interesting questions but the one that resonated with me was the one about his parents. Apparently his mother supported his pursuit of art but his father was vehemently opposed. He said, “Incidentally, I think if your parents are both supportive, and you don’t encounter the resistance of the world, you’re not well prepared.” I have to agree. It was my parent opposition that made me tenacious and fierce when it comes to my art. Thanks for another great mailbag.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 4 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Bill, I forgot to ask something. When you write your novel, in which format do you write it? And to which format do you convert for publishing?

      I am presently converting all my blog posts on economics subject into word format as amazon publishers need it in word or pdf format. And it is taking a lot of time. The blog posts are in different font size and also in a different style. So, some lines didn't fit correctly when I selected the justified style for the pages. And many gaps developed between lines or phrases. I am fixing each chapter one by one now. And rectified 15 out of 35 chapters (articles). How do you do if you were in my place? You may reply in next mailbag so that others may also get help from it.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      The question about support is an interesting one.

      I have spent nearly three years honing my skills on HubPages with not much encouragement from who are closest to me. Had it had not been for friends like yourself it would have been a long solitary road which I had to travel.

      The simple fact is that I don't think that we can rely on people even if they are close to us. Time spent on our computers is more likely to be seen as an aggravation and less time spent with them! Chances are they might even be needing a little encouragement themselves:)

      Last week was the culmination of a dream for me. It saw me become a published writer with a four page spread in a real hard copy magazine. Wow! It took that to make those who are close to me see what it is that I have achieved! I have a sneaky feeling that it is for us to prove our worth before they start to take notice. Happy Monday Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful thoughts, Denise, and I thank you for sharing them. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling pretty well-prepared right about now. LOL

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, Venkatachari M. I'll have an answer for you next week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I said it before but it really needs to be said again: CONGRATULATIONS! That is a huge success and I'm very proud of you.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I can relate to Pop's comment about family not reading your story's. My granddaughter Lisa is the only family member who reads mine, and she never comments! I think it has to do with me being a late bloomer writer. They see me as a nurse. Sigh. As usual, love your mailbag.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Thank you, Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Ruby, you are not alone. Loneliness loves company, my friend. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Sally!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 months ago from Brazil

      Thanks for answering my question about NaNoWriMo.

      Regarding family support, I too experienced the same thing and actually was laughed at when I suggested writing.

      The support I received here on HP was what kept me going.

      I found it interesting what 'Paintdrips' said regarding needing that obstacle in order to grow. I guess it separates the wheat from the chaff, those who are weak, give up and those who are strong are more determined.

      Well done Sally on your achievement and Bill, another great mailbag to add to your collection.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, all true. It's amazing we all have similar stories to tell about family support. I guess it's time for us all to practice acceptance and then get on with our craft. :) Thanks for always being here.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 months ago from london

      Thanks Bill, very satisfying questions and great response! What can I say? Carry on, Bro!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 months ago

      Thanks billy,

      I tell myself not to care, but the truth is I find myself thinking about it sometimes in the middle of the night when I am most vulnerable. I just don't get it. Thanks for answering. I feel understood.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Carry on we shall, Manatita, with a smile on our faces and a poem in our hearts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, trust me on this, you are understood and not alone.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 4 months ago from Europe

      Good afternoon, billybuc. It's always refreshing to read your mailbag. Amazing your steadiness in publishing a mailbag every week!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      English is indeed an extremely difficult language, but it is also a beautiful language.

      Thanks again for this series, billybuc. Your answers are spot-on. Many of us 'elders' would give the same answers, so your answers give us the assurance that we are normal writers, on the right track, and not people suffering an obsessive-compulsive disorder that compels us to write and write and write some more. I guess this feeling can be compared to being wrapped up with a comfy blanket.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 4 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thank you, Mr. Holland, oh, and Sister Mary Charles for another mailbag full of information. It amazes me, Bill, how week after week there's more and new information posted. I know it takes time and effort on your part and on the part of those who send in questions. We give you a standing ovation!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 4 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great read!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Buildreps! Maybe I'm not steady. Maybe I just don't have a life. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, that was very sweet. I like being compared to a comfy blanket. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll take that standing ovation, Bill, and I thank you for it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! Always good having you here.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 months ago from Massachusetts

      Another great week for the mailbag Bill. That darn topic about family support keeps popping up and it bugs the heck out of me. No one in my family except for my wife, Terry, ever acknowledges anything that I write. And I put all of my Hubs out there on Facebook so they must see them. When you figure this one out please let me know.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California

      This reading addict copped a good buzz off the stuff you had rolled up into the mailbag this go-round. The weed is legal in California now, but I'll take a good high off words any day.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is yet another interesting edition of the mailbag, Bill. You've created a very useful collection of articles.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 months ago from United Kingdom

      Good morning/afternoon, Bill. I remember dying a little inside when the teacher announced we would be diagramming sentences. I hated it then and I don't care much for it now.

      Anyhow, I regularly use grammerly.com. (I'm using it now as I write this, in fact.) You can adjust it to the type of writing you're doing, e.g. business, creative, technical etc, it catches your spellos and also checks your grammar, It explains why the grammar is wrong and offers suggestions on how to fix it. That's not to say you should obey it blindly. There are times I ignore the advice because I feel it would affect the narrative. Still I wouldn't be without it.

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      John Hansen 4 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I love how the mailbag just keeps going, Bill. It seems questions about writing are just endless. This may be a question you can answer next week. They say the future of books is eBooks (Kindle etc) and that format will eventually take over from hard copies. With the Creative Exiles poetry anthology..every cent of royalties so far (therefore all sales) have been from the hard copy even though it is also available much cheaper on Kindle. Do you find with your novels etc that the traditional hard copies are still much more popular?

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Another great installment of questions and answers! I enjoyed going through them. This Monday mailbag has become a good habit for many of us.

      Would like to add that I am another addictive reader of whatever I find on the Internet and I must admit it consumes most of my time.

      Thank you for this one!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will for sure, Bill. My step-daughter shared one of my stories on Facebook the other day. Shocked the hell out of me. LOL

      Well, then, thanks for your support, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Laughing and very true, Mel. I've had my "high" days. Now I just enjoy the hell out of life. Thanks buddy.

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I got lucky, Alicia. All of you do the work and for that I'm appreciative.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Zulma, and thanks for the Grammerly tip. I've never used one of those programs but I'm beginning to think maybe I should. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great question, John, and I appreciate it. I am not convinced the future is ebooks, and so far sales prove me correct, but we shall see. I'll answer your question next Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Chitrangada Sharan, I can think of much worse addictions. LOL Carry on, my friend. Expand your mind.

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      social thoughts 4 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill,

      I like Eric's question. I understand both sides. To some extent, it seems those with any level of knowledge on a subject should be able to pick up an article or book on something; however, if someone spends months or years writing on a subject it's bound to become advanced. So, regular readers aren't going to want to read explanations each time. It's understandably frustrating not to know what the hell they're talking about, but it would inspire them to read the previous works, right? Once again, it reminds me of Anne Rice. She made her Vampire Chronicles so that no matter which book you pick up, you will read about what has already happened. Granted, it makes absurdly long intros, which some complain about, but it meets everyone's needs.

      Take care, friend!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      The question about reading reminds of a good gentleman I met who hoped to be my husband. The man did not read and I couldn't stand that about him. I might have had to give up writing. No way!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Kailey! Thanks for stopping by. Writing a series of novels in serial form is tough. To do it properly, each book must stand alone, so that anyone can purchase any of those books and find a pleasurable read even without knowing what happened in earlier volumes...but...it's necessary to give that background information early on, which leads to what you are saying about Anne Rice...absurdly long intros.

      Necessary and tedious. When I do it I really try for less tedious. :)

      Have a great remainder of the week, Kailey. I'll leave the light on for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting, Dora. I've know a few like that. Dated one or two. Turns out we had nothing in common other than a physical attraction. Go figure! :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 months ago from Dubai

      Another great installment of questions and answers. The way we write an article also depends on target audience.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It does for sure, Vellur. Thank you for mentioning that.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 months ago

      My friend Bill, this was a really enjoyable mailbag this week. You done good! I did laugh at the reading comment. Many years ago when I was a reporter, I took books to a man in prison whom I knew to have been falsely accused and convicted of a crime. Anyway, he told me that he was so hungry for reading materials that he even “read the labels off soup cans.” I’m happy to report he got a new trial and today is free to read whatever melts his butter.

      I think NaNoWriMo is an instrument for a specific group of people, the promoters, to make money. (I was an ad writer and promoter a lifetime ago, so, ha, I see through you.) It is overhyped and if a writer doesn’t succeed in meeting the outrageous deadline for a novel, can promote a sense of inadequacy and failure. Now, having said that, I read a great little fantasy novel which at the end stated that it was product of NaNoWriMo. So, once in a Blue Moon and if Friday comes on Tuesday, a NaNoWriMo writer does succeed in publishing a good work. So maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh on them.

      Glad I finally got around to reading this week's mailbag.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, always good to hear from you. Thank you for sharing that "can of soup" story. Love it, and love that he is free. As for NaNo, I'm still on the fence on that one. Suffice it to say I won't be trying it in this lifetimes. :)

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 months ago from Central Florida

      Quite a mixed bag of questions this week, Bill. I always enjoy reading what's on other people's minds and how you respond.

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      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Sha. I get as much out of the Mailbag as anyone. Doing this turned out to be a great idea, purely by accident. LOL

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Taking a giant step backwards in order to catch up and glad I caught this mailbag. It made me fondly smile knowing that at least for now the greatest and best challenge I can get through is the April poetry challenge that comes every year. In regards to writing and to poetry as well do the topics have to be seasonal or is it perfectly alright to write about the summer during the winter and vice versa? I am not referring to novels just to stories and of course to verse.

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      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, great question and I thank you for it. I'll have an answer for you on Monday, of course.

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      Lawrence Hebb 3 months ago

      Bill

      I can remember the first book I read, I was eight and it was the story of David Livingstone, I've been hooked on adventure and reading ever since!

      When Mum came out from England last year she'd found some of my old books and brought them with her.

      Tattered and torn, but still complete forty five years on there it was! (Guess I must be one of those 'addicted' you talk about!)

      I use the online version of Grammarly, (the free one) which is great for writing hubs (I think I've used it for about ten or more hubs!)

      Only 'drawback' is it doesn't work too well with MS Word and only works when I'm posting articles/hubs but I'd recommend it to anyone!

      I also agree with the comments here, not only a great writer, but a great resource for others, thank you for taking the time to be that resource.

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      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, thank you for weighing in on Grammarly, and for sharing the story about your childhood books. Great memories, my friend.

      And the kind words about me...I am humbled Thank you!

      bill

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 months ago from United Kingdom

      This one's for Lawrence, if he returns. I have a paid subscription for Grammarly and it works quite well on Word as well as online postings. It's well worth the money, I think, and I wouldn't be without it.

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      Bill Holland 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good to hear, Zulma. Thank you!

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