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Seven Years of Inspiration!

Rodric Anthony is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Creating new stories and seeing where they take him is his passion.

You set the scene perfectly. I was walking down that old dirt road with Hiram and I could smell the rain coming. Very good writing!

The above words is the first written communication I can find of Bill Holland commenting on an article I wrote, specifically Woza Moya. Those words from Bill stroked my writing ego and my muse grew from there. Bill Holland is celebrated in my heart this week because of the 7th anniversary of his series the Writers Mailbag, which started years ago, if my research of his work is correct, with The Writer's Mailbag #1!

Of course, Bill's been writing for years. Teaching is a very important part of his writing style, in my estimation. In written discourse with him and by the testimony of the 364 articles, he is a master of teaching. Bill perceptively learns along his teaching journey. His humble approach to teaching makes him one of the most beloved writers in the Hubpages community. Multiple writers will testify that Bill has changed their writing. Some of us will swear that his interactions changed our lives.

The Mail Room! Bill Holland's Muse Space

This tribute to the Mailbags is just as much about all writers, with Bill Holland as the facilitator.

The Mailbag Community

As a tribute to bills culture of learning, one that he has developed on Hubpage for seven years, I thought of taking a number of intelligent things that he's communicated over the years as tribute. In the culture of Bill, that does not seem adequate. Bill Holland would want some originality in my writing! All the writers who make the Mailbag a place of learning and sharing want some originality!

This tribute to the Mailbags is just as much about all writers, with Bill Holland as the facilitator. Praise to all the participants and questioners in The Mailbag.

Personally, Bill has been a line to life, as I struggled to write again and again. His comments kept me reaching for the next article or book. Instead of quoting him only, the following are several things he has taught in the form of a poem. It is my hope that I capture the essence of his teaching, facilitation, and meekness in writing.

Bill Says...

"This is randomness at its finest." [1]

"There is no central theme other than all of the questions pertain to writing." [1]

No specifics to define this.

With this offering came wisdom to help writers retrospectively, guide them!

"The key here is to obtain the opinion of someone who is not emotionally involved with you." [1]

"Objectivity is the holy grail that you are after." [1]

Family, friends... never tell the "truth" because the relationship with you is more important to pursue.

Confidence in your skills improves so none need to flatter.

..don’t use the same word twice in a paragraph...

— Bill Holland

"I don’t know if there is a guideline or rule of thumb out there," [2]

Said Bill ogling a peeve, reading it published! Oh, how they dare!

"But I have my own: don’t use the same word twice in a paragraph."

He declared. Issuing a decree. So please, writers, check all drafts!

"I’m not talking about words like “and” or “the,” of course." [2]

Clarifying peeved, disgust to lazy writing choice.

"I’m talking about “he looked out over the beautiful field and saw many beautiful things.” [2]

"For the love of God, a writer can do better than that, can’t they?" [2] said he in rare critiquing.

"I actually get upset when I’m talking about this topic, so I better stop now." [2]

Insisting with pet peeve, a lack of writing diversity, beauty Bill will not Kowtow.

"My personal opinion . . . we are changing as writers!" [3]

"We are developing our persona/voice/style," [3]

"And we had to go through a metamorphous to do that." [3]

Can we agree Bill helps make writing burdens lighter?

We are developing our persona/voice/style, and we had to go through a metamorphous to do that.

— Bill Holland

"People always tell me how much they look forward to the Mailbag arriving each Monday." [4]

"Well, I’ve got a secret to share: I love it just as much as you do." [4]

Bill's learning spirit reveals how wonderfully exceptional are the things he relays!

End this poem in honor of his writing craft, I have to!

"How to personalize an object?" [5]

"Give it some humanity."[5]

"Give it emotions."[5]

"Give it senses."[5]

"It really isn’t that hard to do,"[5]

"And it’s a fun writing exercise for all to try."[5]

Bill Holland, keep it coming, your words, brightening our lives.

Viva La Mailbag!!

Never knowing when the muse will end and the writer journeys to a different ethereal plane, I say, I am grateful. Bill, and other Mailbag veterans, each question you answered lets me know you truly put time and effort into those of us who consider ourselves Mailbag pupils.

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You, Mr. Holland, are not Stephen King. You are Bill Holland. You are the writer who lifts others as you rise. That is strength. That is meekness.

You have the ability to rise, but you stay with the least of us until we can rise with you. That is meekness in writing. Happy Seventh Anniversary for the Mailbag. I love it! I think I speak for all of those who use it to grow when I say that.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Rodric Anthony Johnson


Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 11, 2021:

John Hansen, My friend, I am with you on that one! Going back and reading all of the old Mailbags that I did do has made me nostalgic. There is so much interaction in our community here. The Mailbag has made its own imprint on our hearts and minds. Every Monday, I know I can count on there being one with our voices in it. I think that is what makes the Mailbag such a wonderful and beautiful thing. Our voices are included. We are a part of something that is bigger than just one of us. That is the genius of Bill's teaching method. We teach each other as he facilitates learning and teachers. I love it!

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 11, 2021:

Misbah Sheikh, I most definitely agree with you on all of the descriptors you use to describe Bill Holland. bill has been an inspiration to me as a writer for years. I have used many of his techniques to help increase my writing skills. I'm so glad that he still uses the Mailbag to inspire so many of us.

In fact, I am not typing right now. I am writing using voice recognition. I am so inspired to write because of the things that he has written that I am not allowing my hand not responding properly to the keyboard to keep me from writing. It is so much more difficult to dictate to the computer all the things that I want to say because when I am writing I have the opportunity to change my mind before I type the words on the keyboard. This is a new challenge, hopefully, a temporary one! I will keep on writing, or, I should say: dictating!

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 11, 2021:

Pamela, Bill reached out to me first by commenting on something that I wrote. At least, that is how I think things went. I don't remember rightly. I know that I enjoy his writings. When I was writing this article I saw some of his old writings. “When The Corn Died” Is one of my favorite series that he wrote! I think I remember commenting that he should make it into a book. I have read the articles already and I would read the book!

Interestingly enough, I do not recall reading any of the books that he published. I spend so much time reading his articles and creative writing that I feel like I have read all of his material! Stepping outside of HubPages to read his works will be my next move. I purchased one of his books and lost it when we had a house fire two times and had to move two times. I will just say that I look forward to reading his works. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 11, 2021:

Chitrangada Sharan, It is my great pleasure to be a part of a tribute to the Mailbag and to Bill Holland. I am so glad that you feel the same way about his literary contributions to our forum. One of the things that I have learned in life is to show appreciation now. We don't have to wait until some tragic event occurs to remember the change that people bring into our lives. The mailbag has been a source of inquisitive Joy for years. I don't always read all of the Mailbags. I sometimes focus on a few questions. I sometimes focus on the comments! I am grateful to have the choice to be able to focus on a specific question or the entire Mailbag. I am grateful for being able to go back to the first mailbag or to the last.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on June 11, 2021:

Bill, your writings literally were my lifeline to reality during my darkest days of illness. I do remember you skipping one! I wish I would have thought of that and Mentioned it! I do not know you outside of your writing but it seems like we are old friends. The fun thing is you are that way with everyone.

Thank you for doing good. Jesus went about doing good for people. I can say that is one spiritual gift you seem to share with Him. I love the parts of you I get to know through this medium and hope to do an in-person Mailbag one day or at least a Zoom Mailbag. Have you ever thought of doing a Zoom meeting? I would go!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 11, 2021:

That was so kind of you, my friend. Thank you from the bottom of this old man's heart. I actually remember the first time you commented. You said you were going to go back through and find all of the Mailbags and read them. Then I threw you a curveball and skipped a number, and you were totally confused. "Where did #102 go to?" you asked me. lol Do you remember that.

Great memories! May our friendship last as long as the Mailbag and far beyond.

Again, thank you! I am humbled and actually quite emotional right now.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 11, 2021:

A wonderful tribute to Bill.

I am glad that I have been a part of the mailbag journey, since the time he started it. Mondays have become synonymous with Bill’s mailbag. I agree, that he has encouraged, inspired and motivated everyone, new and the not so new writers.

Thanks for sharing this thoughtful article.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 11, 2021:

This is a wonderful tribute to Bill. He has surely inspired many of us, and I always look forward to the Mailbag. I didn't realize that it was the 7th anniversary, but I have been reading Bill's writing for almost 12 years. He is one of kind. Nicely done, Rodric.

Misbah Sheikh from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on June 11, 2021:

Thanks for creating this beautiful hub, Rodric. Mr. Bill is a kind, generous, and respectful friend. This is a beautiful tribute to him and his work.

Many Blessings to you

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 10, 2021:

Thank you for writing a tribute to Bill Holland’s mailbag, Rodric. Bill has helped, encouraged, and improved many of us as writers here at HubPages. May the mailbag keep on keeping on for another seven years at least.

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