Updated date:

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #332

One More Week to Go

For those in the U.S., that statement can only mean the arrival of the elections. Hopefully, once the votes are tallied, we can return to some sort of normalcy, but somehow I doubt that will happen. 2020 is just too bizarre to quietly fade into the night.

It’s odd to think that, as of this writing, millions of votes have already been sent in by mail, and dropped off in voting boxes around the country. It’s entirely possible the winner has already been determined, and for the next week we will all suffer through vitriol and political pundits spouting nonsense for no purpose at all.

Let’s just hope we can all find a way to accept the outcome, no matter who emerges as the winner. When it happens, about forty percent will be very happy, about forty percent will be livid, and about twenty percent will yawn and move on with life seemingly unaffected.

Let’s do the mail thing, shall we?

And a shout out to my buddy, Eric Dierker, who took the time to call me on the phone the other day, just two Hubbers having a fun conversation, bridging the gap, enjoying each other’s company. I totally enjoyed it, and I hope the opportunity arises so I can talk to a few more Hubbers before I take a one-way trip to that Great Writing Office in the sky.

The Mail Room!

The Mail Room!

To Niche or Not to Niche

From Eric: “I was wondering and I am sure folks know. Can you just not hit that niche site button. Or like wait a week?”

Our mutual HP friend Sha tells me that it is possible to request that your article not go to a niche site, but she also warns it is a hit and miss proposition; in other words, it may not work. She would know much better than I would.

My suggestion is a bit counter-productive if your goal is to garner as many views as possible: just don’t meet the minimum requirements for a niche-site article. Only put one photo in it; don’t add any videos, and submit it. That will pretty much assure you that your article will never make it as a niche article. It will also, unfortunately, pretty much assure you that Google will have nothing to do with your article.

Such is life!

Food Anthology

From Linda: “Bill I'm glad your Muse is calling to you. Ask her to give her cousin in Steilacoom a gentle nudge. An anthology? Hmmm, could that work with food?”

I see no reason whatsoever why you couldn’t do an anthology of your food articles. Put a table of contents on it, add a personal note at the beginning, and call that sucker an anthology!

Easy question to answer, so thank you, and I highly-encourage that you do so!

Ocr Solution

From Rinita Sen: I came back to say that I found an OCR solution I can probably work with. It's Google Docs. It's not perfect but does the job with 80% accuracy. Of course, it all depends on how legible your handwriting is. Here are the steps if anyone wants to try it out.

1. Capture an image of your handwritten note (I used my cell phone camera)

2. Convert that image into a PDF (there are many free PDF converters available)

3. Upload the PDF to Google Drive

4. Right-click the PDF file on Google Drive and click "Open With Google Docs"

5. The handwritten note appears on the screen as editable text now.

(side note from Bill – I love it when followers of the Mailbag answer questions for me. Thank you, Rinita!)

Reusing Hp Articles

From Linda: “I have a question for you about self-publishing and using materials that are on Hub Pages/Maven. In my mind, I wrote them, I own them. Can I use parts of those writings in a self-published book? I'd like to create another book, examining foods (as I do on Hubs), focusing more on the histories and personal stories and less on the actual recipes because many of those are links to other writers. I'd only use personal recipes.”

Yes, Linda, you do own them. There is, however, a little duplicity problem here, but it’s pretty minor in my opinion.

Supposedly, and I’ll explain that in a second, if you use an article on HP, you can’t duplicate it somewhere else online. It will be flagged by HP as a duplicate and the article in question will be “put on hold” until you fix the problem.

In other words, if you publish an article on HP, and then publish the same article on some food website for an online magazine, that article will be flagged.

That may or may not actually happen. It depends on how sharp HP is at that moment. I’ve gotten away with this on several occasions.

However, you are talking about something a bit different. You want to take the articles and put them in a book, and that is absolutely fine to do. I have two books published right now, one fiction, one nonfiction, and both are filled with HP articles, and nothing has happened with HP because of it.

Worse-case scenario: let’s say HP does flag them (which they won’t), and they freeze those articles on HP (which they won’t); is it really important to you? Is the book more important or are the HP articles more important?

Luckily you won’t have to answer that question. Publish the book!

There are quite a few HP articles in these books.

There are quite a few HP articles in these books.

Coloring Books

Again from Linda: “Hi Bill - A few years ago you created one (or more) coloring books. You used photos you had taken and somehow waved a magic wand to convert them to sketches. What program did you use?”

Oddly, Linda, I don’t remember how I did that. My memory is not that great anymore. I don’t think I used an app. I think I did a Google search for how to convert photos to sketches, and then followed those instructions on a Word Doc. Let me look. I’ll be right back!

Nope, I can’t find what I used, but I did find this app, so try that. It’s highly recommended.

Another Excerpt, Please

From Maria: “I know you’re about to publish another thriller. How about another excerpt?”

How can I refuse?

He thought about the first kill he had made for the Agency, the elimination of a British diplomat selling Crown secrets to the Russians. His handler had pulled him aside, the morning the hit was to take place, sat him down in a courtyard surrounded by tulips, the sun casting false warmth.

“The first hit will stay with you forever, Striker. It’s not the same as killing someone in combat, spraying shots five-hundred feet, disassociated, random, no personal connection at all to that. The first hit is personal. In this case you will touch them during the kill. Their blood will spill out upon you. Their eyes will look at yours and lose their light. No, not the same at all, mate!”

But his handler had been wrong. Striker slipped the knife into the rib cage, pierced the right lung, slipped it in again, pierced the heart, looked into the eyes, felt the warm blood flow onto this arm, heard the gurgle of death, a man drowning in his own mortality, felt the spasms, felt life ebb and depart, and then bought a coffee in a shop half-mile down a cobbled street, after discarding his shirt, of course, and never looked back. Resting heartbeat fifty-five before the kill, fifty-four after.

the-writers-mailbag-installment-332

One More Week to Go

Actually, besides the election, in one more week we return to Standard Time in most of the United States. On November 1st, we gain an hour of sleeping for one night.

Hooray!

It’s the little things in life which bring us joy!

We are so divided in this country, we can’t even agree on the time of day. We have been grumbling about Daylight Savings Time for years, but there aren’t enough votes in Congress to change it.

Sigh!

Have a great week and remember, please, do all things with love.

Got a question for the Mailbag? Drop them in the comment section below, or send them in an email to holland1145@yahoo.com.

2020 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 02, 2020:

Thank you Brenda! This country needs to heal, so we don't need a prolonged election with delayed results. Let's hope we know the winner tomorrow, and let's also hope there is a peaceful transition afterwards.

Thank you, my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 01, 2020:

My pleasure, Umesh! More tomorrow in the Mailbag.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 31, 2020:

Bill,

Thanks for another informative article.

The one with hand written notes sounds interesting enough to try for some old notes I have lying around the house.

I look forward to compiling a book of poetry one day so this information is good to have also.

It is that time for daylight savings time again. The darkness will fall a bit earlier after this.

I do think it will take awhile for the election news to wind down this year. Since we have Covid-19 ...I diubt if a confirmed winner will be decided that day.

Can't wait until I stop seeing & hearing about it all. So tired of the fighting back n forth with candidates.

I enjoyed the excerpts of your work. Definitely holds a reader's attention.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 31, 2020:

Thanks for the quick response. Appreciate.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 31, 2020:

Umesh, I can see no negative in mentioning about HP in the book, but you don't have to do it. The duplication problem only arises when we are talking about online articles or online magazines.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 31, 2020:

Bill, you mentioned that one can publish ones articles in HP in a book form.

Do we have to mention in the preface or introduction in the book that these articles are mine and were published in HP and still stand there or anything of that sort so the readers know about it?

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 29, 2020:

Rajan, I'm with you about the drab look of those niche sites. I wonder why they chose to do that? They really are boring to look at.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 29, 2020:

Greg, I was only able to watch a couple games of the Series, but what I saw featured some great pitching. I'm with you about Snell. I don't particularly like the guy as a human (lol), but I think the manager pulled him way too fast.

Be well, my friend, and Happy Thursday to you.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 28, 2020:

I neither like the drab look of the niche sites nor the way my hubs have been customised to fit in there. But the fact that Google will stay away from these hubs as untouchables prevent some hubbers like me who wish to gain whatever more exposure Google provides to the niche sites.

I love the variety of questions in this mailbag. Thank you for answering to all those who write in.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on October 28, 2020:

Bill - speaking of heat...and curveballs and change-ups and sliders and all manner of other great pitching...what about that group of pitchers (on both sides) in the World Series? They were pretty spectacular. Really made for a great watch. Sure wish TB's coach hadn't pulled Snell when he did...we might still have one more game to watch.

Anyway, yes, and thanks, my friend. I figured you'd know where to ask/who to ask if you didn't know the answer off the top of your head. I'll look forward to next week's mailbag. Be well, be safe, enjoy the rest of your week.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2020:

Glad to hear that, Heidi! Thanks for letting me know. I'm going to use your comment in next week's mailbag so people know that.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2020:

Winter coat, MizB? Welcome to my world. I've had it on that last week when walking the dogs. I'm sure not happy about winter arriving already, but there is very little I can do to stop it. Sigh!

I'm glad you liked me story about going west. I'll have to do that again soon. I haven't written a long, short story in quite some time.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2020:

Well shoot, Greg, that's a tough question. How about starting me out with a couple change-ups before you fire the heat at me? LOL Let me do some research. I know what my quick answer is, but I'm not all that sure that is the correct answer.

I'll get back to you on Monday!

Have a great Wednesday!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2020:

Kalpana, I have never submitted on to a niche site. I leave all that to HP. I'm just a writer, not a website designer. :) Thanks for taking the time to comment, my friend.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on October 28, 2020:

Follow-up: I tried the Colorscape app to create outlines from photos, like you did for your coloring book. Very cool. I also contacted the app folks about any attributions that might be needed if I use what I create in books. They responded right away and were very friendly. Now I'm thinking how I can use it. Thanks for the suggestion!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2020:

My pleasure, Shaloo! Thank you for always stopping by.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2020:

My approach, Lori: it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. LOL

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2020:

I am happy to hear that, Dora! I learn from you, as well, and I thank you for that.

Shaloo Walia from India on October 28, 2020:

Thanks to Rinita's answer and you for sharing it here. That was quite helpful info.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on October 27, 2020:

I never considered there might be a problem using an HP article or story to publish in a book. My rough draft was up on HP for a few years. It is now off as of a year ago. I don't suppose there will be a problem but I'm glad it came up.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on October 27, 2020:

Interesting questions this week, Bill, especially those about niche sites. I don't recall ever submitting an article to one. They've selected the ones they've wanted to "niche". I almost felt like using the word "shelf" because it seems like the views came to a screeching halt immediately. However, in the last several months, it seems like I'm being paid from somewhere for some of those. Maybe I should quitmybitchin'.

Anthologies sound interesting. Maybe I should check into that. Your excerpts are always interesting. I like stuff like that HP serial you wrote about the family going west. That's more my style.

It's wet and chilly here, in fact, I wore my winter coat to an outdoor outing today and was glad I did. I wonder if this early cool snap means a cold winter. Stay warm, my friend.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on October 27, 2020:

Bill - Striker is one cold dude, man. As for me? I think I'm going to remember just the description of his first kill forever. Seems like puncturing lungs and piercing hearts might be something you don't get over and you never, never forget. That and the drowning in mortality piece...uh...yeah, not ever I'm thinking...

Your answer to the anthology question now has me curious about some other traffic I've been seeing lately, too, and really things I've been hearing since I started here, now seven months ago: will the links from inside a HubPages article to the desired anthology articles (assuming they are on the niche sites) have some sort of detrimental effect on the niche articles? Or, said differently, will Google or the Maven Mothership now look at the after-the-jump articles differently, treat them differently? I guess I'm asking because I love the anthology idea myself, could see use for it in my future, but I also don't want to publish something that's deleterious to the overall body of work...make sense?

Kalpana Iyer from India on October 27, 2020:

I haven't submitted an article to a niche site till now. HP has usually selected them from my account. I really enjoy comments, maybe that's why I am shying away from being proactive when it comes to submitting them to niche sites.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Thank you Devika! It's always good of you to stop by and comment.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Thank you Zulma! I thought I was being unreasonable, the way I didn't care about HP's policies. It just isn't worth my time to do battle with them.

A grown-up in the White House? I've forgotten what that's like, but I sure would like to see it happen again.

Have a great week, my friend. Staying warm is my priority, and I'm good at it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

And all the best to you, Rosina. Thanks so much.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

I'm with you on this, Heidi! I don't have the energy to fight HP, and I really don't have the desire to do it either. They are what they are. They provide what I desire, a place to post my articles. I understand what they are and I choose to live with it.

Snow? Just shoot me. You keep it, please.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Thank you Meg! I have no idea what the solution is on those niche sites. Hopefully HP is listening and will provide a solution we all can live with soon.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Thank you Mary! We are working on finalizing the cover, and then I can publish the book. It's nice to have someone looking forward to it. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Ann, you and me both. I don't recall ever disliking a politician as much as I dislike Trump. Hopefully this nightmare will be over soon.

Best wishes, my friend!

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Manatita, thank you as always. I don't know what's up with Artistry With Words, but I'll check it out. Thanks for mentioning that, and for trying.

You take care now, friend. Spread your love. We need it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Sorry about that, Sha! I do a lot of misunderstanding. :) I'll try to be a little more careful next time. In the meantime, one more week and this political madness will be over...until it starts up again, that is! lol

Happy Tuesday, my friend!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 27, 2020:

I'm still learning writing tidbits from the mailbag. Thanks to your commitment.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

It sure is supposed to work that way, Bill, but HP falls short of that goal at times. I really don't have the time, or energy, to jump through all the hoops when one of my articles is stolen. Sad but true.

You take care, my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

You and me both, Mary! This political madness cannot end soon enough for me. I don't think I've ever been so disgusted by politics.

Take care my friend, and have a brilliant day.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Linda, you not only ask tons of questions, but you answer them as well. I love it!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 27, 2020:

Always fun hearing from you, Mr. Happy, although I'm going to pass on the experience of having you cook for me. lol I'm not sure I could eat brain. It might not make it all the way down my throat, you know?

But other than that, it's been a pleasure, as always. Take care, my friend, and stay healthy.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 27, 2020:

Hi Bill I like your explanations of each question. Informative and perfect. I understand well of the consequences when a hub is republished else where and have had that issue in the past.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on October 27, 2020:

Hi Bill.

Heidi makes a good point. At the end of the day, it's HP's playground and if we want to play on the swing set, we have to play by their rules. It's not good, it's not bad, it just is.

I am even more interested in Striker's origin after reading your excerpt. He seems to have psychopathic tendencies and I'm curious to see where that came from.

We've already set out clocks back and it's thrown my rhythm out of whack again. Mood disorders are tricky to balance and this twice-yearly back and forth doesn't help. Just have to power through as best I can.

Good luck with the elections next week. Hopefully, you'll have a grown-up this time around instead of the spoiled brat that's there now.

Have a great day and stay warm.

Rosina S Khan on October 27, 2020:

Interesting mailbag, Bill. Enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the share. All the best.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on October 26, 2020:

It's Monday still. I'm in the Mailbag. Yay.

Re: Niche, No Niche. Again, I'll keep saying that if someone doesn't like what HP/Maven is doing with the niche sites, leave. I'm serious. They own the infrastructure. You license it to them for posting as they see fit.

Back in the day, circa 2007 or earlier, writing for "content" sites like HP was a way to rake in some easy cash for writing whatever you wanted to write about, in whatever way you wanted to write it. Blogging had really just started becoming a thing. So it really didn't matter what you did or where or how you did it. You'd probably get traffic and ad revenue. Some estimates say that today there are 500M blogs, others say 1B (if you count Tumblr). HP/Maven isn't making changes to tick off writers. They need to be competitive. 2007 was a very long time ago in internet time. The competition is crushing now.

Also, I get way, way more traffic and revenue on my HP articles (esp. on niche sites) than I ever did on my own self hosted blogs. So I tell upset writers to go on their own. They'll have all the control they want, less, of course, traffic and revenue. Good luck with that.

Re: Reusing and Repurposing. Why not? Like you, I've used a ton of my HP material as the basis for book material.

Re: Coloring App. I might try that. Thanks for sharing.

Well, Halloween week started out as "Snowlloween." Yep, it was snowing this AM. But a lot of my friends on social had a lot more. Because 2020. Make it a great week!

RoadMonkey on October 26, 2020:

In terms of niche sites, I asked a long time ago that my articles not go onto those. I used to share the links and then HubPages would put them onto a niche site and the places where I shared did not like forwarding, so refused to share the original link. Grrrr. My daughter has a number of articles that she hasn't updated for quite a while. They are not considered "good enough" for niche sites, yet with some sharing quite a while ago, they are still pulling in an income for her, with no extra work at present. Love this week's mailbag, lot of useful information. Thanks to you and your contributors. :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 26, 2020:

Bill, you're not the only one watching the run-up to your election. The whole world is watching, and we look forward to having a rest from it. We also pray that you will have a peaceful election.

I look forward to reading your soon to be published book. It will be a good winter read.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 26, 2020:

All as interesting and wise as ever, bill!

I too think that it would be a great idea for Linda to publish an anthology. I could do with a new up-to-date cookbook!

I want the outcome to your election to mean that I don't have to watch that man every day on tv.

Ann

manatita44 from london on October 26, 2020:

If Linda Lum waits a bit, I can do a recipe on 'Foods to eat for survival in trying times.', then she can go ahead with her Anthology. (Joke Bro). Eric ideas are only useful to an extent and I think he has also answered the question too. We are stuck like the fairy-girl called Rainstorm, between earth and heaven.

My America used to be very inspirational and I hope it still is, but I have to admit your statement below worries me:

'about forty percent will be very happy, about forty percent will be livid, and about twenty percent will yawn and move on with life seemingly unaffected.' It says so much!!

Here in Europe they were going to abandon clock changes, I hear. But decided to wait due to Covid-19. This could take a while, of course. :)

P.S. I checked Artistry With Words. This is one of the odd times, that I think I said a lot. Couldn't find it though. Didn't have the heart for a second try. Just saying.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 26, 2020:

Bill, I think you misunderstood my response to Eric's niche site question. He was wanting to know if a writer can avoid the niche sites by not requesting your newly published article go to one (the option appears when you hit the publish button). My response to him was that HP will send any articles they deem worthy to the niche sites. The writer need not ask; HP takes it upon themselves. I've heard through the grapevine that you can contact the HP editors and request an article be removed from the niche sites, but there are hurdles to jump.

Just tracked my mail-in ballot. It's been received and will be counted! Let's see what happens...

Enjoy your week, Bill.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on October 26, 2020:

Nice mailbag, Bill. When someone steals an article from HubPages doesn’t that create a duplicate copy that should violate HP policy? But it is left up to us to track down the culprit and get them to remove the article. I gave up years ago trying to do this. It always proved very difficult and didn’t work most of the time. I wonder why HP doesn’t do more to solve this issue?

Have a great week.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on October 26, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Your introduction heading is a breath of fresh air. One more week to go. Phew.

I'm beyond fed up with the whole chaotic mess.

Glad to see the video links you shared about the coloring books. I always like to have other designing options available to try.

Have a great week.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 26, 2020:

Bill, for converting a photo to a line drawing I found a free app in the Microsoft Store. "Sketch Me!"

It's great!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2020:

Isn't that the truth, Peggy! It never dawned on me that a candidate would even hint at a transition problem. What in the world has happened to this nation?

Thank you my friend, and Happy Monday to you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2020:

Thank you Chitrangada Sharan! It's always a pleasure having you stop by. I appreciate you taking the time to always comment.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2020:

Always my pleasure, Eric. Sub par, in this case, just might work.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2020:

Well shoot, Flourish, I made three different coloring books, but I don't remember how I did it. lol Don't ever get old, Flourish. It's no fun at times.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2020:

More coffee for sure, Alyssa. Coffee always helps. :)

I'm with you 100%. I'm so tired of the ads and the robo calls. This needs to end very soon!

Have a great week and enjoy your coffee.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2020:

Thank God for your questions, Linda, or this mailbag would have been skimpy at best. I really do appreciate it.

Frost on the pumpkin for sure, my friend. I was layered up yesterday, and the heat has been turned on.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 26, 2020:

I took a look at the link you provided to turn a photo into a coloring book. It looks like it would be fun to experiment with it. As to the election, the final day will be the end of the voting period, but not necessarily the counting of votes. Let's all pray for a peaceful transition. I never thought that I would even have to pray for such a thing in this country. It is amazing how quickly things can change.

Stay well, and keep doing the things you enjoy. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on October 26, 2020:

"Only put one photo in it; don’t add any videos, and submit it. That will pretty much assure you that your article will never make it as a niche article." - Haha, that will not guarantee it. You know how I do not care about rules much, or what people want and I just write for the sake of writing? With that in mind, I have had recently articles go to the niche sites without a video at all, or with just one photo (and that was my photo with handcuffs and a joint lmao). So, ya ... I never asked for them to be sent but they did it anyway. Hub-pages is very much like me: it does whatever it wants. Haha!!

"I see no reason whatsoever why you couldn’t do an anthology of your food articles." - I might start putting-out some food articles. I mean, not too many people write about deep-frying lamb, or pig brain. I cook it/them so, I could probably write about it lol

"It will be flagged by HP as a duplicate and the article in question will be “put on hold” until you fix the problem." - That has happened to me once. I tried posting the same article on here but had already done on another website and Hub-pages got upset lol

You did coloring books too? Wow, You're versatile.

Thanks for the words - always fun. Have a joyful week ahead!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 26, 2020:

Hello Bill!

A very useful mailbag. The questions by Eric and Linda, and your answers are helpful and clarify lot of things.

Thanks to Rinita also, for that useful step by step guide.

Thank you for sharing another wonderful installment. Good day and a great week.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Thanks for that answer via Sha. I giggle at the notion of making it sub par just so they don't take it. That is cool about transferring notes to text.

Thanks for another great one.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 26, 2020:

Someone has to know how to make those coloring book pictures, huh?

It seems like if you don’t want your article on the niche site for some reason, then maybe screw around with adding an Amazon product and when they take it down add it back. That will get the article kicked off the niche site permanently. It would be better, however, if an author’s wish was simply honored to have it remain where it was.Good luck with your quest, Sha.

Alyssa from Ohio on October 26, 2020:

I cannot wait for all the political ads, texts, and emails to cease. I will be very happy to have this election done and over with. It gets more annoying when you've already submitted your ballot.. what a waste of resources to continue getting campaign ads in the mail. These people are persistent, though -- I mark every text as spam, yet they have an unlimited amount of numbers from which to reach me. Ugh.

I think I'm getting more cranky as I get older. I've been unnaturally tired lately, and while an "extra hour" of sleep sounds enticing, I'm irritated that the sunrise will be later and the sunset will be earlier.

Ah, but such is life.

I must be in a mood today. I think it's time for more coffee. ha! I hope you are well and have a wonderful week, Bill!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 26, 2020:

Happy Monday Bill. It was a pleasure working on this collaborative effort with you LOL. (I didn't know you would be using my silly questions as fodder for your Mailbag, but desperate times call for desperate measures).

I'll let you know when I find a satisfactory photo-to-sketch program. I'll be using that to create a few illustrations for my I-hope-to-publish book on food history. Not many recipes. Mostly me blathering on and on and on. Oh well, if my mother was still alive she'd probably buy a copy.

Thank you (really, I mean it) for answering my questions. Have a great week and stay warm.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 26, 2020:

Happy Monday, Pamela! I think all of us will be quite happy to see this election ends so we can just deal with the COVID problem without distractions. My goodness, 2020 has not been a good year, has it?

Be well, my friend!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 26, 2020:

Happy Monday, Bill!

There were some good questions today. When I was wriitng for another site I wrote a similar article on Hubpages. It was not a duplicate at all but the same topic and I had to take it down. I got a lot of grief over that, but it wasn't a Hubpage problem.

The excerpt from your new book sounds exciting. I will be glad to change the time back and wish it would stay that way. As for the election, I just want it over no matter who wins. I hope the country settles down also.

Stay safe and healthy, Bill. I hear the Covid numbers are on the rise again.