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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #354

The Atmospheric Battle

March is a fascinating month for those of us who are weather nerds, matched only by November for really cool activity. During those two months, there is a tug-of-war between two seasons, with March giving way to Spring, while Winter protests, and with November, Fall desperately trying to hold on while Winter demands its time. (I know, that was an awkward sentence, but so be it)

Warm air vs cold air, a Battle Royal thousands of feet above us, and that battle creates our most interesting weather, warm temperatures giving way to the cold, hail and snow and bright sunshine, calm days and whirling windstorms, a veritable weather dictionary on display, and each day we peek outside to see what we should be wearing for clothing.

I would love to say I have some great metaphor for all of this, but this was really just about the March weather. LOL

And Happy April-to-be!

Shall we begin the mail?

The Mail Room!

The Mail Room!

More on Colons

From Mr. Happy: So about that: "Actually, in your example above, a colon really isn’t called for at all". Just curious to decipher this. A colon as described by Merriam-Webster dictionary: "It's typically a mark of introduction, used to let the reader know that what follows the colon has been pointed to or described by what precedes the colon."

"It is a very sad thing to see:" - This points to the next part ("to see" is the "pointing" indicator LOL)

"this violent opposition to the change that is inevitably coming because:" And this "because" points to the next part.

"where are the Sumerians now?"

There are three distinct parts to me, here. From a strictly technical standpoint, what do You think?

Mr. Happy, what you say is technically true, but technically, in this instance, is clunky and does not flow. For a better “read,” try it with just commas, as in the following: It is a very sad thing to see, this violent opposition to the change that is inevitably coming, because, for example, where are the Sumerians now? Or you could go with . . . inevitably coming. Take, for example, the case of the Sumerians. (Make two sentences out of it. It reads much better that way)

This is one of those gray areas in the English language, and that’s the best answer I can give you.

March at its worst!

March at its worst!

Source for Pictures on Hp

From Brenda: “I am having a problem placing my source for pictures in the correct area on hubpages. I mostly use my mobile phone right maybe I need a different browser. I use chrome mostly and it will not let me copy & paste into the source area. I input everything by hand which is time consuming. I could just simply list Pixabay, but I want to give credit where it is due.

Scroll to Continue

Any suggestions?”

Brenda, I’m not a tech guru. If it were me, I would just say “Pixabay” and be done with it. Maybe one of the other readers can shed some light on this in the comments, but I really think you have done your due diligence on this and you can move on. Believe me, if HP has a problem with it, you’ll hear from them pronto.

Credit where credit is due . . . I don't know where this pic came from, so there you go!

Credit where credit is due . . . I don't know where this pic came from, so there you go!

Kindle Direct Publishing

From Robert: “How hard is it to publish on Kindle Direct? Is it different for paperbacks vs ebooks? What was your experience?”

Robert, it’s a mixed bag. For the most part, I find publishing on Kindle Direct to be very easy. The first time is awkward, simply because most people do not know how to format a Word Doc so that it translates to the Kindle Direct format/template, but once you learn that, it is pretty clear sailing.

The only real problem I have with self-publishing is the creation of a book cover. I have zero confidence in doing that, and I have zero desire to learn how to do it, so I farm that task out to a HP friend of mine who, like me, works cheap. LOL If he didn’t do my covers for me, my answer would be completely different on this question.

Anyway, overall, pretty easy with the occasional problem, that would be my summation of Kindle Direct.

By the way, I also used Lulu once, and found that fairly easy as well, so there you go!

Oh Fine, Let’s Talk About Life

I couldn’t help myself. I had to return to the weather discussion and toss out some observations.

At least half of my life resembled March. I was in a tug-of-war for supremacy, within myself, and that’s one hell of an upsetting battlefield. The Angels of Darkness against the Angels of Light, no hyperbole there, wake up, struggle, wake up, struggle, knowing the true path but often veering out of control down a path overgrown with weeds and all manner of dangers, that was my life.

Eventually the Angels of Light prevailed, with the help of other angels, and my March turned into April, and May, and now calmer skies are my default setting, and my body warms under balmy temperatures.

But I remember what it was like.

And I vow not to return there ever again.

Join me in saying goodbye to March, and a welcoming Hello to April!!!!!

Questions for the Mailbag? Include them in the comments below, or shoot me an email at

I leave you, today, with the genius of Joni Mitchell:

“Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all”

2021 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 02, 2021:

Happy April, Chitrangada Sharan! You are never late for the Mailbag, my friend. I appreciate you!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 01, 2021:

Hello Bill!

I am late for the mailbag, but I am happy it still appeared on my feed. Enjoyed going through your introductory paragraph, ( about the change of seasons).

As always, helpful questions and answers too.

Happy first day of April. Stay Safe. Thank you for sharing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 01, 2021:

Well Happy April, Linda! We made it, finally! I hope it's a great month for both of us, my friend. Thank you!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 31, 2021:

I love your description of March as a tug-of-war between two seasons. That applies to where I live as well. I'm looking forward to the start of April!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 31, 2021:

Oh, Mel, you opened up a snake's nest with that suggestion. I wish I could fit all that information into one article.

I'll see what I can do, buddy!

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on March 31, 2021:

Hmm...The grammar Nazis are really goose stepping across your mailbag, Bill. They really need some April sunshine to warm up their cold colons.

Anyhow, in your spare time, maybe you could write a hub about how to format a word document correctly for Kindle. I for one would appreciate it, because I plan to do it in the next few months. Great work.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Venkatachari M, you can have that heat. I am quite content with our summers here. I just wish summer would get here soon! lol Peace my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Hopefully indeed, Devika! May you experience calm skies for years to come! Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Bill, as I've said before, I could not live in Florida. I would be homicidal/suicidal in a matter of days in that kind of heat.

Welcome home, my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Heidi, it's just nice hearing from you, valuable or not. Thanks for always being here. Let's hope April is kinder to us all.

Happy Spring indeed!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Zulma, I doubt it seriously, but projects like these keep me out of trouble, so they have their value. :)

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on March 30, 2021:

A grape arbour? Interesting. Will you be giving Welch's a run for their money, then? :D

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Ann, I got cut off! Sorry about that. Have a great week and Happy Tuesday to you!


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Denise, the older I get, the more I philosophize. lol I think it comes with being an old man.

Thank you for being you, and blessings to you always.


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Alyssa, warmer temperatures can't get here soon enough. I don't like hot, but is sixty asking for too much?????

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Thank yo u Mubarak! I appreciate you stopping by to comment. Blessings to you always!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

LOL..Mr. Happy, after the colons, poling is nothing worth mentioning. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

There you go then, Mr. Happy. You achieved what you wanted to achieve with those colons. LOL You certainly woke up the community of grammar nerds.

I need to start planting seedlings. Thanks for the reminder.

Have a fabulous Tuesday, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Thanks Linda! I actually worked outside in the sunshine, yesterday, and it felt marvelous. More in store for me today, and I find myself actually excited about it. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

I agree completely, Mary! We have learned our lessons and there is no reason to ever return to those mistakes again. Thank you for that!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Thank you Misbah! That is very kind of you. I try to give back freely to the HP community, which has been very kind to me.

Blessings to you always

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Thanks John! Enjoy that weather. I have turned my attention to outdoor projects, and it feels so good to move around without layers of warm clothing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 30, 2021:

Thank you Manatita! Every once in awhile, if lucky, you can sneak something by the Google Gods. lol Have a fantastic week, my friend.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 30, 2021:

Interesting perceptions about weather changes. I too feel that March and November match with each other as the nicest months of the year.

Our New Year starts this time, on 13th April. It keeps changing according to the stellar movements: some times falling during the last week of March and at other times during the first fortnight of April.

Our present temperature reading is 98 degrees. It peaks during the month of May.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 30, 2021:

Hi Bill where ever we live the weather plays the part. God weather coming on in Croatia. Hopefully more sunny days ahead. Thank you for a perfect write.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on March 29, 2021: