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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #369

More on Music Lyrics

From time to time I’ll share with you some of what I believe are brilliant song lyrics, examples of a songwriter going that extra step, taking the English language to the next level. My hope, in doing so, is that it will inspire you to find new ways to say old things when you are writing. We all have the same number of words to work with, plus a couple we might invent on our own, so finding a new way to combine words is really the next step in excellence for any writer.

The first example is from a singer who goes by the name Five For Fighting, from his wildly-popular song “The Riddle.” In the first moments of the song, this lyric appears:

“There was a man back in '95
Whose heart ran out of summers
But before he died”

Brilliant! Instead of saying the man was dying, he says the man’s heart ran out of summers. That may seem like a such a small thing, but I don’t believe it is. It is taking lyric-writing to the next level.

Another example, this from Don McLean, something so simple as an artist looking at his painting:

“Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue”

That sets the bar pretty high for us writers, doesn’t it? He doesn’t just look at the painting; the painting reflects in his eyes. The nuance is pretty spectacular, don’t you think?

Let’s do this mail thing, shall we?

The Mail Room

The Mail Room

Taking It Easy

From Manatita: “Here's my question: How do you feel when nature intervenes, and, instead of writing, you just have to 'take it easy.' Any frustrations?”

None whatsoever, Manatita, and it is happening more and more to me. Let’s face it, I’m getting older. There are a great many things I still want to do with my life, with my wife, and I don’t want to spend a majority of my remaining minutes typing on the laptop, churning out stories. I’ve written a great number of them already. I’ve cranked out books in the double-digits. There are other things I want to do, and it is becoming much easier for nature to intervene and distract me. I welcome it!

Will I ever completely stop writing? Doubtful, but I am severely cutting back on the time I write. I love writing, it is still a passion of mine, but time is short and there are other things I want to accomplish before the great hand in the sky flicks off my switch.

No frustrations at all! I had my shot. Yes, if I had started writing earlier in life, I could have accomplished much more, but I did what I could with the time allotted, so no regrets!

Taking it easy

Taking it easy

Tip of the Week

From Alex: “I know you serve as a writing coach, but I’m not ready (my budget isn’t ready) to hire you just yet. How about a free piece of advice for a man on a tight budget?”

Why not, Alex? Here it is: no matter what type of writer you are . . . novels, short stories, how-to guru, travel, food, whatever, remember that you are, or should be, a storyteller first and foremost.

Oh, some will argue that point. Surely I don’t mean that someone who writes travel articles should tell stories. Well yes, that is exactly what I mean. There is no more powerful way to hold the attention of a reader than to tell a story. Telling stories is one of the richest traditions in the history of mankind. From cave man to today, people have told stories, and those stories have been heard, and read, by tens of millions. It is a connection between writer and reader, a sharing, and it is a powerful tool for any writer, no matter the genre.

Tell a good story and they will come!

This ties in to another related tip: show don’t tell! Don’t tell me why I should buy something. Show me how it enriches my life. Don’t tell me to live a loving life; show me through a story. Don’t tell me that Naples is a great city to visit; show me through a personal story showcasing the city. Make me want to be there by using personal experience as your guide.

That’s a lot I gave you there for free, so revel in it!

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Find new ways to describe the world around you.

Find new ways to describe the world around you.

English Second Language

From Juanita: “English, for me, is my second language. It comes difficult when writing. Do you have any recommendations so my English writing improves?”

I don’t think I’m the guy to ask this question of, Juanita. I don’t speak any other languages, and I don’t know techniques which can help. Quite frankly, I’m blown away by those on HP who speak English so well and yet come from Botswana or Madrid or Tokyo.

My only suggestions are to read and read and read stories written in English. Emulate what you read. Practice, practice, and practice some more. Heck, watch television shows spoken in English. Of course you can hire a tutor, but I’m assuming you know that and you can’t afford one.

Good luck! You are already better than I would be if I tried writing in your native language.

Writers Conferences

From Robert: “There is a writers’ conference held in San Francisco every February. I’m thinking of attending it this year. Do you think that increases my odds of finding a publisher? Is it worthwhile to attend the conference?”

There are two questions here, Robert.

Will attending the conference increase your odds of finding a publisher? Maybe by one or two percent, but no more than that. Bottom line in finding a traditional publisher: how good is your writing skill? And, actually, even then, if you convince a traditional publisher to listen to your spiel at the conference, the odds are still horrible. Traditional publishing houses are not taking chances on unknown writers. They have limited budgets, and the bulk of those budgets is spent on proven winners, which you are not. I don’t mean that as a slam on your writing. It’s just the real of it with regards to the writing industry.

Is it worthwhile to attend? I think it is. I think it is very helpful to rub shoulders with hundreds of other writers. I think it’s helpful to chat with agents and publishers and proven authors. You are bound to pick up some nuggets of information which will help you down the road of life. Sure, most definitely, if you can afford the ticket, so for it.

Time for Some Music

I never turn on the radio until I finish writing. Then, though, music is with me throughout the day while I do chores. Oftentimes, inspiration comes from that music. This week, as a matter of fact, I will publish a short story called “The Riddle,” inspired by that song I mentioned at the beginning of this Mailbag. That happens quite often for me, little prompts slamming against my head, delivered by the gods of music, while I work on a project.

Anyway, go the extra mile. Find new ways to say old things. Tell stories. Engage the reader. Stimulate our senses. Inspire! Inform in an interesting manner. These are the things I would hope you are working on.

An example of going the extra mile: an HP friend, Linda Lum, published an article this past week called “The United States of Pizza.” It is such a clever way of introducing a food article. I’m not a foodie, but I found that article thoroughly enjoyable.

As always, if you have a question for the Mailbag, include it in the comments below, or send me an email at

And, good news, our HP friend Misbah is on the mend from COVID. Hooray!

2021 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 19, 2021:

Nope, no instrumentals, no music of any kind. Sorry, buddy, but my departmentalized mind can only handle writing in silence. Sad but very true! lol But I love the Doors song, so there you go!

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on July 17, 2021:

"Telling stories is one of the richest traditions in the history of mankind." - I'd go much further with this statement. "Telling stories" was for a very long time the way to pass-on knowledge. Hence, I look at stories as a method of learning, or teaching. If those are not there, I could care less about a story. Not here to waste my time lol I better learn something.

"I don’t think I’m the guy to ask this question of, Juanita." - I'm the guy to ask LOL I mean, come on: Romanian, French, German, English, is how it all went down. Haha!!

The secret is in reading a LOT. Read, read, and read some more. Also, listen carefully, to those who speak the language well. They will do the showing and all You gotta do is be a good parrot and repeat. That's how I did it. Never be afraid to make mistakes either. Otherwise, learning doesn't take place.

"and the bulk of those budgets is spent on proven winners, which you are not" - Well, now that we got that out of the way ... haha!!

"I never turn on the radio until I finish writing." - What about instrumentals? Like no words? Have You tried writing with music with no words? Weird humans ... LOL ("Weird" is not a bad word in my vocabulary.)

"People Are Strange" - The Doors

People are strange when you're a stranger

Faces look ugly when you're alone

Women seem wicked when you're unwanted

Streets are uneven when you're down

When you're strange

Faces come out of the rain

When you're strange

No one remembers your name

When you're strange

When you're strange

When you're strange

People are strange when you're a stranger

Faces look ugly when you're alone

Women seem wicked when you're unwanted

Streets are uneven when you're down

When you're strange

Faces come out of the rain

When you're strange

No one remembers your name

When you're strange

When you're strange

When you're strange

When you're strange

Faces come out of the rain

When you're strange

No one remembers your name

When you're strange

When you're strange

When you're strange

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 16, 2021:

Thanks Mel! I hope this finds you well in Northern Colorado. Take care, buddy, and have a great weekend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 16, 2021:

Indeed you are, Miebakagh!

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on July 15, 2021:

Finding a new way to tell old things is what it's all about. Great mailbag!

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on July 14, 2021:

Bill, I am.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 14, 2021:

I think you are correct, Miebakagh!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 14, 2021:

Well, Mary, I'll have to think about that some. I'll have an answer for you on Monday, okay? Thanks for the question and your friendship.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 14, 2021:

Thank you Vidya! I have the music on right now as I write, and it will be with me throughout the day. I find it soothing, you know?

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on July 13, 2021:

Bill, I think you've got a good mail bag question, right? And thanks.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 13, 2021:

You have given us in this mailbag a remarkable number of tips. I like best trying to say things in new ways like the example you gave. I try to do that in my notebook but often, I find myself wanting for words, for unusual comparisons in spite of my experience. Do you think some people just have the gift?

VIDYA D SAGAR on July 13, 2021:

I agree with you Bill. A story connects a reader and writer. It is a powerful tool for a writer. I have always been fascinated by stories, especially real life ones. Those are wonderful tips you have given for writers. Music is my favorite too, it makes working around the house easier. Thanks for this informative and interesting mailbag. Take care, have a great day.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

I like it, Heidi! You and I both need to discover life outside of writing/ marketing. Bev helps to teach me about other possibilities. She will retire in another year and then I suspect her influence will be too strong to ignore.

Be well and stay cool. Yes, we are enjoying cooler weather, for the time being at least.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

MG, I readily admit, learning a second language is not one of my strengths. Oddly I enjoyed my three years of learning Latin. But French? It was a horrible experience. lol Luckily, I was dating a girl who was very good at French. She helped me to pass that course.

Be well, my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Coming soon, MIebakagh! I just have to carve out the time. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Thank you Nithya! As Bev approaches retirement, I'm sure my writing will lessen so I can spend more time with her. Until then, though, you are stuck with me. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

MIzB, I did enjoy writing those serials. I really must carve out more time for short stories. I do love writing them, and my interest in writing novels is waning.

Drought here as well. Here, there, and everywhere, it seems. I think the professionals have been warning us about this, but nobody was paying any attention.

We are now!

Happy Tuesday, my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

I'm glad you think so, Linda! Thank you and have a fantastic week ahead.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Thank you Rosina! I hope you enjoy reading The Riddle as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Thanks for mentioning the cost of those conferences, Denise. They are prohibitive for most of us. As for a second language, I find English to be a full-time job for me.

Blessings always, and thanks!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Thanks Bill! I could sing a bit when I was younger. Now, my 72 year old vocal chords just can't reach the high notes like they once did. lol Happy Tuesday, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Family Always does come first, Pamela. As for the heat, you are in the middle of it right now; here, a nice 80 degrees, which I can handle, although, truth be known, sixty-five is heaven for me.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

For sure, Manatita, you are a Master Storyteller, my highest praise other than to say someone is a quality human being, and you are that as well. Blessings to you always, my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Thanks Alyssa! You do the same!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Brenda, if I had the time, I could easily write a short story each day based on some song I hear or a line from a song. That's how important music is to my creativity.

Happy Tuesday to you, and thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Thank you very much, EK! I am very happy some of my advice is useful for you. I hope you enjoy The Riddle. I'll post it tomorrow.

Be well, my friend, and thanks again.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

Gosh, Rodric, I'm honored. You've remembered more about what I said than I remember. LOL I'm kidding but still, it is gratifying to know you care enough to remember those things.

I'll have answers for you next Monday. Until then, I hope your health is improving, my friend. Take care!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

It was my pleasure, Linda! It was such a clever way to introduce pizza. I loved the title and the article. As for speaking a foreign language, my brain just won't wrap around that talent/skill. Oddly, I found Latin easy to learn, but French? Forgetaboutit!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 13, 2021:

I'm glad you think so, Devika. I appreciate your very kind words. Be well and have a fantastic week ahead. Thank you!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on July 13, 2021:

Okay, Tuesday check-in at the Monday Mailbag.

Re: Taking It Easy. Now that hubs and I are in our 60s, we're also taking stock of things. Yes, we still love doing the things we've always done. But there are a lot of things that we want to do, too. Not bucket list items. Just ways of enjoying our days. And for perspective, I'm celebrating birthdays with friends who turned 80 and 87 in the past month.

Re: ESL. I'd strongly suggest hiring an editor for localization to avoid any of the awkward syntax and word use that happens for non-native speakers and writers of English. It all depends on the market they want to reach, too. American English? UK? AUS? That's another issue.

Re: Writers Conferences. Agreed, the biggest benefit is to network with other writers. You won't become the world's greatest writer or get a book deal. But your writing world will be better for the relationships you forge.

Gotta go. Mucky, humid here in Chicago. Hope you're getting some cooler weather. Have a great week!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on July 13, 2021:

Well, this is another nice installment of your writing. English is the most known and spoken language in the world, that is pristine English of England. Not. American version. How many know that India has 350 million people who know English which is more than the entire population of the United States. No wonder in most writing sites on Alexa, India features prominently. I am in the process of finishing touchs to my two books, one of them the degeneration of Pakistan from the secular ideas of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and 2nd a novel Fire and Fury. Take care and remain fit.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on July 12, 2021:

Miz, you've got Bill. And I'm sure either in the next mail bag or poetic challenge, we will hear from him.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 12, 2021:

An interesting and informative mailbag Bill. As you say tell a good story and the readers will surely follow. Now is the time to relax and enjoy with Bev and of course write when you feel your muse calling.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 12, 2021:

Bill, you said you weren't a poet, but you really are a poetic person. A song is nothing but a poem set to music, and you are always treating us to poems by good songwriters set to music. Maybe you are a poet in hiding. I'm looking forward to your new short story. I've missed your serials. I was hoping that learning about the new Kindle Publishing program for serial writing (Now what did I tell you it was called?) would inspire you to write more of them.

We are starting to have a drought in Arkansas. Lately we don't get more than .1 inch of rain a day. What happened to the monsoons? Did Mother Nature blow it on one big snow here last winter? Hope you and Bev are faring well. Have a good week, my friend.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 12, 2021:

You always share interesting and useful information in your articles, Bill. Thanks for another enjoyable edition of the mailbag. I hope you have a good week.

Rosina S Khan on July 12, 2021:

Great brilliant song lyrics. I see what you mean. Looking forward to reading your short story "The Riddle". A wonderful mailbag as always and I learned a lot. Wish you a great start to the week, Bill.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on July 12, 2021:

I also admire those who write in a second language. I never mastered a second language enough to write in it. I did well just to understand some of it.

I have to agree with your about the writer's conference. There are also Children's book illustrator's conferences which are fine to go to for inspiration and rubbing elbows with fellow illustrators but don't do a thing to help find publishers. The cost is really quite prohibitive in my budget.

Thanks for another great mailbag.



Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on July 12, 2021:

You deserve a break every now and then, Bill. We’re all on the clock so if there are other things you want to do get to it. Great advice about telling a story no matter what kind of writing we do. All of the great musical artists are great writers who just happen to have great vocal chords. If you could sing you’d be famous with your ability to write. Have a great week.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 12, 2021:

This is another interesting mailbag, Bill. I like the idea of improving your writing, and your song choices were a good example.

I do think we have to decide how to spend our time as we get older. We are in Texas visiting family, so I am late today. Family always comes first.

I enjoyed reading the mailbag today. I hope you catch a break from the heat.

manatita44 from london on July 12, 2021:

Yes Bro. Take a breather and you and Bev enjoy yourselves.

Starry, starry night is awesome! The images are up my street. They kiss the moon and whisper love-songs to Roses.

Yes. Tell stories. One of my strengths.

Thanks for answering my question. Peace.

Alyssa from Ohio on July 12, 2021:

Excellent advice this week Bill! Have a great one!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 12, 2021:


You give us all alot of inspiration through your words.

I love how you take the time to point out those special descriptive lines...that's the way we should write.

It shows us...thank you for these examples.

Music sometimes tosses words into my head...I can't wait to read the Riddle.

Have a great day.

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on July 12, 2021:

I love the way you say "No Regrets". This is not the first time I have read your thoughts about regret. I have used one of your sayings in my article. I just stole it. Lol. "Find new ways to say old things", I consider this the most powerful line in your article. I am not a native speaker and a student as well. It's all up to you how much you want to shape yourself. Eagerly waiting for the short story 'The Riddle".

Stay safe and healthy...

Rodric Anthony Johnson from Surprise, Arizona on July 12, 2021:

This Mailbag is good. One of the things I've learned from paying attention is how to express myself without sounding wooden.

When I write stories, I tend to do them longhand, in the past at least. I spelled out every situation and explained each phenom to cover all my bases just in case a reader has a question. I've learned not to be so wooden.

Mystery pulls people into a story, just the right amount. My question, Bill, is: When is mystery appropriate? Is it from chapter to chapter or every other chapter or what?

Your explanation that stories grab our attention encourages me to redo some of my older articles, lacing them with appropriate stories. I also picked up from you a while ago that we should make our written word beautiful but not overly complex. I never forget that you wrote that a lazy writer uses the same words more than once in a sentence. I have my thesaurus handy since I read it. You explained that you didn't mean adjectives or combining forms, or such as the word "the." My next question is: When is too much, too much trying to avoid the same word in a sentence? See what I did there?

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 12, 2021:

Bill, thank you for the shout-out; you are very kind and generous with your praise.

Song lyrics. As a singer, I tend to focus on the music, but you have caused me to pause and listen, really listen to the lyrics. I find myself amazed at the masterful use of words. As you said, we all have the same words at our disposal, but the craft of great writing is finding the combination that stirs memories and emotions.

I know several writers here on HP for whom English is a second language and I am blown away with their mastery of the written word.

Another Mailbag bursting with information and insight. Thank you, dear friend. I hope you have a wonderful week.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 12, 2021:

Hello Bill You are a great inspiration to us here and I admire your attitude. I am glad I found this mailbag. You write to encourage us further and to learn from what you know of best leaving us with your ideas and new thoughts. Have a good week.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

Misbah, your admiration of me is humbling. Thank you so very much. It's interesting, isn't it, that people can form such a bond, such a friendship, without meeting in person. I find it strange and very rewarding. You are a person I would love to meet one day. I doubt it will ever happen, and I find that sad, but I want you to know you have won my respect and admiration. I sense a good person in you. I sense a loving person in you. And I am proud to be your friend.

Sending you blessings always!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

Thank you Chrish, and my dogs thank you as well. I am living a very good life, my friend, and I am grateful. Take care and have a peaceful, easy day and week ahead.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

Thank you so much, Peggy! I cringe when I read that word "brilliant," but thank you nonetheless.

Enjoy each moment indeed, my friend. I'm going to do just that in another hour. The dogs are demanding their quality time with me.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

Miebakagh, thank you! I'm simply one writer helping other writers, but thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

Thank you Dora! I find you to be an inspiration and for that I thank you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

I do the same thing, Flourish, pick the lyrics apart, try to figure out what the heck the songwriter is saying. Sometimes I have no clue but I still like the song. lol

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

Thanks John! Blown away indeed! If I could write lyrics like those I included in the article, I would be a millionaire right now. lol But instead I'm just a poor, humble writer of words.

Happy Monday my friend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

Thank you Liz! I love what you said about Americanizing English. It is something we need to be aware of, the subtle differences found even in a common language. Thank you for mentioning that.

I hope your week is fantastic, my friend, and I hope this finds you well.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2021:

Thank you Chitrangada Sharan! I am always grateful for your support and your wise words. I hope your week ahead is everything you want it to be.

Misbah Sheikh from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on July 12, 2021:

Mr. Bill, have a wonderful Monday. Reading your mailbags is always a pleasure and a treat. I've always been close to people who were older than me since I was a child. I've always tried to learn from them because I think they're wise. Many of my HP friends are older than me. Here I'm referring to the people with whom I enjoy interacting the most. You are on the top of that list. There's something about you that sets you apart and makes you stand out from the rest and that's your wisdom, Sir.

When I learn something new, it always makes me very happy. And every Monday for the last 5 months has been very special for me because I've learned so much from you. I've noticed that I'm now giving more valid and reasonable responses to people. I'm still a student of yours, but you're a fantastic teacher.

I loved all of the questions and your responses to them. I like Manatita's question and the English as a Second Language question. Perhaps it's because English is also my second language. LOL.

In terms of lyrics, I'm a huge fan of lyrics. I've published two articles on song lyrics. One was about an Urdu song and the other in Spanish and English, which I attempted to explain and translate. I had a great time writing those pieces. I'm currently working on another article, this time on the punjabi language. I'm working on the translation and explanation right now.

I believe there are many works in the east that are not valued as much as they should be. So I'm attempting to combine the colors of east and west. Trying to make a rainbow. And trying to convey the message of Love so that we can see our similarities rather than our differences.

I'm delighted to see my name in the mailbag once more. Thank you for your admiration, love, and concern. Sir, I am eternally grateful.

Sending Blessings to you and your family

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on July 12, 2021:

I too strongly impressed by those song writers! I also love what you said about living life -- Take it Easy! Awesome! We really should take it easy or else we will never get out of it alive. I think you're living your best life Sir Bill, for me simple life is the best life. Thank God my beautiful sister Misbah is okay now!!

Have a wonderful day Sir Bill!!!!

Sending power hugs to your doggies.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 12, 2021:

You, and brilliant writers like you, make words sing!

We are similar in age, and yes, downtime becomes more enjoyable as well as necessary. Let's enjoy each moment until the lights are turned off.

Your mailbags are always packed with good advice, and often, a message of loving one another. Cheers to a fun and loving week ahead!

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on July 12, 2021:

Bill, the way you answer the mailbag question is wisdom indeed.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 12, 2021:

Thanks for the inspiration in your introduction on music lyrics. I also find that the questions in this mailbag are very interesting. As usual, I learn from your answers, especially this time, the answer to Manatita. Great attitude!

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 12, 2021:

We have the love of lyrics in common. So many people ignore the lyrics and they are often poetic or downright confusing or odd. I like to pick them apart. I'm glad you gave Linda and Misbah a shoutout.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 12, 2021:

Wonderful mailbag, Bill. I am constantly blown away by what wonderful writing is in some song lyrics. Those you shared are great examples. Bob Dylan is another great lyric writer, but there are many that inspire. I agree with always trying to tell a story with whatever form of writing you do, too. Have a great week.

Liz Westwood from UK on July 12, 2021:

As ever you give much food for thought. I view song lyrics as poetry with a tune.

Your comment about taking it easy should be an encouragement to us all. Too often we undervalue relaxation, when it should be considered a vital ingredient of a balanced life.

I really appreciate your free writing advice, especially the link to travel writing.

I too marvel at the skill of writers who have English as a second language. I struggled enough to Americanize my English. I am so grateful to Aesta for suggesting a free version of Grammarly.

I guess you could compare the HubPages community and especially your mailbags to one big ongoing writers' conference.

I missed the 'United States of Pizza'. Such a clever title.

Have a good week, Bill. Thanks for taking the time to share the benefits of your experience with us all.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 12, 2021:

Hello Bill!

Wishing you a happy Monday and a wonderful week ahead.

Loved your introductory paragraph, with some awesome lyrics. I believe that, without good lyrics, the song is without a soul.

Good questions by fellow writers, and your answers are full of wisdom. We have so much to do in real life, and a balance has to be done, with our online writing or other activities.

Thank you for sharing another wonderful edition of the mailbag.

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