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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment #400

The Finale

And so, this is it! There will be no more. Y’all will have to find something else to do with your Monday mornings, because this series is about to go to the Writing Graveyard. Rest in Peace.

I hope you found something of value along the way. I hope this series has helped you in some way. I know it has helped me.

Here, then, is the final installment of The Writer’s Mailbag.

The Mail Room

The Mail Room

My Challenge to All of You

I’m going to semi-leave all of you with one more challenge. I want each of you, if you have the time, of course, to write one more poem, or one more short story, and post it here on HP using the words “Bill’s Challenge” along with the actual title of your poem/short story.

I have only one requirement for this challenge: I want it to be your best work you are capable of at the time of the writing. Take some time with it. Put some serious effort into it. I want to see how much you have grown as a writer in the time I have known you.

In advance, for those who take on the challenge, I thank you!

Poetry From Moi?

From Ann: This is a mean question, as I know you say you can't write poetry (I know different as you are someone whose prose is often pure poetry)! Will you please write a poem about your favourite fictional character (yours or someone else's)?

Ann, my friend, I don’t have another one in me, but I do have one (the only one) written for my good friend Tobias from “Resurrecting Tobias.” I would share that with you if I had a copy of it at home but, alas, I don’t. I also included it in a Hub, long ago, but I’m not even sure what the name of that Hub was.

Anyway, I appreciate the challenge, but it would take me far too much effort and concentration to even approach a passable and acceptable poetic effort.

Life after HP

Life after HP

Staying in Touch

From Greg: How can we continue to follow your work after you’ve terminated publications on HP? Additionally, in your next venture, will you still be offering advice to budding writers, or is this next step a whole different arena? Thanks In advance for answering these last couple shots from me.

Greg, I was going to leave you some links, but I’m always afraid HP will flag me for being too self-promoting, so instead I will do this. You can find me on Facebook under Bill Holland. You can find me on my new website “As We Wonder,” with a www in front of that and a .com at the end. There is a blog on that website, and you can leave comments on that blog. There are also links to Twitter and YouTube, although the YouTube channel does not have any videos on it yet…but it will soon.

You already have my email address, so that about covers it. Thanks for asking.


From Linda: “I have one question for you. If it is worthy of the Mailbag, it will be in #400. If you would prefer to answer here or in a personal message, that's OK too. You've written (almost) 400 of these, in the span of about 7 years. Looking back, especially at those early postings, is there anything you would have done differently?”

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Linda, I really try not to regret anything in my past. It all added up to the person I am today, and that is true for HP as well. My career here on HP turned out infinitely better than I expected when I started, so it would be silly for me to wish I had done things differently.

It’s been one hell of a ride. Yes, I know, it’s just a writing site, one of many. It’s not the Pulitzer Prize nor is it the NY Time Bestseller list, but it is an important chapter of my life, and all of you are important friends in my life.

So, no, not a thing would I do differently!

Honest Opinion of the Writing on Hp

From Robert: “Okay, it’s time for a “tell all” from a veteran of this site. What do you think of the quality of writing on HP? It seems to me, and this may sound harsh, that there is a lot of ‘not so good’ writing, and a handful of really good writing.”

Robert, I hope I don’t disappoint you, but I’m not into bashing my fellow writers. Just like in any other pursuit, there are various levels of quality. Tell the truth, I wouldn’t know good poetry from bad; I only know what seems good to me, and writing in general is a lot like that. Judging writing is a very personal activity. That is why “best of” lists always contain such a wide-variety of works.

HP is a lot like life. There are those who struggle. There are those just getting by. There are those who are fairly normal, and there are those who are exceptional. The thing I think is important, though, is that most of the writers on HP are really trying, and they are continuing a very important tradition in our society. With all of the news about book-banning of late, I think writing is more important today than ever. Society needs writers. We are the storytellers. We are the chroniclers. We mirror society, we record the acts of society, and we comment on society, and that means our writings are crucial if society is to thrive.

May you all find the wonder in life.

May you all find the wonder in life.

And so It Goes

Saying goodbye to anyone sounds so final, and I really don’t like it. I didn’t even tell my best friend, Frank, goodbye the last time I saw him, even though I knew he would be dead within months. I simply said “I’ll catch you somewhere down the road, buddy,” and left it like that.

And, so, I won’t say goodbye to any of you. What I will say is it has been my absolute pleasure to know each and every one of you. I have learned from you all, and I am very grateful for all that you gave me over these past ten years. I am also grateful that you continue to add to the literacy of this world, through your writings, and I think that is so very important.

If you have a passion for writing please, please, continue to feed that passion. If you don’t make money doing so, know that you are still fulfilling a purpose, a purpose first fulfilled thousands of years ago, when the first storytellers entertained their clan with ancient drawings on walls. The legacy is in your hands, and there is a responsibility which comes with that legacy. Please, treat it with the respect it is due.

If you have a desire to keep tabs on me, you can find me at my new website, As We Wonder. Just follow the instructions I mentioned earlier, the www thing and the .com at the end thing. It will also lead you to links for my Facebook page and YouTube.

It isn’t completed yet, probably won’t be for a month or so, but I would love to see you over there, commenting on the blog when you feel like it, and watching the videos. Bev and I are going to have fun with the videos. We want to capture the wonder in life, from the mundane wonders to the holy cow wonders, and everything in-between. So we hope you join us in that endeavor.

And for the love of God, if you are ever in Western Washington, I will be insulted if you don’t reach out, let me know, and meet up with me. It would be my thrill to meet any of you in person.

Blessings and love to you all! I have one final gift for you all, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to receive it.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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