Writers Observe Life and then Record It

14 Aug

003It seems like forever since I actually wrote one of these. My thanks, again, to Mari, Mel, and Christy, for graciously taking over for me the last three postings.  It was nice to take a break and it was nice to read the thoughts of other writers.  Sharing information is what this blog is all about so please, feel free to share your thoughts, as we move into fall in 2014.

So let’s get started with the quote of the day.


There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

Will Rogers


All I can say to that is OUCH!!!!!

We writers are the ones who learn by observation, so that those who pee on electric fences might save themselves some future injury and discomfort.

Just an observation by yours truly!


I know you are busy.  I’m busy too, and I recently took on another customer, so I’m busier, really, than I would like to be….but….take time out during the day to observe life.  Writers are the eyes of the reading public.  We are the creative observers of life.  We internalize that which we see, find words to express it, and then share in a way that our readers can “see” what we have seen.

How are we ever going to do that if we don’t get out there and observe?

Try this exercise…..


Go outside at some point today.  Take a five minute break and head outdoors.  Lie down on the grass and close your eyes.  Shhh….what do you hear?  Now open your eyes…what do you see?  Now close your eyes….what do you smell?  What do you feel? Categorize it all and save it for a time when you’ll need it.  If you are a true writer you’ll understand.


The Chariton Review is taking submissions for their Short Fiction Writing Contest.  Up to 5,000 words…I believe the entry fee is $20, and the deadline is September 30thYou can find it here.


This is a written prompt….think of a childhood scene from your own life when you had a wonderful summer excursion.  Maybe you went to the zoo or swimming at the local swimming hole.  Now write about it and see if an article or short story isn’t born from that memory.


A shout out to my friend Debbie who, like most of us, has her good days and her bad days, but she just keeps on keeping on.  Here’s to all of you who work in relative obscurity simply because you love writing.  You can find Debbie on HubPages if you follow this link.


I’ve mentioned this site before, but let’s revisit it today.  If you have never visited Kickstarter then do so now. Maybe you need some funding for a writing project…Kickstarter is a great place to consider.  Find it here.


I will mention my latest self-published novel before I leave.  Resurrecting Tobias can be purchased from my website at www.williamdhollandauthor.com.

And I’ll leave you with a passage from my new novel, Shadow Kills.

. “ Nobody is safe, whether you live in the bowels of New York City, or the idyllic wistfulness of the country.  Evil walks among us.  Hell, there are those who have never heard of Olympia, Washington, and yet twenty miles to the north of us, Ted Bundy called Tacoma his home, and fifty miles to the north of us, Gary Ridgeway dumped dead bodies as though they were cardboard at a recycling center.

Evil walks among us.

Plato said that ignorance is the root of all evil, but what is a sociopath ignorant of?  There is no moral dilemma for the depraved among us.  They are driven by a voice most of us will never hear.  It is not a lack of intelligence but rather a dysfunction so deeply ingrained as to be a part of their DNA.  They terrorize good, unharmed people, in the name of God or payback for cruelties paid to them in their youth, or whatever other justification they have manufactured.  One does not counsel such depravity, nor does one lobotomize it.  The only solution for peace-loving citizens, the only reaction that will bring them peace, is total annihilation.”


Have a great weekend, and thank you!



“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


16 Responses to “Writers Observe Life and then Record It”

  1. Shauna L Bowling August 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Lately I can’t even hear the birds over the tree bugs. They’re out in full force. I find it quite odd, because normally they don’t start singing until dusk. Maybe they’re as irritated as I am to have our peaceful neighborhood disrupted by the sounds of construction heavy equipment.

    Your new novel sounds chilling, Bill. You can be sure I’ll purchase a copy when it’s finished and on the market!

    • Billybuc August 14, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

      It’s funny, Sha, but the sounds of construction totally break my concentration. I would not be able to write at all if I had that happening nearby.

      • Shauna L Bowling August 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

        My windows are closed and the air is on. Right now all they’re doing is clearing. When the actual building begins it’ll be a lot noisier! I tried to fight building on the natural lots in our neighborhood, but lost. Hopefully, they’ll save the lot that directly behind mine for last – or not at all! That’s what I’m really hoping for.

      • Billybuc August 14, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

        Well, I’m hoping that as well my friend.

  2. Janine Huldie August 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Wow to the passage in your latest novel and seriously am so behind in reading books the last month sadly here with the kids being out of school. I have been reading with them at night though before bed and we just made another trip to the library today for more books for them. And you would also be proud of me that I also learned how to get free e-books from my public library online now for me, too (if I ever have a moment to read again). but still so proud of you my friend and promise once school starts back up will be trying to read your book and more soon, too. Happy Thursday again 🙂

    • Billybuc August 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

      Janine, I just found out recently that libraries had free ebooks….LOL It takes me a little while to catch up with the latest news. 🙂 I love that you read to your daughters…what a great gift.

  3. Ruchira Khanna August 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    ouch! I would prefer to observe n learn 😉
    Your new novel’s abstract sounds wonderful, Bill
    I wish you success in its completion.

    • Billybuc August 14, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

      LOL…observation does sound like a much better way to learn, doesn’t it, Ruchira? Thank you my friend.

  4. rjfuller2013 August 14, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    Just letting you know i am going to go outside and smell the roses.

    • Billybuc August 14, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      I’m heading out there myself very soon, Ruby. Thank you and happy sniffing!

  5. Jaye Denman August 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Bill – These little teasers from SHADOW KILLS you’re sprinkling in your blog posts are certainly whetting my appetite to read all of it. Looks as though there’s going to be another terrific novel in your future. Have a good weekend…..Jaye

    • Billybuc August 16, 2014 at 12:18 am #

      Thank you, Jaye. I’m enjoying the process. It’s a harder book to write, but I’m sure it will pass my inspection when it is finished.

  6. Michael Milec August 18, 2014 at 1:51 am #

    … let them pee… if that what they choose to do while their number is increasing! But how about the writers (us?!) The process of observation is surrounding us, I see the tiny birds building their own house to raise their family, working hard to provide… i see the ugly women doing make-up while driving ( (They knew it while at home) i see that in my flower garden thus far none of the honey-bee appeared this year ( sad)- they are eliminated by the governments programs, I see the dog-owners torturing their pets by restricting their freedom to live and run according to the nature design; i see and the pictures are whirling in my mind – then I come home physically tired not able to sit down to write and or to continue to read the novel recently publicized by my dear friend – thus all i know or am is becoming worthless.
    [ No one is worthy a pity in similar condition, if self-imposed .] ( The religious will ask their fellow believers ” pray for me” ) and that would not help, because the One who keeps His eye on prayers KNOWs it all…

    My friend, please accept my apology for this contribution, and have a good laugh …

    Be blessed and of good cheer, as you do.

    • Billybuc August 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      No laughter from me, Michael. It is always good to read your thoughts and I always appreciate them. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt feelings, and blessings to you always.

  7. Melanie Chisnall August 19, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    What a cool title for a book… Shadow Kills. I like it! As for the taking time out each day, yes, I couldn’t agree with you more. Lately I’ve been forcing myself take a 10 – 15 minute downtime. As we don’t have much of a garden and it’s still not so nice out front on the patio, I do it inside. Meditate or just put my feet up and lie on the bed. I can’t believe how refreshed I feel after! Had to smile with you mentioning autumn. Feels like just the other day I was saying how autumn was here with us and now we’re going into spring.. finally! Hope you’re having a wonderful day my friend 🙂

    • Billybuc August 19, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Melanie, I hate to admit it, but I still get confused by the different seasons in your part of the world. LOL Thank you for the visit. You are one of my favorite writer friends, and I appreciate you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: