Archive | April, 2018

I Won’t Do That

24 Apr

I knew a guy once, this is going back maybe ten years ago, maybe fifteen . . . anyway, he had a band, and he would use email to let us all know when his band was playing.  I’m not talking about an occasional email; I’m talking about three or four emails each week giving us all date and time and location.

All well and good, I guess, although a bit overboard, but I would have persisted through that onslaught except for the fact that he never talked about anything else, and he certainly never gave a rat’s butt about those of us who had to read his damned emails.  Not once do I remember him asking how I was doing, or how my family was . . . it was just the same message hammered home day in and day out.

I never did go listen to his band. There was no way in hell I was going to support him when he hadn’t taken the time to treat me like a friend he cared about.

I try to remember that now when I’m in writing/marketing mode.  There is more to life than my writing career.  There are far more important things in the world than some new book I’ve written, or some new article I’ve penned.

The audience for my writing is composed of real people. They have lives. They do not need me to beat them over the head with advertising, day in and day out.  They are people I actually care about, and I refuse to dip so low as to become nothing more than a poor facsimile of a cheap commercial.  You all know I’m a writer.  I don’t need to continually announce that to the world.  Read my books, don’t read my books, it really makes no difference to me.

What is important to me are relationships, and I refuse to jeopardize those relationships in order to sell one copy of my work. I just won’t do it.

The Gospel According To Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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Scrunched for Time and Rolling in Clover

17 Apr

I knew this week was coming, but I’m no more prepared for it today as I was three months ago.

This is the week our farmers market begins.  Every Wednesday, from now until the end of September, will be spent manning a booth at that market, which means I am one day short for my freelance writing load.

Which means consolidating five days of writing into four.

Which means this boy is going to be scrambling for the next five months.

And the thing is, I love it all!

I love working the Market; I love writing; and I love summer.

It’s all good in my world!

During the summer of 1967, my buddy Frank and I needed some part-time work. We heard the Longshoreman’s office down on the docks hired temporary workers each morning for odd jobs around the waterfront, so one morning in early June we went down there at five a.m. and signed up for temp work.  As luck would have it we were called on to work on a ship at Dock B, a big old cargo ship . . . our job was to shovel coal into the ship’s furnace.

It was ninety degrees that day, but in the furnace room it had to be one-thirty or hotter, and by lunchtime Frank and I had reached our physical limit.  We both grabbed our lunch sacks, walked down the gangplank, and never looked back.  That job, and shoveling pig poop at a pig farm, are the two worst jobs I have had in my fifty years of working.

I mention that because having my schedule disrupted, to work at a job I love doing, is not a disruption at all.  It is pure joy!

I have never been so lucky, or felt so blessed.

I am a writer and how cool is that?

I am a part-time chicken farmer and how cool is that?

My life is pretty great!

What’s the worst job you ever had?

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

The Long and Winding Road

10 Apr

Writer’s come in many shapes and sizes.

I’ve lived in Alaska, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington.

I’m a recovering alcoholic!

I’ve been divorced, I am currently married, and I am a father.

My parents are both dead . . . most of my adopted family is dead.

I have degrees in Marketing, Economics, and Education.

I’m left-handed but fairly ambidextrous because the nuns didn’t believe in anyone being left-handed in the 1950’s.  It was just too much of a bother for them.

I’ve owned four businesses.

I was homeless for a couple weeks back in 1989.  Didn’t enjoy it at all, but I had it coming.

I taught school for almost twenty years.  I’ve been a warehouseman, a salesman, a data processor, and a tutor.  I’ve cleaned pig stalls and shoveled coal into the blast furnace of ships.  I worked in a bowling alley and a lumber yard.  I’ve been a truck driver. I’ve worked for fifty years and probably forgot several professions.

I am a Liberal 90% of the time, but more than willing to listen to the Dark Side if they are not insulting or condescending LOL…all in jest!

I treat people with respect, as I was raised to do, but I have a low tolerance for deceit.

I do not suffer fools for long.

I have empathy for the lowest of low.  I relate better to the sinners of the world.  I am painfully shy, but can schmooze with practically anyone, because I genuinely care about their story.

I have zero tolerance for rudeness, and a low-patience threshold for boring, mundane conversations.

I will always stand up for the underdogs.

I love The Beatles and baseball.

I do not trust corporations at all.

I do not trust politicians at all.

I am rapidly approaching 70 years of age and I have no fear of death.

I won the DNA lottery and am ridiculously healthy.

And all of that leads me to today, a writer, a publisher of I don’t know how many novels and novellas.

All of that leads me to today, an urban farmer, the raiser of chickens, and a man who is still fascinated with life and all it has to offer.

The long and winding road of Bill Holland.

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

 

From Yesterday to Today

3 Apr

I’m adopted!

Some of you know that already, but for those who didn’t, I was adopted at nine months after being in nine foster homes. Evidently I wasn’t cute enough while at those first nine homes, and evidently I turned on the charm for my adoptive parents on Try Number Ten.

It was pretty obvious that I was adopted as I grew up.  I didn’t look like anyone else in the family.  I didn’t act like anyone else in the family. I was a painfully shy kid who, even at family functions, would be over in the corner reading a book or just sitting quietly listening to everyone else talk.  It’s just always been that way for me.  It still is. I’m fine with it.  I used to feel weird about it, when I was younger, but now I just figure that’s the way it is, I’m happy with who I am, and that’s just the real of it.

Anyway, growing up, I observed.  I listened to conversations. I heard stories.  I made note of different speech patterns.  I paid close attention to nature. I saw the nuances in life.  I turned philosophical often, delving for answers to questions. Why was I turned over to an adoption agency? Why does one person act like an ass while another acts like a saint?  Why are girls so friggin’ weird and mysterious?

We didn’t have much money. We were never poor but we sure weren’t swimming in extra cash, either.  Many a day was spent inventing games using only my imagination.  Many a day was spent roaming the neighborhood or exploring on my bike.  Everything was fascinating and mysterious.  I wanted to learn, just not from the nuns at school.

Of course I couldn’t see the big picture. I had no way of knowing that it was all to prepare me for today and my life as a writer.  None of us have that kind of vision into the future and perhaps it is well that we don’t.

I wouldn’t change any of it.  I love my life.  I love that people pay me money for doing something I am passionate about.  I’m thrilled that the shy little kid in the corner found happiness in being himself.  I find that beyond cool!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”