Awareness on a Fall Day

14 Nov

The first rain in fifteen days arrived today.  Driest fall in sixty-seven years in this neck of the woods, or so say the experts.  The dogs are on the floor, in front of the wood stove, drying off after their walk.  They look quite content and in no hurry to go anywhere, thank you very much.  Me, I’m thinking this is a good morning to do some reading, in front of that same wood stove, as snug as a bug in the rug, a shout out to my dad, who said that often when tucking me in at night.

When tucking me in at night . . .

Makes me think of all those kids out there, in the big, cruel world, who have no bed to be tucked into, all those kids who have no parents to do the tucking, all those kids who would do just about anything to trade places with me.

I was watching a documentary last night about drug lords in Mexico, all of the random deaths, citizens in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I followed that cheerful documentary up with one about poverty in Jamaica, five miles from Five-Star resorts, and I thought about the randomness of it all, how some of us are just plain lucky while others wouldn’t even know how to spell luck.

5,000 people in England stood in the rain for hours, waiting their turn to take a swab test to see if their blood matched the blood of a dying child badly in need of a transfusion.  Random strangers reaching out to help a child they do not know.  I cried without shame when I read that . . . fake news?  I doubt it, but even if it was, it’s the kind of fake news I prefer to read these days.

People often ask me where my ideas come from.  Are they kidding?  On any given day, if I open my eyes and ears, inspiration is waiting for me.  It’s on the news, on the streets, from every corner of the world, just waiting for me to notice it and write about it in story form.  Some of my novels have graphic violence, and I didn’t have to dream it up. Check out the latest on Mexican drug cartels and the murder of innocents south of our border.  Check out the random acts of violence on American streets.  My novels may be fiction, but they are definitely based on reality.

It comes down to awareness and empathy for me. I suspect most writers are overflowing with both qualities.

Random thoughts on this Monday morning as the drizzle drizzles and the woodstove smoke rises above it all.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

34 Responses to “Awareness on a Fall Day”

  1. carolee44 November 14, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

    Hi Bill: Been a while since I have visited. I know the internet s a necessary part of our life in many ways. I enjoyed reading this and I wanted to connect again with you…Someone I have always admired.

    • Billybuc November 14, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

      That is very kind of you, Carol. It is oddly easy to lose contact with online friends,even though we are always online. lol I’m not sure how that happens, but thank you for reaching out.

  2. Janine Huldie November 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm #

    Bill, I am constantly looking and observing (or at least trying to). So, in regards to writing inspiration is always around me and just have to tap into it when I can I suppose. Thanks for that reminder and hoping you are enjoying your Thursday so far 🙂

    • Billybuc November 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm #

      Thank you Janine! Without a doubt, a writer such as you are obviously aware…just one more reason why I like you. 🙂 Happy Thursday my friend.

  3. 1authorcygnetbrown November 14, 2019 at 5:09 pm #

    Yes, it is all about awareness, isn’t it? I go to school and I see these kids on their phones watching other kids doing crazy things instead of learning the assignments and I have to wonder about their future ability to function in our world. Then I wonder if perhaps what we are trying to teach them isn’t what they really need to know to function either. If we could teach them an interest in interacting with the world around them, I can imagine how much better they would function in the future. There’s no question that these children are bright even the kids labeled as lower functioning!

    • Billybuc November 14, 2019 at 5:13 pm #

      Totally agree with you, Donna! Change comes slowly in the education system, but I do think it is coming. Anyway, I hope so.

      • 1authorcygnetbrown November 14, 2019 at 9:50 pm #

        Hopefully for the better!

  4. explorereikiworld November 14, 2019 at 5:34 pm #

    Love the, “as snug as a bug in the rug.”

    I agree with you about the world news. All the more reason we ought to spread out our wings of compassion and empathy with the hopes to see a better world around us.

    As a writer…ideas are plenty around us. The question is what all we want to pen about.

    Enjoy your wet Thursday.

    • Billybuc November 14, 2019 at 5:44 pm #

      Thank you Ruchira, and wet it is and will be….love the idea of spreading our wings of compassion and empathy.

  5. Susan Zutautas November 14, 2019 at 6:56 pm #

    Wow, that many days in Washington without any rain would have been like heaven to me when I lived there. If you’d like I could send you some of this white stuff that keeps falling from the sky 🙂
    I sure know what you mean about all the crime these days. Toronto used to be one of the safest places to live. Sadly that’s not true anymore. Where I live it is getting worse each year as well.
    I’m so grateful for my family, friends, and a roof over my head. My heart goes out to all those children that have never had a family or a bed to sleep in.
    I’d better go before I babble on too much 🙂 Have a great day, Bill.

    • Billybuc November 15, 2019 at 2:53 pm #

      Babble all you want, Susan! You are always welcome. As for crime,we don’t go out much at night anymore. Why risk it, you know? Daddy didn’t raise a fool.

  6. manatita Hutchinson November 15, 2019 at 12:30 am #

    Sad stories Bill. They seem to need the energies of people like us, but I’m not sure how many are listening in this field of struggle.

    I experienced the wind and rain too, as I made another emergency visit to Texas to see my sick sister. She has stage 4 cancer, but was improving when I left today, or was it yesterday? 00: 28 hrs here. Just returned from poetry post one and a half hour’s sleep. Must be getting younger, Bro. Ha ha.

    I hear you though. Let us continue the Love and Hope. Peace!

    • Billybuc November 15, 2019 at 2:51 pm #

      All we have is love and hope, Manatita, the universal and timeless gifts. Blessings to your sister, my friend.

  7. nightlake November 15, 2019 at 1:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing the amazing news about 5,000 people waiting to see if their blood matched with that of the child. It is like a drop of fresh rain in a world where bad news sells.

    • Billybuc November 15, 2019 at 2:48 pm #

      I just had to share that, nightlake…we all need to hear that story.

      Thank you my friend!

  8. Lori Colbo November 15, 2019 at 6:06 am #

    I was reflecting on Thanksgiving holiday today and thinking how much we take for granted. We sit around a table of sumptuous food and say we are thankful for some many things. Last week I was listening to a Christian talk radio show. A man from the International Bible League. He was telling horrific stories of Christians and other religious people in other lands being persecuted and tortured in unspeakable ways. He told the story of a couple who watched their enemies drown their children. That was only one of many others. One lad from India who watched his whole family killed and escaped said all they want from Americans is Bible to give them hope, encouragement, and strength to face each terrible day. They did not ask for us to pray they would be rescued, to stop the persecution, only that God would give them the strength to face what’s ahead by having Bibles. I pulled off the road and wept, I called and made a small donation. I have my precious children and grandchildren safe from evil enemies such as ISIS and their likes. I live in a 400 sq. ft. trailer, have bald tires on my car I can’t afford to replace, and nothing much thieves would want to take if they broke in. But compared to the poverty you were speaking of I am filthy rich and blessed beyond measure and thankful for all of it, good and bad. When someone is nasty to me, may I always remember that couple whose enemies forced them to watch them drown their children because they worshiped a God they didn’t believe in.

    I watched a little video in class of Stephen King. He told about where he gets his ideas. I suspect you’ve seen it but he said he gets a lot of ideas from the news and such. I think telling stories from things we see and hear can reach more people with a message. I always love hearing your thoughts, Bill. God bless you.

    • Billybuc November 15, 2019 at 2:47 pm #

      And I thank you for sharing your thoughts, Lori, and I love your attitude about life. You always give such heartfelt comments, and I appreciate it. Some day Bev and I are going to take a drive out on the peninsula, and I hope to meet you on that day.

      Blessings to you always

  9. phoenix2327 November 15, 2019 at 12:13 pm #

    Curling up in front of a fire and reading sounds like my idea of Heaven.

    You may be aware that my childhood was far from idyllic. But, believe it or not, I am grateful for it. I read about how children suffer in other parts of the world and think, there but for the grace of God… So yeah, growing up in the South Bronx wasn’t great, but it could have been so much worse.

    As far as inspiration goes, it’s funny where it can turn up. In my writing group, we do an exercise where random items are placed on a table and you’re given 20 minutes to come up with a story. You’d be pleasantly surpised what people can come up with a seashell, a pen, a garden trowel and a matchbook can come up with.

    Have a lovely weekend, Bill, and enjoy your book.

    • Billybuc November 15, 2019 at 2:42 pm #

      Zulma,growing up in the South Bronx is a world removed from my childhood, but I love your attitude, lady! And you are so correct. I traded a great childhood in for struggle lately, but it had the same effect on me…gratitude!

      Thanks for sharing…thanks for your friendship…and Happy Friday!

  10. marlenebertrand November 16, 2019 at 5:44 am #

    I see things while I am out and about, but nothing stirs my creativity anywhere near the level you have reached. I always admire how you can take the simplest thing and magnify it into something amazing.

    • Billybuc November 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm #

      Thank you Marlene! I just have a very active mind, I guess. Years as a child and teen, by myself, daydreaming.

  11. Nikki Khan November 16, 2019 at 11:55 am #

    Happy November Bill!
    There is lots of rain in London, almost everyday. So much chilling to freeze your bones. But yes, Christmas is near, so lots of excitement on how and where to spend our holidays.
    My writing is mostly inspired from my daily routine, people around me. There is inspiration in everything, depends on how we look at it. But I normally try to stay on positive line, it gives hope to fight and win, at the end.
    Stay cosy and rosy as life goes on.
    Greetings to Bev.

    • Billybuc November 16, 2019 at 3:40 pm #

      Thank you Nikki,and I will send along your greetings to Bev. Yes, you positive messages send out hope,and that is such a very important message. Keep doing what you are doing,, and blessings to you always.

  12. divalounger November 17, 2019 at 4:09 pm #

    I think so much of writing is about noticing and empathy. It can be the smallest of things. I often write sitting out in my garden under the trees as I watch insects doing their insect thing and imagine their world.

    You are a master at prose. So keep noticing. And keep writing.

    • Billybuc November 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm #

      And you are a master at poetry, so keep writing and noticing. The world needs the beauty of your poetry,my friend.

  13. Sageleaf November 20, 2019 at 1:24 pm #

    You know, Big Bro, I still itch to write a novel. I’ve convinced myself that I’m not good at fiction, but reading this here, you’re absolutely right. I have thought recently about researching something in history – that seems entertaining – and either re-writing it to take place in the future (I do love sci-fi) or spinning the historical tale into a story and when I can’t imagine something, look to reality, as you said. There is inspiration everywhere. Now, in the meantime, I sure do love telling my own stories and take time to journal every day, and I miss writing my own stories. I admit I’m experiencing some burnout on my own blog. I’m realizing that I wish to be writing stories again. I don’t know what that looks like just yet, but, as always, you continue to inspire me. I hope you’ve had a good week. I realize you published this on Thursday last week. Ah well…I hope you’re staying warm and holding down the fort while Bev is away. 🙂

    • Billybuc November 20, 2019 at 3:24 pm #

      Thanks Lil Sis! I know all about burnout on a blog….and I’ve had to walk away when that happens. If I’m not feeling it, there is no point in writing it. As for Bev being away, one finds out very quickly how much a partner does when that partner is gone. Friday can’t get here fast enough. Me and the dogs need Bev.

      Hugs coming your way, kind lady!

  14. Andrea Stephenson November 25, 2019 at 5:41 pm #

    Awareness is the key all round, whether to writing something good or living a good life. We are certainly lucky to be able to enjoy the comforts of the season.

    • Billybuc November 25, 2019 at 5:46 pm #

      Exactly, Andrea…we are lucky for sure!

  15. Sarah Potter Writes November 26, 2019 at 6:26 pm #

    Dear Bill, it seems we’ve had most of your November rain falling on us in the UK. If anybody dares deny climate change, then they’re burying their faces in the sand (or the river silt!). In some parts of our country, rivers have burst their banks that have rarely done so before in recorded history. Like you, when I’m indoors in the warm when there’s rain bucketing down outside and the winds are howling, the nights long and dark, I imagine how horrendous it must be for those who sit shivering in shop doorways, drenched through and hungry. It’s all so overwhelming and shouldn’t still be happening in so-called civilised society. Where do we even start? I guess we writers have the power of the pen at our disposal with which to raise awareness, but then we have politicians apparently armed with magic money trees and all the usual rhetoric D: Our upcoming general election has turned into a minefield of information and misinformation. I am presently ploughing my way through reading the full genuine rather than fake manifestos of four parties, each manifesto between 70-90 pages long!

    Hugs to you, my friend. By now, I’m guessing you and the dogs have Bev back home again 🙂 My mister, son, and the dog hate it when I go away for a few days to visit my daughter and grandkids, but they doubly appreciate me when I reappear again!

    • Billybuc November 27, 2019 at 2:55 pm #

      Dear Sarah…don’t get me started on politicians and the money tree. I am so disgusted by the hollow promises. I try to concentrate on myself…what can I do to make things better? At least I can control my actions, and nobody can buy my favor.

      Have a splendid remainder of the week, my friend. I appreciate you!


      • Sarah Potter Writes December 26, 2019 at 4:02 pm #

        Dear Bill, ditto to that. Most succinctly and wisely put. Hugs to you, too, my dear friend.

  16. Billybuc November 19, 2019 at 3:21 pm #

    I truly am touched that you thought enough of me to write this review. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m very happy that you enjoyed my “ride through the darkness.”


  1. Wounded | Harvesting Hecate - November 18, 2019

    […] Bill Holland is passionate about life and passionate about writing.  He shares observations and questions about both on his blog Artistry with Words.  Bill is also a prolific writer.  Shadows Kill is the first in a series of (so far) four unusual thrillers.  It is a gritty, intelligent and fast-paced book that will have you hooked until the final chapter. The author has a knack of making you care about the characters very quickly, which means that you’re both rooting for them to win through and fearful about what might befall them. The book starts from an unusual viewpoint, not that of a straightforwardly ‘good’ cop or investigator, but of a character who is a vigilante of sorts and therefore poses questions about morality. But despite this, I came to care for Eli very quickly and couldn’t wait to turn the page to find out how it ended. A well-written exciting read and a great introduction to a series.  You can buy Bill’s books on Amazon and you can find his blog here. […]

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