The Everlasting Post

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Well…it has been quite a marathon to finish this post. I should perhaps check, but it feels like one of the longest I have ever attempted (that’s a warning by the way!) I know what a pain in the neck long posts are, so I will not be upset by you skipping this one.

Every week bloggers eagerly participate in the weekly SHARE-YOUR-WORLD challenge, telling us all about their views on the world and experiences in life. The SHARE-YOUR-WORLD questions originate with Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, and here is the link so you can take a peek at her original post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/11/11/share-your-world-11-11-19/

This is my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post…and it is really really long! I have been ill with a stinking cold all week, still coughing and sniffling. It seems to be going on and on! I had to go into work because there was noone who could cover my shirts (I was covering holidays for other staff.)

I can’t go to Wales to see my family member who has cancer until I am better. Jack wants to risk seeing me tomorrow, but I am not so sure that is a good idea.

I have had to spend longer resting at home than I enjoy. So little by little I have been working on this post…and it grew longer and longer and longer! I have rejiggled the order of the questions because my answer to one of the questions was even longer than this cold of mine is lasting.

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Do you let sleeping dogs lie?

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I suspect I do for the most part. I just read an interesting article about the origin of this idiom, and the helpful citation of some modern equivalents of this phrase spoke more to me, I must admit.

I think I have come to see that there are often so many different ways to “skin a cat” (sorry Taylor Swift and all cat lovers generally) that I don’t need to stir up controversy over the vast majority of things. Often there is no one “right” way to do things, or a “black and white” viewpoint. Often there lots of different ways of handling a situation or an issue, that are acceptable. When somebody insists that there is only one way to view a situation, I am cautious of them. It seems a tad immature to think that way. I like to see an issue from other people’s point of view, to understand where they are coming from, even if I don’t necessarily agree.

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I don’t want to stir controversy or provoke arguments. I don’t want to cause upset and incense those with strong feelings or opinions. For the most part I am diplomatic and tactful, and try not to disturb others or incite anyone to annoyance, aggression or rage. On many matters, I would conclude that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

But occasionally, I speak my mind, I never know when it is going to happen – I think the last time was when I got all choked up about the subject of gambling in a comment on a blogger’s post. I don’t like to be forceful with my opinions, but when you have personally been affected by an issue, I can see how easy it is to “throw coals onto the fire”.

What’s the strangest pet name (for adults) that you’ve ever heard someone called?

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I mentioned to another blogger, in a comment on her fabulous post, that there are a few funny pet names that are commonly used in various parts of the UK.

  • Where I grew up (that’s Liverpool, in case you did not lnow), I heard the name “luv” or “la” all the time. Man, woman, child – there was no differentiating.
  • In Stoke, near to where I have some family – everyone seems to use the pet name “duck”. Again, your age or sex matter not.
  • In Plymouth, we heard folk calling us “lover”. Yup, people we had only just me were greeting us “alright me lover?”
  • In Aberdeenshire, we heard men called “loons”.

…and I am sure there are more.

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On a more personal note, I call Jack, “Shrek” and “Gru”. I also call him “Dumpling”, “Blue Eyes” and  “Judge”. I may explain some of those more one day (we’ll see). Still not ready to share the names he calls me.

One of my bosses calls me “Dimitri” and my workmate “Sergei” (think Meerkats – although I think it is Sergei and Alexander really – I have no idea how I became Dimitri).

I can think of such a long long list of interesting pet names my friends have for their spouses, siblings, or friends…I will stop now, because this post could end up going on indefinitely. But I love it when a couple let slip their pet names for each other!

Do you like to dance?   If yes, what’s your favorite and if no, why not?

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Yes I do! I like dancing at parties. But I kind of do my own thing.

I struggle at salsa parties. Yes…that’s the word, I “struggle”, which kind of takes the enjoyment out of it. I have danced with so many brilliant dancers, men from Columbia, Ecuador and Puerto Rico, who have been very patient with me, but I am still kind of rubbish.

I just like having a good time with friends with great dance songs. There are some tracks that I absolutely love dancing to. But I will dance to pretty much anything with a beat.

I am not great at “proper dancing” though. I did have some dance lessons at stage school, but I preferred singing lessons by far.

What to I like to dance to? Oh so many songs!!! I will give you two songs that always get me up on the dance floor doing my thing!

When Jack and I go public…I need to be careful, because I know how much he wants to film me doing my Beyonce moves. I have danced for him (no, not that kind of dancing!), I mean my Beyonce routine. But I would not let him film me.

Is copying and pasting images or information off the Internet plagiarism?   Do you credit those whose work you ‘borrow freely’ or do you think the idea is repugnant?

“Repugnant” is a word I would rarely use for anyone except those who commit heinous callas acts that show a disregard for life and dignity.

When I was at school, I first came across the term “plagiarism.” It took me a while to understand what it meant. My best friends and I were in Set One for everything. I remember in Year Seven, Sadie and I were assigned to produce a project about Kenya for our Geography class. It was gorgeous! I let Sadie keep it because she was the creative one. Coloured paper and glitter and sequins. It was a technovisual delight! I did more of the research. I read all sorts about Kenya. We didn’t use the internet back then. But I do remember going to the library and reading a lot of books.

I think I copied information word for word out of those books with my own hand-writing and then stuck the information into our project. I cannot remember writing down a list of all the books that information I had copied had come from. But we were twelve. Neither of us had ever been to Kenya. I don’t thing either of us had been beyond Manchester actually. When it came to images… well, the two of us visited local travel agents and asked for brochures on Kenya or Africa. At home, we wielded scissors and glue and decorated our project. Our geography teacher loved the project. A* and we were sent to the Headmaster with our project to be given the illustrious “Gold Star”. Nobody ever assumed that the two of us had ever stepped foot in Kenya. Technically none of it was our work.

But the teachers were awarding us for our effort to learn, research, compile the information we had found noteworthy, and present it beautifully. Of course, we were made to feel good about our efforts by being given top grades, but we were not paid a penny for the hours we spent on our project. I would presume that the original photographers whose images were used in those brochures were paid at some point, as were the authors of the books and articles I read about Kenya. Although my friend and I called it “our project”…we deserved very little credit for it in truth. We were just made to feel good for our enthusiasm on learning, researching and presenting information. That’s what the teachers were trying to accomplish afterall – to stir a love of learning in us children.

When I was in my Year Eleven English class we were asked to write an original poem, which we would then read to the class. My poem was rubbish – so I thought. I don’t remember the poem actually. But it was about gossip. I didn’t like the poem one bit. I was trying to do what out teacher had told us, count the syllables and try to make it rhyme. Poetry has never been my cup of tea, so I did not feel connected to my poem. I remember it as a perfunctory exercise. My teacher loved it though. She went on and on about it to the class. Another A* and another Gold Star.

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One of my classmates stood up and read his poem. It was long, it rhymed, and was very funny. The class all loved it. But my teacher was not impressed. Apparently, it was a popular poem by a famous poet. That was the first time I heard the word “plagiarism”.

I didn’t understand what was wrong at first. His poem was by far the best of the day – it was the highlight of the lesson. We were all thoroughly entertained (whereas all the other poems read that day were kind of forgettable). I loved him for picking such a great poem, even if he didn’t write it. It took a long time for me to understand the implications of his actions. Our poems would make up part of the coursework submitted for our English GCSEs. They would go towards our eventual grade. I never cared about grades, all I cared about was escaping school! It was a very bizarre experience, one I would not wish upon any child.  Although no money was involved, to stand there and claim he had written that poem and that it was his work, his idea that he had cleverly developed – later it dawned on me why that was not good. I still loved him as my friend though.

I sometimes wonder if the reason why I struggled, was because for years I had done my friend’s homework for them. I found the work easy (maths, science, geography, history in particular, trusting me with your French or Spanish homework was a risk. I could not help with music or art, or anything like poetry). I thought I was being helpful. I thought it was a lovely thing to do. I thought I was helping my school friends, who did not seem to find the work, nor the tests, as easy as I did. I just wanted to help them survive this necessary evil called “school”. It took me a long to time to realize it was not really in their best interests to do their work for them.

Throughout school, it never ever crossed my mind that it could be considered cheating. Even during exams, I have finished the test really quickly and then noticing my friend was struggling, I would tip my test paper up so they could see my answers. I only thought kind thoughts. I had no idea what I was doing was not a good thing.

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I kind of understand a bit more now. I keep telling my friend to stop doing her son’s homework for him. She wants him to qualify to get into a posh private school nearby. At the end of the day, he has to pass tests to have a chance of getting into this school. She can’t take those tests for him. Even if he achieves a good result, it all depends on the results of the other kids sitting those tests.

When I was younger I didn’t understand because school was just a necessary evil. I was achieving A grades and high percentage results in everything (except music and art). But I was not there for credit, or recognition or praise. I was there because apparently, my parents would be sent to prison if I did not go to school. I hated the segregation of children into “sets”. It ended up with the kids in Set One thinking they were something special, better than others. Which we weren’t. It is the qualities of the heart that add value to a human – not whether they can write a 22 page essay on MacBeth. My parents gave us balanced praise for acts of kindness and generosity – not for our achievements in academic or sporting pursuits. They wanted to cultivate in us beautiful qualities, not a desire for glory.

I hated my teachers giving me praise. They were wrong in some of the comments they were making, I was not special, or gifted, or exceptionally talented. I just had an awesome advantage not every child has – I had a huge amount of time with my parents, who read with me, did maths with me, taught me many practical skills and took me to work with them – before I ever started school. I had been trained to sit and learn. I had a lot of experience in thinking about information I had read and expressing it my own words. It made school a doddle. Where I had no training or experience was music and art – and those were the subjects I struggled with. I hated any hint of competition or rivalry. I was not interested in that. I just wanted to be lovely, like my mum and dad. I would see the other kids getting all stressed about their work, so I thought I would help them out. It seemed like a kind thing to do. But apparently it was bad. Lesson learned I suppose.

Or was it?

Fast Forward to work – first of all paid work. I had one scary boss. She was a competitive, ruthless, critical person. And I knew there was only one way I was going to ensure she did not make my life misery. I was going to make her look good. I had my own area within the finance department. I knew the company policies and the work inside out. I was superfast. I was super accurate. I produced all sorts of reports on areas where there had been issues, of my own initiative, and I presented them to her. I made sure she understood the report. I suggested that as my manager, she should be the one who should approach the directors of the company for a decision on the issue. I set her up for praise and recognition and promotion.

She loved me for it. I got what I wanted…no pressure in appraisals to apply for promotions (I wasn’t interested) and full flexi-time so that I could be available for all of the voluntary projects I wanted to work on. I could do my paid work in my spare time. So, I was doing an enormous amount of work, and letting her take credit for it. Did I care? Nope. The work was easy to me, it was no big deal. It cost me time, but giving her reports and letting her take credit for them, well that enabled me to have what I wanted – “flexi-time”! I deliberately did it to keep her sweet and to be able to make sure she didn’t try to control me like a tyrant (I had seen what she had done to other staff).

Contrast that with the voluntary projects I was involved in. Nobody was paid a penny for their work. Highly skilled tradesmen (and women) would train younger, inexperienced volunteers freely. They gave their time, skills, expertise and patiently trained others. Why? Nobody was interested in receiving credit or glory. As a huge team, we were working together to build something lasting.

And it was not just the construction of a building. We were often training people who had been victims of abuse and violence. People who had serious illness and depression. People who had recovered from addiction. People who were from all walks of life, all backgrounds. I think there was more building up done in the hearts and minds of the volunteers than with bricks and mortar. I have seen some amazing transformations in the personalities of people who stepped onto one of our projects.

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One of the assignments I had when I first became a full-time volunteer was to train a huge group of part-time volunteers. I developed a training brochure and got others involved in live demonstrations. I asked other volunteers to deliver part of the training in areas where they were delivering excellent service. So we as a team provided the training. A year later another woman qualified to be an international volunteer. I remember she did something really odd. She put her name in the footer of every single page she typed. It was quickly brought to her attention that nobody does that. Nobody puts their name of any of their work and says “I did this.” No volunteer was there for glory.

That’s usually the spirit with the charities I have worked with. All donations are anonymous. We have had some celebrities and big companies ask if, in return for a large some of money, they could have a mention on some paperwork or in videos. The answer is always no. No, no, no. It kind of beats the whole spirit of giving. To want praise or credit for it, is not truly volunteering. There are billions of hours given by volunteers, sharing their experience and skills freely, without any remuneration and without receiving acclaim or special recognition. We do it because we ought to.

I love talking about my life as a volunteer. But in this environment, I can talk freely, because I am an anonymous blogger. In real life, I have to be careful. If I were to go on about what I am involved in too much, although it could encourage others to get involved, it could also be taken as some kind of gloating or win some kind of glory. That is not at all what being a volunteer is supposed to be about.

Most projects are accomplished by a large number of volunteers who give whatever time they have. It’s supposed to be genuine sharing of yourself for free, not looking for a reward. It is the most rewarding kind of work, by nature of the joy you get to see on other people’s faces. But it is not supposed to be about getting credit for the part you played. The results of a selfless team of volunteers working together in unity is remarkable.

I have been writing letters for years. Long letters. I could no longer afford to buy cards and nice writing paper. So I would buy a great big stack of coloured A4 paper and cut it into A5 pages. Then I would cut up pictures from travel brochures, free magazines and stick it onto the paper to decorate it. Up at my parents house, I still have a box with thousands of little pictures that I had cut out of brochures and magazines. and also lots of my “home-made” writing paper. I am sure none of my friends thought I had bought that writing paper. It was obviously my budget way of making my letters colourful and more exciting to read, than plain A4 lined paper.

I only abandoned the writing paper when email became popular. It seemed so boring. Just white background and black type face. Not even my own personal handwriting with my curly appendiages to letters. So I tried to make my personal emails more lively by adding videos and images I found online to decorate my messages. My emails were just like my letters, and just like my posts are – accounts of what had been going on in my life. Never would any of my friends think I had produced those videos or taken those photos. In addition to decorating writing paper, I also decorated my notepads with the pictures I cut out of magazines. I made collages for the front covers. Here are some of them.

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Looking at those notebooks would remind me of everything I loved about being alive! But every single image was on my notepad because somewhere, a photographer had patiently waited for just the right moment, just the right lighting, to take it.

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It don’t think I ever thought about the photographer though in all honesty. It was creation itself, and our Creator, that made my heart leap. But I am grateful that people have gone out with their cameras and captured so much stunning beauty. The exquisite colours and displays – it’s just so wonderful isn’t it! Truly inspirational The power of those photographs is enormous.

Eighteen months ago, my friend helped me set up a WordPress account. For the most part, I have been writing in the same style as the letters and emails I have written to friends and family.  I am sharing me, my life, my highs and lows. It is helpful to me. Some lovely bloggers seem to have enjoyed some of my posts. That is a lovely bonus.

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Occasionally, I have tackled a thought provoking question another blogger has raised. My answers usually come from thinking over previous experience I have on the subject or information I have acquired at some point in my life – I can’t always be sure when and where. Those head injuries I received four and half years ago have scrambled a lot of what happened in my twenties. So much of what is in my brain, I can’t be sure if I learnt it at school or on the back of a box of cornflakes. If I wanted to quote from another resource, I would naturally say. For example at times, I have mentioned I was reading an article on Wikipedia, or NHS Choices. I usually explain what I have read in my own words, rather than quote verbatim.

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I would hope that somebody reading my post would not come to the conclusion it was a 100% my work. I have written about physics, relativity, energy to matter conversion – but surely others would realize that Einstein seems to be credited with most of that information (I think I have cited him when I have discussed relativity).

Just to clear it up, in case anyone wasn’t sure. I had nothing to do with the discovery of these principles of physics. When I choose to write about them, I don’t deserve any credit. But often I would assume you know who is credited with the “discovery” of these equations and I may have at times have neglected to mention Einstein. I have read a lot of physics books, and I may express my understanding of what I have read. But I am not trying to claim that I was the originator of any of that information.

While we are on this subject, I happen to find it absolutely baffling how someone can refuse to give credit to an intelligent designer, an incredible mind, a Creator, who has wielded colossal amounts of energy in a controlled and highly choreographed fashion. It is kind of comical to hear a physics professor arguing over receiving credit for his research, when he won’t acknowledge or give credit to somebody far superior as responsible for the awe-inspiring mathematical order and orderliness in our universe. If we are going to pretend the entire universe appeared “by accident”, “by random chance”…then why are we all hot and bothered about credit for anything. It would make everything seem like a roll of the dice.

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If you believe in a Creator, it is humbling that the beautiful sky a skillful photographer can capture in an image, the intricate wings of a butterfly or patterns in a flower, the stunning mountains, lakes, waterfalls, forests that you could gaze at forever and still would find they make your heart leap – it is all given, shared freely. No issue over the royalties. No charge to watch the sunset in your backyard tonight. Personally, I think credit is the least He deserves. But clearly, there are a lot of people who still prefer to think He does not exist and it was all an accident.

Back to blogging…if I am responding to a writing prompt, award nomination or tag to participate in a blogging challenge – it seems logical to provide a link to the post from the blogger who tagged me, or if possible the originator of the blogging prompt or challenge. Often they provide an image or award logo that they seem happy for other bloggers to use to identify the post.

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Very rarely do I reblog or link to other blogger’s posts for other reasons. I do it, just not often. Too many reblogs in my WP Reader, I don’t want to add to the reblog cascade. When I have done it (I think only two or three times in eighteen months), it was because I just loved another blogger’s post so much, and wanted to share my enthusiasm. But, I decided long ago, that other bloggers might be annoyed if I made a regular habit of this.

Most of my posts are personal. They are about me and my life. But I have some poems (rubbish poems – but thanks to everyone who says otherwise) and some short stories and one very long story. When it comes to the creative posts. Most of them have felt like I was doing some kind of English homework. My own personal enjoyment of creative writing has been limited. I have one poem of my own creation that I love. It is called “River“. I wrote it in my late teens and I love it. The notion of anyone else claiming any of my poems were written by them is odd. I have no particular attachment to most of my “creative work”.. Some of my poems and short stories are a bit embarrassing because they are so awful.

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But yes, I think I would be gutted if someone claimed “River” was their work. That is because it is so personal, so from my heart when I was a teenager. It perfectly expressed the way I was feeling back then. It wasn’t homework. I had left school. It just welled up from my heart and came out in the form of a poem. I love it. I shared it with family and friends and had very little positive feedback. But it mattered not. It was me expressing my inner thoughts at that age. It will always be special no matter what anyone else thinks of it. If anybody else claimed it as their creative work, I would be surprised because it comes from my heart. How would they explain where I was in life and the experiences that had made me feel that way? It would just be very strange.

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The other “creative” work I have become very attached to is my “Annabelle Riley” series. I have loved writing it. It have put a lot of very personal experiences into it (that’s not for you to know) and it has actually been a deeply satisfying process.

My intention now is to correct all the spelling and grammar mistakes, edit it, include a lot more descriptive passages setting the scene and remove all the pictures, and possibly stick it in a proper paperback codex version. We will see. Jack is such a distraction, I don’t know how much time I am going to be able to set aside for seeing Annabelle with a ISBN number. I have no interest in money (and I glean from other writers than realistically I would only expect to sell three copies – one for my parents, and the others to share with my siblings), and I would have to publish the book anonymously to make sure it couldn’t be used to identify me or Jack – there are reasons why I am cautious. But again, if someone took Annabelle and claimed that the story was their book – I would shed some tears I think.

The rest of my posts are usually typical of my letters and emails. Mostly just waffle. To make my nonsense more bearable to readers, I have been decorating them with pictures from Pixabay and Shutterstock etc. Which is exactly what I did with my emails to friends. How would it go down, if had published this post without any images to make it easier to read? I always presumed that everyone would think they were just free images I had found to fit around the subject I was writing about. I have never claimed any images were my own (except the occasional ones that were).

But some of the answers to Melanie’s question in the many SHARE-YOUR-WORLD posts I have read this week… ay karumba! It was all so scary. Which is probably why I have written an enormously long answer myself to the question.

I understand that the main upset is the idea of another blogger harvesting passages or an entire post from another blogger and claiming it as their own. To do that blatantly is bound to upset people. I think most agreed that if you read something of interest from another blogger, it is fine to say, “I read this great post written by so-and-so…go and check out their blog, here is a link” etc. If a blogger is taking photos with their own camera and featuring them as their work on their site, then to use them on your own site without permission, without crediting the photographer, or claiming that you take the picture could all understandably cause upset.

But when it comes to these huge hosts that say they have millions of free images that you can download, I thought there were different vibes about that area. I always thought they were a great way to liven up your post. I love the splash of colour they add. I just thought it would make it easier for others to bear reading my waffle. I have seen images I used from Pixabay or Shutterstock on lots of other bloggers sites. I just presumed that most people would realize that those of us bloggers who use Pixabay, Getty, Alamy, Shutterstock – did not take the original photograph, and would never be so stupid as to claim it as our “work”.

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I don’t usually say under each picture where it is from. I have a section in my profile (has anyone ever read my profile?) about the fact I don’t own a camera, except the one on my tablet, that doesn’t work properly. I mention there that I decorate my posts with images from Pixabay etc. I also mention that if anyone saw an image of theirs and was unhappy with the way I had used it please let me know. I would be gutted if anyone thought I was claiming their work was mine. Since I saw all the scary SHARE-YOUR-WORLD posts this week, any new posts I have put together I have been trying to make sure there is a source in the caption, because maybe bloggers have not read my profile and think I took all these photos.

It was scary because this is supposed to be a bit of fun, and a helpful bit of fun at that. I don’t take it seriously. I don’t make a penny from blogging. I am not interested in credit or praise, or recognition. I am not interested in statistics. I just find writing about “stuff” has turned out to be helpful. It feels like I sit down and write a letter or a page in a journal. It’s not something I do for acclaim. Rather than having posts full of typed paragraphs alone, that are personal to me, but perhaps have no appeal to others, I have decorated my post with an eye-catching image that matches the subject.

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I asked a friend of mine, who is what I would call a serious photographer and a serious blogger, about this. She set up her blog a few months after me. In just over a year, she has around 40,000 followers already. But it’s obvious why. Her photographs are amazing. I appreciate that some people put great effort into capturing incredible images. I respect that they may wish to be recognised for the talent and efforts they have put into those photographs. I have never been a camera person, nor can I draw or paint, so perhaps it is an area where I don’t always comprehend how remarkable the image they captured is. I just see the sunset, or the mountain, and the Creator of those. I think I may have a tendency to forget the photographer.

She has been offered work by companies and has photographed their products. She has a wonderful creative flare and is a true talent. I asked her about this issue. She said that when people have “borrowed” her photos without asking permission and have not credited her, she has made it very clear to them that is unacceptable to her and she has asked them to remove the images. Her reason is they seem to be presenting the photo as one that they have taken, when it is clearly not. She feels strongly about it. But she has a huge following, she is receiving a lot of recognition for her style and she is also making a respectable amount of money from the work that has come her way because of the photographs on her blog.

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I think I understand that when we have worked on something, a poem, a story, a photograph and then after publishing it in some format, someone else claims that it is their own work…well, I understand the upset that would cause.

I also think that if you are amassing large numbers of readers, and are making money out of your blogging, you would perhaps be wise to make sure nobody else would feel disgruntled. What if content original to them is not attracting the same numbers of viewers> Or if they feel they are missing out on potential earnings that they feel they are more entitled to than you?

I am scared of all the scary comments I have seen when it comes to images. So if it wasn’t obvious to others. I don’t have a camera. (Except the one that doesn’t work properly on my tablet.) I am not a photographer. I write personal posts and a small number of creative posts. I don’t consider them as “work”. Just a chance to process what goes on in my head. I have sent thousands of emails to friends which I have decorated with images from sites like Pixabay and Shutterstock. I have used the same kind of style in my posts, just to make them easier to read to the bloggers that kindly check out my posts.

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I am not interested in money or credit for anything I have written, but if anyone saw an image on my site that originated with them and was not happy with the way I used it, I would not want to upset them. Nobody has ever been in touch with me in eighteen months of blogging about this.

I don’t know if it’s “a sleeping dog” or a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” situation, But after reading so many opinions from other bloggers, I am scared of upsetting anyone.  So if I use a new image that is not already lingering in my huge collection of emails, I am wondering if I should be looking for a source to cite in the caption. Perhaps people have not picked up on the mentions in other posts that I don’t have a camera, and even if I did, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I have tried in this post to use all new images and note in the caption where they came from. But I have lots of images in emails from years back – I don’t know where they came from.

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I am going to conclude with this thought. I am not a “creative” person. I have always fitted neatly into the academic box – my brain veers to maths, physics and information. “Creating” fictional stories and poems is new to me. However, I recognise that for a long time there have been artists, poets, writers, musicians who have produced creative works. The issue of someone else copying their work, especially another person claiming that work as their own, has sometimes involved a lot of money and a lot of respect or credit. Even your favourite artists and musicians – who may have been recognised as very talented, and have therefore received a great deal of acclaim and remuneration – have been accused of plagiarising.

Here is one of the examples in recent years of how big an issue it can be. Listen to these two songs and decide what you think. But in the end the latter musician apparently felt it was possible he had heard the former’s song and it had stuck in his head. I believe a large outer court settlement was agreed upon.

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Everlasting Post

  1. Made it to the end 😉. Your comments on plagiarism reminded me of something that happened to me while I was doing my degree. I was in second year and we had been given an assignment which everyone thought was especially difficult and we weren’t quite sure where to start. Some students in the year above offered to let us read their papers so we had an idea of what was required. I skim read one of them and was reassured that I was on the right track. The following week in the class the lecturer had some serious words with the whole class about the ethics of reading someone else’s assignment. I felt terrible. I had no idea that it would be considered wrong. I don’t know if the implication was that we might inadvertently plagiarise? Anyway I felt so bad that I went and spoke to the lecturer after the class and told him what I had done. I also mentioned my naivety about it being wrong and that I had no intention of copying. He thanked me for my honesty and that was all I heard about it. I ended up getting an A for that assignment. I’m still not 100% sure what the issue was with reading that assignment to be honest but I guess I’d think twice if I was in that position again.
    While I’m here I really hope you do get an ISBN for your Annabelle story. I’ve not managed to get round to reading it yet but I plan to one day. It would be easier to read if it was all in one book. 🙂 Also you said you’re not a creative person but I think writing is creativity. It’s a different form of creativity than music or art but it’s still self-expression. I believe everyone is creative in some way because we are created in the image of a Creator. Sometimes it just takes a bit of experimentation to work out how we best express our creativity. 🙂

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  2. WOW!! I’m so honored you chose to do this in association with my “Share Your World” questions. It’s beautiful, thoughtful, CREATIVE, and so honest. It touches the heart and is so honest. The best kind of writing in my opinion.

    You made the most intriguing response to the plagiarism question that I’ve read so far. Something that continues to bother me a bit about that whole subject though is where the line is between deliberate theft (plagiarism) and the creator of the plagiarized piece (whether writing, music or art (images)) being overly sensitive about what constitutes that theft.

    I do not condone stealing others’ work and then claiming it as one’s own at all. But I’ve done it. I was editor of my High School Yearbook and a companion book containing student’s poetry and writing for the year I graduated. This was over four decades ago and at that time the world wasn’t as politically correct about everything (some call this current way of thinking as namby-pamby or a nanny state or other descriptors).

    Like the student in your story who claimed a brilliant piece of poetry (prose) as his own, I did that with a couple of artists’ song lyrics, which I reformatted into a poetry style. I don’t know if the teachers back then didn’t recognize those lyrics or if they just found it too trivial, given the size and fame of that small town (it was tiny and fame? Nope. Is not famous today for anything), and therefore let my blatant plagiarism slide. I admit that doing that has bothered me over the years and I never did it again for ANYTHING.

    I think students are in school to be educated and maybe it’s not so true now, but back then? We were also taught common sense, respect for other people, what right and wrong really meant in the real world and other skills I feel the mature adult needs to have to be a good member of society. Among that education is the teaching about not stealing others’ work – whether it’s homework, copying without credit someone else’s words or images. I have to wonder how much importance is placed on using common sense and context when applying the law of “do NOT steal” to today’s different world.

    Now it’s easy to copy and paste. For myself? I always credit the blogger whose post I may find intriguing enough to share with my follower list. I was angered I admit when a certain blogger wrote something really scathing and rude about copy and pasting, and compared that to stealing EVEN IF CREDITED. Their post wasn’t aimed at me per se, but I still took exception. The timing was odd too, because a couple of days before that plagiarism post, I had shared the bloggers’ link to a post they’d written that I thought my followers might find interesting. So it’s possible their post was directed my way because yeah, I copied and pasted their blog link. I didn’t touch the writing in that blog at all, I rarely do that unless it’s a challenge and I’m copying the rules and explanation about the challenge. I’m changing how I do even that and I credit whomever hosted the challenge in question, and what they wrote.

    I opened a can of worms with that question apparently. People have very strong opinions and views about it. It was a situation where I might have let the sleeping dogs lie, but I felt it needed airing out. Thanks again Mel for being so wonderful! The world needs more people just like you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol – your comment is as long as my post!! 🙂

      I had some friends (they are still great friends, but they have changed so much since we were kids) who were a nightmare to play games with when we were children. They became so obsessed with their rules – they took all the fun out of playing.

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