Accountability

30 Days of Thanks – Day 5

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Today I am thankful for the many people who came into my life through Nursing school.  We will soon be parting ways, but they will live forever in my heart.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 4

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I am thankful for my Nursing school friends, who have become like family.  They are some of the most amazing, caring, patient-centered people, I have ever met and I am blessed to be among them.

Today, we took our last exam as Level IV student, and are waiting for the result.  For many of us, our final grade hangs in the balance of the outcome of this exam.   May we all pass the Level, our End of Program exam, Nursing Care Management and finally, the NCLEX.   Namaste.

30 Days of Thanks – Days 1 and 2

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30-Days-of-ThanksNovember 1st – I am thankful for an amazing Level IV clinical group.  These are 11 of the most patient-centered, thorough, compassionate people I have ever met.  I am blessed to have done my last ADN school rotation with them and would be happy if any, or all, of them were my, or a loved one’s, nurse.

November 2nd – I am thankful for my Husband and Zeke, Hannah Bean and Charlotte (aka. Charlie), my K9 kids.  They are all keeping me company as I study for my Level IV Final Exam and I am feeling the love.

The Slippery Slope Between Fanfiction and Plagiarizing an Author’s Work

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Fan fiction has existed alongside storytelling, throughout history.  My undergraduate Shakespeare courses featured heated discussions on whether or not The Bard’s plays were homages to, or plagiarized copies of  “Plutarch’s Lives of Noble Grecians and Romans.”  The similarities were uncanny, to say the least.  Another infamous case involved a college student who had a “photographic” memory and plagiarized a popular, “darling” series about six or seven years ago.   Authors are influenced by stories they read or hear, but most acknowledge their sources of inspiration, either in their writing or in interviews about their books.  New Title on Someone Else's Chapter

Recently, one of the biggest fan fiction “success stories” rose out of anonymity and became a household name.  She re-wrote an incredibly popular Young Adult (YA) series, based in Washington State, into one of the best-selling trilogies of the past decade.  By changing her story substantially, the fan fiction author ensured it would not be confused with the original.  She further set the right example, by explaining that the YA series was her inspiration.  She went on to self-publish her series, and continues to profit from it.

I read both series.  I am not a fan of YA (or its older, sexed up cousin, New Adult (NA)) novels, but the original was a sweet, well-written set of stories.  The author captured the angst and irrational emotions of hormonal teens, experiencing their first loves.  My twelve-year-old self would have LOVED this series.  My 45-year-old self thought it was “cute” and perfect for its tween/pre-teen/teenage demographics.   It was spun-off into movie series juggernaut that propelled the actors into the stratosphere of stardom, and brought more attention to the book series.

The fan fiction series, however, left a lot to be desired.  This author kept the location as Washington State, only moving the action to the city of Seattle.   The characters are chronologically older, but less mature.   The stories are entirely too wordy and should have been condensed  into one book.  The action is decidedly more “adult,” in that the characters engage in sexual activities that incorporate an alternative lifestyle.  Sadly, the author did not research this lifestyle thoroughly.   She failed miserably in conveying the three key tenets of this lifestyle in her work: safe, sane and consensual.   Be that as it may, this series has provided a venue for adults to discuss sex in a more open, provocative way.   That is a good thing.   This series has been greenlighted and could be in theaters next Summer (according to Perez Hilton’s website FSOG Movie Deal).    No comment.   (It’s already been done.  Just watch the movie Secretary, starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal, then come back and tell me about it…you’re welcome).

With all that off my chest, I arrive at the reason for my post today.

 Plagiarizing another person’s work, is STEALING. 

Fan FictionI am not accusing the above unnamed authors of stealing, because clearly they did not.   Unfortunately, not every writer of fan fiction is honest, and the number of plagiarized works is growing at an alarming rate.  Perhaps the plagiarists were always there (i.e., Shakespeare, etc.), but the Internet seems to bring out the worst in people.  The lure of fame, money and/or greed by taking someone else’s hard work, changing the title and a few names, adding your name as “author,” and releasing it to an unsuspecting public, is magnetic.  And illegal.

In the past two weeks, some super sleuth book bloggers/reviewers uncovered at least five plagiarized books being sold as “original works.”    These people were not professionals who worked for publishing companies, simply fans of books, who noticed uncanny similarities to books they had already read.  Furthermore, several had hosted the thieves on their blogs to PROMOTE the plagiarized works.   Not only were the bloggers/reviewers duped, they knew they inadvertently “helped” hurt other authors they cared for.   I believe they, along with the wronged authors were innocent victims of liars and thieves.

Teresa Mummert provides a great chronology on her blog, for those who like to follow the bouncing ball “Plagiarism” from Author Teresa Mummert’s Blog

I started this post as a cautionary tale, but it is not.  If you choose to steal another person’s work you are a THIEF, and deserve the world of hurt that accompanies legal action against plagiarists.  It is a fantastic way to destroy your life and credibility, immediately, so HAVE AT IT. Just know that the Internet is forever.  Fans of books are a smart, resourceful, loyal community who protects its own (authors and books) and we will find you.

My advice: write the stories that live within you.   Place your characters in worlds of your own creation, but write what you know.   Then, give credit where credit is due, for your inspiration.  Thank the authors who write the stories that move you, by buying, reading and promoting their work.  Not by copying and pasting it into a new file, and calling it yours.

You are more interesting than you think you are, and your story has not been told…by you.  So write it.

Should Authors Write Bad Book Reviews?

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Reviewing books may be hazardous to your health, especially if you are an author. Kristen Lamb discusses her experiences and how they shaped her reviewing style.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not published any books.  I have learned not to publish reviews on any books I did not like. If I strongly disliked, or worse, did not finish the book, I will not write a review.   Period.  To this day, I have only posted one negative review for a book.  I purchased the book, at full price, and expected to get a “full-price experience,” based on the glowing and outstanding reviews.  I did not.  I got something far less enjoyable and felt gypped. My negative review is still “live,” and will remain so, because my feelings were honest.    If I receive any negative feedback I will immediately delete the review.

The “anonymous bravado” of some people on the internet, is not pretty and not something I wished to engage in.  Seeing the vitriolic backlash towards reviewers and authors, has helped me determine when, and if, to post a review.   I will continue to give a book a low rating, if I feel it deserves it.  Amazon and Goodreads like to “recommend” future books, based on what I have already read. This not been a successful “system” for me.  I prefer to have books recommended to me via word-of-mouth or after reading remarks by reviewers who provide enough information about the author’s character development and mechanics of the story, rather than a marketing algorithm.

No review from me means  “I did not have time to write a review, and none was requested,” the book was “fine,” or “the book was so poorly written that ‘silence is golden.'”  If an author, or other reviewer, requests my thoughts, I will provide my honest thoughts.  If I rate a book as an “A,” “B,” or “C” (outstanding, very good or good), the review will go “live” without input from the author.  Anything lower, like a “D” (fair),  “F” (poor), or “DNF” (did not finish because…why bother?) will not be reviewed.  I will give my opinion of the book , along with an explanation as to what worked and did not work for me, to the author/reviewer, privately.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Okay, yesterday we had a little bit of a debate about leaving book reviews. First of all, the post is to warn you of the dangers of posting bad reviews as an author. Does it mean you can’t? No. Can you tweet while drinking and listening to LinkinPark? Yes, but you do so at your own risk. Same here. I am not the social media gestapo, but I am here to warn you of the hazards that are REAL.

We Never Know Who People Know

I once commented offhandedly to an acquaintance about a book I was reading. I wasn’t nasty, I just mentioned that I found it confusing and the dream sequences were messing me up. I also added that it could be me. I WAS seven-months pregnant, so I added the caveat that it could just be Baby Brain.

Little did I know the acquaintance was BEST…

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…on Plagiarism and Disgust

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The lesson to be learned here is simple: DO NOT STEAL OTHER PEOPLE’S WORK. The internet is forever.

Adventures of a Caribbean Girl... who writes!

I am angry,

I am very angry.

I am blowing a gasket, a fuse or any of the other metaphors you can come up with for red with anger. I chuckle at this as I can’t technically turn red since I’m black but you get the point.

 

This evening started off pretty well. I’m still working on my practice writing in an attempt to propel my Muse from her awkward teenage, acne-filled, bracing wearing years to a more mature young adult when Laurell K Hamilton retweeted a tweet that stopped me dead in my tracks. The original tweet was made by Lorelei James who complained of someone , Alison Gilmore, passing off one of her books published in 2009 as their own. Alison used a website to upload the book one chapter at a time. She was originally a member of http://www.fanfiction.net where she stated she was writing One…

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Put on your cowboy boots, it’s time to kick some plagiarizing ass…

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Followers,
Posting the intellectual property of authors, without their expressed approval, is STEALING. It is illegal, immoral and cowardly. Please, please, please share this information with your followers.
Plagiarizing another person’s work is wrong.
Help spread the word. On all your Social Media Platforms.

CAT JOHNSON

*****UPDATE******

As of 10:25 PM Eastern time her site is down and her Twitter feed, which we obtained from the links on her own site, is saying it’s not her. However, this author on her blog posted screenshots of Alison promoting her twitter account on the Weebly where the work was posted. HERE

**NEW** Woke Saturday morning to find her Twitter account is also disabled 🙂

Alison Gilmore Plagiarist Alison Gilmore plagiarized Lorelei James then denied it

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**ORIGINAL POST**

We have a serious situation.

Author Lorelei James has found her work ALL JACKED UP from the Rough Riders series (2009) being plagiarized word for word by a woman who is posting it one chapter at a time and claiming it as her own. Legal threats have not worked so now it’s time mobilize the reader community to come together and shame this woman off the web and educate all her “readers” that the work they are commenting on and so…

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A New Era in Fashion—How Abercrombie & Fitch Saves Needless Suffering

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I didn’t think it was possible, after her first brilliant post on A&F, but Kristen Lamb, just blew it out of the park! With humor.  Nailed it!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Last Friday, I wrote a post about how Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Michael Jeffreys’ message hurts us all, no matter how fat or thin, pretty or ugly, rich or poor, popular or unpopular. Yet, upon closer inspection, I am compelled to retract my statement. In fact, I think Jeffreys’ should be given serious consideration for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Bear with me.

The Birth of Fashion

At one time, early in human history, clothing served to protect humans from the elements and keep them warm. But, what many of you might NOT know was that everyone looked the same, running around in somewhat smelly saber-tooth outerwear.

It was really Ug who came up with the first line of saber-tooth necklaces to accessorize these early, boring designs. Ug later inspired Og to use the teeth of a boar as bracelets. Not only could one look smashing day OR night, but boar-tooth…

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To Be Womanly Always, Discouraged Never

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As a Chi Omega, I could not have been prouder of how graciously Kelsey handled herself. She exemplifies our Symphony, beautifully and is a fantastic role model for women everywhere.

Let There Be Light

Live it. Love it. Be it.I will forever be indebted to my sorority, Chi Omega, for the amazing college experience I had. The friendships I made during my four years at American University are ever-lasting … and I wouldn’t be who I am today without Chi O.

In the 12 years since my graduation, I’m always thrilled to discover that a stranger, a new friend, someone’s second cousin … is a Chi O, a fellow sister.

Which is why today, I’m sharing this article.

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I’d Like to Procrastinate….But, I Keep Putting it Off

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The thing about a blog, is that it requires a certain level of commitment, which seemed to have escaped me for a YEAR! Hell. My best intention was to chronicle my return to college, but I never realized how TIRED I’d be.

Yeah. That’s just an excuse for NOT posting in almost a year. In that time, I’ve watched my weight creep back up, such that I had to go into the bag of “fatter” clothes that was destined to go to charity and pulled out a bigger pair of jeans. There is NOTHING about that action that makes me happy or proud of myself.

I’ve decided to stop making excuses and start looking for results. It starts TODAY.

So, I’m back after completing my first two semesters of pre-requisites. Anatomy & Physiology I and II, and corresponding labs, Statistics and the mandatory Computer Literacy class are in the DONE column. I’ll be registering for Microbiology and lab, Ethics and World Religions in a couple of days. I’ve taken the Summer off to study for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) group fitness certification exam, which I will take this Summer, before the Zumba convention in late August.

I will be visiting another local LPN/RN program to find out their application process and whether they offer Financial Aid. I have to investigate all my options, because I’m too old and have been out of work too long, to leave anything else up to chance. If any of you would like to share how you did it – LPN program, then bridge to RN, BSN/RN program, RN to BSN, etc. I’d love to hear about your journey.

I haven’t decided what day will be my “blogging” day, yet, but I’m deciding right here and now, that I WILL do it!

Ironically, the theme song for the Harry Potter movies, advertising the Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando, is playing in the background as I type this. It could be worse, I guess. I could be the greatest hits of Milli Vanilli…”Girl you know it’s true…” Man, I MISS 80s retro pop lip sync!