Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Offering to the Great Spirit,
Charles M. Russell,
watercolour, 1901.

A hilarious summary of the Cassie Edwards plagiarism case commentary is provided by Gennita Low's Sunday post. Warning: some in-jokes, but laughed myself sick.

Three sites from blogging editors:

Redlines and Deadlines, Edittorrent, and The Mad Editor. Different strokes, different smokes, useful folks.

Vesper, of the lyrical voice, lovely poetry, and delicate prose, included me in her list for recipients of the Mwah! Award and Bloggers of the World trinkets, given for love and kindness, friendship and support.

Vesper, I kiss your hands.

However, I cannot select.

Oh surely, I could pick among my earliest friends: dearest Ric, or Jason, or Bonnie, or Karen, or Robyn (who is blogging again.Thanks be.)

I could pick Michelle, encouraging blogger before she became an editor -- or Charles or Ello or Raine or Natasha for, among many other things, their first, generous , wonderful reviews.


Where, in all justice, do I stop?

Some of you are on my ever-out-of-date blogroll. Some of you are not.


There's not one of you who has not, in degrees and ways both visible and invisible, encouraged and helped me.

I assign each of you, whether blogroller or occasional commenter, the awards mentioned above.

In gratitude.


Jaye Wells said...

I wasn't going to click on the Gennita Low link because I'm about to OD on scandal. I'm so glad I went against my instincts. Hilarious! I'd pay cash money to see people act that out.

Bernita said...

And her play is complete with chorus, strophe and antistrophe, Jaye!

BernardL said...

Thank you for the links, both editorial and comedic. Very entertaining. They made me wonder how many word and subject combinations exist, dooming us all to be plagiarists one day. :)

Ric said...

Wow. I'm overwhelmed. Encouraged, as I continue to roll through my life with very little writing getting done.

And still thought of....

Thank you, dearest Bernita.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bernita. :) You're a special blogger to me too.

You know, this whole plagiarism scandal confounds me a bit. Someone somewhere did a post about the differences between copyright infringement, a legal issue, and plagiarism, an academic integrity issue. Plagiarism doesn't seem to fit the situation to me. Historical romances are not meant to further sociological knowledge of the historical period in question. We don't expect such authors to be advancing understanding through empirical research. Don't we really assume that ALL of the information comes from other sources? None of it is new discovery (meaning historical romance authors are not conducting archeological digs).

If she lifted substantial material from other texts word for word, however, that is another matter entirely. That, potentially, is actionable copyright infringement.

Ideas don't matter in copyright, only the precise arrangement of words. Ideas do matter in plagiarism, but academic writing serves an entirely different purpose than entertainment. When George Lucas produced Star Wars, he didn't credit 2001, A Space Odyssey, H.G. Wells, etc. Nor would we want him to.

LadyBronco said...

Ah, Bernita...

I learn something new every time I read your blog.
You have a way with words that makes me smile.

As for the plagiarism scandal - truly funny link - thanks a bunch!

Bernita said...

Bernard, the law and the line are not drawn that fine, both are reasonable.

Always, Ric.

You're welcome, Jason, and thank you.
One of the sites making the various distinctions was Dear Author. At least one of the principals there is a lawyer as well.

I don't consider ideas part of the debate, particularly, as I doubt there are any new ones, merely ways and forms of expressing those ideas.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Lady B!

I'd followed the comments fairly closely and Low's "oh noes" lines had me semi-hysterical.

StarvingWriteNow said...

I got a kick out of the "Ohhh NOOO'es" as well--what a great link! And thanks for your kind words on today's blog. Appreciate it!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Thank you, my dear friend!

My life is not my own any more, and I hardly ever get that chance to surf the web, but that was truly worth the time spent. I needed a break to laugh!

Dave F. said...

Gennita Low's post was a delight to read, Greek Chorus and all that head holding.

If anyone makes it to the Newsweek article on the Ferrets: This part is particularly funny. It's the small talk between lovers as they are in passionate embraces - you know - her bosom heaving and his loins, uh erecting:

Shiona then tells Shadow Bear how she once read about ferrets in a book she took from the study of her father. "I discovered they are related to minks and otters. It is said their closest relations are European ferrets and Siberian polecats," she says. "Researchers theorize that polecats crossed the land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska, to establish the New World population."

Ohmygod that is so hot.

Wow. Steamy stuff. My glasses fog and my heart races! I gotta go take care of something...

Bernita said...

Fascinating to see how you develop the story from that premise, Starving!

You deserve it, my Bonnie.
Deliciously funny!

Robyn said...

Ferrets!? Dave, I just had a Depends moment. OMG that is so very, very hot.

Thank you, dearest Bernita. I'm so glad you found me.

Bernita said...

Dave, I like how Tolme ( sp?) turned the plagiarism to his advantage, after he was through being outraged by the rip-off.
He writes an funny, clever article about it and sells it, thereby probably earning more money from that account than he would ever get out of legal action, and further, achieves publicity for his beloved ferrets and endangered animals.
Which is so satisfying, especially since, aside from the justice of it, the ferrets broke the case, as it were.
I read that Nora Roberts will match donations to the cause up to 5,000 dollars, as well.

Bernita said...

Robyn, you're welcome. So glad you're back blogging.

Miladysa said...

Lovely blog bernita! :)

Demon Hunter said...

I am just wondering what will be the outcome of this whole fiasco. The woman is 71. She'll probably just retire. I wonder if charges will be filed, etc. Some action should be taken.

What ever happened to that 17-year-old who wrote "Opal Metha" (sp?). She plagiarized another author a couple years ago. I cannot remember either name right now.

Bernita said...

Myladysa, thank you.

My Demon, it will take a slow and careful process to delineate the degree and compass.
Due dilligence takes time, and resolution will not ( can't, actually) be particularly swift.

I'm not sure about that case. An apology and an excuse were issued at least, I believe.

Dave F. said...

Hopefully, the outcome will be that a new writer will not plagiarize and that some ferrets will live. I don't say that to be funny. It's just an odd superposition of events.
As for Cassie Edwards, she will suffer shame and much, much scrutiny if she ever publishes again and possibly, weak or non-existent sales. There's not much else anyone can do to her. She's damaged goods and it's all her fault.

Thanks for the links, Bernita. You blog, as always, is excellent.

Ello said...

I want to thank you for always having such illuminating and thoughtful pieces. It is always a highlight for me to come to your blog, Bernita!

Charles Gramlich said...

The "intertextuality," to butcher a phrase, of the blog world is amazing indeed. Everyone feeds off everyone else. And no one goes hungry. It's great.

Bernita said...

The case and its various ramifications provide a number of object lessons.
Note Tolme's recipe for lemonade as an example.

Aww...Dave and Ello, thank you.

Bernita said...

Charles, I prefer to think that we "inspire" one another.
Much nicer than saying we're a bunch of derivative hacks.
(Meanwhile, I must blog around to find a topic for tomorrow.)

raine said...

Gennita is often a delight, and that post was yummy, lol.

And you, Bernita, deserve the award, all of the credit, and congratulations.

Bernita said...

Raine, all of you may pick up your pretties at Vesper's.

Gabriele C. said...

Congrats on the blog award, Bernita, and thank you for forwarding it to me and other deservig recipients.

I think I'll balk out of picking 5, or 7 people this time as well.

The best that came out of the whole Cassie Edwards mess so far is that the ferrets will get some donations now.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Gabriele.
From where I sit, you all deserve it, many times over.

Lana Gramlich said...

Entertaining & informative post. TYVM!

SzélsőFa said...

I've read that little 'drama' by G.L. Thanks for the link.
Those awards are well deserved, Bernita, congratulations!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Lana.

Szelsoda, thank you.
You are also entitled to display the icons, in case that wasn't clear.

SzélsőFa said...

Upon having seen Vespers's site yesterday I put the 'Mwah' button up as I was directed, and has also spread the love. And the button :)

spyscribbler said...

Aw, sheesh, thanks, but it was your great story that inspired the review!

I love it when you hand out awards, because I find new blogs I love! How did I not know so many of those existed??

I need to go through your blogroll more often, LOL.

Bernita said...

Sadly, Natasha, the roll isn't updated often enough.
I'm just passing these things along to the people who really deserve them.
Which is, all of you.

kmfrontain said...

LOL. The Mwah Award. That's cute. Thank you for thinking of me. You're right. It's hard to select a limited number to pass it on to. There's so many I can think of who deserve it.

Bernita said...

Which is why I refuse to limit the number of recipients, Karen!

kmfrontain said...

Well, being rather sloppy and in a hurry, I managed to name four, but they all very much deserved it. :-)

Vesper said...

Thank you, dearest Bernita! You are a true friend.

A lovely post!

As for plagiarism, it is mind-boggling for me - why would people steal that way? (why would they steal at all?!)

Bernita said...

Vesper, I can only surmise that plagiarists have no respect for other's words and no respect their own.