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About this blog

Musings of a frazzled writer

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Ah. Wattpad. What aren't you responsible for these days?

So, if you follow me on Twitter you might have seen a status that looked like this a week or so ago.     I and Jo Raskoph left reviews of the offending story letting them know that I'd written it and hadn't authorised any translation. I've historically been a little hesitant to have translations of my work on other sites. However, this I suspect is mostly to do with the fact I've only been asked about How to tame a Marauder, and that's 284000 words long and I am concerned the nuances in the text would be lost. Also, it's kind of my baby and I like to have control over where it's posted, as I'm sure you can appreciate. The fic in question here, Marauders' Mayhem, was written in about an hour for a challenge and I'd not really looked at it since. In other words, it's not something that's quite as dear to my heart as HTM is, so I was a bit unsure whether I wanted the translation to be online or not. It's only a one-shot, so how much did it really matter if the translation wasn't quite right? Nuances and the like don't seem so important when you're only talking about 2000 words. Anyway, yesterday I received a review on one of my other stories, at AO3. It wasn't a review, though - it was a note from the person who had posted the translation to the German site. It seems that there had been an account on Wattpad under the name melian225, which is the name I always use when melian isn't available (AO3, FF.net, Twitter), where apparently a number of my works were posted. I need hardly say that this person was NOT me - I'm not a fan of Wattpad and have never posted my stories there.The person who had translated my story approached the Wattpad version of myself, asking for permission, which was given. As such, they believed they did have authorisation to post the translation. Only after receiving my and Jo's reviews did they question that, and approached the person at Wattpad. Guess what? Instead of responding, said person deleted their account. So, I was asked, what did I want them to do? They would love me to give approval for the translation to remain online, but if I didn't, they were happy to remove it. Well, I don't know about you, but I very much appreciate it when people are open and honest with me like that. From the sounds of it, it was very much an honest mistake, in which they believed they were doing the right thing. And, like I said, this story isn't exactly my baby. Long story short, I've given my approval for it to stay up there. But I wanted to share my experience. Sometimes, what looks like plagiarism isn't really - and if you reach out to someone, sometimes you can start a dialogue that furthers friendship and cooperation. Wattpad, though ... I'm getting a bit sick of Wattpad. As I'm sure a number of us are.




Trying to be an online policeman (or policewoman)

It’s happened again. Back in the day, when How to tame a Marauder was ridiculously popular, I had a bit of a problem with plagiarism. That is, I would find the story posted on sites I had not posted it to, usually attributed to a different author. The first time it happened I was flabbergasted, but then it became, well, not normal, but common enough to not raise too much of an eyebrow. Needless to say I became very cognisant with the copyright rules of different sites, and I never had much trouble getting an offending version taken down. But, of course, that was years ago. I haven’t written anything of substance (that’s been published) for years, and HTM is old news now. Or so I thought. On the weekend I discovered it had been posted to Wattpad. Wattpad is one it’s been on before, so the rules and I are old friends. The person who posted it had even made a funky cover for it (or sourced one somehow) and listed me as the author, which is nice because at least they’re not pretending they wrote it themselves. (And yes, that has happened before.) But, you see, they didn’t ask first. And I don’t take too kindly to that. I’m cool with people making their own copies of my story so they can read it at their leisure. That’s fine. I understand it lives on more than one USB stick around the globe. And I’m cool with them sharing it with their friends, which of course is a huge compliment. But posting it online without permission? No, sorry, that’s not okay. While I agree it’s not the classic definition of plagiarism, it’s still not exactly ethical. It’s my story and I reserve the right to say which websites it’s published on. It’s as simple as that. To Wattpad’s credit , the story has now been taken down, an event which happened almost immediately. But that doesn’t stop me wondering why people think this sort of thing is okay? Is it wrong to want to have some sort of control over where your intellectual property is posted online? Or am I being unreasonable? And, if this has happened to you (or if it did), what did, or would, you do?





So, I know I've been noticeable by my absence lately - if you notice that sort of thing and are familiar with me, that is. It's the usual excuse: real life is really hectic and I'm struggling to find time to spend on these forums and the archive. I have far too many unanswered reviews and it's been far too long since I've updated my author page with anything new ... or, really, with anything at all. And, to my eternal chagrin, Gryffindor are languishing near the bottom of the House Cup, and (very ashamed here) I haven't done anything to help lift them back up where they belong. But! I have news!!! After consultation with my beta, the lovely Jasmine, and looking at how my Neville story is coming together, I have decided to START POSTING IT ON HPFT!!! Yes! A new novel! After goodness knows how many years since How to tame a Marauder was finished. (I hasten to say that I have written other novels in the meantime. It's just that they're OF and I'm not ruling out trying to get them published, so they're not being posted on the archive here.) I am finding myself extremely excited about this, because it really has been a long time since I"ve posted a story of anything like this length. I should probably say here that the novel is by no means nearly finished, like HTM was when I started to post that. It's something like 60,000 words and I think there is probably another 40,000 to go before it's done. But, it's taking shape nicely, and I'm not going to be overly taxing with my schedule. So, I'm posting, at this stage, monthly. The first four chapter are pretty much what I posted on the old site, but I have two more ready to go and a bunch of other material that just hasn't been sorted into chapters yet. I like it, though. I like how it's coming together. I like how I'm characterising the main canon cast, and I like how it's flowing. Of course, there is a lot of work to do yet, but I figure that if I have the added pressure of needing to post the next chapter by a certain time, that will actually work for me. Deadlines and I actually get along. So, here goes. Year of the Snake is now in the queue at HPFT and I"ll do an edit on this blog when it gets up. I'll add a new chapter in the third week of every month from now on.And, should it get to the point that I can progress to, say, fortnightly posts, I'll do that too. A new novel. I'm feeling so good about this!





*raises hand sheepishly* Uh … hi???   I know I’ve been missing in action for, well, months now so I wanted to drop by and say hello. I don’t really have much of an excuse except for being hideously busy for a while now, and, frankly, exhausted. And that doesn’t really lend itself much to writing, to my eternal chagrin. Sigh.   Anyway, there have been changes on the home front and that’s been taking up a lot of my attention. Nothing major, and nothing bad, but still, changes, and those need to be adapted to. We are now a little busier than we were previously, and there was an unplanned trip to another city last weekend that took a bit out of me. Plus it feels like EVERYTHING needs to organised for the new year, such as subscriptions to events and other such, and that’s all on my to-do list to be taken care of RIGHT NOW.   Oh, and renovations. They’re still happening, so there’s that, too.   In other words, I haven’t forgotten you all, but I just haven’t had the energy lately to be an active part of this community. And that bothers me, because I miss you all. I looked at my author page the other day and it seems that the get-an-email-each-time-you-get-reviewed function of the archives isn’t working or something, because there are a bunch of new reviews I didn’t know about.  I think my unanswered list is up past 80 or something now and I REALLY need to do something about that. And I’m very aware that Tanya wrote on my Writer’s Journal several weeks back now and I haven’t responded to that yet either.   I guess what I’m saying is that I am making a conscious effort to hang around here more, but it might take a bit of time for me to get back into things. And until the extra commitments life is throwing at me ease off a bit, I have no idea how I’m going to fit everything into each day. But you guys are important to me, so I’m going to try. If it’s been a few days and you haven’t seen me around, either here or on Twitter, feel free to poke me a bit. Who knows, it might just be the impetus I need to get back on here.  



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