“rehashing vs. recycling”

Thought I’d call attention to a recent text addition at the very top of the sidebar, to the right of my main blog area, where my postings are viewed. The words inscribed are

Use of my material: “rehashing” is a mess; “recycling” is ok, if credit’s given, where credit’s due…hugmamma.

I’d debated early on, when I first began posting, as to whether or not I’d try to restrict use of the contents of my blog, “Hugmamma’s Attention to Detail,” and now, “Hugmamma’s Mind, Body, and Soul.” As a novice blogger my goal was to write, and then get what I’d written out to readers on the internet. At the time, maintaining ownership of my printed words, was relegated to the “back burner.”

Cat Rambo, my Blogging 101 instructor, at Bellevue College, touched upon the subject of copyright. She’s a prolific author of fantasy, her work appears on bookstore shelves as well as on the internet. One such is the “Surgeon’s Tale.” You can peruse the many references to her on Google. One that had me smiling and saying “aha,” is that Cat Rambo has an MA from The Writing Seminars of John Hopkins University. No small feat there. She is also credited as being the fiction editor of the award-winning Fantasy Magazine.

With her depth of writing and blogging experience, and with views of her website probably past the 200,000 mark at this juncture, I paid close attention to what Cat Rambo shared during her trio of classes. While she did pursue one case of copyright theft in court, our instructor maintained that such a path is expensive, and without guarantees. She added, that, generally speaking, she considers “recycling” of her words a way to broaden her audience. From time to time Cat Rambo does share what she’s in the process of writing on her sites. But she does so with deliberation, putting out just enough to whet the reader’s appetite. Smart woman, I think.

My decision regarding “use of my material” has evolved over the 6 months in which I’ve been blogging. It seemed initially other sites were hijacking my posts and inserting them into what they’d written, or even going so far as to intimate that my words were actually theirs. The end results looked like a mess, in my opinion. They seemed a hodgepodge of sentences, assembled without thought. So I shrugged my shoulders, and decided that readers weren’t dumb. They’d see through the ruse. At least any readers who value good writing.

With my nose to the grind, I kept Cat Rambo’s words emblazoned across my mind, “If you write something of value, they will come.” She may not have uttered those exact words, but I got her meaning, for sure.

The message that I leave with you then, dear readers, is that my words are to be shared, but not coveted. Just as they are no longer mine to keep safe once I’ve clicked “publish,” they shouldn’t be “rehashed” to appear to be someonelse’s. What was once mine is meant to be recycled again, and again, and again. I only ask that its origins be credited to…

hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul….with aloha…hugmamma. 

you can check out Cat Rambo on several sites: www.kittywumpus.net, catrambo.livejournal.com, www.catrambo.com. And if you leave a comment, tell her “hugmamma sent you.”

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“blog power”

Not being a true techie, but more of a wannabe writer, I’m totally amazed when I learn that my blog has actually been read by someone I know, or with whom I’m familiar. Case in point, my ongoing communication with Comcast which began with a national phone service rep commenting on my post, letting me know that I could contact him directly by email. That got the “snowball rolling.” Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon your point of view, mine is somewhere in the middle, our conversation continues since our internet connection is nonexistent. It’s been that way for 6 days. The technician who professed to the “noise interference” theory is returning to replace our antique modem with its current version. He’s also “changing out wires.” Those are his words; I’m uncertain what they mean, exactly. My husband will tail the repairman tomorrow, asking pertinent questions, I’m sure. I’m more the “leave them alone to do their thing” type; my hubby’s the “in your face” type. I’ll be holding my breath, crossing my fingers, arms, legs and toes, hoping against hope that COMCAST FINALLY FIXES THE PROBLEM!!!

Yesterday, as usual, I accompanied my daughter to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s adult, open class at its suburban campus. Our friend, Marissa Albee, taught. Throughout class I couldn’t help but admire her dance movement, in addition to her teaching style. Her attention to detail in technique and artistry makes her an awesome instructor. Sitting quietly in the corner, observing, I felt myself paying attention to her corrections, tapping her fingers on her breastbone to indicate “opening up to the audience.” When she stretched her leg, lifting the muscle up from beneath her butt, rotating it so that the hip wasn’t simply hiked up, but that her entire side was lengthening, I knew exactly what she meant. Of course, I’m anal about details. Remember the previous title of my blog, Hugmamma’s Attention to Detail

Following class, Marissa stopped to chat. I expressed my genuine admiration for the manner in which she taught the ladies, and my appreciation for her beautiful, fluid dance quality. My daughter and I never had the privilege of seeing Marissa dance with PNB, probably because we weren’t yet living on the west coast.  But as we indicated to her, Marissa looked as though she could resume her career. Of course stamina might be a concern, because she’s not rehearsed and performed in many years. At least that was her reply to our suggestion that she could continue dancing. Then there’s the fact that she’s a doting mom, which is a full-time career in itself. I know that for a fact. So my daughter and I, and the ladies in Marissa’s class, are content to watch and learn from her. She’s still trying to get me into a leotard and some tights. That’ll never happen, unless I’m physically transformed into someone like Carla Korbes, PNB’s new principal, who’s an absolutely gorgeous dancer.

What floored me about our conversation is that PNB had emailed Marissa about my previous post. Someone on staff had read it, and passed it along to Marissa. So she thanked me for the nice things I’d written about her. The pleasure was mine, as it is in what I’ve written about her in this post.

The power of the internet is becoming more and more obvious to me, and frightening. Essentially anything we think, and express in words for all to see, exposes us. But the power to be “heard” is something to which we all aspire. Wielding such power to further compassion and a positive attitude, is my mission in blogging. We all have the power to make a difference, and the internet can be an important ally towards that end. Even one, lone voice can capture an audience’s attention if there is value to what is being shared. I’m just regurgitating what my Blogging 101 instructor, Cat Rambo pointed out one day in class.

value = blog power…hugmamma.