Posted in Awareness, essay, fanfiction, rant, writing

Writing and Plagiarism: How Cassandra Clare affected my life

When I first started to be active in fandom, the first fandom I really found myself falling in love with was Harry Potter.  It was the first time I started seeing a lot of stories just like the ones in my head, where I continued scenes, or made whole new ones.  It introduced me to the concept of OTPS, and various other fanfiction terminology.  It drove my creativity in my mid-teens.

One of the things I loved was the Draco Trilogy.  I eagerly awaited the updates.  In fact, my friend and I actually would take turns checking to see if it was updated. It was novel length, and I started reading towards the end of the second book.

Then I got slammed with the truth.  Around the time I graduated high school, it came out that Cassandra Claire (since changed to Clare to avoid the association), the author of the series, had taken almost whole chunks out of other people’s published works. She didn’t credit, and when the issue was brought up didn’t add a credit.  The one thing I’ve always been taught is to always credit when it’s not yours, be it fanfiction, an academic paper or some kind of artwork.  You always credit what you use that isn’t yours.

I was stunned to find out my favorite fanfiction author at the time was doing this.  The evidence seemed pretty damning (still does)  and it was liking finding out your role model fell from grace.  Suddenly you had to reexamine what you liked about what she wrote, and was it really hers or someone else’s?  There was a loss of trust in the author.  I imagine this was similar to when people found out that Milli Vanilli didn’t actually sing their songs.  I was sad, I was disappointed.  I felt betrayed myself.  I felt angry. Continue reading “Writing and Plagiarism: How Cassandra Clare affected my life”

Posted in general, Politics, rant

Helping Others

A subject came up today on Facebook, and I felt like making my own post about it.  For those of you who didn’t know, I’m an American, therefore my knowledge base and information tends to have an US bias.  So this is more focused on my fellow Americans.

Often times, when a foreign group of people require our help, the phrase “We should help those who need it here first!” comes up.  I hate this phrase.  Why?

Because this is just an excuse by some people to not help anyone.

During the rest of the year when the crises of the world are not in our mind’s view, when things seem to be going alright, why aren’t these people actively trying to keep people thinking about the homeless or the other many needs of Americans?  If you only care about your ill-treated Veterans when someone else’s needs are being broadcast, you don’t really care.  You are just making an excuse not to help.

Right now, in Flint,  Michigan, there are many people sick because of bad water.  Its hard to believe that in this day and age, in such a affluent country, that we are reporting this.  And it was done to save money.  Yet I haven’t seen half the amount of posts about this subject as I have seen about *not* helping the refugees.

Why is this?  Why is the care of our citizens only important to people when it comes to saying we shouldn’t care about those outside our country?

I know people who said this and who *are* actively seeking people’s attention to the needs of their fellow citizens, but it seems like the majority are just seeking ways to not help and not be considered compassionate.

We are one of the richest countries in the world.  There is no reason we shouldn’t be able to help our own citizens AND help those in need elsewhere.  If you have the resources to help, you should do so, and if you don’t, it takes very little time to pass the information along to those who do by social media, or just by keeping the subject in the conversation.

For those of you who want to know how to help more those in Flint, Michigan, here’s an article on MIC about ways you can help.

And if you live in the greater Pittsburgh area, you can donate to Operation Safety Net, a program supported by Mercy Hospital to give out medical care to the Homeless of Pittsburgh.