Trying to be done

Seriously. Desperately seriously.

Yes, I’m still appalled by the unethical events, namely the recent of discovery of what appears to be plagiarism. by Cassie Ewards, a historical romance writer. It’s all unfolding at Dear Author & SB.

Regarding the plagiarism, yes, unethical is the only way I can view it, considering the evidence offered.

And yes… I’m addicted to the drama.

My name is Shiloh Walker and I’m addicted to blogs and drama and blog dramas. The first step to recovery is admitting I have a problem…..

So… I stand by what I’ve said.

Plagiarism is wrong and yes, IMO, it looks like there was plagiarism. I don’t believe that age should be an issue on either side, I don’t belief caving under pressure is a legit excuse, and I don’t believe ignorance of the legal issue, should that be the case, is acceptable.

I believe that the SB’s had every right, perhaps even an obligation, to bring this public. Knowing that a wrong is occurring and keeping it to yourself is wrong.

I feel that readers do have a right to know when a beloved author has been ‘lifting’ research material.

It’s my opinion that the romance community does need to address this. I’ve seen it posted on least one writing blog, outside of romance, where the blogger appeared to be in the writing community, seemed to follow it~yet didn’t understand why people were viewing this incident as wrong. Can’t remember the link, don’t really care to looking for it but it was something along the lines of ‘even romance is supposed to credit research?’ Word for word research…hell, yes. If a writer can’t understand the ethical, if not legal, issue at hand, then there’s definitely a need for more education on plagiarism among writers.

I believe when somebody does something wrong, there should be consequence.

I still don’t think that silence on the subject amounts to condoning the act.

However… I also believe that everybody makes mistakes. Whether CE will own up to that is on her, but I’m not going to keep devoting my attention to this incidence. Maybe now it’s time to focus on the matter of plagiarism in general and not just this act. I’ve written RWA suggesting that perhaps they should offer some workshops regarding plagiarism.

I’ve discussed my viewpoints openly and honestly and I’ve tried to judge the act, not the person behind it.

I’m not interested in seeing somebody’s life ruined over a mistake, even if it’s a mistake the person made, a mistake they are responsible for. As I’ve said, we’ve all made them. If I had to keep paying for the mistakes I made ten years ago, who knows where my life would have taken me? This doesn’t mean I don’t feel the author shouldn’t attempt to make amends, or at least attempt to take personal responsibility. But whether she does or not… that’s on her. Not me. Nothing I do from this point out will change what she decides to do, and nothing I do from this point out will likely have much effect on somebody else who may consider doing what she’s done.

All I can do is my best to conduct myself ethically… which is why I’m making this post. I think it’s time we started looking at ways to prevent this or at least educate others.

I don’t see how mocking somebody who’s screwed up, no matter how royally, accomplishes much. In all truth, I’m not seeing much mocking, but I have seen enough and it’s happening a little more often. Mocking doesn’t undo the wrong. It doesn’t change it. It doesn’t somehow make it better.

And mocking often reflects badly on those doing the mocking.

I don’t feel this mockery is the best face we could show as a genre. I adore the romance genre. I adore the loyalty of the readers and the dedication of the writers. Some people I hold in the highest respect are part of the genre and three of my closest friends are friends I probably never would have met if I wasn’t part of this genre. I’ve been in romanceland for a while now and I know that not everything is taken at face value. But not all of those watching this unfold see what we see. And… regardless of that, what good does it do to poke at somebody that’s pretty much already down in the eyes of the general public?

Little to none.

I also know that some people just love to jump in on the bandwagon when they see that somebody’s screwed up. They love to post comments that to them appear clever are actually nothing but sheer cattiness. There’s a difference between being snarky and being catty. More, if you have nothing of value to add to a conversation besides an attempt at sly wit, whether it’s in support of the author or against it, that’s obvious, it’s apparent, and while it might seem fun or funny, I don’t think it adds much to the conversation.

Yes, I’m glad this came to light. It was an unethical act that may have continued if it hadn’t been discovered…and made so very public. That public attention may well deter those who’ve considered something similar and it will most definitely make writers more aware. I don’t see the two big blogs that have been following this closely, namely SB and the DA blog, as being on a witch hunt. They discovered something unethical and brought it to light. The media attention that has arisen will hopefully bring about a sincere investigation. I also hope that media attention will spur writing organizations across the board to offer more in the way of education on plagiarism.

But now that light has become one huge glaring spotlight and as more and more evidence is uncovered, it seems a lot of the comments have gone from dismay to outright catty. Not all, by far, but enough.

Cattiness doesn’t change the wrong, it doesn’t make it better and it doesn’t help bring a solution~in point, it’s pretty damn worthless and this is coming from somebody who’s all too familiar with cattiness. I’ve both given and received my share and I know how very little it amounts to.

So…Dear God…please help me be strong tomorrow. Help me to bow out of this particular situation and help me focus so that the next time I do address plagiarism, it’s at a more neutral time.