Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hola chicas!

(I can't think of any male readers I've got, off the top of my head, but just in case: Hola chicos!)

Things are creeping along, hopefully in a positive manner, with my Nana: her feeding tube is working well, and she's being moved out of the ICU into a regular room. They've got four major concerns: 1) When will she be able to restart the radiation, because that tumor is ridiculously large and prohibitive to, you know, breathing normally, eating, & sometimes talking (plus, you know, it's fatal if left to its own devices, which is a very big deal). 2)Is it the tumor that is causing her 'episodes' (they think it is), and how do we prevent them during her treatment?
3)She's got a tiny bit of fluid in her lung right now, and they're not sure why, but they're pretty confident that sitting up, inhalers and nebulizers will help to clear that up & 4)Her liver levels are "off" which may be from not eating for over a week, so they're keeping their eyes on it to see what's happening with it.

Overall, I will take any positive thing: any little step forward is NOT a step back, so I'll take it. Thank you all for your kind words, wishes, and support.

In other news, I've been distracting myself from the hell that has been our house these past few days (oh, the PUS and their sanctimonious "She wouldn't want any tubes!" "I'm here to take care of you!" "Let me remind you of when your father died, or when your sister died, and make vague accusations that you don't care about your mother!" "Let me weep and cry at the idea of this woman's death, in public, even though I have been abusing/neglecting/hating her for at least 20 years!"), I've been following/catching up on the Cassie Edwards controversy.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I suggest you pretend you never saw what I just wrote, and instead just stop reading right her. Because, trust me, you will get sucked in! If you're still sticking around, I'll give you my very abbreviated summary of what the hell is going on:

Cassie Edwards plagiarized. A lot. As in, I can't actually see that more than 25% of any given book of hers was actually written by her. She plagiarized from research materials, from Pulitzer Prize winning novels, from the classics. (This will open a PDF of the evidence against her, if you're interested. It is long, and detailed, and painful.)

The plagiarism was uncovered by, and then outed by, writers and readers over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, which is one of my most favorite websites. The Smart Bitches are wonderful writers, have strong opinions stated in entertaining (and often hilarious) ways, and run a site with some of the smartest commenters I've come across. Because of this situation, they've been condemned by many as "meanies" ... and much worse. The idea that bringing this situation to light could be construed as vindictive, unfair or any of the other things I've seen battered around in the past couple of days is, in my point of view, ludicrous. They did us all a favor, and have taken a lot of heat because of it. I'm grateful to them, to the readers who continue to Google search (what I consider) poorly written books, & to everybody who's seen this and gone "WTH??? This is so wrong!"

Including, my favoritest romance author, Nora Roberts, who's had some experience on the wrong side of this issue (her work was plagiarized by 'author' Janet Dailey back in the late 1990's), and who, rightly, made a statement denouncing Edwards' plagiarism. Note: she didn't denounce Edwards - she merely stated that this is plagiarism, and that it's wrong & should be dealt with.

This has been, of course, seen as an attack on an elderly woman (Edwards is 71) by some people...who have been labeled the excessive "fann gurls", but as an excessive Nora fan gurl myself, I might take offense at the idea that I would support my favorite author should she blatantly steal her words from other people. As much as I love La Nora, should I find that her books are largely made up of someone else's words? I would be horrified. Then I'd be pissed. And you better believe I'd tell her (and probably anybody else who'd listen) how outrageous that is. And I'd want my money back, which I would then distribute to all the other people who actually did that work I enjoyed so much.

Anyways, there's this whole brouhaha (as there seems to be anytime anything happens on the Internet), but it really boils down to this:

You can't call yourself a writer if your book is made up of another writer's words. All you are? Is a pretty good copier. Who sometimes adds characters, commas, or stunted dialogue to whatever you are copying from. This does not make you a writer, and the fact that you've been able to last this long in this business is a disgrace.

The End.

(But thanks for the distraction, Smart Bitches! You can click on any of the Cassie Edwards posts over at SB by clicking on their link on my sidebar, and if you want to read a hilarious take on this whole thing, may I recommend Gennita Low's post over at A Low Profile?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ohh! Sending Nana some love -- and thanks for the entertaining post.