Spilling more Hot Chocolate: #SplashGate anyone? In other words here we go again…

Dear friends, I have just learned that the word “splash” has now been trademarked. Over the course of some time we have seen the devilish #cockygate which died after the author pulled back on her copyright infringement claims on the word “cocky” but now we have to worry about the word “splash.”

Here is where I sit on this, “splash” really can’t be trademarked since it was the title of a movie back in the 1980’s; however, if this claim is successful in being pursued I think Disney might have something to say on the issue and here we go again folks for another episode of:

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Granted many can try on their claims for these type of things but as a community, we should take offense that there are authors/writers out there that want to limit the community as a whole from using words that have been used for years and years and thousands of books.

The last time that we as a community dealt with these type of issues, and I’m talking about #cockygate, the writing community as a whole had a massive blow up and this was the start of many of the issues that we as writers face within our community.

Yes, our community can be great but like so many communities out there are, we also  have some bad seeds. I will say that a post that I did some time ago about spilling the tea about authortube has been popular over time, and still continues to be, sheds some light on the issues that have come up over time with the authortube community.

Here is a link to the blog post if you would like to read it for yourself: https://moonspinner3books.com/2018/10/25/spilling-hot-chocolate-over-the-latest-drama-authortube/

All of this drama is one of the reasons why I said that I had enough with the community. Granted, there is still more drama going on with authors on authortube and some other places that author’s use for the platform but enough is enough.

When I first joined this community of online writers and as an aspiring writer, the message that came over loud and clear is “I want to help writers like yourself to succeed.” Granted, there are still some that say that but then there are others that bring on the drama like if you don’t do something like I do then you’re a bad citizen of the writing community.

Sorry, not everyone goes on the same path with their writing. Some aren’t young when they start their first novel, some are just as old as my parents. But that part doesn’t matter, what matters is this plain and simple: don’t make the barriers to enter harder for anyone. It wasn’t hard for you to get into writing so make it hard for others?

Yes, you might be sitting there reading this and thinking, “Wait isn’t this simple ethics? or like the Golden Rule?” Why yes, it is. Think about it treat others as you want to be treated. If you want to be a traditionally published author then deal with those barriers and those gate keepers that like to look at trends and tell you what you should be writing. But if you want to be an independent writers and be self-published then help others and suggest things that work instead of tearing down writers.

 We all want to succeed in this world of writing, but if you make it hard for someone and they run from their dream then you have already started hurting this community.

Granted, from the beginning with this site I have stated time and time again that I want to help writers not hurt them. But when I post things like this, it’s to help them understand what we as a community are facing at the current moment. Do I like posting these things? No, for it hurts me. I get angry and upset and that’s not what this is for me. This is my place to escape from the realities of the world, and like I have posted on here before too writing is an escape. It should be relaxing and enjoyable but when things like this drama come up, it adds more pressure on us writers then helps to relax us.

That’s how we should think as a community. Help other writers rather than hurt them. Granted, on many of the writing groups that I am a member of one book keeps being brought up, and that book is “Children of Blood and Bone.” I, for one can honestly say that I am not quite over what this author did back last year, and I even wrote a post about it:

https://moonspinner3books.com/2018/11/30/here-we-go-again/

Here is a brief overview on the topic, the author tried to claim that Nora Roberts was stealing titles. Now pay attention, children, Nora Roberts wrote a book titled, “Of Blood and Bone,” which came out a year prior to “Children of Blood and Bone.” Now think, how can some one steal a title when it came out a year prior to someone else’s book? You have given it some thought and are probably thinking, “That’s not how it works.”

Here is the other thing on this, both authors’ works were published by the same publishing house but under different imprints.

Granted, the author did apologize to Nora hours after the fact, but the issue remains that she did not correct her readers on any of the facts, for they still to this day go after Nora for the author’s cries of foul. I’m sorry, but when you make a claim like this, and even if you apologize, you should call out your fans and also make them apologize for their actions. I know it’s hard but it would go a lot further in this community with one simple act instead of sitting around and doing nothing.

Maybe I should let it go, but I’m not quite ready to since her readers have not let their tirade towards Nora Roberts has not been let go either. Yes, damage has been done and done and continues to be done. But we as a community need to find a way to come together instead of falling apart and being further apart then before.

Over the years we are told that writing is a solitary job, and let’s face it is. We write alone, we come up with our ideas alone and at times we have no support, and yet we are told that finding a community of authors/writers is away to come out of that solitary life and make it worth while. But if more episodes like this come up, we are still going to be solitary in our writing pursuits.

Sorry, if this was not a happy topic, but it needs to be put out there. I hope that in the mean time that you have a happy writing day! But just be careful for a using the word “splash”.

 

 

 

Here we go again…

Before I begin, talking about the last oil that is being spilled upon the writing community, let me ask, “Is this for real?”

This year, in the writing community we have dealt with bullying tactics by the likes of Faleena Hopkins, but now we have someone is taking #cockygate to a whole other level. God help us all!

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The writing community is up in arms again in the defense of not an indie author, but rather a New York Times best selling author. This author has written and sold not just thousands of books but millions of books. In case you are not aware, Nora Roberts, (yes, thy Nora Roberts) has now been called out for plagiarizing titles. Let’s make this clear first off, “You cannot own titles.”

Sorry, for the red font but this one is over the top. Just saying. Nora Roberts on her blog, Fall Into The Story, she has written a post called, “Mob Rule by Social Media.” I have added the link so that you can read it when you feel like it. She says that she was recently accused her of stealing the title of her book. Let’s get to the facts shall we, this author who called out Nora for stealing, has one book out, her debut.

The book that Nora wrote came out a year before this author’s book, and as Nora says in her blog, “You can’t copyright a title. And titles, like broad ideas, just float around in the creative clouds. It’s what’s inside that counts.” Agreed and well said. Let’s also put out here that this author, has no fact just emotions that her follows have grabbed onto like a bunch of monkeys grabbing on to bunch of bananas.

Just like Faleena Hopkins followers grabbed on to the knowledge that they gained from her to attack other writers, this author’s followers are doing the same thing to Nora. This attack was not only on this author’s feed, but also on Nora’s pages, which let me state Nora clearly says on her blog that she is only Facebook, Instagram and her blog. That is all the social media that she is involved on.

This author has even claimed that Nora is “trying to use this first time writer-whose books has been well received-for my own profit.” Further more the quote goes on from Nora, “ride her coattails as I have no originality. This after more than thirty years in the business, more than two hundred books.” She even goes on to say that she has never heard of this author’s book and she has never read her book either, which she polity states, “I never will now.”

Nora states , that she does not now this woman and this author does not know her. Furthermore, this author “lit the match, foolishly.” Furthermore, Nora Roberts has been plagiarized before and as she says it leaves an open wound. So why in the world would Nora plagiarized?

This whole thing boils down to this new-bee author trying to make bank on someone else’s success from one title. Sorry, this is wrong. She has been called names and a liar for coming out about this situation, when all she did was write a book a year ago. That is all. She wrote a book a year before this other author.

Granted, I could ask how do we know that this author did not plagiarizer on Nora’s book? But we cannot do that for, no one owns a bloody title. Yes, I have a few of Nora’s books and I love to read them. Do we want to be like her someone day? Yes, we do. Let’s own up to that fact. But to call her out for the success of her career is just nasty business, and a slippery slope that we cannot take back.

Enough is enough. Sorry, this is year has been nasty and for the record some of the bridges have been burned between writers within the community. We need to rebuild and stand up for authors and to acknowledge that no one can own a title. This was Faleena’s downfall and this will probably be this author’s downfall too. I’m not saying pick a side but this year has been harsh to this community.

As Nora states on her blog, a fire has been started and the person who started needs to put it out. However, the fire is continuing to burn and there is not water to put it out, but there is enough fuel to keep it burning. Let us rise up from this and come together and stand by those that have been wrongly accused.

Nora wanted to be strong and not let this come out, but she has had enough. We have all had enough of this bull shit this year. Frankly, enough is enough. Let’s put out the fire and stand by those that need justice and face facts. Yes, we should be loyal to our readers and our readers should be loyal to us, but this does not mean that we use our readers to attack fellow writers.

Part of being a writer is doing your homework. Knowing the process. Understanding that titles can be used over and over again just like the names that we go buy. If you wanted something original go out on a branch and look for it.

Let me just say that I have found the covers of both books and the author, who has accused Nora of plagiarism. The author is Tomi Adeyemi and her book is titled, “Children of Blood and Bone.” Nora’s book is titled, “Of Blood and Bone.” I’m not starting a witch hunt here against Tomi, but give me a freaking break, there is one word difference between the two titles while four words are the same. This is unbelievably stupid to say the least.

Yes, Tomi has come out and appologize to Nora and has even acknowledged that both works were titled in “isolation.” Granted, this statement from Tomi came out two days ago. But the fire keeps on raging. Haven’t we had enough fires this year?

 

Spilling Hot Chocolate over the Latest Drama: AuthorTube

dragon and coffee
Amy Brown

It seems that if you go on YouTube and look at either BookTube or AuthorTube channels, most of them are spilling either tea or coffee over issues that some have with the writing community that is on YouTube. But let me preface this discussion with let’s go back to the evens of the summer, that we writers had to deal with. Granted, not every member of AuthorTube, put forth their say or opinion on #cockygate. I feel this alone has brought forth a divide in the community.

Also some of the issues that are being discussed or being shamed upon is other’s creative processes. This one I’m bringing out the red flag challenge on (big time). Let’s face it my creative process is probably not like everyone else’s and that is fine. I don’t want to take on everyone else’s creative process. While I have not fully stated my creative process on my platform, I feel that everyone, whether you are a writer, painter, knitter, singer, or whatever art you create, each person has their own creative process. Whatever that process is, no one, and I repeat: no one should be shamed for that. Yes, some have some out of the box methods and that is totally fine. I feel that this should not be an issue within the writing community.

Another issue that some have raised up with their voices is the difference between quantity versus quality. If there is one writing aspect that could be looked at for this is our beloved NaNoWriMo. No, I’m not throwing NaNoWriMo under the bus, but rather bringing up the mentality that some have in regards to NaNoWirMo in general. Let’s give an example, you plan out NaNoWriMo, you write your project, and then you spend the next several months editing, re-drafting and repeat the process until you have it completed as far as it can go. Then you either try to traditionally publish your work or you self-publish that work in the fall. That way by the time it’s published, it’s time for NaNoWriMo again. That is how you spent the whole year. Now, if your friend took part in NaNoWriMo and completed the first draft, but never touched that work through out the year, then in some cases your friend becomes shamed for not touching their project again.

I don’t like this at all. Let’s face it life happens, yes, we have goals that we have. But also there comes a time when you have to put it on the shelf again for a while. Over this past year, when I was at one of the conferences, someone said that if you wrote that first draft and are afraid of the second draft phase, then it’s fine to put it on the shelf for a while and move on to something else. There is nothing wrong with that. Lord knows I have done that a time or two, and it does help make it a stronger project, due to the fact that I’m reworking the project based on what I know now, versus what I knew then when I first wrote that initial draft. Part of being a writer is to grow, and if no one is going to allow you to grow as a writer, let alone an artist, then maybe it’s time to re-look at the messages that we get from the community.

I’m not saying dismiss the community, but rather view each messenger as a whole and decide if what they are saying is the best use of your time. Let’s all face it, everyone of the AuthorTubers have put out the same type of videos on tips and tricks. While listening to some of them, their message is just like or similar to another person in the community. Therefore, ask yourself do we need to see another video on YouTube on the “Top Five Mistakes that Show you are a new Writer?”

I have seen that video a lot pop up on my feed a time or two. I get it or rather we all get it, there are new writers out there, and part of being a new writer is making mistakes and learning from them. Sorry, no one wrote a perfect essay their first time out in school. Why? It’s because we all had to learn to write the freaking essay and what is involved in writing a freaking essay. It’s true. Sure some one got an ‘A’ on that first essay, but that ‘A’ was more encouragement then saying that essay was perfect.

Now here is where I must admit, sure I follow AuthorTubers, do I take what they say to heart? Not all the time, I would say more like some of the time. I mean over the course of the year, I somewhat lost my trust in AuthorTube due to the fact, that a big portion of them did not speak up about AuthorTube, or about the changes that are currently going on with KDP and Createspace. I mean if most of them can put out the same “Five Tips on Editing your Draft,” then surely they could have put out a video or two on the drama that some of us authors dealt with over the summer.

I hate to say it, but just like most of the United States is divided over politics, the AuthorTube Community is also dived. There I said it, and I feel that those that did not say anything during the cockygate trials are now finding their voice to talk about this subject. I’ll give them a hand in that, for it looks like the drama pot has been stirred up  once again. But the question, is did it need to be brought up before NaNoWriMo? I mean seriously? Did it?

Granted, I started this month by posting that in order to get ready for NaNoWriMo, we need to go down the path without any drama. Part of that drama came from the events of cockygate. I think that I said, but if I didn’t, NaNoWriMo was to be our time to put away the drama and to focus on what we like doing the best, writing. Could we have that? No freaking way! There’s a reason why there is a children’s table during the holidays. As well as sayings such as, “Can’t we all just get along?”

This year, has shown us one thing, and that is clearly the answer: NO! I mean it’s a real shame. It is a real shame! We are writers, and we say that we want to help others, but if those on YouTube can’t get it together and acknowledge issues within the community then what’s the point of having this community on YouTube or any other platform?

Am I giving up on this platform? No, I mean to say that live up to what I said that I would do, and that is to help writer’s achieve their writing goals. I don’t shame or dismiss any writer based on their status in the community, their creative process, or anything else that could get them shamed by others in the community. We are writers, all competing for the same job, which is to help our readers escape from the real world for a few chapters at a time from the front cover to the back cover. But if we cannot help or even recognize others in the community then we no longer become a sea of voices joining together, for we become sea of voices trying to over topple one another.

While this post was more about community then about writing. I hope that you have a great writing day, even if that means venting out frustrations.

 

 

 

 

#cockygate…update? or Breaking News?

I’m going to start today’s post with news,  big news that we have all been waiting for and in case you haven’t heard, we can all rejoice in the streets. The news that we can celebrate is that #cockygate is over! Yes, it is finally over and why you might ask. Let’s star off by saying that a settlement has been reached and Faleena Hopkins and her attorney’s have pulled her two trademark claims. So what does this mean? We can use the word “cocky” in titles, on covers, and in sentences.

I mean it feels great to be able to say that out loud that #cockygate is over!!!

Issues that are impacting the Writer Community

Hello and welcome back! I want to first start by saying that the Castle Rock Writer’s Conference for 2018 will be held on the evening of Friday, September 28 and throughout the day on Saturday, September 29. So if you are going to be in Colorado and want to attend, you might want to watch their website,  http://castlerockwriters.com, for when you can RSVP for the event.

Secondly, there is a lot going on in the writing community, like I said the last time that I was on here Amazon is going to be releasing their changes sometime in July, which is fast approaching. Furthermore, there is a lot to be said about #cockygate, book stuffers and the alike.

I have been watching a lot of different authors on youtube as of late, and there is one that speaks out on the issues that are affecting the indie author community as a whole. I appreciate her for what she says and feel that there is just a lot that is going wrong with different injustices that are taking effect to us indie writers. These injustices are making me feel that there are certain practices that should not be taking place in general.

The first one being that there is an author, I don’t know her name, but she posted on youtube that an “author” can make a six-figure salary by hiring ghostwriters and then publishing what a ghostwriter has put out and taking credit for it. Yes, this practice has been going on for a long time, but I feel that ghostwriters should be given the credit that is due to them for their hard work. They, being ghostwriters, work just as hard as the rest of us authors. But for someone to take advantage of that and then call themselves “authors” for this is entirely not what this community should be about. Furthermore, it’s plagiarism plain and simple.

I hate to put this out here, but we as writers work hard to put out our work. We work hard to get agents, and publishers to pick us up on the interigity of our work. Yes, we may need our work to be edit, but who doesn’t need that? But if our community is over run by cheaters, scammers, and those that seek to take advantage of the systems that have been put in place for legitimate writers/authors then who pays for that? We do, the people that do the actual work and work to tell stories.

I’m not saying, by any means that Amazon is innocent in any of the policies that have been put in place in the past, but more needs to be done to protect legitimate authors. This community has so much to offer but if we are being taken advantage of then, our community will suffer for it. I’m not saying that I’m giving up on writing, for I still have the stories in mind that I want to tell, but what I am saying right now is that I will be doing more homework on everything that I put out that I want to publish to make sure that my readers can find my work and not some pirated copy of it.

 

The Line in the Sand…#cockgate

Hello, my friends, I’m sorry that I have not been on here for a while, and that is because I have been hard at work on The Raven Prophecy. That’s right, for I’m currently still working very hard on The Raven Prophecy. I will get to the latest updates later in this post; however, there is something more important that needs to be discussed.

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If you have not heard, my dear writing friends and members of the writing community, there is a writer by the name of Faleena Hopkins, who is an independent author that publishes/writes her novels in the romance genre. The name of her series is called the Cocker Brother series, which she has now trademarked. This is fine for that is part of her brand; however, she has now trademarked the word “Cocky” in a font that she does not own or had permission from the makers of the font to trademark.

The other part  of this claim/made up ownership of the word “Cocky” is that this woman is writing letters to any author that has the word “Cocky” in the title of their book and asking them to stop using the word “Cocky” and to change their title, cover, and any part that uses the word “Cocky.”  This is not just for new titles of novels that have the word “Cocky” in them but also previously published works that were published before 2016. This is what the writing community has been dealing with over the weekend. Granted, I’m pleased to say that the Romance Writers Association (RWA) is getting involved and their lawyers are also helping any other that has received a letter from Faleena Hopkins.

There are many points, that have been made by authors across the community on Twitter, and Facebook for the most part. There have even been a few that have expressed themselves on Amazon in the reviews comments and one book got so many negative reviews that she closed the comment section down for that book. But on the other hand, her readers are also going after any author that went after Faleena and also made comments on these author’s books as well.

There are so many ways that this is getting out of hand. I agree that a stance needs to be taken on her trademark of the word “Cocky” and the font that she is also claiming is hers, which it is not. Secondly, this is not only troubling for the romance genre industry for any industry of fiction, for it means that we have to check to make sure that every word that we use in our titles is not copyrighted or trademarked. Thirdly, from an independent author and publisher stance, there is just more than just making a few little changes for it takes time and money. Fourth, I’m upset that her readers are out there calling us bullies when their beloved author is being a bully to writers first. Fifth, what she is doing is so wrong on so many levels.

I should include in this conversation as to her reason for why she is doing this, it’s because her readers have complained that they lost money for they bought books that were not her’s. Okay, the answer there is that if the reader can’t see her name on the cover then they should not have bought the book in the first place. She also states that so many romance authors are copying her. Sorry, that doesn’t fly either when you look at so many romance novels and they look almost the same except for the title, the font of the title and the author’s name. All you have to do is do a search in google for romance novel covers and dozens if not hundreds will pop up and some of them will look the exact same, except for the changes listed above.

To end this discussion, I have some choice words for Ms. Faleena Hopkins:

Dear Ms. Hopkins,

Welcome, to the writing community but please, take your shit and leave. You are not a productive member to the writing community, and your “loyal” readers not productive readers to the reading community. You have called us writers, even the ones that never you knew you until you popped up with your ridiculous claim over a word that has been used in the dictionary and a thousand other places for hundreds of years.

You have no real claim over the word and to futher the point, your readers must know how to find your name on the cover of your books. If this the way that you want spend your money, then fine spend your money but you are not only hurting yourself but you are hurting others as well, and that also goes from an ethical point as well.

Futhermore, as another author put it, you not only burt the bridge but you destroyed it. You are not better than dirt at this point, and I hope you enjoy being there. Please, don’t come to any writing functions, for if you do you will find several drinks and food thrown at your face. Please, leave the community and never return. Also may karma bit you in the ass.

Sincerly yours,

Faerie Rose Press.

Sorry, if I ranted it just there, but this woman just has to know that the community is not small and she should also stop thinking that she is the only author in the romance genre, or in the writing world.

Dear reader, if you would like to learn more about this issue, please, google the term cockygate hashtag and it will be explained more in general. As far as she herself goes she is one nasty piece of work and she is playing the victim rather well. But it doesn’t fly when you are hurting the community not helping.


Here is a current update on The Raven Prophecy:

I would like to start this update by saying that I’m editing the parts that I have written so far and retweaking a new draft, which includes new chapter headings and new cover and title pages. I know in the past that I said that I would not re-do my cover but I have and this is the last and final time that the cover will ever be worked on. So here they are one is for the paperback/hardcover and one is for the e-book:

The Raven Prophecy-new14-page-001   The-Raven-Prophecy-new14-page-001-ConvertImage

Thank you for joining me today and I hope that you will continue to follow the updates on #cockygate and my updates for The Raven Prophecy.