Good Morning Thieves in the Night,
I’ve been in love with this our humble forum since 2005. The two or three of you that have been reading this sludge-pond all this time is to be acknowledged for your tolerance for pain.
This outlet began as droll commentary to a few friends…during a significant ‘rough patch’ that helped me to deal with it. I think it was cathartic. Surprisingly, within three months I had close to 100 people that requested to be on my email list.
Finally, my son created this site for me and with his help has been up and running with reasonable consistency. It shouldn’t take to many readings to realize most of what I write is fiction using my associates as characters in my short-short stories called the ‘Diatribe.’ When I again embraced art I withdrew for a few months but brought it back dropping the ‘Diatribe’ moniker.
Recently I had what I can only describe as a disturbing encounter with one of the Maggot’s patrons. When he/she saw me take a seat they immediately confronted me smiling, but was the kind of smile you’d see on Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s face after they nailed Nixon to the wall.
“Is it considered plagiarism to use stories you’ve already written?” he/she said in accusatorial tones. I looked at he/her in disbelief. I believe the correct term that would apply here is ‘editing’ or to edit given the original story was mine. It’s not unusual to repeat stories that are in many cases being read for the first time. Dave Berry, George Saunders, and Tobias Woolf are a few of the better-known contemporary short story writers who often repeat stories but list the date initially ran.
Hopefully, this person hell-bent on discrediting me has noticed I painstakingly give credit either by name and/or quotations whenever I use another’s words to illustrate a point. I’ve been using the same source (my website) for my many postings so that even the revamped stories can’t be accused of being PLAGIARIZED!
verb (used with object), plagiarized, plagiarizing.
1. to take and use by plagiarism.
2. to take and use ideas, passages, etc., from (another’s work) by plagiarism.
verb (used without object), plagiarized, plagiarizing.
3. to commit plagiarism.
Given time constraints I have occasionally edited and updated a story written several years earlier to post it as a new story which technically is accurate. Since revamping my site to be more ‘art oriented’ my readership tends to be from the last two years so the content is new to them. Having said this, I am guilty of omission so to satisfy those who’ve been offended by this, I will begin each repeated story-line with the date first posted.
Hopefully, the two or three of you still reading this vacuous plain now understand what plagiarism means and realize how silly it sounds to accuse someone of stealing from themselves.