Sunday, January 23, 2005

Circes & Thieves

The last few weeks brought computer meltdown, online & off. As part of the fiasco, I inadvertantly deleted a bunch of my relatively new, never published poems. In hopes of recouping the few that I did not have as print-outs, I visited old poetry forums where I originally posted these poems. I found a few. But outstanding among my losses are three or four that I hold dear and cherish like small animals, bringing them up now and then on my computer screen to read and purr over. My friend Dianne tells me that I have kharma related to attachment. Yes. And I love it when I write from the not-Ann source, as was the origin of these missing poems.

In one final online attempt at finding the poems, I keyed in my name on Webcrawler. I didn't find any of my lost poems. But I did find surprises - places where my name and my writing appears without my knowledge.

First, the good news. A poem I wrote two years ago, when I first began writing poetry, was judged among the Top Ten Finalists in the NPAC Best of the Best Awards. I never got notice of this selection but that's not surprising. When the poem (Slow Season) won First Place, Gold in the NPAC competition, the net organization didn't alert me. Instead, Tara Elliott, whose poem tied with mine for First Place, sent me a congratulatory email.

Now the questionable. There's a compilation called Utopia Briannica International Communities which includes a listing of utopian experiments under the aegis of the British Empire. Included is a reference to an article I wrote many years ago called Charlotta: The Failed Utopia. The compiler included a link to my article but the lengthy quote from my article has no attribution. As things go, this is nearly insignificant.

Then there's this archive of articles related to "Religious and Moral Education Research" where I make an appearance via another published article. My article is number ten on the list: Writing for Fun: Anyone in their Right Mind Can Do It and my name is given as author. This is a hotlink. So motivated by curiosity and a sense of creative infringement, I click it.

Hmmm? what's this? Authors: Theresa Ann White and Hegener, Helen? Well all other facts are correct: the journal (Holistic Education Review, Vol. 1, No. 2) the date of publication (1988). Perhaps this is just a glitch. Just to be clear - there was no co-author. I researched and wrote this article independently, and it includes experential information related to my work with mentally ill adults. I look up this mystery co-author. Hegener is found aplenty and most everything is related to the topic of home schooling. She is involved with numerous self-publications which are marketed on her website. I spend a little time reviewing titles but do not find anything related to writing.

My bet is that the responsible person at St. Martins College made a mistake. This database is known as PHILTAR and designed as a "Subject Gateway to electronic sources and resources for teaching and learning in the academic areas of Philosophy, Theology and Religion."

But when I checked out this link, there was no mistake. An ezine by the name of Tapestry. In fact this is the ezine of the WOW (Women Online Worldwide) website. Here, an excerpt from an historical fiction I'm writing, has been lifted and published it in their Fiction section where it now resides in the archives! I rarely use an exclamation point in writing but this time it is warranted. Emails to Leslie Grutza-O'Leary, the "Editor In Chief" have not been answered. Nor has an email sent to the WOW Forum Coordinator, "TammyWOW." This is just outright theft.

All this brouhaha and still my poems are lost.

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