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Are You Here For the Goods?

February 7, 2012

Everyone visits blogs and websites for one thing only: they come for the goods. There’s no shame in asking “What’s in it for me?” You are spending time and often generating revenue for the sites you visit. On this blog, I offer free patterns and a little entertainment, and some thoughtful discussion and resources. So today I’ve got a question for you. Are you here for the goods? You could answer that one of two ways: You could be here for the quilt patterns, or you could be here to cheat.

My Sock Monkey Brings You Good Karma

Sock Monkey says: "Do The Right Thing" (photo ©2012 by Michelle Southern)

I’m so grateful for all of the visitors this blog gets! It’s amazing to me that so many of you are as interested in quilting the blocks from Alias Grace as I am and I suspect that many of you love the book just as much as I do. However I’m noticing that there are a few visits from folks who have searched for terms that are suspiciously book report-like, and want to get what they can to copy and paste into their essay. As an artist, writer, and composer I’m no stranger to being ripped off – and every time it happens it kills a tiny piece of my heart.

I once had a woman take my hand-drawn graphics, make a web award with them, and then try to present me with that award. I’ve had my articles used in their entirety with someone else’s name tacked on to take credit for writing it. I’ve seen my photographs used (with the copyright assigned to their name). And a chocolate company, when confronted with their unauthorized use of the book I wrote to sell their tacky goods, tried to soothe me for their mistake by offering to send me a “sample”.

In all of those instances, my work was being used against me and in some cases were deliberate acts of stealing my income. A polite cease and desist note brings out the worst in these people. Often the lazy folks who do these things are quick to claim “fair use” (nope) or “I’ll sue you if you bring this up again” (nope). I figure most people feel they have to defend themselves when caught in the act of wrong-doing, even though they know they are doing something that isn’t right, or illegal. No one likes to get caught red-handed. So after all the excuses they admit their mistake and do the right thing. I appreciate their acknowledgment, but of course I wish they hadn’t done the wrong thing in the first place.

With this blog I hope to share what I find out about my own local history, having lived in York Region and Toronto and Kingston. I love Alias Grace, my favourite-ist book of all time, and I love reading about historic quilts. I write little articles here with info that I hope will help you in your own journey to learn quilting, celebrate your own history, and maybe inspire you to pick up and read a novel I’ve enjoyed myself many times over. I write about my music, I write about the book and my ideas about it, and I write about local history and events – I have faith that one of these will send you to follow other interesting and related threads that weave throughout your corner of the universe. I spend many hours making the blocks from the book, and creating a pattern for you to follow. I enjoy every minute of this. This blog is not set up for generating profit of any kind, and that’s perfectly fine with me.

So, I know you’re here for “the goods”. I’m here for them as well. This blog is a dream come true for me, as I’ve said a few times already that I’ve wanted to write about making the quilts of Alias Grace for many years. The question is, are you here to steal or to enjoy? If the former, I do hope you’ll reconsider and join us for the latter.

Learning is so rewarding when you are doing it because of your own passion; snatching what others have learned only proves you’re lazy. Writing is so much better when the words come from your own thoughts, ideas, and heart. Don’t cheapen yourself by taking my words – take only the patterns, please. Thank you for visiting and enjoy “the goods”! 🙂

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