Wednesday, August 15, 2012


The other day I read out Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak on our local community radio. The night before was full of folk swinging from trees around a fireplace or impersonating Max and his mates in all sorts of disturbing ways.

The conversation went to J's Saturday slot on the radio.
"I've got a bloke coming in who has just released a cd of kids songs ..." and then the talk rambled on to Aussie who was lurking in her banana plantation like a wild thing and then, quite naturally to Where the Wild Things Are and Christopher Walkin's reading of it. I think that this was the point where he asked me to read it the next day, because he knows I love that book, and I agreed.
"You can read as the lead in to my interview with him and some of his songs."

Come four o'clock I was still feeling the effects of the previous night and quite forgotten my promise when J rang me. But Hemingway once said that we should make it a habit to adhere to any promises we make when we are drunk, if only to learn not to make such rash promises ever again. Damn you vodka/Hemingway. Okay J, yes, I'll do it.

When I got to the studio, the other guest, the guy who produced the kids cd hadn't turned up. I read the book, explaining a bit about the images as I went. The main guest still wasn't there. We rummaged for music, then J decided to interview me instead.

We talked about lots of different things. He knew I was nervous. Us writers ... fisherwomen, you know, we like a quiet room or an inlet to buzz around in. Anyway, we ended up talking about blogging.
"Blogging changed me as a writer," I said. "Before that I was writing stuff and putting it in a drawer. Or sending it off for someone else to put in a drawer. When you blog a story you put it out there for people to read. If they don't like it, they won't comment. If they like it, they'll comment positively, or at least give you something constructive to work with. That way, writing becomes a conversation which is what writing is supposed to be - a conversation, a communique."

Which leads me to the crux of this post and I'm really sorry if you thought it was about wild things because it's not, really. Since discovering topsynews have been systematically stealing my blog posts for their news and entertainment site, I have gone from an online incarnation of Max

to Don Quixote's Rosinante who has finally thrown all his dodgey shoes and quit the aiding and abetting of any further windmill tilting.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have a crisis of confidence, not in myself, but in A WineDark Sea. Maybe producing original content on the internet is not such a great idea. Maybe I should just 'reblog' stories and ideas. Cover my arse all over with the url's of other folks' original content and still look windswept and interesting for my eclectic, curatorial tastes.
Write in my books, only. Keep my 'conversations' in the drawer.
Okay, I'm probably not going to do that ... but this is how I feel today.

Worst tells me not to go looking for the redbacks because it will do my head in. By then it was too late. I'd already found them and yes, they are doing my head in. They've stolen another eight of my posts in the last two days, which brings the count up to one hundred and thirty.
DP tells me the internet is full of thievery and are probably too shadowy to chase up. She also advised that I could maintain my rage whilst taking off to my (blissfully offline) bush shack.

I don't feel like maintaining my rage. I do feel like going bush though. I'm quite tired and sad. I know there are more terrible things happening out there. But like I said to J on the radio, A WineDark Sea is my special little play area. Someone has come in and taken all the swings and monkey bars. If I make some more, they will come and take them too.

Images: Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are, Red Fox, 2000.


  1. These decisions, to leave or go, publish or not, write or not, these are ours alone, and define us.
    The thief left it behind:
    the moon
    at my window.

    1. Yes the moon is still at my window. You are right. Thanks Merc.

  2. First of all I love that you have a community radio (there was one where I used to live and I miss it terribly) and I love even more that you were on it doing a reading of a fabulous book! Also, I love merc's prose about the moon at my window.

    I'm not very technical but there must be a way of blocking the Topsy people from seeing your blog. Some sort of security thing a ma jig. Or not. Maybe some highly advanced computer person knows.

    1. I don't know Cathy, not being terribly highly advanced sort of person. Community radio is great fun too!

  3. I really do empathise here ST. I would bet that the majority of people who plagiarise or steal 'intellectual property' are not original thinkers. I also bet they see little value in even aspiring to be one. I think of these people at worst as parasites, at bestmisguided and shallow. Ok, projecting a lot here, but for you and I, originality, truth, integrity is critical to one's being - it's not an optional extra.

    When I get disillusioned with this whole shitty system I try and think of it this way: I mentally throw these people to the 'universe' and let it deal with them. Because? For them there is absolutely no value in being a mirage of oneself, a ghost, playing at life. I am convinced that we are here to get to know ourselves first and then widen that perspective in a very profound way to include the rest of existence. Yes, right here, right now it hurts and stuff makes me real fucking angry, but....I am committed to living an authentic life. In reality these people haven't got the power to steal anything from you - not really.

    1. Yes, you are right, MF.
      Let me be a queen for another day or so, tho.
      I just needed to have a good fucking whinge. Yesterday I felt like my world was going to bits over some stolen stories. Today I woke up to some real, more immediate dramas and the ether is ... just that.

  4. I am not suggesting you shouldn't be mad. I would be.

  5. So sorry to hear about this, and to read of your disillusionment. I'm crossing my fingers and toes you don't decide to keep your conversations in the drawer (your blog is my all-time favourite and I would be so sad if it became a shadow of its current self -- though, of course, that course of action would be totally understandable). What makes me really mad is that, unless they do it to someone who has a lot of money to throw around after copyright lawyers, they will get away with it! And that they're faceless and half a world away -- would be so good to sit down and talk (shout) it out with them

  6. PS I know the damage has been done, but have you tried emailing them via their contact page? They specifically mention requesting having your blog content removed from their site. NOT that you should have to do that, of course!

  7. Hi Ms PoW, thanks for your thoughts.
    Their email contact page seems to be little more than a front. Emailed them and their advertisers several times now. I've also reported six of their copyright offences to google, who have removed them from their search results. It took ages and you have to do each one individually.
    Like I commented to Michelle, I'll get over it.
    And the stories will always be mine.

  8. It would be a very great shame to see The Wine Winedark Sea lose its established identity and I really hope it doesn't...

  9. Nahh, Ciaran. I'm already moving on. Dinna worry.