Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Humbling Story

Well, May has been a crazy month! The kids' last day of school was last Thursday, and there were all kinds of end-of-the-school-year festivities. My oldest graduated from elementary school, so now we'll have a middle schooler, first grader, and preschool kiddo. :)

I haven't been doing as much writing because of all this busyness. And being home with the kids all summer, I'm not sure how much progress I'll make. So I'm still soaking up what wisdom I can in hopes of putting pen to paper periodically over the summer and then in a more focused manner in August.

But something kind of funny and kind of embarrassing happened last week. Back in February, I had entered a 50-word poem into Vivian Kirkfield's 50 Precious Words contest (in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday). I was pleased with my little poem and got some positive feedback. I titled it "Pair Skate," and one of the words I used was "swizzled." I was proud of the word choice, thinking I had come up with an original spin on the term "swizzles" used in ice dancing.

Well, last week, we finally checked out Tara Lazar's Little Red Gliding Hood.

The story is a sort of mash-up of a variety of fairy tales, with well-known characters and plot lines making an appearance throughout. The main premise is that Little Red needs to find a skating partner for the Pair Skate. And throughout the book, it talks about Little Red swizzling and twizzling.

Well, I was embarrassed. I mean, it was an honest mistake, but I had submitted a piece of writing that was extremely close in theme, content, and word choice to another well-known published piece. Humbling.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever accidentally copied someone and found out later? Is there any way to avoid this? If you are a creative in some way, shape, or form, I'd love to hear about any experience with this!

Check back tomorrow for a giveaway opportunity and I'll also spotlight a new picture book this week (hint: it involves a tree and a secret!).


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