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Adventures on “The Lord of the Rings Online” Dwarrowdelf server!!

Hello all!! I have been playing the MMORPG “The Lord of the Rings Online” for about five years now, and I have enjoyed every moment of it. My first and only server had always been Dwarrowdelf, but recently the game developer Turbine decided to consolidate it’s servers for the game, and Dwarrowdelf was one of the servers chose to close. It meant that I had to transfer to another server, Arkenstone, which I did with a somewhat heavy heart because of the fact that good friends were going to other servers. Not only that, but Dwarrowdelf being my only server meant that I would be leaving behind all sort of familiar people that would come up every so often on world chat. It was a very good and friendly community of gamers. But, time marches on, and the game remains fun, and I am pleased whenever I spend time in Middle Earth, which I have done every Saturday night for five years. I love you all, my friendly dwarven, elven, hobbit and men comrades!! Special thanks to Warner Brothers, Turbine and the Saul Zeantz Company/Middle Earth Enterprises. Also to Billy Boyd and Water Tower Records for the beautiful song, “The Last Goodbye”. Goodbye to the Dwarrowdelf server, but may the game last many more years, for it is still beautiful, and people still enjoy it!! Thank you for reading!!

My first screenshot. Obviously I had not figured out the functions of F11 and F12 yet, hahaha.

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Soon after, I got my first horse at the farm in Bree. I actually called him something very plain. However, I like my Rivendell mount Kenshin better.

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I got my first house, but it was kind of a hole in the wall…

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There comes that point when you have to put something in it though.

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I know for a fact that Midges in the Marshes only eat hobbits.

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This was once the great watch tower of Amun-Sul…Now it’s just just fun to jump off of. Don’t worry. If there were permadeath in this game, people would have given it up long ago. So goodbye cruel world…For like ten seconds…

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When you go to The Lone Lands for the first time, take friends.

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There’s always something interesting there.

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And I may be small.

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Some times you just have to hang out with the birds. I think they kidnapped me.

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Or maybe I am truly the lost hobbit queen!!

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Well I couldn’t be the queen, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t get in on some reality TV!!

Next Top Model

Nope, wait…Show’s over… So instead, I became a Middle Earth Martha Stewart!!

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In Evendim, you will find many strange things. Like Treebeard’s cousin!!

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And elves who want to see more than I am willing to show…

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And strange ladies hiding in mossy caves.

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In Fororchel, you can find rabid Wolverines who feel they have to get in on the fight.

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But if you go to Rivendell, you will find my favorite hero.

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A little monkey jumping on the bed, she fell off and bumped her head.

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Well you might as well take advantage of people while you’re in Rivendell.

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Sometimes my elf forgets where he is…

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But then again, he’s hot. He doesn’t need brains!!

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When you get to Moria, you will find that Dwarves actually like nature. So much so that they brought it underground with them!!

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Then again, sometimes you have to hang out in ugly places. Like Angmar…

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Sometimes you wish you could barrel-ride your way out of there like Bilbo Baggins.

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And when you get out of the dark places, there’s also exotic wildlife.

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Damn Richard Armitage, you did indeed get short. From when I met Thorin Oakenshield. Sorry, no hot dwarves in this game…And also no female dwarves.

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Sadly, I hadto move out of my house.

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And we had a lovey kinship party.

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And this is my very last screenshot on Dwarrowdelf.

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And one of my first on Arkenstone…Don’t put up the Turtle head trophy in your back room. The green haze is so bad you can almost taste it.

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And those were Lithodora’s adventures on the Dwarrowdelf server and the beginnings of new ones on Arkenstone. Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Issues In Hollywood. You know, the diversity thing and the rehashing…

Hello ladies and gents!! Decided to do a little something different this time around!! I have been checking out entertainment and film news lately, and there are some interesting things going on. First of all, Jennifer Lawrence pointed out that when the Sony emails came out, she noticed she was not being paid as much as her male counterparts. Also, Viola Davis recently pointed out that people of color were not offered as many opportunities as their Caucasian counterparts. Also there was the bit where Matt Damon said on his show, “Project Green Light” that diversity behind the camera was not as important as diversity in front of it.

Jennifer Lawrence makes an interesting point when she said that she was not paid as much as the male actors in her films, but in some ways, that has been the way that it has always been. Males have generally made more money than females throughout history regardless of what profession they are in. Why is that? I could not say for sure, but it sort of reeks of some sort of superiority thing, and it is definitely a control thing. Consider a scenario where everybody made the same amount of money for doing the same job. This would be ideal, and would make everyone equal. However, the world is not ideal. Not that that ideal situation cannot be achieved. It certainly can. The problem is, we’re not there yet in any facet of society. While Americans claim that there is equality between men and women, it is not necessarily true. If it were true, then we would be in that ideal zone. So that does not exist yet. While women currently have some amount of respect in Hollywood, because they do their jobs and do them well, that does not make them equal to their male co-star. If they were, everybody would be making the same kind of money. Ms. Lawrence is also right when she says that when you ask why you are not getting what you want or need, people tend to call a person difficult. It is especially easy to call a woman difficult. I even tweeted recently to Elijah Wood that, “it is easy to call a woman difficult merely because you don’t want to deal with them”. Again, true and not true. While there are some women who genuinely want to do things in order to better their situation, there are those who are in fact difficult. So there is a difference between that woman who wants to make things better and the woman who is truly difficult and a pain. And certainly there are male actors who are difficult as well. It is not a solely female issue. There are many people in the film industry that are just plain hard to work with. It is whether or not the reputation is true to the person that is the issue. Some people are difficult, others they want you to think are difficult.

Diversity is an interesting watch-word these days. Viola Davis says more people of color, Matt Damon says not necessarily. She’s right, he’s wrong. We need people of color in front of the camera, behind the camera, writing, directing, doing costumes, music, everything! Not on every film, but it is best to make sure that both cast and crew are as diverse as possible. Having more diverse people means having more creativity, ideas, direction, whatever. Not only that, but an Asian person, say a Chinese person, or a Korean person, or a Japanese person, Malaysian person, or what have you, are going to know more about Korean, Chinese, Japanese culture than a Caucasian person who is trying to write for them. They know their culture better than a person from outside of it. This is also true for Hispanic people, African American people, or people of African descent, whoever the cultural person is. So we need those writers and directors and producers. They will make the project more authentic. (one thing that kind of offended me was the fact that they chose Scarlett Johannsen to be the lead in “Ghost In The Shell”. Any hard core anime fan has seen it a million times, any science fiction fan has seen it a couple of times, and then there are people who just love good Japanese animation who loved it too. This was the perfect opportunity to use a Japanese actress, but they decided to go with a woman who was not Japanese. This made me incredibly sad…)

Last thing that has been bothering me lately. Recently, Hugh Jackman was in a movie called “Pan”. It sounds to me like it didn’t go very well, or at least it was not as great of a success as people expected it to be. What is the reason for this? It is not the fault of the actors, as I am sure that they all did the best they could. It was perhaps because of the fact that the story of Peter Pan has been told a million times in a million ways. And while each method of telling the story might be slightly different, it’s still the same story. Very often people get bored when they are offered the same thing over and over again (what’s the definition of insanity again?). If it is a story people have heard over and over again, they are going to lose interest. Batman=done to death, Marvel=also done to death, films about zombies=done to death!! Where’s all the great stuff that people used to make? The quirky science fantasy stuff and the action flicks that weren’t sequels, and the comedies that didn’t run off of bad sex jokes? All gone. Traded for rehashing, endless sequels, and a whole bunch of other stuff that nobody asked for. I will admit, there are a few dramas that I am anxious to see, and I am going to go and see “Star Wars” at least once (I hope I am not disappointed). Somehow it disappoints me that studios aren’t willing to take risks anymore. They want guaranteed hits as opposed to the films that may merely break even. What that does though is it leaves the little guy, passionate film makers who have the drive but not the resources, out in the cold. I know many fine young film makers who are starting out on fan films, and webseries, and other ambitious projects who would love nothing better than to be given a chance to make a film with the resources that the production companies and studios spend on the big guys. If we don’t help them out, then there are so many diverse stories that will never be told. Many of the people I know that are working on film projects are young people of color, and they deserve a chance. So lets finish with the rehashing and give these guys a chance!!

Thank you for reading this post. I know it is slightly long winded and perhaps a bit dour, but it was an opinion I just had to get out. I appreciate your readership!! If you like what you see, or you have an opinion, please comment, follow or like. This is my opinion, and I thank you for giving it a read!! Cheers and many thanks!!

Shara

Soundtrack for Hobbit Fan fic “Fly Away Little Birds”

Hello!! Seems odd that I am sort of giving away my secret Identity, but so it goes. I want you all to have all the song links for this fic, so I am posting them here. Anyway here they are!!

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4-5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Thorin’s Redemption:

To all things an end must come:

Ascension: https://youtu.be/_k2PGf9DAKQ

Free: 

Credits:

Want links to this fic?! Here they are!!

Archive of Our Own: http://archiveofourown.org/works/4130649/chapters/9313113

Fan Fiction. net: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11207229/1/Fly-Away-Little-Birds

Wattpad: https://embed.wattpad.com/story/47848775

Thanks for reading!!

Aidan Turner Shirtless Scything: Sexism or Just Something That Happened That Women Love?

Hello ladies and gents!! Just thought I would give an honest opinion on something concerning the Lovely actor Aidan Turner since it still seems to be everywhere. I was cruising around on Facebook in one of my groups, one dedicated to Aidan Turner, and I came across this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11561120/Poldarks-Elizabeth-Aidan-Turner-topless-obsession-is-sexist.html#disqus_thread . Usually I don’t read these kinds of things, but I decided to give it a look. I won’t say I was surprised, but I will say that I found it interesting on several levels and this was my original comment via the group:

Okay, here is the first reason why this is ridiculous. The term “reverse sexism” is absolute crap. There is no such thing. Sexism is sexism and it applies to anything/one. Just like the term “reverse racism” is bull. Goes which ever way, racism is racism. Also there is the fact that it’s about time that women started objectifying a man, as it’s usually the other way around. Women objectify men much less than men objectify women. Suggesting this is wrong because it is a man is just silly. I mean let’s go for a little equality in harmless objectification. I mean it’s not like we are demanding that we want him to go around with his shirt off all the time. Nor are we asking that he take it all off in anything more than jest. Women’s sexual wants are no less than mens, we just express them less publicly and not all the time. I mean when you think about it, there are far more magazines in the stores with women hanging out of clothing than men. Anyway, a mere opinion. And one would think that he would be a bit flattered. “People like me, hopefully body and soul. I should be happy of that. And if it’s just body for now, so it goes. It’s still recognition.”

Now that I consider this, it is both true and not true. While he is getting exposure, so to say, it is not necessarily the exposure he wants. Then again there is the old saying that, “any publicity is good publicity”. Again, both true and not true. While Aidan Turner is at a point where he is on the edge of  the “wide exposure/discovery” stage of his career, as before “The Hobbit” and “Poldark”, most people within the United States (and some other countries) might not have known him very well, he runs the risk of being know for a very long time as “half naked scything guy from “Poldark”” (sorry Aidan, had to go there). He may be at the point where he is trying to decide if that is what he wants. He could end up in the same vortex as Mark Hamill who will always be Luke Skywalker, William Shatner who will always be Captain Kirk, or  any other number of actors who will only be therefore identified with one role or type of role. Aidan probably wants to be seen as more versatile, as he is more versatile than that. There is a lot of potential in Aidan, and he wants to express that. Maybe he will go on to be James Bond, or an action star, or take on comedic roles. If he is going to do that, he has to paint himself as something more than a British period series sex symbol.

Aidan Turner in the BBC show "Poldark" Scything and asking the fundamental question.

Aidan Turner in the BBC show “Poldark” Scything and asking the fundamental question.

However, the above statement that I made is not completely wrong either. Women are far more objectified than men are. The fact that women are taking an interest in a sexy guy and letting it be known should not be a shocking thing. And in some ways I think he should be a bit flattered. Most people would enjoy a bit of mild fawning over their sexiness. I know that if I were a bit more sexy, I would want a bit of attention. Then again, too much is too much, and we should all be respectful. Aidan works hard, is proud of his work, and he thinks focus should be on more than just his sexy physique. That’s a good thing. They should all be proud of “Polark”. It was a good series, it was interesting, people seemed to like it, be proud!! But it cannot be denied that if they hadn’t had Aidan, and they hadn’t utilized him…So to say…The show probably would not have been as successful as it was.

One cannot deny that Aidan Turner is a sexy man. I still think he should be named “People Magazines” Sexiest Man Alive!! I mean, if they can make Chris Hemsworth the Sexiest man Alive… He has a bright future ahead of him, and it will be interesting to see how his career plays out. I do not think that his stint at scything will be anything other than good for him, and it certainly cannot be considered a “bad thing”. Do I believe it is sexism? Maybe it is. More than anything, if it is a respectful admiration of something beautiful, then perhaps not. Appreciating something for it’s beauty is not necessarily sexist. When people are disrespectful and degrade it, that is the point where it turns to sexism. Personally I am of the opinion that everyone should keep their clothing on. Taking off one’s clothing, hanging out of it, or just not caring about states of undress merely defeats the purpose of clothing…So either go with or go without.

As for Aidan…He can go with, go without, hang out in his Kili costume. Whatever floats your boat. It won’t change the fact that he’s still a very attractive man, and if we choose to fawn, so we will.

Thank you for reading!! I hope to hear from you!! Now for a relevant song…Or somehow I feel it is…

Were Kili and Tauriel The Beren and Luthien of The Hobbit? The craziest fan theory of all!!!

In the film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the dwarf prince Kili (played by the lovely Aidan Turner) and the elf maiden Tauriel (played by the always interesting Evangeline Lilly) fall in love. I had always thought this in interesting…Inclusion, if that’s what you want to call it, as this relationship was not in the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. So the question was, why is it there? At first the answer might have seemed quite simple, the film makers noticed the obvious lack of female presence and decided to add a female character (which is probably how they can justify having Galadriel be there as well). Tauriel the elf does not occur anyplace within the Tolkien lore, but was created to make the film more female friendly, or so it would seem. She is a strong, determined, and passionate woman who would love to follow her heart, but often finds herself stymied by obligation. In some ways this is very much in keeping with the women created by Tolkien, for if you look at a female character like Eowyn, you will see a female character trying to break the bonds of the typical female role within her society. So in some ways Tauriel makes sense as being a woman like a female character that Tolkien might have created. But there is more to it than that, and to get into the meat of it, we shall have to skip backward (and forward) into Middle Earth History.

Kili and Tauriel as Beren and Luthien?

This in itself is an interesting concept, for if we skip back into Middle Earth history (and yes, skip we must or it won’t be fun) we will encounter the tale of Beren and Luthien. Beren is a mortal man who encounters a beautiful elf woman dancing in the forest one day. He immediately falls in love and gives her the nickname of Tenuvial (which I believe is raven, or something) because of her black hair. Something else that happens immediately is that people are not completely willing to accept their relationship. Not necessarily because it is wrong, but because they see only tragedy ahead for the two lovers if they continue on in the path.  Things do indeed go badly, and Beren is taken prisoner. Luthien goes to save him, but is too late and he dies in her arms. So in this case, the society that was unwilling to accept theri relationship was right, because what they thought would happen, happened.

Skip ahead some many thousands of years and we have the story of Aragorn and Arwen. Arwen, who is daughter to Elrond of Rivendell is often looked upon as Luthien reincarnated, so to say. So when she falls in love with the mortal Aragorn, people begin to wonder whether what they are seeing happening now is a complete repeat of what happened bofore with the original tragic couple. Aragorn and Arwen are going to do everything in their power to keep that from happening. They are determined to have their happily ever after in some way. Never did they ever consider ending the relationship, even though maintaining it must have been the most difficult thing they had ever had to do in their lives. Arwen would never consider leaving Middle Earth if there was even the slightest chance that they could be together.

Note: There is a scene in the extended edition of The Return of the King I believe where Aragorn and Arwen speak before he leaves Imladris. He basically tells her that he won’t be coming back and that she should just go. (may have also been hinted at in scenes from Towers as well)…This simply doesn’t make any sense since this does not occur in the books and when it occurs in the films, it takes away most of Aragorn’s motivation, But this is a rant for another time.

Anyway, people are expecting to see what happened to Beren and Luthien happen to Aragorn and Arwen. When it doesn’t, I think more than a few people are astounded to see history not repeat itself. That means that Aragorn and Arwen get their happy ending.

Since it is unsure as to whether or not The Silmarillion will ever come to the screen, how will people who have never read it understand the nature of Aragorn and Arwen’s relationship and why there was so much riding on whether or not history in Middle Earth will repeat itself?

Finally We Get to The Center of Things With Kili And Tauriel

While Kili is not a mortal man (he’s a short guy who will only live for 250-300 years or so), he could in fact be representative of the tragic character Beren, and Tauriel who is an elf woman would be his forlorn Luthien. If you look at Kili’s death in the book, it is not impressive or very interesting…Or even in fact very sad or tragic. He just dies…In the films, he is a dwarf on a mission of love, and will do anything to protect those he loves, not merely Tauriel, but Fili and Thorin as well. He is trying to protect everything he holds dear and dies in the arms of his lover who has attempted to save him. A Middle Earth Mixed race couple of an immortal female and a mortal man. That elf will carry around his memory and and that sorrow for the rest of her life. Since she is a non-existent character, no one knows how long that would be. Still it is strangely reminiscent of the story of the two tragic lovers that had suffered so many years before a dwarf and an elf fell in love.

Was This By Design?

Tauriel and Kili share a kiss. Sadly it is the only one they will ever get.

Tauriel and Kili share a kiss. Sadly it is the only one they will ever get.

Who can tell really? It might just be that they wanted to add a few women so that the film wouldn’t be a complete sausage fest…Sorry, is that a vulgar term? It may be that they wanted to present the Middle Earth anti-damsel-in-distress (didn’t they already do that with Eowyn?). There could be a variety of reasons why they decided to make an elf and a dwarf fall in love. But it might also be that they wanted to relay a story that most would not hear unless they delved into Middle Earth lore. And let’s face it, what non-nerd has time for that? Anyway, I just thought it would be interesting to explore. There will be more interesting The Lord of the Ring, The Hobbit and other nerd stuff observations soon. Thank you for reading!! Please leave me a comment as I love hearing from people!!

Somehow thought this song fit.

P.S. But seriously, did they have to make it a love triangle with She Kili and Legolas? Pretty soon the rest of the dwarves are going to be nipping at her heels and she going to have some seriously bad ridiculous anime harem issues going on.

Piracy of Intellectual Property

The stealing of Intellectual property is certainly not a new concept, as it has been happening since the beginning of invention. However, with this fabulous tool that we now have known as the internet, it is becoming easier and easier to take things that do not belong to us. Most of the time, there is no malice involved in it, as people simply want to have something and paying for it is a pain. That does not change the fact that the property of others is the property of others, whether it be music, films, literature, or even things like original coding for things like games and other computer programs and software. As much as this might seem like a victimless crime, the people who worked on this content, put their blood sweat and tears into it, need to be recognized for their creation, for it is theirs, and they deserve to receive praise for their creations. Not only that, but not everybody involved in IP piracy can be considered innocent, as it is a criminal enterprise, so to say. Though they may or may not profit from the distribution of Intellectual property, they are committing a crime, and committing crime has consequences.

This is an interesting article, or statement from Stephen Pinkos, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office before the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property on the USPTO website.  It talks about copyright laws, patent laws, past laws, and things that are in the works for years to come. It actually is quite interesting.  This next statement to the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property is from Marybeth Peters and comes from the Copyright office and is also on piracy laws, and the struggle with online piracy from the U.S. Copyright Office website and is also a very interesting statement or article.  It is, however, quite formal and covers countries like China and Russia and what is to be done about those countries and piracy.  This next article, and it is very short, comes from the FBI website and is just a little bit under “what we investigate” and “White-collar crime”. Basically it is a snippet, but it is made clear that they do make it a priority to go after IP pirates.

I would like to share a few videos about Intellectual Property and piracy. While some of these are actually more about trademarks, in all truth, if it is someone elses creation, it falls under the same sort of heading as Copyright. In some ways it is like the same thing only different.  This first one is from a few years ago from the PBS Newshour, and is actually more about trademark infringement on things like counterfeit Viagra in Chinese shops.

It is interesting to look at a country like China and see how much they are actually taking from us.

This next video is from the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, and has some great insight into copyright law, piracy and infringement.

Video number three is actually about SOPA, which is the “Stop Online Piracy Act” and the act wants to do just that, stop online piracy. The fact is that, as many lawyers and people who create intellectual Property who are behind it, the average American may or may not want this to go forward, or even care. This bit is from Fox News, and I don’t usually go for things on Fox News, but this is really interesting and relevant (forgive the tone of bias).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NngDSI0QU6E

Next video is John Perry Barlow talking about piracy of Intellectual Property. This interview is so wonderful, because they cover so many things when it comes to media, music production, marketing music, and free online content. Just a great interview, very interesting.

This last video is kind of a summing up of piracy in the 21st Century. Basically, it explains things in the simplest yet most eloquent of ways. Starts out with a great little bit of a speech from President Obama.

 

That is all the videos, but a few last comments on piracy and Intellectual Property. If you are at all confused about copyright law, or copyright in general, go to the website of the Copyright Office and that can set you right. Also a good place to look for information might be with American Intellectual Property Law Association ( AIPLA ) and they can inform you of your rights as a creator and your rights as a user of IPs. As I move forward as a writer, I worry about the possibility of the theft of my creative works. I have recently found out that people can even pirate your fan fiction, which really surprised me, but it does happen. The best advice if you are going to create is to register it with the Copyright Office, get a patent, or if all else fails, register it with the Writers Guild of America ( WGA ).  If you are going to create, protect. If you are going to use, don’t take. I will admit that I am not completely innocent of this crime. I have a few CDs that did not come from customary distribution, but I think that’s the case with a lot of people. Tell me you don’t have at least one burned CD in your collection, haha.

Thank you very much for reading, and for reading all my posts. I know my random musings can go to interesting places. Thank you for putting up with them. Fare thee well.

Shara