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pots, publishing and money

updated tue 23 may 00


Kelly Averill Savino on sun 21 may 00

Just a few thoughts from somebody new to these ongoing debates:

When I sell an article it is one time rights only, and with a contract between myself and the publication, sometimes hammered out over revisions and disagreements. I was recently annoyed to find one of my parenting articles, reprinted without my knowledge or permission, on line. It had also - without my knowledge - been edited to remove my criticism of disney (re: marketing and children) and not surprisingly it turned out to be a disney owned website. So one of the issues that hasn't been addressed here is whether the author agrees to the context, or the vehicle, in which the work appears. Whenever work is taken out of a writer's possession, it can be twisted, misquoted, taken out of context, or used for the wrong purposes, while appearing to be the original intention of the author. Imagine your best pot recast in play-doh, or made part of a public urinal, or emblazoned with the logo of whatever cause most offends you-- still bearing your name as the creator.

Another example: When asked for permission by other moms with websites to use my poem about sleeping with one's baby, I give permission with the understanding that they will use my name, the title of the book in which it was first published, AND add somewhere the rules for safe co-sleeping with infants; I wouldn't want a suffocation on my conscience. See my point? Not all re-publication concerns are about money.

As for the "I want mine" syndrome: some of us are poor, with mouths to feed, and the few lousy bucks I was owed when stories were unethically resold would have meant groceries, or kids' shoes.

As for pottery, I barter when possible (some folks have paid for pots, studio time or classes with casseroles, preserves or babysitting). I have no great love of money. But I can't pay the electric bill with fertility figures or colanders, so I need money whether I like it or not. Like mothering, I'm not in this for recognition or fortune. Clay is a deeply rewarding pursuit that I would choose (do choose) if it never made me a penny; but it's hard for me to justify an expensive hobby, and time away from more pressing demands, unless it in some way benefits my family and lightens the load on Mr. Breadwinner. So not all money concerns are ego and greed...

just my two cents. Yours, kelly
"Love many. Trust few. Always paddle your own canoe."

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