Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm Back, again. For a Bit.

I’m back for the weekend. I’ll be making the blog rounds today. Then the grading starts again on Monday. We’re nearing the end, though. I’m looking forward to a break.

Unfortunately, plagiarism reared its head on some papers. Very, very disappointing. I covered the problem of plagiarism numerous times this semester but not everyone listened. That’s about all I’m going to say about that.

On the positive side, I got a nice surprise in the mail yesterday. It was a neat book entitled Dragons Composed, and it contains a story by me called “Dragon Lost.” The check was nice too.

The book has a great cover, with a kind of an old-timey parchment look. It’s published by Kerlak Publishing, and was assembled by James Ferris. There are 33 stories, some 330 pages. It combines the fantasy and literary genres. These are dragon stories, but unusual ones. My tale features a chess playing dragon but is more surrealism than fantasy. The specifics about the collection are about halfway down on the left side of the screen.

Here’s a taste of my piece: “The dragon came out of a distant rain that spilled like threads of taffy from concrete-gray sky to sober earth. I watched him cross the purple sage toward me, with his gleaming iridescent hide and the triple horns that stabbed from his head like accusing fingers.”

The newest Illuminata was also published. I’ve got a short essay on poetry in it. Click on Volume 7, Issue 2, April 2009 if you’re interested. The link’s at the bottom.

And for another positive, "G" over at Cedar's Mountain has a very nice review of Swords of Talera. Thanks "G!"

And now it’s off to visit my blog friends. I’ve missed you folks.
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54 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

Have a nice weekend.Cuz' it's back to the grind, Mondat!

Travis said...

Very disappointing to hear about the plagiarism in some of the papers.

But at least you get a bit of balance with the arrival of the book with your story. Congrats on that.

ivan said...

“The dragon came out of a distant rain that spilled like threads of taffy from concrete-gray sky to sober earth...That's kinda hard to beat.

laughingwolf said...

grats on the pub and check, charles :)

love the excerp!

too many folk think everyone else is less smart then they are, and won't catch plagiarism...

writtenwyrdd said...

Sorry for the disappointment of plagiarism in the student work. :(

Congrats on the publications.

Aine said...

:P for the plagiarism. I hope the students will learn their lesson. Kids these days...alas!

Congrats on the book! A chess playing dragon sounds...logical? Sounds like a good story.
:)

Good luck with the semester wrap-up!

Donnetta Lee said...

Yaaay, Charles! Lotsa nice stuff going on. You deserve it as you work so hard and got that talent-thing going on, too. D

X. Dell said...

(1) Plagiarism is the one thing that really gets under my skin as a teacher. Always has. But I'm thinking it's probably far more problematic now, with the Internet, than it was back during the '90s when I taught. Any form of cheating especially disappointing because betrays an attitude that the education isn't necessary; only the sheepskin is.

(2) Personally, I wouldn't mind if my next gig were at a teaching university. I'd rather publish novels instead of monographs.

the walking man said...

Of course I went and read your thoughts on poetry...

I cannot reach
No hand can grasp
But yet I wave
Once more in passing
April again

As this relates to the subject matter before I found it quite good...the memory rising every April and not being able to reach back and grab a hold but always waving to your father. It is calming in that he is not forgotten.

(although with the way I read I would have put a line break between "more" and "in" to keep the syllabification fluent.)

Interesting comment about poetry being meant to spoken aloud, I agree but it has to be written so a reader get's the timing and tempo through their eyes. And therein lies the rub.

I am still un-decided about prose poetry. I know it is the "modern style" yet I think that at some times it allows for laziness in the writer. I will write poetry in that style but if it can't be adapted to being versed and set in a poetic dialog then it is prose.

Leigh Russell said...

Plagiarism - sigh. The number of times I've challenged a student for the meaning of a word he's used in his work, only to be answered by a blank face. For goodness sake, kids, teachers aren't complete morons. If you don't know what a word means, how can you claim to have used it all by yourself?! Sorry to rant here.
On to more exciting news - I'm off to check out the dragon collection. Not the type of story I normally read, so should be fun. Congratulations! A cheque in your hand for your very own creation! I'm seriously impressed by the brief extract from you story, a recommendation in itself. Go Charles!

BernardL said...

That is very good news in the mail!

jennifer said...

Congratulations on being published yet again and for the check!

I am glad you can see the light at the end of the tunnelfor the current semester. I hope that you have had a lovely weekend too!

Charles Gramlich said...

Randy Johnson, I'm humming Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind."

Travis, that was really upsetting. I just hate when students do that. And I always give them very stern warnings.

ivan, every once in a while I slum around in the literary field. ;)

laughingwolf, thankee. Yes, I guess they thought they'd hid it by citing different references.

writtenwyrdd, thanks for both sympathy and congrats.

Aine, it's such a waste of everyone's energy. I give no points at all for papers where there is plagiarism.

Donnetta Lee, Thanks. I appreciate the kind comments. :)

X. Dell, at least with the internet we can also be more likely to "catch" plagiarsm. But I know what you mean. It's so easy for folks to cut and paste they let themselves take the easy way out. I see that attitude of "I paid for this I deserve this degree." As for your (2), I'm the same way. I do the very minimimum of "official" scholarship and work mostly on my own stuff. SOme of that does include nonfiction but it's specifically of my choosing.

Mark, thanks for hopping over to read the article. Poetry is, of course, the older tradition, and I tend to think of it as arising from the songs of the bards of olden days. Prose is more modern. I like prose poetry but you're right, it's not always as demanding of word economy as actual poetry. I've enjoyed doing some things with it, though. Thanks for the kind words on "April AGain." I'll have to check out that line break idea.

Leigh Russell, I just read in the first Harry Potter book about an anti- cheating spell. That would be nice. I know what you mean about the words. I actually had an experience earlier this year where I asked a student if she knew what a word meant and she did. Turns out she was just very darn good.

BernardL, yes, I like those kinds of days, as oppossed to the rejection days.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jennifer, thanks. I appreciate that.

ANNA-LYS said...

Thanks for the visit, my friend.

You are so creative and productive, maybe You also need some island life?
But, when You are ON, You are ON it!
Drive whilst You got the engine running like h ...

(( hug ))

laughingwolf said...

THAN they are... rats!!!

jodi said...

Charles, Glad to see you have survived AND prospered. Congrats! It must have been sweet to get that surprise after the plagerism dissapointment. Yin and yang, I guess.

Lana Gramlich said...

You SO rock.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Man, your description of academia was all too real and scary. Great news on the check in the mail! Getting paid for writing is so so great. I always think of that money as more fun than money that comes in other ways. I photocopied my first check that said "for poetry" in that line that you put the purpose of the payment. I thought it might never happen again!

Steve Malley said...

We've missed you too. I'm also out of circulation at the moment, for reasons I plan to post about soon.

Rick said...

Hello Charles! Congratulations on your dragon story. That was a superb excerpt. Looking forward to getting my copy of the book- do they have autographed copies available?

Lauren said...

That's too bad about the plagiarism. At least you caught them. Hopefully the students have learned their lesson.

Congrats on the short story in the Dragon Composed book. A chess playing dragon sounds like a very interesting premise! I adore that line about accusing fingers.

steve on the slow train said...

Congratulations on the dragon story. You'd think students would realize that professors can access Wikipedia and Google as well. In my day it was Cliff's Notes. Somebody once offered me money to write a paper for him. I turned him down, saying (truthfully) that I was running late on my own paper. No point in bringing up ethics to that guy.

Charles Gramlich said...

ANNA-LYS, yes, my engine is running slower and slower these days.

Laughingwolf, indeed.

jodi, yes,the good with the bad. Or so it seems.

Lana Gramlich, not as much as you do.

Michelle, I still make photocopies of my checks, but I don't keep the checks for sure. I like to spend the money. It is indeed more fun than the money that comes the usual way. And I only use it for fun stuff.

Steve Malley, I hope all is well, my friend.

Rick, good to hear from you. Hope you've been well. They won't have any autographed copies I'm afraid. I live a long way from the editors.

Lauren, thank you. It was one of those stories that actually came easily. Sure wish that would happen more often.

steve on the slow train, thanks. I appreciate that. Yes, internet plagiarism is very easy to catch. Makes me wonder how many smarter ones get away with it, though. Sigh.

Sidney said...

I read an article recently about some of the term paper mills. They were tracing their origins or whatever, and I think one was based in the Phillipines. Guess you didn't have anything to that degree, but it's interesting the lengths people will go to.

Greg Schwartz said...

congrats on the publication (and check)! sounds like a cool book.

Erik Donald France said...

Plagiarism and its fallout -- hate it. Had to deal with an incident that resulted in suspension, and eventual transfer.

Cool on the dragon book and story! Congrats!

Sam said...

Whoo Hoo! for the dragon story! Sounds wonderful!
Copying is the surest form of flattery, but plagiarism never fits into that saying, does it? Most kids do it out of sheer laziness. If an adult does it, it's probably for money. Either way, it's best to squash it in the bud. What is your punishment for the plagiarists?

Vesper said...

I love the fragment from your dragon story. Congratulations on the book!

Charles Gramlich said...

Sidney, I once discovered a paper I'd written available on a paper mill. I emailed them and they took it down, although I never got a response from them.

Greg Schwartz, I really like those old timey parchement like covers.

Erik Donald France, I told these students that I wouldn't push "this" incident beyond our class, but that if I ever found out about another incident I would rescind that.

Sam, First offense I give them a zero on whatever assignment they turned in, and give them a stern lecture. Second offense I take it to the Chairperson and the Dean. I've never had a second offense so far.

Vesper, thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Congrats, Charles. You deserve the best.

Mary Witzl said...

You ought to see the plagiarism I get. There'll be the most unbelievably bad garbled doesn't-make-a-tiny-bit-of-sense mishmish, then all of a sudden we're into a whole stream of beautiful narrative, really fine-tuned prose -- several paragraphs worth -- and then we're right back to crap English again with a tacked-on "Finally..." ending. And the so-called writer will hand it to me with a perfectly straight face and swear to every kind of god s/he penned it all by her/himself.

But here's to checks and another publishing credit, and congratulations! Isn't the money you get from writing a hundred times nicer than the money you get for any other job?

Charles Gramlich said...

Pattinase, thankee. I appreciate that.

Mary Witzl, it is indeed better than any other money. I'm always tickled to spend it.

MarmiteToasty said...

Hope you had a great weekend..... dam those plagiarism kids...off with their heads..

And congrats, wow.... pretty famous now aye :)

x

Miladysa said...

Congratulations.

I really enjoyed the imagery in the taster - excellent Thank you :D

G said...

Charles, thanks for the mention. I'm always careful about inflicting my tastes on the general public, but the book really did grab me.

As for the plagiarism, that is really disappointing. I know there is a fine line between simply copying stuff word for word and rewriting it so that its yours yet you're still giving proper credit (something that used to plauge me througout high school), but geez, do your students really think that you're not gonna figure it out?

Charles Gramlich said...

MarmiteToasty, I'm only a legend in my own mind.

Miladysa, thanks, glad you enjoyed.

G, the students seemed pretty surprised, despite my several warnings that I would check for plagiarism.

Greener Bangalore said...

Thats a nice write-up and your blog is full of info Charles....Thanks a lot for sharing.....

Charles Gramlich said...

Greener, thanks for dropping by.

Ello said...

Oh you are so lucky! I'm still drowning. And yes, I had a big plagiarism issue in one of my classes also. The guy acted all dumb and surprised which irked me because he is a senior!

that story excerpt sounded great! Congrats to you!

I'm thinking I'll be snowed in until at least the second week of May. Good luck to you!

L.A. Mitchell said...

We've missed you, too. Summer can't come soon enough for you, I'm sure. I love the idea of the chess story. I'm going to have to check that one out :)

ARCHAVIST said...

Charles - where can I buy the book?

Charles Gramlich said...

Ello, I'm so glad neither of my plagiarists were seniors. Made it much easier to deal with. I'll have another bump of work this weekend but right now I'm busy adding grades.

L.A. Mitchell, I'm a big fan of chess. One of my favorite collections is "Pawn to Infinity."

ARCHAVIST, I think it's available on the website but it is also up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Chris Eldin said...

Wow--the thing about plagiarism.

Thing 2 really made me smile last night. He had to find three facts from a non-fiction book (which is a LOT harder for kids to read than fiction). When I read his paper, I asked him if he copied any of it, and he said no. I checked, and he was right. But he had so succinctly captured the information, it read like part of the book! So proud of him!! Shame on the students who did that. I have a feeling it's a life philosophy of trying to skate by on the easiest path possible.

JR's Thumbprints said...

If they're going to plagiarize, they might as well write their papers with a 64-count box of crayons. Or is that giving them too much? How about a 32-count box?

As for the specifics regarding the dragon stories, where is halfway down on the left side of the screen? My mouse don't move from side to side, only up and down. Congrats.

Greener Bangalore said...

Hi Thank you so much Razor for you comments.....and you have a wonderful blog here....and nice write-up too.....Thanks a lot for sharing your views...and yes will visit often here hereafter......

Monique said...

Your little taste of your story is wonderful poetic.

benjibopper said...

loved that excerpt, really gorgeous description.

but does that mean they just selected your work and didn't tell you in advance?

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris Eldin, I hear a lot of students complain that they don't "have time" to do a good job. The problem is that they don't take time. They'd rather do online chatting or other kinds of things rather than do their work.

JR, yeah, sometimes I feel like giving 'em crayons. As for "Dragons Composed," it's the fourth book mentioned on the left hand side of the screen. You have to scroll down slightly to see it.

Greener Bangalore, I appreciate that.

Monique, thank you. Much appreciated.

benjibopper, no,I knew they were going to publish it. I signed a contract. I just didn't know when the book was coming out and wasn't speficically expecting it in the mail just now.

Merisi said...

I know what you were thinking while looking at that last picture! ;-)

That guy is actually fighting with a ram.

Scott said...

Charles,

It seems like plaigarism is rampant in schools at all levels lately. Seems like no one wants to actually do the work, as it were.

I'll have to check out your dragon story. Oh, I liked reading your post on your job, also.

Charles Gramlich said...

Merisi, Lol.

Scott, thanks. Yes, plagiarism is pretty rampant. I know a couple of my fellow faculty members who were also dealing with it.

Shauna Roberts said...

Happy to hear all of your good writing news. What a bummer about the plagiarism, though. I don't envy your having to deal with the students who got Fs for copying.

Lisa said...

with the technology teachers/professors have today, i'm completely surprised there are still students willing to attempt plagiarism. ???