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Dust Bunnies and Plot Bunnies: What are they?

Every spring our Labrador Retriever sheds all her winter fur. This fur swirls into corners and under tables with dirt from our shoes, hair from our heads, skin cells and just plain dust. Eventually, these things tangle together and form a kind of mat or ball. This ball is held together by static electricity. This ball is known as a dust bunny.

Dust bunnies collect in even the cleanest of houses. They can often be found behind dressers, under beds, in closets and behind knick knacks on the book shelf. They collect in places where vacuum cleaners, dust clothes and brooms don’t always reach. Also, air movement from people in the house or from fans pushes all these dust bunny particles to the outer edges of a room.

So, where does the dust bunny get its name?

Nobody knows for sure. Some believe it came from the idea that real bunnies multiply very quickly–just like dust bunnies do.

According to Mental Floss, one female rabbit can have as many as 1,000 babies–or kits–in her lifetime. That sounds a little bit like the number of dust bunnies under my refrigerator right now! As a writer, we can spend so much time writing that we forget to dust as often as we should. Because of this, dust bunnies hop up everywhere.

The same idea is true for plot bunnies. Plot bunnies are used to describe the ideas that writers have. They are inspiration for story plots. Many writers spend a lot of time jotting down ideas based on things that happen in their lives. Writers often say, “I collect plot bunnies from watching my kids.” As you can imagine, kids do lots of interesting things. In this way, they are like walking plot bunnies!

Another word for writing ideas, or plot bunnies, is novel fodder.

Think about your favorite story. Where might the author have gotten inspiration from? What was the author’s plot bunny?

Now, look around you and start collecting those little bits of inspiration (like the bits of fibers and dust and hair that make up a dust bunny) and start weaving them into an amazing plot bunny of your own.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Daily Log

 

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What is a Copyright?

We’ve all seen the symbol of the letter “c” inside a circle on the first page or two of books, but what does it mean?

A copyright is like a bank vault or locker for writers, musicians and artists. It protects songs, poems, novels and paintings from being stolen. As soon as something is created, it belongs to the person who created it. Nobody can use it without permission.

If someone shares, borrows or steals any part of a book, song or illustration, they are no different than a bank robber who has broken into the vault and stolen money.

You see, authors, musicians and artists get paid when they sell their work. If someone takes any part of that work without paying (or asking permission), money does not exchange hands. The work has been stolen.

Most people don’t realize that recording a song from the radio onto their ipod or their phone is breaking copyright. They don’t think anything of reposting a picture on the internet that someone else made. They have no idea that copying someone’s writing makes them a thief. But doing all those things can get people into big trouble. If they try to pass off someone else’s work as their own, they can get fined, kicked out of school or fired from work.

So, how do we copy the right way? Get permission. Pay for your own copy of a book, a picture, a movie or a song. And always give the creator credit. For instance, the image used above came from Classroom Clipart, a source of cool pictures that are available to members. I can use the pictures from their website for some things, but I can’t sell the pictures or anything with their pictures on it. 

Authors, musicians and artists don’t like to work for free. Would you?

Curious minds want to know.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Cat's Lexicon, Daily Log

 

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