I’ve combed my website and blogs after recent discussions among writers about online photo/image usage. Turns out, if you can’t find copyright information on the image it doesn’t mean it’s safe or legal to use (even on Facebook). If you’re in doubt about the source and licensing of a picture you desire to include on your blog—just don’t use it. You might like the color and flavor it adds. However, unless it’s determined who the originator is it’s best to assume that it’s not free and clear—even though bloggers everywhere seem to be copying, pasting, and sharing galore.
Since the topic has been brought to my attention, I for one certainly don’t want to infringe on another’s creative work, credit, or livelihood. When I search for a photo for a post, I’ll be closely examining the particular licensing terms. For fees, sometimes nominal, you can set up accounts with photo stock sites. If you’re bent on utilizing only public domain content, there are options such as Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons, Flickr Advanced Search, FreeRangeStock, etc., to search, nevertheless, closely check the terms. An author might allow free usage but only in exchange for specified attribution.
As always, living and learning today, however slow.
Pressure prevailed. I caved. Too many had said “You HAVE to read these books!” I usually steer away from overhyped mainstream fiction because I’ve too often been disappointed in the read and left wondering why such buzz?
So, I confess. I read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Devoured, really. Brilliantly written, suspenseful and meaningful, political and painful, creative and inventive, I was blown away. Although a number of reviewers tended to find the last installment, Mockingjay, too drawn out with an unsatisfying ending, I found it cleverly handled. In a multitude of moments I thought: How is this author going to pull her divergent protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, out of this predicament? It was always a surprise. All the way to the most real and satisfying finish.
The future of the United States doesn’t seem so farfetched in this ingenious arc of “Panem” and its districts either. It’s a harrowing yet compelling story through every detail, even the choice names given the characters. Heck, if I had a whole herd of horses they’d all be named after the cast, beginning with Peeta.
And the movie? Although some minor details were altered, the film really captured the tragic atmosphere of a dynamic story. How refreshing and scary. Not to mention the scenery was gorgeous, as it was filmed in these parts where I now live…well, western North Carolina anyway. Close enough.
I flew back ad lib to my hometown in the Pacific Northwest. The circumstances that pulled me there weren’t pleasant, but I had pleasant moments. Such as bumping into people I hadn’t seen in years with whom
I had exchanged books, rode horses, frequented art galleries, chuckled over bad poetry readings (usually our own), played music, and danced; individuals who had filled my existence with distinct richness in a well-recognized area for the arts that doesn’t view an individual as a loner but a way of life.
It was during an enlightening conversation over cappuccinos with my dear sister under the sunny, happy-faced (and, okay slightly creepy as if they had ears) sunflowers that towered over us in the café’s garden when it dawned on me. Nostalgia isn’t just homesickness. Nostalgia is evidence
of reality. One I can now appreciate at a whole other level.
Dark Horse emerges from my dream. Mysterious, bewitching, revealing little while comprising much. I want to behold your countenance in real-time and not just imagine the cadence of your gait.
Weave my fingers through your mane. Look long into your ambiguous eyes that reflect secrets of ageless awareness. Wrap my arms around you as I rest along your back. Sync my breath with your breath and we breathe as one.
Dark Horse, won’t you emerge from my dream. Grace me with the reality of your existence, pure and unmistakable. Allow me to come close. Consent to the intimate rhythm of our being.