The Wordsmith: Crafting The Words by Sarah Hawkswood

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Check out this Guest Post by Sarah Harkswood at The Armitage Authors Network on wordsmithing.

The Armitage Authors Network

This guest post on the writer’s craft was submitted by The Armitage Authors Network author Sarah Hawkswood. We thought it was the perfect way to kick off November as National Novel Writing Month and we thank her for writing this thought provoking piece. Best wishes to all of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo this year!

‘Everyone has a book in them’ is often said, but I think it is not strictly true, at least when it comes to fiction. Just as there are people who are tone deaf, and for whom music is meaningless, there are those who have no effective creative imagination. Such people do not read fiction because what is on the page is simply typescript. For them no picture is created in their head by the words before them. So do we narrow it very slightly and say ‘Anyone who reads and enjoys fiction has a book in them’? I would still…

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The Kiwis Belong With the Company.

This is outrageous. What a slap in the face. Shame on you, Warner Brothers. Comments at Perry’s.

Armitage Agonistes

We all recall when, in DOS, Thorin Oakenshield told his nephew Fili, who was getting ready to separate, that he belonged with “the company”- the company of dwarves, of course.

Now it turns out, as reported by actor John Callen and The One Ring, that Warner Brothers will not foot the bill to bring the 6 Kiwi actors to the London premiere on December 1.

Incredibly, Warner Brothers cites ” budget concerns,” as their reason for this serious, shameful and disappointing decision. Just how much trouble is Warner Brothers in?

Probably, not much.  Didn’t Warner Brothers just foot the bill to send 150 fans  from all over the world, to New Zealand for a  several day BOTFA experience? And they don’t have the funds to send send six men to London?

Personally, I think this is shameful, and disrespectful, not only to the actors themselves, who have all worked…

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Darkness Falls Across The Laminate

Yesterday I was dancing to “Thriller” in my kitchen and I managed to — well, I didn’t really SCARE the dog, but he looked really concerned. One person, however loony, in a kitchen doesn’t qualify as a Flash Mob but these certainly do. Let’s start in Colorado. This happened last year at the Denver International Airport.


Do you remember the time MC Hammer challenged Michael Jackson to a dance off for possession of “the glove”? That was child’s play compared to this dance off between zombies and vamps at The Sherman Oaks Galleria in 2010.


And if just doing the zombie dance is difficult, imagine doing it on ice. This happened in 2011 at a Halloween weekend hockey game between the Calgary Flames and the St. Louis Blues. Guess who the host team was.


Nobody outdoes the King of Pop, though. Psst…kelbel…it’s coming. Can you believe this video is thirty years old? And Vincent Price? *sigh*


Happy Halloween everyone! Hope it’s — um — THRILLING for you, however you’re celebrating!





Boys 2 Men: Battle Of The Teen Idols, Round 1

My daughters have been on Cloud 9 for the last few days because OMGONEDIRECTIONRELEASEDANEW *deep breath* VIDEOOMGOMG!!! To wit.

I have to admit that it made me nostalgic for early-80s cheesy videos. It was a little odd trying to explain who Danny DeVito is and why he deserves a little more respect than being referred to as “that weird director guy eating an onion.” It took a while to determine that he was actually eating an apple. Then there was the Louie/Louis confusion and THAT took four or five more viewings because, you know, they’re NOTHING like their mom. At all. Yeah.

Okay, I’m being held hostage by One Direction on Vevo. You all have a good evening and check back because I might need reinforcements later…


Last Call

Have you contributed a quote to The Thorin Project, a collaboration between Guylty and Kelbel to honor and thank Richard Armitage for his amazing portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield? Last call, go visit Kelbel for details!

Nowhere in Particular RA

Closing time
One last call for alcohol, so finish your whiskey or beer

RA Drinking VIII

No, not that kind of Last Call 🙄

This is a plea for The Thorin Project!

get those quotes in pronto (like within the next 2 days) so that I can send the last batch off to Guylty, she can work her pretty magic, and we can send this book on it’s merry way.


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Jazzy’s Quick And Dirty Guide To Surviving A DMCA Takedown

This morning I got an email from another Armitage blogger who wishes to remain anonymous telling me about a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown Notice that she received from her blogging platform. I am publishing this post at her suggestion, with her full knowledge, so that you can know what steps were taken both by her platform and by her, on the off chance that it comes up again for someone. It’s better to be armed with knowledge so that you know what’s required rather than being caught unawares and freaking out. Please note that I am not a lawyer and this is not intended as legal advice. Rather, I’m breaking down the steps taken by the copyright holder to protect his or her work, the steps taken by the host platform to comply with the law, and the steps taken by the blogger to resolve the issue. All examples used below are unrelated to this morning’s incident in order to protect the anonymity of the blogger.

Who The Copyright Holder Is:

The copyright holder is the owner of the material at issue. For example, if the takedown is about a fanmade wallpaper incorporating a photograph, the copyright holder is the photographer and not the fan who made the wallpaper, no matter how the wallpaper is shared or used. The photographer has the SOLE RIGHT to authorize the photo being used and also the SOLE RIGHT to file a DMCA Takedown Notice. For simplification, I am referring to the photographer as Jane Doe and, again, all examples are hypothetical except for names of platforms, such as Tumblr. I’m trying to clarify this situation, not confuse things further.

What The Copyright Holder Does:

Photographer Jane Doe is surfing around Tumblr and comes across a fanmade wallpaper using one of her photographs. She notes that the artist the wallpaper is attributed to, Joe, is unfamiliar to her and, while she admires the artistry of the work, she knows that she didn’t authorize this use of her copyrighted photograph. She clicks on the notes attached to the post and finds a link to Joe’s DeviantART gallery, where she finds the same wallpaper. She scrolls around and finds that he is licensing HER PHOTOGRAPH through a Creative Commons License and is also offering it for sale in multiple formats. She fills out DMCA complaints on Tumblr and DeviantART, swearing UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that she is the copyright holder.

What The Platforms Do:

On receiving the DMCA Takedown Notice from Jane, a human from the host platform disables access to the material in her complaint. The host service provider is NOT REQUIRED by law to notify Joe before it disables access to his wallpaper. Some platforms do as a matter of courtesy and one of them sends an email to Joe explaining that they’ve received a DMCA Takedown Notice. They attach a copy of the original complaint, explain that if Joe republishes the material his account will be permanently suspended, that if they receive valid complaints from other copyright holders his account will be permanently suspended , and urge him to delete any other material that infringes on any other copyright. They also send him a link to file a formal DMCA counter-notice if he believes his wallpaper falls under a Fair Use exemption to US copyright law.

What The Fan Artist Does:

Joe at this point has two choices. He can comply and the situation is over. If he wants to truly cover his behind and work with the platform he can reply back with an apology and a list of steps he’s taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again, for example notifying other people on other platforms such as Twitter who have linked to or shared his wallpaper unaware that he was NOT THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER of the image.

Joe also has the option of filing a DMCA counter-notice. If it is a valid counter-notice the platform then alerts Jane and the ball is in her court. She can ignore it and tolerate his infringement but if she was irritated enough to file against him in the first place she probably won’t. Her option now is to take Joe to court. There is NO legal requirement for the platform to restore his work to their platform while the case is being decided.

My fellow blogger of this morning elected to comply. Then she emailed me, knowing that I opened this discussion a few days ago on blog. We need to decide, each of us, how to handle this kind of thing if we are sharing media of any type. If you have dealt with and survived a takedown notice, or you have any concerns, you’re welcome to comment. One warning: IF YOU ATTACK ANYONE ELSE I WILL EDIT YOUR COMMENT INTO A VERSE FROM EDGAR ALLAN POE. It’s Halloween, after all. Comments are open.

J.K. Rowling to Reveal NEW Harry Potter Story on Halloween

Squeeeee! I’m not sure who’s more excited by this, me or the kids, but thanks so much, J.K. Rowling! And thanks Marlise Boland for the heads up on The Anglophile Channel!

The Anglophile Channel

What’s better than Trick or Treating on Halloween night? Having a NEW Harry Potter tale to read while enjoying all your candy swag!  J.K. Rowling announced a “special Halloween treat for Harry Potter fans” on her Pottermore website that she has penned a new 1,500-word story that will offer “revealing first-person” thoughts about the evil, pink-wearing Hogwarts professor Dolores Umbridge.

New  'backstory' on Dolores Umbridge played by New ‘backstory’ on Dolores Umbridge played by Imelda Staunton

JK has been delighting Potter fans as of late with stories released online this past July as well. That story featured Harry, Ron and Hermione as adults attending the Quidditch World Cup! I love that Harry Potter need never die and go away thanks to JK’s continued gifts to the fan base.

In the Halloween release Rowling will focus on the the Ministry of Magic Undersecretary. Umbridge is the one that tortured Harry by making him write “I must not tell lies”…

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Digital Theatre Experience

For anyone waiting to watch THE CRUCIBLE via the download from Digital Theatre, RichardTreehouse has some practical tips. Thanks for the head’s up, Tree!


I watched Private Lives on Digital Theatre (DT) for free from the email they sent. When you rent a show you have thirty days to activate it. After you activate it you have 48 hours to watch it. After a few glitches I was able to watch it on my big screen TV. I have my laptop connected to my TV with an HDMI cable.

DT had put Private Lives in my Library. I had downloaded the DT player on my computer and laptop. When I first tried to watch it by opening the player and clicking on Private Lives it looked like it was loading. However, it stayed on that screen and never loaded. When I went to DT homepage to try and figure out what I was doing wrong it showed I was not logged in. Once I logged in and went back to the player it…

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Snaffle This Post

There is a snaffler among us and this  person must be dealt with, swiftly and harshly. The following was shared on Twitter a few weeks ago without the prior permission of the creator and copyright holder of the work. I share it here for commentary and criticism and possibly parody. I have no idea if any of that actually applies, but it’s worth a shot.

I did not ask permission. I plan to ask forgiveness.

I did not ask permission. I plan to ask forgiveness.

You’re aware of who the snaffler was in that case, right? @RCArmitage? I’m not calling The Dude out by any means here. I’m using that instance to make a larger point with regard to the constant drama about copyright of the last few weeks: some snaffling we tolerate depending on who’s doing it and what the circumstances are. I personally find it unbelievable that anyone in this fandom has the totally backward notion that fan artists of any type are entitled to a stricter level of protection from snaffling than they are themselves extending to the creator/copyright holder.

Let’s say Armitage works with a photographer who’s new to us, Joe Schmoe from Cleveland. A fan site asks for and gets permission from Schmoe to post the photos from the shoot with the notation that they have permission. That permission extends only to that site, not to me. If I want to use one of those photos for some other purpose, including creating a piece of art (note: I have zero artistic talent, this is totally hypothetical), I have to ask his permission myself, even if he’s already granted that permission to the fan site for the purpose of posting it in a gallery. Say I take one of the photos from that gallery and sketch it without asking his permission first. As long as it stays in my sketch book, I’m probably safe. Let’s say that I want to put it up at DevaintART. As soon as I do that I might be infringing on Schmoe’s copyright. He as the copyright holder has the sole right to grant permission to use his work for derivative works. He might choose to tolerate my hypothetical infringement or he might not. If he doesn’t he has the right to file a DMCA takedown notice with the host site and they in compliance with US law (DeviantART is in California) have to remove my work. I can’t use what I perceive as his tolerance of any other work as a defense because the creator of that work might well have asked for and been granted permission. A court might find my piece to be Fair Use but in order for them to do that one of us in this hypothetical situation has to have filed suit against the other. I can believe wholeheartedly that my sketch falls under Fair Use but if I can’t convince a judge of that I’m out of luck. Additionally, if I’ve read DeviantART’s Submission Policy, I’ve agreed by posting the work to the site that I already have whatever legal clearances, including permission from a third party copyright holder, are necessary before I post the work (Submission Policy Section 7, subsection b).

There’s a lot of fan art floating around out there, so why would Schmoe hypothetically choose my piece and not another artist’s? The only reason he needs is his copyright but there are things that make it more likely to happen. Maybe I’m selling prints of my sketch from his photo. Maybe I’m licensing distribution of my sketch through a Creative Commons License that includes a provision that prohibits other people from making adaptations of my work and he just granted permission to a different artist to make a sketch for an official Armitage website from the same photo and he’s afraid that the CCL on my work will impact on that derivative work’s copyright. Maybe I’m making noises about registering for copyright protection for my sketch. If I do these things, I increase the likelihood of his filing a DMCA takedown and the possibility of an infringement suit.

I love transformative works, obviously, so I’m not saying don’t create them or trying to stop you from creating them. Heck, I run a blog that supports writers who emerged from the fic community. What I am saying here is keep fan art and fan works in perspective and be sensitive to the rights of the actual copyright holders. The fic community in this fandom is vibrant in part because two of Armitage’s most popular characters – John Thornton and Guy of Gisborne – are in the public domain and copyright isn’t a consideration if you’re working from public domain sources. Not all sources are public domain, though. If I were to write a fic about John Porter and post it on An Archive of Our Own and someone other than me decided to post it at FanFiction.Net as original-to-him-or-her the only recourse I have is flagging it for plagiarism at FFN and dealing with it that way. FFN deals with this on a more or less regular basis and their response time is about 48 hours. I have absolutely no right to claim copyright infringement because I am using Chris Ryan’s copyrighted character without his permission. There’s a reason E. L. James renamed her male character Christian and heavily revised her fic before she published 50 Shades of Grey, and no, I don’t want to hear how you feel about that book or the Twilight series.

Tumblr, DeviantART and other social media sites each have ways to report misattributed or non-attributed work and that’s what we as a fandom have to work with. These increasingly bitter fights in public spaces like Twitter, sometimes pulling in copyright holders themselves, make all of us look foolish. If you seriously want to try to make a LEGAL case out of someone sharing your work without permission when in creating it you used someone else’s copyrighted material without their permission, be my guest. Just be careful swinging that copyright stick. You might wind up smacking yourself in the face.

Armitageworld Exclusive: The TRUTH About Richard Armitage’s Tweets

Okay, here’s the deal. Richard Armitage (known after this moment as Mean Mistreater Dude) Tweeted this today.




Uh, oh, I was typing, wasn’t I? Anyway, so Mean Mistreater Dude up there is even meaner than he looks, as it turns out. I’ve long suspected that he’s been messing with us and now, NOW I have the proof. Really. In my pocket. Before we get there, though, I need to tell you how I discovered this truth which involves a visit to the Repository of All Great Truths: Tumblr.

A couple of weeks ago The Snarker at RASnarktastic posted this little beauty.


Posted with the express written permission of The Snarker

I had NO IDEA such a thing was available in the Armitageworld Catalog (in the section right behind Medical Supplies; smelling salts are STILL on back order, BTW. What a way to run an Army, amirite?) so of course I ordered it right away. No longer would I be in the dark about what the Dude really means in 140 characters because, like I said, he’s messing with us. Obviously.

So today’s Tweet. You see the uppercase X there? I’ve gotten my share of notes from Brits and I know that a lowercase X can be an expression of affection but what could an uppercase one possibly mean? I pondered and pondered and finally asked my Magic 8 Ball. Magic 8 Ball is still not really speaking to me after — okay, that’s not really important. The important thing is that I had a reason to use my Secret Decoder Ring and I am SO GLAD I got one!

It occurred to me that the X was maybe a clue so I set my decoder ring to X. HA! It’s kind of like backmasking, you have to really be careful what to look for while you’re decoding but I finally FINALLY cracked the code. What it REALLY says is — NOT AT ALL APPROPRIATE for random people who might be offended to stumble upon so I’m not going to leave my translation out in the open here. I have a reputation, after all, and what he REALLY meant was too much even for me. Think on that for a second. It took me a minute or so to recover and then I wondered what else he’s slipped by us.

You guys. Ignorance is bliss here. Like, I will only make up nonsense tell you if you really want to know but you have to ask. I will say, the one where he looked like he was being swallowed by a bacon tulip? Not really bacon. I just can’t even on that one.

Mean Mistreater Dude. What are we going to do with you?

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